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
8:05 am
Wed March 14, 2012

'Tragic Day For All Of Belgium': 22 Children Killed In Bus Crash

The mangled front of the bus. The crash happened in a tunnel in Sierre, in the Swiss canton of Valais.
Sebastien Feval AFP/Getty Images

There's been a horrible traffic accident inside a Swiss tunnel. At least 28 people — 22 of them children mostly around the age of 12 — were killed Tuesday night when the bus they were in crashed.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed March 14, 2012

In Afghanistan, Panetta Says Mission Continues

  • Larry Abramson, reporting from Afghanistan

At Camp Leatherneck in southern Afghanistan today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged U.S. military personnel to not be deterred from their mission and continue "to make life difficult" for the Taliban and al-Qaida, says NPR's Larry Abramson, who is travelling with Panetta.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Wed March 14, 2012

6.8 Magnitude Quake Shakes Japan, But Tsunami Warning Canceled

The same general area of Japan that was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami almost exactly one year ago was rattled today by a 6.9 magnitude temblor that led authorities to warn of another possible tsunami along the nation's northeast coast. (Note at 7:42 a.m. ET: The U.S.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Santorum Wins In Dixie, Romney Takes Hawaii And American Samoa

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum with supporters Tuesday night in Lafayette, La. Louisiana's primary is on March 24.
Sean Gardner Getty Images
  • Mara Liasson on 'Morning Edition'

After another set of presidential contests the story remains much the same — pundits say former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney remains the front runner in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum continues his strong challenge.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

With Economy 'Expanding Moderately,' Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 2:31 pm

Citing an economy that is "expanding moderately," an improving labor market and subdued inflation — but a housing sector that "remains depressed" — the Federal Reserve just announced it is holding to its current policy on short-term interest rates.

The central bank's policymakers also said they expect "moderate economic growth over coming quarters" and that the jobless rate will continue to "decline gradually."

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Why Praise For An Olive Garden Turned Marilyn Hagerty Into A Star

Her fame has taken Marilyn Hagerty to New York City to be on the TV networks. And her newspaper has created a blog just for following her travels.
Grand Forks Herald

The sudden national fame for 85-year-old North Dakota newspaper columnist Marilyn Hagerty because she wrote last week that the new Olive Garden restaurant in Grand Forks is "impressive ... welcoming ... [and] is the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating" in the city reinforces two things for this blogger:

1. Almost everyone loves a story about someone who seems to be just so darn nice and who's still going strong at an age when many of us will just be glad to still be around.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

If You're Hiding It From Your Wife, That Payday Loan's 'Gotta Be Bad News'

A payday store in Madison, Wis.,
Ryan J. Foley AP

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 12:53 pm

  • Petula Dvorak talks with guest host Allison Keyes

Much has been reported in recent years about payday loans and the huge fees and sky-high interest charges that borrowers can rack up if they use such services.

And though their demise has been predicted, they live on.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Has Southern Hospitality Steered Pollsters The Wrong Way In Ala. & Miss.?

In Madison, Miss., earlier today, precinct worker Bob Shirley was handing out "I Voted" stickers.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 11:07 am

Our friend Liz Halloran reports that Mitt Romney "might just win in the South" today as Republicans go to the polls in Alabama and Mississippi to pick between the four remaining candidates for the GOP presidential nomination.

As she writes:

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Report: Assad Regime Is Laying Landmines Along Syria's Borders

One of several landmines that were planted by the Syrian army on the border with Lebanon and later removed by anti-Assad activists.
AFP/Getty Images

President Bashar Assad's forces have placed landmines "near the borders with Lebanon and Turkey" along routes used by refugees trying to flee the fighting inside Syria, the watchdog group Human Rights Watch reported today.

Saying it has collected "reports and confirmations from witnesses and Syrian deminers," the organization called such actions "unconscionable."

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