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
7:23 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Bears With Taste For Beer Have Quite A Night In Norway

Don't get between a beer and a bear.
London Express Getty Images

"Drunk Bear Family Downs Over 100 Beers During Bear Rager."

Given our fondness for stories about pick-a-nicking bears, we couldn't resist that Gawker headline.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Consumer Bureau Moves To Make Mortgages Clearer, Foreclosures Fewer

A "bank owned" sign in front of a home in Miami last October.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Saying it wants "to protect homeowners from surprises and costly mistakes by their mortgage servicers," the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today proposed new rules it believes would make the home loan process simpler and give struggling homeowners more of a chance to avoid foreclosures.

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The Two-Way
4:53 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Drought Deepens In Hardest Hit Parts Of U.S.

Drought-stricken corn struggles to survive on a farm near Poseyville, Ind.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 6:36 am

The areas of the lower 48 states where this summer's drought is judged to be "severe, extreme or exceptional" (in ascending order of seriousness) increased slightly again this week, according to the experts at the federal government's National Drought Mitigation Center.

It reports that:

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The Two-Way
3:47 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Fighting Has Forced More Than 1.5 Million Syrians To Move, U.N. Says

In northwestern Syria earlier this year, this man and boys fled fighting.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

The scope of the ongoing crisis in Syria is made clear yet again by two new reports from the United Nations:

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The Two-Way
3:00 am
Fri August 10, 2012

In Wisconsin, Thousands To Pay Homage To Sikh Temple Shooting Victims

A makeshift memorial outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in honor of the six people who were killed there.
Mira Oberman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 7:03 am

Several thousand people from across the U.S. and the world are expected in Oak Creek, Wis., today as Sikhs gather to mourn for the six people killed during Sunday's shooting rampage at a temple.

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The Two-Way
2:18 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Three U.S. Troops Killed In Latest 'Green On Blue' Attack

As boys washed their feet in the background, a U.S. Marine stood nearby earlier this summer in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Adek Berry AFP/Getty Images

"Three U.S. Forces-Afghanistan service members died following an attack by an individual wearing an Afghan uniform in southwest Afghanistan today," according to a statement from the International Security Assistance Force - Afghanistan.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Thanks For Nothing, Stephen: Colbert Spoils The Wiki Veep Indicator

Buzz Killer.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 7:11 am

Well, tracking changes to prominent politicians' Wikipedia pages had been one way of trying to get advance notice of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Thu August 9, 2012

After Tragedy For Sikhs, A Glimpse Into 'The Sunshine of Their Minds'

Sikhs and others who wanted to show support gathered Wednesday night for a vigil in Manhattan.
Mario Tama Getty Images
  • Ambassador Nirupama Rao on 'Tell Me More'

Out of the horror of Sunday's shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., has come a window into "the sunshine of their minds," India's ambassador to the U.S. says about faithful Sikhs.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Google Settles Over Safari Privacy Breach; Will Pay Record $22.5M Fine

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 8:05 am

As several news outlets had predicted last month would happen, Google is going to pay $22.5 million — the largest civil penalty the Federal Trade Commission has ever levied — to settle charges that it wasn't straight with users of Apple's Safari browser about how it would track their Web surfing.

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The Two-Way
6:01 am
Thu August 9, 2012

U.S. Navy Says It Rescued 10 Iranians From Burning Ship In Gulf Of Oman

The burning dhow from which the U.S. Navy says it rescued 10 Iranians on Wednesday in the Gulf of Oman.
U.S. Navy

Ten men who said they are Iranians were rescued Wednesday from a burning vessel in the Gulf of Oman by the crew of the USS James E. Williams, a guided-missile destroyer, the U.S. Navy says.

According to the Navy, "the vessel was flying an Iranian flag. The mariners ... are being well cared for, receiving medical treatment and awaiting transport to aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which is coordinating the repatriation efforts."

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Thu August 9, 2012

George Zimmerman Seeks 'Stand Your Ground' Hearing In Bid To Dismiss Case

George Zimmerman during a July interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity.
FoxNews.com

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 7:52 am

George Zimmerman, the man charged with second-degree murder in the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, is going to ask for a "stand your ground" court hearing in an attempt to have the case against him dismissed without ever going to trial.

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The Two-Way
4:31 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Neil Armstrong 'Doing Great' After Heart Surgery

Neil Armstrong last November at the U.S. Capitol, when he and the other astronauts from the Apollo 11 mission were awarded Congressional Gold Medals.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:06 am

There's word from the wife of first-man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong that he's "doing great" after cardiac bypass surgery on Tuesday, NBC News reports.

And that's good, tweets second-man-on-the-moon Buzz Aldrin, because he and Armstrong have "agreed to make it [to] the 50th Apollo Anniv in 2019."

Armstrong turned 82 on Sunday.

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The Two-Way
3:47 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Jobless Claims Dipped Last Week; Still In Range They've Been In All Year

There were 361,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. That's down 6,000 from the week before (that previous week's total was revised up by 2,000).

Claims have stayed in a range between 350,000 and 400,000 all year. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, has also varied little: it's low this year has been 8.1 percent and the high has been 8.3 percent.

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The Two-Way
3:34 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Even As Rains Ease, Disaster Grows In Philippines; 2.1 Million Affected

From a rooftop in a Manila suburb today, residents watched water flow through flooded streets.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

The numbers keep rising in the Philippines, where monsoons have overwhelmed Manila and other areas.

According to the country's disaster response agency

-- The number of people affected by the devastating rains, flooding and landslides has grown to 2.1 million, up from 1.2 million on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
3:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Assad Names New Prime Minister; Fighting Continues In Aleppo

As Syrian President Bashar Assad today chose a replacement for the prime minister who defected earlier this week, there were conflicting reports about just what's happening in the key northern city of Aleppo.

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The Two-Way
2:32 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Done In A Day: China Wraps Up Murder Trial Of Once-Prominent Politician's Wife

Gu Kailai during today's trial at the Hefei Intermediate People's Court. (Screen image from Chinese TV.)
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 4:10 am

  • Frank Langfitt on 'Morning Edition'

As we said two weeks ago, China's state-controlled media had already concluded that Gu Kailai was guilty of murder even before any sort of a trial.

Today in central China the wife of once-prominent politician Bo Xilai got her day in court.

Literally.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Sweet Story: Bear Breaks Into Candy Shop, Feasts; Camera Captures It All

The bear burglar.
Estes Park News

So, a bear walks into a candy shop.

No, we're not starting a bad joke.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Wed August 8, 2012

How Hot Was It? July Was Warmest Month On Record For U.S.

Only one color was needed to show where July ranks in terms of hottest months on record.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 8:14 am

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Wed August 8, 2012

After Being Shot By Police, Sikh Temple Gunman Killed Himself, FBI Says

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 7:23 am

Wade Michael Page, the man authorities say killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Sunday, appears to have "died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," FBI Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson told reporters in Milwaukee this morning.

After a Oak Creek, Wis., police officer shot Page in the stomach, she said, video from the scene appears to show Page taking his own life.

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Wisconsin Teen Looks To Repeat As Texting Champ, FAWC

A closeup from the 2007 competition.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:02 pm

Update at 5:11 p.m. ET. Back-ToBack:

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The Two-Way
4:48 am
Wed August 8, 2012

For Sikhs, 'Anger Is Not Just Futile, It's A Sin'

Mourners gathered Tuesday night in Oak Creek, Wis.
Darren Hauck Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 6:06 am

  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Swaranjit Arora.

Sunday's attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, which left six people and the gunman dead, has for many of us opened a window on a religion, a culture and a people we know little about.

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The Two-Way
3:30 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Flooding In Philippines Forces 400,000 To Evacuate; 16 Deaths Reported

A man paddled an improvised raft along a flooded street in suburban Manila earlier today.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

The scope of the flooding in Manila and other parts of the Philippines due to torrential rains in recent days is daunting.

According to the country's disaster response agency:

-- 1.2 million people are in affected areas.

-- Nearly 400,000 have fled to evacuation centers or homes of friends or relatives.

-- At least 16 deaths have been attributed to flooding or landslides.

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The Two-Way
2:21 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Situation In Sinai Is 'Extremely Dangerous' As Egypt Moves Against Militants

In Cairo on Tuesday, Egyptian Army military policemen carried the coffin of one of the 16 border guards killed during an attack on a crossing post in the northern Sinai on Sunday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 3:27 am

  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Leila Fadel on 'Morning Edition'

The news that Egypt's military has attacked groups of what it says are "Islamist militants" in the Sinai with missiles from aircraft and shells fired from tanks underscores how "extremely dangerous" the situation has quickly become along that nation's border with Israel, NPR's Leila Fadel said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Once Again, A Call To Remember The Victims; This Time In Wisconsin

In Brookfield, Wis., on Monday members of a Sikh community held a candle-light vigil for those who were killed and injured.
Mira Oberman AFP/Getty Images

After the July 20 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., there were calls to focus as much or more on the victims and their stories as on the gunman.

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Tue August 7, 2012

British Bank Denies Laundering Iranian Money; Say It's Not A 'Rogue Institution'

  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Jim Zarroli on 'Morning Edition'

As its stock tumbled today following word that New York State regulators have labeled it a "rogue institution" that allegedly hid about 60,000 secret transactions involving $250 billion in Iranian funds, Britain's Standard Chartered Bank strongly denied the accusations.

It "rejects the position or portrayal of facts as set out in the order," the bank said.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Tue August 7, 2012

One Clue To Romney's Veep Pick: Whose Wiki Page Is Getting The Most Edits?

Wikipedia's entry for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. Is today's activity there a clue to Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick?
Wikipedia

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:46 am

Tech President reminds us that one way to possibly figure out who will be a vice presidential pick is to watch the various contenders' Wikipedia pages in the days before such an announcement is likely.

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The Two-Way
4:40 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Composer Marvin Hamlisch Dies, Spokesman Says

Marvin Hamlisch in 1979.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 6:04 am

"Marvin Hamlisch, who composed the scores for dozens of movies including The Sting and won a Tony for A Chorus Line, has died in Los Angeles at the age 68," The Associated Press reports.

According to the wire service:

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The Two-Way
3:21 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Dozens Sickened By Fumes From Refinery Fire Near San Francisco

Smoke poured from the fire at a Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif. Here, the plume rises behind Alcatraz Island in San Francisco.
Eric Risberg AP

"Shelter-in-place" warnings have been lifted for people living downwind from a Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif., where a large fire that started Monday evening "sent thick black smoke wafting" over areas around San Francisco and Oakland, the Contra Costa Times reports.

According to the newspaper, authorities say the blaze is now contained.

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