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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12:10pm

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Live From New York: Statue Of Liberty Webcams Are On

The view from above at the Statue of Liberty, where webcams were turned on today.

EarthCam.com

On this 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty's dedication, webcams have been turned on to let everyone see views of:

-- The torch.

-- The crown and the ground below.

-- Ellis Island.

-- A streaming of the harbor from the torch.

-- And a streaming view of the statue from Brooklyn.

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9:14am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Find Your Spot Among World's 7 Billion And Meet The 'Most Typical Person'

National Geographic's composite sketch of the world's most typical person (left) and the real Mu Li.

CBS/National Geographic

Maybe you haven't heard yet, but the world's population is set to hit 7 billion people on Monday. At least that's what the United Nations Population Fund says.

Most news outlets are already covering the story or have plans to (Morning Edition has a four-part series scheduled for next week).

Two reports this week caught our attention.

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7:50am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Consumer Spending Rose In September, But At Expense Of Savings

There was a 0.6 percent increase in consumer spending in September vs. August, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. The increase was much larger than the 0.2 pecent gain in August from July.

But personal income grew only 0.1 percent last month — meaning that consumers dug into their savings in order to boost spending. According to the bureau: "Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 3.6 percent in September, compared with 4.1 percent in August."

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7:35am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

International Criminal Court Confirms 'Indirect' Talks With Gadhafi Son

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, in Tripoli on Aug. 23, 2011.

Imed Lamloum AFP/Getty Images

Officials of the International Criminal Court are having "indirect" talks with Saif al-Islam Gadhafi about his possible surrender, the ICC's prosecutor told The Associated Press and other news outlets today.

Saif al-Islam, one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons, once was seen as the heir apparent to the former Libyan dictator.

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7:05am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: Prominent Obama Fundraisers Have Ties To Lobbyists

"Despite a pledge not to take money from lobbyists, President Obama has relied on prominent supporters who are active in the lobbying industry to raise millions of dollars for his re-election bid," The New York Times reports this morning.

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