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.

Pages

The Two-Way
3:16 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Obama To Tell Iran That U.S. Will 'Do What We Must' On Nukes

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 3:33 am

  • Michele Kelemen on 'Morning Edition'

"President Barack Obama will warn Iran on Tuesday that the United States will 'do what we must' to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and appeal to world leaders for a united front against further attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Muslim countries," Reuters reports this morning.

Update at 8:30 a.m. ET. According to excerpts released by the White House, the president will say:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:48 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Bring Back The Real NFL Refs! Debacle At End Of Game Adds To Outrage

Confusion: One official (to the left) signals touchdown for Seattle. The other signals that a touchback — possession — for Green Bay.
Stephen Brashear AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 2:39 pm

Football fans are furious. Bettors are out an estimated $150 million. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin — the Republican who's famous for battling with organized labor — is on the side of the referees union. And the NFL is in something of a "prevent defense," saying that nothing can be done to change the outcome.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:05 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Obscenities Fly In Emails Between Reporter, Top Aide To Sec. Clinton

BuzzFeed says an email exchange between a journalist and one of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's top aides grew quite heated and profane on Sunday — marking at least the second time in recent months that a spokesman for a major political figure used an obscenity to get across his point.

This time it was the journalist who fired off the first word we can't repeat. But the Clinton aide deploys more verbal bombs.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:51 am
Mon September 24, 2012

'Flo' Makes List Of 'Top 10 Female Ad Icons;' Who's Missing?

Flo's an icon, the folks at Ad Age say.
Flo, the Progressive Girl's Facebook page

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 10:01 am

Ad Age just unveiled its "top 10 female ad icons of all time" list:

-- Morton Salt's 'umbrella girl"

-- Betty Crocker

-- Miss Chiquita

-- Rosie the Riveter

-- Josephine the Plumber (Comet cleanser)

-- Mrs. Olson (for Folgers coffee)

-- Madge the manicurist (Palmolive soap)

-- Rosie the waitress (Bounty paper towels)

Read more
The Two-Way
6:01 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Secretary Clinton Hails Rejection Of Extremists In Benghazi

On Friday and again on Saturday in Benghazi: Protesters took to the streets in opposition to the extremist militias that have operated in the city since the toppling of Moammar Gadhafi.
Tariq Al-Hun UPI /Landov

One of the most interesting stories from over the weekend was the move by people in Benghazi, Libya, against the armed extremist groups that had been operating in their city and which have been linked to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate there that left Ambassador Chris Stevens dead.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:40 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Debate Preview: Obama And Romney Shadow Box On '60 Minutes'

CBS News' 60 Minutes

The first official presidential debate isn't until Oct. 3 in Denver. But as The New York Times writes, last night on CBS News' 60 Minutes there was something of a "shadow debate that offered a likely preview of the tone and substance" of what will happen on stage next week.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:08 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Little Panda's Death Leaves Zookeepers 'Devastated'

Dennis Kelly (right), director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo, and Suzan Murray, chief veterinarian, discuss the panda cub's death.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 2:05 pm

Sunday's sad news about the death of a giant panda cub that was just less than a week old is being followed this morning with reports about how the staff at Washington's National Zoo tried hard to save it and have been hit hard by its death.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:39 am
Mon September 24, 2012

'Amazing Scene' As Riot Shuts Foxconn Plant In China

Workers at a Foxconn plant in Shenzhen, China, in 2010.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 4:01 am

  • NPR's Frank Langfitt talks with Steve Inskeep on 'Morning Edition'

At one point overnight as many as 2,000 workers at a Foxconn plant in Taiyuan, China, were involved in a riot that drew 5,000 police officers to the site and has closed the facility that makes parts for Apple's iPhones and hardware for other companies including Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:19 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Romney's 2011 Tax Return Shows He Paid At 14.1 Percent Rate, Campaign Says

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 1:53 pm

Mitt Romney and his wife Ann paid $1,935,708 in federal taxes last year on income of $13,696,951, an effective tax rate for the couple of 14.1 percent, the Republican presidential nominee's campaign just reported.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:52 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Please Tell Us Your Password Isn't 1-2-3-4

Try 1-2-3-4 and there's a fair chance you'll get in.
Kristian Dowling Getty Images
  • From 'All Things Considered': PINs That Aren't So Secure

Be honest, now.

Is 1-2-3-4 the password to some of your supposedly secure accounts?

If so, as Nick Berry of the analysis firm Data Genetics told All Things Considered's Robert Siegel, you're definitely not alone. When it comes to bank cards, he says, "the single most common password is 1-2-3-4 and over 10 percent of all cards use that particular number."

Read more
The Two-Way
5:51 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Rep. Maxine Waters Cleared By House Ethics Committee

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and her husband Sidney Williams at the Capitol Hill hearing today where it was announced that she's been cleared.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

After an investigation that lasted two years, the House Ethics Committee has cleared Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of charges that she tried to influence regulators when a bank that her husband owns stock in went looking for a federal bailout in 2008.

Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, acting chairman of the ethics panel, announced the decision this morning.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:49 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Another iPhone, Another Day Of Long Lines And Big Hype

In Tokyo today, a customer on line for the iPhone 5 was wearing a Steve Jobs mask.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 5:51 am

It's a "now familiar global ritual," as The Associated Press says: Apple fans are lining up today at stores "from Sydney to Paris to pick up the tech juggernaut's latest iPhone."

That would be the iPhone 5, which the company unveiled earlier this month.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:11 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Here's Where And When To See Space Shuttle Endeavour Today In California

Endeavour passed by the Golden Gate Bridge today.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 12:28 pm

The last leg of space shuttle Endeavour's flight to its retirement home in Los Angeles began at 8 a.m. Pacific time today, NASA says.

And the space agency has put together a timetable for Endeavour's flybys that will give folks from San Francisco to Southern California a chance to see the shuttle aboard the jumbo jet that's carrying it to L.A.

Update at 4:25 p.m. ET. Touchdown:

Read more
The Two-Way
3:02 am
Fri September 21, 2012

As Last Surge Troops Leave, Some Afghans Take Up Arms Against Taliban

January 2011: Boys in the Andar district of Afghanistan gathered to collect candy from passing U.S. Army soldiers. Now, there are reports from that area of locals rising up against the Taliban.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta notes that the last of the 33,000 so-called surge troops who were added to the U.S. force in Afghanistan last year have now left the country, there's this interesting news:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:33 am
Fri September 21, 2012

More Protests In Muslim Nations; Some Violence

In Islamabad today, this demonstrator threw a tear gas canister back toward police.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 6:45 am

(Check below for updates.)

Tens of thousands of people are protesting in all of Pakistan's major cities today, NPR's Jackie Northam reports from Islamabad, as those who oppose U.S. policy in the region continue to use outrage over an anti-Islam video to whip up anti-American sentiment.

There are also reports of new protests in other Muslim nations, including Bangladesh and Malaysia.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:51 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Leader Of Amish Sect, 15 Others Found Guilty Of Hate Crimes In Beard Cuttings

Samuel Mullet outside his home in Bergholz, Ohio, in 2011.
Amy Sancetta AP

Fifteen members of an Amish breakaway group in Ohio "have been found guilty of hate crimes by carrying out beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in a dispute over religious differences," The Associated Press reports.

According to the wire service, a jury today "also found the sect's leader, 66-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr., "guilty of planning the attacks last fall in eastern Ohio. ... They all face prison terms of 10 years or more."

Read more
The Two-Way
6:46 am
Thu September 20, 2012

No Criminal Charges For 'Pepper Spray Cop' Or Other Officers

Nov. 18, 2011: Occupy protesters get sprayed at University of California Davis.
YouTube

Read more
The Two-Way
6:04 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Actress: Anti-Islam Filmmaker Lied And Made Me Look Like A 'Religious Bigot'

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a.k.a. Sam Bacile, made her look like a religious bigot by "having hateful words put in her mouth" when he dubbed a new soundtrack into the anti-Islam video Innocence of Muslims that has sparked violence and protests around the Muslim world, one of the actresses in the video charges.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:22 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Colorado's 'Deeply Spiritual' Chimney Rock To Be A National Monument

Chimney Rock, in southwestern Colorado.
National Trust for Historic Preservation Sen. Michael Bennet's Flickr photostream

Southwestern Colorado's 4,700-acre Chimney Rock Archaeological Area will on Friday be designated a national monument, according to Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

The designation, which President Obama will approve and that has bipartisan support, will help preserve the site.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:10 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Woman Who Ruined Fresco Of Jesus Now Wants To Be Paid

Three images: How the fresco should look (left); how it looked before the "restoration" (center); and what it looked like after Cecilia Gimenez was done.
Centre de Estudios Borjanos AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:44 am

Cecilia Giménez, the Spanish woman who really messed up when she tried to restore a 19th-century fresco of Jesus, now wants a piece of the action from the 2,000 or so euros ($2,600) her church has collected from tourists coming to see the ruined artwork.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:45 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Jobless Claims Changed Little Last Week

There were 382,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, down by just 3,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Meanwhile, "the 4-week moving average was 377,750, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average of 375,750." That figure offers a slightly better look at the trend.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:18 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Pakistani Students Burst Barricades In Latest Protest Linked To Anti-Islam Video

One scene from the site of today's protest in Islamabad, where men identified as students got through police barricades and into the diplomatic enclave.
Sajid Mehmood NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:19 am

More than 500 people presumed to be university students today broke through police barricades and got into Islamabad's diplomatic enclave as they protested against the anti-Islam video that has sparked sometimes deadly demonstrations in many Muslim nations, NPR's Jackie Northam reports from the Pakistani capital.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:13 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Chick-fil-A Welcome In Chicago, Alderman Says, After Renewed Pledge Of Respect

A Chick-fil-A in Fort Worth, Texas, on "appreciation day" last month.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 10:23 am

Chicago Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno, who led the opposition in his city to the opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant there because of company President Dan Cathy's outspoken stand against same-sex marriage, now says he won't stand in the fast-food chain's way.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:47 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Zombies In The News: Living Dead To Help Liven Up A Counterterrorism Summit

Need to lighten up your day? Invite some of these folks. (A "zombie walk" in Stockholm on Aug. 25.)
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

There's no rest for the undead, it seems.

Zombies have been used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help spread tips about preparing for natural disasters. They've been "studied" by Canadian researchers trying to figure out the best way to respond to new, highly infectious diseases.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:30 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Housing Starts Rose Again In August, Pace Remains Well Above Previous Years

Construction that was underway this summer in San Mateo, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 5:30 am

(This post was updated at 10:05 a.m. ET.)

In the morning's second sign of strength in the housing sector, the National Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes rose 7.8 percent in August from July and were 9.3 percent above the pace of August 2011.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:38 am
Wed September 19, 2012

18 Innings Are A Lot, But Orioles-Mariners Game Is No Record-Breaker

Fans were few and far-between (and possibly not awake) as the Orioles-Mariners game went on and on in Seattle.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:57 am

Hearing about the 18-inning, 5 hours and 44 minutes-long game between the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners that stretched from last night into today set us off in search of news about Major League Baseball's longest games.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:41 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour Is On Its Way To California

Space shuttle Endeavour, attached to a 747, on the tarmac at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Bill Ingalls/NASA UPI /Landov

Space shuttle Endeavour has taken off on its farewell tour across the country.

The third of the retired fleet of four to head off to a retirement home, Endeavour is being ferried from Florida to Los Angeles — with a stop on the way in Houston. It is perched atop a 747.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:21 am
Wed September 19, 2012

France On Alert, Closing Embassies, After Magazine Publishes Muhammad Cartoons

At the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo earlier today, publisher/editor Stephane Charbonnier ("Charb") struck a defiant pose.
Fred DuFour AFP/Getty Images

A French magazine's publication today of "crude caricatures" depicting the Prophet Muhammad has that nation on alert and preparing to close 20 of its embassies in Muslim nations.

Read more

Pages