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
7:48 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Claim: Leaks About Al-Qaida Do More 'Damage' Than Snowden's

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:10 am

Leaks in August about plans al-Qaida leaders were supposedly making to attack American interests abroad have "caused more immediate damage to American counterterrorism efforts than the thousands of classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden," some "government analysts and senior officials" tell The New York Times.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Mon September 30, 2013

L.C. Greenwood, Part Of Pittsburgh's 'Steel Curtain,' Dies

Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman L.C. Greenwood waving to fans in 2006. He died Sunday at the age of 67.
Stephen M. Gross UPI /Landov

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:00 am

The death Sunday of L.C. Greenwood means just one member of one of the National Football League's greatest defensive lines is still with us.

Greenwood, 67, died of kidney failure at Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, the city's Post-Gazette reports.

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The Two-Way
5:11 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Baseball's Playoffs Start And So Does A-Rod's Suspension Appeal

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 6:22 am

After a dramatic finish to the regular season that included a no-hitter on the final day and a tie that will force a special elimination game Monday night, Major League Baseball is set to start its playoffs.

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The Two-Way
3:55 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Remembering Lee Thornton, Who Broke Barriers In Journalism

Lee Thornton.
University of Maryland / Philip Merrill College of Journalism

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 6:08 am

The news media has lost another trailblazer.

Two months after the death of Helen Thomas, another woman who broke important barriers in Washington's press corps has passed away.

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The Two-Way
3:00 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Popes John Paul II, John XXIII To Become Saints Next April

Pope John Paul II in 1982
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 6:06 am

The Vatican said Monday that it has set April 27, 2014, as the date that popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be "raised to sainthood."

Their canonization will come on "the Second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy," the Holy See added.

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The Two-Way
2:13 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Are You Ready For Some Shutdown? Here's Monday's Schedule

Inside the Capitol, lawmakers are battling over health care and the budget. Outside, many government services may come to a stop at midnight.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 6:37 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ailsa Chang on what's expected to happen Monday
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Scott Horsley on the history of shutdowns

We probably don't need to tell you that it's almost certain there will be a partial shutdown of the federal government just after midnight Monday.

But we do want to lay out the day's agenda.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Will Qatar's World Cup Games Be Played Over Workers' Bodies?

Will Qatar get a red card (a soccer official's way of signaling a player has been ejected) for labor practices at World Cup-related construction sites?
Alessandro Di Marco EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 12:17 pm

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Kenyan Mall Attack Update: 3 Who Were Suspects Are Released

Friends and relatives of Mbugua Mwangi and his fiancee Rosemary Wahito attended their funeral service Friday in Nairobi, Kenya. Mwangi, who was Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's nephew, and Wahito died in the Westgate Mall attack.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 8:27 am

Here are some of the latest developments in the aftermath of last weekend's attack by terrorists on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya:

-- Suspects. Kenyan police are now holding eight people, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku told reporters Friday. "Three others were interrogated and released," he said, according to Reuters.

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Fri September 27, 2013

VIDEO: Yankees Great Mariano Rivera Bids A Tearful Goodbye

New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera tips his cap in the ninth inning of his final appearance in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
Kathy Willens ap

The announcers kept quiet, so we won't say much either.

There's video here of what it was like Thursday night at Yankee Stadium when pitcher Mariano Rivera, considered by most experts to be the greatest "closer" in Major League Baseball history, threw his final pitch before heading off into retirement. He shed several tears, as you'll see.

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Fri September 27, 2013

U.N. Team Looking At Attacks Assad Blamed On Rebels

A convoy of U.N. vehicles with chemical weapons experts on board head out on Friday to do more work as the investigate allegations of chemical weapons use in near Damascus.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:57 am

After the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus that reportedly killed more than 1,000 people and has been blamed on Bashar Assad's regime, the Syrian president's ambassador to the U.N. claimed that opposition forces had used such weapons at least three times in the days immediately after.

As Russia's RT.com reported on Aug. 28:

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The Two-Way
3:45 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Jewels Found In Alps May Be From Decades-Old Plane Crash

What treasures lie buried here? Three climbers traversed part of the Mont Blanc massif earlier this month.
Jean-Pierre Clatot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:58 am

A French mountain climber came upon an unexpected treasure earlier this month near Mont Blanc in the French Alps, The Guardian writes.

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The Two-Way
2:46 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Ctrl-Alt-Delete Defenders Tell Bill Gates It Wasn't A Mistake

Those are the hands of David Bradley, an original member of the IBM PC team and the inventor of the control-alt-delete function, hitting the right keys.
Bob Jordan AP

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 3:33 am

The news that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates now says it was a mistake to long ago force Windows PC users to type "Ctrl-Alt-Delete" at start-up is getting tons of attention because his public mea culpas are rather rare.

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The Two-Way
2:12 am
Fri September 27, 2013

It's Clear Humans Are Changing World's Climate, Panel Says

The Larsen B ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, which is among the places where such ice has been breaking off.
Mariano Caravaca Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:56 am

Declaring that "human influence on the climate system is clear," a U.N.-assembled panel of scientists reported Friday that "it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century."

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Thu September 26, 2013

For Sale: 1925 Rolls-Royce, Elephant Gun Included

This 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Maharaja comes with its own big game guns. It goes up for sale on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Barrett-Jackson Auction Co.

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 8:31 am

If you've got a spare $500,000 lying around, or just love rare cars, this news is for you:

A 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Maharaja "tiger car," complete with an elephant gun attached to the rear bumper and a hand-cranked machine gun on a trailer, is up for auction Saturday in Las Vegas.

It's part of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company's annual three-day sale in Sin City, which kicked off Thursday.

According to Barrett-Jackson:

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Interpol Issues Alert For 'White Widow' At Kenya's Request

Samantha Lewthwaite in a photo released Thursday by Interpol.
Interpol

Interpol, the international police organization, has issued a "red notice" for British national Samantha Lewthwaite, the "white widow" who some news accounts have linked to last weekend's deadly attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Montana Rapist Freed After Serving 30-Day Sentence

Stacey Dean Rambold.
Montana Department of Corrections

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:03 am

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET. Released:

The Montana Department of Corrections' website just changed the status of Stacey Dean Rambold to "sentence expired," which means the convicted rapist whose 14-year-old victim later committed suicide has now served the 30-day prison sentence that sparked national outrage.

Our original post picks up the story:

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The Two-Way
4:40 am
Thu September 26, 2013

VIDEO: After Bono Imitates Bill (Clinton), Bill Does Bono

Former President Clinton, channeling his inner Bono, on CNN's Piers Morgan Live.
CNN.com

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:03 am

U2 rocker and international aid activist Bono got considerable praise this week for his imitation of former President Clinton. The almost always late Clinton hadn't arrived on time for a panel discussion at his own Clinton Global Initiative and Bono took advantage of the situation to have some fun.

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The Two-Way
4:04 am
Thu September 26, 2013

GDP, Jobless Claims Data Add To Signs Of Slow, Steady Growth

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 4:53 am

The two latest economic indicators both point to modest, steady-as-she-goes growth:

-- Gross domestic product grew at a moderate 2.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says. That's exactly what the agency reported the last time it estimated growth for the April-June quarter.

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The Two-Way
3:57 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Creator Of Anti-Muslim Film Being Released From Custody

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in a courtroom sketch done on Sept. 27, 2012.
Mona Shafer Edwards AP

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:08 am

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, whose Innocence of Muslims film sparked deadly protests in Muslim nations in the summer of 2012, is being released from federal custody on Thursday.

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The Two-Way
3:09 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Private Meetings With Iranians Give Veteran Diplomat Hope

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the U.N. on Tuesday.
Ray Stubblebine Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:03 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Diplomat Ryan Crocker on his meetings with Iranian officials

One of the United States' most experienced diplomats says he's come away from behind-the-scenes conversations with Iranian officials this week thinking "it is possible to come to accommodations" with new President Hassan Rouhani and his aides on key issues such as Iran's nuclear ambitions.

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The Two-Way
2:02 am
Thu September 26, 2013

George H.W. Bush Is Witness At Same-Sex Wedding Of Friends

Former President George H.W. Bush, former first lady Barbara Bush, right, and their newly wedded friends Helen Thorgalsen, center, and Bonnie Clement.
Susan Biddle AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:34 am

Former President George H.W. Bush's presence as a witness and guest at the marriage of two women in Maine last weekend is being treated by some as his quiet endorsement of same-sex marriage.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Senate Takes Next Step Toward Shutdown Showdown

After a dramatic 21-plus hours in which Republican Sen. Ted Cruz stood to express his opposition to President Obama's health care programs, the Senate early Wednesday afternoon voted 100-0 to move ahead and take up legislation that would avert a government shutdown next Tuesday.

As expected, the move by the Democratic-led Senate sets up what promises to be another showdown with the Republican-controlled House.

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The Two-Way
6:31 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Kenyan Mall Attack: The Latest News

Members of the Kenyan Sikh community gathered in Nairobi on Wednesday to cremate a grandmother and son who were killed when terrorists took over the Westgate Mall.
Kabir Dhanji EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 2:00 pm

Here's a quick look at where things stand in Nairobi, Kenya, where terrorists claiming to be part of the Somalia-based al-Shabab organization attacked a shopping mall on Saturday and then kept security forces at bay until late in the day on Tuesday:

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The Two-Way
4:47 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Yankees Bobble The Ball On Mariano Rivera Giveaway Night

This is what all the fuss was about: One of the Mariano Rivera bobblehead dolls that were eventually given away Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:18 am

Mayhem. Chaos. Fiasco.

Choose your favorite. Those words and others are making their way into headlines about what happened Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

It was Mariano Rivera Bobblehead Night, and the first 18,000 fans through the gates were supposed to get jiggly statues of their soon-to-be retired star pitcher.

But the truck bringing the bobbleheads to the stadium broke down. So the thousands of fans who had gathered outside the gates were given vouchers instead.

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The Two-Way
3:54 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Another Car, Another Watery Grave, Another Cold Case Solved?

An undated photo provided by the South Dakota Attorney General's Office shows a Studebaker found this week in a creek near Elk Point, S.D. Two teenage girls from the area were last seen May 29, 1971, driving a car like it. Remains found in the vehicle may be those of the two teenagers.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 8:23 am

Just one week after the discovery of two long-lost cars in an Oklahoma lake and what appear to be the remains of six long-lost people inside them, a 1960 Studebaker Lark has been recovered from a creek in South Dakota.

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The Two-Way
3:08 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Pakistan Quake Killed Hundreds, Created Island Off Coast

It rose from the sea: The small island that appeared off the coast of Pakistan on Tuesday after an earthquake shook the region.
Government of Pakistan EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:26 am

As more becomes known about the strong, 7.7-magnitude earthquake that rocked southern Pakistan on Tuesday, we're hearing that:

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The Two-Way
2:24 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Latest MacArthur Geniuses Include Sound Savior

Carl Haber, 2013 MacArthur fellow.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:59 am

This year's 24 recipients of MacArthur Foundation "genius grants" include a physicist whose work was inspired in part by an NPR report he heard a decade ago.

As Carl Haber of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory explains in a video posted by the foundation with Wednesday's awards announcements:

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Tue September 24, 2013

NCAA Lifts Some Of The Sanctions Imposed On Penn State

Penn State football players run onto the field earlier this month in State College, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 12:18 pm

Citing what it says has been "Penn State's continued progress toward ensuring athletics integrity," the NCAA said Tuesday that it is gradually restoring the football scholarships the school lost in the aftermath of the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Tue September 24, 2013

U.N. Must Battle 'Cold Logic Of Mass Graves,' Obama Says

President Obama addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in New York.
Timothy Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 10:09 am

While conceding that nations will disagree about when and how to step in as "tyrants ... commit wanton murder," President Obama told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that "we must get better" at preventing atrocities.

The president again laid out his case for strong international action to hold Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable for his regime's alleged use of chemical weapons. Then Obama told world leaders that:

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Dozens Killed By Strong Quake In Southwestern Pakistan

A U.S. Geological Survey map showing the location of Tuesday's earthquake in Pakistan.
USGS.gov

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 8:14 am

(This post last updated at 1:00 p.m. ET)

A strong, 7.7-magnitude earthquake in southern Pakistan on Tuesday has killed at least 45 people, according to Reuters. The U.S. Geological Survey says the initial temblor was followed by several aftershocks — one of them a 5.9-magnitude.

The affected area is reportedly about 145 miles southeast of Dalbandin in Pakistan's western province of Baluchistan.

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