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
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

In 1970 a young girl lost her banana-seat bike. Lisa Brown was riding it across a rickety bridge in Cape Cod, Mass., when she and the bike tumbled into a little river. The bike sank into the muck and was gone.

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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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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Bad News In New Orleans: 'Times-Picayune' Slashing Staff, Going To 3 Days

The highly respected journalists at New Orleans' Times-Picayune last night found out the hard way — from another news outlet — that they're about to face deep staff cuts and that the newspaper will soon only print three days a week.

The New York Times' Media Decoder broke the story Wednesday just before midnight ET.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Ted, What Have You Been Doing With Yourself? Unabomber, You Say?

Unabomber Ted Kaczynski being led into a Montana court in 1996.
Elaine Thompson AP

No, the Unabomber won't be attending his 50th class reunion at Harvard this week.

But Ted Kaczynski has updated his former classmates about what he's been up to all these years.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Egypt's Historic Voting Continues

An Egyptian man shows his ink-stained finger after voting in Cairo earlier today.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 12:27 pm

  • Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, on 'Morning Edition'
  • Merrit Kennedy on 'Morning Edition'

A quick update:

Day two of the voting in Egypt's first-ever free presidential election is underway. From Cairo, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports that while turnout early in the day was slightly lower than on Wednesday, officials expect the lines will build as the day continues.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Jobless Claims Dip; Orders For Durable Goods Are Soft

The number of first-time claims for jobless benefits dipped slightly last week, to 370,000 from 372,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The 4-week moving average for claims — which economists say gives a better picture of the trend — was also 370,000, down by 5,500.

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Cyber Countershot: U.S. Hacks Web Ads Of Al-Qaida's Yemen Affiliate

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 3:06 pm

Update at 4:53 p.m. ET. U.S. Is Not 'Hacking':

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston tells us State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland made it clear that the United States is not "hacking" the websites that appeal to al-Qaida. Instead, they are "countering propaganda with a counter-narrative that we believe is closer to the truth of the situation."

In her All Things Considered report, Dina provides an example:

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The Two-Way
5:28 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Man Has Implicated Himself In Etan Patz Disappearance, NY Police Say

Etan Patz, and the "lost child" poster issued after his 1979 disappearance.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 7:13 pm

Update at 7:13 p.m. ET: Police Announce Arrest Of Suspect:

At a press conference in New York, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said police had arrested Pedro Hernandez in the killing of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who disappeared as he was walking to school in 1979.

Officials say Hernandez, a former convenience store worker, confessed to police that he suffocated the boy, placing his body in a cardboard box. Etan's body has never been found.

Kelly said Hernandez also took police to the site where he contends the killing occurred.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Poachers Can Be Shot, Officials In India Declare

An Indian tiger looks out from a camouflaged cover in the Ranthambhore National Park. (March 2000 file photo.)
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Poachers caught hunting tigers in India's Maharashtra state are on notice that they could be shot on sight.

The Times of India says the "stern stand against poachers" means "if the forest officials fire upon the poachers injuring or killing them, the action will not be considered a crime." Prior to this week's announcement by state officials, those guards were subject to prosecution for such actions.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Patrick Fitzgerald, High-Profile Prosecutor, Stepping Down

United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald.
John Gress Getty Images

Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor who obtained the conviction of Vice President Cheney's chief of staff for lying to authorities about the leaking of a CIA officer's name and who sent former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) to jail on corruption charges, is stepping down from his post.

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Challenge: Use The Moog Doodle To Play The 'All Things Considered' Theme

Google's Moog Doodle.
Google.com

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 4:05 pm

  • A clip of the current 'All Things Considered' theme
  • Bob Boilen reporting, in 2002
  • Two early versions of the 'All Things Considered' theme

You've probably know by now that Google is paying homage to Robert Moog today with a Doodle that's a virtual version of the iconic Moog Synthesizer. Moog died in 2005. Today would have been his 78th birthday.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Wed May 23, 2012

As Talks Begin, Iran And World Powers Stake Out Positions

  • Tom Gjelten reporting
  • Mike Shuster reporting

As talks opened in Baghdad today, "diplomats from six world powers offered Iran new proposals Wednesday to ease international concerns about its nuclear program, but appeared to reject Tehran's appeals to ease economic sanctions to help move along talks," The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Primary Protests: 4 In 10 Say No To Obama; 3 In 10 Say No To Romney

President Obama during a news conference Monday in Chicago.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Though there's no doubt about the nominees, presidential primaries are still being held.

And in both Democratic and Republican contests, some voters continue to register their unhappiness with the choices before them.

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Wed May 23, 2012

'Morally Repugnant' Behavior Tolerated By Secret Service, Senator Says

In Cartagena, a prostitute stands on a corner in the historical district.
Manuel Pedraza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:09 am

The first congressional hearing into the scandal involving Secret Service personnel who allegedly cavorted with prostitutes in Colombia last month is set for this morning. As the time for that hearing approaches, a key senator is charging that such "morally repugnant" behavior appears to have been tolerated within the elite agency.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed May 23, 2012

33 Years In Prison For Pakistani Doctor Who Aided Hunt For Bin Laden

Osama bin Laden.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 5:22 pm

Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor who helped in the hunt for Osama bin Laden by trying to collect DNA from the al-Qaida leader and his family members, has been convicted of treason and sentenced to 33 years in prison, according to reports from Pakistan.

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

Finally, Egyptians Have Their Say

In Cairo, earlier today, a man cast his ballot.
Marco Longari AFP/Getty Images
  • Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on 'Morning Edition'

"This is definitely the big event" on Egypt's way toward its own form of democracy.

That's how NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson summed up the news earlier on Morning Edition as she reported from Cairo about the opening day of the first free presidential elections in a nation that just a little more than a year ago was in the throes of a revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak's regime.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

As Egyptians Prepare To Vote, Jimmy Carter Watches 'Complete Transformation'

In Cairo on Monday, Egyptian Parliament Speaker Saad al-Katatni (left) met with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 5:44 pm

On All Things Considered today, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson will look ahead to Egypt's first free presidential election — voting begins Wednesday and is expected to lead to a mid-June runoff — and how some Egyptians who played roles in last year's revolution there are refusing to take part because they don't trust the military leaders who run the country.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

We Should Have Known: Megaseconds Are Much Longer Than Milliseconds

Typos and mistakes are part of the news business — as anyone who regularly reads this blogger surely knows. We don't want them to happen, but they do.

Sometimes they're kind of quirky and educational.

Check out this correction from The New York Times:

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Tue May 22, 2012

U.S.-Bound Passenger Jet Diverted Due To 'Security Issue' On Board

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 12:47 pm

There was a "security issue" aboard a US Airways flight from Paris to Charlotte, N.C., earlier today, and the plane was diverted to Maine's Bangor International Airport, where it landed around noon ET.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Auction Of Reagan's Blood Draws Condemnation

March 30, 1981: President Ronald Reagan, moments before he was shot.
Mike Evens AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:06 pm

An online auction of a vial said to contain blood drawn from President Reagan on the day he was shot in 1981 is "a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase," says a spokesman for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Facebook's Stock: What Should It Cost?

Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 2:08 pm

As the downward pressure continues on the price of Facebook's newly issued shares, let's see what our collective financial wisdom tells us.

The initial public offering was priced at $38 a share. After technical snafus on Friday, and only thanks to lots of help from Facebook's bankers, that's about where the stock settled its first day.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Existing Home Sales And Prices Both Rose In April

As sales of existing homes rose 3.4 percent in April from March, prices of those previously owned houses, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops also rose, the National Association of Realtors said this morning.

"The recovery appears to be extending to home prices," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says in a report issued earlier.

Sales were 10 percent above the level of April 2011, NAR adds. Last month's pace: a 4.62 million annual rate.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Europe's Crisis Threatens To Kill Global Economic Recovery, Experts Warn

Unless leaders in Europe act quickly, the financial crisis there could drag down the global economy and kill what appears to be a "fragile, extremely uneven" recovery, the multi-national Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned today.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Tue May 22, 2012

U.S. Ambassador To Afghanistan To Step Down, Reports Say

Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, last month in Kabul.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, "is expected to step down soon from his post," sources familiar with the matter tell Reuters and a few other news outlets.

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The Two-Way
6:27 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Let's Catch Two: Same Fan Grabs Back-To-Back Home Run Balls

Caleb Lloyd, with the ball in his left hand, celebrates after catching the first of the back-to-back home runs that came his way Monday night in Cincinnati.
MLB.com

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 4:02 pm

  • Caleb Lloyd speaking to NPR

"That's just crazy," Cincinnati Reds fan Caleb Lloyd said Monday night after he ended up snagging two home runs balls — from consecutive batters — during the Reds' 4-1 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves.

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The Two-Way
5:48 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Word Of Deal To Inspect Iran's Nuclear Program Raises Hopes For Broader Talks

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano earlier today in Vienna, after his return from talks in Tehran.
Dieter Nagl AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 3:50 pm

A deal has been agreed to that will facilitate international monitors' effort to investigate whether Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency told reporters in Vienna earlier today.

The Financial Times puts the news this way:

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It's All Politics
1:54 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Booker, Bain, Romney & Obama: Ad Wars Go Full Circle And Then Some

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.
Bennett Raglin Getty Images for Macy's

This is a classic chain of events that never seems to go out of style in an election year.

First one of the presidential campaigns put out videos that it says are informational but critics say are attack ads. This time, it's President Obama's team and the target is Republican rival Mitt Romney. The point of the spots, such as this one, is to make the case that when Romney ran Bain Capital, some of the companies the investment firm took over ended up shedding jobs rather than creating them.

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