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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11:40am

Thu December 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Unused Gift Cards? What About A Group That Collects Them For Charities?

Our post-Christmas post about the estimated $41 billion worth of gift cards that haven't been redeemed since 2005 seemed to strike a chord. And our shout-out for ideas about what to do with cards you don't want or that only have a little bit of money left on them generated some good responses. Such as this:

Trena Gravem (Trena) wrote:

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10:55am

Thu December 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Petraeus Did Not Consider Quitting Over Afghan Drawdown, Author Says

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 11:16 am

Gen. David Petraeus in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on July 4, 2011.
U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. Haraz N. Ghanbari Getty Images

The lede on an Associated Press report this morning:

"Four-star general-turned-CIA director David Petraeus almost resigned as Afghanistan war commander over President Barack Obama's decision to quickly draw down surge forces, according to a new insider's look at Petraeus' 37-year Army career."

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9:30am

Thu December 29, 2011

9:05am

Thu December 29, 2011

8:40am

Thu December 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Rise By 15,000

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits grew by 15,000 last week from the previous week, to 381,000, the Employment and Training Administration just reported. It was the first increase in the past four weeks.

The agency adds, though, that "the 4-week moving average was 375,000, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week's revised average of 380,750."

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8:10am

Thu December 29, 2011
The Two-Way

In Syria: Videos Belie Monitor's Comment About 'Nothing Frightening'

Sudanese Gen. Mustafa al-Dabi told reporters Wednesday that he had seen "nothing frightening" during his first visit to the Syrian city of Homs this week.

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7:40am

Thu December 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: Criminal Charges Being Prepared Against BP For Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

"U.S. prosecutors are preparing what would be the first criminal charges against BP PLC employees stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident, which killed 11 workers and caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history," The Wall Street Journal reports this morning, citing "people familiar with the matter."

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2:40pm

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

There Will Be No Friday This Week In Samoa

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 2:53 pm

Samoa: Would you argue with getting an extra day in a place like this?
D. Kirkland/Samoa Tourist Authority AP

What's happening in Samoa on Friday?

Nothing (sort of).

Officially, the day won't exist.

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1:25pm

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

In S.C.: Whether To Say 'It's A Great Day' Is Now A Political Issue

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:26 pm

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R).
Chris Keane Getty Images

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has told her Cabinet agencies that all employees should answer their phones with this greeting:

"It's a great day in South Carolina. How can I help you?"

But two Democratic members of the state House are sponsoring legislation that would prohibit any agency from ordering its staff to say that unless it truly is a "great day in South Carolina" (according to those legislators).

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12:30pm

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

'Dead By Morning' Facebook Post Leads To Woman's Rescue, Man's Arrest

Facebook.com

National media are catching up on a harrowing story from Utah, where police say a woman who had been kidnapped, raped and beaten for days was able to post a Christmas Eve message for help on Facebook that led to the rescue of her and her 17-month-old son, and the arrest of a man now being held on $1 million bail.

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