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
7:34 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Explosion, Gunfire Reverberate In Kabul

A wounded Afghan police officer is helped from the scene of Friday's explosion and gunfire in Kabul.
Omar Sobhani Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:50 pm

  • NPR's Sean Carberry, reporting from Kabul

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 6:45 p.m. ET.)

An explosion followed by gunfire in Kabul on Friday claimed the lives of at least two attackers and wounded a small number of civilians. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which appeared to have been aimed at offices of the International Organization for Migration and stretched over several hours as Afghan security forces tried to hunt down those responsible.

As night fell in Kabul, it was unclear whether the incident was over or not.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Assad Regime Agrees To Attend Peace Conference, Russia Says

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 9:27 am

Representatives of President Bashar Assad's regime have agreed "in principle" to attend an international peace conference aimed at ending more than two years of brutal warfare in Syria, Russia's foreign ministry said Friday.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Fri May 24, 2013

'White Flash And Cold Water' After Bridge Collapse In Wash.

The scene near Mount Vernon, Wash., on Thursday after part of an Interstate 5 bridge collapsed into the Skagit River.
Dan Levine EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:39 pm

(Most recent update: 5:35 p.m. ET.)

Miracle is the word that comes to Dan Sligh's mind after he and his wife, Sally, survived a plunge off a highway bridge in Washington state on Thursday evening.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Teen Pregnancies Continue To Decline, New Report Shows

New government figures add to evidence of a decline in teen pregnancies across the nation and point to a notably large drop in births among Hispanic teens, NPR's Jennifer Ludden tells our Newscast Desk.

She reports that the overall birth rate among teens is now half what it was at its peak, two decades ago, and that a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows:

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Jobless Claims Drop, But Stay In Recent Range

There were 340,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 23,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Triple Murder May Link Tsarnaev And Man Killed In Florida

Ibragim Todashev, in an undated booking photo provided by the Orange County (Fla.) Corrections Department.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 3:18 pm

Ibragim Todashev, the 27-year-old man shot and killed after he allegedly attacked an FBI agent Wednesday in Orlando, may have been involved with Boston bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a 2011 triple murder.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Cleveland Hero Charles Ramsey Rewarded With Burgers For Life

Charles Ramsey on the day three young women (and one of the women's daughters) were rescued from a Cleveland home. He gained fame for his accounts of what happened.
Scott Shaw The Plain Dealer /Landov

Charles Ramsey, the neighbor who helped rescue three young women from a Cleveland home where authorities say they had been held captive and brutalized for about a decade, "will enjoy free burgers for life" in honor of his actions, The Plain Dealer reports.

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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

Former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose career appeared to famously flame out in 2011 when he resigned from Congress because of an extramarital sexting scandal and his lies about what he'd done, has now officially jumped back into politics.

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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

When a 3-year-old grizzly in Alaska came upon a GoPro camera that adventure guide Brad Josephs had set up in the wild, the encounter produced footage that takes you right inside the bear's mouth.

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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

Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw, the two FBI agents who died in a training accident on Friday off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va., were part of the bureau's Critical Incident Response Group.

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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.

A little girl was running in circles at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., this week. On the other side of a window, a sea lion was mimicking her moves — playing something of a game of tag without the tagging part.

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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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