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
10:46 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Bipartisan Report Calls Benghazi Attacks 'Preventable'

An armed man waves his arms as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. Consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 7:02 pm

In a report signed off on by Democrats and Republicans, the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday said the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, "were likely preventable."

The panel finds fault with both the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies for not taking steps beforehand to boost security.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Wed January 15, 2014

VIDEO: Springsteen, Fallon Do 'Gov. Christie Traffic Jam'

Bruce Springsteen (left) and Jimmy Fallon doing their "Gov. Christie Traffic Jam."
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon blog

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:39 am

Being stuck in a horrendous traffic jam is no joke.

Nor is having your potential presidential prospects possibly put into jeopardy by a scandal involving your top aides.

But we do have to say that NBC-TV's Jimmy Fallon has come through yet again with another should-see music video that adds some laughs to the news.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Videos Show Asiana Crash Victim Was Run Over Despite Warnings

A view from above of the wreckage after Asiana Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6, 2013.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:17 am

Newly revealed videos show that some emergency personnel did know there was a victim lying on the ground near the burning wreckage of an Asiana Airlines passenger jet last July in San Francisco and that they warned other first responders at the scene.

But fire trucks later ran over the teenage victim at least twice.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Strike Up The Band! Minnesota Orchestra Lockout Ends

After more than 15 months, the bitter labor battle between the Minnesota Orchestra musicians and management has ended. Whether the orchestra's music director Osmo Vänskä (pictured here) will return, after resigning in October, remains to be seen.
Greg Helgeson Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:39 am

"The 15-month lockout at the Minnesota Orchestra ended Tuesday after management and musicians announced an agreement," Minnesota Public Radio writes.

"Musicians will return to work on Feb. 1," the network adds. They had been locked out since October 2012.

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Extending Jobless Benefits Likely Delayed Again

The lines were busy last September at an unemployment insurance phone bank operated by the California Employment Development Department in Sacramento.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:21 am

The headlines tell the story:

-- "Hopes Dim For Long-Term Extension To Jobless Benefits." (All Things Considered)

-- "Senate Blocks Jobless Aid." (Politico)

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The Two-Way
5:26 am
Wed January 15, 2014

NSA Reportedly Can Monitor 100,000 Computers Worldwide

The NSA can reportedly monitor what's going on with 100,000 computers around the world.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:16 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Carrie Johnson on the hearing about the NSA's surveillance programs
  • From 'Morning Edition': Journalist Barton Gellman on the NSA

"The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks," The New York Times reports.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Two Students Wounded, 12-Year-Old Captured After School Shooting

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 9:01 pm

This post was updated at 11 p.m. ET.

A 12-year-old student opened fire Tuesday at a middle school in Roswell, N.M., wounding two fellow students. The shooter, who was armed with a shotgun, was arrested.

The Associated Press reports:

"A boy was critically injured and a girl was in satisfactory condition following the shooting at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell.

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Thousands Have Water Again In W.Va. As 'All-Clear' Areas Spread

4:45 p.m. ET, Jan. 14: Areas in red still can't use their water. But the blue area is starting to expand.
West Virginia American Water

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:23 pm

The map that shows residents of nine counties in West Virginia whether they can start using the water from their taps is slowly starting to change from red to blue.

That's good news because blue means customers in those areas can start flushing their homes' and businesses' pipes — and after that, start using their water again for cooking, cleaning and drinking.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Tue January 14, 2014

20 Million DirecTV Customers Just Lost The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore reporting from Manhattan's Battery Park during Hurricane Irene in August 2011.
Jonathan Saruk/The Weather Channel Getty Images

What was already a stormy relationship between The Weather Channel and DirectTV has now become something of a Category 3 communications catastrophe.

Twenty million DirecTV customers can't see The Weather Channel today because the two sides didn't reach an agreement on a new distribution deal before a midnight Monday deadline.

According to The Associated Press, "the two companies pointed fingers at each other":

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Tue January 14, 2014

'Absolutely Crazy': Man Killed In Movie Theater For Texting?

Did an argument over texting in a darkened theater escalate?
NPR

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 11:37 am

Click here for our latest update.

The early reports about what happened Monday afternoon inside a movie theater near Tampa are certainly disturbing:

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Congress Poised To Pass $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that would fund the federal government into October and bring to an end, for now at least, the bitter partisan battles that have led to one government shutdown and threatened to push the U.S. into defaulting on its bills.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Egyptians Go To Polls With Opposition Largely Silenced

A woman casts her ballot Tuesday at a polling station in Nasr City, Cairo.
Amru Salahuddien Xinhua/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Leila Fadel talks with Renee Montagne about the voting in Egypt

As Egyptians begin voting on a new constitution, the opposition to the huge role that nation's military plays in life there has been pushed to the side, NPR's Leila Fadel reported Tuesday from Cairo.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Chomp! Fish Snatches Bird In Flight: VIDEO

My what big teeth you have. An African tigerfish.
Smithsonian Channel

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 12:56 pm

The Smithsonian Channel doesn't call it "the ferocious tigerfish" for nothing.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Mon January 13, 2014

New Problem For Christie: Audit Of Sandy-Related Spending

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, in one of the "Stronger Than The Storm" ads aimed at bringing tourists back to his state after Hurricane Sandy.
StrongerThanTheStorm YouTube channel

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 11:01 am

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is going to examine how the state of New Jersey spent $25 million of the federal aid it received after 2012's Hurricane Sandy, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., has announced.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Gates Says He Wept Each Evening Over Troops' Deaths

Robert Gates in June 2011 during his final official news conference as secretary of defense.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 9:08 am

The news from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' interviews with NPR and other news outlets — notably, how he uses a new book to criticize many in the White House — has now been widely reported.

But we also want to point to two passages in his conversation with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep that particularly struck us.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Permit To Hunt And Kill One Black Rhino Sold For $350,000

A black rhino in Namibia's Etosha National Park.
Frans Lanting DPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 9:23 am

The Dallas Safari Club's controversial auction of a permit to hunt one black rhino in Namibia raised $350,000 over the weekend, the club confirms on its Facebook page.

That's at the lower end of the range that club executive Ben Carter had expected. In December, he told NPR that he hoped the auction would raise $225,000 to $1 million.

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Ariel Sharon Remembered As Man Of War And Peace

Israeli soldiers carry the coffin of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday in Jerusalem.
Daniel Naupold DPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:19 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Emily Harris reports on the funeral for Ariel Sharon

As Israelis paid their respects Monday to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a memorial service and funeral, one of his contemporaries on the world stage offered this view of the general and statesman who an iconic and controversial figure:

"The idea that he changed from man of war to a man of peace," is mistaken, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said during a memorial service at the Knesset, Israel's legislature.

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Slowly, Water Is Flowing Again In West Virginia

On Saturday in South Charleston, W.Va., Cathy Mabe was one of many who came to get water from a temporary filling station.
Lisa Hechesky Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:20 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Ashton Marra reports from West Virginia

Relief is finally arriving for the 300,000 or so people in nine West Virginia counties who haven't been able to drink, cook or clean with their tap water for more than four days.

Officials announced at noon Monday that tests show the level of a potentially harmful chemical have fallen to the point where the water can be turned back on. But, they cautioned that the process of bringing customers back on line will take several days and has to be done systematically.

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The Two-Way
10:01 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Gates: Obama Made Solid Decisions, But Was Swayed By Factious Staff

Robert Gates in June 2011, his last month as secretary of defense.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 9:07 am

  • Part II of the 'Morning Edition' conversation with Robert Gates

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says his criticism of President Obama is more nuanced than media reports about his new book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, would have you believe.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Same-Sex Couples In Utah Made Eligible For Federal Benefits

Chris Serrano, left, and Clifton Webb embrace after being married on Dec. 20 in the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office in Salt Lake City.
Kim Raff AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 1:35 pm

"Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday that the federal government will recognize the 900-plus same-sex marriages that took place in Utah during the two weeks when such unions were legal," NPR's Nina Totenberg writes for us.

That means those couples "will be eligible for all federal benefits," NPR's Carrie Johnson adds.

In a statement, Holder says that:

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Gates Says His Points About Obama Have Been Mischaracterized

Robert Gates waves and President Obama claps at the then-defense secretary's farewell ceremony in June 2011.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:08 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Steve Inskeep and David Greene discuss NPR's interview with Robert Gates

Reports this week about former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' new book have implied that he thinks President Obama approved a 2009 troop surge in Afghanistan "believing the strategy would fail," as NPR's Steve Inskeep said on Friday's Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Franklin McCain, One Of 'Greensboro Four,' Dies

(From left) Joseph McNeil and Franklin McCain, two of the Greensboro Four who the day before had sat at the "whites only" counter of a Woolworth store, came back on Feb. 2, 1960, with two others — Billy Smith and Clarence Henderson.
Jack Moebes/Greensboro News & Record

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:08 pm

Franklin McCain, one of the "Greensboro Four" who in 1960 sat down at a whites-only lunch counter in North Carolina and launched a sit-in movement that would soon spread to cities across the nation, has died.

North Carolina A&T State University said Friday morning that McCain died Thursday "after a brief illness at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro."

Our colleagues at WUNC report that McCain had just turned 73. Other news outlets are reporting he was 71.

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Economy Adds Only 74,000 Jobs In December; Jobless Rate At 6.7 Percent

Sign of the times? A "help wanted" sign in the window of a Philadelphia business last year.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:08 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Yuki Noguchi and David Greene preview the jobs report
We'll be posting updates after the report's 8:30 a.m. ET release.

There were only 74,000 jobs added to public and private payrolls in December, but the unemployment rate fell to a 5-year low 6.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday morning.

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Target Says 70 Million Individuals' Data May Have Been Stolen

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:52 am

The size of the data breach at Target Co. stores late last year took a sharp rise Friday when the retailer said it now estimates that up to 70 million individuals may have had information that includes their "names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses" stolen.

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The Two-Way
5:17 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Chemical Leak Causes Water Emergency In West Virginia; Plant Shut Down

In Charleston, W.Va., the shelves of this Kroger supermarket had been nearly stripped of bottled water on Thursday. Residents rushed to buy water after a chemical spill led officials to warn that they not use what's coming out of their taps.
Tyler Evert AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 5:13 pm

More than 100,000 customers of one water company in West Virginia have been warned not to drink, cook or wash with the water coming from their taps because of chemicals that seeped into the Elk River near Charleston on Thursday.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

NSA Says It Would Welcome Public Advocate At FISA Court

The National Security Agency headquarters building in Fort Meade, Md.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:45 am

  • NSA's John Inglis on why you need a haystack
  • NSA's John Inglis compares what Edward Snowden did to arson

The National Security Agency "would welcome" the creation of a public advocate's position at the court that oversees its electronic surveillance programs, said its outgoing deputy director.

John C. "Chris" Inglis, who retires Friday after more than seven years as the NSA's No. 2, told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep that "I would only put the caveat on there that it needs to be operationally efficient."

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Thu January 9, 2014

While U.S. Shivers, Australia And Brazil Sizzle

At the Australian Bat Clinic in Queensland, 15 baby flying foxes (bats) were lined up and ready to be fed Thursday. They were brought there to get out of the extreme heat, which has killed hundreds of thousands of bats.
Trish Wimberley AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:18 am

Temperatures across much of the U.S. are, as forecast, finally starting to get back to something close to normal after several days of dangerously cold air.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Thu January 9, 2014

More Slow-But-Steady News: Fewer Jobless Claims Filed

Looking for work in Florida. At a November career fair in West Palm Beach, this man had a job application in hand.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:15 am

There were 330,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, down 15,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The claims data are the last bits of evidence about how the labor market is doing before Friday's scheduled release of figures on the December unemployment rate and payroll growth.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Thu January 9, 2014

An 'Embarrassed And Humiliated' Gov. Christie Apologizes

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks Thursday during a news conference Thursday at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 6:54 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': WNYC's Matt Katz talks with Renee Montagne about the New Jersey bridge scandal
  • Gov. Christie: 'I had no knowledge'
This post was updated with the latest news at 8:45 p.m. ET.

Saying he is "embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some people on my team," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday apologized to the people of New Jersey for his aides' role in a scheme to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee by closing lanes that lead to the George Washington Bridge.

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Thu January 9, 2014

'I Had Been Drinking,' Rodman Says In Apology For Comments

Dennis Rodman in December, during one of his previous visits to North Korea.
David Guttenfelder AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:24 am

Saying that "I had been drinking," former NBA player Dennis Rodman has had his publicist issue an apology for the obscenity-laced rant he went on earlier this week during an interview on CNN.

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