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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
10:32 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Hagel Three-Step: Committee Vote; Floor Fight; Then Confirmation?

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been nominated to be the next secretary of defense.
Ron Sachs DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 3:18 pm

Update at 5:04 p.m. ET. Committee Approves Confirmation:

Voting along party lines, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to approve the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the country's next defense secretary.

The vote was 14 to 11 with Sen. David Vitter, a Republican of Louisiana not casting a vote.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Cheney Likes Something Obama's Doing: Drone Strikes

Former Vice President Dick Cheney in October 2011.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 11:08 am

"I think it's a good program and I don't disagree with the basic policy that the Obama administration has pursued."

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Two Arrested In Shocking Shooting Death Of Chicago Girl

At a Chicago funeral home last week, a painting of 15-year-old shooting victim Hadiya Pendleton stood at the entrance.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Chicago police say "two reputed gang members were out for revenge from a previous shooting when they opened fire on a group of students in a South Side park last month, killing 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton," the Chicago Tribune writes this morning.

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Report: Obama To Announce Withdrawal Of 34K Troops From Afghanistan

Soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, earlier in February.
Andrew Burton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 8:04 am

What will likely be a day-long drip of leaks about tonight's State of the Union address begins with this:

"President Barack Obama will announce in his State of the Union address that 34,000 U.S. troops will be home from Afghanistan within a year, two people familiar with his remarks said Tuesday." (From The Associated Press)

The wire service adds: "That's about half the U.S. forces currently serving there, and marks the next phase in the administration's plans to formally finish the war by the end of 2014."

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Doing The Cardinal Math: Numbers Point To Another European Pope

Pope Benedict XVI (left) and Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan in 2011. Scola is among those seen as a likely successor to Benedict.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 8:07 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Sylvia Poggioli reports

On this morning after the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning at the end of the month, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli looks at the numbers and concludes it's more than likely the next pope will be a European, just like nearly all the others.

Why?

As Sylvia told Morning Edition guest host Linda Wertheimer:

-- 117 cardinals are eligible to vote at the upcoming conclave (only those under the age of 80 can take part).

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Tue February 12, 2013

North Korean Nuke Test Seems Timed To Upstage Obama's State Of The Union

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 8:06 am

Not only might North Korea's third underground explosion of an atomic device be a sign that it is closer to having a weapon that's light enough to be put on a missile, it seems to be a not-so-subtle message aimed at the U.S.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Vote On Names For Pluto's Little Moons; 'Nemo' Not Among Nominees

An artist's illustration, which Hubble Site says shows the Pluto system from the surface of one of its moons.
NASA.gov

Most Two-Way readers who answered our question weren't big fans of calling this past weekend's blizzard by the name "Nemo."

So, many may be relieved to know that Nemo is not among the 12 choices on the SETI Institute's list of nominated names for Pluto's two smallest moons.

The list:

  • Acheron
  • Alecto
  • Cerberus
  • Erebus
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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Pentagon Details Which Benefits Will Be Extended To Same-Sex Partners

In 2011, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alejandra Schwartz, and her daughter Destiny Bautista, were living in San Diego, Calif., with Schwartz's then-fiance, U.S. Navy Counselor 1st Class Luz Bautista, who was pregnant at the time. Then, same-sex partners weren't able to get the benefits that heterosexual couples could.
Lucy Nicholson Reuters /Landov

Commissary privileges, family center programs, dependent I.D. cards, joint duty assignments and space-available travel on military aircraft are among the military benefits the Pentagon will now extend to same-sex partners, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Medal Of Honor Recipient Thinks About Men 'He Was Not Able To Save'

Former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha when he was on duty in Afghanistan.
North Dakota National Guard

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 10:09 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Jake Tapper talks about Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha

A story of heroism and bravery will be told at the White House Monday afternoon when President Obama awards the Medal of Honor to former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha of Minot, N.D.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Update: Suspect Dead, Five Injured In Delaware Courthouse Shooting

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 10:21 am

Update at 12:10 p.m. ET. Gunman Opened Fire In Lobby:

Many questions remain unanswered, but we're starting to get a clearer picture of what happened Monday around 8 a.m ET at the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington, Del., when a gunman opened fire.

According to WDDE, Delaware's NPR News station:

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