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
7:28 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Africans Win At Boston Marathon

The scene at the start of the elite women's division of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Dominick Reuter Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 11:54 am

Ethiopian runner Lelisa Desisa won the men's division at this year's Boston Marathon on Monday, finishing the 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 22 seconds. It's the first win at Boston for the 23-year-old.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Mon April 15, 2013

March Was Cool, But Winter Was Warmer Than Average

In January, coats and gloves were optional as skaters enjoyed temperatures in the 40s and 50s at New York City's Bryant Park.
Mario Tama Getty Images

How wrong was Punxsutawney Phil when the groundhog said on Feb. 2 that we'd have an early spring?

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Will Gun Bill Pass Or Fail? Conflicting Signals Yet Again

Left to right: Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) as they unveiled their plan on background checks of gun purchasers.
Molly Riley UPI /Landov

Here's a fresh headline that may be welcome to those who oppose the bipartisan plan to extend background checks of gun purchasers to sales made at gun shows and over the Internet:

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The Two-Way
4:43 am
Mon April 15, 2013

George W. Bush: 'I'm Comfortable With What I Did'

Former President George W. Bush, as he delivered a tribute at the funeral for pianist Van Cliburn last month in Fort Worth, Texas.
Joyce Marshall MCT /Landov

Since President George W. Bush left office in 2009, The Dallas Morning News writes, he has been "a punching bag for [President] Obama, Democrats and even some Republicans."

But while Bush told the Morning News during an interview for a long story posted over the weekend that "nobody likes to be criticized all the time," he also indicated that the criticism hasn't caused him to question his decisions:

"I'm comfortable with what I did," he said. "I'm comfortable with who I am."

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The Two-Way
4:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Top Stories: North Korea; Venezuela; And Gun Control

The Two-Way
3:31 am
Mon April 15, 2013

'Mila' Is First Grandchild For George W. And Laura Bush

Former President George W. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush with their daughter Jenna Bush Hager (holding baby Margaret Laura "Mila" Hager) and her husband Henry Hager
Today Show

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 9:48 am

Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush, gave birth over the weekend to a girl.

Margaret Laura "Mila" Hager is named for her grandmothers, the former president announced in a statement. According to The Associated Press, the little girl's nickname is pronounced MEE-luh.

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The Two-Way
3:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

At Golf's Masters, A Nice Guy Finished First

Adam Scott (left) of Australia celebrates after winning a playoff against Angel Cabrera (right) of Argentina at the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga. In between them is Steve Williams, Scott's caddie.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 7:04 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Tom Goldman reports on the 2013 Masters

Search the morning-after stories about Sunday's dramatic finish at golf's Masters Tournament and one thing becomes clear. Adam Scott, the 32-year-old Australian who won after a two-hole playoff with Argentina's Angel Cabrera, seems to be one heck of a guy:

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The Two-Way
2:22 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Threats And Crises Are 'Just Normal North Korean Diplomacy'

North Korean soldiers marched past statues of founder Kim Il Sung and his son, former leader Kim Jong Il, on Monday in Pyongyang. North Korea celebrated Kim Il Sung's 101st birthday.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 6:58 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Steve Inskeep speaks with Andrei Lankov about North Korea

Monday is "the day of the sun" in North Korea — a celebration of founder Kim Il Sung's birth in 1912.

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The Two-Way
1:25 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Venezuela Says Recount Likely After Chavez Heir's Close Win

Supporters of acting President Nicolas Maduro celebrated Sunday night in Caracas, Venezuela, after the initial vote count showed him enjoying a narrow victory.
Luis Acosta AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 3:30 pm

A surprisingly small victory margin for Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor in Sunday's special presidential election looks likely to be followed by a recount in Venezuela.

Chavez, Venezuela's fiery, controversial and charismatic leader, died on March 5.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Funny Man Jonathan Winters Dies

Jonathan Winters on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1969.
CBS /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:20 pm

Jonathan Winters, known to one generation for his 1960s comedy albums, frequent Tonight Show with Johnny Carson appearances and comic movie characters, and to another generation as Robin Williams' baby on Mork & Mindy, has died. The news is coming from The Associated Press, TMZ, the NPR Arts Desk and other news outlets.

Winters was 87. TMZ says he died Thursday night "of natural causes in Montecito, Calif. ... surrounded by friends and family.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Toy Or Trouble? 'Mexico Barbie' Has Passport, Chihuahua

Mexico Barbie.
BarbieCollector.com

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 7:35 am

Mattel says its "Dolls of the World" line of Barbies come with passports, stamps and, with many of the toys, an "animal friend."

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Update: BBC Will Play Clip Of 'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead'

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1996.
PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 9:31 am

Update at 11:50 a.m. ET. Radio 1 Will Play A Snippet:

There's word from NPR's Philip Reeves in London that BBC's Radio 1 now says its weekend Official Chart show will play "a clip in a journalistic environment" of "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead," which critics of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pushed up the British charts this week after the Iron Lady's death.

The BBC has more:

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The Two-Way
4:11 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Explosives Said To Be In Package Addressed To Sheriff Arpaio

Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Laura Segall Reuters /Landov

Authorities in Arizona say a package addressed to controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was safely destroyed Thursday after a test for explosive residue confirmed it "contained black powder," The Arizona Republic writes.

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The Two-Way
3:50 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Wholesale Prices Plunge, But So Do Retail Sales

A steep drop in gasoline costs fueled a 0.6 percent decline in wholesale prices from February to March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

Excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, the so-called core rate of inflation was also in check: those prices rose a modest 0.2 percent.

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The Two-Way
3:05 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Dodgers' $147 Million Ace Greinke Breaks Collarbone In Brawl

Ouch! Carlos Quentin (left) of the San Diego Padres charged the mound Thursday after Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke (right) hit him with a pitch. In the brawl, Greinke broke his left collarbone.
Denis Poroy Getty Images

Talk about an expensive bust:

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The Two-Way
2:12 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Kerry Warns North Korea, But Holds Out Hope For Diplomacy

A North Korean soldier on the bank of the Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, along the Chinese border.
Jacky Chen Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 8:00 am

Walking a line meant to show both resolve and willingness to trust in diplomacy, Secretary of State John Kerry warned North Korea on Friday not to engage in more warmongering — but also said the U.S. is willing to talk with that communist state if it's serious about discussing denuclearization.

"No one is going to talk for the sake of talking," Kerry said, but the U.S. does want to see a peaceful resolution of the latest crisis on the Korean peninsula.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Thu April 11, 2013

'Sandy' Retired From Storm Names; 'Sara' Takes Its Place

Oct. 31, 2012: Some of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, N.J.
Steve Nesius Reuters /Landov

"Sandy has been retired from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone names by the World Meteorological Organization's hurricane committee because of the extreme impacts it caused from Jamaica and Cuba to the Mid-Atlantic United States in October 2012," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration writes.

The storm names are administered by the World Meteorological Organization.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Will Tiger Master Augusta Again?

Tiger Woods tees off on the first hole Thursday at the Masters tournament in Augusta, Ga.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

Play has begun at the 77th Masters in Augusta, Ga., and again this year the big question is whether Tiger Woods is really "back" and will win his first major championship since 2008.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Gun Bill Clears First Hurdle In Senate

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 7:45 am

The first national gun control legislation since the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., is going to be debated on the floor of the Senate and appears headed for a vote sometime next week.

Supporters in the Senate on Thursday morning rounded up more than the 60 votes necessary to clear a procedural hurdle that could have held up consideration of the Democratic-crafted package. The vote was 68-31 in favor of blocking a bid by some Republicans to filibuster the legislation.

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The Two-Way
5:47 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Why Does Anyone Care About Minutes Of Weeks-Old Fed Meetings?

The Federal Reserve's headquarters in Washington, D.C. What goes on inside there is of intense interest to investors.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 7:30 am

There's been a bit of a brouhaha over the Federal Reserve's inadvertent early release Tuesday evening of minutes from its closed-door March 19-20 policy meeting.

As The Associated Press writes, "employees at JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs Group, Wells Fargo and Citigroup were among those to receive [the] market-sensitive information."

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The Two-Way
3:52 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Jobless Claims Fell Sharply Last Week

Many Americans hope to see more signs like this in coming months. (Photo taken earlier this year in San Rafael, Calif.)
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 6:52 am

There were 346,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits, down 42,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Meanwhile, the "4-week moving average" of claims was 358,000, up by 3,000 from the previous week's 355,000. That measure smooths out some of the volatility in the numbers.

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The Two-Way
3:29 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Shark! Fisherman Gets Quite A Scare, Catches Scene On Video

Isaac Brumaghim had his video recorder running when a tiger shark came by and grabbed his catch.
YouTube.com/AQAHNTR

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:31 am

Isaac Brumaghim was reeling in a tuna Sunday about two miles off Hawaii's Oahu Island when he came as close as anyone wants to get with a tiger shark that weighed 400 to 500 pounds.

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The Two-Way
3:21 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Will North Korea Claim Victory And Stand Down?

On Wednesday, a North Korean soldier looked on from the banks of the Yalu River on the border with China.
Wang Zhao AFP/Getty Images
  • From 'Morning Edition': Frank Langfitt and David Greene discuss the latest news from the Korean peninsula

As the world waits for what's expected to be another ballistic missile test by North Korea sometime in the next few days, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports there's reason to think that tensions on the Korean Peninsula might soon ease.

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The Two-Way
2:37 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Wild Weather Warning: Tornadoes, Heavy Snows, High Winds

Where is spring? Icy branches partially blocked a city street Wednesday in Sioux Falls, S.D. More wintry weather is expected there Thursday.
Dirk Lammers ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • From St. Louis Public Radio: Tim Lloyd reports on the severe weather

While a "Minnesota winter that won't end is expected to dump up to a foot of snow in the Twin Cities by Thursday night," people in Missouri and Arkansas are "grappling with the aftermath of a series of storms that spawned at least two tornadoes."

And the wild weather is spreading to other parts of the nation:

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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Wed April 10, 2013

She Won $40,000! No, It Was $40 Million! Happy Dance Time!

When Maria Carreiro found out she had won $40 million, she danced with joy. She recreated her "happy dance" for reporters, as a video posted by The Windsor Star shows.
The Windsor Star

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:58 am

Maria Carreiro of Toronto was thrilled when she thought she had won $40,000 (Canadian).

Then her daughter went to the Web and figured out that mom had won $40 million Friday in Canada's Lotto Max game. That's about $39.4 million in U.S. dollars.

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Wed April 10, 2013

'Friends And Neighbors' Exception Part Of Deal On Gun Checks

The scene at a gun show in Alabama last month.
Joe Songer AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 8:52 am

We last updated this post at 1:50 p.m. ET:

Saying "this is a start and it's not the end of our work," Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia confirmed Wednesday morning that he and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania have put together a bipartisan plan that they believe will "keep guns out of dangerous hands."

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The Two-Way
4:30 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Anthony Weiner Is Eyeing A Return To Politics

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., at a Brooklyn Nets basketball game in November 2012.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:50 am

Just under two years after his once-rising political career went up in flames because of an extramarital sexting scandal, former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner is plotting a possible comeback.

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The Two-Way
3:47 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Top Stories: North Korea; Obama's Budget; Gun Legislation

The Two-Way
3:10 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Students Stopped The Stabbing Suspect At Texas College

Dylan Quick, who is accused in the stabbings at Lone Star College, in a photo supplied to the news media Wednesday by the Harris County (Texas) Sheriff's Office.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 8:19 am

"My first thought was I need to go catch him."

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The Two-Way
2:15 am
Wed April 10, 2013

8 For 8: Connecticut Wins Another Women's Hoops Title

Connecticut Huskies forward Breanna Stewart takes a shot during first-half action in the women's Division I NCAA championship game Tuesday night in New Orleans. She was the tournament's most outstanding player.
Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant MCT /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:28 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman on the women's championship

For the University of Louisville's Lady Cardinals, it just wasn't meant to be.

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