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
2:17 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Three Kurdish Activists Found Dead In Paris; 'Without Doubt An Execution'

An undated of Sakine Cansiz, one of three Kurdish activists found shot to death today in Paris.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 7:10 am

Three Kurdish women, one of them a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that seeks autonomy for Kurds in Turkey, were found shot to death today in Paris.

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Signature? Doodle? Check How A Treasury Secretary Lew Might Sign Your Dollars

Jacob "Jack" Lew's signature, on the 2012 "Mid-Session Review" of the federal budget. He was director of the Office of Management and Budget at the time.
WhiteHouse.gov

Treasury secretaries get to see their signatures on the nation's currency.

With word that President Obama wants to nominate his chief of staff, Jacob "Jack" Lew," to that post, lots of sites are taking a look at his rather unique signature.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Colorado Shooting Hearing Ends With Chilling Photos, No Defense Witnesses

James Holmes in a photo from the Arapahoe County (Colo.) Sheriff's Office.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 1:31 pm

In the weeks before the attack, James Holmes took photos of the Colorado movie theater where 12 people were killed and dozens more wounded in last summer's mass shooting, prosecutors revealed Wednesday at a court hearing in Colorado.

They also introduced photos he took on the night of the midnight massacre, the Denver Post reports:

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Gun Show Will Go On In N.Y. Town Despite Post-Sandy Hook Opposition

The crowd was large at a March 2012 gun show in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Ed Burke Courtesy of The Saratogian

"City Center officials announced Wednesday that this weekend's Saratoga Arms Fair will go on as scheduled, despite pleas from opponents who want the event canceled," the local Saratogian reports.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Reports: Obama Has Settled On Jack Lew, His Chief Of Staff, For Treasury

Jack Lew, current White House chief of staff. He's likely to be the nominee for treasury secretary.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:46 am

Update: At 6 a.m. ET. Jan. 10, White House Announcement:

The White House has officially confirmed that President Obama will nominate his chief of staff, Jacob "Jack" Lew, to be the next Treasury secretary. According to a statement, the announcement is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET today (Thursday).

NPR's Scott Horsley had more about the nomination on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
5:05 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Many Injured When Ferry Hits Pier In Lower Manhattan

An injured person is moved to an ambulance following a ferry accident during rush hour in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday. At least 50 people were injured, according to news reports. The ferry ran into a pier, causing a large gash on its front side.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 11:54 am

"A commuter ferry had a hard landing when it pulled into a Lower Manhattan pier, injuring at least 53 people Monday morning," WABC-TV is reporting.

At least one person suffered a serious head injury, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
4:36 am
Wed January 9, 2013

'Zorbing' Death Brings Call For Safety Rules; Fatal Ride Captured On Video

A screen image from video of the "zorb" as it began rolling down a mountain in southern Russia last week. One of the two men inside would die from injuries received after it careened into a ravine.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 5:02 am

Video of two Russian men climbing into an inflatable ball and rolling down a Russian mountain on a ride that would take them over a cliff, into a ravine, on to a frozen lake and cause one of the men's death, is getting a lot of views today.

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The Two-Way
3:10 am
Wed January 9, 2013

AIG Would Be 'Hard Pressed' To Join Lawsuit Over Its Federal Bailout

Manhattan: The headquarters of American International Group Inc. (AIG).
Shen Hong Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 12:00 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition'

Update at 4:50 p.m. ET. AIG Board Confirms Its Stance:

AIG's board of directors say they've rejected calls by Starr International Company to contest part of the federal rescue of AIG in September of 2008.

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The Two-Way
2:30 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Talk Of Delaying Brennan Nomination 'Unfortunate,' White House Says

John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to be the next CIA director.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:49 am

While the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be secretary of defense has drawn opposition from groups who question his views on policy toward Israel and Iran, the nomination of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be CIA director may be delayed by senators who want to know more about last September's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.:

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Tue January 8, 2013

NRA Accepts Biden's Invitation To Meet

Vice President Biden.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

"We are sending a rep to hear what they have to say," National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam says of the organization's decision to accept an invitation from the task force Vice President Biden is leading — the group that's studying gun laws and related issues in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Con

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Tue January 8, 2013

911 Calls Played And Traps In Holmes' Apartment Described In Colo. Court

A courtroom sketch of James Holmes as he was brought into a courtroom in Centennial, Colo., this week.
Bill Robles Reuters /Landov

On Day 2 of the preliminary hearing for James Holmes, who is charged with the murders of 12 people and wounding of dozens at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., last summer:

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Tue January 8, 2013

It's In The Books: 2012 Was Warmest Year On Record For Lower 48 States

July 22, 2012: In Baltimore, John Rose tried to keep cool during one of the year's heat waves.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 9:37 am

Last year "marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States," the National Climatic Data Center just confirmed.

This probably won't surprise many, but "a record warm spring, second-warmest summer, fourth-warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn" combined to make the year's average temperature 55.3°F.

That's "3.2°F above the 20th century average, and 1.0°F above 1998, the previous warmest year."

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Must-See Or Must-Avoid TV? Alex Jones Rails On Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan, left, and Alex Jones on Monday night.
CNN.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 10:18 am

There's really not much we need to add regarding Monday night's "discussion" about guns and gun control on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight. Everyone's perfectly capable of forming their own opinions.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Tue January 8, 2013

A Life Examined: Who Was The Victim So Brutally Murdered In India?

At a vigil last week in Calcutta, India, the victim was remembered and calls were made for new laws to protect women.
Dibyangshu Sarkar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 1:37 pm

Her death has caused outrage in India and around the world.

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The Two-Way
5:05 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Gays Separated From Military Since Late '04 To Get Full Discharge Pay

Dec. 21, 2011: Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta, left, kisses her girlfriend of two years, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Va. Gaeta's ship had returned from 80 days at sea. Their "first kiss" that day was a first of its kind for the Navy.
Brian J. Clark The Virginian-Pilot/AP

Gays who were forced to leave the U.S. military before 2011's repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy were often given honorable discharges — but were only granted about half of the discharge pay that otherwise would have been due to them.

After the settlement Monday of a class action lawsuit brought in New Mexico, about 181 such men and women will be getting the money that was withheld.

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The Two-Way
4:20 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Mystery: How Did Million Dollar Lottery Winner End Up Dead From Cyanide?

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

One day after the check was issued, million dollar lottery winner Urooj Khan was dead.

The initial report from the Cook County (Ill.) Medical Examiner's office cited natural causes.

But now, authorities say, they've determined that Khan's July 20 death was due to cyanide poisoning. So Chicago police are back on the case.

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The Two-Way
3:38 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Richard Ben Cramer, Winner Of Pulitzer Prize And Masterful Reporter, Dies

Richard Ben Cramer
Bill Marr Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 8:22 am

Richard Ben Cramer, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his reporting from the Middle East for the Philadelphia Inquirer and went on to write critically acclaimed books and magazine pieces, has died.

The Inquirer reports that Cramer, who was 62, "died Monday ... of lung cancer at the Johns Hopkins [Medical Institutions] in Baltimore."

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The Two-Way
3:10 am
Tue January 8, 2013

'Enough,' Says Giffords As She Launches Campaign For New Gun Laws

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., during her interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer.
ABCNews.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:22 am

When children are gunned down in their classrooms, as happened last month in Newtown, Conn., it's time to say "enough," former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., tells ABC News.

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The Two-Way
2:30 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Benghazi Attack: Only Man Who Was In Custody Is Now Free, Lawyer Says

A burned vehicle outside the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:22 am

Ali Harzi, the only person who had been known to be in custody in connection with last September's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, has been released by authorities in his native Tunisia, the suspect's lawyer tell The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Mon January 7, 2013

'Gun Appreciation Day' Is Jan. 19, Conservative Groups Declare

At the Great Southern Gun and Knife Show in Birmingham, Ala., over the weekend, rows of weapons drew a record crowd.
Joe Songer AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 10:45 am

Saying they're following the example of last year's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, a coalition of "gun rights" activists announced today that they're calling on like-minded Americans to visit gun stores, gun ranges and gun shows on Jan. 19 in a show of unity they're calling "Gun Appreciation Day."

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Kilograms With Weight Problems May Get High-Tech Cleanings

Back in 2009, as Morning Edition reported, some scientists were worried that the small metal cylinder used as the world's standard for what a kilogram should be might be losing weight.

But there were also those who thought the problem might have nothing to do with that carefully sealed away cylinder in Paris — that the real problem might be that the 40 replicas sent around the world are gaining weight.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Obama Nominates Hagel For Defense, Brennan For CIA

The nominees: John Brennan (left), who is President Obama's choice to head the CIA; and former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who the president has asked to be secretary of defense.
STAFF Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:16 am

  • NPR coverage of the Hagel/Brennan nomination announcements

President Obama this afternoon nominated former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

In those two, the president said, he has chosen men with experience in the field and who "understand the consequences of decisions we make in this town" on the men and women who serve America around the world,

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Secretary Clinton Back At Work

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (at right, in front) in a photo released today (Jan 7, 2013) by the State Department. A spokesman says it was taken around 9:15 a.m. ET at a meeting with the department's assistant secretaries.
State Department

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 7:49 am

After nearly a month of health problems that culminated with a stay in a New York City hospital for treatment of a blood clot in a vein between her brain and her skull, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was back in her office Monday morning.

The State Department released a photo of the 65-year-old, soon-to-be-retired Clinton chairing a weekly meeting of assistant secretaries.

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Big Banks Agree To Pay $8.5 Billion To Settle Foreclosure-Abuse Claims

April 2011: A foreclosure sign in front of a home in Richmond, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 1:26 pm

Ten of the nation's major mortgage servicing companies, including household names such as Bank of America and Citibank, have agreed to pay $8.5 billion to resolve claims that they abused some homeowners when they foreclosed on mortgages during the recent housing crisis, the Federal Reserve and the Comptroller of the Currency announced late Monday morning.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Lee Harvey Oswald's Apartment Building Is Coming Down, Dallas Declares

Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 23, 1963, after his arrest for President Kennedy's assassination. The next day, Oswald was shot and killed as he was being moved from a Dallas police station to the local county jail.
dpa /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 12:25 pm

After more than a year of legal wrangling, the city of Dallas has apparently decided enough is enough.

It is sending contractors to an apartment building once lived in by presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald to tear the dilapidated structure down.

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The Two-Way
3:50 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Top Stories: CIA Nomination; Aurora Shooting Hearing; Football

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III reinjured his right knee during Sunday's playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. Washington lost 24-14.
Al Bello Getty Images

Good morning.

Our first two headlines of the day were on news that broke this morning:

-- Counterterrorism Adviser Brennan To Be Tapped For CIA.

-- Bank Of America To Pay Fannie Mae $3.6B, Buy Back $6.75B In Mortgages.

Other stories making headlines:

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The Two-Way
3:39 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Bank Of America To Pay Fannie Mae $3.6B, Buy Back $6.75B In Mortgages

Bank of America's corporate center in Charlotte, N.C.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:43 am

Bank of America announced this morning that it will pay the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) $3.6 billion in cash and will buy back $6.75 billion worth of mortgages to resolve claims related to mortgage-backed securities sold to Fannie Mae by the bank and Countrywide Financial Corp. (which BofA acquired in 2008.

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The Two-Way
2:42 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Counterterrorism Adviser Brennan To Be Tapped For CIA

John Brennan, who President Obama wants to lead the CIA.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:46 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman on the Hagel nomination

President Obama will announce today that he plans to nominate John Brennan to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, an administration official with knowledge of the decision tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Now You Don't See Them, Now You Do: Pelosi Defends Doctored Photo

The four lawmakers who were, but weren't, there at the time. (We put the oval around them to make them easier to see.)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi's Facebook page

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:12 am

Calling it a "historic record of who the Democratic women of Congress are," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today defended the move by her office to alter a photo taken Thursday on the steps of the Capitol so that four female lawmakers who were late could be "seen" with their colleagues.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri January 4, 2013

It's Official: Electoral Votes Are Counted; Obama & Biden Won

An image of New York's Electoral College certificate.
Electoral College

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET: The counting is done and as expected, President Obama and Vice President Biden collected all 332 Electoral College votes they earned on Election Day. Their Republican opponents, Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, received 206 votes each.

Since it takes 270 Electoral College votes to be elected, the president and vice president have indeed been returned to office.

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