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
8:02 am
Fri September 21, 2012

As Last Surge Troops Leave, Some Afghans Take Up Arms Against Taliban

January 2011: Boys in the Andar district of Afghanistan gathered to collect candy from passing U.S. Army soldiers. Now, there are reports from that area of locals rising up against the Taliban.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta notes that the last of the 33,000 so-called surge troops who were added to the U.S. force in Afghanistan last year have now left the country, there's this interesting news:

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri September 21, 2012

More Protests In Muslim Nations; Some Violence

In Islamabad today, this demonstrator threw a tear gas canister back toward police.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 11:45 am

(Check below for updates.)

Tens of thousands of people are protesting in all of Pakistan's major cities today, NPR's Jackie Northam reports from Islamabad, as those who oppose U.S. policy in the region continue to use outrage over an anti-Islam video to whip up anti-American sentiment.

There are also reports of new protests in other Muslim nations, including Bangladesh and Malaysia.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Leader Of Amish Sect, 15 Others Found Guilty Of Hate Crimes In Beard Cuttings

Samuel Mullet outside his home in Bergholz, Ohio, in 2011.
Amy Sancetta AP

Fifteen members of an Amish breakaway group in Ohio "have been found guilty of hate crimes by carrying out beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in a dispute over religious differences," The Associated Press reports.

According to the wire service, a jury today "also found the sect's leader, 66-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr., "guilty of planning the attacks last fall in eastern Ohio. ... They all face prison terms of 10 years or more."

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Thu September 20, 2012

No Criminal Charges For 'Pepper Spray Cop' Or Other Officers

Nov. 18, 2011: Occupy protesters get sprayed at University of California Davis.
YouTube

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Actress: Anti-Islam Filmmaker Lied And Made Me Look Like A 'Religious Bigot'

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a.k.a. Sam Bacile, made her look like a religious bigot by "having hateful words put in her mouth" when he dubbed a new soundtrack into the anti-Islam video Innocence of Muslims that has sparked violence and protests around the Muslim world, one of the actresses in the video charges.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Colorado's 'Deeply Spiritual' Chimney Rock To Be A National Monument

Chimney Rock, in southwestern Colorado.
National Trust for Historic Preservation Sen. Michael Bennet's Flickr photostream

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 10:22 am

Southwestern Colorado's 4,700-acre Chimney Rock Archaeological Area will on Friday be designated a national monument, according to Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

The designation, which President Obama will approve and that has bipartisan support, will help preserve the site.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Woman Who Ruined Fresco Of Jesus Now Wants To Be Paid

Three images: How the fresco should look (left); how it looked before the "restoration" (center); and what it looked like after Cecilia Gimenez was done.
Centre de Estudios Borjanos AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 10:44 am

Cecilia Giménez, the Spanish woman who really messed up when she tried to restore a 19th-century fresco of Jesus, now wants a piece of the action from the 2,000 or so euros ($2,600) her church has collected from tourists coming to see the ruined artwork.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Jobless Claims Changed Little Last Week

There were 382,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, down by just 3,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Meanwhile, "the 4-week moving average was 377,750, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average of 375,750." That figure offers a slightly better look at the trend.

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Pakistani Students Burst Barricades In Latest Protest Linked To Anti-Islam Video

One scene from the site of today's protest in Islamabad, where men identified as students got through police barricades and into the diplomatic enclave.
Sajid Mehmood NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 8:19 am

More than 500 people presumed to be university students today broke through police barricades and got into Islamabad's diplomatic enclave as they protested against the anti-Islam video that has sparked sometimes deadly demonstrations in many Muslim nations, NPR's Jackie Northam reports from the Pakistani capital.

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Chick-fil-A Welcome In Chicago, Alderman Says, After Renewed Pledge Of Respect

A Chick-fil-A in Fort Worth, Texas, on "appreciation day" last month.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:23 pm

Chicago Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno, who led the opposition in his city to the opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant there because of company President Dan Cathy's outspoken stand against same-sex marriage, now says he won't stand in the fast-food chain's way.

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