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
4:22 am
Wed April 3, 2013

All Clear In Berlin After 220-Pound WWII-Era Bomb Is Defused

Safe and secure: The bomb after it was defused Wednesday in Berlin.
Tobias Schwarz Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:52 am

From Berlin, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells us that:

An unexploded bomb from World War II was successfully defused Wednesday. Its discovery Tuesday night near the city's main railway station forced trains to divert and snarled traffic in the German capital.

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The Two-Way
3:49 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Job Growth Slowed In March, Survey Signals

The scene at a job fair in Manhattan on March 6.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There were 158,000 more jobs on private employers' payrolls in March than in February, the latest ADP National Employment Report estimates.

The gain was less than economists expected, Reuters reports. They thought ADP would say there had been a 200,000-jobs increase.

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The Two-Way
2:54 am
Wed April 3, 2013

'Fired' Could Be Next F-Word For Rutgers Coach Seen Berating Players

Rutgers men's basketball coach Mike Rice during a game in March.
Chris Szagola CSM/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:38 am

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 11:10 a.m. ET.)

Responding to outrage from around the nation after videotape of men's basketball coach Mike Rice assaulting his players and spewing homophobic slurs at them was aired on ESPN, New Jersey's Rutgers University fired Rice at mid-morning Wednesday.

The 44-year-old "visibly distraught" Rice, WABC in New York reports, told reporters earlier in the day that:

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The Two-Way
1:52 am
Wed April 3, 2013

North Korea's Brinksmanship: Same As Before, More Dangerous Or Both?

Turned back: South Korean trucks returned Wednesday after being barred from entering a joint industrial complex just across the border inside North Korea.
Park Jin-hee Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 5:47 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Louisa Lim and Steve Inskeep discuss North Korea

Wednesday's news from the Korean peninsula, where tensions seem to rise each day:

"North Korea ... barred South Korean workers from entering a jointly run factory park just over the heavily armed border in the North, officials in Seoul said."

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Tue April 2, 2013

James Hansen, NASA Scientist Who Raised Climate Change Alarm, Is Retiring

NASA scientist and climatologist James Hansen in 2009.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

"After nearly half a century of research in planetary and climate science for NASA, James E. Hansen is retiring on Wednesday to pursue his passion for climate activism without the hindrances that come with government employment," The New York Times' Dot Earth blog writes.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Tue April 2, 2013

NRA Task Force Recommends Training School Personnel Who Want To Be Armed

Former Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson holds up his task force's report during a news conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Shawn Thew EPA /LANDOV

A task force launched by the National Rifle Association after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has come back with a report that recommends the creation of programs that give additional weapons training to school resource officers as well as "selected and designated school personnel" who could then carry arms.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Tue April 2, 2013

New York Politicians Accused In Plot To Sell GOP Spot In NYC Mayoral Race

New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D)
New York State Senate Reuters /Landov

New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, was led from his Queens home in handcuffs Tuesday morning after being arrested for allegedly trying to buy his way on to the Republican ticket in this year's New York City mayoral election.

Also arrested Tuesday: City Councilman Daniel Halloran, a Republican, and four other local politicians (also Republicans) from the New York metropolitan area, who stand accused of conspiring with Smith.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Obama Says $100 Million Will Be Invested In Brain-Mapping Initiative

Mauricio Lima AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 8:11 am

Adding some details to an initiative he announced during his latest State of the Union address, President Obama on Tuesday said that federal agencies plan to spend $100 million to jump start an effort to map the human brain. It's research that could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment and prevention of brain disorders.

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The Two-Way
4:47 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Fannie Mae Posts Record Profit; Paid Taxpayers $11.6 Billion In 2012

Fannie Mae's headquarters in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The government-controlled mortgage giant Fannie Mae, which needed a $116 billion federal bailout after the housing bubble burst in 2007, said Tuesday that it earned a record $7.6 billion in fourth-quarter 2012 and $17.2 billion for the year.

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The Two-Way
3:46 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Top Stories: North Korea's Latest Threat; Probe Continues In Texas D.A.'s Death

A deputy sheriff walks down the street where the home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland is located in Forney, Texas. McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were shot dead in their home over the weekend.
Tim Sharp Reuters /Landov
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The Two-Way
3:16 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Atlanta Educators Accused In Cheating Scandal Start Turning Themselves In

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 2:59 pm

Ongoing coverage as 35 educators from Atlanta's school system turn themselves in to face charges related to that city's cheating scandal:

Updated at 7:53 p.m. ET Atlantic Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall Surrenders.

Former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall arrived at the Fulton County jail just after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
2:40 am
Tue April 2, 2013

UConn And Cal Punch First Two Tickets To Women's Final Four

Connecticut center Stefanie Dolson hugs teammate Caroline Doty (No. 5) after the Huskies' win Monday night over Kentucky at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn.
Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant MCT /Landov

The Connecticut women cruised into the Division I basketball championship's Final Four Monday night with an 83-53 win over Kentucky. In the evening's other matchup, California squeaked by Georgia, 65-62.

The Final Four's other two slots will be filled Tuesday night. Notre Dame faces Duke, while Tennessee takes on Louisville. (Check the brackets here. The games are being broadcast by ESPN.)

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The Two-Way
1:46 am
Tue April 2, 2013

North Korea's Latest Threat: It Will Restart Nuclear Reactor

North Korea's KCNA news agency released this photo Monday, saying it shows leader Kim Jong Un (at left) speaking during a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the DPRK in Pyongyang. Hanging above is the image of his father, former leader Kim Jong Il, who died in 2011.
Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 11:22 am

A vow Tuesday from North Korea that it will restart a nuclear reactor that eventually could make about one bomb's worth of plutonium a year further escalates tensions that were already high due to that nation's almost daily threats, NPR's Louisa Lim tells our Newscast Desk.

According to Louisa, who filed her report from Beijing:

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Once Again, Polls Show Attitudes Toward Guns Returning To Pre-shooting Levels

Guns on display at a show in Chantilly, Va., in July 2012.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /Landov

The day after last December's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School we wrote that:

"The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., will surely spur pollsters to ask Americans again about guns, gun ownership, gun laws and the Second Amendment.

"If recent experience is a good guide, public opinion may not shift too much."

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Caroline Kennedy To Be Ambassador To Japan? Talk Grows

Caroline Kennedy in May 2012.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

There's been chatter in Washington for the past month or so about Caroline Kennedy being tapped to be the next ambassador to Japan.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty In Colorado Theater Shootings

Accused Aurora theater gunman James Holmes during a court hearing last month in Centennial, Colo.
R.J. Sangosti/pool Reuters /Landov

Rejecting James Holmes' offer to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence, prosecutors in Colorado announced Monday that they will seek the death penalty for the young man accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 in a mass shooting last July at a movie theater.

As Denver's KUSA-TV writes, "after a week of legal twists and turns ... Holmes could face execution if convicted."

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Texas On 'High Alert' After District Attorney's Killing

In Forney, Texas, Kaufman County Sheriff's deputies are on the lookout after the killings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife in their Forney home.
Mike Fuentes AP
  • From the NPR Newscast early Monday

"Security is high this morning for both elected officials and employees" in Kaufman County, Texas, after the shooting deaths of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthina, KERA reports.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Patent Ruling In India Could Boost Exports Of Cheap Medicine To Third World

A Novartis office in Mumbai, India.
Divyakant Solanki EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 12:17 pm

A decision by India's Supreme Court to reject Novartis AG's bid to patent a version of one cancer drug could lead to more exports of cheap medicine from that country to "poor people across the developing world," the BBC writes.

NPR's Julie McCarthy tells our Newscast Desk that the ruling, announced Monday, ends a six-year legal battle that has been closely watched by pharmaceutical firms, humanitarian aid organizations and generic drug manufacturers.

She adds that:

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The Two-Way
3:40 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Louisville Player's Surgery A Success; Leg Break Shouldn't End His Career

Louisville Cardinals forward Chane Behanan holds up the jersey of injured teammate Kevin Ware after the team's win Sunday over the Duke Blue Devils. Ware broke his leg during the game.
John Sommers II Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 6:55 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Mike Pesca on the weekend's action

"University of Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware underwent successful surgery Sunday night to repair the gruesome open fracture of his right tibia he suffered during the Cardinals' 85-63 win over Duke in the Midwest Regional final," the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Monday morning.

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The Two-Way
2:06 am
Mon April 1, 2013

If Something Smells Funny, Remember What Day It Is

Spaghetti is "harvested" in 1961 from the ceiling of an Italian restaurant in London. A 1957 April Fools Day report by the BBC about spaghetti trees fooled many, and has been famous since.
Keystone/Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 12:59 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': 'Hootie and the Time Travelers'

Google Nose was unveiled Monday morning. It's "the new scentsation in search." Just put your nose to the screen to sample "15M+ sentibytes." Google's also offering new options to its "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, including "I'm Feeling Wonderful" and "I'm Feeling Hungry."

Twitter is out with "Twttr," a version that only lets you use consonants.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Fri March 29, 2013

New Gas Rules Aim To Clean Up Car Emissions

The new rules' would reduce harmful emissions, the EPA says.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 9:23 am

  • NPR's Richard Harris reports

Calling them "sensible standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution, prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses [and lead to] efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks we drive," the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed national rules to reduce the amount of sulfur in gasoline.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Zombies Can Get Away With Murder

So sue me! (A "zombie" who came to protest the government in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in February.)
Jure Makovec AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:52 am

Being one of the living dead would be a big advantage if you're charged with murder.

And you could probably trash your neighbor's property and not be successfully sued.

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The Two-Way
3:53 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Consumer Spending Rose 0.7 Percent In February; Higher Gas Prices A Factor

Retailers are doing all they can to attract consumers, who drive the economy. (File photo from 2012 of a store window in Santa Monica, Calif.)
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 5:30 am

There was a slightly larger-than-expected increase of 0.7 percent in consumer spending from January to February, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

Higher gasoline prices, though, were much of the reason for the rise. According to the bureau, if spending is adjusted for inflation the increase was a more modest 0.3 percent — the same as in January. And higher energy costs were behind most of the inflationary pressures last month.

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The Two-Way
3:23 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Satellite Image Shows 'Incredible' Storm Stretching Across North Atlantic

That's the coast of the U.S. on the left, the tip of Greenland at the top center and the coast of Europe on the top right. Meanwhile, the storm's tail extends down into the Caribbean.
NOAA Satellite and Information Service

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 5:27 am

The same weather system that left a few inches of snow on parts of the eastern U.S. earlier this week is now over the North Atlantic, and Jason Samenow of The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang says he's not sure he's ever "seen a storm this big before."

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The Two-Way
2:28 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Actor Richard Griffiths, Uncle Vernon In 'Harry Potter' Movies, Dies

Actor Richard Griffiths in 2011.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 3:58 am

Richard Griffiths, who millions of Harry Potter movie fans loved and likely despised as the cruel Uncle Vernon Dursley, has died.

The BBC, The Guardian and other news outlets in the U.K. report that he passed away Thursday at the age of 65. There were "complications following heart surgery," the BBC says. The Guardian adds:

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The Two-Way
1:55 am
Fri March 29, 2013

'Cuse Control And 2 Other Things To Say About Basketball Today

Brandon Triche (No. 20) of the Syracuse Orange goes to the hoop against Cody Zeller of the Indiana Hoosiers during their teams' game Thursday night in Washington, D.C. Syracuse won, 61-50.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 3:54 am

Friday morning's cheat sheet about the NCAA's Division I men's basketball tournament (or March Madness, as it's better known):

-- Hoosiers Zoned Out: It's probably never right to say that a Syracuse win is a huge surprise, given the many years of success enjoyed by coach Jim Boeheim's Orange. But the 'Cuse are a No. 4 seed in the tournament's East region. So Thursday night's 61-50 win over No. 1 seed Indiana is worth noting.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu March 28, 2013

'Shame On Us If We've Forgotten' Newtown Victims, Obama Says

Standing in front of mothers whose children have died in shootings, President Obama said Thursday at the White House that if the nation fails to toughen its gun laws, "shame on us."

"Shame on us if we've forgotten" the 20 children and 6 educators killed three months ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and all the others who have died in gun-related violence before and since then, Obama added.

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Thu March 28, 2013

'Arsenal' Found At Newtown Shooter's Home; Read The Police Reports

Dec. 18, 2012: Crime scene tape stretches across the property outside the home where Adam Lanza lived with his mother, Nancy Lanza. Inside, police found weapons and other evidence.
Lucas Jackson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 8:57 am

Police found hundreds of rounds of ammunition, guns, three photos of "what appears to be a deceased human covered with plastic" and other evidence when they searched the Newtown, Conn., home of killer Adam Lanza, according to records released Thursday.

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