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
7:21 am
Thu June 28, 2012

'Hell In The Rearview Mirror' As Coloradoans Flee Wildfires

Mikke Carlson took photos of the smoke from the Waldo Canyon fire while wearing a gas mask on Wednesday in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Chris Schneider Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 2:27 pm

Update at 2:30 p.m. ET. Our Latest Headline:

Good News: 'Great Progress' Reported In Fighting Colorado Springs Fire.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Here's How To Learn What The Supreme Court Says About Health Care

The U.S. Supreme Court, which will be in the news on Thursday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 2:15 pm

The biggest surprise Thursday morning at the Supreme Court will be if the justices do not issue their most-anticipated decision of the year — on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act; the health care overhaul enacted in 2010.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Violence In Syria Is As Bad, Or Worse, Than Before Ceasefire, U.N. Says

May 26, 2012: In this picture provided by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network, people watch the mass burial of victims in Houla.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 1:50 pm

From The Associated Press:

"The U.N.'s deputy envoy for Syria, Jean-Marie Guehenno, [has] told the U.N. Human Rights Council that the violence in Syria has 'reached or even surpassed' levels seen before the April 12 ceasefire agreement and that a six-point peace plan forged by his boss, U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, 'is clearly not being implemented.' "

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Contracts For Home Sales Rose Sharply In May

"Pending home sales bounced back in May, matching the highest level in the past two years, and are well above year-ago levels," the National Association of Realtors reports. The association says that:

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

City Of Stockton's Looming Bankruptcy: Pictures Tell The Story

Among the projects that have helped put Stockton in the red: this downtown multiplex, which opened in 2003 and cost $15 million in public and private money.
Ian Hill KQED

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 10:19 am

Stockton, Calif., is on the verge of becoming the largest city in the nation to declare bankruptcy after its city council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to approve a spending plan that's essentially "a day-to-day survival budget," as the Los Angeles Times puts it.

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Orders For Durable Goods Rose In May

There was a 1.1 percent increase in new orders for so-called durable goods in May from April, the Census Bureau says. That's more than economists had forecast, Bloomberg News reports. According to Reuters, economists thought Census would say orders went up about 0.4 percent.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Sign Of Peace: Queen Elizabeth Shakes Hand Of Former IRA Commander

Queen Elizabeth II shook hands with Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness today in Belfast. McGuinness is a former senior member of the IRA.
Paul Faith WPA Pool/Getty Images

Something that was "unimaginable a couple of decades ago" happened today in Belfast, Northern Ireland, when Queen Elizabeth II shook the hand of former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness, NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast Desk.

As Philip adds:

"McGuinness used to be a senior member of the IRA, the group that killed the queen's cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979. ... The handshake signals times have greatly changed since the end of the conflict, which claimed more than 3,500 lives, though some tensions remain."

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Wed June 27, 2012

On The Left, Rangel Survives; On The Right, Hatch Easily Wins

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., at his victory party Tuesday night.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Two high-profile, veteran lawmakers — one from the left side of the aisle and the other from the right — overcame primary challengers Tuesday. One had a much easier time than the other.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

'Epic' Wildfire Sends Tens Of Thousands Scrambling For Safety In Colorado

Flames from the Waldo Canyon Fire glowed on the western side of Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday night.
Bryan Oller AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:17 pm

"A firestorm of epic proportions" continues to threaten Colorado Springs, Colo., as more than 1,000 firefighters battle flames that by midday had forced more than 26,000 people to flee their homes.

It was local Fire Chief Rich Brown who called the inferno epic Tuesday night. Today, Lt. Jeff Kramer of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said it's an event "that is certainly unprecedented in this city," The Denver Post reports.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

How Do They Know Those Sprinters Finished In A Dead Heat?

In this handout photo provided by the USATF, Jeneba Tarmoh (bottom, lane 1) and Allyson Felix cross the finish line at exactly the same time in the women's 100 meter dash final during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on Saturday in Eugene, Ore. It's their torsos, not head, hands, feet or arms, that matter.
USATF Getty Images

As we wait to hear whether sprinters Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh will flip a coin or race again to determine who gets the third and final slot in the 100 meters for Team USA at the London Olympics, we've been wondering:

Just how do officials determine exactly how fast world-class sprinters are and just who has finished first, second or third when they're flashing past?

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