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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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Please Tell Us You've Done This Too: Ever Worn Mismatched Shoes?

The left foot didn't know what the right foot was wearing.
Mark Memmott NPR

If your shoes say a lot about you, as we learned last year, what does it say if the ones you're wearing don't match?

-- That it's not a good idea to get dressed in the dark?

-- That perhaps this blogger needs to pay more attention to what he's doing in the morning?

-- Or that he buys boringly similar shoes?

Imagine my surprise when I looked down at my feet after getting to work this morning.

Now, please make me feel better:

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Will Breaking Bread Break The Deadlock In D.C.?

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., gave a thumbs-up Wednesday night after he and other GOP senators had dinner with President Obama.
Olivier Douliery/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:38 pm

Wednesday night it was dinner with a small group of Republican lawmakers.

Thursday it's lunch with 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

Next week, the president is due to have lunch with more Republican senators.

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Today: First Key Votes On Gun Laws Since Newtown Shootings

Guns on display at a show in Fort Wayne, Ind., last month.
Brian Cassella MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:52 am

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET. One Measure Approved So Far:

"The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday making gun trafficking a federal crime as lawmakers cast the first vote in Congress to curb firearms since December's horrific shootings at a Connecticut elementary school," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Mixed Signals: Jobless Claims Dip; Layoff Plans Rise

As we await Friday's much-anticipated report about the February unemployment rate and how many jobs were added to employers' payrolls last month, there are these new bits of economic data to chew over:

-- The Employment and Training Administration says there were 340,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week. That's down from 7,000 the previous week. Claims continue at a pace that's the lowest since first-quarter 2008.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Nearly 13 Hours Later, Sen. Paul Ends His Filibuster; Here's The Video

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., during his filibuster.
Senate Television AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:45 pm

After nearly 13 hours during which he had only a few short breaks while sympathetic senators took over the talking, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky ended his filibuster of John Brennan's CIA nomination early Thursday.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Economy Growing At 'Modest To Moderate Pace,' Fed Says

There was "modest to moderate" economic growth across the nation as the year began, the Federal Reserve says in its latest "beige book" review of conditions around the nation.

According to the central bank, five of its 12 districts "reported that economic growth was moderate in January and early February." Those five: Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, Richmond and St. Louis.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Alvin Lee Is Going Home: 'Ten Years After' Guitarist Dies

Alvin Lee performing with Ten Years After in the early 1970s.
Lebre Sylvie Dalle /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 8:18 am

Guitarist Alvin Lee, whose incendiary performance with the British band Ten Years After was one of the highlights of the 1969 Woodstock festival, has died.

He was 68. Lee's website says he "passed away early this morning [Wednesday] after unforeseen complications following a routine surgical procedure." An assistant to his daughter also confirmed the news to NPR.

His band's biggest hit β€” "I'd Love to Change the World" β€” came a couple years after Woodstock. We'll embed a clip from that.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Wed March 6, 2013

VIDEO: Mount Etna Lights Up The Night Sky

The sky glowed red above Sicily's Mount Etna early Wednesday.
Salvatore Allegra AP

The activity at Sicily's Mount Etna, as we've said, can be seen from space.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Victims' Advocates Push For Some Cardinals To Be Barred From Papal Conclave

In Vatican City's St. Peter's Square on Wednesday, a man looked at the Italian magazine Chi's photo of former Pope Benedicxt XVI β€” the first such image since he stepped down last week.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

As Roman Catholic cardinals now gathered in Rome continue to make preparations for their conclave that will choose a new pope, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli tells our Newscast Desk that "advocates for victims of clerical sex abuse across the world are stepping up demands that three cardinals withdraw" from that process.

According to Sylvia:

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