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
11:52 am
Tue January 28, 2014

No, Queen Elizabeth Is Not Down To Her 'Last Million'

Queen Elizabeth II.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Did you hear about Queen Elizabeth II? That times are tough for Britain's monarch?

Or as an inspired headline writer at Australia's Canberra Times put it:

Royal no longer flush — Queen 'down to her last million'

Well, don't schedule a telethon for her just yet.

The queen herself is not running out of money.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Super Bowl Tickets Are 'Cheap,' And Weather Isn't Only Reason

Tickets? Tickets? Anybody need tickets? Some are available to Sunday's Super Bowl in New Jersey at "bargain" prices.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:53 am

Sure, the game-time temperature's going to be in the low-30s or high-20s at Sunday's Super Bowl in New Jersey.

But brokers say that's not the only reason why tickets to the game aren't going for super-high prices on the websites where they're being resold.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Opposition 'Gaining Ground' In Ukraine?

Anti-government protesters wave flags and shout slogans Tuesday in Kiev, Ukraine.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:21 am

Demonstrators in Kiev's main square are welcoming the news that Ukraine's "widely despised" prime minister is stepping down, that anti-protest laws have been repealed and that protesters may get amnesty, NPR's Corey Flintoff reports.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Emergencies Declared As Deep Freeze Hits Deep South

Tuesday night's forecast for the lower 48 states shows temperatures below freezing (the shades of blue and purple) across most of the nation.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:07 am

In Louisiana:

-- "Jindal declares state of emergency, urges caution ahead of winter storm." (The Times-Picayune)

In Mississippi:

"Storm warning: Emergency plans put in place." (Clarion-Ledger)

In Alabama:

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Obama To Raise Minimum Wage For Federal Contracts

President Obama, working at his desk Monday night on the eve of his 2014 State of the Union address.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:06 am

News broke this morning that President Obama will announce during his State of the Union address tonight that he's going to sign an executive order raising the minimum wage in new federal contracts.

And as stories about that were popping up on news sites, one of the president's top advisers was on Morning Edition saying that Obama has "warmed up to" the idea of using such executive orders to advance his agenda.

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The Two-Way
4:54 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger, Folk Music Icon And Activist, Dies At 94

Pete Seeger closes out the 2011 Newport Folk Festival.
Anna Webber WireImage

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:00 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': A look back at Pete Seeger's life, from former NPR newscaster Paul Brown

Pete Seeger, "a tireless campaigner for his own vision of a utopia marked by peace and togetherness," died Monday at the age of 94.

As former NPR broadcaster Paul Brown adds in an appreciation he prepared for Morning Edition, Seeger's tools "were his songs, his voice, his enthusiasm and his musical instruments."

The songs he'll be long remembered for include "If I Had a Hammer," "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone."

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Rat-A-Phooey! That Ghost Ship May Not Be Infested With Rodents

The Lyubov Orlova sits derelict at dockside in Newfoundland in October 2012.
Dan Conlin Wikipedia Commons

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 2:03 pm

As creepily fascinating as the story may be, the tale about a "rat-infested ghost ship" supposedly headed toward Britain may need to be filed in the too-good-to-be-true category.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Mon January 27, 2014

CEO Of A Bitcoin Exchange Charged With Money Laundering

Charlie Shrem, CEO of the BitInstant bitcoin exchange, and another man have been charged with allegedly laundering money for individuals who illegally bought drugs online.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Relic Containing Pope John Paul II's Blood Stolen

Pope John Paul II in 1982
Hulton Archive Getty Images

One of only three known containers holding what's said to be Pope John Paul II's blood was stolen over the weekend from a small church in the mountains of Italy's central Abruzzo region.

According to the BBC, the thief or thieves "left the collection box, but took a crucifix and the priceless relic, which contains a piece of gauze once soaked in the blood of the late pope."

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Egypt's El-Sissi Promoted, Military Says He Should Run For President

Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in April 2013, when he was a general and defense minister.
Jim Watson AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:58 am

Update at 1:53 p.m. ET. El-Sissi Should Run For President:

NPR's Leila Fadel sends us this update from Cairo:

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces says that Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi should heed the calls of the people to run for president and that el-Sissi is free act as his conscience guides him. El-Sissi hasn't explicitly declared but what is clear is he will run for president.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Rep. Radel Resigns; Pleaded Guilty To Cocaine Possession

Republican Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel of Florida
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 1:34 pm

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET. Letter Sent To Boehner:

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Mon January 27, 2014

UPDATED: Ukrainian President Offers To 'Scrap' Anti-Protest Law

A protester guards a barricade in Kiev, Ukraine, on Monday.
Darko Vojinovic AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 3:29 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Kiev

Update at 5:23 p.m. ET. President Offers To Scrap Anti-Protest Law:

As the protests continued, Ukraine's president made another concession on Monday: He said he would scrap a law that made protesting illegal. The law fueled already violent protests and helped them spread into areas of the country that were loyal to President Viktor Yanukovych.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Mon January 27, 2014

VIDEO: Grammy Highlights, Including A Bit Of Paul And Ringo

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:57 am

Our friends at Monkey See and The Record covered Sunday night's Grammy awards from start to finish, so we won't repeat their good work.

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The Two-Way
4:49 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Looking To Escape The Deep Freeze? Head To Alaska

A man walks across a bridge in Trenton, N.J., on Saturday. More cold weather is headed his way.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:38 am

The National Weather Service is warning, once again, that brutally cold weather is going to be spreading across much of the nation, from the upper Midwest down to the deep South and up through the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England.

The Weather Service even throws an exclamation point into its forecast for this week:

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

10 Years' Probation For NFL Player Who Caused Fatal Crash

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent, who was drunk in December 2012 when the car he was driving crashed and his passenger — teammate Jerry Brown Jr. — was killed, was sentenced Friday to 180 days in jail, a $10,000 fine and 10 years of probation.

The Dallas Morning News writes that:

"After reading the sentence, state District Judge Robert Burns scolded Brent for his actions.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Fri January 24, 2014

How An 18-Year-Old Code Was Cracked On The Web In 13 Minutes

A fascinating story that our friends at Minnesota Public Radio posted about earlier this week seems to be spreading fast and resonating with many.

Here's how The Associated Press, which picked up on the news a day after MPR's Bob Collins and some others, begins its account:

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Ukraine Protests Spread, But 'Fragile Truce' Holds In Kiev

On Friday in Kiev, a woman knelt as she appealed to Ukranian police troops at the site of clashes with anti-government protesters.
Gleb Garanich Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 9:36 am

"Violent protests in Ukraine have spread beyond the capital, Kiev," the BBC writes, as President Viktor Yanukovych and three key opposition leaders meet.

On Friday, according to the BBC, "protesters stormed the governor's offices in Lviv, and there were rallies in at least five more western cities."

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Fri January 24, 2014

President Boehner? Not If That Rules Out Wine And Cigarettes

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, during his appearance on Thursday's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
NBC.com/the-tonight-show

House Speaker John Boehner used his first-ever appearance on NBC-TV's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to talk politics and, as President Obama and others have also done on late-night TV, have some fun at his own expense.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Fri January 24, 2014

30 Elderly Residents Still Missing After Fire In Quebec

A firefighter walks past what is left of a seniors home in L'Isle Verte, Quebec. At least five people died and 30 are still missing after a fire there. The water used to fight the flames has frozen into ice that is a foot thick in places.
Mathieu Belanger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:38 am

Eight people are known to have died and the families of about 30 others are "bracing for the worst" as the search resumes for victims of Thursday's fire at a home for senior citizens in eastern Quebec.

Correspondent Dan Karpenchuk says in a report for our Newscast Desk that:

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Mediator: Syria, Opposition Will Have Face-To-Face Meeting

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 11:48 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Deborah Amos reports from the Syria peace talks

Update at 12:36 p.m. ET. A Face-To-Face Meeting:

After arduous talks about talks, there seems to be some kind of breakthrough in Geneva, Switzerland, this afternoon: International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said delegations from the Syrian government and its opposition will meet face-to-face for the first time on Saturday.

According to Reuters, Brahimi told reporters that both sides had accepted the principles of the Geneva Communiqué.

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The Two-Way
4:44 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Mobs Blame Muslim Brotherhood After Bombs Rock Cairo

A man carries an Egyptian police officer to an ambulance after Friday's blast at the Egyptian police headquarters in downtown Cairo.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 9:09 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo

Update at 11:05 a.m. ET: There's been a fourth blast in Cairo. We've added that development to the top of this post.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Rather Than Joking About Justin Bieber, Watch This Video

This police booking mug made available by the Miami Dade County Corrections Department shows pop star Justin Bieber on Thursday (Jan. 23, 2014).
AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 12:58 pm

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Twin Toilets In Sochi: Some Wonder Why That's A Big Deal

The loo for two in Sochi: BBC correspondent Steve Rosenberg snapped this picture in the men's room at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 8:54 am

Have you seen the "twin toilets" photo that's been swirling round the Internet the past couple of days?

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Sales Of Existing Homes Hit 7-Year High In 2013

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 8:35 am

We updated the top of this post at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The evidence that the housing sector has bounced back from the deep slump it sank into starting in 2007 was reinforced Thursday morning with word from the National Association of Realtors that:

"Existing-home sales edged up in December, sales for all of 2013 were the highest since 2006, and median prices maintained strong growth. ...

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Many Missing After Massive Fire At Seniors' Home In Quebec

A firefighter walks past the Residence du Havre after the fire in L'Isle Verte, Quebec. At least three people died in the blaze at the seniors' home. Early reports were that another 30 people were missing.
Mathieu Belanger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 11:39 am

"Three people are dead and 30 people are unaccounted for after an overnight fire broke out at a seniors' residence in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec," the CBC reports.

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The Two-Way
5:47 am
Thu January 23, 2014

In Ukraine, Protesters Warn They'll Go 'On The Attack'

A protester walks pass burning tires in central Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:24 pm

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has less than 24 hours to agree to hold early elections and lift anti-protest laws or the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have been in the streets of Kiev for days will go "on the attack," a leader of the opposition says.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Warren Buffett's $1 Billion Basketball Bet Is A Very Long Shot

Warren Buffett with Harlem Globetrotter Chris "Handles" Franklin at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting in May 2013.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:13 pm

Talk about March Madness:

Billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans have teamed up on a "Billion $ Bracket Challenge."

Basically, Quicken is offering a $1 billion grand prize — yes, that's billion, with a B — if someone correctly picks the outcome of all 63 games in the men's Division I college basketball tournament this spring.

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Think You Know Richard Sherman After His 'Rant'? Maybe Not

Richard Sherman off the football field.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:37 am

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Antarctic Travelers Who Got Stuck In Ice Finally Get Home

Back home: Passengers disembark from the icebreaker Aurora Australis on Wednesday at a harbor in Hobart, Australia. The ship brought 52 scientists and adventure tourists back to Australia from Antarctica, where the ship they had been on got stuck in ice.
Rob Blakers EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 12:36 pm

The 52 scientists and paying passengers who spent more than a week aboard a ship that was trapped in ice off the coast of Antarctica over the holidays are now safely back home in Australia.

From Sydney, correspondent Stuart Cohen tells our Newscast Desk that
"three weeks after being rescued from their stranded research vessel," the members of the exhibition are in the city of Hobart.

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