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
10:28 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Makeup Artist Who Created Yoda Dies; Stuart Freeborn Was 98

One of makeup artist Stuart Freeborn's best-known characters, Yoda.
Tim Whitby Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:28 pm

The makeup artist who gave Star Wars' Yoda and Chewbacca their out-of-this-world looks, and helped bring to life other memorable characters such as the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey, has died.

Stuart Freeborn was 98. According to The Associated Press, his granddaughter Michelle Freeborn "said he died Tuesday in London from a combination of ailments due to his age."

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Thu February 7, 2013

At Prayer Breakfast, Obama Urges 'Humility'

President Obama speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Speaking at his fifth National Prayer Breakfast since taking office, President Obama said Thursday morning that the annual gatherings are always "wonderful." But he worries, Obama told the lawmakers and clergy gathered in Washington, D.C., that "as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we've been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast is forgotten ... on the same day as the prayer breakfast."

"It's like we didn't pray," he added.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Thu February 7, 2013

'Massive Manhunt' In Los Angeles For Ex-Cop Suspected In Killings

Christopher Jordan Dorner. He's the suspect in two murders and the shooting of three police officers, one of whom has died. A manhunt is under way in and around Los Angeles.
Irving Calif. Police Department

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:03 pm

A former Los Angeles police officer is the focus of a "massive manhunt" under way in that city because he's a suspect in a double murder last weekend and the shooting of three police officers early Thursday.

One of those officers has died.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Thu February 7, 2013

366,000 New Claims For Jobless Benefits, Down Only Slightly

There were 366,000 first-time clams for unemployment insurance last week, down just 5,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Of note: that number from the previous week — 371,000 — is an upward revision. A week ago, the agency estimated there had been 368,000 claims over that period.

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Minnesota's Moose Mystery: What's Killing Them?

On an April 2010 canoe trip to Knife Lake, Minn., Steve Piragis of Ely, Minn. was greeted by this bull moose. (Indentations on the moose's head indicated that he had shed his antlers.)
Sam Cook Courtesy of Duluth News Tribune

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 3:22 pm

In northeastern Minnesota, moose are dying at an alarming rate and state officials are having difficulty determining why.

And though hunters are not part of the problem, the state announced Wednesday that there will be no moose hunting season this coming fall.

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Thu February 7, 2013

'Real Nightmare' Headed For New England; Blizzard On Track For Friday

The National Weather Service's latest forecast of the snow totals across New England. Most places can expect 18-24 inches of new snow. It will start falling Friday and the storm is expected to last through Saturday.
Weather.gov

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 2:29 pm

4:30 p.m. ET — Latest from the National Weather Service:

"A major winter storm is expected to impact the Northeast and New England Friday into Saturday. As much as one to two feet of snow is forecast from the New York City metro area to Maine, with localized heavier amounts possible. This, in addition to wind gusts as high as 60-75 mph will create significant impacts to transportation and power. Coastal flooding is also possible from Boston northward."

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Mothra? No, It's Just A Robot Exoskeleton Controlled By A Moth

That's a moth controlling that robot. But don't worry.
Institute of Physics

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:24 pm

What could go wrong?

"Researchers at the University of Tokyo have strapped a moth into a robotic exoskeleton, with the moth successfully controlling the robot to reach a specific location inside a wind tunnel," writes ExtremeTech.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Oh, Mama! World's 'Oldest' Bird Has Another Chick

Wisdom (left) and her mate on their nest last November at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.
Pete Leary USFWS

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 4:12 pm

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Pete Leary is proud to announce that Wisdom the Laysan albatross, who at age 62 (or so) is the "oldest known wild bird" in the world, has hatched another chick.

Wisdom's latest offspring "was observed pecking its way into the world" on Sunday at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the North Pacific Ocean, the agency says.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Wed February 6, 2013

REI Executive Tapped For Interior; Geithner Joins Council On Foreign Relations

Sally Jewell, president and CEO of REI, who is in line to be the next secretary of interior.
Ron Sachs EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:29 pm

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET. It's Official:

Praising Sally Jewell as an executive who turned outdoors equipment retailer REI into one of the nation's most successful and environmentally conscious companies, President Obama just said he is nominating her to be his next interior secretary.

Noting that Jewell, who in a previous job worked as an engineer for Mobil, has also climbed mountains in Antarctica, the president joked about that being "just not something I think of doing."

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Two Days After Rescue From Bunker, Ethan Turns 6

Birthday cards for Ethan have been arriving at the town hall in Napier Field, Ala., where he lives.
Joe Songer AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:24 am

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