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
8:43 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Suicide Bombing Causes Multiple Deaths In Afghanistan

An Afghan police officer stands near some of the wreckage after Saturday's suicide bombing in Kabul.
Anja Niedringhaus AP

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 1:37 pm

A suicide bombing Saturday in Kabul, Afghanistan, near the site where elders will meet next week to debate a security pact with the U.S. caused multiple deaths and injuries, NPR's Sean Carberry tells our Newscast Desk.

He reports that:

"The huge blast destroyed cars and shops and scattered debris for more than 100 yards. Witnesses describe seeing injured and dead civilians being pulled from the scene. Afghan officials claim the bomber was under surveillance and exploded his vehicle when stopped at the checkpoint."

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Sat November 16, 2013

How'd They Do That? Jean-Claude Van Damme's 'Epic Split'

The easy part: Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme before the trucks started backing up and he did his "epic split."
Volvo Trucks

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 1:31 pm

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Estimate Of Number Left Homeless By Typhoon Soars

Patients injured during Typhoon Haiyan lie in the halls of the Divine Word Hospital in Tacloban, the Philippines. Despite severe damage to the ground floor and the loss of the roof, the staff of the hospital keep treating patients.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 3:05 pm

Update at 4:55 p.m. ET. Estimate Of Those Displaced Soars:

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

'Rock Heads' Ran Newspaper That Panned 'Gettysburg Address'

An undated photo provided by The Patriot-News showing a bit of the 1863 editorial in which President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was dismissed. The newspaper (then known as The Patriot & Union) referred to Lincoln's words as "silly remarks."
AP

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 4:04 am

The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., has gotten attention around the nation this week for retracting an editorial that ran in 1863.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Toronto City Council Aims To Strip Away Mayor's Powers

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his wife, Renata, during a news conference Thursday.
Mark Blinch Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 9:37 am

"Mayor Rob Ford will essentially be mayor in name only after Monday," writes the Toronto Sun. "Three special council meetings — two to be held Friday and one on Monday — have been called to strip Ford of all the powers delegated to him by council and slash his mayor's office budget."

Friday's session began just after 9:30 a.m. ET and is being webcast here by CTV News.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Mighty Sachin Has Bowed Out: It's Over For Tendulkar

A poster in Mumbai this week of Sachin Tendulkar, India's cricket superstar.
Punit Paranjpe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:32 am

Sachin Tendulkar, the "little master" who is known as India's greatest cricketer, left the pitch Friday for what's likely to be the last time.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Fri November 15, 2013

We Beheaded The Wrong Man, Syrian Terrorists Say

A member of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant urges Syrians in the city of Aleppo to fight against the Assad regime. This week, the militants apologized for beheading a commander from another anti-Assad group.
Karam al-Masri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:28 am

"Militant Islamist rebels in Syria ... have asked for 'understanding and forgiveness' for cutting off and putting on display the wrong man's head," The Telegraph reports.

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Wait Continues In The Philippines: 'We Have Nothing To Eat'

A boy stands amid ruins in Tacloban, the Philippines. The city of 220,000 was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 9:02 pm

Aid is starting to get to some of the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, but the sad news from the Philippines on Friday is that for many of the storm's victims things still aren't much better after a week without adequate food, water or shelter.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Thu November 14, 2013

What Amazing Thing Did Toronto's Mayor Say Today?

Mayor Rob Ford was wearing a Toronto Argonauts football jersey when at City Hall on Thursday. He was also making some rather crude comments in response to some of the latest allegations about his behavior.
Mark Blinch Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:59 am

After admitting to smoking crack, to buying illegal drugs and to more than once being in a drunken stupor, it would seem like Toronto Mayor Rob Ford couldn't say anything else that would really shock anyone.

Well ...

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Obama Moves To Delay Cancellations Of Insurance Plans

President Barack Obama speaking at the White House on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 11:18 am

  • LISTEN: The president's news conference and NPR coverage of it

President Obama announced Thursday that Americans who have had their health insurance plans canceled because of his Affordable Care Act can keep those plans for another year if they wish.

Those cancellations — most effective on Jan. 1 — have sparked intense criticism of the ACA, in part because the president pledged many times that if Americans liked the health plans they had, they wouldn't have to give them up under the terms of his program.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Secret Service Shaken By New Report Of Misconduct

Secret Service agents stood watch earlier this month as President Obama arrived at Dallas Love Field airport.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:35 am

A Secret Service supervisor has been removed from his post on the team that protects President Obama and another supervisor has been shifted to a different position after allegations of misconduct that have "sent tremors through an agency still trying to restore its elite reputation," The Washington Post reports.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Yellen To Say Economy Needs Support, New Data Seem To Agree

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:28 am

As Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen prepares to tell the Senate Banking Committee that she supports continuing the central bank's policy of buying billions of dollars' worth of bonds to boost the economy, there's fresh evidence that the relatively slow economic recovery continues to be ... relatively slow.

The Employment and Training Administration said Thursday that there were 339,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits filed last week, down by just 2,000 from the week before.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Thu November 14, 2013

JPMorgan's Payments To China's Elite Being Probed: Report

Wen Jiabao, when he was China's premier, at a banquet in 2010.
Barbara Walton/pool AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:23 am

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, N.Y., are looking into $1.8 million that JPMorgan Chase paid to a two-person firm in China from 2006 to 2008, The New York Times reports.

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Thu November 14, 2013

One Week After Typhoon, 'The Mood Here Is Very Desperate'

In Tacloban, the Philippines, on Thursday, some survivors waiting in a line to charge cellphones covered their faces because of the lingering smell of dead bodies.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 3:48 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Tacloban, the Philippines
  • On the NPR Newscast: Anthony Kuhn reports from Tacloban, the Philippines
  • On 'Morning Edition': Typhoon survivor Marcelo Maloon and a report from NPR's Jason Beaubien

The 220,000 residents of Tacloban — and millions more across central and southern Philippines — were hunkered down one week ago as Typhoon Haiyan bore down on them.

A week later, "the mood here is very desperate," NPR's Anthony Kuhn said Thursday as he reported from Tacloban for Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Toronto Council Asks Mayor Ford To Temporarily Step Aside

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford during Wednesday's contentious City Council meeting.
Mark Blinch Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 2:10 pm

Toronto's City Council voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to call on Mayor Rob Ford to take a leave of absence after he admitted to purchasing and using illegal drugs.

In a final plea before the vote, Ford apologized to Council members, acknowledging that "I really 'effed up.' "

The vote came after a tumultuous afternoon chronicled in our original post, which we pick up here:

-- Mayor Rob Ford has admitted to purchasing illegal drugs in recent years, while also insisting that, "I am not an alcoholic ... I am not a drug addict."

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Wed November 13, 2013

'Got You, You Rat,' Woman Tells 'Whitey' Bulger At Sentencing

James "Whitey" Bulger was captured in June 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., with his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig.

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 10:55 am

(With the day's court action over, we updated this post at noon ET.)

Confronting James "Whitey" Bulger, who she believes killed her father in addition to the 11 people he's been convicting of murdering, a woman told the mob boss Wednesday morning that "we got you, you rat."

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Wed November 13, 2013

HealthCare.gov's Mystery Lady Says She's Been Cyberbullied

HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 11:21 am

The woman whose smiling face adorned the HealthCare.gov website in the first days after its launch has stepped forward to tearfully address those who she says cyberbullied her as they took potshots at the Obama administration's troubled online health exchange.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Record $142.4M For Francis Bacon Art; Warhol Fetches $57.3M

Francis Bacon's 1969 triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud.
Christie's Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 11:45 am

Three Studies of Lucian Freud, a 1969 triptych painting by artist Francis Bacon, was sold for a record $142.4 million Tuesday night at Christie's in Manhattan.

It's now "the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction," The Associated Press reports. The previous record: "the nearly $120 million paid for Edvard Munch's The Scream, which set a world record when it was sold at Sotheby's in a 2012 sale."

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Wed November 13, 2013

In Shattered Philippine City, A Fight For 'Sheer Survival'

In anguish: Tears ran down the cheeks of a man as he waited with other survivors Tuesday for a flight out of Tacloban in the Philippines, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:44 pm

  • Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Tacloban, the Philippines
  • From the NPR Newscast: Anthony Kuhn on the scene in Tacloban

(We updated this post at 10:40 a.m. ET to include the latest official death toll of more than 2,300.)

As some trucks loaded with food and other aid arrive in the Philippine city of Tacloban, they're being looted by residents struggling to survive in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, NPR's Anthony Kuhn said Wednesday on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Tue November 12, 2013

After Typhoon Tore Through, People 'Were Left On Their Own'

In Guiuan, the Philippines, the typhoon left behind destruction and left people fending for themselves in the first days after.
John Alvin Villafranca Courtesy of David Santos and the photographer

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 3:56 pm

  • David Santos on saying prayers as the typhoon raged.
  • David Santos on realizing how widespread the destruction was.

The concrete floors and walls shook, the door of the room almost blew off its hinges and he "said a lot prayers," Filipino TV reporter David Santos says as he remembers what it was like to ride out Typhoon Haiyan inside a small hospital in the Philippines town of Guiuan.

Then, when he and other survivors emerged on Friday, the scene was incredible.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Tue November 12, 2013

VIDEO: No Joke As Backboard Almost Crushes Globetrotter

Uh-oh. William "Bull" Bullard of the Harlem Globetrotters brought the basket, backboard and stanchion down with him after a dunk. He just missed getting crushed.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 9:49 am

William "Bull" Bullard of the Harlem Globetrotters is OK, but what happened to him during an exhibition in Honduras is not a laughing matter.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Bailout Chief Tapped For Tougher Job: Regulating Derivatives

Meet the new boss? Timothy Massad, left, is to be nominated to replace Gary Gensler, right, as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Official portraits from the Treasury Dept. and CFTC

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 8:33 am

The news, as Bloomberg Businessweek writes, is that:

"Timothy Massad, the Treasury Department official responsible for overseeing the U.S. rescue of banks and automakers after the credit crisis, will be nominated to head the country's top derivatives regulator."

But leave it to The Wall Street Journal to neatly sum things up in a headline:

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan: How To Help

Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines coastal village of Capiz got some help Monday when a Filipino military helicopter brought some much-needed food.
Tara Yap AFP/Getty Images

The State Department announced Monday that it is "cooperating with the Philippines Typhoon Disaster Relief Fund established by The mGive Foundation, a U.S. nonprofit organization" to collect donations for victims of the typhoon that struck the Philippines on Friday.

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Typhoon's Death Toll Likely Near 2,500, President Aquino Says

On Tuesday, a boy sat in the debris of destroyed houses in Tacloban, on the eastern Filipino island of Leyte.
Noel Celis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 10:35 am

  • From the airport in Tacloban: NPR's Anthony Kuhn says Tuesday that "people are very hungry" and some are quite angry.
  • On 'Morning Edition': Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy talks about Typhoon Haiyan and the destruction in the Philippines

Update at 12:30 p.m. ET:

Grim estimates that the death toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan might be around 10,000 appear to have been "too much," President Benigno Aquino III told CNN Tuesday.

Aquino said that as more information has come in about the devastation, the figure is looking more likely to be between 2,000 to 2,500.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Hundreds Attend Funeral Of WWII Veteran They Didn't Know

A cross adorned with a poppy was among the ways Harold Percival was remembered Monday. Poppies have been a symbol of remembrance for veterans since the poem In Flanders Fields was written in 1915 by a Canadian military doctor.
Nigel Roddis Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 6:15 am

Whether you know it as Veterans Day here in the U.S. or as Remembrance Day in Commonwealth countries, we think you'll agree that something remarkable happened on this Nov. 11 in England.

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Mon November 11, 2013

'Stop This Madness,' Tearful Filipino Pleads At Climate Talks

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 10:32 am

  • "Stop this madness," Filipino delegate Yeb Sano says at climate change conference
  • Choking back tears, Yeb Sano speaks of the devastation in the Philippines

His eyes filling with tears and his voice choking with emotion over the disaster inflicted on his country, the delegate from the Philippines pleaded at U.N. climate talks Monday for his colleagues from around the world to agree on ways to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists blame for global warming.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Amazon Taps Post Office For Sunday Deliveries; A Win-Win?

These could be on your doorstep some Sunday.
Paul Sakuma AP

Much of the talk in recent years about how the U.S. Postal Service could stem its huge losses has been about the things it might stop doing — most notably, delivering the mail on Saturdays (something Congress won't let it discontinue).

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Homeless Veteran's Makeover Goes Viral: VIDEO

Jim Wolf of Grand Rapids, Mich. The Army veteran was transformed for a video that the maker hopes will convince people to look at the homeless differently.
Screen grabs from the RobBlissCreative video

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 7:18 am

On this Veterans Day, a video showing a homeless veteran's transformation as a stylist cuts his hair, trims his beard and puts him in a new suit, is going viral. It's already drawn more than 10 million views in just 5 days.

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The Two-Way
5:11 am
Mon November 11, 2013

'Absolute Bedlam' In The Philippines After Typhoon Haiyan

From the air, some of the devastation in the Philippines city of Tacloban.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 4:17 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': From Manila, Lynette Lim of Save the Children talks about the typhoon

(Click here for related updates.)

The news from the Philippines, where it's feared that last week's powerful Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 10,000 people, isn't getting better as hundreds of thousands of people struggle to survive and authorities struggle to get help to them.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Toronto Mayor Advised To 'Go Away For A Couple Of Weeks'

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on Thursday.
Mark Blinch Reuters/Landov

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who this week has admitted to smoking crack and to being "extremely inebriated" when he was videotaped dropping F-bombs and threatening to kill someone, needs to go away for "a couple of weeks," his brother said Friday.

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