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
5:40 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Remembering Letitia Baldrige, The 'Doyenne Of Decorum'

Letitia Baldrige, when she was first lady Jacqueline Kennedy's social secretary.
JFK Presidential Library and Museum

We want to note the death of Letitia Baldrige, who as The Washington Post writes "was social secretary to first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and also became known as a 'doyenne of decorum' and chief arbiter of good manners in modern America."

Baldrige died Monday at a nursing facility in Bethesda, Md. She was 86.

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The Two-Way
3:49 am
Wed October 31, 2012

N.Y. Drama: Officer Dies After Saving Family; Videos Show Rooftop Rescues

A lift to safety: New York City Police officers used "Helicopter 23" — named for the 23 officers killed on Sept. 11, 2001 — to rescue six people from rooftops on Staten Island.
InsideNYPD

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The Two-Way
2:54 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Latest On Sandy: Death Toll Rises, Wait For 'Normal' Life Continues

Rescue in Hoboken: Much of the New Jersey city remains flooded and the National Guard has been called in to help rescue stranded residents. Tuesday, this was the scene on one of the city's flooded streets.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:30 pm

  • Three short audio reports from NPR's Zoe Chace
  • From 'Morning Edition': Robert Smith in New York City
  • From 'Morning Edition': David Folkenflik in New Jersey

Across New York City, much of New Jersey and other places hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, power remains out today and the long, hard process of digging through debris and starting to rebuild continues.

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The Two-Way
4:45 am
Tue October 30, 2012

A Bright Light During Dark Days: Bloomberg's Sign Language Star

Fans like her style: Mayor Michael Bloomberg (at right) briefing New Yorkers about Hurricane Sandy on Monday. At left is his sign language interpreter, who the mayor identified as Lydia Callis.
Mayor Bloomberg's YouTube channel

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 9:54 am

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The Two-Way
1:42 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Latest On Sandy: Death Toll, Damages Rise As Superstorm Heads North

Debris and sections of a destroyed boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J., earlier today.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:16 am

Sandy, the hurricane-turned-superstorm, has left dozens dead, millions without power and thousands in need of rescue from rising waters as it slowly moves north and west from the Mid-Atlantic to pass over the Great Lakes and into Canada.

According to The Associated Press, storm damage was projected at $20 billion, "meaning it could prove to be one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history."

Sandy has also taken a huge human toll: More than 30 deaths since the weekend and millions more coping with damaged homes, crippled transportation systems and no power.

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The Two-Way
4:19 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Consumer Spending Jumped Up In September

Hitting the mall: Spending rose in September.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Though Hurricane Sandy is the dominant news of the day, there are other stories, including:

"Personal income increased $48.1 billion, or 0.4 percent," in September from August, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says, while "personal consumption expenditures" — consumer spending — rose 0.8 percent.

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The Two-Way
2:11 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Other News: Giants Win World Series; Syrian 'Ceasefire' Ending

He hit three home runs in Game 1." href="/post/other-news-giants-win-world-series-syrian-ceasefire-ending" class="noexit lightbox">
San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval was the World Series' most valuable player. He hit three home runs in Game 1.
Matt Slocum Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 3:21 am

  • Mike Pesca on 'Morning Edition'

While we continue to monitor Hurricane Sandy, we wanted to pass on some of the morning's other top headlines:

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The Two-Way
1:59 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Sandy: Latest News As The Worst Begins To Be Felt

Broken and non-functional traffic lights hang over an intersection in Atlantic City, N.J., on Monday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 6:18 am

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Zapping Nuclear Waste With Laser Beams Could Actually Be A Great Idea

This laser's just pretty, not powerful: Artist Yvette Mattern's laser rainbow in Whitley Bay, England, earlier this year.
Bethany Clarke Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 11:01 am

"World's Most Powerful Laser Beams To Zap Nuclear Waste."

That Bloomberg Businessweek headline got our attention. We were imagining the explosion that might result.

But as it turns out, the zapping "could destroy nuclear waste and provide new cancer treatments," according to the story.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Fri October 26, 2012

No One Gets The Tour De France Titles Lance Armstrong Lost

Lance Armstrong, in the yellow leader's jersey, during the 2002 Tour de France. Now, there's no winner of that race or the six others in which he finished first.
Mike Powell Getty Images

Declaring that they have "listened to the world's reaction to the Lance Armstrong affair," leaders of the international governing body for cycling today said that no one will be awarded the seven Tour de France titles that have been stri

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Italy's Berlusconi Given 4-Year Sentence For Tax Evasion; May Never Serve it

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

A court in Milan has convicted former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on a charge of tax evasion and he's been given a 4-year prison sentence, The Associated Press and Reuters report.

But whether he will ever actually go to jail on the charge isn't yet known.

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The Two-Way
4:27 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Several Dozen Killed In Afghanistan By Suicide Blast

Men mourn beside the bodies of victims from today's suicide bomb attack in Maymana, Afghanistan.
EPA /LANDOV

An explosion outside a mosque in northwest Afghanistan today killed more than 30 people and wounded dozens more.

From Kabul, NPR's Sean Carberry reports that witnesses have said a man approached on foot and then detonated a suicide bomb. It happened in Maymana, the capital of Faryab Province. Worshipers were gathering to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

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The Two-Way
4:05 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Reports: Some Clashes Despite Ceasefire In Syria

"Fighting raged near a military base in Syria's north as a ceasefire in the bloody civil war was supposed to go into effect Friday at dawn," activists tell The Associated Press, which says the news illustrates "the difficulty of enforcing even a limited truce coinciding with a Muslim holiday."

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The Two-Way
3:35 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Economic Growth Picked Up Slightly In Third Quarter

A GM assembly line in Lansing, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:31 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

That follows growth (at annual rates) of 1.3 percent in the second quarter and 2 percent in the first.

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The Two-Way
2:17 am
Fri October 26, 2012

If Sandy Becomes 'Frankenstorm,' It Could Be Worst In A Century

National Hurricane Center's "5-day forecast cone" at 2 p.m. ET today (Oct. 26).
www.nhc.noaa.gov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:52 am

"We're not trying to hype it," National Weather Service meterologist Paul Kocin tells Bloomberg News. "What we're seeing in some of our models is a storm at an intensity that we have not seen in this part of the country in the past century."

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Barbara Walters To Donald Trump: 'You're Making A Fool Of Yourself'

The Donald: His old friend Barbara isn't happy.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

From one friend to another:

TV icon Barbara Walters turned to the camera on ABC's The View this morning to tell developer/reality TV star/birther conspirator Donald Trump that "you're making a fool of yourself."

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Unclaimed Jobless Benefits Far Exceed Fraudulent Claims, Study Says

Two people check job listings at a New York State Department of Labor Employment Services office in Brooklyn. (March 2011 file photo.)
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Taxpayer-funded jobless benefits that shouldn't have been paid because of errors or fraudulent claims totaled about $11 billion in 2009, according to a new study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

But the total amount of unclaimed benefits was nearly 10 times larger, economists estimate: $108 billion. They estimate that during the 2007-2009 recession, only about half of those eligible for them were collecting the benefits.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Will It Hold? Assad Regime Says It Agrees To Truce; Rebels Are Skeptical

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 8:21 am

A message has appeared on the website of Syria's SANA news agency saying that the country's armed forces will halt military operations for four days, starting tomorrow.

On its face, that would appear to be acceptance of U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's plan for a truce during the Eid al-Adh holiday that Muslims begin observing on Friday.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Banned In China: Ai Weiwei's 'Gangnam Style' Video

Ai Weiwei, "Gannam style."
YouTube

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The Two-Way
5:46 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Florida's 'Mystery Monkey' Captured After Three Years On The Lam

The "mystery monkey," now known as Cornelius, while he was on the loose in 2010.
Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay Facebook page

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 6:21 am

The "mystery monkey" who had been on the loose in the Tampa Bay area for more than three years was captured Wednesday, our friends at WUSF report.

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The Two-Way
3:50 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Jobless Claims Fell By 23,000 Last Week; Orders For Durable Goods Rose

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at the company's factory in Everett, Wash. Orders for aircraft drove the increase in demand for durable goods last month.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 4:07 am

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell by 23,000 last week from the week before, to 369,000, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Claims have bounced around in recent weeks, in part because of some changes in the way at least one state reports its figures.

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The Two-Way
2:59 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Colin Powell Endorses Obama Again

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on CBS This Morning earlier today.
CBSNews.com

Saying that "I think we ought to keep on the track that we are on" and that fellow Republican Mitt Romney has not "thought through these issues as thoroughly as he should have," former secretary of state and retired Gen. Colin Powell this morning endorsed President Obama's re-election bid.

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The Two-Way
2:43 am
Thu October 25, 2012

WWII Veteran Who Inspired Thousands With Deathbed Vote Has Died

Oct. 17: Frank Tanabe, center, casts his vote with help from his daughter Barbara Tanabe, left, and his wife Setsuko Tanabe.
Irene Tanabe AP

Frank Tanabe, the 93-year-old World War II veteran who wanted to cast one more vote and inspired thousands when a photo of him doing that from his deathbed went viral, has died.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Here's The List: 63 Barnes & Noble Stores Where Crooks Hacked PIN Pads

A Barnes & Noble store in San Bruno, Calif. It's on the list.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 4:41 am

If you shopped recently at 63 Barnes & Noble stores in nine states and used a credit or debit card there's a chance that thieves got hold of data about your accounts and your PIN.

As the company has announced:

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Sales Of New Homes Hit Fastest Pace In 2 1/2 years

A sign of the times at a building site in Ohio earlier this year.
John Kuntz The Plain Dealer /Landov

Sales of new single-family homes rose 5.7 percent in September from August and at an annual rate of 389,000 hit the fastest pace since April 2010, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development say.

Sales were up 27.1 percent from September 2011.

Reuters calls the news "further evidence the housing market recovery is gaining steam."

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The Two-Way
3:58 am
Wed October 24, 2012

After Shark Kills Surfer, Central California Beach Closed

The beach is closed near Vandenberg Air Force Base after Tuesday's shark attack.
U.S. Air Force photo Reuters /Landov

Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base along California's central coast is closed after the death of a 39-year-old man who was attacked by a shark Tuesday while surfing.

The man's death came two years and a day after a shark killed a 19-year-old man along the same stretch of the coast.

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The Two-Way
3:32 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Reports: Militants Quickly Claimed Responsibility For Benghazi Attack

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

Reuters and Fox News have obtained copies of an email sent about two hours after the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which the White House, Pentagon and other agencies are told that the Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia had "claimed responsibility."

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The Two-Way
2:47 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Developing: Four-Day Truce Coming In Syria, U.N. Envoy Says

In Aleppo, Syria, an opposition fighter shouted as he manned a position on Monday.
Fabio Bucciarelli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 7:30 am

Earlier ceasefire deals have quickly fallen apart in Syria this year, so this news should be viewed with some skepticism:

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The Two-Way
2:23 am
Wed October 24, 2012

'God Intended' A Pregnancy Caused By Rape, Indiana Candidate Says

Richard Mourdock, Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana.
Nick Carey Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 6:57 am

After saying during a debate Tuesday night that a pregnancy caused by rape is "something that God intended to happen," the Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana is arguing that it is "twisted" to suggest he thinks God wants some women to be raped.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

After Bad Day For Market, Facebook's Revenue Rise Boosts Stock

Wall Street's bad day — the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 240 points (1.8 percent) — has been followed by something unusual these days: good news about Facebook's shares.

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