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
9:55 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Hank Williams Jr. And 'Monday Night Football' Part Ways

Hank Williams Jr., here seen promoting Monday Night Football.

John Raoux AP

Originally published on Thu October 6, 2011 10:23 am

The controversy over his comment that compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler has cost singer Hank Williams Jr. his spot on Monday Night Football.

ESPN says it made the call:

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Average Rate On 30-Year Mortgages Falls Below 4 Percent For First Time

Mortgage rates are in uncharted territory.

"The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.94 percent this week, the lowest rate ever," The Associated Press reports. "Freddie Mac says the average rate ... dropped from 4.01 percent last week, the previous low."

And, "the average rate on a 15-year fixed loan dipped to 3.26 percent, also a record."

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Wozniak Thankful For 'An Unbelievably Fortunate Partnership' With Jobs

April 24, 1984, from left to right: Steve Jobs, John Sculley and Steve Wozniak unveil the new Apple IIc computer in San Francisco.

Sal Veder AP

Originally published on Thu October 6, 2011 8:56 am

"My role was [to be] the key technologist, the scientist, the engineer that was building all these devices. ... Steve was spotting them and seeing ways to sell them and talking about where they could go. And talking about enhancements and improvements that would take it to the next level. He was always trying to move to the next level."

It was "an unbelievably fortunate partnership."

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Jobless Claims Edged Up Last Week

There were 401,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up from 395,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

According to Reuters the gain was "less than expected." Economists polled by the wire service had been anticipating the agency would say there had been 410,000 claims.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Top Stories: Steve Jobs' Death; Swedish Poet Wins Literature Nobel

Originally published on Thu October 6, 2011 7:29 am

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Obama To Hold News Conference This Morning

President Obama will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. ET today in the East Room of the White House, his press office just announced.

Among the topics sure to come up: His jobs bill.

We're planning to live-blog as it happens, so check back as the time gets closer if you'd like to follow along.

Obama's most recent solo news conference was on July 15.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu October 6, 2011

The Word For Steve Jobs: Visionary

Apple's website this morning.

apple.com

Look at front pages, listen to news broadcasts or search the Web today and the one word that comes up over and over again in reports about the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is: visionary.

President Obama said of Jobs' passing that "the world has lost a visionary."

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Literature Nobel Goes To Swedish Poet Tomas Transtromer

The Nobel Prize medal.

NobelPrize.org

Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer is the 2011 Nobel laureate in literature, it was just announced.

In its statement, the Nobel committee said his work "gives us fresh access to reality."

Our friends over at Monkey See have more, including Neda Ulaby's pre-announcement look at the "Nobel shortlist."

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Wed October 5, 2011

Ron Paul Asks: Will The Government Assassinate Journalists Next?

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at the National Press Club in Washington today.

Patrick Smith Getty Images

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was quick last Friday to condemn the killing of American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen.

"If the American people accept this blindly and casually that we now have an accepted practice of the president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it's sad," Paul said.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Wed October 5, 2011

Senate Democrats Pitch 5 Percent Surtax On Millionaires

Left to right: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) at a news conference on Capitol Hill today.

Alex Wong Getty Images

Making the case that some of the tax increases that would partly pay for President Obama's $447 billion jobs bill are aimed at Americans who are not that rich, the Senate's Democratic leaders are proposing a 5 percent tax on annual incomes above $1 million instead.

According to The Associated Press:

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