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
5:04 am
Tue October 9, 2012

30 Years In Jail — At A Minimum — For Seemingly Unrepentant Sandusky

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky as he walked to the courthouse this morning in Bellefonte, Pa.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:17 am

Saying that the former Penn State assistant football coach had assaulted not only 10 young boys' bodies but also their "psyches and souls," a Pennsylvania judge this morning sentenced Jerry Sandusky to between 30 and 60 years in prison for the sexual abuse of those children.

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The Two-Way
3:57 am
Tue October 9, 2012

French And American Scientists Share Physics Nobel

The medal for the Nobel in Physics. According to the Nobel committee, the inscription reads: " 'Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes' loosely translated 'And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery.' "
NobelPrize.org

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 6:07 am

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche of France and David Wineland of the United States for their work on the "fundamental interactions between light particles and matter."

"The Nobel laureates have opened the door to a new era of experimentation with quantum physics by demonstrating the direct observation of individual quantum particles without destroying them," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Court Clears Way For Terror Suspect To Be Sent From U.K. To U.S.

"After a legal battle covering several years in each case, five suspected terrorists, including radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri will be extradited to the U.S, U.K. judges have ruled." And, the BBC adds, Britain's Home Office "said it welcomed the High Court's decision. 'We are now working to extradite these men as quickly as possible,' a spokesman said."

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Labor Secretary Says Talk Of Fudged Jobless Numbers Is Insulting

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The news that the nation's jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August immediately led some of President Obama's critics to charge the the books had been cooked to help his reelection campaign.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.8 Percent; 114,000 Jobs Added To Payrolls

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:27 am

The nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August even though just 114,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Those hard-to-reconcile figures — a decline in the jobless rate even though job growth was relatively weak — appear to be at least partly explained by a sharp increase in the number of Americans who found part-time jobs and counted themselves as employed.

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Sacre Bleu! French Bees' Taste For M&Ms Makes For Colored Honey

We knew the Honey Nut Cheerios bee liked sweet stuff. But imagine what would happen if he met green M&M?
Doug Kanter/Rusty Jarrett AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:32 am

Why were their bees producing honey in shades of blue and green, wondered beekeepers in the Alsace region of France?

The answer, according to France 24 and Le Monde, was that the bees apparently like M&M's.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Romney: I Was 'Just Completely Wrong' On 47 Percent

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during a rally in Fishersville, Va., on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's much-discussed remarks about the 47 percent of Americans who "will vote for the president no matter what ... believe that they are victims ... [and] pay no income tax" did not come up in Wednesday night's debate with President Obama.

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The Two-Way
5:18 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Reports: Two Suspects In Libyan Attack Detained In Turkey

Damage inside the burnt U.S. consulate in Benghazi after an attack on the building Sept. 11.
Gianluigi Guercia Getty Images

"Turkish media are reporting the apprehension of two suspects in the Sept. 11 attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya," NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

He tells our Newscast Desk that:

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

FBI Team Spends 12 Hours In Benghazi

Three weeks after the attack on the U.S. consulate that left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead, a team of FBI investigators got to the site in Benghazi, Libya, on Wednesday and departed today after about 12 hours on the ground, The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Go To Jail For A Retweet? Filipino Lawmaker Tries To Ease Concern

Does he need to watch what he likes? Facebook's logo is reflected in the glasses of a student in Manila.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

This headline at Global Post is an eye-opener:

"Philippines: Click 'like,' go to prison. Cybercrime law threatens 12 years behind bars for 'liking' or re-Tweeting libel."

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Friday's Jobs Report Is Campaign's Next Key Moment, Here's What To Expect

The welcome sign at a job fair earlier this year in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

With the first presidential debate now behind us, what's the next big item on the campaign calendar?

It's Friday's 8:30 a.m. ET release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about the September unemployment rate and how many jobs were added to payrolls last month.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Rush Fans, It's Time To Rock: Band's Been Nominated To The Hall Of Fame

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

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 12:37 pm

This blogger had a fit last year about Canada's Rush still not being honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Thu October 4, 2012

KitchenAid Apologizes For 'Offensive Tweet' About Obama's Grandmother

While he was attending Columbia University in New York City, Barack Obama's maternal grandparents — Stanley and Madelyn Dunham — visited him there. The president lived with them in Hawaii for much of his youth.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:00 pm

Appliance maker KitchenAid quickly deleted and apologized for a message that went out on its Twitter account during last night's presidential debate because the comment about President Obama and his grandmother was so offensive.

The comment writer — who has not been identified — picked up on the president's mention of his grandmother and tweeted that:

"Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! 'She died 3 days b4 he became president'."

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It's All Politics
10:31 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Romney Goes On Offense, Pays For It In First Wave Of Fact Checks

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 5:03 am

In their first of three debates, President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney "traded barbs" and stretched some facts, say the nonpartisan watchdogs at PolitiFact.com.

Similarly, the researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org found examples of truth-stretching by both men.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Chick-fil-A Chief: 'We Support Biblical Families'

Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:58 pm

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy hasn't said much since his comments against same-sex marriage led to shows of support by some and protests by others over the summer.

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It's All Politics
3:19 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Here's Where To Get Your 'Fact Checks' During And After Tonight's Debate

The stage is set: Tonight's debate is at the University of Denver.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 3:52 pm

Looking to see and hear what the fact checkers are saying during and after tonight's presidential debate about the claims made by President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney?

-- PolitiFact.com says it will be updating on its website and on Twitter. It's also pitching an Argument Ender app.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

'Bully Creep' Or 'Erudite Takedown?' TV Anchor's Response To Being Called Fat

La Crosse, Wis., TV anchor Jennifer Livingston during her on-air response.
WKBT

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 5:11 am

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Teddy Wins! Washington Nationals' Mascot Snaps 525-Game Losing Streak

Teddy broke the tape first today — after 525 losses over seven seasons.
Greg Fiume Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:15 am

As monumental as the Washington Nationals' first trip to Major League Baseball's playoffs has been, this news may come close in importance for some fans in the nation's capital:

Teddy, one of the team's four presidential mascots, finally won a "race" today.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Currency In Crisis: Collapse Of Iran's Rial Continues

A 20,000 rial banknote, which today was worth less than 60 cents.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 2:56 pm

One U.S. dollar was worth 35,500 Iranian rials today, The Associated Press reports, as the collapse of the Persian nation's currency continued.

Two years ago, the rial traded at 10,000 to the dollar. It has lost about a quarter of its value in just the past week, Business Insider says.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Judget Puts Pennsylvania Voter ID Law On Hold Through Election

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 12:06 pm

A judge is basically "postponing Pennsylvania's tough new voter identification requirement, ordering that it not be enforced in the presidential election," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Reports: One Border Patrol Agent Killed, Another Shot In Arizona

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 11:09 am

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent was shot and killed this morning while on duty near Bisbee, Ariz., the Department of Homeland Security tells The Associated Press and other news outlets.

Another agent was shot and wounded, AP says.

According to KPHO-TV in Phoenix, "both agents worked out of the Brian Terry station in the Tucson sector."

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Women Erased From Ikea's Saudi Catalog; Company Apologizes

She's gone: One example of how women disappeared from IKEA's catalog. In the U.S. version, she's standing at a sink. In the Saudi version, she's missing.
IKEA

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 6:54 am

Click through Swedish furniture giant IKEA's U.S. (online here) and Saudi (online here) catalogs.

You'll find all the same stuff.

But you won't find women in the Saudi catalog.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Report: U.S. Discussing 'Unilateral Strikes' On Terrorist Groups In Africa

Sept. 11, 2012: A blaze erupted during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
AFP/Getty Images

During a "series of secret meetings in recent months," the White House began to "consider for the first time whether to prepare for unilateral strikes" aimed at terrorist groups operating in North Africa, The Washington Post writes this morning.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Remembering To Never Forget: Dominican Republic's 'Parsley Massacre'

1937: Haitians who were hoping to escape the killing in the Dominican Republic.
CulturalDiplomacy.org

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 10:45 am

  • Julia Alvarez
  • Edwidge Danticat and Julia Alvarez pronounce 'perejil'

Seventy five years ago, thousands of Haitians were murdered in the Dominican Republic by a brutal dictator. It was one of the 20th Century's least-remembered acts of genocide.

As many as 20,000 people are thought to have been killed on orders given by Rafael Trujillo. But the "parsley massacre" went mostly unnoticed outside Hispaniola. Even there, many Dominicans never knew about what happened in early October 1937. They were kept in the dark by Trujillo's henchmen.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Mon October 1, 2012

'Carmageddon II' Wasn't So Scary Either

All clear: A section of the 405 freeway in Los Angeles was empty while crews worked over the weekend to demolish the Mulholland Bridge.
Gina Ferazzi/pool EPA /LANDOV

Last year it was "carmageddon, schmarmaggedon."

This year, our friends at Southern California Public Radio are asking "carma-what?"

Once again, it seems, car-crazy Los Angelenos coped well with a weekend shutdown of a major freeway so that crews would demolish a no-longer-needed bridge.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Mon October 1, 2012

With First Debate This Week, We Really Are In Campaign's Final Stretch

The contenders.
Alex Wong (photo of Mitt Romney); John Gurzinski (photo of President Obama) Getty Images

We're nearly to the last of the many milestones that come along during presidential campaigns.

The primaries? Long over.

The conventions? All wrapped up.

Labor Day, when voters supposedly start paying attention? That was four weeks ago.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Suicide Bomber Kills At Least 14 In Afghanistan, Including Three NATO Troops

Blood stained the ground at the scene today in Khost, where a suicide bomber struck.
Anwarullah Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:34 am

Some of the latest news from Afghanistan, including a grim milestone:

-- "A suicide bombing [today] in the eastern Afghan city of Khost has killed at least 14 people, three of them Nato soldiers, officials say." (BBC News)

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

On Iran: Obama, Netanyahu In 'Full Agreement' About Goal, White House Says

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:50 am

Here's what the White House says the conversation was like when President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone today:

"President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke today as part of their regular consultations, and to follow up on Secretary Clinton's meeting with the prime minister.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Ahmadinejad More Popular Than Obama? Iranian News Agency Gets Fooled

Not unbelievable to some in Iran, it seems.
The Onion

Last week, Fox and Friends saw a photo on The Drudge Report and started saying that President Obama had time to sit down with a comical "pirate" but not to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The only problem: The photo was three years old.

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