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
6:14 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Prosecutors May Seek Death Penalty For Cleveland Kidnapper

Ariel Castro during his arraignment Thursday at Cleveland Municipal Court. He's accused of kidnapping and raping three young women, and then holding a daughter born to one of those women captive. The women had been missing for about a decade. The child is now six years old.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 6:31 pm

(Most recent update: 7:24 p.m. ET.)

The three young women who were missing for about a decade before being rescued Monday from a home in Cleveland where they say they were chained, tortured and sexually assaulted, have given police similar accounts about how their long nightmares began.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Police Chief: 'We Are Not Barbarians;' Bury Bombing Suspect

A video image showing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, before the April 15 bombings.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 2:16 pm

Saying that "we are not barbarians, we bury the dead," the police chief of Worcester, Mass., on Wednesday appealed for someone in authority to clear the way for the body of Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev to be buried.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Wed May 8, 2013

'Do Me A Solid,' Diplomat Rodman Says To North Korea's Kim

Dennis Rodman, in black hat and shades, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a Feb. 28 basketball game in Pyongyang.
KCNA EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 11:52 am

America's unlikeliest link to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reached out to his friend in a bid to have an American citizen released from one of the communist nation's notorious labor camps.

"I'm calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him 'Kim', to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose," former basketball star Dennis Rodman tweets.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Wed May 8, 2013

31 Suspects In 3 Nations Nabbed In $50 Million Diamond Heist

Yves Herman Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 4:55 pm

Remember that brazen, right-out-of-the-movies diamond heist at Brussels' international airport on Feb. 18?

Now there's word from The Associated Press that "police on Wednesday claimed a major breakthrough in their investigation ... detaining 31 people in a three-nation sweep."

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson Is Retiring

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson during a match in April.
David Jones EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 10:20 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Philip Reeves reports about the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson

There's huge news in the sports world this morning:

Alex Ferguson, who has managed Manchester United football club for 26 years, is retiring at the end of the English Premier League season, which wraps up on May 19.

From London, NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast Desk that:

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Cleveland Kidnappings: Wednesday's Developments

What happened here? The home on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland where three young women who had been missing for about a decade, as well as a child, were rescued on Monday.
David Maxwell EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 5:07 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': A Neighborhood In Shock

(Most recent update: 5:20 p.m. ET.)

We're following the latest news about the three young women who were rescued Monday from a home in Cleveland where authorities suspect they had been held captive for about a decade, and the investigation into what happened to them.

Update at 5:20 p.m. ET: Ariel Castro Charged With Kidnapping, Rape:

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Ray Harryhausen, Master Of Stop-Motion Animation, Dies

American film animator and special effects creator Ray Harryhausen with one of his creations in 1965.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Ray Harryhausen, who brought sword-fighting skeletons to the 1963 movie Jason and the Argonauts and was known as the master of stop-motion animation for his work on that and other films such as Clash of the Titans and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, has died.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Many Offers, But No OKs For Burial Of Boston Bombing Suspect

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 7:50 am

The Massachusetts funeral director who is trying to find a cemetery that's willing to bury the body of Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev says he has gotten 120 offers from graveyards around the U.S. and Canada.

But when Peter Stefan "calls officials of the cities or towns involved, nobody wants the body," The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
6:27 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Cry For Help Led To Freedom For Missing Women In Cleveland

The Cleveland home where three young women who had been missing for nine to 11 years were found Monday.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 9:43 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Three missing women found alive in Cleveland
  • From Amanda Berry's 911 Call

(Most recent update: 11:40 a.m. ET. Click here to see how we cover stories such as this.)

"Help! Help me!"

A young woman's desperate cries alerted neighbors Monday to a frightening tale in Cleveland.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Gun Made With 3-D Printer Is Successfully Fired

The Liberator — a plastic handgun made with a 3-D printer.
Defense Distributed

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Mon May 6, 2013

PHOTO: The Six-Story Rubber Ducky That's Gracing Hong Kong

That's one big duck floating in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor this month.
Li Peng Xinhua /Landov

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Joy Turns To Tragedy As Bride And 4 Others Die In Limo Fire

San Mateo County firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers investigate the scene of a limousine fire in which five women died Saturday.
Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune MCT /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 12:39 pm

This is one of the weekend's saddest stories.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused a horrific fire inside a limousine late Saturday night on the San Mateo Bridge over San Francisco Bay. A new bride and four of her friends — all women — died as they tried to escape. Four other women, who had also been celebrating Neriza Fojas' recent marriage, managed to escape. So did the driver.

As The San Francisco Chronicle says:

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Top Stories: Boston Bombing; Syrian Crisis

The Two-Way
6:56 am
Mon May 6, 2013

UPDATE: White House Doubts Syrian Rebels Used Sarin

Carla del Ponte, a diplomat and prosecutor who now serves on the Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Syria.
Salvatore Di Nolfi EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:07 pm

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET: White House Is "Highly Skeptical":

At the White House this afternoon, spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. is "highly skeptical" of the comments made over the weekend by international prosecutor Carla del Ponte, who said there are "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof" that rebels in Syria have used sarin gas.

We've been covering del Ponte's comments, and the reaction to them, through the day. Scroll down to see an earlier update and our original post.

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Boston-Area Cemeteries Say No To Burying Bombing Suspect

Tamerlan Tsarnaev in April 2009.
Barcroft Media Barcroft Media /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:47 am

  • From the NPR Newcast: WBUR's Deborah Becker reports (with introduction from Jean Cochran)

Officials in Cambridge, Mass., have urged the family of deceased Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev not to ask that he be buried in a city-owned cemetery. Meanwhile, at least four private cemeteries in the area have already turned down such a request.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Witherspoon's Punishment: $100 Fine & A Viral Arrest Video

Actress Reese Witherspoon in a photo provided by the City of Atlanta Department of Corrections after her arrest.
AP

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Fri May 3, 2013

165,000 Jobs Added In April, Jobless Rate Fell To 7.5 Percent

Waiting for work: Job seekers lined up last month at the 25th Annual CUNY big Apple Job and Internship Fair in Manhattan.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 9:05 am

(Most recent update: 10 a.m. ET.)

The nation's jobless rate edged down to 7.5 percent in April from 7.6 percent in March and employers added 165,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Cocaine, Heroin May Have Played Role In Chris Kelly's Death

Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly during a performance on Feb. 23 in Atlanta.
Paras Griffin Landov

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 7:56 am

"Former Kris Kross rapper Chris Kelly had taken a mixture of cocaine and heroin the night before his death and had a history of drug abuse, according to a police report released Thursday," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The newspaper adds that:

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Reports: American Refueling Plane Crashes In Kyrgyzstan

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 7:55 am

An American military refueling plane crashed Friday in Kyrgyzstan, according to that nation's emergencies ministry.

The Associated Press says "there was no immediate word on any casualties."

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Plodding Along Or Picking Up Speed? News On Job Growth Due

Looking for work: The scene at a job fair in New York City earlier this year. Figures on job growth and unemployment in April are due Friday morning.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 7:53 am

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET. Better Than Expected:

165,000 Jobs Added In April, Jobless Rate Fell To 7.5 Percent

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

'Warren Is In The House,' Buffett Says As He Joins Twitter

Twitter.com/WarrenBuffett

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 12:33 pm

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor known as the "oracle of Omaha" and renowned for making lots of money for both himself and his Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, joined Twitter on Thursday.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Charges Possible In Death Of Ky. 2-Year-Old Shot By Brother

The home in Kentucky's Cumberland County where a 2-year-old girl was shot by her 5-year-old brother with a gun he'd been given as a gift. Investigators say the shooting Tuesday was accidental, but there is a chance some charges might be filed.
Dylan Lovan AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 11:23 am

The heartbreaking death of a 2-year-old Kentucky girl who was shot and killed Tuesday by her 5-year-old brother with a rifle he had been given as a gift might lead to criminal charges.

The Lexington Herald-Leader writes that "Kentucky State Police said Wednesday it is too early to say whether charges will be filed in the case of a 5-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister."

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Obama Picks Major Fundraiser To Be Next Commerce Secretary

Penny Pritzker, who is being nominated to be the next secretary of commerce, in February.
Nancy Stone MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 10:29 am

Penny Pritzker, one of the nation's richest people and a "longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser," as The Chicago Tribune writes, is President Obama's choice to be his next secretary of commerce.

The president announced the news this hour at the White House. He also said that one of his economic advisers, Michael Froman, is his choice to be the next U.S. trade representative.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Boston Bombings: A Guide To Who's Who

A makeshift memorial in Copley Square, near the site of one of the Boston Marathon bombings, on April 24.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 9:30 am

As the investigation continues into the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon and the crimes that followed, more names are being added to the story. Here's a guide that we'll keep updating, with links to relevant posts or stories. As always, if new information comes in that changes what is being said about anyone, we will pass that along:

THE VICTIMS

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Drop Again, Stay Near 5-Year Low

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:33 am

There were 324,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 18,000 from the previous week's 342,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Claims continue to run around the lowest pace since early 2008 — they haven't been lower since a week in mid-January 2008 when they came in at 321,000.

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Rapper Chris Kelly, Half Of Duo Kris Kross, Dies

Chris Kelly, left, and Chris Smith in 1992's "Jump" video, which was a hit for their rap duo Kris Kross.
KrisKrossVEVO

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 7:11 am

  • LISTEN: A clip from "Jump"

Update at 8:10 a.m. ET, May 3. A New Post:

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Judge Doubles Down On Double Entendres In Strip Club Case

The judge's name for the case says quite a bit about his opinion.
WOAI.com

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 5:27 pm

In what Huffington Post Business calls "one of the funniest, most eloquent court documents we've ever seen," a federal judge in Texas has loaded up his ruling on a case involving San Antonio strip clubs with at least 17 double entendres.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Boston Police: Three More Individuals In Custody

Items FBI agents say were inside a backpack recovered from a landfill in New Bedford. Investigators say the backpack was thrown in the trash by friends of Tsarnaev.
FBI

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 3:53 pm

(Most recent update: 4:36 p.m. ET.)

Three 19-year-old men — two of them University of Massachusetts Dartmouth college students from Kazakhstan who were friends with Boston bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — were taken into custody Wednesday by authorities in Boston. The third individual, an American citizen, was also a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Tsarnaev was enrolled.

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Wed May 1, 2013

So, A Tiger Walks Into A Zoo ...

Stephen Jaffe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:03 am

This is no joke:

A wild male tiger, which seems to be in search of some female companionship, has been lured into eastern India's Nandankanan Zoological Park after several frightening nights for those in nearby villages.

According to the Deccan Herald:

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