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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6:10am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Two-Way

American Airlines Places 'Largest Aircraft Order In Aviation History'

American Airlines jets at Los Angeles International Airport. April 5, 2011, file photo.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Saying it's the "largest aircraft order in aviation history," American Airlines just announced that it plans to buy at least 460 fuel-efficient "narrowbody" passenger jets between 2013 and 2022.

The purchases are to be split between Boeing and Europe's Airbus, the company says:

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5:49am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Taliban: We Were Hacked; Mullah Omar Is Alive

There was a surprising text message sent to reporters in Afghanistan today from a cell phone number that has been used by the Taliban's public relations office, NPR's Quil Lawrence reports from Kabul.

It reported the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

But Taliban spokesmen claim Omar is alive and "told NPR their phones and website had been hacked," Quil says. They "accused western forces of psychological warfare."

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5:15am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Two-Way

British Lawmakers Trade Jabs Over Hacking Scandal

There's a remarkable scene playing out right now in the British Parliament, where Prime Minister David Cameron has been laying out a defense of his — and his staff's — actions related to the "hacking scandal" and the leader of the opposition has accused Cameron of ignoring warnings about some of the News Corp. executives hired to work for the government.

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2:45pm

Tue July 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Virginia Man Accused Of Secretly Lobbying For Pakistan

The Justice Department has charged an American citizen with acting as an agent for Pakistan, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai of Fairfax, Va., is specifically accused of lobbying members of Congress in a bid to influence U.S. policy in the dispute with India over Kashmir, without properly registering his activities.

Fai, 62, allegedly accepted more than $4 million over the past two decades from straw donors working on behalf of Pakistani intelligence services. He was arrested this morning, the Justice Department says.

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1:48pm

Tue July 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama Lauds 'Gang Of Six' Budget Plan

At the White House moments ago, President Obama threw his support behind the efforts of a bi-partisan group of senators known as the "Gang of Six" who are crafting their own budget-reduction plan that includes spending cuts and revenue increases.

It is "broadly consistent with the approach that I've urged," Obama said.

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