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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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Tue September 10, 2013

4 Men Convicted In Rape And Murder That Shocked India

A police bus believed to be carrying the four men convicted for the December rape and murder.
Money Sharma EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:11 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Julie McCarthy, in New Delhi, speaks with Renee Montagne

Four men convicted Tuesday for the December rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in India are due to learn Wednesday whether they will be sentenced to death by hanging.

From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reported on Morning Edition that there's great "political pressure ... to mete out the most extreme punishment." She called the guilty verdicts "a moment that the family [of the victim] and the country has been waiting for."

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Talk Turns To Getting Assad To Give Up His Chemical Weapons

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem (left) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Monday.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 1:53 pm

(1:45 p.m. ET: Since our original headline — "Russia Urges Assad To Cede Control Of His Chemical Weapons" — we've updated this post several times.)

Saying he hopes to "receive [a] fast and positive answer," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that Russia believes a U.S. military strike on Syria can be averted if President Bashar Assad hands over control of his regime's chemical weapons to international monitors.

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Downing St. Denies 'Dozy' David Cameron Left Secrets Unguarded

The Mirror made it front page news." href="/post/downing-st-denies-dozy-david-cameron-left-secrets-unguarded" class="noexit lightbox">
The prime minister's "red box," looking rather lonely, on a train Saturday from London to York. The Mirror made it front page news.
The Mirror

Since he's already got a reputation for absent-mindedness because last year he left his 8-year-old daughter behind at a pub, it's easy to see why Britain's Mirror is jumping on a claim that a "dozy" British Prime Minister David Cameron left the "red box" in which he carries official papers unguarded for a while Saturday whi

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Mon September 9, 2013

'New' Van Gogh Painting Identified; Was In A Norwegian Attic

Alex Ruger, director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, at the unveiling Monday of Vincent Van Gogh's Sunset at Montmajour.
Olaf Kraak AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 10:15 am

A painting that had earlier been thought to be a fake and had been stored for decades in the attic of a Norwegian home has now been identified as a long-lost work by Vincent Van Gogh.

Sunset at Montmajour has been authenticated thanks to "extensive research into [its] style, technique, paint, canvas, the depiction, Van Gogh's letters and the provenance," Van Gogh Museum Director Axel Ruger says in a statement posted Monday by the Amsterdam museum.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Feds Asked Yahoo For Data 12,444 Times In First Half Of Year

Yahoo's new logo.
Yahoo.com

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 3:38 pm

Adding its experience to those of other major browsers and social media sites, Yahoo said Friday that it received 29,470 requests from governments around the world for user data in the first six months of 2013.

Of that total, 12,744 — 42 percent — came from the U.S. government, Yahoo says.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Friday's Moon Launch Visible To A Potential 85 Million

An unmanned Minotaur rocket carries NASA's newest robotic explorer, the LADEE spacecraft, into Earth orbit and then to the moon.
Carla Cioffi AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 5:07 am

Updated, 11:40 p.m. EDT

The LADEE spacecraft is on its way to the moon. The rocket and its two-stage separation was visible at least from the Washington D.C. suburbs, and likely up and down the East Coast, given the clear skies.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Hitler's Last Bodyguard Dies; Was With The Fuhrer In Bunker

Rochus Misch, one of Adolf Hitler's bodyguards, in 1944. He died Thursday in Germany at the age of 96.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 3:35 pm

Rochus Misch, "Adolf Hitler's devoted bodyguard for most of World War II and the last remaining witness to the Nazi leader's final hours in his Berlin bunker," has died, The Associated Press reports.

Misch was 96. He died Thursday in Germany.

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Obama To Address Nation About Syria On Tuesday

President Obama during his news conference Friday in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 9:44 am

Saying he will continue to "make the best case" in coming days for taking military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, President Obama has announced that he will speak to the American people Tuesday about why he's come to that conclusion.

Obama's statement came Friday at the start of a news conference he's holding in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the G-20 Summit of world leaders wrapped up Friday. He spoke for about 50 minutes. We followed along. Scroll down to see what the president had to say.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Obama Has No 'Intention' To Strike Syria If Congress Says No

President Obama on Friday at the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 10:22 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': White House adviser Tony Blinken talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep

"The president of course has the authority to act" even if Congress does not support his plan for a military strike on Syria, White House deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep earlier today.

But Blinken also said of the president that it is "neither his desire nor his intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him."

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Jobless Rate Ticks Down To 7.3 Percent; 169,000 Jobs Added

A recruiter for Cigna greets a job seeker at a career fair in Philadelphia over the summer.
Mark Makela Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:30 pm

The nation's jobless rate dipped to 7.3 percent in August from 7.4 percent in July as 169,000 jobs were added to public and private payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated Friday morning.

The figures were roughly in line with what economists had been expecting to hear.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Fri September 6, 2013

U.S. Embassies In Lebanon And Turkey Tell Some Staff To Leave

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 8:39 am

Citing "threats to U.S. Mission facilities and personnel," the State Department has told "non-emergency personnel and family members" at its embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, to leave the country.

Also, State "urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon because of current safety and security concerns."

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Fri September 6, 2013

'Pretty Solid Jobs Report' Likely; Will Fed Then Dial Back?

The scene last month at a "Beyond the Dream" job fair in Brooklyn, N.Y. Data on the month's job growth and unemployment rate are due Friday morning.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 8:35 am

Economists expect to hear that about 180,000 jobs were added to payrolls and that the nation's unemployment rate held steady at 7.4 percent last month when the Bureau of Labor Statistics issues its highly anticipated report about the August employment situation at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Report: 'Iran Plots Revenge' If U.S. Strikes Syria

A U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz earlier this week in the Red Sea. The ship is among U.S. military assets in the region.
Nathan R. McDonald UPI/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 8:31 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Scott Horsley reports from the G-20 Summit

"The U.S. has intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria," The Wall Street Journal reports.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The Incredible Case Of The Bank Robber Who's Now A Law Clerk

After serving almost 11 years in federal prison for bank robbery, Shon Hopwood is a law student at the University of Washington. He's landed a prestigious law clerk's position with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Sang Cho Courtesy of The Daily of the University of Washington

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 1:03 pm

"I had no prior history with the law other than breaking it."

"I thought, 'this kid is a punk.' "

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Yah-New! Did Yahoo Hit The Mark With Its Logo Change?

Yahoo's new logo.
Yahoo.com

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 11:04 am

Compare Yahoo's new logo, introduced Thursday, to what was there before.

According to CEO Marissa Mayer, "we knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo — whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history. Having a human touch, personal. Proud."

On her Tumblr page, Mayer goes on at length about how:

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Thu September 5, 2013

It's A Girl! New Panda Is Doing Fine, National Zoo Says

The Smithsonian National Zoo's newest giant panda on Aug. 25, two days after her birth.
National Zoo UPI/Landov

The giant panda cub born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 23 is a girl, officials announced Thursday morning.

What's more, she "has a fat little belly" and seems to be doing just fine, zoo curator Brandie Smith says.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Did You See A Flash In The Sky? You Just Might On Friday

If you're in those circles, you may be able to see something in the sky late Friday night when NASA launches a rocket from its spaceport on the Virginia coast.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 8:44 am

News stations in Washington, D.C., say they started getting calls just after 11 p.m. ET Wednesday from folks reporting that they'd seen a mysterious light in the sky.

WTOP says some people thought the flash was green or blue. CBS DC heard from some who said it was orange. The station adds that the light "was seen in the skies over the eastern seaboard."

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Job Growth Cooled A Bit In August, Report Signals

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 8:39 am

There were 176,000 more jobs on private employers' payrolls in August than the month before, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Egyptian Official Survives Attack As 'Remarkable Calm' Broken

Security officials inspect the scene of a bomb blast that apparently targeted Egyptian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim near his home in Cairo's Nasr City on Thursday. He survived the attack.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 8:35 am

Just a few hours after this headline:

"Egyptians Hail Military Order as Calm Returns to Streets." (The Wall Street Journal)

... The still tenuous state of affairs in Egypt was underscored by this news:

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The Two-Way
6:09 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Even Their Seats Are To Be Separated When Putin And Obama Meet

Off they go.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 11:09 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Scott Horsley reports on the G-20 Summit

Much is being made about the symbolism of the seating at the G-20 summit of world leaders, which begins Thursday in St. Petersburg, Russia, and what it supposedly says about U.S.-Russian relations.

Here's how The Guardian starts its story:

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

As Pentagon Adds Bombing Options, Kerry Warns Assad

As Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, "Code Pink" protesters behind him held up "bloody hands" to express their opposition to the prospect of U.S. military strikes on Syria.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

"We are not asking America to go to war," Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee early Wednesday afternoon, as he and other top administration officials continued to push Congress to support President Obama's call for military strikes aimed at the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Wed September 4, 2013

So McCain Plays Games On His Phone When He's Bored; Do You?

Those are the hands and phone of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. He gets bored sometimes, the lawmaker says. So, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Tuesday, he played a little poker.
Melina Mara The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 11:32 am

We were shocked, shocked to see a photo taken by The Washington Post's Melina Mara of Sen.

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Ohio Is Publicly Shaming Another Convicted Idiot

Richard Dameron tells Cleveland's WKYC-TV he's sorry for drunkenly dialing 911. A judge says he has to stand outside a police station each day this week to show that to the city.
WKYC.com

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 11:10 am

Drive by the police station in Cleveland's second district this week and you'll likely see 58-year-old Richard Dameron standing outside with a sign that reads:

"I apologize to officer Simone & all police officers for being an idiot calling 911 threatening to kill you. I'm sorry and it will never happen again."

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Wed September 4, 2013

'I Always Reserve The Right' To Act, Obama Says Of Syria

President Obama during his news conference Wednesday in Stockholm.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 11:08 am

Although he says he did not ask Congress to authorize the use of force against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "as a symbolic gesture," President Obama reiterated Wednesday that "I always reserve the right and responsibility to act on behalf of America's national security."

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Okla. Court Puts Hold On Return Of 'Baby Veronica' To S.C.

An October 2011 photo of "Baby Veronica," provided by her adoptive mother, Melanie Capobianco.
Melanie Capobianco AP

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:54 am

The complicated and emotional case of a Native American girl who was adopted by a couple in South Carolina but has been living for more than 18 months with her biological father in Oklahoma has taken another turn.

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Wed September 4, 2013

In Europe, Obama Will Seek Support For Syria Strike

President Obama as he emerged from Air Force One early Wednesday in Stockholm.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:49 am

President Obama landed in Sweden on Wednesday — the start of a European trip that will take him to Russia for a summit of world leaders at which he'll try to build support for his plan to strike targets inside Syria.

As The Washington Post says, it's a "high-stakes trip ... that could show whether the United States has broad international backing for action."

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Social Media Erupt On News Of Ariel Castro's Death

It took neighbors' help for Amanda Berry to escape through the bolted storm door of the Cleveland home where authorities say she and two other women were held captive for nearly a decade. After she emerged, the women and Berry's daughter were rescued. Later, the home was destroyed.
David Maxwell EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:46 am

As Americans wake up Wednesday to the news that Ariel Castro is dead, many are turning to Twitter and other social media to share their thoughts.

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Bay Area's New Span Truly Is A Troll Bridge

Who goes there? On the Bay Bridge, the new troll will want to know.
BayBridgeInfo

Would there be a troll under the new Bay Bridge that links San Francisco and Oakland?

That seemingly silly question was being taken pretty seriously by some in California until Monday evening, when the official Twitter page of the San Francisco-Bay Bridge put out the word that, yes, there will be a little fellow under the new span. He'll be there to "protect" travelers.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Tue September 3, 2013

'Death Ray II'? London Building Reportedly Roasts Cars

A man reacts to a shaft of intense sunlight reflected from the glass windows of the new "Walkie Talkie" tower in central London on Aug. 30.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 1:17 pm

A skyscraper under construction "melted my Jag," reads the headline from London's City A.M.

"Beam of light from Walkie Talkie skyscraper 'melts man's Jaguar,' " says London's Metro.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Boehner, Pelosi Unite Behind President On Syria

President Obama met with more than a dozen lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, at the White House on Tuesday to press his case for a military strike in Syria.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 1:30 pm

President Obama's call for Congress to give him the go-ahead to strike targets in Syria has put House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on the same side of an important issue for one of the few times in recent years.

Calling Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons "a barbarous act," Boehner emerged from a meeting at the White House to say he supports Obama's request.

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