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
8:33 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The Late Whitney Houston Was The Year's Hottest Search

Whitney Houston in 2004.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Jobless Claims Fell Sharply Last Week, Wholesale Prices Dropped In November

At a job fair in New York City earlier this year, a man waited for an interview. Economists say the job market is slowly improving, and the latest data on jobless claims seem to support that analysis.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There were 343,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, down 29,000 from the week before, according to the Employment and Training Administration.

At that level, claims were the lowest they'd been since the first week of October's 342,000.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Nurse Who Fell Victim To Royal Hoax Was Found Hanged, Authorities Say

Westminster Coroners Court in London, where the inquest into the death of Jacintha Saldanha was held.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse "fooled by a hoax call to the London hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge was later found hanged," the BBC says.

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Diplomatic Shift? Russia Acknowledges Assad May Be On Way Out

Northwest of Aleppo, Syria, this week, rebels were in control of this Syrian military base.
Herve Bar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:33 am

"Syria's most powerful ally, Russia, said for the first time Thursday that President Bashar Assad is losing control of his country and the rebels might win the civil war, dramatically shifting the diplomatic landscape at a time of enormous momentum for the opposition," The Associated Press writes.

Here's what Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said, according to the AP:

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Report: North Korea's Satellite May Be 'Tumbling Out Of Control'

An image, from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), of what's said to be the launch on Wednesday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:34 am

There are conflicting reports about whether the satellite launched into space Wednesday from North Korea is safely circling the planet.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Flying High: Cannon Fires Cans Filled With Marijuana Across Mexican Border

They flew in from Mexico: Cans of marijuana found in a field near Yuma, Ariz.
Customs and Border Protection

Last year, smugglers tried using a catapult to get pot into the U.S.

Now, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents say they recently discovered 30 large cans of marijuana in a field near Yuma, Ariz., — and that the barrels apparently landed there after being fired from a pneumatic-powered cannon 500 feet away in Mexico.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Federal Reserve Boosts Effort To Lift Economy

The Federal Reserve's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Saying it is concerned that the economy won't be strong enough in coming months to keep adding jobs to the labor market, the Federal Reserve announced this afternoon that is increasing its efforts to give the economy a boost.

And in an unusually specific statement from the central bank, its policymakers said they expect to keep a key short-term interest rate at or near zero percent "as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent."

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Census: We Continue To Get Older And More Diverse; Though More Slowly

The crowded scene on "Black Friday" at Macy's in Manhattan. The U.S. population is projected to hit 400 million in 2051, Census says, up from 321 million in 2015.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:02 pm

The trends continue:

"The U.S. population will be considerably older and more racially and ethnically diverse by 2060, according to projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau."

Based on data from the 2010 census, the bureau projects that:

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Just Because We Can: 12 Lines Of 12 Words Each About 12-12-12

An auspicious date? The rings for a wedding earlier today — 12/12/12 — in Mumbai, India.
Indranil Mukherjee AFP/Getty Images

Last year, lots of folks certainly seemed to be excited about 11/11/11.

So we feel obliged to point out the obvious: Today is 12/12/12.

And, yes, once again there's much fuss being made about a date:

-- "Other-dimensional energy abounds" on double-digit dates, numerologist Scott Petullo tells ABC News.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Wed December 12, 2012

McAfee To Be Released, Supporters Say

John McAfee, in Guatemala City before his detention.
Johan Ordonez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:21 pm

Update at 3 p.m. ET. On His Way To Miami:

John McAfee, the anti-virus software pioneer who's wanted for questioning in Belize about the murder of a neighbor, tells Bloomberg TV that he has been released from a detention center in Guatemala and is flying to Miami.

He also says he has apologized to Guatemala's president for "putting him into a very slippery position."

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Wed December 12, 2012

As Shots Rang Out In Oregon Mall, Shoppers And Santa Dove For Cover

Jacob Tyler Roberts.
Clackamas County (Ore.) Sheriff's Department

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:52 pm

1:30 p.m. ET. Gunman Identified:

The man who killed two people and seriously wounded a third person at a suburban Portland, Ore., shopping mall on Tuesday has been identified by police as Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, of Portland, Oregon Public Broadcasting tells us.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Wed December 12, 2012

'Global Chorus Of Condemnation' After North Korea's Rocket Launch

A North Korean military band performed today in Pyongyang to celebrate the country's rocket launch. Other nations, though, condemned the launch.
Kyodo Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:52 pm

  • Louisa Lim on 'Morning Edition'

"The global chorus of condemnation has been loud and clear," after North Korea's successful launch of a long-range rocket that carried a satellite into space, NPR's Louisa Lim said today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Rush Is In! The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, That Is

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson (left) and singer/bassist Geddy Lee.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:30 pm

After all our whining, we have to pass along word that Rush has made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

And, yes, we know that some of this year's other inductees, announced today, may be more "important":

-- Heart.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Sick Of Year-End Lists Yet? Or Do You Love Them?

If we listed the sites that do the most lists, Gawker would be up there.
Gawker.com

Twitter's out with its take on what the tweets of 2012 supposedly tell us about ourselves. The "Golden Tweets" (most retweeted) were the "four more years" photo of President Obama and the first lady hugging, and the "RIP Avalanna.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

NFL Players' 'Bountygate' Suspensions Vacated

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.
Chris Szagola CSM /LANDOV

The four NFL players who were fined and given multi-game suspensions for their alleged parts in the New Orleans Saints' "bountygate" scheme that paid bonuses for injuring opposing players have had their punishments vacated, the league says.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Delta Makes Deal To Buy 49 Percent Of Virgin Atlantic

Two bag tags that may soon be together a lot.
Photo illustration by Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Looking to grab more of "the lucrative New York-to-London market," Delta Air Lines said today that it plans to spend $360 million for a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic.

As USA Today writes:

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Tue December 11, 2012

World's Most Expensive Whisky? It's Not The One We Toasted

The record-holder, according to Guinness: A bottle of 64-year-old Macallan whisky in a Lalique Cire Perdue decanter. In 2010 it sold for $460,000.
Alpha /Landov

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:38 pm

On Sunday, Weekend All Things Considered aired an interview with Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman. He talked about the $94,000 that a buyer recently paid at auction for one bottle of Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve 55 Year Old whisky.

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Today's Three Stories To Read About The 'Fiscal Cliff'

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the White House on Nov. 16.
Toby Jorrin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:18 am

As we've said now several times, "the White House and congressional leaders continue to talk about taxes, spending cuts and how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to go into effect."

As NPR and others cover the story, we're pointing to interesting reports and analyses. Here are some of the latest.

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Syrian Defector: Assad Will Use Chemical Weapons If He's Desperate

Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2009.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 12:25 pm

If Syrian President Bashar Assad gets desperate enough he will use chemical weapons against his own people, the former chief of staff for that country's chemical weapons tells NPR's Deborah Amos.

Maj. Gen. Adnan Sillu, who defected in July and is now in Turkey, is convinced that if rebel forces close in on Damascus, Assad will order the use of mustard gas, sarin or other chemicals in a "last desperate act," Deb reported today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

The Feds Can Tell Ernest Hemingway's Cats What To Do; Here's Why

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:06 am

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Navy SEAL Killed During Afghan Rescue Is Identified

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 6:44 pm

The member of Navy SEAL Team 6 killed during this weekend's rescue in Afghanistan of an American doctor was Petty Officer 1st Class Nicholas Checque, 28, of Monroeville, Pa.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Many Apps For Children Still Raise Privacy Concerns, FTC Says

Who's collecting information about her?
Peggy Turbett The Plain Dealer /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 6:44 pm

Developers of smartphone and tablet apps aimed at children have done little in the past year to give parents "the information they need to determine what data is being collected from their children, how it is being shared, or who will have access to it," the Federal Trade Commission reports.

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Mon December 10, 2012

After Helping Europe Rise From Ashes, EU Accepts Nobel Peace Prize

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso of Portugal during today's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo.
Nigel Waldron Getty Images

Giving the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union has been controversial.

As The Associated Press reports:

Three previous Peace Prize laureates "South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland and Adolfo Perez Esquivel from Argentina, have demanded that the prize money of $1.2 million not be paid this year. They say the bloc contradicts the values associated with the prize because it relies on military force to ensure security."

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Royal Hoax: Nurse's Family 'Devastated,' Radio Hosts 'Shattered' By Her Death

Flowers and a note outside the apartments near King Edward VII Hospital in central London where Jacintha Saldanha and other nurses stayed.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:40 am

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Top Stories: 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks; Syrian Conflict; Minnesota Blizzard

This dog likes snow: In Minneapolis on Sunday, Adam Womersley and his English Springer Spaniel, Stella, had some fun out in the winter weather.
Richard Tsong-Taatarii MCT /Landov

Good morning.

Our early headlines:

-- Can A 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Be Both In And Out Of Reach? Yes.

-- Jenni Rivera: A Beautiful Voice Goes Silent.

Other stories making news:

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Jenni Rivera: A Beautiful Voice Goes Silent

Singer Jenni Rivera at the 11th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards in 2010.
Kevin Winter Getty Images for LARAS

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 11:38 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Mandalit Del Barco talks with Renee Montagne

The news that no survivors have been found in the wreckage of a small plane in which Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera and six others were traveling before it crashed Sunday in northern Mexico means "the world has lost one very beautiful voice," as E! Online writes.

According to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Can A 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Be Both In And Out Of Reach? Yes

President Obama in the Oval Office, where there may be some more late night bargaining sessions before a deal is reached to keep the federal government from going over the "fiscal cliff." (December 2009 file photo.)
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:38 am

The face-to-face meeting at the White House Sunday between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner has led to analyses such as these this morning:

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Good Joke? Australian Leader Says End Of World Is Coming

She's a kidder: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

Oh those wacky Australians.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Sen. Jim DeMint Leaving Congress To Run Heritage Foundation

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., speaks during to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 9.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 12:47 pm

One of the most consistently conservative voices in Congress and a favorite of Tea Party activists across the nation is leaving the Senate.

South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint is resigning to take over as president of the Heritage Foundation.

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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Blogging On The Lam: McAfee Is Posting Updates From Guatemalan Jail

John McAfee, with a woman described as his girlfriend, on the way into the Supreme Court in Guatemala City on Tuesday.
Johan Ordonez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 1:26 pm

Wanted for questioning in Belize about the murder of a neighbor, anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee is sitting in a Guatemalan jail — and blogging about the experience.

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