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
7:11 am
Wed August 7, 2013

'I Am The Shooter,' Fort Hood Defendant Tells Court

Maj. Nidal Hasan faces 13 charges of murder and 32 of attempted murder for the November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood. A Muslim, he has refused a judge's order to shave his beard, though it violates Army regulations.
Bell County Sheriff's Office Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 11:17 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Martin Kaste reports on Day 1 of the Fort Hood trial

(We updated this post at 11:30 a.m. ET with word that attorneys who are advising Maj. Nidal Hasan want to be excused from the case and at 12:15 p.m. ET with word that the trial had recessed for the day.)

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Yemeni Government Says Al-Qaida Plot Was Foiled

A Yemeni soldier stands guard Tuesday near Sanaa International Airport.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:02 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Journalist Iona Craig, in Yemen, talks with NPR's Renee Montagne

Yemen is still the focus of concern as the U.S., its allies and countries across the Middle East and North Africa remain on alert for possible terrorist attacks.

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Bezos Can Help 'Post' Disrupt Other Businesses, Editor Says

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com and soon-to-be owner of The Washington Post, last month in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images
  • From 'Here & Now': 'Washington Post' executive editor Martin Baron on new owner Jeff Bezos

What does Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos bring to The Washington Post, which he just agreed to buy for $250 million?

Here's how the Post's executive editor, Martin Baron, answered that question Tuesday on Here & Now:

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Whitey Bulger Trial: Jurors Begin Deliberations

James "Whitey" Bulger, in an image released by the U.S. Marshal's Service in August 2011.
EPA /Landov

After a nearly 9-week trial, jurors now have the case and are beginning to debate the fate of infamous Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.

He's accused of 19 murders and racketeering. The trial featured gripping testimony from several of Bulger's accomplices over the years, who told harrowing tales of what they said had been brutal killings.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Tue August 6, 2013

FATBERG! 15-Ton 'Lump Of Lard' Removed From London Sewer

That's a lot of fat: A photo showing some of the 15-ton "fatberg" that was clogging up a London sewer system.
Thames Water AP

Set this post aside until after lunch if you have a sensitive stomach.

A " 'bus-sized lump' of food fat mixed with wet wipes" has been removed from a southwest London sewer, the BBC says.

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Will 'The New York Times' Be Next To Be Sold?

The New York Times' front page on Tuesday.
NYTimes.com

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 9:26 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports on Jeff Bezos
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's David Folkenflik talks with Linda Wertheimer about the sale of 'The Washington Post'

After Monday's surprising news that Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is buying The Washington Post for $250 million — a deal that came just days after the Boston Globe was sold for $70 million to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry — a question naturally occurs:

Who's next?

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Tue August 6, 2013

VIDEO: Boos And A Blooper For A-Rod

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez during Monday's game in Chicago.
Brian Kersey UPI /Landov

Here's a better look and listen to what it was like Monday night in Chicago when New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup on the same day he was hit with a 211-game suspension for allegedly using performance-enhancing substances (he can play while he appeals that punishment).

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Tue August 6, 2013

'Depart Immediately,' State Dept. Tells Americans In Yemen

An army trooper sits beside a machine gun that is mounted on a patrol vehicle at a checkpoint in Sanaa, Yemen. Security is tight in the capital amid warnings about possible terrorist attacks.
Khaled Abdullah Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 11:25 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Dina Temple-Raston talks with Linda Wertheimer about the terrorism alerts

Warning that "the security threat level in Yemen is extremely high," the State Department is urging any Americans in that country to "depart immediately."

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

15 Years Later, Tawana Brawley Has Paid 1 Percent Of Penalty

Tawana Brawley, with the Rev. Al Sharpton, in 1988.
Mark Elias AP

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 1:32 pm

It was 1987 when a black teenager, Tawana Brawley, said she had been raped and kidnapped by a group of white men in Dutchess County, N.Y.

Her story of being attacked, scrawled with racial slurs, smeared with feces and left beside a road wrapped in a plastic bag made front pages across the nation — especially after the Rev. Al Sharpton took up her case.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Mon August 5, 2013

San Diego Mayor Starting Rehab; Accusers Count Now At 10

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in July.
Bill Wechter Getty Images

Today's the day San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who's now been accused by 10 women of sexual harassment, is to start two weeks of treatment at a behavior counseling clinic.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Mon August 5, 2013

4-Year-Old Re-Elected 'Mayor' Of Minnesota Town

Mayor Bobby Tufts of Dorset, Minn.
Jeff Baenen AP

His second job will be at a pre-school.

As a student.

Four-year-old Bobby Tufts was re-elected "mayor" over the weekend in the tiny northern Minnesota community of Dorset. We say "mayor" because Dorset doesn't really have a government. It doesn't even have many people — "22 to 28, depending on whether the minister and his family are in town," according to CBS Minnesota.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Woman Killed In Venice Beach Rampage Was On Her Honeymoon

Flowers and notes have been left at the scene in Venice Beach, Calif., where Italian honeymooner Alice Gruppioni was killed and about a dozen more people were injured by a car that plowed through crowds on the boardwalk.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

The young woman killed Saturday when a car plowed through the crowded boardwalk in Venice Beach, Calif., was an Italian honeymooner.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Terror Threat Shakes Up NSA Debate, Unites Some Lawmakers

A checkpoint leading to the closed U.S. Embassy compound in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Saturday.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 10:17 am

The Obama administration's weekend decision to close diplomatic posts from Central Asia through the Middle East and into North Africa has led to applause from "rattled lawmakers in both parties," The Washington Post writes.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Baseball Suspends Alex Rodriguez For 211 Games

He's waiting to hear his fate: New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
John Angelillo UPI /Landov

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 5:49 pm

(We most recently updated this post at 6:48 p.m. ET.)

New York Yankees' slugger Alex Rodriguez, one of baseball's brightest stars and its highest-paid player, will be suspended through the 2014 regular season because he violated parts of baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the league said today.

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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:

The besieged San Diego Mayor Bob Filner will not resign, but during a press conference, just minutes ago, said he "must take responsibility" for his actions and will therefore be entering a "behavior consulting counseling clinic," beginning August 5.

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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

This post was last updated at 5:45 p.m. ET.

About 80 people died, scores more were wounded and the eyewitness accounts are sobering in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, after Wednesday's crash of a passenger train.

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