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
12:09 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

In Colorado, Frozen Cows Are A Conundrum In Conundrum

The Conundrum Creek Cabin where the cows met their unfortunate end. Photo taken on April 6.
Brian Porter AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 4:45 pm

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Retired Couple Bought Winning Mega Millions Ticket In Illinois

Merle and Patricia Butler (at right) accepting their ceremonial check earlier today.
Illinois Lottery

The winning ticket in Illinois from last month's record $656 Mega Millions lottery has been turned in by a retired couple from the little town of Red Bud, Ill.

"Merle Butler, 65, and his wife Patricia, 62, accepted the giant check Wednesday morning," as Chicago's WLS-TV reports.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Take That, Kids: Jamie Moyer Is Oldest Pitcher To Win An MLB Game

Jamie Moyer of the Colorado Rockies after his record-setting win Tuesday night in Denver.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

He's not as old as some bloggers (sigh!), but the Colorado Rockies' Jamie Moyer is now the holder of an impressive age-related record.

Tuesday night, at the age of 49 years, 150 days, he became the oldest pitcher to ever win a Major League Baseball game.

Playing in Denver, the Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3. "Moyer worked seven innings, allowing no earned runs on six hits," The Denver Post reports.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Swedish Official Calls 'Racist Cake' A Piece Of Provocative Art

The cake, with artist Makode Aj Linde "performing" as the screaming head.
Facebook.com

There's a growing controversy in Sweden over whether Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth should have smilingly cut into a cake in the shape of a naked black woman during a World Art Day event over the weekend.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Ted Nugent Stands Firm, Secret Service To Look Into His Words About Obama

Ted Nugent, during his appearance at the NRA convention over the weekend in St. Louis.
NRA Videos

For telling National Rifle Association members over the weekend that "I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year" if President Obama is re-elected, rocker Ted Nugent has now attracted the attention of the Secret Service.

"We are aware of the incident, and we are conducting appropriate follow-up," Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary says.

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Pentagon Condemns Actions Of Soldiers Posing With Suicide Bombers' Remains

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 12:21 pm

Photos obtained by the Los Angeles Times that appear to show U.S. Army paratroopers posing with the remains of suicide bombers in Afghanistan "undermine the daily sacrifices of thousands of ISAF troops who continue to serve honorably in Afghanistan," the top U.S.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Pranksters Put Fake Ensign's Portrait On Pentagon Wall; It Stayed For Months

U.S. Naval Institute

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:15 pm

The must-read story of the day if you're into practical jokes has to be The Wall Street Journal's piece headlined "Walk The Prank: Secret Story Of Mysterious Portrait At Pentagon."

As Melissa Block and Audie Cornish will explain later on All Things Considered, last year some pranksters hung a portrait on a hall in the Pentagon with a plaque saying it was "Ensign Chuck Hord. USNA circa 1898. Lost at sea 1908."

There is no such person.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Shifting Into Reverse, Detroit Automakers Lose Some Market Share

A worker assembles a Silverado truck on the assembly line at the GM Flint Assembly plant in Michigan.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors gained market share in the past couple years. Helped by Toyota's much-publicized recalls, the problems that Japanese carmakers faced after last year's earthquake and tsunami, and an improving reputation for the quality of American-made vehicles, Detroit's Big Three grabbed 47 percent of sales last year — up from 45.1 percent in 2010 and 44 percent in 2009.

Our friend Micki Maynard of Changing Gears, though, reports that the Detroit companies' comeback — in terms of market share — may be over.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Tue April 17, 2012

At Scandal-Ridden Federal Agency, All Sorts Of Abuses

How bad are things at the General Services Administration, where the scandal over extravagant spending at a Las Vegas conference has led to resignations, firings and could end up with criminal charges for some officials?

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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Tue April 17, 2012

At Least 20 Women Involved In 'Summit Scandal,' Senator Says

The "summit scandal" continues to grow, judging from this story just posted by Reuters:

"Twenty or 21 women were brought back to the hotel in Colombia by U.S. Secret Service agents and members of the U.S. military in an incident last week involving alleged misconduct with prostitutes, U.S. Senator Susan Collins said on Tuesday."

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Romney Has 2-Point Lead Over Obama As Gallup 'Tracking Poll' Begins

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday in Boston.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 4:30 pm

For those who can't get enough of polls about the presidential election, Gallup has fired up its "daily tracking" survey that will follow the levels of support for President Obama and presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

And it begins with:

-- Romney's support among registered voters at 47 percent.

-- Obama's support among registered voters at 45 percent.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Housing Starts Drop, But Building Permits Are Up

There was a 5.8 percent drop in housing starts from February to March, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.

Bloomberg News says the decline was unexpected and left starts at a five-month low.

Still, the number of starts was up 10.3 percent from March 2011.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Fear Drives China's Oppressive Rule In Tibet, Dalai Lama Says

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Diptendu Dutta AFP/Getty Images
  • Renee Montagne speaks to the Dalai Lama

China's leaders continue to impose oppressive policies on the people of Tibet out of fear, the Dalai Lama said earlier today on Morning Edition.

They fear what might happen if Tibetans were allowed to live freely and others under Chinese rule started to demand more respect for their rights. That has meant, he said, that "they ignore ... reality and they impose their rules. ... That's the problem."

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Pulitzer Jurors Are Shocked That No Fiction Prize Was Awarded

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 7:50 am

  • Susan Larson talks with Lynn Neary

One of the surprises from Monday's Pulitzer Prize announcements was the lack of an award in the fiction category. It's the first time since 1977 that the Pulitzer board hasn't given an award for fiction writing.

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Space Shuttle Discovery Is On Its Last Flight

Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, flies by the Washington Monument during a flyover of the nation's capital.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:51 am

After 148 million miles and 365 days in orbit, space shuttle Discovery has completed its final mission. This morning it traveled atop a jumbo jet from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in the Northern Virginian suburbs of Washington, D.C., landing at its new home just after 11 a.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Last Mega Millions Jackpot Ticket Turned In

Lottery officials in Illinois say the third of the three winning tickets in last month's record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot has been turned in.

We'll learn who the winner is on Wednesday, The Associated Press says.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

7 'Great Locations' To See Space Shuttle Discovery Fly By On Tuesday

Discovery is sitting atop NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, which will fly the shuttle from Florida to Virginia.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

For those who will be in the Washington, D.C., area Tuesday morning and would like to see space shuttle Discovery on the "fly-in" to its retirement home outside the nation's capital, the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum recommends being in one of these seven "great locations" before 10 a.m. ET:

District of Columbia

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Why Did The Rooster Cross The Road? To Get To A Chicken Restaurant

Gus, who has picked an interesting place to hang out.
WREG-TV

Thank goodness he doesn't know what's going on inside.

Candice Ludlow of member station WKNO today helps All Things Considered ketchup ... er catch up ... on a story that's been cooking for a week or so in Tennessee.

It seems that a big red rooster has been hanging out in front of a restaurant in Collierville, Tenn., for the past few months.

But it's not just any restaurant.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Pulitzer Prizes Coming Up

(The awards were announced just after 3 p.m. ET.)

For its "distinguished ... reporting on significant issues of local concern," reporter Sara Ganim and The Patriot News of Harrisburg, Pa., have won a 2012 Pulitzer Prize for uncovering the so-called Penn State scandal.

Other prize winners, which were just announced, include:

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Mon April 16, 2012

World Bank Chooses U.S.-Backed Kim To Be Its Next President

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 2:11 pm

The World Bank's executive directors have chosen Dr. Jim Yong Kim to be the development agency's next president.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Key Players In Federal Agency's Vegas Scandal Due At Hearing

At a sometimes heated hearing today where members of the House got to express outrage, the man at the center of the General Services Administration scandal refused to testify.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Mon April 16, 2012

At Boston Marathon: Hot Temps And New Wheelchair Race Record

Before the start of the Boston Marathon this morning, a runner grabbed a bottle of water from among the hundreds lined up on a table in Hopkinton, Mass.
Stew Milne AP

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 10:23 am

The big story at today's Boston Marathon is the weather — in particular the bright, sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s that have race officials worried about how well some of the 27,000 registered runners will cope with the heat for 26.2 miles.

As the Boston Globe says, the medical tents are likely going to be quite busy today. And the Globe says that:

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Cheney Expected At Wyoming GOP Convention Saturday

Former Vice President and Lynne Cheney at home after his release from Inova Fairfax Hospital in Northern Virginia, where he received the heart transplant.
Courtesy of Dick Cheney

Three weeks after a heart transplant, former Vice President Dick Cheney is expected to make his first public appearance on Saturday at the Wyoming Republican Party's annual convention.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Tornadoes, Severe Weather Likely Saturday Across Nation's Midsection

The darker areas are being warned about what's coming. They're where tornadoes could occur on Saturday and into Sunday.
Storm Prediction Center

Dangerously strong storms and tornadoes are possible Saturday and into Sunday from north central Texas up through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa and as far east as Wisconsin, the National Weather Services's Storm Prediction Center is warning.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Vermont Governor Has Bear Encounter

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin.
Toby Talbot AP

Bears are in the news again.

Tuesday, there was the guy in Los Angeles who was texting-while-walking and almost bumped into a 400-pound black bear. The close encounter with an ursine was caught on video.

Now there's this:

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Murder, Hate Crime Charges Filed Against Tulsa Suspects

The two suspects in last Friday's killings in Tulsa of three African-Americans and wounding of two others were formally charged today with "three counts each of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with intent to kill and five counts of malicious intimidation or harassment," the Tulsa World repo

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Trayvon's Mother: Encounter Was An Accident, Shooting Was Not

Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

After saying Thursday morning on The Today Show that she thought her son's death "was an accident," Trayvon Martin's mother went on other news broadcasts later in the day to say she only thinks the encounter between her son and George Zimmerman was accidental.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Tax Procrastinators Have Until Tuesday

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 10:26 am

Still haven't filed your federal income tax return?

Since you may be a procrastinator, you may not have looked at the calendar lately. So we want to make sure you know that Sunday is April 15th.

But you also might not have realized that this year the deadline is the 17th.

Why?

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Obamas And Bidens Release 2011 Tax Returns

The White House just posted word that President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama filed 2011 tax returns showing an "adjusted gross income of $789,674" and that they paid "$162,074 in total [federal] tax." That works out to about 20.5 percent of the AGI.

About half of the first family's income was from the president's salary. The rest came from royalties generated by his books. According to the White House:

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