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
8:26 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Commerce Secretary Bryson Resigns; Suffered Seizure Earlier This Month

Commerce Secretary John Bryson.
Rajanish Kakade AP

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 8:40 am

Just under two weeks after suffering a seizure that led to two car accidents within minutes of each other, Commerce Secretary John Bryson has submitted his resignation.

Our former colleague David Gura (now with Marketplace) has downloaded a copy of Bryson's letter to the president and posted it here.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Supreme Court Strikes Indecency Rules, Doesn't Address Free Speech Issue

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 2:20 pm

By an 8-0 vote, the Supreme Court today threw out fines the Federal Communications Commission filed against Fox and ABC.

The court did not address whether the FCC rules violated anyone's First Amendment right to free speech. Instead, the justices ruled that the FCC "failed to give Fox or ABC fair notice prior to the broadcasts in question that fleeting expletives and momentary nudity could be found actionably indecent."

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Bullied Bus Monitor Wants Apology, But Still Believes 'All Kids Aren't Bad'

From the video of Karen Klein being bullied.
youtube.com

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 11:46 am

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Jobless Claims Hold Steady; 387,000 Filed Last Week

There were 387,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits filed last week, down just 2,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The previous week's number, by the way, was revised up slightly — to 389,000 from the initial estimate of 386,000.

The Associated Press writes that:

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Arrest Warrant Issued For Pakistan's Prime Minister Nominee

Makhdoom Shahabuddin, who has been nominated to be Pakistan's next prime minister.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

"Turmoil" doesn't seem like a strong enough word anymore to describe what's happening in Pakistani politics.

Tuesday, Pakistan's highest court ruled that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was "disqualified" from remaining in office because he had refused to reopen a multi-million-dollar corruption probe aimed at President Asif Ali Zardari.

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Zimmerman's Account Of Fatal Encounter With Trayvon Made Public

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara (left) with his client, George Zimmerman, at an April hearing related to second-degree murder charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 9:06 am

George Zimmerman's written, audio and video accounts of what happened when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin have been put online by his defense team. Much of what is in the materials has been previously reported, but their release offers the most detailed looks so far at his claim that he acted in self defense.

The materials, posted here, include the statement Zimmerman wrote on Feb. 26 — the day of his fatal encounter with 17-year-old Trayvon in Sanford, Fla. In it, the neighborhood watch volunteer writes:

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The Two-Way
4:14 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Syrian Fighter Jet Lands In Jordan, Pilot Reportedly Seeks Asylum

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 9:11 am

"A Syrian MiG 21 fighter jet has landed in Jordan," al-Jazeera and other news outlets report. And according to Reuters, a Jordanian official says the pilot has asked for asylum. The BBC is reporting that news as well.

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The Two-Way
3:57 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Reminder: Supreme Court's Heath Care Ruling Possible Today

Waiting for word: The U.S. Supreme Court building.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 7:29 am

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: The Supreme Court is done issuing opinions today and its take on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care overhaul was not among them.

The next likely day: Monday.

Our Original Post:

What we said on the last two Mondays applies again today:

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

House Committee Cites Attorney General Holder For Contempt

Attorney General Eric Holder during congressional testimony in 2011.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 1:46 pm

Acting along partisan lines, with a vote of 23 to 17, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted this afternoon to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. Republicans, who control the committee, say Holder's Justice Department has not turned over all the documents that the committee needs to see as it probes the so-called Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation.

And they want to know more about why the Justice Department initially told a senator that it had not pursued such an operation.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Wed June 20, 2012

No iPads Or iPhones For You, Apple Store Clerk Tells Iranians

The scene at an Apple store.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Sahar Sabet of Alpharetta, Ga., says that when she was in an Apple store at the local North Pointe Mall last week to buy an iPad and an iPhone, she and her uncle were overheard by a clerk.

The sales rep asked what language they were speaking and where they were from. When they said they were speaking Farsi and originally from Iran, Sabet tells Atlanta's WSB-TV, the clerk's response was a shock:

"I can't sell this to you."

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