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
9:34 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Frankel Runs Away At Ascot, Firms Up Standing As World's Top Horse

Frankel, with jockey Tom Queally aboard, as he sped away with the win today at Royal Ascot.
Alan Crowhurst Getty Images

While there was no Triple Crown again this year, horse racing is not lacking for news about an amazing horse.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Ex-Rutgers Student Released After Serving 20 Days Of 30-Day Sentence

Dharun Ravi, 20, as he walked way from the Middlesex (N.J.) County jail with his attorney Steven Altman, left, earlier today.
Mel Evans AP

Dharun Ravi walked out of a New Jersey jail this morning after serving 20 days of the 30-day sentence he was given for using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate at Rutgers University in 2010.

The case drew national attention after it became known that the roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide soon after learning about what Ravi had done and that Ravi had told others about it.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Russian Ship Carrying Helicopters Bound For Syria Turns Back, U.K. Says

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 7:44 am

A Russian cargo ship loaded with refurbished attack helicopters has turned back toward home after having its insurance canceled, British Foreign Secretary William Hague says, according to the BBC.

The MV Alaed was was passing by Scotland's north coast at the time. The policy was canceled by The Standard Club, a London-based insurer. According to the BBC, the insurer issued a statement saying:

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Historic Southern Baptist Vote Coming Up, Live On The Web

Pastor Fred Luter, of New Orleans, who's set to be president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 10:11 am

NPR.org's lead story this hour is Barbara Bradley Hagerty's Morning Edition report headlined "Southern Baptists See Their Future In A Black Pastor."

As she writes:

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The Two-Way
4:51 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Adidas Cancels Its 'Shackle Shoes'

The JS Roundhouse Mids.
Facebook.com/adidasoriginals

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:46 am

Sneakers that come with prison orange shackles to wrap around your ankles?

That was Adidas' idea for the "JS Roundhouse Mids" it planned to start selling in August. It was to be "a sneaker ... so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles."

Was to be, that is.

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The Two-Way
4:12 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Signs Of Strength In Latest Housing Data

San Mateo, Calif.: Construction was underway earlier this year at a new housing development.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 5:01 am

There was a 7.9 percent jump in the number of construction permits issued to home builders in May, the Census Bureau says.

That increase boosted permits to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 780,000 — the most since September 2008, The Associated Press adds. It's a signal that construction will be strong in coming months.

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The Two-Way
3:23 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Pakistan's Prime Minister Ousted From Office By Country's Highest Court

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani as he arrived at court on April 26 in Islamabad.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 4:31 am

There's fresh political turmoil in Pakistan today after the country's highest court "disqualified" Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani from office, The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
2:51 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Should Roger Clemens Go Into Baseball's Hall Of Fame?

Roger Clemens in 1991, when he pitched for the Boston Red Sox.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 3:31 am

Now that Roger Clemens has been found not guilty of lying to Congress and obstructing its investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Major League Baseball players, the debate resumes about whether one of baseball's greatest pitchers should or shouldn't get into the sport's hall of fame.

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The Two-Way
2:10 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Spain's Borrowing Costs Soar; Latest 'Ominous Sign' In Europe

The Spanish flag blowing in the wind in Madrid earlier this month.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 3:32 am

Today's developments in Europe's financial crisis focus mainly on Spain:

-- The Wall Street Journal writes that "Spain, on the edge of losing debt market access, paid around 2 percentage points more in interest rates Tuesday than a month ago to lure investors to its Treasury bill sale, an ominous sign ahead of a critical government bond auction Thursday."

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Ban The Buckeye For Being Bisexual? We Now Have Hoax No. 3

Brutus Buckeye, the Ohio State mascot. Does he know?
Jamie Sabau Getty Images

Heard about the letter to the editor of a newspaper in Ohio demanding that the state find another tree to serve at its symbol because buckeyes are bisexual? It's starting to get some attention on the Web.

Well, it's a real letter to The Courier in Findlay.

But it's also our third hoax in as many blogging weekdays — or in this case, more accurately, a piece of social satire.

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Trayvon Martin Case: Jailhouse Calls From Zimmerman To Wife Released

George Zimmerman, in a handout image provided by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.
Getty Images

"In a half dozen phone calls between a locked-up George Zimmerman and his wife, the couple talk about their love for each other, their confidence in the future and how to move around money," the Orlando Sentinel writes.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Obama's Played 100 Rounds Of Golf; Which Presidents Beat That?

Presidents Clinton and Obama during a round of golf last September.
Chris Kleponis-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 8:04 am

On Sunday, President Obama played his 100th round of golf since taking office, according to CBS News' Mark Knoller — the White House press corps' keeper of all sorts of presidential factoids.

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The Two-Way
4:41 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Rodney King: 'What I Had To Do Was Make It Better'

Rodney King. (April 13, 2012 file photo.)
Matt Sayles AP

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 5:38 am

The death Sunday of Rodney King, the victim of a 1991 police beating in Los Angeles who became a "reluctant symbol of race relations," as the Los Angeles Times says, is prompting many looks back at what happened to him and the Los Angeles riots that followed the 1992 acquittal of the officers involved.

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The Two-Way
3:24 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Reminder: Supreme Court's Decision On Health Care Law Due

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 5:19 am

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET. No Decision Yet:

The court just finished issuing its opinions and other orders for the day. Neither the health care nor campaign finance cases were among them.

So we'll repeat this process on Thursday.

Our original post; "Reminder: Supreme Court's Decision On Health Care Law Due":

What we said last Monday applies again today:

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The Two-Way
3:06 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Webb Simpson Wins U.S. Open; Miami Heat Takes 2-1 Lead In NBA Finals

LeBron James of the Miami Heat as he went to the basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Sunday in Miami.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

The two sports stories that matter the most this morning:

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The Two-Way
2:39 am
Mon June 18, 2012

In Egypt, Generals Will Be In Control 'Until October, At Least'

Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi (in portrait) celebrated today in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 3:26 am

  • NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on 'Morning Edition'

In Egypt, "it's quite confusing at the moment," as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson said earlier on Morning Edition.

But she says one things seems clear: Based on the decree they issued this weekend the generals who have effectively been running things since Hosni Mubarak's regime was toppled in early 2011 will be "around and in charge until October, at least."

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The Two-Way
2:09 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Market Rally Fades As Investors Turn Attention From Greece To Spain

Frankfurt: A German flag hung today in front of a board displaying the DAX stock index.
Daniel Roland AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 8:19 am

At midday in New York, Bloomberg News' headline pretty much sums up the story for the markets so far today and their reaction to the news about Sunday's vote in Greece:

"U.S. Stocks Swing Between Gains, Losses Amid Europe Woes."

And this paragraph from Bloomberg's account seems to capture what traders are thinking:

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Hoax No. 2: 'Kindness In America' Memoir Writer Shot Himself

We were very tempted earlier this week to post about the guy who said he's writing a memoir called Kindness in America and had gotten shot while hitchhiking across the country. Many sites picked up that oh-so-ironic story.

Then we got distracted. Probably by our shoes.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Rajat Gupta Guilty In Insider Trading Case

Rajat Gupta on Wednesday as he arrived at the federal courthouse in Manhattan.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

"Rajat Gupta, who reached the pinnacle of corporate America as managing partner of McKinsey & Co. and was a director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Procter & Gamble, was convicted by a federal jury of leaking inside information to hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam," Bloomberg News writes.

The Associated Press recaps the case:

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Deportations Of Law-Abiding, Younger Illegal Immigrants To Stop

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 11:56 am

The Obama administration announced today that it will stop deporting younger illegal immigrants who came to the country as children and have no criminal history.

"It is not immunity; it is not amnesty. It is an exercise of discretion," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said during a press briefing.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Secret Service Releases Data On Accusations Against Its Personnel

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 10:44 am

More than 200 pages worth of details about accusations made against Secret Service personnel since 2004 has been released. The accusations concern "claims of involvement with prostitutes, leaking sensitive information, publishing pornography, sexual assault, illegal wiretaps, improper use of weapons and drunken behavior," The Associated Press reports.

Important note: the list apparently deals with accusations, not confirmed cases of misconduct.

We'll pass along more about this as the story develops.

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The Two-Way
4:13 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Central Banks 'On Standby' As Greek Elections Loom

The European Central Bank "is on standby to keep banks flush with liquidity" if Greeks effectively vote on Sunday to support politicians who want to reject austerity measures and pull the nation out of the eurozone, The Financial Times writes this morning.

The ECB joins "a global chorus of central bankers pledging support ahead of Sunday's elections," the FT adds.

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The Two-Way
3:12 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Coca-Cola Returning To Myanmar; Now It Sells In All But 2 Nations

Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 3:29 am

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The Two-Way
2:30 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Last Suspect In 1995 Sarin Attack Arrested In Tokyo

Katsuya Takahashi, the last fugitive connected to the 1995 sarin attack on Tokyo's subway system, after his arrest today.
Jiji Press AFP/Getty Images

"Tokyo police have arrested the last fugitive member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, Katsuya Takahashi, who was on the run for 17 years," NHK WORLD reports.

The 54-year-old suspect was taken into custody today in Tokyo. As NHK says, "Takahashi was wanted in connection with the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in March, 1995 and other Aum-related crimes. He allegedly helped one of the perpetrators flee after the attack."

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The Two-Way
1:54 am
Fri June 15, 2012

'Forest Boy' Is A Hoax, Police Say

He wasn't really a "forest boy," police say.
Berlin police

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 1:25 pm

We won't pretend to be surprised:

"The forest boy known previously as 'Ray' has been identified as Robin van Helsum. from the Dutch town of Hengelo, Dutch police confirmed Friday morning." (Germany's The Local)

It took only about two days from the time that police in Berlin released a photo of "Ray" for him to be identified by friends.

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The Two-Way
1:32 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Heart Surgery Goes 'Very Well' For 'Little Darth Vader'

In this screen shot provided by Volkswagen of America, Max Page stars as a "Little Darth Vader" who thinks he's used "the force" to start a VW Passat.
AP

We've got good news to pass along regarding the open heart surgery performed Thursday on seven-year-old Max Page, the child actor who captivated viewers as "Little Darth Vader" in a 2011 Volkswagen commercial.

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The Two-Way
1:18 am
Fri June 15, 2012

In Sports: Tiger Tied For Second, Miami Ties Up NBA Finals

LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Kevin Durant of the Thunder during Thursday's game in Oklahoma City.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

The two sports headlines that matter the most this morning.:

-- Tiger Woods Tied For Second At U.S. Open; Michael Thompson Leads By Three Strokes.

Golf's Open is being played at San Francisco's Olympic Club. ESPN's broadcast resumes at 9 a.m. ET.

-- Miami Wins Game Two Of The NBA Finals By Score Of 100-96; Series With Thunder Tied At 1-1.

The Heat and Thunder play next on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. ABC-TV is the broadcaster.

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The Two-Way
12:51 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Egypt's 'Smooth Military Coup' Protested

Egyptian anti-military protesters waved their shoes — a way of showing their extreme anger — as they demonstrated in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Thursday. More protests are planned for today.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 6:36 am

People around the world are watching anxiously to see the reaction in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities to Thursday's "smooth military coup."

"Leftist and liberal Egyptian activists" have called for demonstrations, al-Jazeera reports, starting after midday prayers in that Muslim nation (Egypt is six hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast).

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Can You ID Germany's 'Forest Boy'?

"Forest boy," who says his name is Ray.
Berlin police

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 1:59 am

7 a.m. June 15. IMPORTANT UPDATE: 'Forest Boy' Is A Hoax, Police Say.

Our original post:

Take a look at the face.

If you've got any clue as to who this young man is, police in Berlin want to know.

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