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
10:09 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Jobless Claims Fell Last Week; But Job Growth Was Likely Weak Last Month

Looking for work: There was a long line last month as job seekers waited to get into an employment fair at Kennedy-King College in Chicago.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 1:55 pm

There were 370,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 25,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The drop is another sign that after several weeks of spikes because many people were thrown out of work due to damage related to late October's Superstorm Sandy, claims have now settled back into the range where they've been for most of the past year.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Three 'Should Read Stories' About The 'Fiscal Cliff'

How long and how late will talks go? (The Capitol dome.)
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 8:51 am

  • Mara Liasson, on 'Morning Edition'
  • Renee Montagne and Tamara Keith, on 'Morning Edition'

The back-and-forth continues between the White House and Republican leaders in Congress about how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to begin.

The big news Monday was the "counteroffer" put forward by House Republicans.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge, Is Pregnant

April 29, 2011: Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after their wedding.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 1:23 pm

Here's the news you've been waiting for, royal watchers:

"The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby, St James's Palace has announced." (BBC News)

That would be Catherine, wife of Prince William (the Duke of Cambridge). They, of course, are the potential future king and queen.

The BBC adds that:

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

For Powerball-winning Family: A Trip To The Beach And Maybe A Horse

A Powerball lottery ticket sits in the machine at the 4 Sons Food Store and Chevron gas station which sold one of two winning Powerball lottery tickets in Fountain Hills, Ariz.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 3:17 pm

"I think I am having a heart attack. I think we just won the lottery!"

That's what 51-year-old Cindy Hill of Dearborn, Mo., says she told her husband, Mark, Thursday morning after figuring out that she had, indeed, bought one of the two winning Powerball tickets. Her family can now collect more than $192 million (before taxes) by choosing the game's "cash option."

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Consumer Spending Dipped In October; Superstorm Sandy Blamed

Nov. 17: A sign in a Staten Island storefront tells a lot. It was still closed because of the damage done by Superstorm Sandy in late October.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 9:12 am

The economic effects of Superstorm Sandy continue to be felt. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, consumer spending edged down 0.2 percent in October from September, and personal income dipped 0.1 percent.

As Bloomberg News says, "Sandy kept some in the Northeast from getting to work or from shopping at malls and car dealerships."

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Train Derails Near Philadelphia, Some Chemicals Reportedly Spilled

The scene of the derailment today in Paulsboro, N.J., from above.
NBC10 Philadephia

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 10:54 am

There's a developing story this morning from Paulsboro, N.J., south and across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, where several railroad tank cars have derailed and fallen into a creek after a bridge collapse.

It's being reported that the cars were transporting vinyl chloride, which could ignite and would be highly irritating if breathed in. There are local reports of about 18 people being treated for breathing problems.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Third-Quarter Economic Growth Revised Upward

Better than expected: Economic growth was higher in the third quarter than first thought. Here, a worker at a Ford plant in Michigan plugs a batter into a Ford C-MAX plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 8:48 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says. That's a sharp upward revision in its estimate of gross domestic product growth from mid-summer into the fall. In its first look at the quarter's GDP, the agency estimated growth at a 2 percent annual rate.

According to BEA, consumer spending, inventory investment, exports and federal spending all contributed to growth from July 1 through Sept. 30.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop; But Superstorm Sandy's Effects Still Being Felt

The scene at a career fair last month in New York City.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 8:49 am

There were 410,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 41,000 from the level of the week before — when the number of applications soared because of the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy.

The Employment and Training Administration just released the latest figure. At 410,000, claims were still running at a pace above the pre-Sandy range of 350,000 to 400,000 a week.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Israel, Hamas Fighters to 'Hold Fire'

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the "hold fire" agreement in Cairo.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 9:58 am

After a week of bloodshed, Israel and fighters in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip agreed to "hold fire" beginning at 2 p.m. ET today, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced at a joint news conference this afternoon with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Egypt had been trying to broker a truce to end the exchange of rockets and air strikes between Israel and militants in Gaza.

We'll post more on the agreement, which was announced at 12:35 p.m. ET., as the story develops.

Update at 5:55 p.m. ET. 'A Tenuous Nature':

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Crazy, But True: One Guy Scores 138 Points, Breaking NCAA Hoops Record

Going for the record: Grinnell College's Jack Taylor during Tuesday night's game, in which he scored 138 points.
Cory Hall/Grinnell College AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 11:20 am

We are not making this up:

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