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
5:09 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Living On Food Stamps: Newark Mayor Cory Booker Starts Challenge Today

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 4:02 am

A campaign to raise awareness about the struggles of low-income Americans who depend on food stamps gets a high-profile plug today as Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J., begins a week of living on $30 worth of food.

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The Two-Way
4:17 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Top Stories: Iran Claims Drone Capture; Typhoon Bears Down On Philippines

Philippine Air Force troops use a rubber boat to evacuate residents from floods in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines earlier today (Dec. 4).
Bobby Lagsa EPA /LANDOV
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The Two-Way
3:02 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Report: Benghazi 'Talking Points' Watered Down By CIA, Not White House

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Allison Joyce Reuters /Landov

"A highly cautious, bureaucratic process that had the effect of watering down the U.S.'s own intelligence" led to the controversial "talking points" that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used when she spoke about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

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The Two-Way
2:22 am
Tue December 4, 2012

U.S. Disputes Iran's Claim To Have Captured Drone

A screen image from the video released by Iranian TV of what the military there claims is a captured U.S. drone.
Press TV

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 8:50 am

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Bridget Hughes Calls Off Search For Her Hat

Bridget Hughes and her hat, before it went missing.
Facebook.com

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 10:15 am

The story of Bridget Hughes' missing hat struck a chord with many. It was the floppy hat her mom wore years ago when she had breast cancer and was having chemotherapy. Mom died when Bridget, now a volunteer preschool teacher in New Mexico, was seven.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Mon December 3, 2012

'Three Cups Of Tea' Co-Author Took Own Life, Medical Examiner Says

Viking Press

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 10:51 am

David Oliver Relin, a journalist who had reported from around the world before gaining fame — and getting mired in controversy — as co-author of the best-selling Three Cups of Tea, took his own life when he died on Nov. 15 in Oregon, The New York Times reports.

It got that word from Relin's family.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge, Is Pregnant

April 29, 2011: Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after their wedding.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 8:23 am

Here's the news you've been waiting for, royal watchers:

"The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby, St James's Palace has announced." (BBC News)

That would be Catherine, wife of Prince William (the Duke of Cambridge). They, of course, are the potential future king and queen.

The BBC adds that:

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The Two-Way
4:20 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Murdoch's News Corp. Shuts Down 'The Daily'

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch in February 2011, when The Daily was launched. Now, it's in shutdown mode.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:01 am

Saying that "we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term," News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch said this morning that The Daily will "cease standalone publication" on Dec. 15.

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The Two-Way
3:32 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Top Stories: 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks Continue; Clinton Warns Syria

Hundreds of supporters of Egypt's president Mohammed Morsi protested outside a top Egyptian court Sunday in Cairo.
Mahmoud Khaled AFP/Getty Images
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The Two-Way
3:02 am
Mon December 3, 2012

His Holiness Comes To Twitter: Pope Benedict Is '@Pontifex'

Pope Benedict XVI. He'll be spreading the word on Twitter.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 7:29 am

Starting Dec. 12, the Vatican says, Pope Benedict XVI will be on Twitter to answer questions about faith.

His Holiness will be posting as @Pontifex.

"The handle is a good one. It means 'pope' and it also means 'bridge builder'," Greg Burke, senior media adviser to the Vatican, tells Reuters.

Can he say a lot in 140 characters or less?

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The Two-Way
2:18 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Homeless Man Given Boots By NYC Police Officer Chooses To Go Barefoot Again

The photo that touched many hearts: New York City Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo gives a shoeless man a pair of boots on a frigid night last month. That man was later identified as 54-year-old Jeffrey Hillman.
Jennifer Foster NYPD via Facebook

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:34 am

"Those shoes are hidden. They are worth a lot of money."

With those few words, 54-year-old Jeffrey Hillman says a lot.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Say It Ain't So, Joe: Bazooka Bubble Gum Is Killing Its Tiny Comics

The latest "comic of the week" on Bazooka Bubble Gum's Facebook page.
Bazooka Bubble Gum

Many of us are still not over the demise of Twinkies. Now there's this.

Bazooka Bubble Gum is redoing is packaging and, says The New York Times:

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Guitarist Mickey Baker Dies; Had Hits In The '50s, Played On Hundreds Of Records

Mickey Baker in Copenhagen in 1975.
Jan Persson Redferns

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 7:48 am

  • A bit of "Love Is Strange"

Mickey Baker, one half of the hit-making duo Mickey and Sylvia in the late '50s and an influential guitarist whose work can be heard on hundreds of records, has died at his home near Toulouse, France.

He was 87.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Fri November 30, 2012

'Anonymous' Vows To Shut Down Syrian Government Websites

Anonymous takes aim at Assad.
https://twitter.com/YourAnonNews

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 8:43 am

The news that someone has shut off the Internet (and cellphone service) across Syria has led Anonymous to vow it will "shut down Syrian government websites around the world," as Reuters' Anthony DeRosa puts it.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Fri November 30, 2012

At Least One Powerball Winner To Be ID'd Today

A Powerball lottery ticket sits in the machine at the 4 Sons Food Store and Chevron gas station which sold one of two winning Powerball lottery tickets in Fountain Hills, Ariz.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 10:17 am

"I think I am having a heart attack. I think we just won the lottery!"

That's what 51-year-old Cindy Hill of Dearborn, Mo., says she told her husband, Mark, Thursday morning after figuring out that she had, indeed, bought one of the two winning Powerball tickets. Her family can now collect more than $192 million (before taxes) by choosing the game's "cash option."

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The Two-Way
4:55 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Train Derails Near Philadelphia, Some Chemicals Reportedly Spilled

The scene of the derailment today in Paulsboro, N.J., from above.
NBC10 Philadephia

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 5:54 am

There's a developing story this morning from Paulsboro, N.J., south and across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, where several railroad tank cars have derailed and fallen into a creek after a bridge collapse.

It's being reported that the cars were transporting vinyl chloride, which could ignite and would be highly irritating if breathed in. There are local reports of about 18 people being treated for breathing problems.

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The Two-Way
4:12 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Consumer Spending Dipped In October; Superstorm Sandy Blamed

Nov. 17: A sign in a Staten Island storefront tells a lot. It was still closed because of the damage done by Superstorm Sandy in late October.
Mario Tama Getty Images

The economic effects of Superstorm Sandy continue to be felt. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, consumer spending edged down 0.2 percent in October from September, and personal income dipped 0.1 percent.

As Bloomberg News says, "Sandy kept some in the Northeast from getting to work or from shopping at malls and car dealerships."

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The Two-Way
3:53 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Today's Three Stories To Read About The 'Fiscal Cliff'

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as he arrived at the Capitol on Thursday for negotiations with congressional leaders.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The White House and congressional leaders continue to talk about taxes, spending cuts and how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to go into effect.

As NPR and others cover the story, we'll try to to point to interesting reports and analyses. Here are three of the latest.

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The Two-Way
3:10 am
Fri November 30, 2012

In Egypt: Draft Of Constitution OK'd; Protesters Return To Tahrir Square

A protester shouts early Friday in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 3:25 am

Protesters have streamed into Cairo's Tahrir Square again today, correspondent Merrit Kennedy tells our Newscast Desk.

She says they're there both to demonstrate again against President Mohammed Morsi's decree giving himself sweeping new powers and to express concern about a draft constitution passed early today by Egypt's constitutional assembly.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Former NBC Chief Jeff Zucker Taking Over At CNN

Jeff Zucker, who's going to CNN.
Robert Pitts Landov

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 11:56 am

"Veteran news producer and former NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker will become the president of CNN Worldwide in January," CNN confirmed earlier today.

The Associated Press writes that:

"Zucker will be based in New York and report to Phil Kent, who runs all of the Turner networks for parent company Time Warner.

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Does Anybody Have More Fun Than Joe Biden? Check These Photos

"No, this really is Joe Biden!" (He borrowed a Costco employee's phone to say hello to someone.)
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 1:46 pm

Yes, he talked about the negotiations over taxes and spending cuts. Yes, it was a holiday photo op. But what really struck us about Vice President Joe Biden's this morning to Washington, D.C.'s first Costco store was how, once again, he just seems to have so much fun.

We think a picture gallery is in order.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Thu November 29, 2012

In Syria: Battle Rages Outside Damascus Airport, Internet Goes Down

CIA World Factbook

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:39 pm

Syria's Internet services went down all across the country on Thursday and heavy fighting was reported near the airport in the capital Damascus, which led a number of airlines to suspend flights.

These developments come after a series of rebel victories in recent days and suggest that President Bashar Assad's government is facing increased pressure from the rebels in an uprising now 20 months old.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Former President George H.W. Bush In Hospital

Former President George H.W. Bush in September at the Ryder Cup golf match in Medinah, Ill.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

"Former President George H.W. Bush remains in a Houston hospital, where he has been for seven days as doctors battle a lingering cough that has drawn concern," the Houston Chronicle writes.

But Bush's chief of staff, Jean Becker, tells the newspaper that the former president, now 88, has bronchitis and that it's expected he'll be released from Methodist Hospital this coming weekend.

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin Update: Zimmerman's Defense Fund Is Offering His Autograph

The signed card that donors will get from George Zimmerman.
GZDefenseFund.com

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 6:50 am

"Thank You Cards ... personally signed by George," are now going to be sent to those who donate money to the man facing second-degree murder charges for the Feb. 26 shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Webcast: NPR & Wilson Center Host National Conversation On Foreign Policy

Flags from nations around the world fly outside the U.N. building in New York City. The challenges facing President Obama's foreign policy team will be among the topics of today's national conversation, hosted by Talk of the Nation and the Wilson Center.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 8:53 am

NPR's Talk of the Nation and the Wilson Center, a public policy institute in Washington, D.C., are teaming up Thursday afternoon for a "national conversation" webcast and broadcast.

The topics for discussion, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET:

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The Two-Way
4:24 am
Thu November 29, 2012

U.K. Inquiry: News Media 'Wreaked Havoc,' New Watchdog Needed

Britain's tabloids ruined many lives, a judge concludes. Now, he's recommending more oversight.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Saying that the British news media have "caused real hardship and, on occasion, wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people whose rights and liberties have been disdained," the judge appointed to sort out the mess after the U.K.'s tabloid scandal has recommended creation of an independent watchdog. It would be charged with "promoting high standards of journalism and protecting the rights of individuals."

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The Two-Way
3:48 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Third-Quarter Economic Growth Revised Upward

Better than expected: Economic growth was higher in the third quarter than first thought. Here, a worker at a Ford plant in Michigan plugs a batter into a Ford C-MAX plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says. That's a sharp upward revision in its estimate of gross domestic product growth from mid-summer into the fall. In its first look at the quarter's GDP, the agency estimated growth at a 2 percent annual rate.

According to BEA, consumer spending, inventory investment, exports and federal spending all contributed to growth from July 1 through Sept. 30.

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The Two-Way
3:15 am
Thu November 29, 2012

What Will A U.N. Upgrade Mean For Palestinians?

In the southern West Bank city of Hebron today, supporters of Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas gathered in anticipation of today's vote at the U.N.
Hazem Bader AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 3:39 am

  • NPR's Philip Reeves, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

At the United Nations this afternoon, the General Assembly is expected to overwhelmingly approve a resolution that would shift the status of Palestinians from that of a "non-member observer entity" to a "non-member observer state."

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The Two-Way
2:30 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Winning Powerball Tickets Sold In Arizona And Missouri; Who Bought Them?

Ticket sales soared as the jackpot grew.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 9:15 am

After all the hype and hoopla, millions of Americans (including us) are waking up this morning to learn that they aren't sudden millionaires.

Yes, there were winning tickets sold for Wednesday night's $580 million Powerball jackpot.

But there were only two tickets that correctly matched the numbers drawn: 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and Powerball of 6.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Economy Is Growing At A 'Measured Pace,' Federal Reserve Says

Shoppers at a Target store in Westbury, N.Y., last week. Consumer spending drives the economy. And the holiday shopping season is crucial for retailers.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

The nation's economy "expanded at a measured pace" in recent weeks, the Federal Reserve Board reports in its latest anecdotal look at how things are going across the U.S.

The central bank's Beige Book review of conditions in its 12 bank districts finds that:

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