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
4:48 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Search For Missing Jet Focuses On Objects Seen Off Australia

This map adds in routes that investigators believe Malaysia Flight 370 might have taken.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 11:14 am

This post is being updated.

Satellite images showing objects floating in the Indian Ocean have focused the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people who were on board to an area about 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Is Safe, FAA Team Concludes

At Tokyo International Airport last July, Boeing 787 Dreamliners flown by All Nippon Airways taxied across the tarmac.
Kimimasa Mayama EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 1:53 pm

A year-long review of the Boeing 787, which experienced problems such as fuel leaks and a battery fire, has concluded that the plane is safe.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported Wednesday that a review team believes the aircraft, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, "was soundly designed, met its intended safety level, and that the manufacturer and the FAA had effective processes in place to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after certification."

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Obama Picks Michigan State To Win Men's Basketball Title

The president is a big fan of the game and still likes to shoot hoops. But has he picked the winner?
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 11:07 am

The nation's "first basketball fan" has Michigan State winning it all in this year's NCAA Division I men's basketball championship.

President Obama filled out his brackets for ESPN again this year. The sports network aired the president's pre-recorded appearance earlier today.

Why Michigan State?

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Air France Relatives Have Sad Bond With Malaysia Air Families

June 5, 2009: Relatives and friends pray for passengers of Air France Flight 447 at the Nossa Senhora do Carmo church in Rio de Janeiro. Those who lost loved ones in that flight are expressing their sympathy and concern for those waiting for word about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Sergio Moraes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 11:05 am

As the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people on board has continued over the past 12 days, there have been many reminders about the fate of Air France Flight 447.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Toyota To Pay $1.2B To End Safety-Related Probe

Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:43 am

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Saying that "Toyota intentionally concealed information" and misled the public about the danger that some of its vehicles might suddenly accelerate, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder announced Wednesday that the automaker is being fined $1.2 billion for not being forthcoming after car owners started to complain in 2009.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Ukraine Says It's Preparing A Plan To Withdraw From Crimea

Armed men stood atop a chimney near Ukraine's naval headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Wednesday. They raised Russian flags after taking over much of the facility.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:25 pm

This post was last updated at 4:50 p.m.

A day after Russia claimed Crimea as its own, Ukraine's security chief said they were drawing up plans to withdraw troops and their families from the area.

The BBC reports Andriy Parubiy said during a press conference that Ukraine wanted to move the troops "quickly and efficiently" to mainland Ukraine and that they would also ask the United Nations to declare Crimea a demilitarized zone.

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The Two-Way
5:18 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Missing Jet's Mysterious Turn May Have Been Plotted Early In Flight

The cockpit of a Boeing 777.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 7:29 am

Twelve days into the mystery of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people on board, more clues seem to raise only more questions.

The latest news about the investigation and search for the plane includes:

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Is There A Method To Your March Madness?

Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin and his teammates are among the teams thought to have a strong chance of winning this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament. Are the Gators your pick?
Curtis Compton MCT/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:45 am

The odds are that somebody in your office or shop is trying to get you to toss a few bucks into the pool and fill out the brackets for this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament, which gets underway tonight. Fans of the women's championship might also be after you.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Tue March 18, 2014

VIDEO: Flames Spread After Helicopter Crashes In Seattle

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:03 pm

Two people were killed and one was critically injured when a KOMO News helicopter crashed and burned Tuesday near Seattle's Space Needle, the station reports.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Here Are The 24 Heroic Stories Behind Today's Medals Of Honor

Vietnam veterans Melvin Morris (center), Jose Rodela (obscured) and Santiago J. Erevia (left) received the Medal of Honor from President Obama at the White House on Thursday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:50 am

This post was updated at 4:09 p.m. ET.

Old wrongs were righted Tuesday afternoon, as The Associated Press says, when President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to 24 Army veterans.

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Tue March 18, 2014

More Theories But Still No Sign Of Missing Malaysian Jet

A Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency pilot scans the sea below for any sign of Flight 370.
Edgar Su Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 9:38 am

The search continues for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people on board. They disappeared on March 8 when the jet apparently turned west while over the Gulf of Thailand. It was on a flight that should have taken it from Kuala Lumpur north to Beijing.

Now, a search that stretches far to the south in the Indian Ocean to far to the north in Central Asia is underway. The area covers more than 3 million square miles.

Tuesday's headlines help highlight the latest developments:

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue March 18, 2014

West Is Ruled 'By The Gun,' Putin Says As He Annexes Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:21 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Ellen Barry, Moscow correspondent for 'The New York Times,' talks with NPR's Renee Montagne
We updated this post as Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke and other leaders reacted.

Wasting no time and showing no sign that he's concerned about Western objections or economic sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea on Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Mon March 17, 2014

GM Recalls 1.2 Million SUVs For Problem With Air Bags

The 2013 Buick Enclave.
GM AP

Already in the news for a recall involving 1.6 million small vehicles with faulty ignition switches, General Motors on Monday added 1.2 million SUVs and nearly 400,000 other vehicles to its list of models with problems that need fixing.

The new recalls, which GM has listed here:

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Mon March 17, 2014

VIDEO: News Anchors Dive For Cover As Quake Shakes L.A.

KTLA-TV anchors Megan Henderson, left, and Chris Schauble as they emerged from beneath their desk once the earthquake was over.
KTLA

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 11:45 am

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Paris Ends 'Odd Or Even' Limit On Cars After One Day

Police were checking cars throughout Paris on Monday, including near the Arc de Triomphe, as the city tried to cut air pollution by instituting odd-even driving restrictions.
Philippe Wojazer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 12:41 pm

Hoping to cut down on air pollution that in recent days has reached dangerous levels, city officials in Paris on Monday began trying to cut automobile emissions by enforcing an odd-even system of traffic rules.

For the most part, only cars with odd-numbered license plates could be on the rues et boulevards Monday (since it's the 17th of March). On Tuesday, the city's streets were to be open only to cars with even-numbered plates.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Last Words From Cockpit May Be Clue To Jet's Disappearance

Multi-lingual cards about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 line a wall at a mall in Kuala Lumpur.
Rahman Roslan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 8:51 am

We're updating this post as new information comes in.

There's still no sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 or the 239 people on board.

The plane went missing March 8, less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on what was supposed to be about a six-hour flight to Beijing.

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The Two-Way
5:28 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Russia Recognizes Independent Crimea; U.S. And EU 'Stand Firm' With Ukraine

A pile of the votes cast Sunday in Simferopol, Ukraine, the regional capital of Crimea.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 1:28 pm

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET.

Russia has officially recognized Crimea as a sovereign independent state, after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to that effect late Monday, according to a release from the Kremlin. The decree takes effect immediately, naming "the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status."

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Two Weeks After Waking Up In Body Bag, Man Dies

Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 1:56 pm

Walter Williams, the 78-year-old man from Mississippi who two weeks ago "came back to life once he was put on an embalming table," has died.

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Fri March 14, 2014

No Breakthrough In Talks About Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before their talks Friday in London. Afterward, they reported no breakthroughs on finding a solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
Brendan Smialowski AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 2:11 pm

This post has been updated.

Update at 12:45 ET: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry came away from talks Friday in London saying they had not come any closer to an agreement about how to end the crisis in Ukraine.

Lavrov told reporters after the two men met that Russia intends to "respect the choice of the Crimean people" — who will vote Sunday on whether to join the Russian Federation. That was a sign that Russia may indeed move to annex the region if Crimeans indicate that's their wish.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Missing Jet Reportedly Kept Sending Signals For 5 1/2 Hours

At Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Friday, a woman writes on a banner full of messages about the 239 missing passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Edgar Su Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 10:14 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Frank Langfitt reports

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET: After Flight MH370 Disappeared, It Kept Telling Satellites 'I'm Awake':

Communications satellites continued to receive signals from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane for at least 5 1/2 hours after it disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand, a source familiar with the investigation tells NPR's Frank Langfitt.

Frank, reporting from Shanghai, writes that:

"Flight MH370's last known communication came after 1 o'clock last Saturday morning, local time, according to Malaysian officials.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Thu March 13, 2014

As Vote In Crimea Nears, Kerry Has Words Of Warning For Russia

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during his testimony Thursday before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 11:56 am

Among the latest developments related to the crisis in Ukraine:

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Small-Scale Attacks Could Bring Down U.S. Power Grid, Report Says

A power outage in August 2003 darkened New York City. A report warns that the national power grid could be knocked out if just a handful of key power stations were sabotaged.
George Widman AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 1:44 pm

The nation's entire power grid could be blacked out for months if as few as nine of the nation's 55,000 electric substations were put out of commission by saboteurs, The Wall Street Journal writes, citing a "previously unreported" study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Touch 3-Month Low

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 8:41 am

There were 315,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Employment and Training Administration says.

That's down 9,000 from the previous week and marks a three-month low.

So for the second straight week, there's at least modestly good news to report about the labor market.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Death Toll From NYC Explosion Stands At 8, May Go Higher

Two buildings collapsed in Harlem on Wednesday after an explosion and fire. Authorities say there were reports of a gas leak shortly before the blast.
Jeremy Sailing AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:23 pm

This post was updated at 7:22 p.m. ET.

Rescue workers in New York pulled an eighth body out the smoldering rubble of two Harlem buildings that collapsed because of a gas explosion that also injured more than 70 people.

Unfortunately, according to NBC New York, not everyone has been accounted for: Crews are still looking for three people who remain missing.

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The Two-Way
5:48 am
Thu March 13, 2014

'Bodies Went Flying' As Car Tore Through Crowd At SXSW

Bystanders rushed to help those who were struck by a vehicle early Thursday on Red River Street in Austin, which was crowded with people headed to South by Southwest events.
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 6:51 pm

This post has been updated. Click here to jump to that news.

Revelry turned to horror early Thursday "after a car plowed through South by Southwest crowds in Downtown Austin," KUT reports.

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The Two-Way
5:17 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Officials Dispute Report That Malaysian Jet Kept Flying For Hours

The Malaysian air force, with help from about a dozen other nations, continues to search the seas on both sides of the Malay Peninsula for any sign of Flight 370.
Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:49 pm

This post is being updated.

Just a few hours after a stunning report from The Wall Street Journal — headlined "U.S. Investigators Suspect Missing Airplane Flew On For Hours" — the Malaysian officials in charge of the investigation say that story's central premise isn't true.

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