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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9:27am

Tue June 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Man Says He Tried To Rob Bank Of $1 To Get Health Care In Prison

James Verone, who says he tried to rob a bank of $1 because he needs health care and thought he could get it in prison.
WCNC-TV

The part of this story that's getting attention across the nation is that James Verone of Gaston County, N.C., decided that the only way he could get adequate health care and a solid roof over his head would be to get himself arrested for trying to rob a bank of $1.

Verone, 59, says he has several medical problems, including a growth on this chest and two ruptured disks. He also says he's out of work and has no insurance.

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8:54am

Tue June 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Confidence Vote Today In Greece; Huntsman To Join Race For White House

Good morning.

There's word from Pakistan, as we just reported, that an army brigadier has been arrested on suspicion of having ties to a "banned organization" — Islamic militants. It's the first prominent report since the May 2 killing of Osama bin Laden of a high-ranking Pakistani officer being accused of such a link.

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8:30am

Tue June 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Developing: Pakistani Brigadier Suspected Of Ties To 'Banned' Group

The BBC's Urdu-language service is reporting, and Agence France Presse says it has confirmed, that a senior officer in the Pakistani army has been taken into custody and is suspected of having ties to "a banned organization."

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8:12am

Tue June 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Ash Cloud From Chile Makes Second Circle; Flights Canceled In Australia

Monday (June 20, 2011): A cloud of ash billows from the Puyehue volcano in Chile.
Martin Bernetti AFP/Getty Images

Incredible as this sounds, ash from a volcano in Chile that starting erupting more than two weeks ago is now disrupting air travel to Australia and New Zealand for the second time.

Particles spewed into the air on June 4 and subsequent days have made their way around the world twice. There's concern that they could damage jet engines.

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7:20am

Tue June 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama Due To Detail Pace, Size Of Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

With President Obama expected to announce on Wednesday some details about how fast and how soon the 30,000-or-so "surge" troops will be removed from Afghanistan, here are some of the things being reported about his plan:

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