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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9:40am

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Andrew Breitbart, Controversial Web Provocateur, Has Died

Andrew Breitbart last June.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Andrew Breitbart, who cultivated controversy with his BigGovernment website and was a conservative thorn in the sides of many liberals, has died, his newssite's editor-in-chief, Joel Pollak, just said he can confirm. He emailed that word to The Two-Way moments ago.

In a post on BigGovernment, it's reported that "Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles." He would turn 43 this year.

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9:00am

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Anti-Assad Fighters Said To Be Retreating From Beseiged Syrian District

Syrian mourners on Wednesday carried the body of a man who was killed in fighting near Homs.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

There are reports from several news outlets that fighters who have been battling the Syrian Army in the beseiged Baba Amr district of Homs are retreating from that area.

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8:38am

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Ticked Down Again, Consumer Spending Edged Up

There were 2,000 fewer first-time claims for unemployment last week than in the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

It says there were 351,000 such filings.

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8:10am

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Death Toll From Midwest, Southern Storms Put At 13

Vehicles and other possessions lie scattered in Harrisburg, Ill.
Scott Olson Getty Images

A fourth death in Tennessee appears to have brought the toll from severe storms that swept through parts of the Midwest and South on Wednesday to at least 13.

Chrissy Keuper of WUOT-FM in at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville has told our Newscast Desk about the fourth fatality in the Volunteer State.

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7:30am

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Two More Americans Killed In Afghanistan

Feb. 23: Afghan demonstrators burn a U.S. flag during a protest in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Tom Bowman, on 'Morning Edition'

Two more American military personnel were killed in Southern Afghanistan today when, officials believe, an Afghan civilian grabbed a weapon from an Afghan soldier and opened fire, NPR's Quil Lawrence reports from Kabul. At least one other attacker may also have been involved.

Quil adds that "we don't know yet whether this attack is linked to the Quran burnings, which set off so much violence — including the killing of four U.S. servicemen in the week that followed."

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5:35pm

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Priest Was Wrong To Deny Communion To Lesbian, Archdiocese Says

Saeed Khan AFP/Getty Images

There's been lots of talk on the Web and the news channels today about The Washington Post's front page account of what happened when Barbara Johnson went to Communion on Saturday during the funeral mass for her mother in Gaithersburg, Md.

The priest, Rev. Marcel Guarnizo said he would not give her the sacrament because she is a sinner.

Johnson is a lesbian.

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5:00pm

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Amazingly Close Up View Of A Woodpecker

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 5:04 pm

YouTube.com

1:36pm

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Davy Jones Of The Monkees Has Died

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 3:08 pm

Davy Jones back in the day (September 1968).
Keystone Features Getty Images

Davy Jones, who thrilled many a young girl's heart back in the '60s as a member of the Monkees, has died.

TMZ broke the news. It reports being told by the medical examiner's office in Martin County, Fla., of the 66-year-old singer's death. The English-born Jones apparently lived in that part of Florida.

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1:00pm

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Reports: Egypt To Let Pro-Democracy Americans Leave Country

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:34 pm

Reuters and The Associated Press are reporting that Egyptian authorities have decided that seven Americans who it has accused of engaging in illegal "political activity" may now leave the country.

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12:40pm

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Officials Claim They Will Soon Have Baba Amr 'Cleaned'

In Qusayr, Syria, on Tuesday, a Free Syria Army member was on guard at the funeral of a man who activists say was killed by government forces.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

An ominous excerpt from the latest BBC News report on what's happening in Syria:

"The Syrian army is advancing on opposition positions in Homs, which has been under artillery bombardment for nearly a month, reports say. Security officials said the city's besieged district of Baba Amr would be 'cleaned' within the next few hours."

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