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
1:38 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Girl Scout Sells Record 18,107 Boxes, Says She Can Move Samoa

Lisa Crigar Ocala Star-Banner/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 7:42 am

Dough-she-does, for sure.

When it comes to selling Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, Tagalongs and other Girl Scout cookies, all sixth-grader Katie Francis of Oklahoma City can seem to say is let me sell Samoa. (Rimshot!)

KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City shares the story of her sweet success:

"Katie ... a sixth-grader at Hefner Middle School, set a new cookie selling record Sunday night by selling 18,107 boxes [since sales began on Feb. 7].

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Putin's Out Of The Club For Now: G-8 Is Back To Being The G-7

President Obama and other leaders met in The Hague. Clockwise from bottom left: European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and EU President Jose Manuel Barroso.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:02 am

Russia's 20 years of having a seat at the table when leaders of the world's most powerful industrialized nations meet came to at least a temporary end.

President Obama and his counterparts from six other major nations announced in The Hague that because of Russia's actions in Crimea, "we will suspend our participation in the G-8."

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Unidentified Remains To Be In Repository At Sept. 11 Museum

An artist's image of the wall that will separate the public from the repository where unidentified remains will be kept at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in Manhattan.
911memorial.org

Hoping it will be "a dignified and reverential setting," the soon-to-be-opened National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City says approximately 8,000 unidentified remains of those who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks in Manhattan are returning "to the sacred ground of the World Trade Center site."

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Mon March 24, 2014

U.S. Sending More Troops To Hunt For Ugandan Warlord Joseph Kony

The leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, in 2006.
Stuart Price AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 7:46 am

The U.S. is sending 150 Air Force special operations personnel to central Africa this week — more than doubling the number of American troops on the ground who are assisting in the search for infamous Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, The Washington Post reports.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Mon March 24, 2014

March Madness: After The Upsets, Which Team Do You Like Now?

Kentucky's Andrew Harrison goes up for a shot during his team's victory Sunday over Wichita State. The Wildcats' win sent the previously undefeated Shockers home.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:08 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman on the madness so far

Duke went down the first day, losing to nearly unknown Mercer.

Syracuse was bounced out on Saturday by Dayton — a team that hadn't gone very far in 30 years.

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Same-Sex Marriages Back On Hold In Michigan

Saying that it wants "to allow a more reasoned consideration of the motion to stay," the U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit on Saturday effectively hit the pause button on same-sex marriages in Michigan.

Friday, as we reported, a federal judge struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

But late Saturday afternoon, the appeals court weighed in. It said the lower court's decision "is temporarily stayed until Wednesday."

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Pope Includes Victim Among Members Of Commission On Sex Abuse

Marie Collins, who was assaulted as a 13-year-old by a priest in her native Ireland, will be a member of a commission that advises the Roman Catholic Church about confronting and preventing such abuse.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 11:17 am

The eight members of a new Vatican commission charged with advising the Roman Catholic Church on how to confront and prevent sexual abuse of children by its priests include a prominent victim.

Ireland's Marie Collins was molested by a priest when she was a young girl in the 1960s. In 1997, as TheJournal.ie writes, she saw her abuser finally brought to justice. She is, the newssite adds:

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Latest Leak: NSA Burrowed Into Chinese Telecom Giant's Servers

The National Security Agency has in recent years "pried its way into the servers" of Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company that the spy agency has long suspected could work with the Chinese military to steal secrets from American firms and the U.S. government, The New York Times reported Saturday.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Major Ukrainian Air Base In Crimea Handed Over To Russia

A Russian military officer, left, talks to Ukrainian Col. Yuli Mamchur before the Russian takeover of an air base near the Crimean town of Belbek on Saturday.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 11:07 am

Russia's grip on Crimea was further solidified Saturday when its forces took complete control of a Ukrainian Air Force base in the town of Belbek, NPR's Gregory Warner and Reuters report.

The landing field and other key sections of the air base had been taken over by Russian forces previously. The section handed over today was where Ukrainian soldiers and their families lived, Gregory reports.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Cops Can't Have Sex With Prostitutes, Hawaiian Lawmakers Say

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, with Diamond Head in the background. State lawmakers are vowing to get rid of a provision in Hawaiian law that allows law enforcement officers to have sex with prostitutes if doing so is within the scope of their duties.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 7:36 am

Headlines across the nation and around the Web — such as the one we posted on Friday that read "In Hawaii, Sex With A Prostitute May Be Legal For Undercover Cops" — have led to promises of quick action:

-- "Hawaii lawmakers to end prostitution exemption," says Honolulu's KITV.

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The Two-Way
4:03 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Buffett's Billion Dollars Are Safe As Upsets Bust Brackets

George Washington University players were dejected Friday as they went down in defeat to Memphis. The team's loss also wiped out any chance for someone to win $1 billion from Quicken Loans and Warren Buffett.
Chuck Liddy MCT/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 2:59 am

Mercer University's stunning upset of Duke on Friday in the NCAA Division I men's basketball championship ruined most fans' brackets — the guesses they make before the 64 teams face each other about which team's going to win every game.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Down Goes Duke In Biggest Upset So Far

Duke forward Amile Jefferson, in white, and Mercer guard Langston Hall battle for the ball during Friday's game.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:53 pm

We updated this post with the first shock of the day at 2:35 p.m. ET:

It's one-and-done for the Duke Blue Devils as their men's basketball team was beaten Friday by the Mercer Bears, 78-71, in the Division I men's basketball championship.

Mercer, a No. 14 seed in the Midwest region, was a huge underdog to the No. 3 seed Duke.

The win for Mercer, which has its main campus in Macon, Ga., is by far the biggest upset of the tournament so far. Heading into play, Duke was No. 8 in The Associated Press rankings. Mercer wasn't even among the nation's top 75 teams.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Fri March 21, 2014

In Hawaii, Sex With A Prostitute May Be Legal For Undercover Cops

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Undercover police in Honolulu say they need to be exempt from laws barring sex with prostitutes because sometimes they can't reveal their identities too soon.
Ronen Zilberman AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:36 pm

"Honolulu police officers have urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes during investigations," the Star Advertiser writes. The issue has come up as the state legislature considers a bill that sponsors say would strengthen several criminal statutes.

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The Two-Way
3:53 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Split Decisions: Ukraine Signs Up With EU, Russia Wraps Up Crimea

As Russian soldiers walked one way in the distance, a departing Ukrainian soldier carried some of his belongings Friday at a military base in Perevalne, Crimea.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:57 am

There will be few days that better symbolize the crisis in Ukraine.

On Friday:

As Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was signing an agreement on closer relations with the European Union ...

... Russian President Vladimir Putin was signing the laws his country has put in place to take Crimea from Ukraine and make it part of the Russian Federation.

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The Two-Way
2:21 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Nothing So Far In Search For Debris From Malaysian Jet

Searching from the air and on the sea: The view Friday from a Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion. The Norwegian car transport ship Hoegh St. Petersburg is below. They're part of the search in the southern Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Justin Benson-Cooper/pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 8:05 am

We have woven some updates into this post.

Two weeks after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the first "credible lead" in the search for the Boeing 777 and the 239 people on board is still just that — a lead, not a discovery.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Reds Pitcher Expected To Recover After Line Drive To Face

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman last month. Now, he's recovering from being hit in the face by a batted ball last night.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:28 am

All-Star relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds is expected to make a full recovery and pitch again despite the injuries he suffered Wednesday night when he was hit square in the face by batted ball.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Top Stories: Search For Missing Jet Narrows; Westboro Baptist Founder Dies

Good afternoon.

Sorry for being late in our daily roundup. Here's what has been happening so far today:

-- Search For Missing Jet Focuses On Objects Seen Off Australia

-- Ukrainian Troops' Departure From Crimea Isn't A Simple Matter

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps Sr. Dies

July 2007: The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. prepares to protest outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:03 am

The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., whose tiny Westboro Baptist Church has protested outside the funerals of fallen soldiers and celebrities to spread its views about homosexuality and abortion, has died, according to news reports. He was 84.

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Thu March 20, 2014

U.S. To Impose Sanctions On More Russian Officials

President Obama on the south lawn of the White House Thursday as he spoke about new sanctions on some Russian officials.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:23 pm

More senior Russian officials are being added to the list of those who the U.S. will seek to penalize for their nation's interference in Ukraine's affairs, President Obama announced Thursday morning.

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Reprimand, $20K Fine, No Jail Time For General's Sexual Misconduct

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair as he arrived for his court-martial case Thursday at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C.
Chris Keane Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:45 pm

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair avoided jail time Thursday and instead "was reprimanded and fined a total of $20,000 for inappropriate relationships with three subordinates in a closely watched court case," The Associated Press reports from Fort Bragg, N.C.

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The Two-Way
2:41 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ukrainian Troops' Departure From Crimea Isn't A Simple Matter

A Russian flag flies behind him Thursday as a Ukrainian soldier leaves what was one of his military's bases outside Simferopol, on the Crimean Peninsula. Local "self-defense forces," followed by Russian troops, have seized many strategic locations.
Yuri Kochetkov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:36 pm

Ukraine's plans to withdraw its troops from Crimea, which as we reported were announced Wednesday, have apparently been complicated by the issue of whether they will be allowed to take their weapons and other equipment with them.

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The Two-Way
1:48 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Search For Missing Jet Focuses On Objects Seen Off Australia

This map adds in routes that investigators believe Malaysia Flight 370 might have taken.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 8:14 am

This post is being updated.

Satellite images showing objects floating in the Indian Ocean have focused the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people who were on board to an area about 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Is Safe, FAA Team Concludes

At Tokyo International Airport last July, Boeing 787 Dreamliners flown by All Nippon Airways taxied across the tarmac.
Kimimasa Mayama EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:53 am

A year-long review of the Boeing 787, which experienced problems such as fuel leaks and a battery fire, has concluded that the plane is safe.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported Wednesday that a review team believes the aircraft, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, "was soundly designed, met its intended safety level, and that the manufacturer and the FAA had effective processes in place to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after certification."

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Obama Picks Michigan State To Win Men's Basketball Title

The president is a big fan of the game and still likes to shoot hoops. But has he picked the winner?
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:07 am

The nation's "first basketball fan" has Michigan State winning it all in this year's NCAA Division I men's basketball championship.

President Obama filled out his brackets for ESPN again this year. The sports network aired the president's pre-recorded appearance earlier today.

Why Michigan State?

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Air France Relatives Have Sad Bond With Malaysia Air Families

June 5, 2009: Relatives and friends pray for passengers of Air France Flight 447 at the Nossa Senhora do Carmo church in Rio de Janeiro. Those who lost loved ones in that flight are expressing their sympathy and concern for those waiting for word about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Sergio Moraes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:05 am

As the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people on board has continued over the past 12 days, there have been many reminders about the fate of Air France Flight 447.

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The Two-Way
3:47 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Toyota To Pay $1.2B To End Safety-Related Probe

Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 7:43 am

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Saying that "Toyota intentionally concealed information" and misled the public about the danger that some of its vehicles might suddenly accelerate, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder announced Wednesday that the automaker is being fined $1.2 billion for not being forthcoming after car owners started to complain in 2009.

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The Two-Way
3:05 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Ukraine Says It's Preparing A Plan To Withdraw From Crimea

Armed men stood atop a chimney near Ukraine's naval headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Wednesday. They raised Russian flags after taking over much of the facility.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:25 pm

This post was last updated at 4:50 p.m.

A day after Russia claimed Crimea as its own, Ukraine's security chief said they were drawing up plans to withdraw troops and their families from the area.

The BBC reports Andriy Parubiy said during a press conference that Ukraine wanted to move the troops "quickly and efficiently" to mainland Ukraine and that they would also ask the United Nations to declare Crimea a demilitarized zone.

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