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
12:25 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Someone Couldn't Count To 10, So British Olympian Can't Claim Personal Best

Heptathlon athlete Jessica Ennis in March at the official British team kit launch for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Warren Little Getty Images for adidas

When she hit the tape Sunday at the Powerade Great City Games in Manchester, England, Britain's Jessica Ennis hadn't only beaten Olympic heptathlon champion Dawn Harper.

Ennis had also run a personal best 12.75 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles — 0.04 of a second faster than she'd ever run that race.

It was her personal best, that is, until 2004 Olympic heptathlon bronze medalist Kelly Sotherton, also of the U.K., tweeted this question:

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Mon May 21, 2012

30 Days In Jail, Three Years Probation In Rutgers Webcam Case

Dharun Ravi in a Brunswick, N.J., court today during his sentencing.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 12:36 pm

After emotional appeals from parents on both sides of the case, Dharun Ravi was this afternoon sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of probation for bias intimidation and invasion of privacy when he used a webcam to spy on his gay roommate at Rutgers University in September 2010.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Supreme Court Lets Stand Student's $675,000 Penalty For Downloading

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 10:16 am

Without commenting on the merits of the case, the Supreme Court this morning let stand a $675,000 jury verdict against a 25-year-old Boston University student who downloaded 30 songs nearly a decade ago and then shared them with others on a peer-to-peer network.

The court denied Joel Tenenbaum's "write of certiorari," which means his appeal of a lower court's ruling and the judgment were turned down.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Four Tons Of Marijuana Found Floating Off California Coast

It would take a lot of marijuana plants such as these to make four tons.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 11:33 am

Who dumped the dope?

That's the question of the day along the coast of Southern California as authorities try to figure out how four tons of marijuana — more than 150 bales — got into the Pacific Ocean near Orange County's Dana Point Harbor. They were found this weekend about 15 miles out to sea.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Mon May 21, 2012

On Its Second Day, Facebook Stock Drops

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 7:54 am

After its much-ballyhooed initial public offering on Friday ended with the stock's price just about where it started, Facebook ended sharply lower today.

Just after the start of trading, the social media giant's shares were trading around $33, down 13 percent about $5 from Friday's close. At close, it ended 11 percent lower at $34.03.

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Pakistan Threatens To Overshadow NATO Summit

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 11:23 am

  • Scott Horsley reporting for 'Morning Edition'

As President Obama and other NATO leaders wrap up a two-day summit today in Chicago, the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over reopening supply routes from that country into Afghanistan threatens to "put a crimp in the Obama administration's efforts to lay out a clear strategy for winding down the war in Afghanistan," NPR's Jackie Northam tells our Newscast desk.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Dozens Killed By Suicide Bomber In Yemen

It's been another deadly day in Yemen:

According to the BBC: "At least 63 people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack during a rehearsal for a military parade in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, officials say. The assailant, who was reportedly wearing an army uniform, blew himself up among a group of soldiers at al-Sabin Square, near the presidential palace."

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Eclipse Of The Sun: Did You Fall Into The Ring Of Fire's Path?

This combination picture shows the annular solar eclipse as viewed from Tokyo earlier today.
Kazuhiro Nogi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 5:31 am

"That's got to be the prettiest thing I've ever seen," Brent Veltri of Salida, Colo., told The Associated Press, when asked about the eclipse of the sun that was visible across the western U.S. on Sunday afternoon and in much of Asia earlier today.

The celestial show attracted quite a crowd. According to the AP:

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The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Insurers Paid $479 Million In Claims For Dog Bites Last Year

Matthew Weins of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles, works with Daisy on a demonstration aimed at showing that even small dogs can jump high to bite.
Damian Dovarganes AP

With National Dog Bite Prevention Week set to start Saturday, the Insurance Information Institute wants Americans to know that:

-- Insurers paid $479 million in home owner insurance claims involving dog bites last year, up 16.1 percent from the year before.

-- The number of such claims rose 3.3 percent, to 16,292.

-- The average cost per claim grew by 12.3 percent from the year before, to $29,296.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Is It Fair That A Quarterback Set The Record For Paper Airplane Tossing?

Joe Ayoob (in red shirt) winding up for the record-breaking throw. Plane designer John Collins is behind him.
ThePaperAirplaneGuy

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Updated: French President Sticks By Quicker Troop Withdrawal Schedule

President Barack Obama meets with French President Francois Hollande on Friday in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 11:36 am

Update at 1:17 p.m. ET. Support Afghanistan In 'Different Way':

During their meeting in the White House, President Francois Hollande, the new socialist leader of France, said he told President Obama that he was committed to withdrawing French troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

But, the AP reports, Hollande said he was committed to supporting Afghanistan in a "different way."

This was Obama's first meeting with Hollande.

The two leaders also said they wanted Greece to remain a part the European monetary union.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Fri May 18, 2012

5 Takeaways From Trove Of Evidence Related To Trayvon Martin's Death

A photograph of George Zimmerman's head taken after the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. It shows blood from injuries he Zimmerman says he received during their encounter.
Florida State Attorney's Office AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Greg Allen reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Among the key things to know about what's in the hundreds of pages of evidence and other materials related to the Feb. 26 shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, which were released Thursday:

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Like It Or Not, It's Facebook's Day On Wall Street

Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:03 pm

  • Steve Henn talks with Steve Inskeep on 'Morning Edition'

Facebook's much-publicized first sale of stock to the public started with a bang late this morning as the price per share jumped. But though the volume of shares sold was a record for an initial public offering, the stock's price gave up its gains as the day continued.

By the end of trading in the U.S., Facebook had settled right at the $38 initial offering price that had been set before shares went on sale.

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Diplomat: U.S. Has Military Option Ready, If Needed, To Deal With Iran

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 6:43 am

President Obama has said "I don't bluff," when it comes to opposing any effort by Iran to develop nuclear weapons (which that nation says it is not trying to do). And, he told The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg in March, "all options are on the table."

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Hot Pants Indeed: Rocks In Pocket Set Woman's Shorts On Fire

The look so harmless.
Win McNamee Getty Images

A 43-year-old woman in San Clemente, Calif., suffered second- and third-degree burns on her right leg and right arm Saturday after rocks in a pocket set her shorts on fire, The Orange County Register says.

Orange County Fire Authority officials tell the newspaper that the woman collected the rocks on a nearby beach, returned home and "was standing in her kitchen ... when the pocket of her cargo shorts caught fire."

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Good News, Bad News: Japanese Economy Surges, But Likely Will Slow

In a classic example of "on the one hand, on the other hand" economic analysis, the word that Japan's economy grew at a strong 4.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter is being followed by cautionary talk of slower growth for the world's third-largest economy in coming quarters.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Romney's $40.1 Million Haul In April Nearly Matches Obama's

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney at a campaign event on Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Edward Linsmier Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 8:24 am

The campaign for GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney and the Republican Party together raised $40.1 million in April, just shy of the $43.6 million that President Obama and the Democratic Party took in.

This is the first monthly report since Romney effectively wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination. And because money is one way to keep score during a presidential campaign, the news is getting a great deal of attention from the political media this morning.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Jobless Claims Held Steady Last Week; Back To 4-Year Low

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 8:25 am

There were 370,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, the same number as during the week before, according to the Employment and Training Administration.

So, after a spike to a range around 390,000 per week in April, claims have slowed again to a pace that's roughly the lowest since the spring of 2008.

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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Activist Chen May Soon Have Passport, Be Able To Leave China

Chen Guangcheng just before he left the U.S. embassy in Beijing, on May 2.
U.S. Embassy Beijing Getty Images

Legal activist Chen Guangcheng has reportedly finished submitting applications to Chinese authorities and has been told that he and his immediate family could be issued passports within the next two weeks.

That would then allow him to come to the United States.

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The Two-Way
5:56 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Minorities Are Now Majority Of U.S. Births, Census Says

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 7:12 am

"For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S," The Associated Press writes.

As USA Today adds, that news from the Census Bureau is "a sign of how swiftly the USA is becoming a nation of younger minorities and older whites."

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The Two-Way
5:03 am
Thu May 17, 2012

As Feared, JPMorgan's Losses Are Growing; Reportedly At $3 Billion

Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

The word on Monday that JPMorgan Chase's losses from risky trades that went wrong could climb from $2 billion to perhaps as high as $4 billion in coming quarters is being bolstered this morning.

There's this report from The New York Times' Deal Book blog:

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Chipping In To Your Office Lottery Pool? Read This First

Tim Boyle Getty Images

Here's yet another reminder about why it's important to have somebody write down the rules and keep accurate records if you're pooling money at the office to buy lottery tickets.

After all, for every heart-warming story about "three amigos" who seem to have gotten along swimmingly and deserved the money they won, there are tales such as this:

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Neither John Edwards Nor His Mistress Will Testify At Corruption Trial

John Edwards as he entered the Federal Courthouse in Greensboro, N.C., this morning.
Sara D. Davis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 10:31 am

The campaign corruption trial of former Democratic presidential contender John Edwards will not reach a dramatic climax with testimony from the former senator or the mistress he's accused of trying to hide with 2008 campaign funds.

According to The Associated Press, Edwards' attorneys said in court today that they will not be calling Edwards or Rielle Hunter to the stand and that they expect to rest their case later today.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Wed May 16, 2012

9-Year-Old To Westboro Baptist Protesters: 'God Hates No One'

Josef Miles, making his own statement.
Patty Akrouche Facebook.com/FeverDreams

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 8:42 am

Patty Akrouche says she's "never been prouder" of her 9-year-old son, Josef Miles, than she was this past weekend.

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Bush Says 'I'm For Mitt Romney,' But He Likely Won't Play Role In Campaign

Back in 2006: Then-President George W. Bush and then-Gov. Mitt Romney
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 8:47 am

"I'm for Mitt Romney."

With four words, said to an ABC News reporter as an elevator's doors closed, former President George W. Bush on Tuesday confirmed what was pretty obvious — he is supporting his fellow Republican's bid for the White House.

But as The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Wed May 16, 2012

At Trial, Serb Gen. Mladic Taunts Survivors With Throat-Cutting Gesture

Former Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague earlier today.
Toussaint Kluiters AFP/Getty Images

"Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic taunted Srebrenica survivors on Wednesday at the start of his trial for genocide, running his hand across his throat in a gesture of defiance to relatives of the worst massacre in Europe since World War II," Reuters writes from The Hague.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Is Housing Sector Getting Better? Increase In Starts May Signal It Is

A home construction site in Westport, Conn., last December.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There was a 2.6 percent increase in housing starts in April from March, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Greece Sets New Election For June 17; Fear Of Bank Runs Reported

With "the shockwaves from Greece's failure to form a coalition government" continuing to roil financial markets around the world, there's word from the BBC that Greece has now scheduled a new set of elections for June 17.

And there's also this:

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Folks Seem To Like It, So Facebook Boosts Size Of Stock Offering By 25 Percent

Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 6:20 am

The hoopla continues over Facebook's initial public offering of stock, with word that the social media giant has increased the size of Friday's IPO by 25 percent.

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