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
12:35 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

It's Official: Electoral Votes Are Counted; Obama & Biden Won

An image of New York's Electoral College certificate.
Electoral College

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET: The counting is done and as expected, President Obama and Vice President Biden collected all 332 Electoral College votes they earned on Election Day. Their Republican opponents, Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, received 206 votes each.

Since it takes 270 Electoral College votes to be elected, the president and vice president have indeed been returned to office.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Fri January 4, 2013

In Australia, Trees Made Famous By Aboriginal Artist Fall To Suspected Arsonist

One of the "ghost gums," which fell to the ground after being set afire.
Northern Territory Govt., Dept. of Attorney General & Justice

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:47 pm

Two "ghost gum" trees that were revered by many in Australia after being made famous by Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira have been found toppled over and burned — victims of a suspected arsonist.

The trees, in the outback near Alice Springs, were due to soon be put on Australia's national heritage register, The Guardian says. It adds that:

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Update: Senate Joins House In Passing Sandy Aid Bill

Superstorm Sandy swept through the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., in late October. In late November, this sign symbolized the hope of homeowners that help would be coming soon.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:27 pm

Update at 2:17 p.m. ET. Passage In The Senate:

The Senate just passed, by unanimous agreement, a bill that injects more than $9 billion into the insurance program that will assist those hit hard by Superstorm Sandy last October.

President Obama had urged passage and is expected to quickly sign the bill.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Secretary Clinton Now Expected Back In Her Office Next Week

Wednesday: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (in sunglasses) as she left New York Presbyterian Hospital with her husband, former president Bill Clinton (top right), and their daughter, Chelsea.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:00 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is "looking forward to coming back to work next week," spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says.

Clinton, 65, was discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Fri January 4, 2013

155,000 Jobs Added In December, Jobless Rate At 7.8 Percent

Looking for work: The scene at a "diversity job fair" in Manhattan last month.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:00 am

There were 155,000 jobs added to public and private payrolls in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

That's right in line with economists' expectations and is another sign of steady, though modest, growth in employment. In November, employers added an estimated 161,000 jobs. The average monthly gain in 2012 was 153,000 jobs, BLS says. That's the same average as in 2011.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Fri January 4, 2013

In War-Torn Northern Syria, Children 'Only Paint In Red'

Children often show signs of trauma from their experiences inside Syria. A U.N. team interviewing Syrian children in a refugee camp found that most lost a loved one in the fighting, and almost half have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:18 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Deborah Amos on the children of Northern Syria

Shocking statistics, such as the U.N.'s estimate that more than 60,000 people have died in Syria since anti-regime protests and fighting began in March 2011, tell only part of the story.

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The Two-Way
6:37 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Malala Released From Hospital; Taliban's Attack On Teen Sparked Outrage

Malala Yousafzai waved earlier today as she was released from a hospital in Birmingham, England.
University Hospitals Birmingham EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:08 pm

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The Two-Way
6:14 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Did Hiring Pick Up As 2012 Ended? We'll Find Out Shortly

The scene at a job fair in San Mateo, Calif., earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 7:38 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Yuki Noguchi previews the jobs report

8:35 a.m. ET. And the answer is: 155,000 jobs added to payrolls in December; the jobless rate held at 7.8 percent. (November's rate was revised up to 7.8 percent.)

Our original post:

Here it comes — the always eagerly anticipated news about jobs and the nation's unemployment rate.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Boehner Not Being Challenged In Vote For Speaker

A thumbs-up in thanks: Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on the floor of the House today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 1:29 pm

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, who has come under criticism from some conservative members of his Republican caucus for — in their opinions — conceding too much in negotiations with the White House, was reelected Thursday as speaker of the House.

The speaker, known for showing his emotions, later choked up several times during a mid-afternoon address to the House. He challenged members to "do the right thing" and come to their jobs "humbled."

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Nice Moment: Sen. Mark Kirk Returns To Capitol One Year After Stroke

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., holding a cane. He was helped up the steps of the Capitol by Vice President Biden (behind Kirk) and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., (in red tie). Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., is at right.
C-SPAN

Before lawmakers get back to the business of arguing about taxes, deficits and other issues as they open a new session of Congress today, there was just a nice moment outside the Capitol.

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who suffered a stroke last Jan. 21, came to the Capitol for the first time since then. And as C-SPAN cameras watched, he made a very public return — slowly walking up the steps of the Capitol with assistance from Vice President Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va.

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