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
5:07 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Arizona Mom Released From Mexican Jail

Yanira Maldonado talked to reporters late Thursday after her release from a prison on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico.
Cristina Silva AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:20 am

This is our first, and possibly last, mention of a story that's been getting lots of play on cable news:

"Mexican Court Frees Arizona Mom Accused Of Drug Smuggling." (CNN.com)

"I'm free now ... and I'm very grateful," Yanira Maldonado told reporters early Friday.

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The Two-Way
4:42 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Reports: Texas Man Questioned About Latest Ricin Letters

None of the possibly ricin-tainted letters mailed to President Obama have reached the White House, authorities say. They were intercepted at a remote mail handling facility.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:19 am

"Authorities, including the FBI, questioned a New Boston, Texas, man Thursday night in connection with an investigation of ricin-laced letters sent to government officials, including President Barack Obama," KSLA-TV in Shreveport, La., reports.

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Thu May 30, 2013

'Chicago Sun-Times' Fires Its Photographers

The Chicago Sun Times' offices.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The shrinking of the staffs in the nation's newsrooms continues.

The Chicago Tribune broke the news Thursday that its Second City rival The Chicago Sun-Times has "laid off its entire photography staff."

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Another Letter Sent To The President Being Tested For Ricin

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:40 pm

A letter mailed to President Obama that is similar in some way to two possibly ricin-laced letters sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was intercepted Thursday at a mail-handling facility, the Secret Service and other law enforcement authorities confirm.

Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary says in an email to NPR that:

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Priest, Author And Critic Rev. Andrew Greeley Dies

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 10:18 am

Rev. Andrew Greeley, who was a best-selling novelist as well as a liberal thinker known for "sometimes scathing critiques of his church," died Wednesday night in his sleep, The Chicago Tribune and other news outlets report. He was 85.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Assad Says Missiles Are There; Rebels Said To Balk At Talks

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:46 am

Update at 7 a.m. ET, May 31:

Since we first posted about the reports of what Syrian President Bashar Assad said regarding the delivery to his military of Russian anti-aircraft missiles, new reports have surfaced:

-- "Russian S-300 missiles unlikely to reach Syria for months." (Reuters)

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Tornadoes, Severe Storms Again Forecast For U.S. Midsection

Thursday's forecast: More storms across the nation's midsection.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:27 pm

Unfortunately, the forecasts have been pretty accurate in recent days. The National Weather Service warned there would be more tornadoes and severe storms on Wednesday — and there were.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu May 30, 2013

New Data Confirm The Economy Isn't Growing As Fast As Hoped

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:57 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

That basically confirms what the agency said a month ago, when it released its initial estimate for gross domestic product growth in the quarter. Then, it reported the economy had expanded at a 2.5 percent pace.

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Thu May 30, 2013

VIDEO: Miranda Lambert's Tears At 'Healing In The Heartland'

Miranda Lambert during her performance at Wednesday's Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert in Oklahoma City.
Trae Patton/NBC Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 10:55 am

There were several emotional moments during Wednesday's nationally broadcast "Healing in the Heartland" benefit concert to raise money for victims of the May 20 tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., and nearby communities.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Thu May 30, 2013

China's 'Pipe Baby' Out Of Hospital; With Mother's Family

"Baby 59," who survived being trapped in a sewer pipe, on Wednesday at the Pujiang People's Hospital.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 10:55 am

The newborn boy whose rescue from a sewer pipe in eastern China drew attention around the world earlier this week has been released from a hospital and is now in the care of his mother's family, according to media reports from Beijing.

There's also word that the mother will not be facing any charges. According to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu May 30, 2013

FBI Pick Is A Republican With Deep Roots In Law Enforcement

President Obama is expected to nominate James Comey, seen in 2004, to be the next director of the FBI.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 11:13 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Carrie Johnson talks about James Comey

"Name any high office in federal law enforcement ... odds are Jim Comey's had it over the years."

That's some of what NPR's Carrie Johnson had to say early Thursday on Morning Edition about the man who she has been told, by two sources with knowledge of the decision, will be President Obama's choice to be the next director of the FBI.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Nasdaq Agrees To $10M Penalty For Handling Of Facebook IPO

A year ago, before the initial public offering of stock, Nasdaq and Facebook were quite excited.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 11:55 am

One year after Facebook's troubled initial public offering, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday that it has "charged Nasdaq with securities laws violations resulting from its poor systems and decision-making ... [and that] Nasdaq has agreed to settle the SEC's charges by paying a $10 million penalty."

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Drone Said To Have Killed Key Pakistani Taliban Commander

Waliur Rehman, who was reportedly killed Wednesday in Pakistan.
U.S. State Dept.

It's not confirmed that he's dead. But if a suspected U.S. drone strike on Wednesday did kill Waliur Rehman, as Pakistani officials say it did, then a top Pakistani Taliban commander with a $5 million price on his head has been taken off the battlefield.

According to the U.S. State Department's "rewards for justice" program:

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Wed May 29, 2013

VIDEO: Obama Explains How That Lipstick Got On His Collar

I can explain, the president said Tuesday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 9:53 am

It was an "auntie" that left that lipstick mark on his collar, President Obama explained Tuesday evening at the start of a White House event marking Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Larry King Signs Up With The Russians

Larry King in April at a charity gala in Las Vegas.
Bryan Steffy Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive

Larry King, who signed off from CNN in December 2010, has signed on with the English-language arm of RT, the Russian TV channel that aims to cover "the major issues of our time for viewers wishing to question more and delivers stories often missed by the mainstream media."

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Wed May 29, 2013

6 Stories To Mark 60 Years Since First Summit Of Everest

Mount Everest.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:12 am

On this, the 60th anniversary of the first successful summit of the world's tallest mountain, there's plenty of news about Mount Everest. Here are six stories we found interesting:

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Tuesday's Tornadoes To Be Followed By More Storms Wednesday

Where the weather is expected to be the worst Wednesday.
National Weather Service

Tuesday's warnings about more severe weather and the likelihood of tornadoes across much of the nation's midsection proved accurate.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Cleveland Hero Charles Ramsey Says No Thanks To Free Burgers

Charles Ramsey on the day three young women (and one of the women's daughters) were rescued from a Cleveland home. He gained fame for his accounts of what happened.
Scott Shaw The Plain Dealer /Landov

We need to update the news that a dozen Cleveland area restaurants said they would give Charles Ramsey "free burgers for life" because of the way he helped rescue three young women and a little girl from the home where police say they had been held captive and brutalized for years.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Moms Are Now Primary Breadwinners In 40 Percent Of Homes

Dawn Heisey-Grove of Alexandria, Va., hands off son Zane to father Jonathan Heisey-Grove after a midday feeding. The couple were both working full time when Jonathan lost his job as a graphic designer two years ago. She's a public health analyst. He's now a stay-at-home dad.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:11 am

"A record 40 percent of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family," the Pew Research Center reported Wednesday as it released data that certainly won't surprise many Americans but will underscore some dramatic shifts over recent decades.

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The Two-Way
4:33 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Tea Party Favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann Leaving Congress

She's saying goodbye, for now at least: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has announced she won't seek re-election in 2014. (File photo from Jan. 4, 2012, when she left the Republican presidential race.)
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:53 am

Rep. Michele Bachmann, a hero to many conservatives and tea party advocates who saw her fortunes rise and fall quickly in the 2012 race for the GOP presidential nomination, announced early Wednesday that she will not seek re-election to a fifth term in Congress.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Nike Is Cutting Ties To The Livestrong Charity

Lance Armstrong in 2009, wearing some of Nike's Livestrong apparel. Nike will stop manufacturing that line after the 2013 holiday season. And it is ending its support of the Livestrong charity.
Nicolas Bouvy EPA /LANDOV

A 9-year relationship is ending between athletic apparel giant Nike and Livestrong, the cancer charity founded by cyclist Lance Armstrong before his career imploded because of evidence that he had been doping for more than a decade.

The Livestrong foundation confirmed Tuesday that its "partnership with Nike" is being dissolved.

News reports say it was Nike that wanted to break things off.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Tue May 28, 2013

No Delay In Trial Of Man Who Says He Killed Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman, defendant in the killing of Trayvon Martin, at an April 30 court hearing in Sanford, Fla.
Joe Burbank/pool Getty Images

Jury selection will begin June 10 in the trial of George Zimmerman, the Florida man accused of second-degree murder in the February 2012 death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Summer-Like Conditions Are Fueling California Wildfire

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 10:53 am

As they battle the White Fire north of Santa Barbara that has covered more than 1,000 acres in less than a day, firefighters are contending with strong winds, low humidity, high temperatures and other dangerous conditions "like they'd normally see in August and September," our colleagues at Southern California Public Radio report.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Does Canada's $100 Bill Smell Like Maple Syrup? Many Say So

Canada's $100 bill. Some think it smells sweet.
Bank of Canada

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 1:31 pm

This much is true: Many Canadians apparently think their government has embedded a maple-scented scratch-and-sniff patch in the nation's $100 bills.

According to CTV, "dozens of people" contacted the Bank of Canada after the polymer bills were introduced in 2011 to say they were sure there was something fishy ... or perhaps we should say sweet ... about the money.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Home Prices Post Biggest Jump Since 2006

This single family home was for sale last week in Encinitas, Calif.
Mike Blake Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 9:18 am

Home prices in major cities across the nation were up 10.9 percent in March from March 2012, the biggest year-over-year increase since April 2006, according to the data trackers who put together the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

Their surveys show that:

-- While prices rose 10.9 percent on average across 20 metropolitan areas, the strongest gains were in Phoenix (22.5 percent), San Francisco (22.2 percent) and Las Vegas (20.6 percent).

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Top Stories: Rough Weather Ahead; U.S. Weapon Designs Hacked

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 9:18 am

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Rutgers Stands Behind New Athletic Director

Julie Hermann, the incoming athletic director at Rutgers University.
Rich Schultz Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 9:16 am

Saying that "Julie's entire record of accomplishment ... is stellar," Rutgers University President Robert Barchi has issued a statement supporting the school's incoming athletic director — who has come under intense scrutiny because of allegations about how she treated players she once coached.

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Report: An Angry Russia Will Deliver Missiles To Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and British Prime Minister David Cameron met earlier this month. Cameron said then that he was encouraged by Russia's willingness to take part in a peace conference on Syria. Now, Russia is said to be angry about the EU's decision to lift an embargo on arming the Syrian opposition.
Alexey Nikoksky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 6:40 am

The European Union's decision to end its embargo on arming the opposition in Syria has been followed by sharp criticism from Russia's foreign ministry and word that Russia will follow through on plans to deliver anti-aircraft missiles to President Bashar Assad's military.

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The Two-Way
4:39 am
Tue May 28, 2013

From Texas To Great Lakes, Severe Weather Due Again

Tuesday's weather is expected to be bad from Texas up into the nation's midsection and across to the Great Lakes.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 9:07 am

The warnings aren't as ominous as they were eight days ago in the hours leading up to the tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., but the National Weather Service is predicting "another round of severe weather for the Central United States on Tuesday."

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