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
7:06 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Britain Recognizes Syrian Opposition

Rubble litters the street in the main souk or market area of Maraat al-Numan, Syria.
John Cantlie AFP/Getty Images

Calling it the "sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said today that the U.K. is officially recognizing the Syrian National Coalition, Reuters reports.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Christian Girl Accused Of Blasphemy Cleared By Pakistani Court

Rimsha Masih (left) was flown by military helicopter to a safe location after her release on bail in September. Now, she's been cleared of a blasphemy charge.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 11:34 am

Rimsha Masih, the young Christian Pakistani girl whose arrest earlier this year drew international attention, has been cleared of the blasphemy charge against her.

According to NPR's Jackie Northam, who is in Islamabad, Pakistan's High Court today threw out the charge against Rimsha because there was no hard evidence that she ever burned pages of the Quran, as neighbors had charged.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Tue November 20, 2012

With Clinton In The Region, Israel, Hamas Continue To Trade Fire

Palestinians react after they checked the body of their family member killed in an Israeli air strike, at Al-Adwan Hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday.
Chen Xu Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 8:53 am

(We rewrote the top of this post at 6:55 p.m. ET to sum up the day's news.)

Diplomatic efforts accelerated and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in the region on Tuesday, but despite the buildup, despite the rumors of imminent peace, there was no cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Maybe Twinkies Do Last Forever: Union, Hostess Headed To Mediation

The big name in the Hostess lineup.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 7:43 am

"Twinkies Saved! Hostess, Bakers Union Agree to Mediation, Avoiding Shutdown."

That's the "alert" this hour at CNBC.com.

Reuters has issued this "bulletin":

"US BANKRUPTCY JUDGE SAYS PARTIES AGREE TO MEDIATION ON TUESDAY IN HOSTESS CASE."

And according to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

In Obit, Daughters Let Dad Have Last Say About NFL's Woeful Chiefs

There were a lot of empty seats at Sunday's Kansas City Chiefs game (which the team lost, to Cincinnati, 28-6). And some fans showed their unhappiness by wearing bags over their heads. "Sam" Lickteig wasn't happy with the Chiefs' play either, his family says.
John Sleezer MCT /Landov

"My dad was such a comedian," Jennifer Lickteig tells Kansas City's KSHB-TV. "He loved the Chiefs, so we had to let him have the last word."

Which explains why his obituary begins this way:

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Mon November 19, 2012

27 Animals In 'Hobbit' Movie Died At Farm Where They Were Housed

A promotion for J.R.R. Tolkien's classic, which is now being made into a movie trilogy, at the Frankfurt Book Fair last month.
Arne Dedert EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 12:33 pm

Just days before the movie's premiere, there's word that during the filming of director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as many as 27 animals used in its production died at the farm in New Zealand where they were housed.

Animal wranglers tell The Associated Press that there were "bluffs, sinkholes and other 'death traps' " at the farm. Three horses died, along with "six goats, six sheep and a dozen chickens."

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Will San Francisco Tell Its Nudists To Cover Up?

Woody Miller, a "naturist," was among the men out on Market Street in San Francisco this day.
Kimhiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 11:30 am

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener (yes, that's his name) says last year's law ordering those who bare everything in public to put a towel between their bottoms and public benches or restaurant seats hasn't stopped the complaints he gets about men who prefer to go without (clothes, that is) in the city's Castro District.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Good Signs: Home Sales Are Up; Builders' Confidence Is Also Higher

This home sold last month in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 1:39 pm

Two positive economic indicators:

-- "Sales of existing homes increased in October, even with some regional impact from Hurricane Sandy, while home prices continued to rise due to lower levels of inventory supply," the National Association of Realtors reports.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Outrage In India Over Woman's Arrest For Facebook Post

Bal Thackeray's funeral cortege made its way through a sea of supporters in Mumbai on Sunday.
Indranil Mukherjee AFP/Getty Images

There was no violence, as had been feared, when hundreds of thousands of people gathered Sunday in Mumbai, India, to express their grief over the death of Bal Thackeray, "a Hindu extremist leader linked to waves of mob violence against Muslims and migrant workers in India."

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Top Stories: Israel, Hamas Trade More Fire; Obama Visits Cambodia

In New York City's Rockaway neighborhood, a sign asking for help in the clean-up.
Spencer Platt Getty Images
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