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
12:56 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Dying 'Simpsons' Co-Creator Will Give His Fortune To Charity

Sam Simon in 2008.
Joe Corrigan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 6:03 pm

Sam Simon, who helped create The Simpsons and continues to earn "tens of millions" of dollars each year from royalties generated by the show, is dying from colon cancer.

Doctors say he has less than six months to live.

Here's the part of his story we especially want to pass along: When he's gone, the 58-year-old writer and producer says, his Simpsons royalties will go to charity. The donations will come on top of the millions he's given away since striking it rich as a younger man.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Snowden Wouldn't Face Death Penalty, Holder Tells Russia

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 11:00 am

"The United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States," Attorney General Eric Holder has told his Russian counterpart in a letter about the "NSA leaker" who remains in legal limbo at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Fri July 26, 2013

'Life Without Parole' Deal Struck For Cleveland Kidnapper

Ariel Castro in court on July 17, 2013.
Marvin Fong The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 2:48 pm

(We updated the top of this post at 12:40 p.m. ET.)

The man who held three young women against their will in his Cleveland home for about a decade, who fathered a child by one of them and forced another to have abortions, and who is the face of a horrific crime that shocked the nation, pleaded guilty Friday to hundreds of charges.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Fri July 26, 2013

VIDEO: A Bear Walks Into A Bar ...

What will it be? (File photo of a black bear in Massachusetts, not the bar-hopping bruin in Colorado.)
Michael Beswick The Republican/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 12:53 pm

Feel free to complete the joke in the comments thread (and we bet you can do better than this guy).

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Lincoln Memorial Closed After Being Splattered With Paint

A police officer stands near the statue of the 16th president at the Lincoln Memorial, which was splattered with paint Friday morning.
Shawn Thew EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 12:38 pm

"The chamber of the Lincoln Memorial is shut down Friday morning because of vandalism. U.S. Park Police tell WTOP the Lincoln statue and the floor inside the memorial was splattered with green paint," the radio station reported. "They think the vandalism occurred at about 1:30 a.m."

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Call Clouseau! 'Pink Panther' Thief Escapes From Swiss Jail

Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) would surely crack the case.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 11:01 am

David Niven's been dead for 30 years, so he can't be behind this:

"A Bosnian from the 'Pink Panther' gang of international jewel thieves escaped from a Swiss prison in a dramatic break-out involving a fellow inmate and two armed accomplices, police said Friday." (Agence France-Presse, via GlobalPost)

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Fri July 26, 2013

San Diego Mayor Says He Will Enter Treatment Clinic

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) on Thursday.
Sam Hodgson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 2:19 pm

Update at 3:07 p.m. ET. Entering Treatment Clinic:

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Report: Feds Have Asked Web Firms For Users' Passwords

NPR

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 2:09 pm

"The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users' stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders," CNET News is reporting.

It adds that:

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Heads Roll At TV Station That Broadcast Bogus Pilots Names

KTVU broadcast the bogus names. We've blocked them out because they're offensive.
YouTube.com screen grab (edited to remove offensive material)

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 3:40 pm

Three of the station's staffers who were at work when KTVU-TV of Oakland broadcast obviously bogus and incredibly offensive names of what it said were the pilots of Asiana Flight 214 have been dismissed and more departures may soon follow.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Fire Going Out, Gas Leak Blocked At Gulf Of Mexico Rig

"Natural gas has stopped flowing to a drilling rig on fire in the Gulf of Mexico," NPR's Jeff Brady tells our Newscast Desk.

As he reports:

"A drilling crew lost control of the well on Tuesday, then gas escaping from the well caught fire. No one was injured, but the flames heavily damaged a drilling rig owned by Houston-based Hercules Offshore.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Reports: Virginia Johnson, Of 'Masters & Johnson' Fame, Dies

Virginia Johnson and her then-husband, William Masters, in 1972. They studied sexual behavior for decades. She died this week in St. Louis. Masters died in 2001.
AP

"Virginia Johnson, one half of the famed Masters and Johnson research team on human sexual behavior, has died at the age of 88, her son, Scott, tells St. Louis Public Radio."

The station adds that "Johnson was a resident of The Altenheim [a retirement home] in St. Louis, and the facility has also confirmed her death."

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Big Coup For One Of The Big Three: Impala Called Best Sedan

The 2014 Chevrolet Impala, which Consumer Reports says its better than its foreign rivals.
Justin Lane EPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 10:12 am

The city of Detroit may be on the skids financially, but one of its traditional "big three" automakers just scored a big win.

For the first time since it began making such comparisons between sedans in 1992, Consumer Reports magazine has given its top rating to a model made by a U.S. automaker — not one made by a European or Japanese company.

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week; Key Orders Up In June

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 9:04 am

There were 343,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. That was up from an estimated 336,000 the week before.

The increase is from what had been a 10-week low. But basically, claims have been ranging between the mid-330,000s and mid-370,000s all year. Like other employment indicators, the jobless claims figures have been signalling that job growth remains modest.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Top Stories: Deadly Train Crash; Manning Trial Nears End

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 9:02 am

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Bo Xilai, Disgraced Chinese Official, Is Indicted

Before his fall: Bo Xilai in 2010.
Jason Lee Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 9:01 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn speaks with Renee Montagne about the case against Bo Xilai

Bo Xilai, a rising star among China's political elite until his career collapsed in early 2012 after his wife was connected to the murder of a British businessman, was charged Thursday "with taking bribes, embezzlement and abuse of power," China's Xinhua News writes.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu July 25, 2013

'Scene From Hell' At Site Of Spanish Train Crash

Some of the wreckage at the site of Wednesday's train crash near Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Miguel Vidal Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 5:50 am

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

U.S. Is 'Through The Worst Of Yesterday's Winds,' Obama Says

President Obama during his address Wednesday at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

President Obama on Wednesday launched another effort to lay out his vision for how to strengthen the U.S. economy with a midday speech at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., in which he hit themes familiar to those who followed his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Sales Of New Homes Rise Again, Hit Five-Year High

A new home that was under construction earlier this year in San Mateo, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:35 pm

Note added on Aug. 23, 2013: When we wrote this post and its headline — "Sales Of New Homes Rise Again, Hit Five-Year High" — the data said that was true. Now, the agencies that produce the numbers have issued revisions that indicate sales of new homes in June were the second-best in the last five years. Go here to read about that.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Delivery Of F-16s To Egypt Halted, Pentagon Says

President Obama is halting the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Egypt for an undetermined period due to the "current situation" on the ground there, the Pentagon said Wednesday. (Via Reuters)

The Associated Press adds that while the delivery of the jets has been delayed, an "annual military exercise with Egypt is still on."

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Wed July 24, 2013

'Cubicle Guy' Pops Up: Weiner News Conference Made Him A Star

A New York radio reporter's brush with Internet fame led news outlets to set the "cubicle guy" story to music. This is a screen image from The Daily Beast's humorous take on the news.
TheDailyBeastVideo

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 11:32 am

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Russia May Soon Let Snowden Leave Airport

Edward Snowden, center, at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on July 12. At left is WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison.
Courtesy of Human Rights Watch

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 9:33 am

Nothing about where "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden may go next ever seems to be certain. Remember the flurry of excitement about that Aeroflot flight he was supposedly on (but wasn't)?

So it is with a large grain of salt that we pass along these reports:

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Gas Well On Fire After Blowout In Gulf Of Mexico

Before a blaze broke out, a cloud of gas could be seen rising Tuesday from the Hercules 265 drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana.
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 11:57 am

A natural gas well off the coast of Louisiana was on fire Wednesday, one day after a blowout forced 44 workers to evacuate. There were no injuries reported.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement says the mishap at Well A-3 below a "Hercules 265 jack-up rig," about 55 miles off the Louisiana coast, was first reported around 9:45 a.m. ET Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Weiner's Own Words: Saying One Thing, Doing Another?

Anthony Weiner during an appearance Tuesday in which he admitted that he had continued to "sext" after resigning from Congress in 2011.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 8:25 am

  • The statement Anthony Weiner made when he resigned from Congress on June 16, 2011.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

After Braun's Suspension, Is A-Rod Next At Bat?

Alex Rodriguez during a July 13 game in Florida, where he was playing for the minor league Tampa Yankees while trying to recover from recent injuries.
Mike Carlson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 7:50 pm

Is Ryan Braun just the leadoff hitter for a lineup of stars who, like him, will soon be suspended by Major League Baseball for their dealings with a Miami-area clinic that allegedly sold performance enhancing drugs?

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Tue July 23, 2013

PHOTO: Japanese Commuters Tilt Train To Free Trapped Woman

When a woman slipped between a train and a station platform just north of Tokyo on Monday, about 40 commuters and railroad employees worked together to tilt the 32-ton subway car enough to one side so that she could be pulled to safety.

The Associated Press writes that the train car's suspension system "allows it to lean to either side, according to the Yomiuri newspaper, Japan's largest daily."

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Tue July 23, 2013

MUST-SEE VIDEO: 'Whales Almost Eat Divers'

Those are two whales coming up from the water, just feet away from two divers off the coast of central California. The image is from a video, which has gone viral, taken on Saturday.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 11:19 am

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Tue July 23, 2013

No-Fly Zone In Syria Could Cost $1B A Month, U.S. General Says

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 9:54 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': The World Food Program's Muhannad Hadi talks about the crisis in Syria

On the heels of another deadly day in Syria — where about 100,000 people have died in the past two years and several million more have been displaced by battles between government forces and those trying to topple President Bashar Assad's regime — we're getting a look at what the USA's top general thinks about the options available to the U.S. for intervening militarily.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Top Stories: U.S. Options On Syria; Britain's New Prince

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 9:48 am

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Tue July 23, 2013

James? George? What Will 'Baby Cambridge' Be Named?

Outside the London hospital where the newest prince was born, betting parlors have been advertising the odds on names.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 11:51 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Philip Reeves reports on the royal birth

Now that he's been born, the next big moments in little Baby Cambridge's life will be when he's seen in public and when the world hears what his name will be.

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