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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6:40am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Rose By 10,000 Last Week

There were 10,000 more first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week vs. the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

It says that:

"In the week ending July 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 418,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 408,000. The 4-week moving average was 421,250, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's revised average of 424,000."

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6:30am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Remains Of Hitler Deputy Rudolf Hess Cremated, Grave Destroyed

Originally published on Fri July 22, 2011 9:35 am

"The grave containing the remains of [Adolf] Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess has been destroyed to end it being used as a pilgrimage site by neo-Nazis," the BBC reports.

German's Der Spiegel writes that for years the grave site in the Bavarian town of Wunsiedel had been a gathering point for neo-Nazis who "celebrate Rudolf Hess as a martyr. It was also the object of shame among many locals."

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5:54am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Deadly Heat Spreads Across Nation

Red means hot.
NOAA

No story this morning is likely affecting more Americans than the deadly, record-breaking heat wave from Texas up through the Midwest and east to the mid-Atlantic states and New England. There are heat warnings up in 30 states.

And as Korva reported earlier, at least 22 deaths have been attributed to the plus-100 degree temperatures.

It's news in many places:

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5:12am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Progress Still 'Elusive' On Deficit-Reduction Deal

Though the negotiations that many care most about are over ending the NFL lockout, we'll look first at where things stand in the deficit-reduction talks — one day before what the White House had said is the deadline for reaching a deal if everything is going to be written, passed and signed by Aug. 2, when the federal government reaches its "debt ceiling."

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2:50am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Atlantis On Schedule For Landing In Florida

Space shuttle Atlantis has just started a three-minute "de-orbit burn" and is beginning its descent into Earth's atmosphere. It's coming home after NASA's last shuttle mission into space.

The shuttle and its four-member crew are due to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:56 a.m. ET. They've been in space nearly 13 days.

We'll update this post as things happen. Be sure to hit your "refresh" button to see our latest additions.

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