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
4:03 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Rosie O'Donnell Had Heart Attack, Uses Verse To Spread News And Message

Rosie O'Donnell in July 2011.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 6:15 am

Rosie O'Donnell has chosen an unusual way to tell her fans that she suffered a heart attack last week:

In verse.

On her blog.

And she's using the experience to urge other women to "listen to the voice inside" and call 911 if they suffer the symptoms she did — which she tried to ignore for a day.

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The Two-Way
3:24 am
Tue August 21, 2012

In Afghanistan: General's Plane Damaged; Afghans Start Spying On Own Troops

An aircraft that had been set to fly Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey out of Afghanistan today was damaged by shrapnel from rockets fired at the Bagram air field north of Kabul from outside its fences.

Two maintenance workers on the ground were slightly wounded, NPR's Tom Bowman reports. Dempsey was not near the aircraft at the time. He later left Afghanistan on another plane.

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The Two-Way
3:09 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Diana Nyad Ends Latest Bid To Swim From Cuba To Key West

Diana Nyad in the Florida Straits on Monday.
Christi Barli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 6:21 am

Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad has ended her third recent attempt to swim the 100 miles or so from Cuba to Key West, Florida, her official Twitter page says.

That word followed reports from ABC News' Good Morning America and CNN.

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The Two-Way
2:23 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Update: Akin Vows Again To Stay In Missouri Senate Race

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., talking with reporters at the Missouri State Fair last week.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 1:47 am

  • NPR's Brian Naylor on 'Morning Edition'
  • Tim Lloyd of St. Louis Public Radio, on 'Morning Edition'

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Obama: Congressman's Rape Remarks 'Don't Make Sense,' Were 'Way Out There'

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 4:20 pm

Saying that the comments "don't make sense to the American people" and were "way out there," President Obama just weighed in on the controversial remarks made over the weekend by Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who said in a television interview that "if it's a legitimate rape," it's rare for a woman to get pregnant and therefore want an abortion.

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Famed Augusta National Golf Club Adds First 2 Female Members

The 16th green at Augusta National — framed by some of the course's famed azaleas — in 2001.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 8:06 am

Breaking news from The Associated Press about a historic day for one of the nation's most historic sporting venues:

"For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members.

"The home of the Masters has invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October. Both women have accepted."

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Scott McKenzie, Who Sang 'San Francisco' In The Summer Of Love, Dies

Scott McKenzie, center, with the members of The Mamas and the Papas in 1967. John Phillips, far right, wrote San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair). McKenzie died Saturday.
Worth AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 8:04 am

He sang a gentle song that became a hit and something of a theme song for 1967's "Summer of Love."

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The Two-Way
5:24 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Hundreds Of Christians Hiding In Pakistan After Girl's Arrest

In the Islamabad slum where a Christian girl is accused of burning some Muslim verses, the gate to her family's home is locked and the people who live there have fled.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images
  • Lauren Frayer, on the NPR Newscast

"Hundreds of Pakistani Christians are hiding out at a priest's compound, praying for the safety of an 11-year-old member of their community" who is in police custody, NPR's Lauren Freyer reports from Islamabad. The Christians also fear their own safety.

The cause of anger directed toward them by some in the Muslim nation: The girl may have burned some Islamic religious materials. According to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
4:07 am
Mon August 20, 2012

'I Function Off Fear,' Said Director Tony Scott, Who Died Sunday

Tony Scott in a 2009 file photo.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images
  • Neda Ulaby on 'Morning Edition'

The death Sunday of director Tony Scott, who appears to have jumped from a Los Angeles County bridge in what's being investigated as a suicide, has "shocked Hollywood and the fans of his memorable movies," as NPR's Neda Ulaby said earlier on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
3:35 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Congressman Who Took Nude Dip In Sea Of Galilee Apologizes

Rep. Kevin Yoder.
Yoder.House.gov

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 3:40 am

Saying he apologizes for "any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents," Kansas Republican Rep.

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The Two-Way
2:51 am
Mon August 20, 2012

In Afghanistan, A Struggle To Stem Deaths From 'Insider Attacks'

Aug. 13: At Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, the remains of Marine Lance Cpl. Gregory T. Buckley are carried during a dignified transfer. He was killed in a "green on blue" attack.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 2:57 am

  • Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson speaks with David Greene on 'Morning Edition'

The killing Sunday in Afghanistan of an American soldier in what officials say was the latest in a series of "green on blue" attacks by Afghans in uniform against coalition personnel was the 10th in just the past two weeks.

There have been "30 such attacks so far this year, up from 11 in 2011," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Study Supports Regulators' Effort To Limit Miners' Exposure To Coal Dust

A study released today by the Government Accountability Office says that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) used appropriate data and scientific methods in drafting new regulations aimed at limiting the amount of coal dust miners are exposed to at U.S. operations.

As NPR's Howard Berkes reported for us last month, some House Republicans had blocked implementation of the regulations until GAO issued its report.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Fri August 17, 2012

New Syrian Envoy Brahimi Takes On 'Crucial Task'

Longtime troubleshooter Lakhdar Brahimi has, as expected, taken on the extremely difficult challenge of being the "joint special representative for Syria" who will try to broker a peace plan for that nation on behalf of the United Nations and the League of Arab States.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Insurer Will Pay In Case That Quickly Went Viral

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 6:20 am

Monday, New York comedian Matt Fisher wrote a very serious blog post headlined "My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court."

It quickly drew considerable attention on the Web, bad publicity for Progresssive Insurance and coverage from national news outlets because he laid out a sad story:

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The Two-Way
4:13 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Alabama Authorities Put A Real-Life Walter White On Their Most Wanted List

"Real" Walter White is at left. "TV Walter" is at right.
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office / AMC

In this case, life is imitating art:

"The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office has placed Walter White on their priority list of the county's most wanted," The Tuscaloosa News reports. "White, 55, was on probation for a 2008 charge of making methamphetamine when he was arrested on similar charges in Bibb County earlier this year."

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The Two-Way
2:14 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Two U.S. Troops Killed By Afghan Police Officer; Latest 'Green On Blue' Attack

Two American military personnel were killed early today in western Afghanistan's Farah province when "a member of the Afghan Local Police turned his weapon" on them, allied commanders in Kabul report.

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The Two-Way
1:57 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Two-Year Prison Terms For Russia's Pussy Riot Rockers

Members of the all-girl punk band Pussy Riot: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (right), Maria Alyokhina (center) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (left) in a glass-walled cage during a court hearing in Moscow earlier today.
Andrey Smirnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 7:19 am

A Russian judge today found three members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot guilty of hooliganism connected to "religious hatred."

Word of the verdict came just before 7:30 a.m ET. Just before 10 a.m. ET, the judge announced that each woman was sentenced to serve two years in jail — the minimum that could be imposed.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Thu August 16, 2012

News Media's Credibility Ratings Have Slipped Sharply, Survey Says

Pew Research Center

"Believability ratings have fallen significantly for nine of 13 news organizations tested," the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reports today.

Its latest national survey signals that "the falloff in credibility affects news organizations in most sectors: national newspapers, such as The New York Times and USA Today, all three cable news outlets, as well as the broadcast TV networks and NPR."

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Thu August 16, 2012

More Of The Nation Is Getting The Worst Of The Drought

This week's drought map.
National Drought Mitigation Center

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 8:40 am

The drought gripping much of the nation is "exceptional" — the most severe classification — in an area covering 6.26 percent of the lower 48 states, according to the latest data from the National Drought Mitigation Center.

That's up from 4.21 percent the week before.

The center's latest map shows increases in size of the areas in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Missouri that are experiencing exceptional drought conditions.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Two Deputies Killed, Two Wounded In Louisiana Shootings

Three days after the shooting death of a constable in College Station, Texas, there's word that two sheriff's deputies in Louisiana's St. John the Baptist Parish were killed this morning and another two were wounded in what appear to be connected shootings.

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Cut Diplomatic Ties? Hide Him In A Crate? How Might Assange Standoff End?

Metropolitan Police Officers outside the main door of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is inside.
Will Oliver AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 7:27 am

Now that Ecuador has said it will give WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asylum as he seeks to avoid being extradited from Great Britain to Sweden by hiding out in Ecuador's London embassy, news outlets are looking at the complicated legal issues involved in cases such as his.

Here are some things we've found fascinating in the coverage:

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The Two-Way
3:51 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ecuador Gives WikiLeaks' Assange Asylum

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 5:39 am

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño just announced in Quito.

Now, the question becomes whether Great Britain will allow Assange to leave Ecuador's embassy in London so that he can travel to the South American nation that is offering him refuge.

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The Two-Way
3:40 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Jobless Claims Held Steady At 366,000 Last Week

There were 366,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 2,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

So what we said last week applies again:

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The Two-Way
3:08 am
Thu August 16, 2012

11 Killed In Afghan Helicopter Crash; 3 Were U.S. Military Personnel

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 4:04 am

The crash of an International Security Assistance Force helicopter in southern Afghanistan today killed 11 people who were on board, according to the NATO command in Kabul.

It has posted a statement saying:

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The Two-Way
2:52 am
Thu August 16, 2012

More Carnage In Pakistan: Gunmen Execute About 20 Shiites

Pakistani Air Force personnel guard an air base northwest of Islamabad earlier today. It was attacked Thursday by militants armed with guns, rocket launchers and suicide vests.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Thursday's attack on a Pakistani air base near Islamabad by heavily armed militants, which security forces were able to repel, has been followed by the news that gunmen executed about 20 Shiite Muslims today in northern Pakistan.

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The Two-Way
2:19 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Family Research Council Attacker Could Face Terrorism Charge

The scene Wednesday morning outside the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., after the shooting.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 6:41 am

Update at 11:35 a.m. ET. Charges Filed:

The man arrested for opening fire at the Washington, D.C., offices of the Family Research Council on Wednesday faces charges of "assault with intent to kill" and illegal transportation of a gun and ammunition. He has not been charged with attempting a terrorist act.

In a statement emailed a short time ago to reporters, the Justice Department says:

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Hypersonic 'WaveRider' Failed

An artist's rendition of an X-51A WaveRider (in white) attached to the wing of a B-52.
Pratt & Whitney

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 9:58 am

An experimental aircraft that designers hoped would hit 3,600 mph in a test flight over the Pacific on Tuesday "suffered a control failure" and failed in its attempt to go hypersonic, The Associated Press writes.

Its report follows earlier word from Wired magazine's Danger Room blog that it had been told by an "insider familiar with the test" that:

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Paterno 'Sobbed Uncontrollably' Day After Being Fired, Book Says

Joe Paterno on Nov. 8, 2011, the day before his firing.
Rob Carr Getty Images

The first excerpts are out from journalist Joe Posnanski's upcoming biography of former Penn State head football Joe Paterno.

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