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
5:45 am
Mon December 12, 2011

Putin Aide Says Vote Results Will Stand

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Yana Lapikova AP

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 5:53 am

Saying that "even if you add up all this so-called evidence, it accounts for just over 0.5 percent of the total number of votes," a spokesman for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has told Agence France Presse that the results of last week's parliamentary elections will stand despite public protests over evidence of fraud.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Mon December 12, 2011

Iraqi Leader Says Iran Won't Be Interfering Anymore

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Hadi Mizban AP

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 5:16 am

As the last U.S. combat troops prepare to leave Iraq, the question of whether neighboring Iran will try to fill any vacuum looms large.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Total Lunar Eclipse On Saturday, Western States Get Rare View

The reddish hue during the December 2010 total lunar eclipse.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

The last total lunar eclipse of 2011 — and the last one until April 15, 2014 — occurs Saturday morning.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Fri December 9, 2011

As Candidates Decline, Will Trump Moderate A Debate? 'Don't Know,' He Says

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich listens at right as Donald Trump talks to media after a meeting in New York.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 11:33 am

The news that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) have decided not to participate in the Dec. 27 Republican presidential debate that businessman/TV personality/self-proclaimed potential independent presidential candidate Donald Trump is supposed to be moderating means just two GOP contenders would be left for the event:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.).

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Virginia Tech: Same Gun Killed Officer And Suspect

A student paused Thursday evening at the memorial for the victims of the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech. There was another vigil last night, following Thursday's killing of a campus police officer.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 4:39 pm

Virginia State Police and other officials briefed reporters this morning about Thursday's shooting on the campus at Virginia Tech, in which a campus police officer was killed and the suspect apparently later shot himself and died. We updated as it happened and put those posts in chronological order after the briefing was over.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Missing Ex-FBI Agent's Family To Captors: 'Tell Us Your Demands'

Robert Levinson, in the video his family received from the retired FBI-agent's captors.
HelpBobLevinson.com

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 4:37 pm

In a direct message to the people who have held retired FBI agent Robert Levinson since he disappeared nearly five years ago in Iran, his son and wife today ask the captors to "please tell us your demands."

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Fri December 9, 2011

'Inferno' At Hospital In India Kills Scores, Staff Accused Of Running

A grieving woman at the scene of today's fire in Kolkata.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 4:05 pm

Horrific news from Kolkata, India:

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Fri December 9, 2011

U.K. Isolated As Euro Nations Move Ahead On New Pact

Britain Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte earlier today at the summit in Brussels.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

There's been movement today in Brussels, where leaders from the European Union nations are trying to save the euro and restore some faith in the financial markets that they can manage the euro zone's debt crisis. But an important division remains among the 27 nations.

The consensus among news outlets covering the story seems to be:

-- "UK Isolated As Europe Moves Ahead On Fiscal Union." (Reuters)

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Slain Virginia Tech Officer's Dash Cam Shows Suspected Shooter

Virginia Tech officer Deriek Crouse, who died Thursday.
Virginia Tech

It still isn't known why a man apparently walked up to a campus police officer at Virginia Tech yesterday and fatally shot the 39-year-old father of five. And the identity of the gunman, who authorities believe died of a gunshot wound shortly after the attack, hasn't yet been released.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Virginia Tech On Alert After Report Of Shots

Virginia Tech has advised everyone on campus to "seek shelter or stay where you are" because of reports about shots being fired there.

It adds that:

"[A] suspect described as white male, gray sweat pants, gray hat w/neon green brim, maroon hoodie and backback" was seen "on foot towards McComas" — the university's athletics facility.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Obama: 'Ask Osama Bin Laden' If I'm An Appeaser

Republican presidential candidates have said President Obama practices "appeasement" when it comes to foreign policy.

At the White House a short time ago, the president had this response:

"Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaida leaders who've been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever's left out there. Ask them about that."

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Obama's Choice To Head Consumer Protection Agency Blocked

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:16 am

A vote to move forward on the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to run the new federal consumer protection agency fell seven votes short in the Senate this morning. Republicans banded together to make sure there weren't the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and move on to a vote on the nomination itself.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Reports: Albert Pujols Has Signed To Play For The Angels

Albert Pujols, then of the St. Louis Cardinals, during the World Series in October.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 8:43 am

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Pusuke, World's Oldest Dog, Dies At Age 26 (Or 125 In 'Human Years')

Pusuke and his human, Yumiko Shinohara, in December 2010.
Yomiuri Shimbun AFP/Getty Images

Pusuke, a Shiba mix who last year was recognized by Guinness World Records as the planet's oldest dog, has died.

He was 26 years, eight months old. Or, about 125 in "human years," according to his owner.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Cricket's Sehwag Smashes Tendulkar's Record

India's captain Virender Sehwag celebrates his "double century."
Aijaz Rahi AP

Less than two years after India's Sachin Tendulkar achieved cricket superstardom by recording a "double century" in an international match, his record has been broken.

Here's how the BBC reports the news:

"India opener Virender Sehwag has hit the record one-day international score after smashing 219 from 149 balls against West Indies in Indore."

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Top News Memes Of 2011: Pepper Spray Cop, Bin Laden, Steve Jobs

Spraying the Declaration of Independence (John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence").
jockohomo.tumblr.com

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 7:02 am

Video of a police officer dousing Occupy protesters with pepper spray was one of the top three news-related memes of 2011, according to the analysts who follow this sort of thing at Know Your Meme.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Thu December 8, 2011

European Central Bank Cuts Rates To Match Record Low

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 6:26 am

It's a widely expected move, but still noteworthy:

"The European Central Bank cut interest rates by a quarter of a point on Thursday to counter the twin threats of recession and deflation in the euro zone, and is expected to unveil fresh measures to help banks hurt by the bloc's debt crisis," Reuters reports.

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Corzine Apologizes, Defends Actions Of MF Global, May Invoke Fifth

Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D).
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 11:11 am

Former New Jersey senator and governor Jon Corzine, who led MF Global as it spectacularly collapsed in a bankruptcy that has left $1.2 billion in client money missing, is due at a House Agriculture Committee hearing this morning to face questions about what happened.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Report: Hundreds Of Troops' Ashes Were Dumped In Landfill

"The Air Force dumped the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops in a Virginia landfill," The Washington Post reports this morning, adding that it's "far more than the military had acknowledged, before halting the secretive practice three years ago, records show."

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Wed December 7, 2011

'Col. Potter' Has Died: Actor Harry Morgan Was 96

Harry Morgan, as Col. Potter.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 12:01 pm

Harry Morgan, who came into our living rooms as Col. Potter in M*A*S*-H, as Officer Bill Gannon in Dragnet and in guest star roles on other TV series from Murder, She Wrote to The Love Boat, has died. He was 96.

The Associated Press reports that the actor's daughter-in-law, Beth Morgan, said he died at his home in Brentwood, Calif., after a bout with pneumonia.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Prosecutor Won't Seek Death Penalty For Mumia Abu-Jamal

One of the highest-profile murder cases in recent decades just took another important turn: "Philadelphia's district attorney announced this morning that he will not continue to seek the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal," WHYY reports.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Though Accusers Are 'Credible,' No State Charges Against Syracuse Coach

A local prosecutor says he believes two men who have alleged that a former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach sexually abused them when they were children are credible — but can't pursue charges because the statute of limitations has passed.

The Associated Press reports that the decision by Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick only means that there won't be a case brought against Bernie Fine under state law. "A federal probe is ongoing," AP notes.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Shouldn't Rush Be In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson (left) and singer/bassist Geddy Lee.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Pardon this blogger for a moment of venting.

We've heard today that the new inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the performers category are Guns N' Roses, the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Laura Nyro, Donovan and The Small Faces.

I don't have any problem with the honorees.

As usual, it's who still isn't in the hall that irks me.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Mexico Says It Blocked Plot To Smuggle Gadhafi's Son Into Country

Saadi Gadhafi at January 2010 news conference in Tripoli.
Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 8:10 am

A report in Canada's National Post that former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's "playboy son Saadi made plans to flee to a Mexican beach resort whose celebrity visitors include Kim Kardashian, Charlie Sheen and Lady Gaga," has prompted Mexico's interior secretary to say today that his country's intelligence service has broken up the plot, The Associated Press says.

According to the AP:

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Attack's 70th Anniversary: Memories, Moment Of Silence

Dec. 7, 1941: The USS Shaw explodes during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

On this 70th anniversary of the date "which will live in infamy," there will be a moment of silence in Hawaii at 7:55 a.m. (12:55 a.m. ET) to remember the 2,390 Americans who died when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

It was 7:55 a.m. local time when the attack began — a strike that would push America into World War II.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Roadside Bomb Kills 19 In Afghanistan

One day after dozens of people were killed in two suicide bomb attacks aimed at Shiites, there's been another deadly explosion in Afghanistan:

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Trip To Dubai Raises Questions About Pakistani Leader's Future

President Asif Ali Zardari is in Dubai for heart treatment, his office says. But Zardari's government is embroiled in controversy. That has Pakistanis wondering if he might resign while he's out of the country.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 6:54 am

With his government embroiled in controversy over a memo that many in Pakistan view as potentially treasonous, President Asif Ali Zardari's sudden departure for medical treatment in Dubai has "people [here] questioning the timing" and wondering if Zardari might be about to step down, NPR's Corey Flintoff reported this morning from Islamabad.

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