Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.

"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

During his time at USA Today, Memmott, helped launch and lead three USAToday.com news blogs: "On Deadline," "The Oval" and "On Politics," the site's 2008 presidential campaign blog.

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1:00pm

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Reports: Egypt To Let Pro-Democracy Americans Leave Country

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:34 pm

Reuters and The Associated Press are reporting that Egyptian authorities have decided that seven Americans who it has accused of engaging in illegal "political activity" may now leave the country.

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12:40pm

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Officials Claim They Will Soon Have Baba Amr 'Cleaned'

In Qusayr, Syria, on Tuesday, a Free Syria Army member was on guard at the funeral of a man who activists say was killed by government forces.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

An ominous excerpt from the latest BBC News report on what's happening in Syria:

"The Syrian army is advancing on opposition positions in Homs, which has been under artillery bombardment for nearly a month, reports say. Security officials said the city's besieged district of Baba Amr would be 'cleaned' within the next few hours."

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11:54am

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Franklin Graham Apologizes For Seeming To Question Obama's Faith

Rev. Franklin Graham in 2007.
Davis Turner Getty Images

One week after saying "you'll have to ask President Obama" when asked if he believes the president is a Christian, Rev. Franklin Graham has issued an apology for "any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama."

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6:20pm

Tue February 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Leap Day: Any Plans?

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 6:26 pm

Something that only comes around once every four years and doesn't involve either politics or Olympic competition deserves its own mention:

Wednesday is Feb. 29.

Leap day, that is.

Our friend Linton Weeks has put together a handy list of 24 things you could do with the extra 24 hours. (And yes, we know that some of you have already started your day; but, hey, we're an East Coast-based blog.)

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5:45pm

Tue February 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Join Us For Live Blogging Of Today's Republican Primaries

Another Tuesday, another critical day for the 2012 Republican presidential contenders.

This time the locations are Michigan, where most polls close at 8 p.m. ET, and Arizona, where voting ends at 9 p.m. ET. The story political junkies are watching closest: Will former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Michigan native, hold off a strong challenge there from former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum?

Also on the ballots, of course: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.

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5:25pm

Tue February 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Gay Marine's Kiss Was 'Four Years Of Pent-Up Emotion And Secret Love'

The kiss. That's Sgt. Brandon Morgan on the right. Dalan Wells on the left.
Gay Marines on Facebook

When he returned from Afghanistan and saw his partner waiting to welcome him home, "four years of pent-up emotion and secret love" just seemed to naturally lead to "what felt like an eternity kiss," Marine Sgt. Brandon Morgan told NPR this afternoon.

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4:06pm

Tue February 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Dow Does It: Closes Above 13,000

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 4:47 pm

For the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, the Dow Jones Industrial average has closed above the 13,000 mark.

It didn't do it by much — about 5 points.

We'll have more in a moment.

Update at 4:15 p.m. ET:

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3:55pm

Tue February 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Virginia Senate OKs Abortion Measure Requiring Ultrasounds

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 3:57 pm

Virginia's state Senate this afternoon passed legislation that would "force women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion," the Richmond Times Dispatch reports. The vote was 21-19.

Senators made two changes to the controversial measure that had already been OK'd by the state House:

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4:48pm

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

In Kentucky, 2015 Derby Winner Could Arrive Any Day Now

This picture has stayed in Noah Adams' mind.
Dr. Kim Sprayberry Hagyard Equine Medical Institute

The horse that wins the Kentucky Derby in 2015 may come into the world tonight in the Bluegrass State.

From January into June, about 8,000 registered thoroughbred colts and fillies will be born in Kentucky. As 3-year-olds, a few may be Triple Crown contenders.

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12:20pm

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Gay Marine's Homecoming Kiss Is Lighting Up The Web

The kiss. That's Sgt. Brandon Morgan on the right. Dalan Wells on the left.
Gay Marines on Facebook

Since the Gay Marines Facebook page posted it on Saturday, a photo of Sgt. Brandon Morgan and his partner Dalan Wells sharing a welcome home kiss in Hawaii has been getting quite a bit of attention:

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11:00am

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Chechens Allegedly Planned To Attack Putin's Motorcade With Mines

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Alexey Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

Chechens who allegedly were hoping to kill Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin planned to hide landmines along a route his motorcade often uses in Moscow, according to Russian TV, the BBC reports.

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9:35am

Mon February 27, 2012

9:20am

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Developing: Shooting At High School In Chardon, Ohio

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 2:14 pm

The latest on today's shooting at a high school in Chardon, Ohio, where five students were shot; at least one fatally:

Update at 2:15 p.m. ET. Student Who Died Identified:

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8:50am

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Santorum Defends Saying JFK Speech On Religion Makes Him Sick

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, center, and supporters as they prayed earlier this month in McKinney, Texas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

There was no shift over the weekend by Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum when he was asked about his comment last year that then-presidential candidate John Kennedy's famous 1960 speech about religion and the separation of church and state makes him want to throw up.

The Boston Globe writes that on Sunday:

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8:00am

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

WikiLeaks Starts Posting Millions Of Security Firm Stratfor's Emails

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 8:46 am

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is driven away in a taxi after leaving his hearing at the Supreme Court in London, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012.
Matt Dunham AP

"The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks began publishing on Monday more than five million emails from a U.S.-based global security analysis company that has been likened to a shadow CIA," Reuters writes.

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