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
8:24 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

The family of nurse Jacintha Saldanha is "devastated" and "simply cannot understand or cope with what's happening," a British member of parliament tells the BBC as all those involved try to come to grips with the London nurse's apparent suicide.

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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.

Wednesday, it was two disc jockeys impersonating Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles to trick a nurse into telling them how the Duchess of Cambridge was coping with her morning sickness.

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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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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Jobless Claims Fell Last Week; But Job Growth Was Likely Weak Last Month

Looking for work: There was a long line last month as job seekers waited to get into an employment fair at Kennedy-King College in Chicago.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 11:55 am

There were 370,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 25,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The drop is another sign that after several weeks of spikes because many people were thrown out of work due to damage related to late October's Superstorm Sandy, claims have now settled back into the range where they've been for most of the past year.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Alan Simpson Goes 'Gangnam Style'

The Can Kicks Back

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 9:05 am

How can you get young folks to press their elders to solve the debt and deficit crises?

Have 81-year-old former Sen. Alan Simpson go "Gangnam style," of course.

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The Two-Way
5:48 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Royal Watch: Kate Is Released From Hospital

Britain's Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as she was released from King Edward VII hospital in central London earlier today.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 8:59 am

Sorry, royal fans, we're not planning to follow every bit of news about the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy.

But we do want to note that Kate, "holding a bouquet of flowers, left King Edward VII hospital in central London on Thursday morning with her husband, Prince William," the BBC says. "Less than 12 weeks pregnant, she was admitted with acute morning sickness — hyperemesis gravidarum — on Monday."

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Panetta Warns Syria: 'Whole World Is Watching'

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:27 pm

In one of the sharpest warnings so far to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today "the whole world is watching" and that if Assad uses chemical weapons against his people, "there will be consequences."

Without saying specifically that the U.S. and its allies would take military action, Panetta said it is "fair enough to say that their use of those weapons would cross a red line."

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The Two-Way
4:48 am
Thu December 6, 2012

In Cairo: Several Killed, Hundreds Injured, As President Calls For Dialogue

Egyptian policemen protect an opposition demonstrator after a scuffle with members of the Muslim Brotherhood outside the presidential palace in Cairo.
Mahmoud Khaled AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:26 pm

Update at 4:00 p.m. ET. Morsi Calls For National Dialogue:

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi called for national dialogue in a televised address today.

Morsi spoke amid escalating violence over a draft constitution and a presidential decree that granted him near-absolute power.

"I call for a full, productive dialogue with all figures and heads of parties, revolutionary youth and senior legal figures to meet this Saturday," Morsi said according to Al Arabiya.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

As Two States Legalize Pot, Tommy Chong Isn't Nostalgic About The Old Days

Tommy Chong.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:11 pm

  • From 'All Things Considered': Tommy Chong talks with Audie Cornish

With Washington state set to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana just after midnight tonight, and Colorado set to decriminalize pot next month, All Things Considered today turned to "stoner" comic Tommy Chong to get his perspective.

Needless to say, the half Asian half of Cheech and Chong is very happy. He's planning to move to both states, Chong joked.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Wed December 5, 2012

VIDEO: No Stupid Pet Trick; In New Zealand, Some Dogs Learn To Drive

Porter, a 10-month-old Beardie Cross, behind the wheel.
Facebook.com/Drivingdogs

We have to admit we were skeptical.

And we wouldn't want to look over in traffic and see Fido cruising by.

But the stories from New Zealand about how the SPCA there is teaching three dogs to drive (sort-of) have some must-see video. Check out what Monty, Ginny and Porter are learning to do. They've learned to respond to some verbal commands that allow them to move a Mini Countryman around a bit.

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Wed December 5, 2012

VIDEO: Missouri Bridge Blows Up Real Good (On Purpose)

Boom! The westbound side of Missouri's Blanchette Bridge went down Tuesday.
Missouri Department of Transportation

We're little kids when it comes to watching things blow up.

So we're happy to pass along video of the westbound sections of the Blanchette Bridge that connects St. Louis and St. Charles, Mo., going boom Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Citigroup Cutting 11,000 Jobs, Taking $1.1 Billion In Charges

Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 12:48 pm

Saying it needs to "further reduce expenses and improve efficiency across the company," Citigroup announced today that it is eliminating about 11,000 jobs — 4 percent of its global workforce.

The banking giant also said it is expects to take "pre-tax charges of approximately $1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 and approximately $100 million of related charges in the first half of 2013."

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Wed December 5, 2012

'NY Post' Photographer: I Was Too Far Away To Reach Man Hit By Train

Before the attack: Two men are seen talking on a New York City subway platform Monday in this framegrab from a video released by the New York City Police Department. Moments later, police say, Ki-Suk Han (whose face is obscured) was pushed on to the tracks.
New York City Police Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 1:26 pm

It's a horrifying image that has sparked a passionate debate.

By now you've probably heard about the front page photo on Tuesday's New York Post of a man struggling to climb out of an approaching subway train's way. He had been pushed on to the tracks by a stranger.

Ki-Suck Han, 58, did not make it. He died from the injuries he received.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Top Stories: Hundreds Dead In Philippines; Port Strike Ends

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at Tuesday night's lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree.
Zhang Jun Xinhua /Landov
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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Wed December 5, 2012

118,000 Jobs Added To Payrolls Last Month, Report Signals

A "closed" sign at a coffee shop in New York City, where many businesses had to shut down for at least a few days before, during and after Superstorm Sandy.
Carlo Allegri Reuters /Landov

There were 118,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in November, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

That's slower growth than in October, when ADP's employment measure grew by 157,000 jobs.

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Egads! Aussie DJ Pretends To Be Queen, Gets Hospital To Talk About Kate

Hullo: The real Queen Elizabeth II, we swear, in 1961.
PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 4:00 pm

Oh dear:

"The hospital treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge ... 'deeply regrets' giving out information about her condition to hoax callers from an Australian radio station," the BBC writes.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Hundreds Dead, Hundreds Missing After Typhoon Slams Philippines

A woman carries a child through a flooded road on the island of Mindanao.
AFP/Getty Images

"The death toll from a typhoon that ravaged the Philippines jumped to 238 Wednesday with hundreds missing, as rescuers battled to reach areas cut off by floods and mudslides," The Manila Times writes.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Deal Struck To End L.A. Port Strike; Walkout Was Delaying Billions In Goods

Work can start again: This ship, loaded with containers, was sitting beneath idle cranes Tuesday at the Port of Los Angeles.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:58 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Kirk Siegler and Renee Montagne

A week-old strike that "crippled the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach" and kept about $1 billion worth of goods a day from arriving on shore is set to end today.

"We've got a deal and people are going back to work," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced late last night, as our colleagues at Southern California Public Radio report.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Report: Man Given Boots By NYC Police Officer Has Apartment He Could Use

The photo that touched many hearts: New York City Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo gives a shoeless man a pair of boots on a frigid night last month. That man was later identified as 54-year-old Jeffrey Hillman.
Jennifer Foster NYPD via Facebook

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 10:02 am

Jeffrey Hillman's bare feet on a frigid night in New York City last month inspired a police officer to buy the seemingly homeless man a pair of warm boots — a moment captured in a heartwarming photo that went viral.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Crime On The Farm: Hay Thefts Soar As Drought Deepens

That's a valuable commodity: A hay bale at a farm in Eatonton, Ga., earlier this year.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:09 am

  • Sheriff Bobby Whittington talks with NPR's Renee Montagne

Your crime fodder ... sorry, make that blotter ... news of the day.

From St. Louis:

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Living On Food Stamps: Newark Mayor Cory Booker Starts Challenge Today

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:02 am

A campaign to raise awareness about the struggles of low-income Americans who depend on food stamps gets a high-profile plug today as Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J., begins a week of living on $30 worth of food.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Top Stories: Iran Claims Drone Capture; Typhoon Bears Down On Philippines

Philippine Air Force troops use a rubber boat to evacuate residents from floods in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines earlier today (Dec. 4).
Bobby Lagsa EPA /LANDOV
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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Three 'Should Read Stories' About The 'Fiscal Cliff'

How long and how late will talks go? (The Capitol dome.)
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images
  • Mara Liasson, on 'Morning Edition'
  • Renee Montagne and Tamara Keith, on 'Morning Edition'

The back-and-forth continues between the White House and Republican leaders in Congress about 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 begin.

The big news Monday was the "counteroffer" put forward by House Republicans.

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Report: Benghazi 'Talking Points' Watered Down By CIA, Not White House

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Allison Joyce Reuters /Landov

"A highly cautious, bureaucratic process that had the effect of watering down the U.S.'s own intelligence" led to the controversial "talking points" that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used when she spoke about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Tue December 4, 2012

U.S. Disputes Iran's Claim To Have Captured Drone

A screen image from the video released by Iranian TV of what the military there claims is a captured U.S. drone.
Press TV

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 11:50 am

The U.S. Navy says all its drones are "fully accounted for" — casting doubt on Iran's claim to have captured one of the small spycraft after it allegedly flew into Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Bridget Hughes Calls Off Search For Her Hat

Bridget Hughes and her hat, before it went missing.
Facebook.com

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 1:15 pm

The story of Bridget Hughes' missing hat struck a chord with many. It was the floppy hat her mom wore years ago when she had breast cancer and was having chemotherapy. Mom died when Bridget, now a volunteer preschool teacher in New Mexico, was seven.

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