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
5:58 am
Tue March 26, 2013

In Afghanistan: Kerry Wraps Up Trip; Police, U.K. Troops Targeted In Attacks

Secretary of State John Kerry using his head Tuesday in Kabul, where he met the captain of that nation's women's soccer team.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 8:57 am

Tuesday's news from Afghanistan underscores the challenges that remain as the U.S. and its allies try to hand over security to that nation's military and police.

-- "5 Afghan Police Killed In Suicide Attack In East": The Associated Press writes that "eight suicide bombers attacked a police headquarters in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Tuesday, killing five officers and wounding four others, a security official said."

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Tue March 26, 2013

'Monumental' Gay-Marriage Cases Could Set Law For Centuries

Some have been lined up for days — including during Monday's snow and rain — to insure they'll be inside the Supreme Court when the justices hear oral arguments about two laws involving same-sex marriage.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 8:48 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Nina Totenberg reports

It's Day 1 of the Supreme Court's two days' worth of oral arguments about laws concerning same-sex marriage. On Morning Edition, NPR's Nina Totenberg set the stage.

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The Two-Way
4:34 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Italian Court Orders Retrial For Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox, in March 2011.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 8:18 am

Amanda Knox, the young American whose murder conviction in Italy captured attention around the world, learned Tuesday that Italy's highest court has overturned a lower court's 2011 decision to dismiss that verdict.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Florida Gulf Coast University: This Year's Cinderella Story In 10 Shots

The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles mascot picks up an Eagles cheerleader after the team's 81-71 victory against the San Diego State Aztecs on Sunday in Philadelphia.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:59 pm

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Anthony Lewis, Journalist Who Transformed Supreme Court Coverage, Dies

Journalist Anthony Lewis in 2003.
Matthew Peyton Getty Images

Anthony Lewis, whose "thorough knowledge" of the Supreme Court's work "allowed him to write authoritatively and accessibly about difficult points," has died, The New York Times writes.

Lewis, twice a Pulitzer Prize winner, was 85.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Ford Sorry For Mocked-up Ads In India Showing Bound And Gagged Women

The Ford Figo when it was introduced to India in 2009. A set of edgy illustrations about the car from Ford's ad agency in India have drawn fire.
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 9:33 am

Illustrations produced by an Indian ad agency showing scantily clad cartoon women bound, gagged and stuffed into the hatch of a Ford Figo have led both the car company and the ad agency's parent to issue apologies.

The images, according to FirstPost.Business, were "scam ads — ads that are created not to sell products and services, but to win awards at awards shows such as the Abby or at Cannes."

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Cypriots Are Suspicious, But Bailout Deal Seems Set

A Cypriot man held some coins in Nicosia on Sunday. He and others on the island nation were watching anxiously as world leaders put together a bailout package for Cypriot banks.
Katia Christodoulou EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 4:01 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports

The deal we posted about Sunday evening — a $13 billion bailout by international creditors for the beleaguered banking system on Cyprus — is being met with skepticism on that Mediterranean island nation.

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Mon March 25, 2013

3 Things You Need To Know About The Weekend's Basketball Action

Florida Gulf Coast players Eddie Murray (No. 23) and Chase Fieler (No. 20) celebrate their win Sunday over San Diego State. The game was played at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:00 am

Didn't have time to watch or didn't really care? If you're not up to speed on the weekend's news from the men's and women's Division I college basketball championships, but want to be armed with a few things to talk about if someone brings up basketball today, here goes:

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The Two-Way
4:32 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Spring Is Just A State Of Mind As Wintry Weather Wallops Much Of Nation

In St. Louis on Sunday the sliding — even without a sled — was good. The area got 6 to 12 inches of new snow over the weekend.
Bill Greenblatt UPI /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:49 am

The calendar says one thing, but the snow, slush and ice coating the nation from the Central Rockies through parts of the Midwest and on into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast say something else entirely.

Technically, it's spring.

In reality, winter still hasn't let go.

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Let's Do A March Madness 'Anti-Bracket': Pick The Upsets

St. Mary's' Matthew Dellavedova goes up for a basket against Yale Bulldogs' Justin Sears and Michael Grace.
Jose Carlos Fajardo MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 5:22 pm

Everybody's trying to pick the winners in this year's NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament. Even President Obama is in on the fun (though he hasn't been that good in recent years at figuring out who will be the champion at the end).

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Hey Punxsutawney Phil, What Happened To That Early Spring?

The sign says one thing. The snow pile says another. In Boston on Tuesday, a woman walked between a store sign heralding the start of spring and a snow pile still lingering from this winter's storms.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

"An early spring for you and me."

So said Punxsutawney Phil back on Groundhog Day (Feb. 2.) — which, if our math is right was, 6+ weeks ago.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Lululemon Vows To Get To The Bottom Of Its See-Through Pants Problem

Perhaps not the moment when you want "increased sheerness."
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:51 am

The buns ... er, puns ... seem endless:

Lululemon, the yoga and running clothier, concedes in a letter to its customers that some of the black "luon women's bottoms" it has been selling since early March aren't quite covering their "guests" the way they should.

As Lululemon puts it, there's been some "increased sheerness."

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Two Steubenville Girls Arrested After Allegedly Threatening Rape Victim

Jason Cohn Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:16 am

The 16-year-old girl raped by two Ohio high school football players in a crime that has attracted wide attention has also been the victim of online harassment, the state's top prosecutor said late Monday.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Former Student Planned To Stage Attack At Central Florida University

Former University of Central Florida student James Seevakumaran, who police say was planning to attack others in one of the school's dormitories. He killed himself instead.
Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel MCT /Landov

"It could have been a very bad day for everyone here."

That's University of Central Florida Police Chief Richard Beary's conclusion after seeing the evidence that a former student at the school "drafted plans to kill others in his dormitory but changed his mind early Monday and took only his own life," The Orlando Sentinel writes.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Top Stories: Pope's Pledge To Protect Poor; Dueling Claims In Syria

Pope Francis as he arrived in St. Peter's Square on Tuesday for his inaugural Mass.
Alessandro Bianchi Reuters /Landov
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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Accident During Live-Fire Exercise Kills At Least Seven Marines In Nevada

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 3:43 pm

  • NPR's Tom Bowman, reporting for our Newscast Desk

At least seven Marines are dead and another seven are injured after an accident Monday night in Nevada in which a mortar round exploded inside an artillery tube, military officials tell NPR's Tom Bowman.

The Marines were taking part in a live-fire exercise, those officials say. "Shell fragments, I'm told, killed almost three [Marines] immediately," Tom says. The others died before they could be evacuated to a hospital.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Housing Rebound Continues: Starts Rose 0.8 Percent In February

A home under construction in Atlanta late last year. The housing sector is now one of the economy's bright spots.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /LANDOV

Construction was begun on 0.8 percent more homes in February than in January, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development say. Their report is another in a series of signs in recent months that the housing sector's rebound continues.

The number of "housing starts" was up 27.7 percent from February 2012.

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Dueling Claims In Syria After Unconfirmed Reports About Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:23 am

While state-controlled media in Syria are claiming that opposition forces are responsible for what may have been a chemical weapon attack Tuesday in the city of Aleppo, rebel spokesman Qassim Saadeddine is telling Reuters that the opposition was "not behind this attack."

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The Two-Way
5:26 am
Tue March 19, 2013

For Pope Francis, A Simple Mass And A Call To Protect The Poor

Greeting the faithful: Pope Francis as he arrived in Vatican City's St. Peter's Square on Tuesday for his inaugural mass.
Valdrin Xhemaj EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:14 am

With less silk, lace and gold than many of his predecessors displayed, Pope Francis on Tuesday was inaugurated at a Holy Mass in St. Peter's Square during which he appealed to world leaders to be protectors of the poor and the environment, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli tells our Newscast Desk.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Steve Davis, Oklahoma Star QB In The '70s, Killed In Crash Of Small Plane

Oklahoma quarterback Steve Davis, left, and coach Barry Switzer celebrate the team's No. 1 ranking after the Orange Bowl in 1976. Davis, 60, died Sunday in the crash of a small plane. Switzer called Davis a "great role model for young people."
AP

One of the two men killed Sunday when a small plane crashed into a house near South Bend, Ind., was former University of Oklahoma star quarterback Steve Davis, the St. Joseph County (Ind.) coroner's office says.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Stalker Who Inspired 'The Natural' Dies; Lived Real Life In Obscurity

Ruth Ann Steinhagen, then-19, in the Cook County Jail after she shot Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus in 1949. On the table: a photo of Waitkus taken in the hospital where he was recovering from his bullet wound. The story of his shooting was the inspiration for Bernard Malamud's novel The Natural. Steinhagen died this past December.
AP

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 3:54 pm

  • NPR's Robert Siegel and Bob Goldsborough of the Chicago Tribune: What happened to Ruth Ann Steinhagen?
  • Bob Goldsborough on Ruth Ann Steinhagen's quiet life

Though we've seen The Natural many times, we have to confess we didn't know that a real woman shot a real baseball player in 1949 and that their story inspired Bernard Malamud's 1952 book and Robert Redford's 1984 movie.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Weapons, Explosives Found In Florida Dorm After Student's Death

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 10:42 am

There's worrisome news from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where a man who authorities say was a student at the school apparently killed himself Monday — which led to the discovery of "a handgun, an assault weapon and [improvised explosive devices]" in his dorm room, according to school officials.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Top Stories: Labor Nominee Coming; Cyprus Bailout Shakes Markets

Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general at the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, is expected to be President Obama's nominee for the post of Labor secretary.
Peggy Turbett The Plain Dealer /Landov
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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Mon March 18, 2013

After Helicopter Jail Break, Two Cons Recaptured In Canada

It was a real "James Bond moment," witness Francis Emond tells CNN.

And just like in the movies, the bad guys have been tracked down and brought to justice.

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Mon March 18, 2013

After Steubenville Guilty Verdicts, Grand Jury To Weigh More Charges

Steubenville, Ohio.
Jason Cohn Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 7:13 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Tim Rudell of WKSU reports

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will convene a grand jury next month to investigate whether other charges should be filed in the infamous case of a 16-year-old girl who was raped by two high school football players last summer.

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The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Whose Bubble Will Burst? Men's Basketball Brackets Coming Up

Julian Gamble of the Miami Hurricanes driving to the basket during his team's win Sunday over North Carolina. The 'Canes are ACC champions. Both teams will be in the NCAA tournament.
Chris Keane Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 5:14 pm

We followed the news as the field was announced for this year's NCAA Men's Division I basketball championship and then topped things off with a little "advice" for those who enjoy filling brackets (obviously, wink-wink, The Two-Way does not endorse betting in office pools).

Update at 7:07 p.m. ET. So, How To Choose?

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Record $614 Million In Penalties Levied As Insider Trading Cases Are Settled

Connecticut-based hedge fund CR Intrinsic Investors "has agreed to pay more than $600 million to settle SEC charges that it participated in an insider trading scheme involving a clinical trial for an Alzheimer's drug," the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

VIDEO: See Comet Pan-STARRS Dragging Its Tail Through Space

Comet PanSTARRS, as viewed by NASA's orbiting STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory).
NASA

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 1:03 pm

Comet Pan-STARRS is putting on a bit of a show for those in the Northern Hemisphere through the end of this month. We're seeing some beautiful photos, such as those taken this week by AFP/Getty's Stan Honda. He pointed his camera skyward near Magdalena, N.M.

The best viewing came earlier this week, but Forbes writes that if you're in the Northern Hemisphere you're not too late to see Pan-STARRS. It offers some tips:

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Fri March 15, 2013

CDC Confirms 'Extremely Rare' Death From Rabies Transmitted By Transplant

A Maryland man who died two weeks ago contracted rabies "through [an] organ transplantation done more than a year ago," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Friday morning.

The CDC adds that:

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