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
12:46 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Christie Names N.J. Attorney General To Be Interim Senator

New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa is going to be New Jersey's interim senator — filling the seat vacated Monday by the death of Democrat Frank Lautenberg.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Esther Williams, Swimmer Turned Movie Star, Dies

Esther Williams in August, 1942.
AP

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Thu June 6, 2013

VIDEO: Michelle Obama's Face-To-Face With A Heckler

The first lady was confronted by a heckler at a private event in Washington on Tuesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 10:36 am

CNN has video that lets you see and hear some of what it was like Tuesday night when first lady Michelle Obama confronted a heckler who had interrupted her during a Democratic fundraiser at a home in Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Cleanup Begins As Death Toll In Philadelphia Remains At 6

Rescue workers converged Wednesday on the site of a building collapse in Philadelphia. At least six people were reportedly killed and an additional 14 injured.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 10:41 am

Update at 10:35 a.m. ET. Still A Rescue Operation:

Although reports earlier this morning signaled that efforts at the scene of a building collapse in Philadelphia had turned from rescue to recovery and cleanup, city officials just told reporters that they're still looking for possible survivors.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Ahead Of Key Report, 2 Modestly Positive Signs On Jobs

The scene at a career fair in San Francisco on May 30.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The number of first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 11,000 last week from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports. There were 346,000 such applications.

While on the positive side, the figure is still in line with the recent trend. Since late 2011, claims have basically stayed in a range from the mid-300,000s to just under 400,000.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Judge Gives Girl Who Needs New Lungs A 'Fighting Chance'

Sarah Murnaghan, center, on May 30 as she and her parents marked the 100th day of her stay in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her father, Fran, is at left. Her mother, Janet, is at right.
Murnaghan family AP

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 8:32 am

A federal judge's ruling that moves 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan up the waiting list for a lung transplant means the little girl now has a "fighting chance at life," says Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa.

Meehan was one of several lawmakers who had been pushing to have the Health and Human Services Department relax the rules that give priority to patients age 12 and older.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Spy Agency's Collection Of Phone Records Reopens Controversy

Your call may be monitored: The NSA has been given the OK to collect data about millions of Americans' phone calls (though not about the conversations).
Glen Argov Landov

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 1:16 pm

(Most recent update: 2 p.m. ET)

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Do You Care If Ball Players Use Steroids? Polls Say Fans Do

A fan raises his objections at the 2002 Major League Baseball All Star Game.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:58 pm

ESPN's big scoop of the day — that Major League Baseball "will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal" — raises a logical question:

Do fans care?

PollingReport.com has collected the results of some surveys, including:

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Death Toll In Philadelphia Building Collapse Rises to 6

Firefighters and rescue workers at the site of Wednesday's building collapse in Philadelphia.
Clem Murray MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 5:04 am

(Most recent update: 12:05 a.m. ET Thursday)

Firefighters have pulled a 14th survivor from the rubble of a building that collapsed Wednesday in Philadelphia, and from an adjacent store that was heavily damaged. According to The Associated Press, rescuers found a woman late Wednesday and she was taken to a nearby hospital. Deputy Fire Chief Robert Coyne said early Thursday that 61-year-old Myra Plekam was pulled from the debris more than 12 hours after a building collapsed and that she was awake and talking to rescuers.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Chrysler 'Puts Reputation At Risk' By Rejecting Recall

Mike Blake Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 11:47 am

As The Associated Press writes, "a defiant Chrysler is refusing to recall about 2.7 million Jeeps the government says are at risk of a fuel tank fire in a rear-end collision."

The Detroit Free Press says the company has "put its reputation for safety and quality on the line" by initially saying "no" to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's request.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Job Growth Stayed Slow In May, Report Signals

The scene at a jobs fair in Gainesville, Fla., on April 27.
Matt Stamey Gainesville Sun /Landov

There were 135,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in May, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report, which was released Wednesday morning.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Wed June 5, 2013

First Lady Gets Face-To-Face With Heckler

First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House on May 9.
John Stillwell / pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 8:27 am

Update at 9:15 a.m. ET, May 6. Video:

CNN has posted clips from a video taken by GetEQUAL in which you can see and hear some of what happened when one of its activists heckled First Lady Michelle Obama at a private fundraiser this week.

Our original post and an earlier update:

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Shakeup: Susan Rice To Be Obama's National Security Adviser

Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
Mark Garten / U.N. UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:42 am

United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, a lightning rod for Republican critics of the Obama administration's handling of the September 2012 attack on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, is moving into the post of national security adviser at the White House.

That's what a White House official tells NPR's Ari Shapiro — echoing reports earlier Wednesday morning from The Associated Press and other news outlets.

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Reports: 20 Major League Baseball Players May Be Suspended

Dark clouds hang over Major League Baseball. There are reports that about 20 players may be suspended because of their connections to a Miami clinic that dispensed performance-enhancing drugs. (Photo taken Sunday at Yankee Stadium.)
Jason Szenes EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 10:27 am

"Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks," ESPN's Outside the Lines reports.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Witnesses At Whitey Bulger's Trial Won't Be Choirboys

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

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:32 am

There's an old expression, Boston College Law School professor Michael Cassidy said Wednesday on Morning Edition:

"When you want to get the devil, you have to go to hell to get your witnesses."

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Special Election To Replace Sen. Lautenberg Set For Oct. 16

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Saying that "insiders and a few party elites" should not choose the person who permanently replaces Sen. Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Tuesday afternoon that there will be primaries on Aug. 13 and a special election on Oct. 16.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Room Upgrades, Videos & A 'Star Trek' Parody: Read IRS Audit

Already under fire for how some personnel gave extra scrutiny to conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status, the Internal Revenue Service is also dealing with an inspector general's criticism of the $4.1 million spent on a conference in 2010.

Posted here, the Treasury Department audit concludes that:

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Tue June 4, 2013

At IRS Hearing: Talk Of 'Jackboot Of Tyranny'

Karen Kenny of San Fernando Valley [Calif.] Patriots at Tuesday's House Ways and Means Committee hearing in Washington, D.C.
Yuri Gripas Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 12:09 pm

We now have faces and emotional words to attach to the scandal surrounding the Internal Revenue Service and its targeting of conservative "tea party" and "patriot" groups during the 2012 campaign cycle.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Tue June 4, 2013

16 Americans Among Nonprofit Workers Convicted In Egypt

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 1:42 am

Sixteen Americans were among 43 people convicted in Egypt on Tuesday for what the transitional government at the time had said was illegal interference in the nation's affairs. The investigation began in 2011 under military rule.

Those judged guilty all worked for foreign non-governmental organizations, including two U.S. groups that have tried to promote democracy in Egypt.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Lululemon's Pants Return With 'More Fabric Across The Bum'

Some of the clothes at a Lululemon store in Pasadena, Calif., earlier this year.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 9:19 am

See-through pants brought Lululemon (and some of its customers) unwanted attention back in March, as we reported at the time. They were pulled from shelves.

Now the yoga and running clothier says that thanks to "more fabric across the bum" and other design changes, the black pants are coming back to stores this month.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Another Report Shows Home Prices Taking A Big Jump

A sale pending sign in front of a home in San Francisco on May 28.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 9:18 am

One week after the S&P/Case-Shiller indices showed a 10.9 percent jump in U.S. home prices from March 2012 to March 2013 — the biggest year-over-year gain in that data since April 2006 — there's another report showing a similar jump in April.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Top Stories: 'Deacon' Jones Dies; IRS Hearings Resume

Dennis Brack Landov

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 9:10 am

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Reports: American Woman Gang-Raped In India

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 9:09 am

"Indian police say that a 30-year-old American woman has been gang-raped in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh," the BBC writes. "Police said that the woman had been attacked after she accepted a lift by a group of men in a truck in Manali, a resort town in the state."

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Tue June 4, 2013

VIDEO: Kid's Salute Turns Cymbal Crash Into Symbolic Victory

Andrew Pawelczyk, far left, saluting the flag after his cymbal crashed to the floor.
sarona2617

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 9:35 am

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Tue June 4, 2013

'Deacon' Jones, The NFL's Original Sackmaster, Dies

Football great David "Deacon" Jones in 2010.
David Livingston Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 9:05 am

David "Deacon" Jones, a hall of fame defensive lineman credited with coining the term "sack" for how he would tackle opposing teams' quarterbacks, has died.

He was 74.

According to the NFL's Washington Redskins, the last team Jones played for, he "passed away [Monday] from natural causes at his home in Southern California."

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Why Chase Tornadoes? To Save Lives, Not To 'Die Ourselves'

Friday's storm, which produced a mile-wide tornado, as it neared El Reno, Okla.
Richard Rowe Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 7:10 am

  • Josh Wurman on why scientists get close to tornadoes
  • Josh Wurman on how the community is reacting to three storm chasers' deaths

The deaths Friday of veteran storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul and their friend Carl Young when a tornado near El Reno, Okla., pummeled their vehicle has raised some questions:

-- Why do storm chasers do what they do?

-- Do the benefits outweigh the dangers?

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Mon June 3, 2013

VIDEO: Yankees And Red Sox Flinch As Lightning Strikes

As the sky darkened and the storm moved in Sunday at Yankee Stadium, this police officer was among many warily looking up.
Mike Stobe Getty Images

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Boy Scouts March In Uniform At Utah Gay Pride Parade

Members of the Boys Scouts of America and some of their families marched Sunday in Salt Lake City's Utah Pride parade.
Jim Urquhart Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 11:11 am

Ten days after their national organization voted to allow openly gay boys to be members, a handful of Boy Scouts marched in uniform on Sunday at the Utah Pride Parade in Salt Lake City.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Collection Of DNA

The U.S. Supreme Court building
Zhang Jun Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 3:24 pm

By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a Maryland law that allows police to collect DNA, without first getting a warrant, from persons who are arrested.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Sen. Frank Lautenberg Dies At 89

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., in October 2012.
Jason Kempin Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 10:07 am

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg died early Monday, his office says in a statement sent to reporters.

He was 89. According to the statement, the Democratic senator "passed away due to complications from viral pneumonia at 4:02 a.m. today at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell."

As the senator's office adds, Lautenberg was "the last remaining World War II veteran serving in the Senate."

He announced in February that he would not be seeking a sixth term in the Senate.

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