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
3:10 am
Wed March 6, 2013

After Chávez: His 'Revolution' Is Likely To Continue

Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gathered late Tuesday at Bolivar Square in Caracas, Venezuela, to mourn him.
David Fernandez EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 6:29 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Steve Inskeep speaks with journalist Jon Lee Anderson
  • From 'Morning Edition': Juan Forero speaks with Renee Montagne

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolás Maduro "controls the purse strings" and his opponents have been looking weak, NPR's Juan Forero said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Tue March 5, 2013

North Korea Threatens To Nullify Armistice; What Did That 1953 Pact Say?

A North Korean (right) and a South Korean soldier facing each other at the Panmunjom truce village in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas in Paju, about 30 miles north of Seoul. (2011 file photo.)
Kim Kyung-Hoon Reuters /Landov

While diplomats move ahead at the United Nations on a package of new sanctions aimed at North Korea in another effort to convince that Stalinist state to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, there's also this news:

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Pilot Reports Seeing Drone In Sky Near JFK

A jet taking off from JFK Airport in New York City last month. On Monday, a pilot reported seeing a drone in the air near the airport.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The pilot of an Alitalia pilot flying into New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport told controllers Monday afternoon that he had spotted "a drone aircraft" 1,500 feet high in the sky and approximately 5 miles west of the airport.

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Tue March 5, 2013

14,253.77: Dow Rallies, Finishing In Record Territory

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week.
Brendan McDermid Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 12:36 pm

Update at 4:09 p.m. ET. A New Record:

The Dow Industrials finished in record territory today. Gaining 89 points, it closed at 14,253.77, its highest level since Oct. 9,2007.

That is, the Dow has recovered all the losses it suffered during the Great Recession.

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The Two-Way
4:34 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Man Linked To Hit-And-Run Deaths Of Parents And Baby Has Long Rap Sheet

Julio Acevedo, the suspect in a car crash that killed a couple and later the baby that the pregnant mother was carrying, in an undated New York Police Department photo.
Reuters /Landov

The man who authorities want to question about Sunday's hit-and-run car crash in Brooklyn that killed a young couple and the baby that the 21-year-old pregnant mother was carrying has "a history of violence and a prior drunken driving arrest," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
3:38 am
Tue March 5, 2013

At The Vatican, 'No Rush' To Set Conclave; And A Fake Bishop Tries To Get In

That's not a real bishop on the left: A man later identified as Ralph Napierski of Germany (at left) posed with Cardinal Sergio Sebiastiana and others on Monday at the Vatican. Napierski was an imposter. He was later escorted from the area by Swiss Guards.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:17 am

Roman Catholic cardinals are in "no rush" to set the date for the start of their conclave that will choose the next pope, a Vatican spokesman told reporters Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Reports: Snipers Deployed To Kill Tehran's Cat-Sized Rats

Rats aren't only problem in Tehran. These were running free over the weekend in Luton, England.
Barcroft Media Barcroft Media /Landov

Rats have been a problem for many years in Tehran. As the BBC reported in 2000, officials back then launched a poison control program that they hoped would kill many of the estimated 25 million rats in the city.

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Obama Taps Nominees For EPA, Budget Office And Energy Department

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 10:36 am

Calling them "three outstanding individuals" who will help him tackle some tough problems, President Obama on Monday morning nominated:

-- Gina McCarthy, currently an assistant administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, to lead that agency. She would succeed the departed Lisa Jackson.

-- Ernest Moniz to be the next secretary of energy, replacing Steven Chu, who like Jackson decided not to stay for Obama's second term. Moniz is director of MIT's Energy Initiative and is a former undersecretary at the department.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Today's 'Harlem Shake' Report: 15 Aussie Miners Fired; 'The Simpsons' Joins In

The "Harlem Shake" has certainly gone global. Sunday in Lausanne, Switzerland, these folks joined in.
Christian Brun EPA /LANDOV

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The Two-Way
5:24 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Queen Elizabeth II Leaves Hospital

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as she left King Edward VII hospital in London on Monday.
Bogdan Maran EPA /LANDOV

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II was just seen leaving London's King Edward VII hospital, where she had been admitted over the weekend to be treated for symptoms of gastroenteritis.

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The Two-Way
4:08 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Prayers, Oaths Of Secrecy As Catholic Cardinals Meet

Some of the cardinals as they arrived for today's meeting in Vatican City.
Claudio Peri EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 6:35 am

As they begin the process that will lead to selection of the next pope, the Roman Catholic Church's cardinals must first decide just when to officially start deciding, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reminds us from Rome this morning.

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The Two-Way
3:31 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Heartbreak In NYC: Parents Die In Crash; Baby Is Delivered But Later Dies

Mourners lined the street Sunday outside a synagogue in Brooklyn where funeral services were held for Raizy and Nathan Glauber.
Verena Dobnik AP

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 6:04 am

A young couple head to a hospital because the wife, who is about seven months pregnant, isn't feeling well. Then, tragedy strikes.

It's a heartbreaking story that is making headlines in New York City.

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The Two-Way
2:40 am
Mon March 4, 2013

At Florida Sinkhole, Demolition Continues

In Seffner, Fla., on Sunday, demolition crews and firefighters watched as a crane operator worked to bring down the home where a man was sucked into a sinkhole last week.
Scott Audette Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 5:54 am

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Jedi? Vulcan? Mind Meld? Mind Trick? What Was Obama Thinking?

That's a light saber, sir, not a phaser. (President Obama in September 2009, during a White House event promoting Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.)
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 3:53 pm

He can't do "a Jedi mind meld" with Republicans and get them to see his way about taxes and spending, President Obama said Friday.

About which CBS News' Mark Knoller immediately tweeted:

"Pres Obama Mixed Metaphor of the Day: The 'mind meld' is not a Jedi tool from Star Wars, but a Vulcan ability from Star Trek."

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Fri March 1, 2013

No Cyanide Detected In Chicago Lottery Winner's Remains

Urooj Khan, with his winning lottery ticket. Not long after this photo was taken, he was dead.
AP

The question of whodunit remains unanswered in the case of a Chicago lottery winner who died last July with a lethal amount of cyanide in his blood.

Cook County Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Cina said Friday that tests on the remains of Urooj Khan did not detect cyanide in tissues or what remains of his digestive system.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Decrying 'Dumb, Arbitrary Cuts,' Obama Says 'We Will Get Through This'

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 9:23 am

"Washington sure isn't making it easy" for the American people and the American economy, President Obama told reporters late Friday morning as he and other lawmakers failed to reach a deal to avert $85 billion worth of automatic "sequester" spending cuts due to start at the end of the day.

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Fri March 1, 2013

As Cardinals Vet Possible Popes, Names May Emerge

Roman Catholic cardinals at the Vatican on Thursday, as Pope Benedict XVI bid them goodbye. Now they must turn to choosing his successor.
Osservatore Romano Reuters /Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': Cokie Roberts reports from Rome

Will there be any clues in coming days and weeks about which cardinal will replace the now-departed Pope Benedict XVI?

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The Two-Way
4:06 am
Fri March 1, 2013

'Harlem Shake' On A Plane Has FAA Investigating; See The Video

Doing the Harlem Shake aboard a Frontier Airlines flight has the FAA asking questions.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 4:32 am

Shakes on a plane aren't all that funny to the Federal Aviation Administration.

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The Two-Way
3:30 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Sinkhole Swallows Sleeping Man In Florida

An engineer surveys in front of the home where a sinkhole opened up late Thursday near Tampa, Fla. A man who had been in one of the home's bedrooms screamed for help and disappeared. It's feared he died.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 9:39 am

Update at 2:30 p.m. ET. Rescue Hopes Dim Further:

"Hopes for the rescue of a man sucked into a sinkhole were dimming Friday as authorities tried to determine whether the ground nearby was stable enough for a rescue operation," the Tampa Bay Times writes.

The Times also has a harrowing account from Jeremy Bush, who survived, of his brother Jeffrey's disappearance into the sinkhole:

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The Two-Way
2:44 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Deja Vu All Over Again As 'Sequester' Deadline Looms

The White House: When night falls, it looks like the "sequester" will arrive.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:55 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Ari Shapiro reports

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET. As Expected, No Deal:

President Obama and Congressional leaders met at the White House Friday morning and, just as pundits predicted, they could not reach a deal to avert the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to begin at the end of the day. We've posted on that news:

Decrying 'Dumb, Arbitrary Cuts,' Obama Says 'We Will Get Through This'

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Thu February 28, 2013

'I Love Him,' Dennis Rodman Says Of North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, seated next to former NBA star Dennis Rodman (in black cap), at a basketball game Thursday in Pyongyang.
VICE media

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 2:55 am

Update at 7:45 a.m. ET, March 1. Kims Are "Great Leaders," Rodman Says:

On his way home Friday from North Korea, former NBA star Dennis Rodman said Kim Jong Un, his father and grandfather have been "great leaders." According to The Associated Press, Rodman also said of the young North Korean leader that "he's proud, his country likes him — not like him, love him, love him. ... Guess what, I love him. The guy's really awesome."

Our original post — Dennis Rodman To Kim Jong Un: 'You Have A Friend For Life':

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Chrysler Plans To Add 1,250 Jobs, Invest $374 Million In Indiana

Chrysler's 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press MCT /Landov

There's major business news in Indiana today:

"Chrysler will hire 1,250 new workers and spend $374 million to upgrade transmission plants in central Indiana — the only place in North America where the automaker makes transmissions," the Detroit Free Press reports from Kokomo.

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The Two-Way
4:50 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Milwaukee Finds Its Missing Link; 'Guido The Racing Italian Sausage' Turns Up

Guido the Racing Italian Sausage in action during Game Two of the National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 1:30 pm

Team mascots across the nation are heaving exaggerated sighs of relief this morning.

The front-page news in Milwaukee is that "Guido, the Klement's racing Italian sausage costume last seen a couple weeks ago adorning a bar hopper in Cedarburg, was returned Wednesday night."

According to the Journal Sentinel:

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The Two-Way
3:47 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Better Than Nothing? GDP Revised From Slight Drop To Slight Gain

It's not much of a change, but at least it's in the right direction.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning that it now thinks the economy grew at a 0.1 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2012. A month ago, BEA thought GDP shrank at a 0.1 percent annual rate in those last three months of the year.

Obviously, in an economy that now produces nearly $16 trillion worth of goods and services annually, a 0.2 percentage point revision is basically a blip.

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The Two-Way
3:29 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Countdown To The Sequester: 3 More 'Should-Read' Stories

Will the clouds part, the sun shine and a sequester solution be found?
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov
  • NPR's Tamara Keith on where things stand
  • NPR's Brian Naylor on the sequester and aviation safety
  • KCUR's Frank Morris on meat inspections

Friday's deadline looms, and as we heard earlier today on Morning Edition: "Oh, it's gonna happen."

The "it" is sequestration — $85 billion worth of across-the-board federal spending cuts that are due to start kicking in at the end of Friday unless Republican and Democratic leaders somehow bridge their differences.

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The Two-Way
2:40 am
Thu February 28, 2013

U.S. To Give Syrian Opposition $60 Million More In Non-Lethal Aid, Kerry Says

Secretary of State John Kerry during a news conference Thursday in Rome.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

The Obama administration will ask Congress for an additional $60 million in aid to help the Syrian opposition council provide basic goods and services in areas under rebel control, Secretary of State John Kerry announced Thursday in Rome.

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The Two-Way
2:13 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Benedict's Time Is Over; He's No Longer The Pope

A final blessing: Pope Benedict XVI as he blessed those gathered outside his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo on Thursday. He's not expected to make any more public appearances.
Tony Gentile Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 9:11 am

  • Sylvia Poggioli on 'Morning Editon'

(We last updated the top of this post at 2 p.m. ET.)

Precisely on time, under dark skies but with the lights of cameras from news outlets around the world illuminating the scene, Swiss Guards on Thursday closed the doors of the palazzo at Castel Gandolfo south of Rome — marking the official end of Pope Benedict XVI's time as head of the Roman Catholic Church.

For the first time in about 600 years, a pope has voluntarily stepped down. His final moment as leader of the church came at 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET).

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Picking A Pope? Try The 'Sweet Sistine' Bracket Challenge

The "sweet sistine" brackets.
Religion News Service

Next month brings "March madness" for fans of college basketball.

It's also going to bring Roman Catholic cardinals together to choose a new pope.

Which means, according to Religion News Service, it's time to "make your picks in the Vatican's Sweet Sistine brackets!"

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The Two-Way
5:17 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Hagel Sworn In As Defense Secretary

New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, as he was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Pentagon. His wife, Lilibet, held the Bible. Michael L. Rhodes, the Pentagon's director of administration and management, administered the oath.
MC1 Chad J. McNeeley Office of the Secretary of Defense

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:18 am

After a somewhat stormy debate in the Senate over his confirmation, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Pentagon and took over as secretary of defense.

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