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
8:30 am
Tue June 25, 2013

5-Year High In Consumer Confidence Bodes Well For Economy

If consumers are feeling better, they may be more apt to spend — which could mean better job growth down the road.
Jessica Rinaldi Reuters /Landov

The economy "is unlikely to slow in the short-term, and may even moderately pick up," economist Lynn Franco predicted Tuesday as the Conference Board released its latest survey on consumer confidence.

The business research group, where Franco is director of economic indicators, said its index rose to a five-year high of 81.4 in June — up from May's 74.3. The index is based on surveys of Americans.

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The Two-Way
5:36 am
Tue June 25, 2013

LIVE BLOG: Supreme Court's Latest Rulings

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 6:59 am

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET. Today's Major Ruling; Key Part Of 1965 Voting Rights Act Is Ruled Unconstitutional:

"By a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court has struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that establishes a formula to identify states that may require extra scrutiny by Justice Department," Eyder writes.

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The Two-Way
4:00 am
Tue June 25, 2013

VIDEO For Nelson Mandela: Johnny Clegg's 'Asimbonanga'

A message for "Dear Tata" (Nelson Mandela) outside the hospital in Pretoria where he is being treated.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 5:09 am

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The Two-Way
2:33 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Attackers Killed During 'Brazen Assault' Near Afghan Palace

Afghan security officers at the scene of Tuesday's attack in Kabul.
S. Sabawoon EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 4:58 am

The tenuous nature of efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan were dramatically underscored Tuesday morning when gunmen attacked buildings near Afghanistan's presidential palace in Kabul as journalists were gathering to hear from President Hamid Karzai about nascent plans for peace talks with the Taliban.

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The Two-Way
1:50 am
Tue June 25, 2013

17 Stunning Seconds Give Blackhawks The NHL's Stanley Cup

Blackhawks center Patrick Sharp lifts the Stanley Cup after Chicago's series-clinching win Monday night in Boston.
Scott Strazzante MCT /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 4:52 am

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Mon June 24, 2013

White House: We Expect Russia To Expel Snowden

After expressing "frustration and disappointment" because Hong Kong and China did not block "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden from flying to Moscow, the White House said Monday that it expects Russia will decide "to expel Mr. Snowden for his return to the United States."

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Mon June 24, 2013

'Rusty The Panda' Is Missing From The National Zoo

"Rusty the Panda" spent part of Monday on the loose in D.C. He was spotted by residents in a neighborhood next to the National Zoo's grounds.
National Zoo

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 9:47 am

Update At 2:27 p.m. ET. Panda Is Safe And Sound

"Rusty the red panda has been recovered, crated & is headed safely back to the National Zoo!"

That's the breathless update from the National Zoo, announcing Rusty's return to safe hands Monday afternoon. The zoo followed that tweet with a note of appreciation: "Thank you so much to everyone who helped us look for and find him!"

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Supreme Court Sends Affirmative Action Case Back To Lower Court

Abigail Noel Fisher, who challenged a racial component to University of Texas at Austin's admissions policy, speaks to the media outside the U.S. Supreme Court building during oral in the case in October.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 3:39 pm

One of the Supreme Court's most anticipated cases of its current term — a challenge to the University of Texas' affirmative action admissions process — has ended with a ruling that does not revisit the fundamental issue of whether such programs discriminate against whites.

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Bobby 'Blue' Bland, The 'Sinatra Of The Blues,' Dies

Bobby "Blue" Bland at the 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Rick Diamond Getty Images
  • LISTEN: A bit of 'Turn on Your Love Light'

Bobby "Blue" Bland, the "Sinatra of the blues" who sang such classics as "Turn On Your Love Light" and "Further On Up The Road," has died. He was 83.

According to The Associated Press: "Rodd Bland said his father died due to complications from an ongoing illness at his Memphis, Tenn., home. He was surrounded by relatives."

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The Two-Way
4:24 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Which Key Cases Will The Supreme Court Rule On?

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 6:32 am

It's another "decision day" at the Supreme Court. So, once again, we're waiting to see which (if any) big rulings are handed down.

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The Two-Way
2:21 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Where In The World Is Edward Snowden? Still Russia, It Seems

Journalists on board a Moscow-to-Havana flight Monday thought that NSA leaker Edward Snowden would be in that window seat. Instead, the plane left with that spot empty.
Maxim Shemetov Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 4:48 am

After hours of breathless reporting about how "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden would be getting on a Moscow-to-Havana flight Monday, it seems he did not in fact board the jet for what what was thought to be a step toward asylum in Ecuador.

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The Two-Way
1:44 am
Mon June 24, 2013

'Everything Possible' Being Done For Ailing Nelson Mandela

Prayers for Nelson Mandela: At Regina Mundi church in Soweto township, South Africa, on Sunday, congregants prayed for the former South African leader.
Dai Kurokawa EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 3:19 am

South Africans, and millions more people around the world, are waiting anxiously for further word about Nelson Mandela and praying for the former president and anti-apartheid icon.

Mandela, 94, remains in critical condition at a hospital in Pretoria where he's being treated for a recurring respiratory infection.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Rupert Murdoch And Wife Wendi Are Divorcing

Rupert and Wendi Deng Murdoch at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in West Hollywood on Feb. 24.
Hubert Boesl DPA /LANDOV

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Will Rain-Disrupted U.S. Open Be Too Easy Or Hard As Ever?

A man finds some shelter from the rain Thursday at the U.S. Open, which is being played at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 8:05 am

After being suspended less than two hours after the first players teed off, play is set to resume early Thursday afternoon at the U.S. Open golf championship, which this year is being held at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., outside Philadelphia. Heavy rains forced the delay.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Thu June 13, 2013

At Least 93,000 Syrians Have Died During Conflict, U.N. Says

Mourners carry the body of a man killed last fall in the northern Syrian town of Azaz.
Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

"The constant flow of killings continues at shockingly high levels," the U.N. high commissioner for human rights said Thursday as her office reported there have been at least 92,901 conflict-related deaths in Syria since March 2011.

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The Two-Way
5:48 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Natural DNA Cannot Be Patented, Supreme Court Rules

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 6:28 am

In a decision that could have broad-reaching effects on the future of science and medicine, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that:

-- "A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated."

-- But, synthetically created "strands of nucleotides known as composite DNA (cDNA)" are "patent eligible" because they do not occur naturally.

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The Two-Way
4:51 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Now He Tells Us: 'Tang Sucks,' Says Apollo 11's Buzz Aldrin

Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, during the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
Neil Armstrong/NASA Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 6:02 am

Hey, we were told in the '60s that we'd grow up to be astronauts if we drank Tang and that our heroes loved it!

But the second man on the moon — Apollo 11's Buzz Aldrin — says "Tang sucks."

TMZ.com broke the news that Aldrin let loose with his real opinion during taping of Spike TV's Guys Choice awards, which airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
3:07 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Colorado Fires: Two Deaths Reported; 5 Percent Containment

The Black Forest wildfire is burning near Colorado Springs, Colo. As Thursday dawned it was "zero percent contained," authorities said.
Chris Schneider Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 2:31 pm

Update at 7:15 p.m. ET. Two Deaths Reported:

The El Paso County Sheriff says that two bodies were recovered Thursday in the burn area of the Black Forest fire near Colorado Springs. A "coroner investigation is ongoing," the department says.

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The Two-Way
2:36 am
Thu June 13, 2013

VIDEO: Gov. Christie Slow Jammin' The News With Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during their slow jap on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:38 am

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The Two-Way
2:14 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Thriller On The Ice: Blackhawks Beat Bruins In Triple OT

The thrill of victory; the agony of defeat: Andrew Shaw of the Chicago Blackhawks (right) celebrates after the game-winning goal goes in. Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask looks back toward the puck that's now in his net.
Mike Wulf CSM/LANDOV

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The Two-Way
1:26 am
Thu June 13, 2013

So Far Not So Bad As Storms Head East, But Threat Remains

Quite a show in Chicago: Lightning struck the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower, at right) on Wednesday as the storm system moved through.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:56 am

The good news is that "a massive storm system originally forecast to affect one in five Americans from Iowa to Maryland surged Thursday toward the Mid-Atlantic after largely failing to live up to its billing in ferocity through the Upper Midwest."

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Legos Are Getting Angrier And That's Not Funny, Study Says

Lego faces are more often looking like that guy on the left, researchers say.
Axel Heimken DPA/LANDOV

This is not from The Onion:

"The number of happy faces on Lego toy mini-figures is decreasing and the number of angry faces is increasing, a University of Canterbury robot expert says."

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Wed June 12, 2013

50 Years Later, Medgar Evers' Widow Relives The Pain

Keynote speaker Myrlie Evers-Williams at Wagner College's commencement ceremony on May 24.
Jan Somma-Hammel Staten Island Advance /Landov

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 8:12 am

As NPR's Debbie Elliott has reported for Morning Edition and on the Code Switch blog, "for Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain NAACP leader Medgar Evers, the memories of 1963 are still raw."

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Soccer Star Lionel Messi And His Father Accused Of Tax Fraud

Lionel Messi.
Rebecca Naden PA Photos /Landov

Lionel Messi, the Argentine superstar who is generally thought of as the best soccer player in the world these days, has been accused of tax fraud by Spanish authorities.

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Public's Opinion Of George W. Bush Is Turning Positive

Former President George W. Bush and his successor, President Obama, at the April 25 dedication of Bush's library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Larry W. Smith EPA /LANDOV

For the first time since 2005, when George W. Bush was in the Oval Office, the public's opinion of the former president is "more positive than negative," the pollsters at Gallup say.

Gallup says its latest polling shows:

-- 49 percent of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of the former president.

-- 46 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Bush.

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The Two-Way
4:36 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Live Blog: Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger Goes On Trial

James "Whitey" Bulger, in an image released by the U.S. Marshal's Service in August 2011.
EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:07 am

Whitey Bulger is finally getting his day in court.

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The Two-Way
3:45 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Colorado Fires: Thousands of Homes Evacuated, Prisoners Moved

Smoke rises from the Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 4:58 am

More than 900 prisoners were evacuated from a state prison near Colorado Springs, Colo., early Wednesday as one of four wildfires across the Front Range moved toward the facility, The Associated Press writes.

About 2,500 homes and businesses in northeast El Paso County have also been evacuated, according to The Denver Post.

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The Two-Way
3:03 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Spurs Blow Out The Heat, Take 2-1 Lead In NBA Finals

The San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili (left) congratulates teammate Gary Neal on his three-pointer during Tuesday night's game.
Al Diaz / Miami Herald MCT / Landov

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 3:55 am

The Spurs were red hot Tuesday night, not the Heat.

San Antonio blew out Miami in Game 3 of the NBA finals, winning 113-77 and taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Led by Danny Green and Gary Neal, the Spurs went on a tear — hitting a Finals record 16 shots from beyond the three-point arc. As NPR's Tom Goldman said on Morning Edition, "Miami melted into the hardwood like the wicked witch of the west" as San Antonio hit shot after shot.

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The Two-Way
2:40 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Experts Doubt NSA Leaker's Claim About Wiretaps

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:02 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Steve Henn reports on the plausibility of Edward Snowden's claims

Edward Snowden's claim that as systems administrator for a defense contractor in Hawaii he had the authority "to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president," just isn't plausible, says a former national security lawyer at the Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

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