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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8:00am

Wed August 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Mucho Congratos To 'ElBloombito'

twitter.com/ElBloombito

One guy on The Two-Way's masthead speaks Spanish, and it isn't this blogger.

So I can't really poke fun at New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) for his efforts to hablar espanol during the news conferences he held before, during and after Hurricane Irene.

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7:10am

Wed August 31, 2011
The Two-Way

'9/11 Commission' Leaders: Nation's Security Isn't What It Should Be

Originally published on Wed August 31, 2011 7:13 am

National Security Preparedness Group

While they believe "our country is undoubtedly safer and more secure than it was a decade ago," the co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission warn today that some of their panel's most important recommendations remain unfilled.

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6:15am

Wed August 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Layoffs Slowed In August, But Were Still Far Above Year Ago

Originally published on Wed August 31, 2011 6:44 am

Government agencies and private employers said this month that they plan to lay off 51,114 workers, the outplacement consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported this morning.

And while that's down 23 percent from the 66,414 layoffs announced in July, the August total was still "up 47 percent from a year ago," the firm said.

What's more, it added:

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5:55am

Wed August 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Today's Headlines: Irene's Aftermath; Sept. 11 Panel's Report

Good morning.

States from North Carolina north to New England continue to cope with the aftereffects of Hurricane Irene, as we reported earlier. The Associated Press says 2.5 million customers still don't have power and that the death toll now stands at 44 people in 13 states. Flood waters continue to be huge problems in New Jersey and states to the north.

Meanwhile, other stories making headlines include:

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5:30am

Wed August 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Rebuilding After Irene Is Not Going To Boost The Economy

Originally published on Wed August 31, 2011 6:40 am

While Hurricane Irene may, according to The New York Times, "prove to be one of the 10 costliest catastrophes in the nation's history," the recovery efforts as work gets going to repair the estimated $7 billion to $10 billion in damages are not going to give the overall U.S. economy a much-needed lift, our Planet Money colleague Adam Davidson says.

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