Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott joined NPR News in the spring of 2009 to launch a new blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Frank James.

"The Two-Way" is the place where NPR.org gives readers breaking news and analysis — and where it engages users in conversations ("two-ways") about the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Memmott came to NPR from USA Today, where for over 20 years he worked as a reporter and editor on subjects ranging from politics and, foreign affairs to economics and the media.

In recent years he helped launch and then led three different news blogs at USATODAY.com, including the website's 2008 presidential campaign blog, On Politics.

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6:15am

Tue December 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Kim Jong Un's Ascension Is 'Being Cemented For Him'

A screen shot from North Korean TV foottage shows Kim Jong Il's body lying in a glass coffin in Pyongyang.
AFP/Getty Images

The body of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is now lying in state at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang — enclosed in a glass coffin and surrounded by flowers. He died Saturday and the period of mourning is set to continue until well into next week.

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5:30am

Tue December 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Blizzard Pounds Great Plains, Northeast May See White Christmas

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 5:34 am

It's slick out there: The scene Monday along U.S. 550 near Rio Rancho, N.M.
Susan Montoya Bryan AP

Stranded motorists. Closed highways. Packed hotels.

It's winter and the Great Plains has gotten walloped:

"From northern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle through Oklahoma and northwestern Kansas," The Associated Press writes, "blizzard conditions [on Monday and into today] put state road crews on alert and had motorists taking refuge and early exits off major roads."

Some reports from the stricken states:

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12:25pm

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Don't Panic, It Wasn't Lil' Kim

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 12:28 pm

In case anyone's confused. Kim Jong Il is at left. And Lil' Kim is still with us.
Korean Central News Agency / Ian Gavan AFP/Getty Images

Just the headline of this Buzz Feed post made us laugh.

"25 People Who Thought Lil Kim Died."

It's funny either way:

-- If some folks were confused by the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

-- Or if they were just making mischief.

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10:25am

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

VIDEOS: Christmas-Themed 'Senior Citizen Flash Mobs' Are Spreading

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 10:26 am

The senior citizens flash mob in Kansas.
YouTube

9:10am

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Violent Crime Drops Again, FBI Reports

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 9:12 am

From the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report.
FBI.gov

The number of violent crimes reported by 12,500 U.S. law enforcement agencies fell 6.4 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same time in 2010, the FBI reports.

And in its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report the bureau also says that property crimes were down 3.7 percent.

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