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
9:19 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Sales Of New Homes Fell In December, But Were Up Sharply In 2012

A "sold" sign outside a home under construction last fall in Peoria, Ill.
Daniel Acker Landov

Though there was a 7.3 percent drop in sales of new homes in December from November, sales were up a healthy 8.8 percent from December 2011, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report.

Homes sold at a annual rate of 369,000 last month.

Over the whole year, the agencies estimate, there were 367,000 new homes sold — up 19.9 percent from the 306,000 sold in 2011.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Really Cool Video: 'Shroud Of Cold Air Descends On The U.S.'

An image from the animated look at how cold air has spread over the nation.
NOAAVisualizations

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:28 am

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Top Stories: Snow And Ice Spread; Senate Tweaks Filibuster Rules

There was plenty to shovel early Friday in Durham, Pa. More winter weather is on the way for much of the nation.
Owen Humphreys PA Photos /Landov

Good morning.

The stories making headlines today include:

-- " 'March For Life' Rally Expected To Draw Huge Crowd In Washington." (Our first post of the day.)

-- "Snow, Ice Target Midwest, East." (The Weather Channel)

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Fri January 25, 2013

'March For Life' Rally Draws Large Crowd In Washington

An anti-abortion activist at the March for Life rally Friday in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 6:54 pm

Organizers say today's March for Life rally in the nation's capital may bring more anti-abortion activists to the streets than last year's estimated 400,000. By midday, a large crowd was gathered in the National Mall, listening to speeches from former GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum and others and preparing to march toward the Capitol and the Supreme Court.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Mr. Colbert, Take Down That Box!

Some guy who appears on Comedy Central.
Justin Lane EPA /Landov

Thanks, Stephen Colbert, for calling attention to our Tuesday post about whether Beyoncé did or did not lip-sync the national anthem at Monday's presidential inauguration.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Democrats Unveil Bill To Ban Assault-Style Weapons

Semi-automatic assault-style rifles on display at a gun show in Chantilly, Va., in 2009.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

As they said they would following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Democrats today unveiled legislation that would ban assault-style weapons.

The lead lawmaker, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, has summed up the legislation's key points this way:

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Yikes! 15,000 Crocodiles Escape Farm In South Africa, Area Evacuated

His cousins are on the loose. (2008 file photo taken at the Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa.)
Warren Little Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:44 pm

As flood waters rose Sunday, a South African crocodile farmer near the border with Botswana was forced to open his gates to prevent a storm surge from destroying the property.

And, no, this isn't the plot of some horror flick:

About 15,000 crocodiles escaped, according to the local newspaper, Beeld.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Obama Chooses Former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White To Head SEC

Mary Jo White, who President Obama wants to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Brendan McDermid Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 9:43 am

Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney in New York who prosecuted terrorists responsible for the bombings of the World Trade Center and U.S. embassies in Africa, will be nominated by President Obama to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

After Clinton's 'Outrage,' It's On To Kerry's Confirmation Hearing

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 8:22 am

The post-hearing stories about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearances Wednesday on Capitol Hill are focusing on her strong response to Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's charge that the Obama administration initially misled the nation about who was responsible for the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Jobless Claims Hold At Five-Year Low

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance dipped by 5,000 last week from the week before, to 330,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That means claims remain at a low level not seen since January 2008.

Another measure, the "4-week moving average" that is supposed to give a broader look at the trend, declined by 8,250 — to 351,750.

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