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
8:12 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Why Can Lance Armstrong Race At A Swim Meet?

Lance Armstrong warms up for the swimming leg of the 2011 Xterra World Championship triathlon in Kapalua, Hawaii (before he was banned from most competitions). This weekend, he'll swim in a Texas meet for masters swimmers.
Hugh Gentry Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 9:27 am

Update at 11:15 a.m. ET. Armstrong Pulls Out:

After an objection was raised Thursday by FINA, swimming's international governing body, Lance Armstrong has withdrawn from a masters swim meet being held this weekend in Austin, Texas, The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Lululemon's Product Chief To Depart; See-Through Pants Have Been A Problem

Lululemon clothes at a store in Pasadena, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:03 am

Two weeks after being embarrassed by the news that some of its yoga pants were way too sheer, there's word from Lululemon that chief product officer Sheree Waterson will be leaving the company April 15.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Jobless Claims Rise; Employment Report Likely To Show Slow Job Growth

Will there be more signs like this? An automotive service shop in El Cerrito, Calif., was looking for workers last month.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:24 am

There were 385,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 28,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The news follows Wednesday's report of slower-than-expected job growth in the private sector: The ADP National Employment Report estimated that businesses added just 158,000 jobs last month.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Top Stories: Conn. Gun Law; North Korea's Threats; Rutgers Firing

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:20 am

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu April 4, 2013

North Korea Moves Missile, Threatens To Close Factories Used By South

On Thursday, a South Korean security guard kept watch as South Korean trucks waited to enter the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea. For the second day, the North blocked the trucks and workers from the South from entering its territory.
Kim Hong-ji Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:02 pm

Bear in mind that, as NPR's Louisa Lim has said, North Korea's regime is skilled at making threats. And fortunately, the most ominous of those threats have not been followed by action in recent decades.

With those caveats in mind, here are Thursday's developments in the latest round of provocative moves by the communist state. From Beijing, Louisa tells our Newscast Desk that:

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Thu April 4, 2013

'Historic' Gun Bill To Become Law In Connecticut

A Bushmaster rifle, similar to the type used by Adam Lanza during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and some ammunition magazines. The sale and possession of this type of weapon, and high-capacity magazines, will be severely restricted in Connecticut under new legislation.
Michelle McLoughlin Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:27 am

Saying that on this "profoundly emotional day" he hoped that his state would serve as an example to the rest of the nation, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sat down Thursday at 12:20 p.m. ET to sign into law what's being described as the most sweeping gun control legislation in the nation since the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Malloy praised lawmakers and those who helped craft the legislation for coming together "as few places in our nation have demonstrated the ability to do."

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

'Best Jobs In North Korea' Pay $62 A Month; Now They're Diplomatic Pawns

An undated file photo showing a general view of the North-South industrial complex in the North Korean city of Kaesong.
Yonhap News EPA /LANDOV
  • From 'All Things Considered': North Korea expert Aidan Foster-Carter

At an industrial park where they build appliances and other products for companies from South Korea, 55,000 North Koreans typically earn about $62 each a month, a North Korea expert tells NPR.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Wed April 3, 2013

It's Set: Jimmy Fallon To Replace Jay Leno On 'Tonight Show' In Spring 2014

Jay Leno (left) and Jimmy Fallon at the Golden Globe Awards in January. Next year, Fallon will be taking Leno's place on The Tonight Show, NBC says.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:04 am

Here's the official word, courtesy of NBC News' tweets:

-- "JUST IN: Jay Leno will depart NBC's 'Tonight Show' in Spring 2014; Jimmy Fallon to replace, NBC says."

-- "MORE: 'Tonight Show' will return to New York City in 2014; Lorne Michaels will be executive producer."

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Wed April 3, 2013

All Clear In Berlin After 220-Pound WWII-Era Bomb Is Defused

Safe and secure: The bomb after it was defused Wednesday in Berlin.
Tobias Schwarz Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 10:52 am

From Berlin, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells us that:

An unexploded bomb from World War II was successfully defused Wednesday. Its discovery Tuesday night near the city's main railway station forced trains to divert and snarled traffic in the German capital.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Job Growth Slowed In March, Survey Signals

The scene at a job fair in Manhattan on March 6.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There were 158,000 more jobs on private employers' payrolls in March than in February, the latest ADP National Employment Report estimates.

The gain was less than economists expected, Reuters reports. They thought ADP would say there had been a 200,000-jobs increase.

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