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
2:28 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

New Drug Combination Takes 24 Minutes To Execute Ohio Killer

Dennis McGuire was executed Thursday.
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction AP

The state of Ohio on Thursday conducted its first execution since running out of the lethal injection drug pentobarbital.

Reporter Alan Johnson from The Columbus Dispatch was among those who watched as convicted killer and rapist Dennis McGuire was put to death. Here is some of Johnson's description of what happened:

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Obama's NSA Speech: Just What Eisenhower Warned About?

President Eisenhower during his farewell address to the nation on Jan. 17, 1961.
AP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:19 pm

On Jan. 17, 1961, President Eisenhower used his farewell address to warn Americans that:

"We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Photos May Show Marines Burning Iraqis' Bodies

TMZ.com

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 11:16 am

The U.S. Marine Corps "is attempting to determine the authenticity of photos published by TMZ.com that the entertainment website says show Marines appearing to burn bodies of dead Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah in 2004," The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Oscar Nominees For Best Picture Include 'Captain Phillips,' 'Gravity'

Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips.
Hopper Stone, SMPSP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 11:22 am

Let the arguments begin over who and which film should have been nominated but weren't.

This year's nominees for Oscars from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were just announced and they include:

Best Picture

-- American Hustle

-- Captain Phillips

-- Dallas Buyers Club

-- Gravity

-- Her

-- Nebraska

-- Philomena

-- 12 Years a Slave

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Hold Steady At Pre-Recession Level

The scene at a job fair in Marietta, Ga., last November.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 10:28 am

There were 326,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits filed last week, the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.

While down only 2,000 from the previous week, claims did hold steady around the level where they were typically running before December 2007, when the economy slipped into its latest recession.

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Thu January 16, 2014

J.C. Penney Cutting 2,000 Jobs, Closing 33 Stores

J. Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:12 pm

The post-holidays hard news continues for employees of some major retailers.

One week after discount retailer Loehmann's started liquidating its inventory and Macy's announced it is eliminating 2,500 jobs, there's word that J.C. Penney is cutting 2,000 jobs and closing 33 stores.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Thu January 16, 2014

34 Officers At Nuclear Site May Have Cheated On Exams

An intercontinental ballistic missile in its silo at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.
Airman John Parie U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 10:35 am

Already reeling from reports about alleged drug use by some officers in its nuclear missile corps and the alleged "drunken and inappropriate behavior" of that command's top general, the Air Force now has another scandal on its hands.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Hal Faulkner, Marine Whose Last Wish Was An Honorable Discharge, Dies

Earlier this month, Hal Faulkner (left), 79, received his new papers from two Marines after having his military status changed to "honorable discharge." Faulkner died Tuesday.
Courtesy of Phil Latzman

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 10:52 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Quil Lawrence on the death of Hal Faulkner

Hal Faulkner, a gay man whose last wish came true earlier this month when his discharge from the U.S. Marines was changed from "undesirable" to "honorable," has died.

NPR's Quil Lawrence, who told Morning Edition listeners about Faulkner last week, says that the 79-year-old Faulkner died Tuesday in Florida.

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The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

5 Years Ago Sully Landed On The Hudson And Twitter Took Off

the iconic (and now copyrighted) photo that helped transform Twitter. But it does give a sense of what it was like that day, 5 years ago." href="/post/5-years-ago-sully-landed-hudson-and-twitter-took" class="noexit lightbox">
Jan. 15, 2009: As the U.S. Airways jet they had been on sinks into the Hudson River, passengers are rowed away. This isn't the iconic (and now copyrighted) photo that helped transform Twitter. But it does give a sense of what it was like that day, 5 years ago.
Bebeto Matthews AP

This day shouldn't pass without a mention of the "miracle on the Hudson."

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Bipartisan Report Calls Benghazi Attacks 'Preventable'

An armed man waves his arms as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. Consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 9:02 pm

In a report signed off on by Democrats and Republicans, the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday said the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, "were likely preventable."

The panel finds fault with both the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies for not taking steps beforehand to boost security.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Wed January 15, 2014

VIDEO: Springsteen, Fallon Do 'Gov. Christie Traffic Jam'

Bruce Springsteen (left) and Jimmy Fallon doing their "Gov. Christie Traffic Jam."
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon blog

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 1:39 pm

Being stuck in a horrendous traffic jam is no joke.

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Videos Show Asiana Crash Victim Was Run Over Despite Warnings

A view from above of the wreckage after Asiana Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6, 2013.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 12:17 pm

Newly revealed videos show that some emergency personnel did know there was a victim lying on the ground near the burning wreckage of an Asiana Airlines passenger jet last July in San Francisco and that they warned other first responders at the scene.

But fire trucks later ran over the teenage victim at least twice.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Extending Jobless Benefits Likely Delayed Again

The lines were busy last September at an unemployment insurance phone bank operated by the California Employment Development Department in Sacramento.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 12:21 pm

The headlines tell the story:

-- "Hopes Dim For Long-Term Extension To Jobless Benefits." (All Things Considered)

-- "Senate Blocks Jobless Aid." (Politico)

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Strike Up The Band! Minnesota Orchestra Lockout Ends

After more than 15 months, the bitter labor battle between the Minnesota Orchestra musicians and management has ended. Whether the orchestra's music director Osmo Vänskä (pictured here) will return, after resigning in October, remains to be seen.
Greg Helgeson Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 12:39 pm

"The 15-month lockout at the Minnesota Orchestra ended Tuesday after management and musicians announced an agreement," Minnesota Public Radio writes.

"Musicians will return to work on Feb. 1," the network adds. They had been locked out since October 2012.

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Wed January 15, 2014

NSA Reportedly Can Monitor 100,000 Computers Worldwide

The NSA can reportedly monitor what's going on with 100,000 computers around the world.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 12:16 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Carrie Johnson on the hearing about the NSA's surveillance programs
  • From 'Morning Edition': Journalist Barton Gellman on the NSA

"The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks," The New York Times reports.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Two Students Wounded, 12-Year-Old Captured After School Shooting

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 11:01 pm

This post was updated at 11 p.m. ET.

A 12-year-old student opened fire Tuesday at a middle school in Roswell, N.M., wounding two fellow students. The shooter, who was armed with a shotgun, was arrested.

The Associated Press reports:

"A boy was critically injured and a girl was in satisfactory condition following the shooting at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Thousands Have Water Again In W.Va. As 'All-Clear' Areas Spread

4:45 p.m. ET, Jan. 14: Areas in red still can't use their water. But the blue area is starting to expand.
West Virginia American Water

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 9:23 pm

The map that shows residents of nine counties in West Virginia whether they can start using the water from their taps is slowly starting to change from red to blue.

That's good news because blue means customers in those areas can start flushing their homes' and businesses' pipes — and after that, start using their water again for cooking, cleaning and drinking.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Tue January 14, 2014

20 Million DirecTV Customers Just Lost The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore reporting from Manhattan's Battery Park during Hurricane Irene in August 2011.
Jonathan Saruk/The Weather Channel Getty Images

What was already a stormy relationship between The Weather Channel and DirectTV has now become something of a Category 3 communications catastrophe.

Twenty million DirecTV customers can't see The Weather Channel today because the two sides didn't reach an agreement on a new distribution deal before a midnight Monday deadline.

According to The Associated Press, "the two companies pointed fingers at each other":

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Tue January 14, 2014

'Absolutely Crazy': Man Killed In Movie Theater For Texting?

Did an argument over texting in a darkened theater escalate?
NPR

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 1:37 pm

Click here for our latest update.

The early reports about what happened Monday afternoon inside a movie theater near Tampa are certainly disturbing:

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Congress Poised To Pass $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that would fund the federal government into October and bring to an end, for now at least, the bitter partisan battles that have led to one government shutdown and threatened to push the U.S. into defaulting on its bills.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Egyptians Go To Polls With Opposition Largely Silenced

A woman casts her ballot Tuesday at a polling station in Nasr City, Cairo.
Amru Salahuddien Xinhua/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Leila Fadel talks with Renee Montagne about the voting in Egypt

As Egyptians begin voting on a new constitution, the opposition to the huge role that nation's military plays in life there has been pushed to the side, NPR's Leila Fadel reported Tuesday from Cairo.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Chomp! Fish Snatches Bird In Flight: VIDEO

My what big teeth you have. An African tigerfish.
Smithsonian Channel

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Mon January 13, 2014

New Problem For Christie: Audit Of Sandy-Related Spending

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, in one of the "Stronger Than The Storm" ads aimed at bringing tourists back to his state after Hurricane Sandy.
StrongerThanTheStorm YouTube channel

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 1:01 pm

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Gates Says He Wept Each Evening Over Troops' Deaths

Robert Gates in June 2011 during his final official news conference as secretary of defense.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:08 am

The news from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' interviews with NPR and other news outlets — notably, how he uses a new book to criticize many in the White House — has now been widely reported.

But we also want to point to two passages in his conversation with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep that particularly struck us.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Permit To Hunt And Kill One Black Rhino Sold For $350,000

A black rhino in Namibia's Etosha National Park.
Frans Lanting DPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 11:23 am

The Dallas Safari Club's controversial auction of a permit to hunt one black rhino in Namibia raised $350,000 over the weekend, the club confirms on its Facebook page.

That's at the lower end of the range that club executive Ben Carter had expected. In December, he told NPR that he hoped the auction would raise $225,000 to $1 million.

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