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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6:55am

Mon September 26, 2011
The Two-Way

Marathon Record Lowered By 21 Seconds

Patrick Makau of Kenya celebrates in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate after setting a new world record for the marathon.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

Kenya's Patrick Makau ran the Berlin Marathon on Sunday in a new world record time — 2 hours, 3 minutes and 38 seconds. He shaved 21 seconds off the previous record, set by Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie on the same course in 2008.

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6:15am

Mon September 26, 2011
The Two-Way

Top Stories: Shutdown Showdown; CIA Station Attacked In Kabul

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 6:17 am

Good morning.

Our headlines so far today:

-- Shutdown Showdown Continues: Senate Has Key Vote Today

-- NYPD Could 'Take Down A Plane' If Necessary, Commissioner Says

Other stories making headlines include:

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5:45am

Mon September 26, 2011
The Two-Way

NYPD Could 'Take Down A Plane' If Necessary, Commissioner Says

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 5:49 am

A plane flies past the Manhattan skyline at sunset.
Clive Brunskill Getty Images

One exchange in particular between CBS News' Scott Pelley and New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly on Sunday's edition of 60 Minutes is getting lots of attention today.

The subject was the possibility of another terrorist attack aimed at the city and the efforts by Kelly's department to prevent such a thing from happening. Here's an excerpt:

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5:25am

Mon September 26, 2011
The Two-Way

Shutdown Showdown Continues: Senate Has Key Vote Today

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 10:58 am

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) at the Capitol last week.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

We warned last week that a second "shutdown showdown" was looming in Washington.

And, sure enough, as the new week begins lawmakers in Washington are still at odds over how to put some more money into the coffers of the stretched-thin Federal Emergency Management Agency. And if the dispute isn't settled by the end of the week, part of the federal government might be forced to shut down.

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7:50am

Fri September 23, 2011
The Two-Way

No More Special Last Meals For Death Row Inmates In Texas

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 7:53 am

Lawrence Russell Brewer in 1999.
Pat Sullivan AP

The huge meal that white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer ordered and then left untouched before his execution Wednesday has convinced Texas officials to end the state's traditional practice of giving death row inmates a "last meal" of their choice.

As the Houston Chronicle writes:

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