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
11:49 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Deborah Hersman Stepping Down As Head Of NTSB

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman briefing reporters about the July 2013 crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Deborah Hersman, known to many Americans because she's the face of the National Transportation Safety Board at the scene of plane crashes and other transportation-related disasters, is stepping down as head of the NTSB.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Tue March 11, 2014

They're Melting! Great Lakes Come Close, But Miss Ice Record

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The mostly frozen Great Lakes on Feb. 16. Not sure which lake is which? Click here.
NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch

Another cold snap could change things, of course, but it appears that after a long winter the Great Lakes have come close to — but won't break — their recorded record for ice cover.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Tue March 11, 2014

'Ringing' Phones Do Not Mean Malaysian Passengers Are OK

In Beijing, anxious relatives continue to wait for word about the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The Beijing-bound jet disappeared on Saturday.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 9:18 am

Already heartbreaking images of grieving family and friends only become more poignant when you hear this:

Some family members and friends of the 239 people who haven't been heard from since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared Saturday say they've been calling their loved ones' cellphones and hearing rings — though no one picked up the calls.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Crimean Parliament Passes 'Declaration Of Independence'

A masked man, believed to be a Russian soldier, holds a Crimean flag as members of a pro-Russian self-defense unit stand in formation Monday in the regional capital of Simferopol.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 9:51 am

"Crimea's regional legislature on Tuesday adopted a 'declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,' " The Associated Press reports. "The document specified that Crimea will become an independent state if its residents vote on Sunday in favor of joining Russia."

That's just one of several developments Tuesday as the crisis in Ukraine continues. Among the other news:

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Confusion Reigns Over Missing Jet's Final Location

As the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has expanded, teams from many countries have been involved. This navigator was aboard a Vietnamese helicopter searching the waters off that nation's coast.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 4:23 am

This post has been updated.

There's no sign yet of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — the Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard that disappeared early Saturday while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

At the same time, there is confusion as to where authorities last spotted the jet.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Edward Snowden Tells SXSW He'd Leak Those Secrets Again

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 11:11 am

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has leaked large amounts of classified information about the agency's electronic surveillance programs, spoke via video to a sympathetic audience at South By Southwest Interactive on Monday.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Mexican Drug Lord Shot Dead ... For Second Time

Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, in an image from one of the quasi-religious books his cartel distributed.
Heriberto Rodriguez MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 10:06 am

Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, one of Mexico's reputed drug lords, has now been killed twice.

Well, perhaps we should say that he's been declared dead for the second time.

The head of "the cultlike, pseudo-Christian La Familia cartel" was supposedly killed back in December 2010 during a two-day shootout with police.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Sandy Hook Killer's Father Wishes His Son Hadn't Been Born

Flowers, candles and stuffed animals at a makeshift memorial in Newtown, Conn., the week after 20 children and 6 adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Eric Thayer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 9:47 am

"How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he's my son? A lot."

The New Yorker has posted a long piece based on six interviews with Peter Lanza, whose son Adam killed 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012.

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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Will Blood Be Shed In Crimea Before Diplomacy Can Work?

Russian and Crimean flags were being waved during a pro-Russia rally Sunday in Simferopol's Lenin Square. Simferopol is the capital of Crimea, an autonomous region of Ukraine.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 12:04 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Emily Harris reports from Kiev

Russia continues to try to wrest control of Crimea from Ukraine and now has an estimated 20,000 troops there, Bloomberg News reports.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Fate Of Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane Still A Mystery

At Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Sunday, prayers were said for the 239 people who have been missing since flight MH370 disappeared.
Lai Seng Sin AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 1:26 pm

We'll be updating this post throughout the day on Monday.

Nearly three days after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, there's still no definitive trace of the Boeing 777 or the 239 people who were on board.

As of Monday evening in Malaysia, none of the clues so far had led searchers to the plane.

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Tommy John Remembers Dr. Jobe, 'One Of The Greatest Surgeons'

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Retired baseball pitcher Tommy John, left, and Dr. Frank Jobe at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July 2013. Jobe was honored for the pioneering surgery he first performed on John's elbow in 1974.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:29 pm

His name is attached to a surgery that has saved many major league pitchers' careers.

But Tommy John knows that's an honor he came by thanks in large part to good luck.

"Fortunately for me, I was at the right place at the right time," he told All Things Considered host Melissa Block on Friday. "I happened to have one of the greatest surgeons of all time being the surgeon for the Los Angeles Dodgers."

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Fri March 7, 2014

'Memory Wound' Will Be Stark Reminder Of Norway's Massacre

This illustration, provided by artist Jonas Dahlberg, shows his vision for a "memory wound" near the Norwegian island where dozens of people died during an attack by a right-wing extremist in 2011.
Jonas Dahlbert Studio EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 7:44 am

If you've had a chance to visit the Sept. 11 memorials at ground zero in Manhattan, the Pentagon and western Pennsylvania — or perhaps have been to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. — then you have a sense of the powerful emotions that such places can stir up.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Jobless Rate Ticks Up, But Job Growth Is Better Than Expected

The scene at a job fair for veterans earlier this year in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:14 am

This post has been updated.

The nation's unemployment rate edged up to 6.7 percent in February from 6.6 percent the month before, but employers added more jobs than expected, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

According to BLS, the number of jobs on public and private payrolls grew by 175,000 last month — about 25,000 more than economists had expected.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Russian Lawmakers Welcome Separatist Steps By Crimea

Vladimir Konstantinov (in purple tie) is the speaker of Crimea's parliament. He was welcomed with flowers Friday during his meeting with Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament. She is at the far right of this photo.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:22 am

One day after President Obama condemned steps taken by Crimea's parliament to leave Ukraine and join the Russian Federation, Russian lawmakers are welcoming such a move by Crimean separatists.

"Russia's parliament gave its defiant support Friday to Crimean lawmakers who want to see their region split from Ukraine and join Russia," CNN reports from Moscow.

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

VIDEO: Dalai Lama Prays Senators Will 'Act With A Pure Mind'

The Dalai Lama delivers the opening prayer Thursday at the U.S. Senate.
C-SPAN.org

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 12:27 pm

The U.S. Senate's opening prayer on Thursday was delivered by the Dalai Lama — in his words, "a simple Buddhist monk."

The Tibetan spiritual leader has been in the U.S. for several weeks and his itinerary has included a White House meeting with President Obama, over the strong objections of China. As The Associated Press puts it:

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Obama Condemns Russian 'Intervention' In Ukraine

In a news conference about the situation in Ukraine, President Obama said Thursday that the world is "well beyond the days when borders can be withdrawn over the heads of democratic leaders."
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 4:06 am

Referring to Russia's actions in Crimea as an "intervention" and saying the U.S. will continue to "mobilize the international community to condemn this violation of international law," President Obama just delivered some of his most extensive remarks to date about the crisis in Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Claims And Counterclaims Fly As CIA And Senate Exchange Fire

The seal of the CIA at the agency's headquarters in Virginia.
Greg E. Mathieson Sr. MAI/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:59 am

The Central Intelligence Agency and one of the congressional panels that oversees its work, the Senate Intelligence Committee, are in what looks to be an increasingly bitter battle over just who's been behaving improperly.

McClatchyDC and The New York Times have been rolling out stories this week about claims that the CIA may have been monitoring the work of the committee's staffers in recent years and that some of those congressional aides may have left CIA headquarters with classified documents that shouldn't leave that secure facility.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Layoffs Slow And Weekly Jobless Claims Dip

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:36 am

The last two bits of economic news before Friday's much-anticipated jobs report are both at least modestly positive:

-- There were 323,000 first-time claims filed for jobless benefits last week, down 26,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. Claims touched a three-month low.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Thu March 6, 2014

UPDATE: Massachusetts Bans 'Upskirt' Photos

The groping of women and snapping of upskirt photos is a problem on mass transit systems around the world. East Japan Railway is among those systems that have created women-only cars to deal with the problem.
Yuriko Nakao Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 12:29 pm

Update at 11:50 a.m. ET, March 7: Governor Signs New Ban:

"Two days after the state's highest court sparked outrage when it ruled that state law allows people to take such photos, Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill today to ban the practice, known as 'upskirting,' " the Boston Globe writes.

So the controversy we first posted about Thursday has led to quick action.

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Thu March 6, 2014

'We Are Ready To Protect Our Country,' Ukrainian Leader Says

Demonstrators carried a Russian flag during a rally this week in the western Crimean city of Yevpatoria.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:25 am

We're updating this post as the day continues.

While conceding that his nation can't come close to the military power of Russia, the interim prime minister of Ukraine said Thursday that "we are ready to protect our country" if Russia does not stop its "military aggression" in Crimea.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk told reporters in Brussels, Belgium, that the presence of Russian forces in that autonomous region of his nation "is unacceptable in the 21st century."

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Putin Reportedly Joins List Of Nobel Peace Prize Nominees

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Alexey Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:13 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin is among the 278 nominees for a 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, according to Peace Research Institute Oslo, an institution that closely tracks the Nobel committee's work.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Ex-IRS Official Invokes 5th Amendment Again, Then Things Get Hot

Former IRS official Lois Lerner raises her hand as she's sworn in Wednesday at the start of a House Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing. She declined to answer questions posed by Chairman Darrell Issa, invoking her Fifth Amendment right.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 10:34 am

As she's done before, the woman at the center of the political storm over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of some conservative groups from 2010 into 2012 invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions during a brief appearance before a congressional committee on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Don't Worry, They Say, 100-Foot Asteroid Will Miss Us Today

A NASA artist's illustration depicts an asteroid belt around a star that the space agency says is "the same age and size as our Sun."
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 9:56 am

Don't say you weren't warned.

But also don't worry, the experts say.

As we wrote last month when an asteroid measuring about 900 feet long passed near enough to Earth to generate headlines about a "close encounter," more rocks are always headed our way.

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Job Growth Was Weak Again In February, ADP Survey Shows

The scene at a job fair last year in Emeryville, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Private employers added only 139,000 jobs to their payrolls in February and job growth in January was even less than previously thought, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Overruled: Gov. Says Kentucky Will Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Order

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear
Bill Greenblatt UPI/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:54 am

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says his state will hire outside counsel to appeal a federal judge's order to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.

The governor's announcement follows word from the state's attorney general, Jack Conway, that his office will not pursue such an appeal.

Both men are Democrats.

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Time For Tense Negotiations In Ukraine, Kerry Says

Armed men in unmarked military uniforms — who witnesses believe are Russian troops, but who Russian leaders say are "local self-defense" forces — stand outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the Crimean village of Perevalnoye.
Maxim Shipenkov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:15 am

This post was updated at 5:10 p.m. ET.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said all sides agree that the crisis on the Crimean Peninsula must be resolved through dialogue, but he acknowledged there has yet to be one-on-one discussions between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart.

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