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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12:05pm

Tue February 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Newtown Teacher Among First Lady's State Of The Union Guests

Gun violence. Immigration. Education. The economy. Veterans. Afghanistan. Women in combat. Innovation. Science. Equality. Heroism.

It's safe to say those will themes in Tuesday night's State of the Union address, based on the list the White House has released of the guests who will be sitting with first lady Michelle Obama in the House gallery. Such guests, and the reasons they're there, usually make their way into a president's address.

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11:32am

Tue February 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Hagel Three-Step: Committee Vote; Floor Fight; Then Confirmation?

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 4:18 pm

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been nominated to be the next secretary of defense.
Ron Sachs DPA /LANDOV

Update at 5:04 p.m. ET. Committee Approves Confirmation:

Voting along party lines, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to approve the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the country's next defense secretary.

The vote was 14 to 11 with Sen. David Vitter, a Republican of Louisiana not casting a vote.

Our Original Post Continues:

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10:56am

Tue February 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Cheney Likes Something Obama's Doing: Drone Strikes

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Former Vice President Dick Cheney in October 2011.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

"I think it's a good program and I don't disagree with the basic policy that the Obama administration has pursued."

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9:36am

Tue February 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Two Arrested In Shocking Shooting Death Of Chicago Girl

At a Chicago funeral home last week, a painting of 15-year-old shooting victim Hadiya Pendleton stood at the entrance.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Chicago police say "two reputed gang members were out for revenge from a previous shooting when they opened fire on a group of students in a South Side park last month, killing 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton," the Chicago Tribune writes this morning.

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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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