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
6:45 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'I Thought We Were Dead,' Says One Of Cop Killer's Hostages

Karen and Jim Reynolds.
AP video

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 11:05 am

The two people held hostage Tuesday by former Los Angles police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner say they expected the worst after they discovered Dorner inside a vacation property they own near the Big Bear mountain resort.

"I thought we were dead," said James Reynolds. "Really, pretty scary."

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius In Custody After Girlfriend's Shooting Death

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa leaves the starting blocks of the men's 400-meter race at the 2012 London Olympics.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 11:50 am

Our most recent update was added at 1:45 p.m. ET.

South African Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius "has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend," The Associated Press reports from Pretoria.

Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed inside Pistorius' home early Thursday, police say.

The AP adds that:

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Deputy And Teacher Praised For Talking Down Alabama Gunman At School

WBRC-TV reporting from the scene at Chelsea (Ala.) Middle School, where a gunman briefly held some students.
WBRC-TV

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:12 pm

As the nation watched anxiously to see how the manhunt in California for accused cop-killer Christopher Jordan Dorner would turn out, a harrowing situation at an Alabama middle school thankfully ended peacefully.

AL.com reports that a man entered the school in Chelsea, Ala., Tuesday afternoon and "held several students at gunpoint."

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The Two-Way
10:42 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Behind The Mic: Here's Why The 11 A.M. Newscast Was All 'Live'

How many NPR staffers can you fit in one booth? From left to right: Craig Windham, Dave Mattingly, Mark Memmott and Korva Coleman.
Dave Pignanelli

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:00 am

  • The all-live Newscast

We don't usually write about what happens in the NPR newsroom. That old line about not wanting to know how the sausage is made certainly applies in most cases.

But if you were tuned in at 11 a.m. ET and the newscast sounded a little different, it's because some technical gremlins got hold of the pre-recorded reports from NPR's correspondents and wouldn't let go. So, it was "live radio" time.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Wed February 13, 2013

The State Of The Union In 10 Headlines

President Obama during Tuesday night's State of the Union address. Behind him: Vice President Biden (left) and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Pete Marovich EPA /LANDOV

Since what's said and written about a State of the Union address on the morning after can determine what's most remembered about such speeches, let's look at Wednesday's headlines:

-- NPR's It's All Politics: "Obama To Congress: With Or Without You."

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Rubio's Big Drink Gets Big Buzz

He needed to hydrate: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., during his address Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:29 pm

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Single Gunshot Reportedly Ends Dramatic California Manhunt

Police blocked roads Tuesday leading to the mountains near San Bernardino, Calif., where accused killer Christopher Dorner was thought to be hiding.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 12:47 pm

  • NPR's Kirk Siegler, reporting for the NPR Newscast

We most recently updated the top of this post at 1:25 p.m. ET.

While authorities have canceled the "tactical alert" that had been in place during the manhunt for accused killer Christopher Jordan Dorner, the case has not been closed because it's not absolutely certain that Dorner is dead, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman just told reporters.

So, Los Angeles police officers and their families who have been under protection while Dorner was on the run will continue to get that protection until his death has been confirmed.

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Rosa Parks Statue, Capitol's First Of African-American Woman, To Be Dedicated

Rosa Parks in June 1999, when she was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal.
William Philpott Reuters /Landov

The late civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who broke racial barriers in 1955 when she would not move to the back of a segregated bus in Montgomery, Ala., will be posthumously part of another barrier-breaking moment on Feb. 27.

The office of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Tuesday that a statue of Parks will be dedicated that day in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

'Heart Attack Grill' Greeter Dies After Heart Attack

One of the Heart Attack Grill's "triple bypass" burgers.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:22 pm

Two customers' collapses last year didn't seem to faze fans of Las Vegas' Heart Attack Grill.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Tue February 12, 2013

'Zombie Alert' Also Aired In Michigan; Hacking Traced To Overseas Source

OK, we're pretty sure this isn't real. (A 1012 Halloween-related festival in Georgia.)
Erik S. Lesser EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 12:07 pm

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Newtown Teacher Among First Lady's State Of The Union Guests

Gun violence. Immigration. Education. The economy. Veterans. Afghanistan. Women in combat. Innovation. Science. Equality. Heroism.

It's safe to say those will themes in Tuesday night's State of the Union address, based on the list the White House has released of the guests who will be sitting with first lady Michelle Obama in the House gallery. Such guests, and the reasons they're there, usually make their way into a president's address.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Hagel Three-Step: Committee Vote; Floor Fight; Then Confirmation?

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been nominated to be the next secretary of defense.
Ron Sachs DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 3:18 pm

Update at 5:04 p.m. ET. Committee Approves Confirmation:

Voting along party lines, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to approve the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the country's next defense secretary.

The vote was 14 to 11 with Sen. David Vitter, a Republican of Louisiana not casting a vote.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Cheney Likes Something Obama's Doing: Drone Strikes

Former Vice President Dick Cheney in October 2011.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 11:08 am

"I think it's a good program and I don't disagree with the basic policy that the Obama administration has pursued."

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Two Arrested In Shocking Shooting Death Of Chicago Girl

At a Chicago funeral home last week, a painting of 15-year-old shooting victim Hadiya Pendleton stood at the entrance.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Chicago police say "two reputed gang members were out for revenge from a previous shooting when they opened fire on a group of students in a South Side park last month, killing 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton," the Chicago Tribune writes this morning.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Report: Obama To Announce Withdrawal Of 34K Troops From Afghanistan

Soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, earlier in February.
Andrew Burton Reuters /Landov

What will likely be a day-long drip of leaks about tonight's State of the Union address begins with this:

"President Barack Obama will announce in his State of the Union address that 34,000 U.S. troops will be home from Afghanistan within a year, two people familiar with his remarks said Tuesday." (From The Associated Press)

The wire service adds: "That's about half the U.S. forces currently serving there, and marks the next phase in the administration's plans to formally finish the war by the end of 2014."

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Doing The Cardinal Math: Numbers Point To Another European Pope

Pope Benedict XVI (left) and Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan in 2011. Scola is among those seen as a likely successor to Benedict.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 8:07 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Sylvia Poggioli reports

On this morning after the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning at the end of the month, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli looks at the numbers and concludes it's more than likely the next pope will be a European, just like nearly all the others.

Why?

As Sylvia told Morning Edition guest host Linda Wertheimer:

-- 117 cardinals are eligible to vote at the upcoming conclave (only those under the age of 80 can take part).

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Tue February 12, 2013

North Korean Nuke Test Seems Timed To Upstage Obama's State Of The Union

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 8:06 am

Not only might North Korea's third underground explosion of an atomic device be a sign that it is closer to having a weapon that's light enough to be put on a missile, it seems to be a not-so-subtle message aimed at the U.S.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Vote On Names For Pluto's Little Moons; 'Nemo' Not Among Nominees

An artist's illustration, which Hubble Site says shows the Pluto system from the surface of one of its moons.
NASA.gov

Most Two-Way readers who answered our question weren't big fans of calling this past weekend's blizzard by the name "Nemo."

So, many may be relieved to know that Nemo is not among the 12 choices on the SETI Institute's list of nominated names for Pluto's two smallest moons.

The list:

  • Acheron
  • Alecto
  • Cerberus
  • Erebus
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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Pentagon Details Which Benefits Will Be Extended To Same-Sex Partners

In 2011, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alejandra Schwartz, and her daughter Destiny Bautista, were living in San Diego, Calif., with Schwartz's then-fiance, U.S. Navy Counselor 1st Class Luz Bautista, who was pregnant at the time. Then, same-sex partners weren't able to get the benefits that heterosexual couples could.
Lucy Nicholson Reuters /Landov

Commissary privileges, family center programs, dependent I.D. cards, joint duty assignments and space-available travel on military aircraft are among the military benefits the Pentagon will now extend to same-sex partners, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Medal Of Honor Recipient Thinks About Men 'He Was Not Able To Save'

Former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha when he was on duty in Afghanistan.
North Dakota National Guard

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 10:09 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Jake Tapper talks about Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha

A story of heroism and bravery will be told at the White House Monday afternoon when President Obama awards the Medal of Honor to former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha of Minot, N.D.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Developing: Shots Fired At Delaware Courthouse

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 10:21 am

Update at 12:10 p.m. ET. Gunman Opened Fire In Lobby:

Many questions remain unanswered, but we're starting to get a clearer picture of what happened Monday around 8 a.m ET at the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington, Del., when a gunman opened fire.

According to WDDE, Delaware's NPR News station:

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Mon February 11, 2013

'Huge Explosion' At Turkey-Syria Border, Says NPR Correspondent At Scene

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 7:51 am

An explosion Monday rocked a border crossing between Turkey and Syria. NPR's Deborah Amos reports she was at the scene with many other people, when a car blew up.

It was "a huge explosion," she tells our Newscast desk. "People panicked. You can see from where I am ... billowing clouds of smoke over the Turkish border point. It was inside Turkey. We'd already come out of Syria and we were in Turkey when the explosion went off." It all happened near the Turkish town of Reyhanli.

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Text Of Pope Benedict XVI's Resignation Announcement

Pope Benedict XVI last December at the Vatican.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 12:24 pm

Pope Benedict XVI's "declaration" announcing his resignation, as translated by the Vatican:

"Dear Brothers,

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Top Stories: Pope Resigning; Mississippi Recovering From Tornado

Good morning.

Today's top story broke just as our day began:

-- Pope Benedict XVI Is Resigning.

Other stories making headlines include:

-- Manhunt For Ex-L.A. Cop Continues; "Dorner's LAPD Firing Case Hinged On Credibility." (Los Angeles Times)

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The Two-Way
4:55 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Is Resigning

Pope Benedict XVI, on Saturday at the Vatican.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 12:49 pm

(Most recent update: 2:50 p.m ET.)

For the first time in nearly 600 years, a pope is resigning from his post as leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday morning that he is stepping down effective Feb. 28.

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Feeling #CoopedUp Or Having #FunInTheSnow? Share Your Blizzard Stories

Battling the wind in Boston on Friday, as the storm moved in.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

The snow is going to pile up in parts of the Northeast and New England this weekend.

Which means millions of people are going to be:

-- Cooped up with their loved ones for a day or two.

-- And/or having fun in the snow.

Here's what we'd like:

Tell us how things go in your home or what amazing things you see or do during what's expected to be quite a storm.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Clashes In Tunis At Funeral Of Opposition Leader

A protester, and riot police in the background, during the clashes Friday in Tunis.
Louafi Larbi Reuters /Landov
  • Eleanor Beardsley reporting from Tunis

"Police and mourners clashed at the mass funeral on Friday of secular opposition leader Chokri Belaid, whose assassination has plunged Tunisia deeper into political crisis," Reuters writes.

According to the wire service, "braving chilly rain, at least 50,000 people turned out to honor Belaid in his home district of Jebel al-Jaloud in the capital, chanting anti-Islamist and anti-government slogans."

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Is Nemo A No-Go Name For You?

Watch out: Nemo's coming.
Eric Charbonneau PR Newswire

The blizzard that's barreling toward the Northeast and New England has been dubbed Nemo by the folks at The Weather Channel, who as we've reported before are taking it upon themselves to name winter storms.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Bush Family's Emails Hacked; Probe Under Way

Former presidents George H.W. Bush (left) and George W. Bush at a 2010 World Series game in Arlington, Texas.
Matt Slocum/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 7:35 am

A Smoking Gun report about the hacking of several email accounts belonging to members of presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush's family and some family friends has prompted a criminal investigation.

The Houston Chronicle says that Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath confirmed an investigation is under way, but declined further comment.

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