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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8:35am

Wed June 22, 2011
The Two-Way

California Lawmakers Won't Get Paid Until Budget Is Balanced

California State Controller John Chiang is being hailed as a hero by many in his state because he's ruled that legislators there won't be paid until they produce a budget plan that he determines is balanced.

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8:03am

Wed June 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Flooding Continues In Heartland; Fires Coming Under Control In Arizona

Good morning.

The day's big story, at least at this hour, is President Obama's address to the nation tonight in which he'll lay out his plan for drawing down the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Our latest preview is posted here.

Other stories making headlines include:

-- Flooding In The Heartland:

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7:28am

Wed June 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Cost Of Afghan War Hangs Over Obama's Decision On Troop Withdrawals

U.S. Marines on patrol earlier this month in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.
David Gilkey NPR

As we wait to hear from President Obama tonight about the pace and size of troop reductions in Afghanistan, here are some of the latest stories about what he's expected to say and the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan:

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3:25pm

Tue June 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Foul! Gladiator Died Due To Ref's Treachery, Tombstone Says

Perhaps if a movie is made about Diodorus' demise, Russell Crowe could be a gladiator again?
Dreamworks Pictures

We're a few days — actually, more like 1,800 years — behind on this story.

But it's too interesting not to pass along:

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12:52pm

Tue June 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Roger Ebert's 'Jackass' Tweet: Right On Or Too Far?

Since he posted this message on his Twitter page Monday afternoon ...

"Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive"

... Chicago Sun-Times film critic Robert Ebert has been the center of some controversy.

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