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
8:53 am
Mon April 8, 2013

'Independent Adviser' To Review Rutgers' Actions

Mike Rice, who was then Rutgers' men's basketball coach, during a game last season.
David Pokress Ai Wire /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 9:36 am

Rutgers University says it plans to have an "independent adviser ... conduct a review of the circumstances surrounding the men's basketball program as well as the procedures used to investigate allegations related to former head coach Mike Rice."

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Former British Prime Minister Thatcher Dies

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1981. She died Monday, at the age of 87.
PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 10:12 am

Margaret Thatcher, who as British prime minister in the 1980s became known as the "Iron Lady" for her tough economic policies, her partnership with President Reagan in standing up to communism and the short war with Argentina over the Falklands, has died.

Her spokesman, Lord Bell, tells the British Press Association that Baroness Thatcher died Monday following a stroke. She was 87.

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Blocked Or Breaking Through? Mixed Signals On Gun Bills

This AR-15 style weapon was on display in March at the 7th annual Border Security Expo in Phoenix, Ariz. It's among the type of weapons that advocates of new gun laws want to see banned.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 6:05 am

If this is President Obama's "make-or-break week on guns," as Politico declares, then it starts with considerable confusion about where things stand regarding the likelihood of passing new gun control laws.

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Mon April 8, 2013

North Korea To Shut Jointly Run Factories, May Test Missile

Do not enter: Barriers, including spikes, at the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the Gyeonggi province, South Korea.
Jeon Heon-kyun EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 9:28 am

  • Louisa Lim, reporting on the NPR Newscast

Monday's developments on the Korean Peninsula, where tensions have been running even higher than usual in recent weeks:

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Puzzling, Shaky Start To New Round Of Iran Talks

The negotiating table in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where the U.S. and other nations are talking with Iran about that nation's nuclear ambitions.
Ilyas Omarov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 10:42 am

The first day of the latest talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group about the Persian nation's nuclear ambitions has ended with reports of a "shaky" start and Western diplomats saying they are puzzled by what Iran brought to the table.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Reports: Rutgers Athletic Director Is Out Of A Job

Rutgers University Athletic director Tim Pernetti.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 12:17 pm

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 2:15 p.m. ET.)

The abusive actions of the men's basketball coach at Rutgers University, who was videotaped physically and verbally abusing his players during the team's practices and was fired after the scenes were broadcast by ESPN, have now also cost the school's athletic director his job.

Tim Pernetti submitted his resignation Friday morning.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Top Stories: Jobs Report; Pope's Call For Action

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 7:58 am

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Job Growth Slows Sharply, But Unemployment Rate Dips

Li-Wen Hung (left) and Whitney Chen were waiting to meet potential employers at a Manhattan job fair earlier this year.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 11:44 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Yuki Noguchi talks with David Greene about the latest employment report

There were just 88,000 jobs added to private and public payrolls in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates.

But the nation's jobless rate still edged down to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent. That dip wasn't for a good reason, though: Nearly half a million fewer people were participating in the labor force. That smaller pool meant the jobless rate could tick down even as job growth was weak.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Fri April 5, 2013

'Look — My Tibia!' Louisville Player Cracks 'Top 10' Jokes

Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware talking with reporters Wednesday, as coach Rick Pitino looked on.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 7:57 am

You have to give Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware credit. He's a really good sport.

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The Two-Way
5:16 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Reports: Obama To Propose Cuts In Social Programs

President Obama in Denver on Wednesday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:58 am

There's breaking budget news from several places this morning:

-- "President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say." (The New York Times)

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The Two-Way
4:43 am
Fri April 5, 2013

'Slow And Steady' Jobs Report Expected

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:55 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Yuki Noguchi talks with David Greene

Update at 8:41 a.m. ET.: Job Growth Slows Sharply, But Unemployment Rate Dips

Although economists had been expecting to hear that the U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in March, the news is out and the number is far less. Just 88,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls, the Labor Department reports. The jobless rate still edged down to 7.6 percent — but only because nearly half a million fewer people were in the labor force.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Facebook Phone Is 'A Family Of Apps,' Zuckerberg Says

CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Thursday's "Facebook phone" announcement.
Robert Galbraith Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 1:06 pm

Facebook is going to "turn things around," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday, by turning "your Android phone into a great, simple social device" that is "designed around people."

He came on stage just after 1 p.m. ET at Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters to talk about a very poorly kept secret — the so-called Facebook phone.

But, Zuckerberg said at the start of his talk, "we're not building a phone and we're not building an operating system."

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Why Can Lance Armstrong Race At A Swim Meet?

Lance Armstrong warms up for the swimming leg of the 2011 Xterra World Championship triathlon in Kapalua, Hawaii (before he was banned from most competitions). This weekend, he'll swim in a Texas meet for masters swimmers.
Hugh Gentry Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 9:27 am

Update at 11:15 a.m. ET. Armstrong Pulls Out:

After an objection was raised Thursday by FINA, swimming's international governing body, Lance Armstrong has withdrawn from a masters swim meet being held this weekend in Austin, Texas, The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Lululemon's Product Chief To Depart; See-Through Pants Have Been A Problem

Lululemon clothes at a store in Pasadena, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:03 am

Two weeks after being embarrassed by the news that some of its yoga pants were way too sheer, there's word from Lululemon that chief product officer Sheree Waterson will be leaving the company April 15.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Jobless Claims Rise; Employment Report Likely To Show Slow Job Growth

Will there be more signs like this? An automotive service shop in El Cerrito, Calif., was looking for workers last month.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:24 am

There were 385,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 28,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The news follows Wednesday's report of slower-than-expected job growth in the private sector: The ADP National Employment Report estimated that businesses added just 158,000 jobs last month.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Top Stories: Conn. Gun Law; North Korea's Threats; Rutgers Firing

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:20 am

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu April 4, 2013

North Korea Moves Missile, Threatens To Close Factories Used By South

On Thursday, a South Korean security guard kept watch as South Korean trucks waited to enter the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea. For the second day, the North blocked the trucks and workers from the South from entering its territory.
Kim Hong-ji Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:02 pm

Bear in mind that, as NPR's Louisa Lim has said, North Korea's regime is skilled at making threats. And fortunately, the most ominous of those threats have not been followed by action in recent decades.

With those caveats in mind, here are Thursday's developments in the latest round of provocative moves by the communist state. From Beijing, Louisa tells our Newscast Desk that:

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Thu April 4, 2013

'Historic' Gun Bill To Become Law In Connecticut

A Bushmaster rifle, similar to the type used by Adam Lanza during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and some ammunition magazines. The sale and possession of this type of weapon, and high-capacity magazines, will be severely restricted in Connecticut under new legislation.
Michelle McLoughlin Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:27 am

Saying that on this "profoundly emotional day" he hoped that his state would serve as an example to the rest of the nation, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sat down Thursday at 12:20 p.m. ET to sign into law what's being described as the most sweeping gun control legislation in the nation since the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Malloy praised lawmakers and those who helped craft the legislation for coming together "as few places in our nation have demonstrated the ability to do."

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

'Best Jobs In North Korea' Pay $62 A Month; Now They're Diplomatic Pawns

An undated file photo showing a general view of the North-South industrial complex in the North Korean city of Kaesong.
Yonhap News EPA /LANDOV
  • From 'All Things Considered': North Korea expert Aidan Foster-Carter

At an industrial park where they build appliances and other products for companies from South Korea, 55,000 North Koreans typically earn about $62 each a month, a North Korea expert tells NPR.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Wed April 3, 2013

It's Set: Jimmy Fallon To Replace Jay Leno On 'Tonight Show' In Spring 2014

Jay Leno (left) and Jimmy Fallon at the Golden Globe Awards in January. Next year, Fallon will be taking Leno's place on The Tonight Show, NBC says.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:04 am

Here's the official word, courtesy of NBC News' tweets:

-- "JUST IN: Jay Leno will depart NBC's 'Tonight Show' in Spring 2014; Jimmy Fallon to replace, NBC says."

-- "MORE: 'Tonight Show' will return to New York City in 2014; Lorne Michaels will be executive producer."

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Wed April 3, 2013

All Clear In Berlin After 220-Pound WWII-Era Bomb Is Defused

Safe and secure: The bomb after it was defused Wednesday in Berlin.
Tobias Schwarz Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 10:52 am

From Berlin, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells us that:

An unexploded bomb from World War II was successfully defused Wednesday. Its discovery Tuesday night near the city's main railway station forced trains to divert and snarled traffic in the German capital.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Job Growth Slowed In March, Survey Signals

The scene at a job fair in Manhattan on March 6.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There were 158,000 more jobs on private employers' payrolls in March than in February, the latest ADP National Employment Report estimates.

The gain was less than economists expected, Reuters reports. They thought ADP would say there had been a 200,000-jobs increase.

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Wed April 3, 2013

'Fired' Could Be Next F-Word For Rutgers Coach Seen Berating Players

Rutgers men's basketball coach Mike Rice during a game in March.
Chris Szagola CSM/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 10:38 am

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 11:10 a.m. ET.)

Responding to outrage from around the nation after videotape of men's basketball coach Mike Rice assaulting his players and spewing homophobic slurs at them was aired on ESPN, New Jersey's Rutgers University fired Rice at mid-morning Wednesday.

The 44-year-old "visibly distraught" Rice, WABC in New York reports, told reporters earlier in the day that:

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The Two-Way
4:52 am
Wed April 3, 2013

North Korea's Brinksmanship: Same As Before, More Dangerous Or Both?

Turned back: South Korean trucks returned Wednesday after being barred from entering a joint industrial complex just across the border inside North Korea.
Park Jin-hee Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:47 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Louisa Lim and Steve Inskeep discuss North Korea

Wednesday's news from the Korean peninsula, where tensions seem to rise each day:

"North Korea ... barred South Korean workers from entering a jointly run factory park just over the heavily armed border in the North, officials in Seoul said."

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Tue April 2, 2013

James Hansen, NASA Scientist Who Raised Climate Change Alarm, Is Retiring

NASA scientist and climatologist James Hansen in 2009.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

"After nearly half a century of research in planetary and climate science for NASA, James E. Hansen is retiring on Wednesday to pursue his passion for climate activism without the hindrances that come with government employment," The New York Times' Dot Earth blog writes.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Tue April 2, 2013

NRA Task Force Recommends Training School Personnel Who Want To Be Armed

Former Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson holds up his task force's report during a news conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Shawn Thew EPA /LANDOV

A task force launched by the National Rifle Association after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has come back with a report that recommends the creation of programs that give additional weapons training to school resource officers as well as "selected and designated school personnel" who could then carry arms.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Tue April 2, 2013

New York Politicians Accused In Plot To Sell GOP Spot In NYC Mayoral Race

New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D)
New York State Senate Reuters /Landov

New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, was led from his Queens home in handcuffs Tuesday morning after being arrested for allegedly trying to buy his way on to the Republican ticket in this year's New York City mayoral election.

Also arrested Tuesday: City Councilman Daniel Halloran, a Republican, and four other local politicians (also Republicans) from the New York metropolitan area, who stand accused of conspiring with Smith.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Obama Says $100 Million Will Be Invested In Brain-Mapping Initiative

Mauricio Lima AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 11:11 am

Adding some details to an initiative he announced during his latest State of the Union address, President Obama on Tuesday said that federal agencies plan to spend $100 million to jump start an effort to map the human brain. It's research that could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment and prevention of brain disorders.

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