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
8:29 am
Wed November 28, 2012

This Just In: No One Was Shot Or Stabbed Monday In New York City

At least for one day and night, the city that never sleeps was peaceful.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters /Landov

Police officials in New York City tell the Daily News that they can't remember the last time this happened:

"Not a single person was reported shot, stabbed or slashed" in the Big Apple on Monday.

"Nice way to start the week," Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne told the newspaper.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Romney To Have Lunch With Obama At The White House Thursday

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney the last time they got together, at their Oct. 22 presidential debate in Boca Raton, Fla.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:55 am

The 2012 presidential contenders will break bread at the White House on Thursday.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney "will have a private lunch at the White House with President Obama in the Private Dining Room," the White House says in a statement sent to reporters. "It will be the first opportunity they have had to visit since the election. There will be no press coverage of the meeting."

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Wed November 28, 2012

New Home Sales Dipped A Bit In October, But Were Well Above Year Before

A sold sign at a new home site in Danville, Calif., earlier this year.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Sales of new homes edged down 0.3 percent in October from September, but were a healthy 17.2 percent above the pace of October 2011, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report.

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The Two-Way
4:42 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Winning Powerball? It's More Likely A Vending Machine Will Kill You

Don't shake it.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:26 am

Update at 12:25 p.m. ET: Since we first posted, the jackpot's been increased to $550 million from $500 million when the day began, so we've changed that figure below. That doesn't do anything to change the odds of winning.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
2:40 am
Wed November 28, 2012

In Cairo, Tensions Still High As 'Die-Hards' Continue To Protest

This protester in Cairo's Tahrir Square last night had a message for Egypt's president.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 2:59 am

Police have fired tear gas again in Cairo's Tahrir Square as authorities try to disperse several hundred protesters who are angry over President Mohammed Morsi's controversial grab for more power.

The crowd is much smaller than Tuesday's, according to NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, as well as correspondents from other news outlets.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Powerball Jackpot Is $500 Million; Now Will You Buy A Chance?

A ticket and a dream.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 2:23 pm

We know there's only a 1 in 175 million chance of winning. Even then, you might have to share the prize.

But with Wednesday's Powerball jackpot now estimated to be $500 million (a record for that lottery), we wonder: Are Two-Way readers playing?

Yes, it is kind of silly to think that just because the jackpot has hit half a billion dollars it makes a lot more sense to buy a chance now than it did when you would "only" win $40 million.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Grover Norquist: Pink Unicorns Aren't Real And GOP Won't Break Tax Pledge

Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform and the man behind the pledge.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 1:35 pm

  • Grover Norquist on Keynesianism
  • Grover Norquist: Pink unicorns aren't real either
  • Congressman-elect Ted Yoho on 'Morning Edition'

There has not been a wave of defections by Republicans who signed on to his "no new taxes" pledge and even the few who have spoken about possibly going along with revenue increases won't do so in the end, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told NPR Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Tue November 27, 2012

GOP Senators More Troubled About Benghazi After Talking With Amb. Rice

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., speaking to reporters after their meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Win McNamee Getty Images

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

After meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice this morning, three key Republican senators emerged to say they're more troubled — not less — by what they say were intelligence failures and misleading information concerning the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead.

One, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said it's too soon to even be speculating about promoting Rice to be secretary of state.

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Marvin Miller, Union Leader Who Brought Free Agency To Baseball, Dies

Marvin Miller, who rocked baseball, in 1966.
AP

Marvin Miller, "arguably the most significant figure in 20th century baseball" according to Morning Edition commentator Frank Deford, has died.

The former head of the Major League Baseball Players Association was 95.

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The Two-Way
5:34 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Attention Chinese Media: Kim Jong Un Is 2012's Most Interesting Man

The mysterious, most-interesting, super-sexy North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (And if you believe all that, you may be reading too many reports from Chinese media.)
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:32 am

Update at 8:15 a.m. ET, Nov. 28. And Now, It's Gone:

People's Daily Online has realized it was duped and removed its glorious account of Kim Jong Un's sexiness, NPR's Frank Langfitt tells us.

But you can still read our original post:

Shh.

Please don't tell the editors at People's Daily Online that our headline might not be true.

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The Two-Way
3:58 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Top Stories: Cairo Clashes; Fiscal Cliff Talks; Sandy's Huge Costs

Ortley Beach, N.J.: The aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
Mark Wilson Getty Images
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The Two-Way
3:32 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Protests, Clashes Build Again In Cairo

A cloud of tear gas surrounds a protester earlier today near Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 8:43 am

As feared, the news that "Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has not given any signal that he is backing down from most of his power grab" has lead to more protests and more violence in the streets of Cairo.

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The Two-Way
3:01 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Deal Reached On Greek Debt, Markets Rise In Relief

Nov. 7: A protester wrapped in a Greek flag stands in front of the parliament in Athens. Today's agreement may not bring an end to anti-austerity protests in Greece.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images
  • Teri Schultz reporting on the deal for the NPR Newscast

There's some good news this morning about the country that's come to symbolize Europe's financial problems and the efforts of leaders to shore up their common economy:

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The Two-Way
2:30 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Arafat's Grave Opened, Samples Taken To Be Tested For Poison

Palestinians walking in front of a mural of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Gaza City earlier today.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 3:36 am

Claims that former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned with a radioactive substance before his death in 2004 are now literally being put to the test.

Arafat's grave was briefly opened today so that samples could be taken from his remains.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Mon November 26, 2012

News Outlets Punk'd, Somebody Profits: Google Wi-Fi Buy Is A Hoax

Google.com

This Associated Press report today wasn't true:

"Google has bought an operator of Wi-Fi hotspots in high-traffic locations such as airports, hotels and fast-food restaurants. Google Inc. is paying $400 million for ICOA Inc., a Warwick, R.I., company, as part of the search company's efforts to diversify its portfolio."

It was so wrong, in fact, that the AP later moved a "KILL BULLETIN" saying it was:

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Paying For Success: River Otters Are Being Trapped Again In Illinois

Once almost gone from Illinois, river otters are now back in big numbers.
Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 12:30 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Steve Inskeep speaks Illinois biologist Bob Bluett

"They're wonderful, they're great. But sometimes too much is too much."

That's the basic problem confronting Illinois and its wild river otters, state Department of Natural Resources biologist Bob Bluett said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Mon November 26, 2012

SEC Chief Schapiro Is Leaving

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 7:15 am

(We updated the top of this post at 11:50 a.m. and 12:15 p.m ET):

Moving quickly after the announcement that Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro is leaving on Dec. 14, the White House just said that President Obama has designated SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter to be her replacement.

In a statement, the president says:

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The Two-Way
5:17 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Supreme Court Turns Down Appeal From Former Rep. William Jefferson

Former Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., in 2009.
Molly Riley Reuters /Landov

The congressman who became known as "Dollar Bill" Jefferson appears to have run out of options in his bid to overturn a 2009 corruption conviction.

The Supreme Court just announced it will not hear an appeal from former Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. So, as The Times-Picayune says:

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The Two-Way
4:50 am
Mon November 26, 2012

VIDEO: High Dives Into 'World's Biggest Pile Of Leaves'

Bangakang video.

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 5:49 am

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The Two-Way
3:41 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Top Stories: Fiscal Cliff Compromise? Egypt's Morsi Meets With Judges

It's a record: A sign in Atlanta about the $425 million jackpot in the Powerball lottery.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 5:20 am

Good morning.

Earlier, we posted about:

-- Outrage, Protests In Bangladesh After Factory Fire That Killed Scores.

-- 'Cyber Monday,' 'Giving Tuesday;' Then 'Weeping Wednesday?'.

Meanwhile, here are some of the other top headlines of the morning and from over the weekend:

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The Two-Way
3:12 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Outrage, Protests In Bangladesh After Factory Fire That Killed Scores

Inside the factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, after the blaze.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 5:19 am

Horrific is a word that quickly comes to mind about the news from Bangladesh concerning a fire Saturday in a garment factory where clothes were made for retailers around the world, including some in the U.S.

Here's how The Associated Press starts its latest report:

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The Two-Way
2:36 am
Mon November 26, 2012

'Cyber Monday,' 'Giving Tuesday;' Then 'Weeping Wednesday?'

The scene at the registers in a Braintree, Mass., Target store on Black Friday.
Allison Joyce Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:15 am

After Grey Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and No Clever Name For It Sunday, we're on to Cyb

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Does Frodo Know? There's Rumbling Near 'Mount Doom'

A massive plume of ash billows up into the sky as Mount Tongariro erupts at Tongariro National Park earlier today in New Zealand.
Reuters /Landov

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The Two-Way
4:50 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Boxer Hector 'Macho' Camacho Shot; 'Prognosis Is Not Good'

March 1, 1997: Hector "Macho" Camacho watches as "Sugar" Ray Leonard falls to the canvas during action in the fifth round of their fight.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

"Former world boxing champion Hector 'Macho"' Camacho went into cardiac arrest Wednesday morning but was stabilized by doctors after being shot in the face Tuesday outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico," ESPN reports.

It adds that:

"The situation with 'Macho' is very delicate," Centro Medico director Dr. Ernesto Torres told reporters during a 7 a.m. media briefing on Wednesday. "The prognosis is not good."

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The Two-Way
3:49 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop; But Superstorm Sandy's Effects Still Being Felt

The scene at a career fair last month in New York City.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

There were 410,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 41,000 from the level of the week before — when the number of applications soared because of the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy.

The Employment and Training Administration just released the latest figure. At 410,000, claims were still running at a pace above the pre-Sandy range of 350,000 to 400,000 a week.

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The Two-Way
3:19 am
Wed November 21, 2012

In Congo, Rebels Take Key City

A M23 rebel in the streets of Goma.
Phil Moore AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 4:29 am

After some of the worst fighting in recent years in a country where war is all-too common, rebel forces have taken control of the "strategic eastern city of Goma" in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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The Two-Way
2:14 am
Wed November 21, 2012

No Peace: Bomb Rips Apart Bus In Tel Aviv; Israel Continues Strikes On Gaza

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the "hold fire" agreement in Cairo.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 4:58 am

After a week of bloodshed, Israel and fighters in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip agreed to "hold fire" beginning at 2 p.m. ET today, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced at a joint news conference this afternoon with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Egypt had been trying to broker a truce to end the exchange of rockets and air strikes between Israel and militants in Gaza.

We'll post more on the agreement, which was announced at 12:35 p.m. ET., as the story develops.

Update at 5:55 p.m. ET. 'A Tenuous Nature':

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Time Again To Talk Turkey, And Why Frying Can Be Fatal

Don't try this at home: A fryer that was put in a garage and into which a still-frozen bird was placed. Those are two common mistakes.
State Farm

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 3:22 am

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Tue November 20, 2012

VIDEO: Clown, Cop Trade Punches

It could be hard to run from police in these.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 10:03 am

We need a break from the day's incredibly serious news. Maybe you do too. If so, check the story from Milwaukee about a guy in a clown suit who was running in and out of traffic — and the fistfight/wrestling match he got into with a police officer.

It was all recorded by a guy with a camera phone. Reportedly, no one was hurt. The clown is said to be a local activist of some sort.

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Elmo Puppeteer Resigns; Calls Sex Allegations A 'Distraction'

Puppeteer Kevin Clash and Elmo.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 7:22 am

Kevin Clash, the voice and puppeteer who for 28 years has made Sesame Street's Elmo come alive for kids, has resigned because "the controversy surrounding [his] personal life has become a distraction," Sesame Workshop said this morning.

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