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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11:20am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Good News, Bad News: Japanese Economy Surges, But Likely Will Slow

In a classic example of "on the one hand, on the other hand" economic analysis, the word that Japan's economy grew at a strong 4.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter is being followed by cautionary talk of slower growth for the world's third-largest economy in coming quarters.

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9:56am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Romney's $40.1 Million Haul In April Nearly Matches Obama's

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:24 am

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney at a campaign event on Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Edward Linsmier Getty Images

The campaign for GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney and the Republican Party together raised $40.1 million in April, just shy of the $43.6 million that President Obama and the Democratic Party took in.

This is the first monthly report since Romney effectively wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination. And because money is one way to keep score during a presidential campaign, the news is getting a great deal of attention from the political media this morning.

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8:47am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Held Steady Last Week; Back To 4-Year Low

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:25 am

There were 370,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, the same number as during the week before, according to the Employment and Training Administration.

So, after a spike to a range around 390,000 per week in April, claims have slowed again to a pace that's roughly the lowest since the spring of 2008.

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8:36am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Activist Chen May Soon Have Passport, Be Able To Leave China

Chen Guangcheng just before he left the U.S. embassy in Beijing, on May 2.
U.S. Embassy Beijing Getty Images

Legal activist Chen Guangcheng has reportedly finished submitting applications to Chinese authorities and has been told that he and his immediate family could be issued passports within the next two weeks.

That would then allow him to come to the United States.

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7:56am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Minorities Are Now Majority Of U.S. Births, Census Says

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 9:12 am

"For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S," The Associated Press writes.

As USA Today adds, that news from the Census Bureau is "a sign of how swiftly the USA is becoming a nation of younger minorities and older whites."

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7:03am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

As Feared, JPMorgan's Losses Are Growing; Reportedly At $3 Billion

Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

The word on Monday that JPMorgan Chase's losses from risky trades that went wrong could climb from $2 billion to perhaps as high as $4 billion in coming quarters is being bolstered this morning.

There's this report from The New York Times' Deal Book blog:

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2:29pm

Wed May 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Chipping In To Your Office Lottery Pool? Read This First

Tim Boyle Getty Images

Here's yet another reminder about why it's important to have somebody write down the rules and keep accurate records if you're pooling money at the office to buy lottery tickets.

After all, for every heart-warming story about "three amigos" who seem to have gotten along swimmingly and deserved the money they won, there are tales such as this:

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11:23am

Wed May 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Neither John Edwards Nor His Mistress Will Testify At Corruption Trial

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 12:31 pm

John Edwards as he entered the Federal Courthouse in Greensboro, N.C., this morning.
Sara D. Davis Getty Images

The campaign corruption trial of former Democratic presidential contender John Edwards will not reach a dramatic climax with testimony from the former senator or the mistress he's accused of trying to hide with 2008 campaign funds.

According to The Associated Press, Edwards' attorneys said in court today that they will not be calling Edwards or Rielle Hunter to the stand and that they expect to rest their case later today.

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10:36am

Wed May 16, 2012
The Two-Way

9-Year-Old To Westboro Baptist Protesters: 'God Hates No One'

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:42 am

Josef Miles, making his own statement.
Patty Akrouche Facebook.com/FeverDreams

Patty Akrouche says she's "never been prouder" of her 9-year-old son, Josef Miles, than she was this past weekend.

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10:20am

Wed May 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Bush Says 'I'm For Mitt Romney,' But He Likely Won't Play Role In Campaign

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 10:47 am

Back in 2006: Then-President George W. Bush and then-Gov. Mitt Romney
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

"I'm for Mitt Romney."

With four words, said to an ABC News reporter as an elevator's doors closed, former President George W. Bush on Tuesday confirmed what was pretty obvious — he is supporting his fellow Republican's bid for the White House.

But as The Associated Press reports:

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