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
4:33 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Snowden Hopes For Temporary Asylum In Russia

Edward Snowden, center, at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on Friday. At left is WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison. The woman at right is unidentified at this time.
Courtesy of Human Rights Watch

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:02 am

(We most recently added information to the top of this post at 11:15 a.m. ET. Click here for more updates. )

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Why We Aren't Assuming Snowden Is On That Jet To Havana

The more northerly route that Aeroflot 150 normally takes.
FlightAware.com

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 1:57 pm

Twitter has been abuzz with speculation that "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden is on Aeroflot Flight 150, which is headed to Havana from Moscow as we write.

What's the supposed evidence?

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Zimmerman Jury Can Consider Lesser Charge, Judge Says

George Zimmerman in court on Thursday.
Gary W. Green/pool Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 2:32 pm

The jury weighing the guilt or innocence of the man accused in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin can consider convicting George Zimmerman on a lesser charge of manslaughter, the judge ruled Thursday morning.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Paula Deen Comic To Be Published In Fall

The cover of Bluewater Productions' upcoming "Female Force: Paula Deen" comic book.
Courtesy of Bluewater Productions

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 9:39 am

Paula Deen, the celebrity cook who has seen her TV shows and corporate sponsorships disappear in recent weeks because of reports about her past use of the N-word, is going to be the star of a comic book this fall, a publisher says.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 9:55 am

There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, up 16,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The "four-week moving average," which gives a sense of the recent trend, "was 351,750, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised average of 345,750."

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Country Star Randy Travis In Critical Condition After Stroke

Country singer Randy Travis at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville on June 7.
Terry Wyatt UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 9:58 am

Country singer Randy Travis is in critical condition at a hospital in Plano, Texas, after suffering a stroke, the Baylor Health Care System says.

He underwent surgery Wednesday night to relieve pressure on his brain, the hospital system adds. Word of his stroke came that evening.

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Thu July 11, 2013

After Crash, Why Were Asiana Passengers Told To Stay Seated?

Passengers move away from Asiana Airlines Flight 214 on Saturday in San Francisco. This photo was taken by a passenger.
Eugene Anthony Rah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 3:41 pm

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The Two-Way
4:54 am
Thu July 11, 2013

50 Likely Died In Quebec Train Disaster, Officials Say

At a school in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, the town's people have been waiting for word about their friends and family members.
Christinne Muschi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 8:13 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Brian Mann reports from Quebec

Police in Quebec are not holding out hope that any of the people still missing after Saturday's train derailment and explosions in the town of Lac-Mégantic are alive.

With 20 bodies found so far and an additional 30 people still unaccounted for, that means the death toll is expected to be around 50. Authorities are telling the families of the missing to prepare for the worst.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Wed July 10, 2013

DogTV, The Channel For Stay-At-Home Pups, Is Going National

Bleu, a French bulldog who lives in San Diego, watches DogTV during the network's initial months online and on cable outlets in Southern California, in April 2012.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 12:40 pm

Tell your best friend:

DogTV, which launched online in Southern California last year, says it's going national on DirecTV starting Aug. 1.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Defense Rests In Zimmerman Trial; Race 'Permeates The Case'

Trayvon Martin's friend Rachel Jeantel testifies in the murder trial of George Zimmerman. Her testimony sparked discussions of the racial issues involved in the case.
Jacob Langston UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:14 pm

The defense is expected to wrap up its case Wednesday afternoon at the murder trial of George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer accused in the February 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.

Update at 4:50 p.m. ET: Defense Rests Case

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Wed July 10, 2013

White House Honors For Frank Deford, Joan Didion & Others

NPR

Forgive us for pointing first to someone with an NPR connection, but we figure his fans will want to know that Morning Edition commentator Frank Deford is among those being honored Wednesday afternoon at the White House.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Apple Conspired To Set E-Book Prices, Judge Rules

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Apple conspired with publishers to fix e-book prices.
Manu Fernandez AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 12:19 pm

Apple Inc. "conspired to raise the retail price of e-books," a federal judge ruled Wednesday as a civil lawsuit brought by the Justice Department reached its conclusion.

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Foul Play, Negligence Not Ruled Out In Quebec Train Disaster

Do not cross: Crime scene tape blocks access to part of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, where a train derailed and exploded on Saturday.
Stephen Morrison EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:19 am

Quebec police are looking into whether Saturday's train derailment and the massive explosions that followed in the small town of Lac-Megantic were caused by "foul play or criminal negligence," CBC News reported Wednesday morning.

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Wed July 10, 2013

VIDEO: Rare Clip Shows Roosevelt's Use Of Wheelchair

Photos of President Franklin D. Roosevelt sitting in a wheelchair are also rare and weren't shown to the public while he was in office. In this image from 1941 he's with his dog Fala and Ruthie Bie, the granddaughter of a gardener who worked for the Roosevelt family.
Landov

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 8:26 am

The press and the president's aides kept Franklin D. Roosevelt's use of a wheelchair hidden from most of the public during his more than 12 years as the nation's leader.

So hidden, in fact, that an Indiana college professor's discovery of just 8 seconds of film that shows Roosevelt gliding down a ramp aboard the U.S.S. Baltimore in July 1944 is making news this week.

According to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Reports: Egypt Orders Arrest Of Muslim Brotherhood Leader

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie in Cairo last December.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:57 am

Prosecutors in Egypt have ordered that Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie be arrested, according to Egyptian state television and other news outlets.

NPR's Leila Fadel adds from Cairo that she's been told about the order by an Egyptian security official with knowledge of what's happening.

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The Two-Way
4:54 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Boston Bombings Suspect To Appear In Survivor-Packed Court

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 7:35 am

When the young man who stands accused in the Boston Marathon bombings makes his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon, survivors of the explosions that killed three people and wounded more than 260 are expected to be in the room, The Associated Press reports. So are relatives of those killed and wounded.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Teresa Heinz Kerry's Condition Improves

Teresa Heinz Kerry and her husband John, the secretary of state, in February.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 3:10 pm

"Teresa Heinz Kerry continues to improve and remains in fair condition at Massachusetts General Hospital, while doctors seek the cause of seizure-like symptoms she experienced on Sunday," State Department spokesman Glen Johnson says in a statement sent to reporters Tuesday afternoon.

In the most extensive comments so far about her condition, Johnson also says that:

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Tue July 9, 2013

WATCH LIVE: Texas Lawmakers Debate Abortion Bill Again

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:12 am

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Is He Or Isn't He? Much Confusion Over Snowden And Venezuela

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 8:00 pm

Update at 9:40 p.m. ET. Snowden Likely To Seek Asylum In Venezuela

According to Glenn Greenwald, the U.S. journalist who has been at the forefront of the NSA leak case, former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden is likely to seek asylum in Venezuela, reports the Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Reports: Obama Considers Pulling All Troops From Afghanistan

U.S. troops at an April re-enlistment ceremony in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
Manjunath Kiran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:50 am

President Obama is considering the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, leaving no small residual force in that nation, according to reports from The New York Times and CNN.

Here's how the Times begins its report:

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Residents Heading Home In Blasted Quebec Town

A view from above showing some of the destruction in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, after Saturday's train derailment, explosions and the fires that followed.
Mathieu Belanger Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 5:35 pm

"A majority of the 2,000 people forced out of their Lac-Mégantic, Que., homes following the massive rail tank-car explosions Saturday morning are being allowed to return home today," CBC News reported Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Crash Investigators Turn To Asiana Pilot Who Was At Controls

NTSB investigators at the scene of the Asiana Flight 214 crash in San Francisco.
UPI/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 8:36 am

  • NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman talks with NPR's Renee Montagne about the crash of Asiana Flight 214

As they try to find out why Asiana Flight 214 crashed Saturday at San Francisco International Airport, federal investigators plan to soon question the pilot who was at the Boeing 777's controls, National Transportation Safety Board Chair Deborah Hersman said Tuesday on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
6:17 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Washington Monument Now Glows At Night

Monday night when the lights came on, visitors came to see a glowing Washington Monument.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 8:57 am

  • NPR's Trina Williams on the lighting of the Washington Monument

The Two-Way team enjoyed a new view on the way to work in the predawn hours Tuesday morning:

The Washington Monument was all aglow.

As NPR's Trina Williams tells us, 488 lights are giving the monument some sparkle each night. The lights have been installed on scaffolding that surrounds the monument and were switched on at dusk Monday.

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Egypt's Interim Leader May Tap Emergency Law Used By Mubarak

Egypt's military and the nation's interim leaders say the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi was not a coup, but rather a response to public demand. Morsi's supporters believe otherwise. If it was judged to be a coup, the U.S. might have to cut off aid to Egypt's military.
Ed Giles Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 9:15 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo

With the news still echoing across Egypt that more than 50 people were killed during a protest over the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, the country's interim leader issued a decree late Monday that gives himself sweeping powers until new elections are held.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Snowden: Americans Are Good; But Their Leaders Lie

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA /LANDOV

When he went to work for the nation's spy agencies, "I believed in the goodness of what we were doing" and in the "nobility of our intentions to free oppressed people overseas," says the so-called NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, in a month-old video posted online Monday by The Guardian.

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The Two-Way
11:37 am
Mon July 8, 2013

At Murder Trial, Friends Say It's Zimmerman's Voice On Tape

George Zimmerman in a Sanford, Fla., courtroom on Monday.
Joe Burbank/pool Getty Images

The key takeaway from Monday morning's testimony at the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin is that the defense produced three people to say they're convinced it is Zimmerman's voice that can be heard calling for help on the recording of a 911 call.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Mon July 8, 2013

'66 Volvo Set To Hit 3 Million Miles In September

Irv Gordon in his Volvo P1800S.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 11:27 am

It's been a year since we posted about Irv Gordon and his 1966 Volvo P1800S, and as you would expect from someone who had already put 2.97 million miles on his car already, he hasn't stopped driving.

Volvo is projecting that this coming September in Alaska, Gordon and his P1800S will drive their 3 millionth mile.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Trapped In Trees By Tigers, Men Rescued After Five Days

A Sumatran tiger at the Sumatra Tiger Rescue Center near Bandar Lampung on the southern tip of Sumatra island
Beawiharta Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 5:01 pm

Five days after they fled up into trees to escape a streak* of at least four Sumatran tigers, five men were rescued Monday in the wilds of Gunung Leuser National Park on Indonesia's Sumatra Island.

According to the BBC, dozens of rescuers were able to drive the tigers away so that the men could come down.

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Mon July 8, 2013

It Was A 'Horrific Honor' To Recover 19 Firefighters' Bodies

On Sunday in Phoenix, the 19 bodies of firefighters killed while battling a wildfire in central Arizona were driven to Prescott, where the "hotshot" team was based.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 10:20 am

"I don't want strangers going in and getting them out of there. I want to be the one that gets to go in there and get them out of there. It's a horrific honor to go in and do that."

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