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
8:15 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Top Stories: Shutdown Showdown; CIA Station Attacked In Kabul

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 8:17 am

Good morning.

Our headlines so far today:

-- Shutdown Showdown Continues: Senate Has Key Vote Today

-- NYPD Could 'Take Down A Plane' If Necessary, Commissioner Says

Other stories making headlines include:

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Mon September 26, 2011

NYPD Could 'Take Down A Plane' If Necessary, Commissioner Says

A plane flies past the Manhattan skyline at sunset.
Clive Brunskill Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 7:49 am

One exchange in particular between CBS News' Scott Pelley and New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly on Sunday's edition of 60 Minutes is getting lots of attention today.

The subject was the possibility of another terrorist attack aimed at the city and the efforts by Kelly's department to prevent such a thing from happening. Here's an excerpt:

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Shutdown Showdown Continues: Senate Has Key Vote Today

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) at the Capitol last week.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 12:58 pm

We warned last week that a second "shutdown showdown" was looming in Washington.

And, sure enough, as the new week begins lawmakers in Washington are still at odds over how to put some more money into the coffers of the stretched-thin Federal Emergency Management Agency. And if the dispute isn't settled by the end of the week, part of the federal government might be forced to shut down.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Fri September 23, 2011

No More Special Last Meals For Death Row Inmates In Texas

Lawrence Russell Brewer in 1999.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 9:53 am

The huge meal that white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer ordered and then left untouched before his execution Wednesday has convinced Texas officials to end the state's traditional practice of giving death row inmates a "last meal" of their choice.

As the Houston Chronicle writes:

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Those Muffins Did Not Cost $16 Each, Hilton Says

Kevin D. Weeks for NPR

Half-baked.

That's what you might say about one much-reported part of the much-discussed report this week that the Justice Department bought some very expensive food for its conferences in recent years.

Hilton Worldwide says the muffins it provided for a 2009 Justice conference in Washington did not cost $16 each, as was reported by Justice's inspector general.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Fri September 23, 2011

From Pakistan: 'Vehement Denials' And Indignation After U.S. Accusations

There are "vehement denials and also ... a good degree of indignation" from Pakistan today, Los Angeles Times correspondent Alex Rodriguez tells NPR from Islamabad. Officials there are responding to comments from the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff — who said Thursday that "extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers."

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Boos Heard At GOP Debate After Gay Soldier Asks About 'Don't Ask'

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum during Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in Orlando.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Read and listen to the reaction from some in the audience at last night's Republican presidential debate after a video question from Stephen Hill, a gay soldier who Fox News said is serving in Iraq. The question was directed to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and here is Fox News' transcript:

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Saleh Returns And For Yemen, 'Next 24 Hours Will Be Decisive'

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Riyadh on Sept. 19, 2011.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 7:49 am

More than three months after being seriously injured in a rocket attack and then going to Saudi Arabia for treatment, President Ali Abdullah Saleh made a surprise return to Yemen today.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

China's 'Strong-Willed Pig' Has Been Cloned

"Strong-willed pig," in 2008.
AFP/Getty Images

He's a national hero in China, as NPR's Melissa Block learned in 2009.

Zhu Jian Qiang, or "Strong-Willed Pig", survived for 36 days in the rubble of a home in southwest China after the devastating earthquake there in 2008. It's thought he only had water and charcoal to live on.

Since then, the castrated male has gone on to be a featured part of an earthquake museum in Dayi, China. And now, he'll live on — sort of — after he dies.

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