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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2:35pm

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

'I Love Him,' Dennis Rodman Says Of North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:55 am

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, seated next to former NBA star Dennis Rodman (in black cap), at a basketball game Thursday in Pyongyang.
VICE media

Update at 7:45 a.m. ET, March 1. Kims Are "Great Leaders," Rodman Says:

On his way home Friday from North Korea, former NBA star Dennis Rodman said Kim Jong Un, his father and grandfather have been "great leaders." According to The Associated Press, Rodman also said of the young North Korean leader that "he's proud, his country likes him — not like him, love him, love him. ... Guess what, I love him. The guy's really awesome."

Our original post — Dennis Rodman To Kim Jong Un: 'You Have A Friend For Life':

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1:05pm

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Chrysler Plans To Add 1,250 Jobs, Invest $374 Million In Indiana

Chrysler's 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press MCT /Landov

There's major business news in Indiana today:

"Chrysler will hire 1,250 new workers and spend $374 million to upgrade transmission plants in central Indiana — the only place in North America where the automaker makes transmissions," the Detroit Free Press reports from Kokomo.

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9:50am

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Milwaukee Finds Its Missing Link; 'Guido The Racing Italian Sausage' Turns Up

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:30 pm

Guido the Racing Italian Sausage in action during Game Two of the National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Team mascots across the nation are heaving exaggerated sighs of relief this morning.

The front-page news in Milwaukee is that "Guido, the Klement's racing Italian sausage costume last seen a couple weeks ago adorning a bar hopper in Cedarburg, was returned Wednesday night."

According to the Journal Sentinel:

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8:47am

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Better Than Nothing? GDP Revised From Slight Drop To Slight Gain

It's not much of a change, but at least it's in the right direction.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning that it now thinks the economy grew at a 0.1 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2012. A month ago, BEA thought GDP shrank at a 0.1 percent annual rate in those last three months of the year.

Obviously, in an economy that now produces nearly $16 trillion worth of goods and services annually, a 0.2 percentage point revision is basically a blip.

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8:29am

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Countdown To The Sequester: 3 More 'Should-Read' Stories

Will the clouds part, the sun shine and a sequester solution be found?
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov
  • NPR's Tamara Keith on where things stand
  • NPR's Brian Naylor on the sequester and aviation safety
  • KCUR's Frank Morris on meat inspections

Friday's deadline looms, and as we heard earlier today on Morning Edition: "Oh, it's gonna happen."

The "it" is sequestration — $85 billion worth of across-the-board federal spending cuts that are due to start kicking in at the end of Friday unless Republican and Democratic leaders somehow bridge their differences.

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8:04am

Thu February 28, 2013

7:40am

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

U.S. To Give Syrian Opposition $60 Million More In Non-Lethal Aid, Kerry Says

Secretary of State John Kerry during a news conference Thursday in Rome.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

The Obama administration will ask Congress for an additional $60 million in aid to help the Syrian opposition council provide basic goods and services in areas under rebel control, Secretary of State John Kerry announced Thursday in Rome.

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7:13am

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Benedict's Time Is Over; He's No Longer The Pope

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:11 pm

A final blessing: Pope Benedict XVI as he blessed those gathered outside his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo on Thursday. He's not expected to make any more public appearances.
Tony Gentile Reuters /Landov
  • Sylvia Poggioli on 'Morning Editon'

(We last updated the top of this post at 2 p.m. ET.)

Precisely on time, under dark skies but with the lights of cameras from news outlets around the world illuminating the scene, Swiss Guards on Thursday closed the doors of the palazzo at Castel Gandolfo south of Rome — marking the official end of Pope Benedict XVI's time as head of the Roman Catholic Church.

For the first time in about 600 years, a pope has voluntarily stepped down. His final moment as leader of the church came at 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET).

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10:53am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Picking A Pope? Try The 'Sweet Sistine' Bracket Challenge

The "sweet sistine" brackets.
Religion News Service

Next month brings "March madness" for fans of college basketball.

It's also going to bring Roman Catholic cardinals together to choose a new pope.

Which means, according to Religion News Service, it's time to "make your picks in the Vatican's Sweet Sistine brackets!"

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10:17am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Hagel Sworn In As Defense Secretary

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 11:18 am

New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, as he was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Pentagon. His wife, Lilibet, held the Bible. Michael L. Rhodes, the Pentagon's director of administration and management, administered the oath.
MC1 Chad J. McNeeley Office of the Secretary of Defense

After a somewhat stormy debate in the Senate over his confirmation, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Pentagon and took over as secretary of defense.

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