Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.

"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

During his time at USA Today, Memmott, helped launch and lead three USAToday.com news blogs: "On Deadline," "The Oval" and "On Politics," the site's 2008 presidential campaign blog.

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9:04am

Tue February 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Report: Obama To Announce Withdrawal Of 34K Troops From Afghanistan

Soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, earlier in February.
Andrew Burton Reuters /Landov

What will likely be a day-long drip of leaks about tonight's State of the Union address begins with this:

"President Barack Obama will announce in his State of the Union address that 34,000 U.S. troops will be home from Afghanistan within a year, two people familiar with his remarks said Tuesday." (From The Associated Press)

The wire service adds: "That's about half the U.S. forces currently serving there, and marks the next phase in the administration's plans to formally finish the war by the end of 2014."

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8:22am

Tue February 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Doing The Cardinal Math: Numbers Point To Another European Pope

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 9:07 am

Pope Benedict XVI (left) and Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan in 2011. Scola is among those seen as a likely successor to Benedict.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images
  • From 'Morning Edition': Sylvia Poggioli reports

On this morning after the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning at the end of the month, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli looks at the numbers and concludes it's more than likely the next pope will be a European, just like nearly all the others.

Why?

As Sylvia told Morning Edition guest host Linda Wertheimer:

-- 117 cardinals are eligible to vote at the upcoming conclave (only those under the age of 80 can take part).

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6:27am

Tue February 12, 2013
The Two-Way

North Korean Nuke Test Seems Timed To Upstage Obama's State Of The Union

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 9:06 am

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Kyodo /Landov

Not only might North Korea's third underground explosion of an atomic device be a sign that it is closer to having a weapon that's light enough to be put on a missile, it seems to be a not-so-subtle message aimed at the U.S.

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1:07pm

Mon February 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Vote On Names For Pluto's Little Moons; 'Nemo' Not Among Nominees

Hubble Site says shows the Pluto system from the surface of one of its moons." href="/post/vote-names-plutos-little-moons-nemo-not-among-nominees" class="noexit lightbox">
An artist's illustration, which Hubble Site says shows the Pluto system from the surface of one of its moons.
NASA.gov

Most Two-Way readers who answered our question weren't big fans of calling this past weekend's blizzard by the name "Nemo."

So, many may be relieved to know that Nemo is not among the 12 choices on the SETI Institute's list of nominated names for Pluto's two smallest moons.

The list:

  • Acheron
  • Alecto
  • Cerberus
  • Erebus
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12:18pm

Mon February 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Pentagon Details Which Benefits Will Be Extended To Same-Sex Partners

In 2011, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alejandra Schwartz, and her daughter Destiny Bautista, were living in San Diego, Calif., with Schwartz's then-fiance, U.S. Navy Counselor 1st Class Luz Bautista, who was pregnant at the time. Then, same-sex partners weren't able to get the benefits that heterosexual couples could.
Lucy Nicholson Reuters /Landov

Commissary privileges, family center programs, dependent I.D. cards, joint duty assignments and space-available travel on military aircraft are among the military benefits the Pentagon will now extend to same-sex partners, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday.

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