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
3:42 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop, Previous Week's Increase Erased

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:55 am

The number of people filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 35,000 last week, to 353,000, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

That brings the level about back to where it was three weeks ago and down near a four-year low — but also keeps claims in the range where they've been trending for about the last year.

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The Two-Way
2:57 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Reports: Notebook From Colo. Shootings Suspect Arrived At School After Attack

A medical building on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 9:48 am

A "suspicious package" that the University of Colorado's medical school in Aurora says was delivered to the school on Monday was "a notebook sent through the mail by suspected killer James Eagan Holmes before [last] Friday morning's massacre," The Denver Post reports.

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The Two-Way
2:23 am
Thu July 26, 2012

'China's Katrina': Second City Flooded; Corruption, Incompetence Blamed

Residents look at a submerged bus on a flooded street amid rainfall in the Tianjin on Thursday. A much expected downpour bypassed Beijing Wednesday but battered the neighboring city of Tianjin instead, flooding many downtown streets and submerging vehicles.
China Daily Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 8:48 am

  • Louisa Lim on 'Morning Edition'

Outrage in China about the dozens of deaths last weekend when Beijing's drainage system couldn't cope with heavy rains and much of the city was flooded has been followed by more frustration and anger today.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Wed July 25, 2012

As Details Emerge On Difficulty Getting Help To Victims, Colorado Funerals Begin

An ambulance and police cars outside the Century 16 movie theater complex in Aurora, Colo, during the early hours of July 20, 2012. A gunman attacked an audience there — killing 12 people and wounding 58.
Bob Pearson EPA /Landov
  • Aurora, Colo., police dispatch recordings

There's an account in today's Denver Post of the huge problems first responders faced early Friday when they got to the scene of the shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater where 12 people were killed and 58 others wounded.

According to the Post:

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Senate Plans Two Symbolic Votes On Taxes That Won't Change Anything

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 1:22 pm

"Senate leaders have reversed course and decided to stage showdown votes later today on rival Democratic and Republican plans for extending broad tax cuts next year that will otherwise expire in January," The Associated Press writes.

So, Democrats will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the so-called Bush tax cuts only for those earning less than $250,000 a year. Republicans will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the tax cuts for everyone.

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The Two-Way
3:39 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Kim Jong Un Has Married That Mystery Woman, North Korean TV Says

In this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service on Monday, July 9, 2012, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and a woman clap with others on Friday as they watch a performance by North Korea's new Moranbong band in Pyongyang. Now it appears they have gotten married.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:58 am

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The Two-Way
2:57 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Aleppo 'Cowers' As Fighting Flares In And Around Syria's Biggest City

Tuesday in Aleppo, these men from an anti-Assad force were on guard at a checkpoint.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

"Ancient Aleppo Cowers Amid Reports of Approaching Syrian Forces."

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The Two-Way
2:19 am
Wed July 25, 2012

'Heat Dome' Linked To Greenland's Biggest Melt In 30 Years

In these illustrations NASA produced from satellite data, the melt in Greenland on July 8 (at left) and July 12 are shown. According to NASA, "the areas classified as 'probable melt' (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as 'melt' (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting."
NASA

Last week there were the pictures of an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan breaking off Greenland's Petermann Glacier.

Now there are NASA images showing that in four days earlier this month, "Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations."

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Waitress, There's A Spy In My Soup (Or At Least There's One Serving It)

You might want to watch what you say. A screen grab from one of many videos taken by diners at a North Korean restaurant. This one is in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
YouTube

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Feel-Good Photo: Gabrielle Giffords Atop A Mountain In France

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (center) and her husband Mark Kelly (right), at the peak of Aiguille du Midi in the French Alps on Monday. Behind them is mountain guide Vincent Lameyre.
Denis Balibouse Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 8:26 am

After four days of sadly serious news about what happened in Aurora, Colo., here's a photo that may lift your heart.

Reuters explains that former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., rode a two-stage cable car on Monday to the peak of Aiguille du Midi in the French Alps. That's 12,605-feet above sea level.

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Gun Sales Are Up Sharply In Colorado Since Theater Shootings

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 8:04 am

Sales of guns have risen strongly in Colorado since the early Friday shootings at a movie theater near Denver that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded.

The Denver Post reports that:

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The Two-Way
5:03 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Nothing To Report Yet, 'Disappointed' Amelia Earhart Searchers Say

Google honors Amelia Earhart today, on her 115th birthday.
Google.com

The team of searchers and scientists who were hoping to find pieces of aviator Amelia Earhart's plane off an island in the mid-Pacific report being "disappointed that we did not make a dramatic and conclusive discovery."

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The Two-Way
4:19 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Post-Hinckley Changes Make Insanity Defense Hard For Colo. Suspect

James Holmes in a photograph taken by police during his booking.
Arapahoe County Sheriff

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 5:30 am

Whether James Holmes, the man accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater will mount an insanity defense isn't yet known.

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The Two-Way
3:01 am
Tue July 24, 2012

VIDEO: After Trade, Ichiro Says Sayonara To Seattle With Hit As A Yankee

Now batting for the Yankees, Ichiro Suzuki.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Baseball fans love perfect moments.

-- Babe Ruth hitting his "called shot."

-- Ted Williams homering in his last at-bat (and not tipping his cap).

-- Willie Mays and "the catch."

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The Two-Way
2:22 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Former Murdoch Editors Face Criminal Charges In U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Rebekah Brooks, who has now been charged in the phone hacking scandal.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 3:05 am

Two former top editors at News Corp.'s now defunct News of the World tabloid in the U.K., including a man who later became a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron, now face criminal charges related to the so-called hacking scandal.

The BBC writes that "eight people, including Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, will face a total of 19 charges relating to phone hacking, the Crown Prosecution Service" announced today. Coulson, after leaving Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., worked for Cameron.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Ochocinco Is Oh So Over; NFL Player Officially Goes Back To His Old Name

The then-Chad Ochocinco when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009. He had changed his name the year before. Now, he's back to being Chad Johnson.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

Chad Ochocinco has been deep-sixed.

After unofficially changing his name (but not his @ochocinco Twitter handle) back to what it used to be, the Miami Dolphins' No. 85 officially once again became Chad Johnson today.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Message To Syria: You Can't Use Chemical Weapons On Foreigners, Either

Headlines today about one of the latest statements from the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad have tended to focus on the news that a spokesman says the government would never use chemical or biological weapons against its own people.

The stories take two angles: One, that this confirms Syria has such weapons; two, that it's good the regime says it won't use them on civilians.

Of course, the regime has also pledged to abide by a ceasefire brokered by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and in the ensuing weeks the bloodshed in Syria has continued.

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Stocks Are Sliding On Fears About Europe, Other Worries

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 10:16 am

Stocks fell sharply on Wall Street this morning as traders reacted to word that Europe's debt crisis may be deepening and that China's economy may slow, Bloomberg News says.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 200 points, or a little less than 2 percent, after an hour of trading. Other indices were also off.

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The Two-Way
4:40 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Penn State Fined $60M, Banned From Bowls, Wins From 1998 On Vacated

Before its removal from outside the school's football stadium on Sunday, a statue of former football coach Joe Paterno was covered. An independent report concluded he was among top university officials who failed to act when they learned that Jerry Sandusky might be sexually abusing young boys.
John Beale AP

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 12:19 pm

Saying that the punishment is "warranted by the conspiracy of silence" among Penn State University's top leadership that turned a blind eye to former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of young boys, the NCAA just announced sanctions on the school that include:

-- A $60 million fine. The money will go into an endowment fund to support programs around the nation that assist victims of sexual abuse, NCAA President Mark Emmert said.

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The Two-Way
3:52 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Top Stories: Attacks In Iraq; Aurora Suspect Due In Court; Penn State Penalty

Good morning.

The nature of the news today has made the subjects of our early posts unfortunately grim:

-- Dozens Dead After Iraq's Bloodiest Day This Year.

-- 13 Reported Dead, 10 Injured After Pickup Crashes In Texas.

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The Two-Way
3:31 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Dozens Dead After Iraq's Bloodiest Day This Year

In Baghdad's Sadr City district, the view through a vehicle that was destroyed in one of today's attacks.
Karim Kadim AP

The death toll keeps rising and is now said to be around 100 after a series of bombings and shootings today in Iraq. More than 200 people were wounded in what appear to have been coordinated attacks in at least 13 cities. According to The Associated Press, it has been that nation's "deadliest day so far this year."

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The Two-Way
3:02 am
Mon July 23, 2012

13 Reported Dead, 10 Injured After Pickup Crashes In Texas

A pickup truck overloaded with 23 men, women and children who authorities suspect were in the country illegally crashed Sunday in south Texas. There are reports now, from KSAT-TV in San Antonio and other local news outlets, that 13 people are dead and 10 injured.

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The Two-Way
2:28 am
Mon July 23, 2012

If Not For Jammed Gun, Officers' Sharp Eyes, More Might Have Died In Aurora

James Holmes, in an Arapahoe County, Colo., court on Monday.
KUSA-TV

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 9:43 am

  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Colorado Public Radio's Megan Verlee

A dazed-looking James Holmes, his hair dyed a reddish orange, made his first court appearance this morning as the state of Colorado began its case against the man arrested at the scene of Friday's massacre in Aurora, Colo., where 12 people were killed and an additional 58 were wounded.

It was a short hearing in an Arapahoe County, Colo., courtroom, starting at 11:30 a.m. ET. He'll be formally charged next Monday, the judge announced.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Sat July 21, 2012

Other Top Stories: Ferry Accident In Tanzania; More Fighting In Syria

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 7:22 am

While the shooting rampage in Aurora, Colo., is dominating the news today, there are other headlines:

-- "146 Presumed Dead In Tanzania Ferry Accident." (The Associated Press)

-- "Syrian Forces Battle Rebels In Aleppo." (Reuters)

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The Two-Way
4:23 am
Sat July 21, 2012

Aurora Rampage Joins Grim List Of Worst Mass Shootings

A memorial outside the movie theater in Aurora, Co., where 12 people died and about 58 were wounded by a gunman early Friday.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

When tragedies happen, comparisons are always made to past events. It's become part of the news coverage of the Aurora, Colo., theater rampage to refer to it as "one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history," as The Associated Press says.

The wire service has a list — "Some of the world's worst mass shootings" — that includes many that happened in the U.S.:

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The Two-Way
3:18 am
Sat July 21, 2012

Aurora Suspect: A 'Smart And Quiet Man' Who Allegedly Hid A 'Deadly Plan'

A photo of James Holmes released by the University of Colorado Denver.
University of Colorado Denver

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 8:35 am

The Denver Post continues to dig into the life of James Eagan Holmes, the 24-year-old suspect in the shooting rampage Friday in Aurora, Colo., that left at least 12 people dead and about 58 wounded.

Friday, as Eyder wrote, an image emerged of Holmes as something of a recluse.

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The Two-Way
2:23 am
Sat July 21, 2012

Tragedy In Colorado: The Latest

An Aurora police officer assists a woman carrying her belongings from her home near the apartment of alleged gunman James Holmes. Bomb technicians are working to defuse his booby-trapped apartment.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 1:55 pm

The shocking shooting rampage at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., early Friday continues to dominate the news. We followed it throughout the day (it's now 5 p.m. ET) and will pick it up again early Sunday. NPR.org, the NPR Newscast Desk, Weekend All Things Considered and Weekend Edition Sunday are on the story too. All of NPR's coverage is being collected here.

Here's what happened today, starting with a quick summary:

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The Two-Way
1:55 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Real-Life Horror: Many Killed, Dozens Wounded At Colorado Movie Theater

Two women mourn near the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman opened fire during the opening of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 8:17 pm

  • Witness talks to 'The Today Show'
  • Steve Inskeep speaks with witness Chayyiel Jackson

A midnight screening of the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises turned into a horribly real scene of death and destruction in Aurora, Colo., early Friday when a gunman opened fire on the audience killing 12.

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Ford Recalls Some 2013 Escapes, Tells Owners Not To Drive Them

Ford's Escape was redesigned for the 2013 model year. Last month, this one rolled of the assembly line in Louisville, Ky.
Brian Bohannon AP

Warning that a fuel line could leak, "potentially resulting in an underhood fire," Ford Motor Co. today told owners of about 11,500 model year 2013 Escapes "to stop driving their vehicles and to immediately contact their dealers."

The company said that "dealers will deliver a loaner vehicle to customers and will then transport their 2013 Escape to the dealership until the repair has been completed."

There have been no injuries reported in connection with the problem, the company said.

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