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
5:40 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Just 115,000 Jobs Added Last Month, But Jobless Rate Dipped To 8.1 Percent

A sign earlier this month in New York City's Queens borough.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 6:58 am

The nation's jobless rate edged down to 8.1 percent in April from 8.2 percent in March, but just 115,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

The job growth was well below expectations and has raised new questions about the strength of the U.S. economy.

We'll add more to this post as we read through the report and gather reactions and analysis. So be sure to hit your "refresh" button to get our latest updates.

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The Two-Way
5:05 am
Fri May 4, 2012

No Mo! Yankees Great Mariano Rivera Suffers Possible Career-Ending Injury

New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, earlier this season.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 2:19 pm

Update at 5:18 p.m. ET. He'll Be Back:

"I can't go out like this."

That's what Mariano Rivera told the AP about an injury that many thought could end the greatest closer in baseball history's career.

The AP reports that Rivera said he would be back on the mound by 2013.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
4:20 am
Fri May 4, 2012

'Elegant Solution' Possible For Chinese Activist; He May Study Abroad

Chen Guangcheng, left, with U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke on Tuesday at the U.S. embassy in Beijing.
State Department

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 5:17 am

  • Louisa Lim, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

The news that China's Foreign Ministry now says legal activist Chen Guangcheng can apply to study abroad could be an "elegant solution [of] a really difficult diplomatic problem," NPR's Louisa Lim reported earlier on Morning Edition.

Chen has "a letter of invitation" from New York University, she says.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Finish This Sentence: 'Before I Die, I Want To ...'

From the Before I Die wall in New Orleans.
Candy Chang

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 11:47 am

Artist Candy Chang turned the wall of an abandoned house in New Orleans into "a giant chalkboard where residents can write on the wall and remember what is important to them."

And since putting up that public art project in February 2011, "Before I Die" walls have spread to at least 19 cities around the world. Friday, a wall goes up in Denver.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Thu May 3, 2012

With Chen's Fate Uncertain, Online 'Dark Glasses' Campaign Continues

The Dark Glasses blog.
ichenguangcheng.blogspot.com

Before his escape from house arrest, his stay at the U.S. embassy in Beijing and now his plea that he be allowed to go to the U.S., Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng was the focus of a "Dark Glasses" campaign aimed at drawing attention to his plight.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Coming Up: Bin Laden Documents To Go Online

Osama bin Laden.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 10:59 am

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was frustrated with "regional jihadi groups and his seeming inability to exercise control over their actions" in the last few years before he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs.

That's "the most compelling story to be told," according to an analysis of some documents seized from bin Laden's Pakistani compound in the May 2011 raid that ended with his death, West Point's Combating Terrorism Center reported today.

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Jobless Claims Dropped By 27,000 Last Week

There were 365,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, down 27,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Thu May 3, 2012

No Note, No Firm Clues So Far In Junior Seau's Death

Junior Seau in 2002, when he was with the San Diego Chargers.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

While the signs so far point to suicide, there aren't yet any really revealing clues to why former NFL star Junior Seau apparently killed himself Wednesday.

About all there is so far is a hint that, in retrospect, Seau may have said some goodbyes. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that:

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The Two-Way
4:33 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Chinese Activist Wants To Leave With Clinton; U.S. Diplomats Back In Touch

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng (in wheelchair) held the hand of Gary Locke (at right) the U.S. ambassador to China in Beijing as he arrived at a hospital in Beijing on Wednesday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 5:07 pm

  • Chen speaks with NPR
  • Michele Kelemen talks with Steve Inskeep

The fate of Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng remains uncertain one day after he left the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

It's Official: Newt Gingrich Bows Out

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 1:31 pm

Saying "I never could have predicted either the low points or the high points," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich just officially suspended his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

He's been leading up to this for more than a week. Tuesday, he posted a video to say goodbye to his supporters.

Update at 4:30 p.m. ET. Romney On Gingrich:

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