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
9:51 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Coming Out Complicates Player's Prospects, NFL Execs Say

Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam.
Rick Scuteri AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 2:55 pm

Michael Sam has been a star defensive end at the University of Missouri. He's been an All-American and The Associated Press SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

A senior, he's been among the players scouts have said are sure to be selected by an NFL team when the league holds its draft on May 8-9.

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The Two-Way
6:01 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Avoid Atlanta Until Storm Passes, Governor Tells Truckers

Jan. 29, 2014: Traffic is snarled along the I-285 perimeter north of Atlanta's metro area after an ice and snow storm passed through. Officials hope such a scene isn't repeated.
David Tulis AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 11:44 am

This time, Georgia officials seem determined to get way out ahead of the weather.

With the National Weather Service warning that another blast of rain, sleet, snow and possibly ice is headed for the Deep South later today, authorities are urging Atlantans to be off the roads by early evening.

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The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

First Evacuees Leave Syrian City Of Homs

Two men, who were among about 80 civilians evacuated on Friday, look out from a bus in the Syrian city of Homs.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:04 pm

Three buses brought 83 people — most of them older men — out of the center of the besieged Syrian city of Homs on Friday, Los Angeles Times reporter Patrick McDonnell tells All Things Considered host Melissa Block.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Far Out Photo: Earth As 'Evening Star' Over Mars

From 99 million miles away on Mars, Earth is just a tiny dot in the evening sky.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:26 pm

Seeing a new photo taken by NASA's Curiosity rover of Earth in the night sky over Mars sent us through The Two-Way's back pages in search of other images of home taken from space.

Earth, the tiny bright spot above the Mars horizon, is so hard to see that it helps to also look at the version of the photo in which NASA has embedded a handy pointer. But perhaps Earth being just a tiny spot puts in perspective what it's like to be 99 million miles away.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Biden: 'No Obvious Reason' He Shouldn't Run For President

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:35 am

He's far behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a recent poll of Democrats, but Vice President Joe Biden tells CNN that "there's no obvious reason" why he shouldn't seek his party's 2016 presidential nomination.

The network reports that:

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Dogs Do Their Doodies And Salmon Swim Home Magnetically

A fish that knows the way to go: the Chinook salmon, which appears to use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate ocean waters and rivers.
Jeff T. Green Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:40 am

You might say we're attracted to this kind of story:

Last month, there was the news that Czech researchers believe that dogs prefer to align themselves along "the North-South axis under calm [magnetic field] conditions" when they're dropping those deposits that we owners have to pick up.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Jury Awards Nearly $17 Million In Grain Bin Deaths

Grain Operator Austin Clubb surveys corn inside the Homestead Grain Facility at Amana Farms near Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 10:39 am

An Illinois jury has returned a record verdict of nearly $17 million in the deaths of two teenagers and the traumatic entrapment of a third worker in a grain bin in 2010, NPR's Howard Berkes reports.

The incident was featured in an investigative series by Howard and the Center for Public Integrity. There's also an interactive database about the series here.

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Job Growth Less Than Expected, But Unemployment Hits 5-Year Low

Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 12:06 pm

Note: This post was updated several times after the jobs report was released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The nation's unemployment rate slipped to 6.6 percent in January from 6.7 percent a month before, but employers added only 113,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

The jobless rate figure was expected. The job growth number, however, was well below the 185,000 that economists expected.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Sniper Attack On Power Station Highlights Grid's Vulnerability

Fred Prouser Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 10:26 am

Warning that no single authority can order utilities to beef up security at their facilities, the former head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission continues to raise the alarm about a sniper attack last April on an electric power station in San Jose, Calif.. He says it highlights the vulnerability of the nation's power grid and that more needs to be done to protect that infrastructure.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Dip; Will Unemployment Rate Do The Same?

The scene at a Hiring Our Heroes job fair for veterans last month in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 9:48 am

There were 331,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, down 20,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That's yet another report showing that claims remain in a range where they've been running since late 2011. What does that indicate? As we've said before:

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