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
4:38 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Home Prices Rise At Best Pace In Seven Years

This home was under contract last month in Chicago.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 7:02 am

Led by more strong gains in Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, home prices in major U.S. cities were up just more than 12 percent on average in July vs. July 2012, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

The average increase was the largest since February 2006, Reuters adds, and is yet another sign that the housing sector is among the economy's strongest sectors.

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The Two-Way
3:44 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Word Spreads Far Of Canceled Wedding That Fed The Homeless

Carol Fowler (in blue dress) at the dinner her family turned into a charity event after her daughter's wedding was canceled.
Hosea Feed the Hungry, via Here & Now

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 6:57 am

We first heard about Carol and Willie Fowler's generosity from our friends at Here & Now late last week.

Now, the feel-good story of how they turned something sad into something glad is spreading across the Web.

ABC News describes what happened earlier this month in Atlanta this way:

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The Two-Way
2:59 am
Tue September 24, 2013

UPDATED: Obama And Iranian President Rouhani Will Not Meet

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during an interview with NBC — part of a charm offensive ahead of his visit to the U.N. General Assembly.
Rouzbeh Jadidoleslam AP

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 10:59 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ari Shapiro on what President Obama will tell the U.N.

Update at 3:07 p.m. ET. Leaders Will Not Meet:

After intense speculation that the United States and Iran were on the verge of making history today by coordinating a meeting between President Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, there came word this afternoon that the two would not meet during the ceremonies surrounding the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly.

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The Two-Way
2:12 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Siege Over, Kenya Has 'Defeated The Monster Of Terrorism'

Kenyan police officers take cover outside the Westgate mall in Nairobi on Monday.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 11:12 am

Update at 12:55 p.m. ET:

Telling his nation that security forces have "ashamed" those who attacked a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday declared "we have defeated the monster of terrorism."

As night fell in Kenya and after four days that captured attention around the world, it appeared the crisis was over.

Kenyatta said, as the BBC reports, that the death toll from Saturday's attack by Somalia-based terrorists and the siege that followed was:

-- 61 civilians.

-- 6 security officers.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Detroit Has Many Strays, But 'We're Not Tripping Over Dogs'

A stray dog in Detroit last week.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 3:38 pm

While there's a serious dog problem in Detroit, the initial results of an effort to count the number of homeless canines in the city indicate there are far fewer than the 50,000 strays that some news accounts have talked about.

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Boston Police Chief Is Stepping Down

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis talks with reporters during the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombers in April.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:45 am

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who became a nationally known figure as he led his department's response to last April's bombings at the Boston Marathon, announced Monday that he's stepping down after seven years in the job.

"It's time for me to try other things," the 57-year-old Davis told reporters. Among the first opportunities he said he may take advantage of is a fellowship at Harvard.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Mon September 23, 2013

U.N.: Child Labor Is Down, But 168 Million Children Still Work

Near Islamabad, Pakistan, 6-year-old Jabro Mounir was arranging bricks this summer — part of his daily work at a brick-making facility. He earns a little less than $2 per day.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 5:59 am

The trend is good:

"The global number of child laborers has declined by one third since 2000."

But:

That still means there are an estimated 168 million child laborers around the world, and more than half "are involved in hazardous work" involving such things as dangerous machinery and harmful chemicals.

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The Two-Way
4:27 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Reports: Two Arrests In Chicago Shooting That Wounded 13

After last Thursday's mass shooting in Chicago, a police detective collected crime scene tape when investigators were done with their work.
Paul Beaty AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:07 am

"Two men are in custody in connection with last week's shooting in a South Side park that left 13 people injured," the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Tribune adds that:

"The men, both 22, were arrested around 7:30 p.m. Sunday in an abandoned building in the 5200 block of South Marshfield Avenue, police said. No charges have been filed.

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The Two-Way
4:00 am
Mon September 23, 2013

No Way, Man! Last VW Bus To Soon Roll Off Assembly Line

Enio Guarnieri of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in his 1972 Volkswagen. Soon, the last of the vans will be made in a nearby factory.
Andre Penner AP

We just tripped over some news that's got us a bit bummed out:

The last Volkswagen "hippie bus" is due to roll off an an assembly line in Brazil on Dec. 31.

It seems the van that became known as the transportation of choice for counter-culture folks in the '60s can't be made with the air bags and other safety equipment that "the man" wants it to have.

So Volkswagen is ending production in the last place where the van's still made; a factory near Sao Paulo.

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The Two-Way
2:40 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Kenyan Police Say They're 'In Charge' Of The Mall

Kenyan soldiers outside the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi on Monday. Inside, attackers had killed dozens of shoppers, wounded more and it was feared they also had hostages.
Daniel Irungu EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 2:15 am

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Beat It, Bidders: Marshals Cancel Jackson Jr. Auction

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen came on stage during a Texas stop of Michael Jackson's 1984 tour to play on "Beat It," the Jackson hit that featured a solo by Van Halen. Now, questions about a guitar that the two supposedly signed have led to the cancellation of an auction of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s goods.
Carlos Osorio AP

"Legitimate concerns about the authenticity of the guitar purportedly signed by Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen" have led the U.S. Marshals Service to cancel an auction of the goods forfeited by former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Praise Pours In For Dairy Queen Manager Who Helped A Blind Man

Joey Prusak has been a busy man since his act of kindness went viral. CBS Minnesota is among the TV outlets that have spotlighted his story.
Minnesota.CBSlocal.com

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 7:12 am

Today's good-guy award goes to Joey Prusak of Hopkins, Minn.

Prusak, a Dairy Queen manager, back on Sept. 10 saw a woman pick up a $20 bill that a blind customer dropped. When Prusak told her to give it back, she refused. So, the 19-year-old manager refused to serve her. He then took $20 of his own money and gave it to the visually impaired customer.

Prusak's good deed might have gone unnoticed. But, as KARE-TV reports:

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The Two-Way
5:24 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Joy Covey, Who Was Key To Amazon.com's Success, Dies

"Joy Covey, who helped take Amazon.com Inc. public as the Internet retailer's chief financial officer, died Wednesday when her bicycle collided with a van on a downhill stretch of road in San Mateo County," the Los Angeles Times writes.

She was 50.

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The Two-Way
3:27 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Death Toll Near 100, And Likely To Rise, From Storms In Mexico

A car lays buried in mud after flooding triggered by Hurricane Manuel in Chilpancingo, Mexico.
Alejandrino Gonzalez AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 4:45 am

Authorities were saying early Friday that at least 97 people were known to have died in the flooding, mudslides and other deadly after-effects of the two storms that struck the country this week.

Torrential rains and then-Hurricane Manuel lashed the west coast of Mexico, particularly in around Acapulco. Hurricane Ingrid pummeled the east side of the nation, along the Gulf Coast.

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The Two-Way
2:45 am
Fri September 20, 2013

VIDEO: Tigers' Fielder Takes Fan's Chip After Chasing Foul

Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder, who enjoys a snack during a game.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 3:54 am

He thought about stealing some cheese, too, Detroit Tigers' first baseman Prince Fielder says, but worried that the fan might be a double-dipper.

Watch what happened Thursday when Fielder chased a foul ball toward the stands and casually lifted a nacho chip from an unsuspecting fan's snack tray before heading back on to the field.

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The Two-Way
2:16 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Iran's New Leader Calls For 'Constructive Dialogue'

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani earlier this month.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 3:00 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani uses the op-ed pages of The Washington Post on Friday to:

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The Two-Way
1:45 am
Fri September 20, 2013

13 People Shot In Chicago; 3-Year-Old Most Seriously Wounded

The scene late Thursday at a park in Chicago's South Side after a shooting there in which 13 people were wounded.
Paul Beaty AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 7:24 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Cheryl Corley reports on the shootings in Chicago
  • On 'Morning Edition': "After Shooting Tragedies, States React With Legislation"

(Our most recent update, at 12:15 p.m. ET., is here.)

A work week that began with a mass shooting in Washington, D.C., that left 12 victims dead concludes with a mass shooting in Chicago in which 13 people, including a 3-year-old boy, were wounded.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Tom DeLay's Conviction Overturned On Appeal

Former House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, in 2011.
Ben Sklar Getty Images

An appeals court in Texas has overturned the 2010 conviction of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who had been found guilty of illegally funneling corporate money to Texas candidates during the 2002 campaign cycle.

DeLay, a Republican, had been out on bail while appealing his conviction and the three-year prison sentence he was handed afterward.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Putin 'Doesn't Believe In You,' McCain Tells Russian People

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 6:50 am

In a stinging response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's put-down of "American exceptionalism," Arizona Sen. John McCain told Russians Thursday that Putin "doesn't believe in you."

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The Two-Way
4:44 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Whale Of A Fine: JPMorgan Chase To Pay $920M In Penalties

The JPMorgan Chase building in London, where traders ran up huge losses.
Timur Emek AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 6:39 am

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to acknowledge that it violated federal securities laws and will pay $920 million in penalties assessed by regulators in the U.S. and U.K. to settle charges related to the huge trading losses racked up by its London traders last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday morning.

As we wrote earlier this week when word of the pending settlement first emerged, this all:

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The Two-Way
4:07 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Jobless Claims Rose Less Than Expected Last Week

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 6:06 am

While the number of people filing first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 15,000 last week, the increase was less than economists expected, Bloomberg News reports.

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The Two-Way
3:52 am
Thu September 19, 2013

'Wheel Of Misfortune' Tongue Slip Is Potential $1M Mistake

Paul Atkinson, the unfortunate Wheel of Fortune contestant, during his appearance Thursday on CNN's New Day.
CNN.com

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 5:27 am

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The Two-Way
2:38 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Navy Yard Shootings: Thursday's Headlines

Flowers, flags and a child's drawing at a makeshift memorial outside the Washington Navy Yard, where a gunman killed 12 people on Monday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 3:56 am

Picking up the story from where we last left it, here are some of Thursday's headlines about Monday's mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, in which 12 victims and gunman Aaron Alexis died:

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The Two-Way
2:09 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Death Toll At 80 And Likely To Rise As Storms Slam Mexico

Near the town of Petaquillas, Mexico, a man held on to a line Wednesday as he crossed a stream swollen by rain dumped by the storm Manuel.
Alejandrino Gonzalez AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 3:54 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Host Renee Montagne talks with the AP's Michael Weissenstein

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Russia Says It Will Implicate Syria's Rebels In Chemical Attack

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow will provide the U.N. Security Council evidence implicated Syrian rebels in a chemical attack.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 9:58 am

Russia's top diplomat says his nation will give the U.N. Security Council evidence that implicates Syria's rebel forces in the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus, the BBC reports.

Word of what Syrian President Bashar Assad's strongest ally on the Security Council plans comes from Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Wed September 18, 2013

VIDEO: You Will Smile At This Dancing Queen And Her Good Luck

Ellie Cole, in the "dancing queen" video that's made her famous.
YouTube.com

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Put A Camera On An Eagle And What Do You Get? Soaring VIDEO

The eagle's view.
YouTube/Srachi

If this is a trick, it's a spectacular one.

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Wed September 18, 2013

2 Cars, 5 Or 6 Bodies From Decades Ago Found In Oklahoma Lake

The two cars recovered from Foss Lake in western Oklahoma. Bodies were found inside both. The discoveries may help solve the mysteries of what happened to people who went missing decades ago.
Laura Eastes/Daily Elk Citian AP

Sheriffs' deputies who were testing a new sonar device on a lake in western Oklahoma's Custer County have come across two grim discoveries that may help solve two cold cases from decades ago.

The local Elk City Daily News says the "practice run for new sonar technology at Foss Lake became a recovery effort after officials discovered two vehicles submerged near the marina — with human remains inside."

It was Sept. 10, the newspaper says, when sonar detected "two cars side by side in about 12 feet of water."

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Wed September 18, 2013

'I Killed A Man' Video Confessor Pleads Guilty

An image from the video confession of Matthew Cordle.
becauseisaidiwould.com AP

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Several Deaths Reported After Train Hits Bus In Ottawa

Officials monitor the scene of a crash between a passenger train en route to Toronto and a double-decker bus at a crossing in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on Wednesday.
Stephen Morrison EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 7:23 am

A passenger train hit a passenger bus at a railroad crossing around 8:48 a.m ET Wednesday in Canada's capital city and there were fatalities.

Canadian Broadcasting reported initially that "Ottawa fire officials say preliminary figures show 5 dead in bus-train collision. #ViaRail tweets nobody seriously hurt on train."

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