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
5:57 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Afghans Release 65 Prisoners The U.S. Deems Dangerous

Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard at the main gate of the Parwan Detention Facility Center on the outskirts of Bagram. Afghan authorities released 65 prisoners from there Thursday.
Massoud Hossaini AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 1:03 pm

Afghan authorities on Thursday went ahead and released 65 prisoners from a high-security prison north of Kabul over the strong objections of U.S. military commanders, who say the men are dangerous terrorists who have attacked civilians and soldiers in the past.

As the Los Angeles Times writes:

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The Two-Way
5:26 am
Thu February 13, 2014

WATCH: Cameras Capture Corvettes Being Sucked Into Sinkhole

A glimpse of what it's like in the sinkhole that opened up Wednesday under a wing of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.
National Corvette Museum

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 8:44 am

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The Two-Way
4:45 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Will Comcast Get Federal OK To Buy Time Warner?

Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 8:44 am

(We put a new top on this story at 9:25 a.m. ET and added an update at 10:15 a.m. ET.)

As NPR's David Folkenflik pointed out earlier today, Comcast's proposed $45 billion purchase of fellow cable company Time Warner will receive some scrutiny from federal officials. Here's some more about that part of the story:

Politico writes that:

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The Two-Way
4:03 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Winter Storm Shuts Northeast; South Still Reeling

Snow was piling up along Manhattan's Fifth Avenue early Thursday morning.
Carlo Allegri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 6:13 pm

(We're adding details to this post as the day continues.)

The forecasters said it would be "crippling," "mind-boggling" and historic.

Well, this time around we can't complain about them getting it wrong.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Sinkhole Swallows 8 Cars At National Corvette Museum

Down Went The Vettes: When a sinkhole opened up Wednesday at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., eight of Chevrolet's iconic muscle cars were sucked in.
National Corvette Museum

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 12:26 pm

Snow is flying. Ice is accumulating. Roads are impassable. Power is out.

And the story of the day that's getting more attention than the weather on social media is this:

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Justice Thomas: Americans More Race Conscious Now Than In '60s

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Michael Dwyer AP

This Yahoo News report is causing some conversation today:

"Americans today are too sensitive about race, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told a gathering of college students in Florida on Tuesday."

Yahoo's Chris Moody reports that at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a nondenominational Christian school in West Palm Beach, Fla., Thomas said:

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Let's Weather The Storm: Share '3 Things To Do When Stuck Inside'

Last week in Indianapolis, the Kehoe children — from left, Maria, Anthony and Veronica — played with shaving cream as their mother Joanne tried to keep them occupied when the weather outside was awful.
R. Brent Smith AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 11:46 am

As folks in the Deep South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast deal with yet another severe storm that's bringing rain, ice, sleet, snow or some combination of all those, let's see if we can help each other out.

So, please share in the comments thread or on NPR's Facebook page your "3 Things To Do When Stuck Inside."

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Thawing? Two Koreas Hold Highest-Level Talks Since 2007

In this handout image provided by the South Korean Unification Ministry, Kim Kyou-Hyun (right) the head of South Korea's high-level delegation, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Won Tong-Yon before their meeting Wednesday in Panmunjom, South Korea.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:09 am

Quickly organized talks held Wednesday between representatives from South and North Korea marked the highest-level such meeting between the two nations since 2007, South Korea's Yonhap news reports.

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Republican Faulconer Elected Mayor In San Diego

San Diego Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer celebrated with his family and supporters Tuesday night as votes were counted.
Lenny Ignelzi AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:35 am

Six months after Democratic Mayor Bob Filner left office in disgrace because more than a dozen women had stepped forward to accuse him of sexual harassment, San Diegans have chosen a Republican to take over.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Wed February 12, 2014

'Crippling' And 'Paralyzing': Southern Storm Is Wicked

Not a good day for a drive: A Georgia Department of Transportation sign warned motorists in Norcross Wednesday morning, and few were on the roads.
John Amis AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 5:24 pm

(Click here to jump to a quick look at the latest news about the storm.)

As a wicked storm of ice and snow spreads over parts of Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas and heads toward the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, the National Weather Service is again warning that it's getting ugly out there.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Tue February 11, 2014

'Mind-Boggling,' Historic Ice Storm Headed For Deep South

This car was navigating a snowy road early Tuesday in Fort Payne, Ala. The wicked winter weather there is spreading across the Deep South.
Hal Yeager AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:50 pm

This is not our language. It comes from the forecasters at the National Weather Service, who we have to hope do not say things such as this unless they really mean it:

"Mind-boggling if not historical" ice accumulations are expected Wednesday and Thursday across a wide swath of the Deep South that includes Atlanta, other parts of Georgia, Columbia, S.C., and up to Raleigh/Durham, N.C. The forecasters are warning of a half-inch to an inch of ice.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Tue February 11, 2014

No Change In Fed Policy, Yellen Signals

Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Since every word that the head of the Federal Reserve utters is closely watched by those in the financial markets, it's worth noting that in her first appearance before Congress since being confirmed Fed Chair Janet Yellen plans to say Tuesday that:

"I expect a great deal of continuity in the FOMC's approach to monetary policy."

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The Two-Way
4:59 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple Dies; Childhood Movie Star Became Diplomat

Shirley Temple when she was the nation's biggest movie star.
AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:55 am

  • 'Morning Edition' looks back at the life of Shirley Temple
  • A bit of 'On the Good Ship Lollipop'

Shirley Temple, who charmed the nation as a child movie star in the 1930s and went on to become one of the nation's diplomats in posts that included ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the Cold War, has died.

She was 85.

The Associated Press writes that publicist Cheryl Kagan says the actress, known as Shirley Temple Black in her private life, died late Monday evening at her home near San Francisco. Kagan tells the AP that Temple's family and caregivers were with her.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Militants In Iraq Blow Themselves Up At Bomb Training Camp

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:27 pm

An explosion Monday near Baghdad left about 20 people dead and another 15 or so wounded, according to news reports.

None of those killed, it appears, were innocent victims or Iraqi security personnel.

Instead, insurgents reportedly "set off their own car bomb at a training camp in an orchard," The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Mon February 10, 2014

U.S. Citizen May Be Targeted With Drone Strike: Reports

A U.S. drone in the sky over Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

"An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year," those officials tell The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Coming Out Complicates Player's Prospects, NFL Execs Say

Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam.
Rick Scuteri AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:55 pm

Michael Sam has been a star defensive end at the University of Missouri. He's been an All-American and The Associated Press SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

A senior, he's been among the players scouts have said are sure to be selected by an NFL team when the league holds its draft on May 8-9.

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Avoid Atlanta Until Storm Passes, Governor Tells Truckers

Jan. 29, 2014: Traffic is snarled along the I-285 perimeter north of Atlanta's metro area after an ice and snow storm passed through. Officials hope such a scene isn't repeated.
David Tulis AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 10:44 am

This time, Georgia officials seem determined to get way out ahead of the weather.

With the National Weather Service warning that another blast of rain, sleet, snow and possibly ice is headed for the Deep South later today, authorities are urging Atlantans to be off the roads by early evening.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

First Evacuees Leave Syrian City Of Homs

Two men, who were among about 80 civilians evacuated on Friday, look out from a bus in the Syrian city of Homs.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:04 pm

Three buses brought 83 people — most of them older men — out of the center of the besieged Syrian city of Homs on Friday, Los Angeles Times reporter Patrick McDonnell tells All Things Considered host Melissa Block.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Far Out Photo: Earth As 'Evening Star' Over Mars

From 99 million miles away on Mars, Earth is just a tiny dot in the evening sky.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:26 pm

Seeing a new photo taken by NASA's Curiosity rover of Earth in the night sky over Mars sent us through The Two-Way's back pages in search of other images of home taken from space.

Earth, the tiny bright spot above the Mars horizon, is so hard to see that it helps to also look at the version of the photo in which NASA has embedded a handy pointer. But perhaps Earth being just a tiny spot puts in perspective what it's like to be 99 million miles away.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Jury Awards Nearly $17 Million In Grain Bin Deaths

Grain Operator Austin Clubb surveys corn inside the Homestead Grain Facility at Amana Farms near Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:39 am

An Illinois jury has returned a record verdict of nearly $17 million in the deaths of two teenagers and the traumatic entrapment of a third worker in a grain bin in 2010, NPR's Howard Berkes reports.

The incident was featured in an investigative series by Howard and the Center for Public Integrity. There's also an interactive database about the series here.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Biden: 'No Obvious Reason' He Shouldn't Run For President

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:35 am

He's far behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a recent poll of Democrats, but Vice President Joe Biden tells CNN that "there's no obvious reason" why he shouldn't seek his party's 2016 presidential nomination.

The network reports that:

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The Two-Way
5:47 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Dogs Do Their Doodies And Salmon Swim Home Magnetically

A fish that knows the way to go: the Chinook salmon, which appears to use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate ocean waters and rivers.
Jeff T. Green Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:40 am

You might say we're attracted to this kind of story:

Last month, there was the news that Czech researchers believe that dogs prefer to align themselves along "the North-South axis under calm [magnetic field] conditions" when they're dropping those deposits that we owners have to pick up.

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The Two-Way
4:50 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Job Growth Less Than Expected, But Unemployment Hits 5-Year Low

Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 11:06 am

Note: This post was updated several times after the jobs report was released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The nation's unemployment rate slipped to 6.6 percent in January from 6.7 percent a month before, but employers added only 113,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

The jobless rate figure was expected. The job growth number, however, was well below the 185,000 that economists expected.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Sniper Attack On Power Station Highlights Grid's Vulnerability

Fred Prouser Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:26 am

Warning that no single authority can order utilities to beef up security at their facilities, the former head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission continues to raise the alarm about a sniper attack last April on an electric power station in San Jose, Calif.. He says it highlights the vulnerability of the nation's power grid and that more needs to be done to protect that infrastructure.

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The Edge
7:50 am
Thu February 6, 2014

How To Watch All Of The Games: Step 1, Prove Yourself Worthy

Rebecca Torr of New Zealand competed Thursday in the women's slopestyle qualification at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 12:14 pm

Now that the Winter Games have begun, it's time to remind fans in the U.S. about how to watch them.

As NPR TV critic Eric Deggans said earlier this week:

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Dip; Will Unemployment Rate Do The Same?

The scene at a Hiring Our Heroes job fair for veterans last month in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:48 am

There were 331,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, down 20,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That's yet another report showing that claims remain in a range where they've been running since late 2011. What does that indicate? As we've said before:

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Thu February 6, 2014

It's Freezing, And Power's Out For Hundreds Of Thousands

In Philadelphia on Wednesday, a woman ducked under a utility line that was brought down when an ice-covered tree fell.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 9:06 am

Temperatures are going to stay below freezing for the next few days across the Northeast, and that's not good news for a half-million or so households and businesses in southeastern Pennsylvania. Many won't have electricity again until Friday or the weekend.

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The Two-Way
5:17 am
Thu February 6, 2014

No Jail For Teen With 'Affluenza' Who Killed 4 In Crash

The Texas teen who was legally intoxicated last June when he caused a crash that killed four people and seriously wounded two others, was in a Fort Worth court Wednesday. Note: NPR avoids identifying minors who are prosecuted as juveniles or are victims of crimes. Other news outlets have reported his name, however.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:00 am

A Texas judge has rejected a request from prosecutors that she send a teenager to jail for driving drunk and causing a crash last year that killed four people and seriously wounded two others.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Sniper Attack On Calif. Power Station Raises Terrorism Fears

Fred Greaves Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 12:30 pm

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Millions Warned To Stay Off Roads As Latest Storm Spreads

This man stopped to take pictures of the snow-covered trees in Manhattan's Central Park on Tuesday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:53 am

From the Midwest through the Northeast and on into New England, the latest winter storm is spreading misery across some of the most heavily populated states in the nation.

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