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
6:52 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week; Consumer Prices Fell In May

The number of unemployed Americans who filed first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 6,000 last week from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reported this morning.

It says there were 386,000 first-time filings, up from a revised 380,000 (earlier, the agency had estimated there were 377,000 first-time clams in the week ended June 2).

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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Egypt Braces As Court Says Former Mubarak Aide May Stay In Race

An Egyptian protester chants slogans as he holds a ripped poster of presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq outside the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo today.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 12:25 pm

Rulings by Egypt's highest court to dissolve the country's parliament and keep a former aide to Hosni Mubarak on the presidential runoff ballot have thrown that country's already shaky democracy into chaos.

Much is still unclear about what was happening.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells our Newscast Desk that:

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Russian Helicopters Heading To Syria May Not Be New

The attack helicopters heading to Syria from Russia likely aren't new purchases, The New York Times reports this morning.

Rather, they're "helicopters that Syria had sent to Russia a few months ago for routine repairs and refurbishing" that are now being returned, administration officials tell the Times.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Fandemonium! Pitcher Cain Tosses Perfect Game And Giants Fans Go Nuts

Matt Cain: His no-no (a perfect game) is in the record books.
Jason O. Watson Getty Images

Let's put the serious stuff aside for a moment to celebrate something fun.

San Francisco pitcher Matt Cain Wednesday night pitched the first perfect game in his team's 130-year history as the Giants beat the Houston Astros 10-0 in San Francisco.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Metallica's James Hetfield Makes PSA For FBI To Help Find Fan's Killer

New sketches of the suspect in Morgan Harrington's murder and a sexual assault.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 3:08 pm

James Hetfield, lead singer and guitarist for the heavy metal band Metallica, makes a straight-forward appeal for help in finding a fan's killer in a new public service ad produced for the FBI, Virginia and local law enforcement agencies.

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Wed June 13, 2012

JPMorgan Execs Who Bungled Billions May Have To Return Bonuses, Stock

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon during his testimony today on Capitol Hill.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Along with saying, again, that his bank "let a lot of people down" when it lost more than $2 billion, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon added this prediction during his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee this morning:

"It's likely that there will be clawbacks."

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Wed June 13, 2012

As Wildfires Rage, 'A Helpless Feeling'

Near Laporte, Colo., earlier this week, smoke billowed from the mountains. In the foreground: A helicopter was dumping water on a hotspot.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 8:14 am

There are now at least 19 large wildfires burning in nine Western states U.S. Forest Service officials say.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Russia Says It's The U.S. That's Sending Weapons To Syria

A frame grab from a video taken by U.N. observers as smoke rose over the Syrian city of Homs earlier this week. The observers said Homs had been shelled by Syrian government forces.
U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria

Saying that his country is "not violating any international law," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today defended his country's sale of weapons to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. He said Russia is not supplying anything that "can be used in battles with peaceful demonstrators."

And, Reuters reports, he "accused the United States of supplying rebels with weapons to fight against the government" — a charge the U.S. has rejected many times.

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Wed June 13, 2012

'Pets,' 'Pizza' & 'Porn' Among New Internet Domain Names Sought

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 10:01 am

The much-anticipated list of Internet domain names that might soon join such familiar suffixes as .com, .edu and .gov is now online.

As expected, the nearly 2,000 suffixes that have been requested include some from companies who think they can help brand themselves with web addresses that end with things such as:

-- .apple

-- .bananarepublic

-- .chevy

-- .google

-- .lamborghini

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Sharp Drop In Gas Prices Puts Brakes On Inflation

Wholesale prices fell 1 percent in May from April thanks to an 8.9 percent plunge in the price of gasoline, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The overall decrease is the largest in one month since July 2009.

Excluding the energy and sectors, prices at the wholesale level ticked up 0.2 percent.

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Wed June 13, 2012

'Little Darth Vader' From VW Ad Is Having Open Heart Surgery

In this screen shot provided by Volkswagen of America, Max Page stars as a "Little Darth Vader" who thinks he's used "the force" to start a VW Passat.
AP

Seven-year-old Max Page, the young actor best known for being "Little Darth Vader" in a Volkswagen ad that scored big with Super Bowl viewers last year, is having open heart surgery on Thursday.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Dozens Killed, Hundreds Wounded By Wave Of Attacks In Iraq

Smoke rises from the wreckage of a vehicle in Kirkuk, Iraq. A bomb in it exploded — one of a series of coordinated attacks today on Shiite Muslims across the country.
Marwan Ibrahim AFP/Getty Images

There's grim news from Iraq this morning, where scores of people have been killed in coordinated attacks on Shiite Muslim pilgrims. As often happens when stories such as these are developing, different news outlets are reporting different death tolls. No matter which report you read, however, the news is disturbing:

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Democrat Wins Ariz. Test Of 2012 Themes; 'Fighting Sioux' Retired In N.D.

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, left, celebrates with Ron Barber after he won Tuesday's special election in Arizona to serve the remaining seven months of her term. Like Giffords, Barber is a Democrat. He's also a former Giffords aide.
Ross D. Franklin AP

In a race seen as "a testing ground for Democratic and Republican messages" that will be used from now through Nov. 6, Democrat Ron Barber won Tuesday's special election in Arizona to fill the remaining seven months of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' term.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Russia Is Sending Syria Helicopters, Clinton Says

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 5:28 am

Russia is sending attack helicopters to Syria for President Bashar Assad's regime to use in its campaign to stamp out opposition, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today.

She warned that such action "will escalate the conflict quite dramatically."

The U.S. and Russia have been at odds over how hard to squeeze the regime in an effort to end its harsh crackdown on anti-Assad protests — a crackdown that the U.N. says has killed more than 10,000 people since March 2011, mostly civilians.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Tue June 12, 2012

World Is 'Hellish Nightmare' In Player's 10-Year Long Strategy Game

If you're a fan of Waterworld, then the vision of the future in the Civilization II game played by "Lycerius" may be to your liking. (Kevin Costner in a scene from that 1995 movie.)
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 11:20 am

"The world is a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation." Ninety percent of the population has died from nuclear annihilation or famine. "Three superpowers have been locked in a 1,700-year war" that's "an eternal death struggle."

On Reddit earlier today, a gamer called Lycerius posted those apocalyptic notes about what the year 3991 is like in his decade-long game of Civilization II.

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Blood, Smoke, Fear: U.N. Video From Syria

"We are not animals!" this man told U.N. monitors in Syria.
United Nations

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 11:36 am

Stay with this video from the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria. After scenes of smoke rising above Homs and scared-looking families trying to cross highways, it takes viewers inside Talbiseh and al-Rastan — where the monitors were shown blood-stained ruins and where a man angrily declares:

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Elinor Ostrom, First Woman To Win Nobel In Economics, Dies

Elinor Ostrom in January 2011.
Raveendran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 1:10 pm

  • Elinor Ostrom, speaking with Michele Norris

Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, died this morning at Indiana University's Health Bloomington Hospital.

The university says that the 78-year-old distinguished professor succumbed to cancer.

Ostrom shared the 2009 Nobel. As the prize committee said at the time:

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Alcatraz Escapees Didn't Return 50 Years Later? Says Who?

An Alcatraz cell.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Sure, "there was no sign of the men," as Laura Sullivan and Ben Bergman reported on Morning Edition.

The legend was that Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin would reappear Monday on Alcatraz Island — 50 years to the day after they escaped in one of the most daring prison breaks in U.S. history.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Tue June 12, 2012

JPMorgan Knew Of Risks, 'WSJ' Reports

"Some top JPMorgan Chase executives and directors were alerted to risky practices by a team of London-based traders two years before that group's botched bets cost the bank more than $2 billion," The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Tue June 12, 2012

The Dingo Did Take The Baby

Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton holds her daughter Azaria's death certificate as ex-husband Michael Chamberlain (left) looks on after a coroner ruled today that a dingo snatched the baby from a tent in the Australian desert 32 years ago.
Patrina Malone AFP/Getty Images

A coroner in Australia has agreed that the dingo did in fact take the baby — "settling a notorious 1980 case that split the nation and led to a mistaken murder conviction," as The Associated Press writes.

And Australia's ABC News says Michael Chamberlain and his ex-wife Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton on Tuesday (in Australia) heard words for which they've waited 32 years:

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Syrian Children Are Being Killed, Tortured And Used As Shields, U.N. Says

A Syrian boy sits in the rubble of house destroyed during a military operation in April in the town of Taftanaz, Syria.
AP
  • NPR's Deborah Amos, reporting from Damascus

After more than a year's worth of appalling news about atrocities in Syria as President Bashar Assad's regime cracks down on dissent, now there's this:

"New crises have caused enormous suffering for children and continue in 2012. In Syria, children were victims of killing and maiming, arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and ill-treatment, including sexual violence, by the Syrian Armed Forces, the intelligence forces, and the Shabbiha militia.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

ABC's Robin Roberts Vows To Beat Blood Disorder

Good Morning America's Robin Roberts on the show today.
Good Morning America

Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts told the ABC-TV show's viewers today that she's been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), "a disease of the blood and bone marrow and was once known as preleukemia."

She also said "doctors tell me I'm going to beat this — and I know it's true."

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Mon June 11, 2012

As Sandusky Trial Opens, Prosecutor Accuses Him Of 'Cultivating' Boys

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky as he arrived at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., this morning.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:53 pm

In his opening statement at the trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky this morning, the prosecutor accused Sandusky of "cultivating" young boys over many years for his alleged "serial predatory behavior," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Violent Crime Down Fifth Year, FBI Says

There was a 4 percent drop in the number of violent crimes reported in the U.S. last year vs. 2010, the FBI reports. It's the fifth straight year of declines, according to FBI records.

In its Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, the FBI says that data collected from 14,009 law enforcement agencies indicate that:

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Has 'Occupy' Crashed Or Just Begun?

Protesters, some affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement, at the NATO summit in Chicago last month.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Occupy Wall Street's founding forum has declared that the movement's "first generation is succumbing to an insidious institutionalization and ossification that could be fatal to our young spiritual insurrection unless we leap over it right now."

And Canada's Adbusters website, which kicked off the Occupy idea last year, says that "putting our movement back on track will take nothing short of a revolution within Occupy."

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Supreme Court's Ruling On Health Care Law Looms

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 8:15 am

  • Nina Totenberg on 'Morning Edition'

We could hear as soon as this morning how the Supreme Court rules on the most-anticipated issue of the year: the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — better known as the health care overhaul enacted in 2010 with the support of President Obama and his fellow Democrats over the opposition of Republicans.

The decision will be released for sure before the end of the month, Supreme Court watchers say.

For those who want to get their minds ready, might we suggest:

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Mon June 11, 2012

New Coma Report About Mubarak

An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak sitting inside a cage in a courtroom during his verdict hearing in Cairo on June 2.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 8:49 am

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak "entered today into a full coma," according to Interior Ministry spokesman Alaa Mahmoud, CNN says.

Piers Scholfield of the BBC, though, reports on his Twitter page that a ministry spokesman has told his nework that Mubarak, 84, "has some health problems but is not in a coma."

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Nadal Wins Record Seventh French Open

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning the French Open earlier today.
Bernat Armangue AP

Rafael Nadal today won his record seventh French Open tennis title.

His 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 win over Novak Djokovic had been delayed a day, when rain forced suspension of play on Sunday.

Nadal, from Spain, had shared the record of 6 French titles with Sweden's Bjorn Borg. He's now won 11 Grand Slam titles (the French, U.S., Australian and British opens).

Djokovic, a Serbian, had been trying to win his fourth straight major title.

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Egad! British Prime Minister Left 8-Year-Old Daughter Behind In Pub

British Prime Minister David Cameron in London last month.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 4:41 am

Dad thought she was with mum. Mum thought she was with dad. But 8-year-old Nancy wasn't with either of them.

Instead, she was left behind at a pub in Buckinghamshire, England. It was about 15 minutes before the mistake was realized and the little girl was reunited with her parents.

Oh, yeah, about her parents: They are British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha.

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