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
4:59 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Bloomberg Aims To Take Gulp Out Of Sugary Drinks With Ban On Big Ones

Bloomberg's got his sights on these.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 6:04 am

Having gone after smoking and artificial trans fats, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg now has his eye on big sugary drinks.

As NY1 reports, the mayor:

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Banned In Idaho, 'Five Wives' Vodka Says It Meant No Offense

Bottles of Ogden's Own Distillery Five Wives Vodka at a state liquor store in Salt Lake City.
Brian Skoloff AP

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 3:47 pm

They're "five wives who just like to get together and have a cocktail."

They're not meant to be a direct reference to polygamy and those kittens they're holding in their laps are ... just part of a photograph that's reflective of the 1890s to early 1900s.

For all anyone knows, they might be lesbians.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Pakistani Court Did Not Connect Doctor's Conviction To Bin Laden Hunt

The Pakistani doctor who American officials say was recruited by the CIA to help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and has since been sentenced to 33 years in prison, was convicted of having ties to a banned militant group, not for alleged treason.

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Wed May 30, 2012

'Bath Salts' Drug Suspected In Miami Face-Eating Attack

An undated booking mug made available by the Miami-Dade Police Dept., showing Rudy Eugene. He was shot and killed by Miami-Dade Police after he refused to stop eating another man's face.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 7:00 am

Note: As you may have guessed from the headline, there is disturbing content in this post. And scroll down for an update.

More is becoming known about one of the most horrific crimes we've heard about recently — the attack in Miami on Saturday during which a man was "biting off parts of another man's face."

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Wed May 30, 2012

'I Could No Longer Bear Witness To Such Barbaric Crimes,' Syrian Says

Hazem Chehabi.
University of California Irvine Foundation

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 12:22 pm

The man who has represented the interests of Syrians living in Southern California as honorary consul general there has resigned from the volunteer position because he "could no longer bear witness to such barbaric crimes" by the regime of President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Wed May 30, 2012

White House Offers Regrets For President Referring To 'Polish Death Camp'

The gates of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, Poland. (1965 file photo.)
Keystone Getty Images

President Obama misspoke Tuesday when he referred to a "Polish death camp" and "we regret the misstatement," White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor has told reporters.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Ex-Rutgers Student Offers First 'Clear Apology' For Spying On Roommate

Dharun Ravi in court on May 21.
Mel Evans AP

"I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices" and apologize "to everyone affected by those choices." With those words, Dharun Ravi has offered what's being called his first "clear apology" for setting up a webcam to spy on his gay roommate in September 2010.

That spying shortly preceded roommate Tyler Clementi's suicide.

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Wed May 30, 2012

WikiLeaks' Assange Has Two Weeks To Appeal Extradition Decision

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last December.
Geoff Caddick AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 7:33 am

While Britain's Supreme Court today said that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden to face accusations of sex assault, he was also given two weeks to appeal that ruling.

Assange's lawyer said that she needs that time to probe whether the court's decision was based in part on matters that weren't argued during the legal proceedings.

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Turkey Expels All Syrian Diplomatic Staff, 'Most Significant' Such Move So Far

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 6:07 am

Turkey announced today that it is ordering all Syrian diplomats and their staffs out of the country, as it joins other nations in registering outrage about a massacre over the weekend that has been blamed on forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
5:28 am
Wed May 30, 2012

For The Record: It's Romney

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 10:05 am

  • Ari Shapiro, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

There hadn't been any doubt about it for several weeks, but with his win Tuesday in the Texas primary Mitt Romney has "clinched the Republican presidential nomination," according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Liberia's Charles Taylor Sentenced To 50 Years For War Crimes

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor during his sentencing today in The Hague.
Toussaint Kluiters AFP/Getty Images

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for war crimes that the presiding judge on an international war crimes court says were of the "utmost gravity in terms of scale and brutality."

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

A 'Macabre' Process: Nominating Terrorists To Nation's 'Kill List'

President Obama and John Brennan, his top counterterrorism adviser, in the Oval Office on Jan. 4, 2010. Brennan is a key voice about who gets put on the "kill list."
Pete Souza White House

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 6:45 pm

One of the day's most-discussed stories has to be The New York Times' report headlined "Secret 'Kill List' Proves A Test Of Obama's Principles And Will."

It's a long, detailed look at how the president has "placed himself at the helm of a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical."

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The Two-Way
11:54 am
Tue May 29, 2012

No Way She'll Run For Senate In 2016, Michelle Obama Says

First lady Michelle Obama.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

The New York Times' Frank Bruni floated the idea, saying he'd heard "a vague murmuring" about Michelle Obama running for the Senate from Illinois in 2016.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Wrigley The Goat Aims At Cubs' Curse; Xiao Sa The Dog Races Across China

Wrigley, the goat that is.
Facebook.com/CrackTheCurse

If a goat walks about 2,000 miles from Arizona to Chicago can that "reverse the curse" that has plagued the Cubs for nearly 67 years?

Odd as that question sounds, it's about to be put to the test.

Five Cubs fans and a goat have just finished a three-month walk from Mesa, Ariz., to the Windy City and are due at Wrigley Field this afternoon when the Cubs host the San Diego Padres.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Tue May 29, 2012

'Flame' Malware Said To Be Targeting Iran: Huge Deal Or Huge Hype?

An undated screen grab, released by the Kaspersky Lab, showing some of the programming behind Flame.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 1:44 pm

Word from the antivirus experts at Kaspersky Lab that "we've found what might be the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed," and that this Flame spyware is targeting Iran and some places in the Middle East, is getting lots of attention this morning:

-- "Massive Cyber-Attack Discovered, Researchers Say." (BBC News)

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Tue May 29, 2012

On Second Thought, Maybe Consumer Confidence Isn't That High

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 am

Last week, the researchers who put out the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers said their index rose in May to "its highest level since October 2007" — before the last recession began.

But when it comes to economics, there always seem to be an "on the other hand" moment coming — especially when the economy appears to be at a turning point.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Home Prices Haven't 'Turned,' But Some Edged Up As Quarter Ended

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 7:41 am

Home prices slipped further in the first quarter, according to the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. It reports that:

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Tue May 29, 2012

How Do You Spell Precocious? 6-Year-Old Spelling Bee Contestant Would Know

The National Spelling Bee gets going Wednesday and the story that's got everyone buzzing is about the youngest competitor in the contest's history: 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison from Woodbridge, Va.

She is, as Washington's WJLA-TV says, a "precocious little girl" who "is anything but ordinary" and will be on stage with others twice her age.

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Italy Rocked By Second Deadly Quake

Two police officers in Mirandola try to comfort a woman after today's earthquake in Northern Italy.
Pierre Teyssot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 7:25 am

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Good News: Beryl Weakened. Better News: It Drenched Parched Areas

A National Weather Service radar image of Beryl early this morning. It was stretching from North Florida into Georgia.
National Weather Service

As residents in Northeast Florida give thanks that Tropical Storm Beryl did relatively little damage over the weekend and did not develop into a hurricane, they're also grateful that it brought rain to an area plagued by drought.

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Most Victims Of Friday's Massacre In Syria Were Executed, U.N. Says

Saturday: In this picture provided by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network, people watch the mass burial of victims from Friday's violence in Houla.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 1:42 pm

"The U.N. said Tuesday that entire families were shot in their homes during a massacre in Syria on Friday that killed more than 100 people, including children," The Associated Press reports. And as nations around the world have reacted this morning to news about the atrocities, they're expelling Syrian diplomats in protest.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Cleared Of Rape Conviction, California Man Remains 'Unbroken'

A tear of relief: Brian Banks after his rape conviction was dismissed Thursday.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:24 pm

  • Brian Banks on Southern California Public Radio

Five years in prison. Then five years of probation and wearing an electronic monitoring device. The shame of being a registered sex offender. Not being able to get a job. His dream of playing in the NFL destroyed, possibly forever.

Brian Banks, now 26, has gone through all that.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Consumer Confidence Highest Since Before Recession, Survey Says

If consumers are in the mood to shop, that could give the economy a lift.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:13 am

Here's news that could affect both the economy and the presidential race:

Consumer confidence has improved "in each of the past nine monthly surveys" and is now at "its highest level since October 2007," according to the latest Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers. The most recent recession officially began in December 2007, and lasted into early summer 2009.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Man At Center Of Federal Agency's Las Vegas Scandal Leaves His Job

Jeff Neely during an April 16 hearing on Capitol Hill. He declined to answer any of the lawmakers' questions.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Jeff Neely, the regional official at the General Services Administration who hosted a 2010 taxpayer-funded conference in Las Vegas that became a scandal as details about excessive spending, gifts and lavish parties were revealed, has left his job at the agency.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Lost Bike Found After 41 Years; Then, The Story Gets Weird

Lisa Brown, in front, during a "dramatic" recreation of how she lost her bike in 1970.
Cape Cod Times

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 12:06 pm

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Egypt May Be Headed To Runoff Between Islamist And Former Mubarak Aide

An Egyptian election official counting ballots from the presidential election.
Fredrik Persson AP

As Egyptian officials count ballots from this week's first-ever free presidential election in that country, the Muslim Brotherhood is claiming its candidate got the most votes and will likely be in a runoff next month against ousted President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister.

From Cairo, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson cautions that officials are advising against "believing statements by groups claiming to know who won." Official results aren't due to be released until next Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
5:18 am
Fri May 25, 2012

SpaceX Craft Docks With Space Station; Commercial Era Begins

An image of the Dragon spacecraft, taken earlier today with a thermal camera aboard the International Space Station.
Twitter.com/SpaceX

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 11:48 am

The historic first docking of a commercial spacecraft at the International Space Station orbiting above Earth happened without a hitch today, as SpaceX's Dragon capsule arrived with supplies for the crew orbiting high above Earth.

Just before 10 a.m. ET, astronauts aboard the space station successfully grabbed the capsule with a robotic arm. A little after noon ET, the pulled the Dragon into its docking space.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Kid Told Westboro Protesters 'God Hates No One' Because, 'That Is True'

Josef Miles, making his own statement.
Patty Akrouche Facebook.com/FeverDreams
  • From 'Tell Me More': Josef Miles and his mom

"I just don't like seeing those signs and I kind of wanted to put a stop to that."

That's 9-year-old Josef Miles' simple explanation for why he held up a notepad that said "GOD HATES NO ONE" as supporters of the tiny Westboro Baptist Church staged another small demonstration featuring their signs that say God hates homosexuals.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Talks With Iran To Reconvene Next Month

"Iran and world powers have agreed to meet in Moscow next month for another round of negotiations over Tehran's nuclear program," The Associated Press reports.

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