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
6:37 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Bernanke Hints That The Economy Still Needs Help

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during his Capitol Hill testimony Wednesday before the Joint Economic Committee.
Alex Wong Getty Images

In the nearly impenetrable language that comes with his job, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday that even though the economy is doing better, the central bank needs to keep giving it a boost.

The key passage from his prepared testimony:

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Wed May 22, 2013

'I Have Not Done Anything Wrong,' Key IRS Official Says

Internal Revenue Service Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner as she was sworn in at a hearing held Wednesday by the House Committee On Oversight & Government Reform.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 7:11 am

"I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations."

That was the word Wednesday morning from Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official at the center of the political storm over the agency's targeting of some conservative groups that were given extra scrutiny from 2010 into 2012.

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The Two-Way
4:25 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Man Killed By FBI In Florida Was Linked To Boston Suspect

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 6:50 am

In Orlando, Fla., early Wednesday "an FBI agent was involved in a deadly shooting connected to the Boston Marathon bombing case," NBC News is reporting. A man who was being questioned by the agent is dead. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston and Carrie Johnson have also confirmed the news.

Just how firm the man's alleged connection to the marathon case is, though, remains unclear.

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The Two-Way
3:33 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Eric Garcetti Wins L.A. Mayor's Race

Incoming Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated with supporters late Tuesday in Hollywood.
Lucy Nicholson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 6:13 am

The next mayor of Los Angeles will be City Councilman Eric Garcetti.

In a race in which the two top contenders were both Democrats, the 42-year-old Garcetti has opened a 7- to 8-percentage-point lead over City Controller Wendy Greuel as Tuesday's votes are being counted.

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The Two-Way
2:57 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Anthony Weiner Jumps Into Race To Be NYC Mayor

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., in June 2011 — at the height of the sexting scandal that led to his resignation from Congress.
Andrew Gombert EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 6:03 am

Former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose career appeared to famously flame out in 2011 when he resigned from Congress because of an extramarital sexting scandal and his lies about what he'd done, has now officially jumped back into politics.

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The Two-Way
2:10 am
Wed May 22, 2013

In Oklahoma, Rescue Efforts Give Way To Recovery

A teddy bear sits atop some of the rubble in Moore, Okla.
Rick Wilking Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:49 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin speaks with NPR's David Greene
  • On 'Morning Edition': David Schaper reports from Moore, Okla.

(Most recent update: 8:30 p.m. ET.)

The news Wednesday from Moore, Okla., much of which was destroyed by a massive tornado Monday, begins with word that officials doubt they will find any more survivors or bodies under the hundreds of homes, businesses and other buildings that were leveled.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Tue May 21, 2013

VIDEO: Tears Flow As Mom Finds Son After Tornado

When Trenda Purcell found her son Kamden, her joy — and tears — erupted.
The Oklahoman

We don't need to say much. Just watch this video from The Oklahoman of Trenda Purcell's reunion Monday with her 8-year-old son Kamden, who she found safe and sound after the tornado that swept through Moore, Okla.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Tue May 21, 2013

'I Was Dismayed' To Learn What Agency Did, Ex-IRS Chief Says

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 7:05 am

Facing questions for the first time about why Internal Revenue Service personnel singled out some conservative groups for inappropriate scrutiny while he was head of the agency, former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told Congress on Tuesday that "I was dismayed and I was saddened" to learn about what had happened under his watch.

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The Two-Way
2:11 am
Tue May 21, 2013

IRS Officials To Be On Hot Seat

Dennis Brack Landov

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 6:18 am

Both the former IRS commissioner who was in charge when the agency singled out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny and the man who replaced him will be appearing at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday morning.

Douglas Shulman, an appointee of President George W. Bush who left the IRS last November, and acting commissioner Steven Miller (who is losing his job because of the scandal) are due at the 10 a.m. ET hearing.

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The Two-Way
1:55 am
Tue May 21, 2013

An Emotional Gauntlet: Tornado Survivors Start Picking Up The Pieces

The destruction was wide and devastating in Moore, Okla., on Monday after a tornado roared through.
RIchard Rowe Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:48 pm

(We're following the news from Oklahoma, where a tornado devastated the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday. Most recent update: 8:40 p.m. ET.)

A day after a monster EF-5 tornado pummeled Moore, Okla., the focus turned to the victims.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn spent the day in the city talking to survivors. Christie Parrish decided to leave her home for her sister's shelter.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Turnabout Is Fair Play: Senators Have Many Questions For IRS

Outgoing acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steven Miller.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

The Internal Revenue Service is under fire for improperly singling out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny — putting them through months (or longer) of questions that delayed or derailed the organizations' requests for tax-exempt status.

Well, now the chairman and ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee have some questions and requests — actually dozens of them — for the IRS.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Mon May 20, 2013

ABC's Karl Expresses Regret, But Stands By Benghazi Story

ABC News' Jonathan Karl, delivering his initial report, part of which he now regrets.
ABCNews.go.com

ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl now says he regrets that some key parts of a major story he reported on May 10 were wrong.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Mon May 20, 2013

VIDEO: Look Inside A Grizzly Bear's Mouth

That's a grizzly bear about to try to swallow a camera.
Brad Josephs

When a 3-year-old grizzly in Alaska came upon a GoPro camera that adventure guide Brad Josephs had set up in the wild, the encounter produced footage that takes you right inside the bear's mouth.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Supreme Court Takes Case On Prayer At Government Meetings

The Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., earlier this year.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

A challenge to the way a western New York State town board has had prayers read before its public meetings has made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The justices announced Monday morning that they will hear oral arguments in the case of Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway, Susan.

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The Two-Way
3:50 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Pledging Not To 'Screw It Up,' Yahoo Seals Deal For Tumblr

They're coming together: Yahoo will pay $1.1 billion to acquire Tumblr.
Fred Dufour AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 4:06 am

The news that broke Sunday is now official.

Yahoo confirmed early Monday morning that it is buying Tumblr in a deal worth about $1.1 billion. "Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business," Yahoo added.

In its statement announcing the deal, Yahoo says that:

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The Two-Way
3:08 am
Mon May 20, 2013

FBI Agents Killed In Training Accident Worked In Elite Unit

Members of the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team during a training exercise in Quantico, Va. Two FBI agents who were part of the unit died Friday during a training exercise offshore near Virginia Beach, Va.
FBI.gov

Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw, the two FBI agents who died in a training accident on Friday off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va., were part of the bureau's Critical Incident Response Group.

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The Two-Way
1:52 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Nation's Midsection Braces For More Severe Storms

The funnel of this tornadic thunderstorm came close to the ground near South Haven, Kansas, on Sunday.
Gene Blevins Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 6:14 am

There's no relief today for folks in the nation's midsection.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Aw-Inspiring Video: Sea Lion Worries When Little Girl Falls

Just before the fall, and the sea lion's wonderful reaction.
Live Leak

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 2:28 am

Take a break from the scandal du jour for something that's just darn nice.

A little girl was running in circles at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., this week. On the other side of a window, a sea lion was mimicking her moves — playing something of a game of tag without the tagging part.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Washington Green? State Creates Logo For Legal Pot

Branded: The official state of Washington marijuana logo.
Washington State Liquor Control Board

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 7:41 am

T-shirts will surely be made:

Along with draft rules for how to become a licensed grower or seller of marijuana, the Washington State Liquor Control Board this week released the official "icon logo" that will need to be put on packages of pot and "marijuana-infused products sold at retail."

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Famed Race Driver Dick Trickle Dies, Suicide Suspected

Dick Trickle at the start of a NASCAR race in 1993.
Bill Hall Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 7:36 am

Dick Trickle, a "short-track hero" in the '70s and '80s who moved to the NASCAR circuit later in his career, died Thursday.

According to The Charlotte Observer, the 71-year-old was killed by "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Lincoln County [N.C.] deputies said."

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The Two-Way
3:54 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Gingrich Cautions GOP About 'Overreach' On Scandals

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in April 2012.
Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch MCT /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:36 am

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was front-and-center during the Republican-led impeachment of President Clinton in 1998, is cautioning his GOP colleagues about the risk of appearing to be too eager as they dig into the scandals now dogging the Obama administration.

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The Two-Way
3:02 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Kai The 'Hatchet Hitchhiker' Is Accused Of Murder

Caleb "Kai" McGillvary.
Union County (N.J.) Prosecutor's Office AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:10 am

Caleb "Kai" McGillvary, who became an Internet sensation in February with his colorful account of how he bashed a man with a hatchet to stop an attack on a utility worker in California, has been arrested and charged with murdering a lawyer in New Jersey.

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The Two-Way
2:08 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Reports: Russia Sends More Missiles, Has Ships Near Syria

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:03 am

Friday's major news about the conflict in Syria:

-- "Russia Sends More Advanced Missiles to Aid Assad in Syria."

According to The New York Times, "Russia has sent advanced antiship cruise missiles to Syria, a move that illustrates the depth of its support for the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad, American officials said Thursday."

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The Two-Way
1:34 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Congress Due To Grill Ousted IRS Chief

Outgoing acting Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Steve Miller as he was being sworn in Friday before a House Ways and Means committee hearing.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 7:53 am

(Most recent update: 12:50 p.m. ET.)

Saying that "foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection," the outgoing head of the Internal Revenue Service told Congress on Friday that he and the agency want to apologize for the targeting of some conservative groups during the 2012 campaign cycle.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Obama Has 'Complete Confidence' In Attorney General Holder

The Justice Department's controversial decision to search phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors while investigating the source of a leak has not shaken his trust in Attorney Gen. Eric Holder, President Obama said Thursday.

He has "complete confidence in Eric Holder as attorney general," the president said at a joint White House news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Obama Names New Acting IRS Commissioner

Rain fell Thursday during part of President Obama's joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Rose Garden of the White House.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 2:39 pm

Update at 5:38 p.m. ET. One More IRS Official To Leave

Another official is out at the embattled agency.

The Associated Press reports that Joseph Grant, commissioner of the IRS' tax exempt and government entities division, will retire June 3. The division scrutinized Tea Party groups when the applied for tax-exempt status.

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET. Obama Names New IRS Acting Chief

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Almost Nerd Wars: 'Doctor Who' & 'Star Wars' Fans Have Spat

Darth Vader or The Doctor? Pick your champion.
Lewis Whyld/Andrew Matthews PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:20 am

Some stories are indeed too good to be true.

This BBC headline had us punching the Two-Way control board to go to light speed in pursuit of appropriate puns:

"Star Wars and Doctor Who fans clash at Norwich convention"

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Berkshire Hathaway's Credit Rating Knocked Down A Notch

Warren Buffett.
Donald Bowers Getty Images for Fortune

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:53 am

Billionaire investment legend Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has had its credit rating lowered from AA+ to AA by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

In a statement, S&P says that even though Berkshire Hathaway has an "excellent business profile," the lower credit rating "better reflects our view of BRK's dependence on its core insurance operations for most of its dividend income." (S&P's statement is posted on its website, but you have to register to view it.)

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The Two-Way
4:37 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Reports: Note Found In Boat Where Boston Suspect Hid

April 20 in Watertown, Mass.: Investigators work in and around the boat in which Boston bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found hiding.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:10 am

In a message written on a wall of the boat where he was found hiding, Boston bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was motivated by anger over the Afghan and Iraq wars, sources familiar with what was found have told CBS News correspondent John Miller.

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