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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4:05pm

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Some See A Funny Side To A Shutdown

We can't dismiss the serious side of a potential shutdown of much of the federal government at midnight tonight. But there is some fun being had on Twitter.

Check the trending topic #govtshutdownpickuplines (fair warning, some are "adult-only"). A few examples:

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2:35pm

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Shutdown Clock's Ticking, Two Sides Still Apart

"With just hours to go before a midnight deadline for a partial government shutdown, Democratic and Republican leaders couldn't even agree Friday over exactly what the sticking points were," our colleague Scott Neuman writes in the latest NPR.org story about the wrangling over the federal budget.

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2:10pm

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Forging A Note To The Judge Didn't Help: It's Prison For California Woman

When Michelle Elaine Astumian, who had been convicted of forging prescriptions and writing fraudulent checks, showed up for sentencing last week at a court in California's San Luis Obispo County, she brought along a note.

She said her doctor had signed a request that sentencing be delayed so that she should could get medical treatment.

Prosecutors quickly figured out, by calling the doctor, that the note was a fake.

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1:25pm

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Gadhafi Regime Spokesman Claims World Has Things All Wrong

To hear Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim tell it, most of the world just doesn't know what's really going on in Libya.

-- Has Moammar Gahdafi's regime broken its promise to observe a ceasefire? No, he says. "In international law you are not breaking your promise of a ceasefire if you are attacked," Ibrahim told All Things Considered host Melissa Block today. And, "we are being attacked from the air by the NATO and on the ground by the rebels."

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10:34am

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

In Syria: Witnesses Say Security Forces Open Fire, Some Protesters Killed

"Syrian security forces opened fire Friday on thousands of protesters in the southern city of Daraa, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens," witnesses tell The Associated Press.

The BBC also says it's been told of 13 deaths.

Reuters is reporting that "at least 10 people were killed," according to "a hospital source."

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