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
6:45 am
Thu May 23, 2013

'We Will Never Give In To Terror,' Britain's Cameron Vows

The victim: Drummer Lee Rigby.
U.K. Ministry of Defense

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 12:38 pm

(Most recent update: 1:30 p.m. ET.)

One day after a British soldier was hacked to death on a busy southeast London street by two men who were heard claiming that they wanted to avenge the deaths of Muslims killed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Prime Minister David Cameron declared Thursday that "we will never give in to terror or terrorism in any of its forms."

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Funerals Begin In Tornado-Ravaged Moore, Okla.

Players, coaches and parents collected donations Wednesday in Oklahoma city for the Angle Family, who lost their daughter Sydney, and their home, in the tornado. Sydney was No. 35 on a softball team called 'Bring It'.
Katie Hayes Luke Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 11:44 am

Funerals began Thursday for the 24 people known to have been killed by the tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., on Monday.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Male Sergeant May Have Filmed Female Cadets At West Point

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
Greg Mathieson MAI /Landov

A male sergeant at West Point has been accused of secretly videotaping at least a dozen female cadets, sometimes when they were showering, The New York Times reports.

Gen. John F. Campbell, the army's vice chief of staff, tells the Times that "once notified of the violation, a full investigation was launched, followed by swift action to correct the problem."

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Bernanke Hints Economy Still Needs Help; Home Sales Rise

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during his Capitol Hill testimony Wednesday before the Joint Economic Committee.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 10:37 am

In the nearly impenetrable language that comes with his job, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday that even though the economy is doing better, the central bank needs to keep giving it a boost.

The key passage from his prepared testimony:

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Wed May 22, 2013

'I Have Not Done Anything Wrong,' Says Key IRS Official

Internal Revenue Service Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner as she was sworn in at a hearing held Wednesday by the House Committee On Oversight & Government Reform.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 11:11 am

"I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations."

That was the word Wednesday morning from Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official at the center of the political storm over the agency's targeting of some conservative groups that were given extra scrutiny from 2010 into 2012.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Man Killed By FBI In Florida Was Linked To Boston Suspect

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 10:50 am

In Orlando, Fla., early Wednesday "an FBI agent was involved in a deadly shooting connected to the Boston Marathon bombing case," NBC News is reporting. A man who was being questioned by the agent is dead. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston and Carrie Johnson have also confirmed the news.

Just how firm the man's alleged connection to the marathon case is, though, remains unclear.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Wed May 22, 2013

In Oklahoma, Rescue Efforts Give Way To Recovery

A teddy bear sits atop some of the rubble in Moore, Okla.
Rick Wilking Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 7:49 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin speaks with NPR's David Greene
  • On 'Morning Edition': David Schaper reports from Moore, Okla.

(Most recent update: 8:30 p.m. ET.)

The news Wednesday from Moore, Okla., much of which was destroyed by a massive tornado Monday, begins with word that officials doubt they will find any more survivors or bodies under the hundreds of homes, businesses and other buildings that were leveled.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Eric Garcetti Wins L.A. Mayor's Race

Incoming Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated with supporters late Tuesday in Hollywood.
Lucy Nicholson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 10:13 am

The next mayor of Los Angeles will be City Councilman Eric Garcetti.

In a race in which the two top contenders were both Democrats, the 42-year-old Garcetti has opened a 7- to 8-percentage-point lead over City Controller Wendy Greuel as Tuesday's votes are being counted.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Anthony Weiner Jumps Into Race To Be NYC Mayor

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., in June 2011 — at the height of the sexting scandal that led to his resignation from Congress.
Andrew Gombert EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 10:03 am

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Tue May 21, 2013

VIDEO: Tears Flow As Mom Finds Son After Tornado

When Trenda Purcell found her son Kamden, her joy — and tears — erupted.
The Oklahoman

We don't need to say much. Just watch this video from The Oklahoman of Trenda Purcell's reunion Monday with her 8-year-old son Kamden, who she found safe and sound after the tornado that swept through Moore, Okla.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Tue May 21, 2013

'I Was Dismayed' To Learn What Agency Did, Ex-IRS Chief Says

Facing questions for the first time about why Internal Revenue Service personnel singled out some conservative groups for inappropriate scrutiny while he was head of the agency, former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told Congress on Tuesday that "I was dismayed and I was saddened" to learn about what had happened under his watch.

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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Tue May 21, 2013

IRS Officials To Be On Hot Seat

Dennis Brack Landov

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 10:18 am

Both the former IRS commissioner who was in charge when the agency singled out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny and the man who replaced him will be appearing at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday morning.

Douglas Shulman, an appointee of President George W. Bush who left the IRS last November, and acting commissioner Steven Miller (who is losing his job because of the scandal) are due at the 10 a.m. ET hearing.

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Tue May 21, 2013

An Emotional Gauntlet: Tornado Survivors Start Picking Up The Pieces

The destruction was wide and devastating in Moore, Okla., on Monday after a tornado roared through.
RIchard Rowe Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 7:48 pm

(We're following the news from Oklahoma, where a tornado devastated the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday. Most recent update: 8:40 p.m. ET.)

A day after a monster EF-5 tornado pummeled Moore, Okla., the focus turned to the victims.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn spent the day in the city talking to survivors. Christie Parrish decided to leave her home for her sister's shelter.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Turnabout Is Fair Play: Senators Have Many Questions For IRS

Outgoing acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steven Miller.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

The Internal Revenue Service is under fire for improperly singling out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny — putting them through months (or longer) of questions that delayed or derailed the organizations' requests for tax-exempt status.

Well, now the chairman and ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee have some questions and requests — actually dozens of them — for the IRS.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

ABC's Karl Expresses Regret, But Stands By Benghazi Story

ABC News' Jonathan Karl, delivering his initial report, part of which he now regrets.
ABCNews.go.com

ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl now says he regrets that some key parts of a major story he reported on May 10 were wrong.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Mon May 20, 2013

VIDEO: Look Inside A Grizzly Bear's Mouth

That's a grizzly bear about to try to swallow a camera.
Brad Josephs

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Supreme Court Takes Case On Prayer At Government Meetings

The Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., earlier this year.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

A challenge to the way a western New York State town board has had prayers read before its public meetings has made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The justices announced Monday morning that they will hear oral arguments in the case of Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway, Susan.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Pledging Not To 'Screw It Up,' Yahoo Seals Deal For Tumblr

They're coming together: Yahoo will pay $1.1 billion to acquire Tumblr.
Fred Dufour AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 8:06 am

The news that broke Sunday is now official.

Yahoo confirmed early Monday morning that it is buying Tumblr in a deal worth about $1.1 billion. "Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business," Yahoo added.

In its statement announcing the deal, Yahoo says that:

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Mon May 20, 2013

FBI Agents Killed In Training Accident Worked In Elite Unit

Members of the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team during a training exercise in Quantico, Va. Two FBI agents who were part of the unit died Friday during a training exercise offshore near Virginia Beach, Va.
FBI.gov

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Nation's Midsection Braces For More Severe Storms

The funnel of this tornadic thunderstorm came close to the ground near South Haven, Kansas, on Sunday.
Gene Blevins Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 10:14 am

There's no relief today for folks in the nation's midsection.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Aw-Inspiring Video: Sea Lion Worries When Little Girl Falls

Just before the fall, and the sea lion's wonderful reaction.
Live Leak

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 6:28 am

Take a break from the scandal du jour for something that's just darn nice.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Washington Green? State Creates Logo For Legal Pot

Branded: The official state of Washington marijuana logo.
Washington State Liquor Control Board

T-shirts will surely be made:

Along with draft rules for how to become a licensed grower or seller of marijuana, the Washington State Liquor Control Board this week released the official "icon logo" that will need to be put on packages of pot and "marijuana-infused products sold at retail."

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Famed Race Driver Dick Trickle Dies, Suicide Suspected

Dick Trickle at the start of a NASCAR race in 1993.
Bill Hall Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 11:36 am

Dick Trickle, a "short-track hero" in the '70s and '80s who moved to the NASCAR circuit later in his career, died Thursday.

According to The Charlotte Observer, the 71-year-old was killed by "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Lincoln County [N.C.] deputies said."

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Gingrich Cautions GOP About 'Overreach' On Scandals

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in April 2012.
Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch MCT /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 10:36 am

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was front-and-center during the Republican-led impeachment of President Clinton in 1998, is cautioning his GOP colleagues about the risk of appearing to be too eager as they dig into the scandals now dogging the Obama administration.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Kai The 'Hatchet Hitchhiker' Is Accused Of Murder

Caleb "Kai" McGillvary.
Union County (N.J.) Prosecutor's Office AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 10:10 am

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Reports: Russia Sends More Missiles, Has Ships Near Syria

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 10:03 am

Friday's major news about the conflict in Syria:

-- "Russia Sends More Advanced Missiles to Aid Assad in Syria."

According to The New York Times, "Russia has sent advanced antiship cruise missiles to Syria, a move that illustrates the depth of its support for the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad, American officials said Thursday."

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The Two-Way
5:34 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Congress Due To Grill Ousted IRS Chief

Outgoing acting Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Steve Miller as he was being sworn in Friday before a House Ways and Means committee hearing.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 11:53 am

(Most recent update: 12:50 p.m. ET.)

Saying that "foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection," the outgoing head of the Internal Revenue Service told Congress on Friday that he and the agency want to apologize for the targeting of some conservative groups during the 2012 campaign cycle.

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Obama Names New Acting IRS Commissioner

Rain fell Thursday during part of President Obama's joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Rose Garden of the White House.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:39 pm

Update at 5:38 p.m. ET. One More IRS Official To Leave

Another official is out at the embattled agency.

The Associated Press reports that Joseph Grant, commissioner of the IRS' tax exempt and government entities division, will retire June 3. The division scrutinized Tea Party groups when the applied for tax-exempt status.

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET. Obama Names New IRS Acting Chief

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Almost Nerd Wars: 'Doctor Who' & 'Star Wars' Fans Have Spat

Darth Vader or The Doctor? Pick your champion.
Lewis Whyld/Andrew Matthews PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:20 pm

Some stories are indeed too good to be true.

This BBC headline had us punching the Two-Way control board to go to light speed in pursuit of appropriate puns:

"Star Wars and Doctor Who fans clash at Norwich convention"

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