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
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

Hockey fans got nearly twice their money's worth Wednesday night as it took until deep into the third overtime period for the hometown Chicago Blackhawks to defeat the visiting Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

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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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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Tue June 11, 2013

He Broke The NSA Leaks Story, But Just Who Is Glenn Greenwald?

Glenn Greenwald, columnist/blogger/lawyer/advocate.
Kin Cheung AP

He's an advocate, an activist, a lawyer, a blogger, a columnist, an author and an award-winning investigative journalist.

Now, Glenn Greenwald is at the center of the stories about surveillance and data-collection programs being run by the National Security Agency.

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The Two-Way
4:40 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Is New England The Right Fit For Tim Tebow?

Tim Tebow (right) shakes hands with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after the Patriots defeated the Broncos on Dec. 18, 2011. Now, they're due to be teammates.
Mark Leffingwell Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:45 am

The New England Patriots' website just confirmed the news that quarterback Tim Tebow is joining the team.

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The Two-Way
4:08 am
Tue June 11, 2013

See-Through Pants Problem Behind Her, Lululemon CEO To Leave

Christine Day. She's planning to step down as CEO of Lululemon.
Brendan McDermid Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:51 am

Saying that "now is the right time to bring in a CEO who will drive the next phase of Lululemon's development and growth," the yoga and athletic clothing company's chief has announced she's stepping down.

Christine Day will stay on in her job until a successor is found, Lululemon says.

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The Two-Way
2:53 am
Tue June 11, 2013

As NSA Leaker Disappears, Talk Of More To Come And Charges

Edward Snowden's revelations about National Security Agency have been front page news around the world, including in Hong Kong — where he was last seen.
Bobby Yip Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:05 am

The latest news about 29-year-old Edward Snowden and the secrets he has revealed about the nation's surveillance programs includes:

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The Two-Way
2:00 am
Tue June 11, 2013

In Istanbul, Police Move Against Anti-Government Protesters

People run away from tear gas which is thrown by riot police during a clash at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey.
Tolga Bozoglu EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:10 pm

Update at 8:42 p.m. ET. Unrest May Continue All Night:

As Tuesday night wore into Wednesday morning, Turkish riot police were clashing with demonstrators in Istanbul's Taksim Square. Barrages of tear gas were fired into the square, where several fires burned on vehicles and other material. Some protesters were equipped with gas masks.

Speaking on television Tuesday, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said he will not bend to the protesters' demands. Here's a portion of that speech, from the BBC:

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Mon June 10, 2013

With Nod To 'Texts From Hillary' Guys, Clinton Joins Twitter

Will some of her tweets be as funny as the made-up "texts from Hillary?"
@HillaryClinton

"Thanks for the inspiration @ASmith83 & @Sllambe - I'll take it from here... #tweetsfromhillary"

With that bit of social media swagger on Monday, @HillaryClinton joined Twitter.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Mon June 10, 2013

For Bobby Fischer, WikiLeaks & NSA Leaker, Iceland Is Haven

Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer in March 2005 as he left Japan for Iceland, where he lived out his final years.
Yuriko Nakao Reuters /Landov

Edward Snowden, the former CIA and Booz Allen computer security technician who says he leaked information about National Security Agency surveillance programs, has told The Guardian that he wants "to seek asylum in a country with shared values

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Mon June 10, 2013

No Decisions Yet On The Most-Anticipated Supreme Court Cases

An artist's sketch of the scene during a U.S. Supreme Court hearing earlier this year.
Art Lien Reuters / Landov

There's no big news again today from the U.S. Supreme Court — which is sort-of big news in itself because it means we're still waiting for the justices' decisions on these major cases:

-- Fisher v. University of Texas, a key test of affirmative action in higher education.

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The Two-Way
3:59 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Trayvon Martin Killing: 2 Sides Want Very Different Jurors

George Zimmerman, the man accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel MCT /Landov
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Greg Allen previews the George Zimmerman trial

Nearly 16 months after the shooting death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., the man charged with second-degree murder is due in court Monday for the start of his trial.

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The Two-Way
2:51 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Who Is Edward Snowden, The Self-Styled NSA Leaker?

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

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:21 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Tom Gjelten on the NSA leaks

Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant who has stepped forward to say he's the source of explosive leaks about government surveillance programs was among "thousands upon thousands" of such analysts hired to manage and sift through "huge amounts of data," NPR's Tom Gjelten

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The Two-Way
2:50 am
Mon June 10, 2013

After Igniting In 2nd Half, Heat Easily Beat Spurs In Game 2

Oh no you don't: The Miami Heat's LeBron James (right) rejects a slam dunk attempt by the San Antonio Spurs' Tiago Splitter during Sunday night's game in Miami.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:56 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman reports on Game 2 of the NBA finals

With three minutes left in the third quarter Sunday night, the San Antonio Spurs were ahead of the Miami Heat by a point.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Reports: Husband Cleared, Wife Arrested In Latest Ricin Case

There's been an arrest by federal authorities who are trying to track down the person responsible for last month mailing possibly ricin-laced letters to President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a gun control group the mayor supports.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Fri June 7, 2013

'Nobody Is Listening To Your Telephone Calls,' Obama Says

President Obama on Thursday in Mooresville, N.C.
Davis Turner EPA /LANDOV

In his most extensive comments so far on the revelations this week about the electronic data that the nation's spy agencies are collecting, President Obama told the American people Friday that "nobody is listening to your telephone calls."

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Shhh! World's Powerful People Are Meeting In Secret Again

What goes on up the road is only for those in the know to know: Police stood guard Thursday near the Grove Hotel in Watford, England, where "The Bilderberg" group is meeting this year.
Nick Ansell PA Photos /Landov

There's "no detailed agenda, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued."

And as The Associated Press says, "what happens at Bilderberg, stays at Bilderberg."

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The Two-Way
3:50 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Job Growth Was Slow And Steady In May, But Jobless Rate Rose

Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 5:41 am

There was modest job growth once again in May even as the nation's unemployment rate ticked up, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

According to BLS:

-- 175,000 jobs were added to public and private payrolls last month, slightly more than economists had expected.

-- The jobless rate rose to 7.6 percent from April's 7.5 percent. That rate can rise even as more jobs are added because the size of the labor force has also gone up.

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