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
2:40 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

How Would You React In A Shooting? Have A Plan, Experts Say

Newtown, Conn., Dec. 20, 2012: Stuffed animals and a candle arrangement at a streetside memorial for the 20 children and six adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:28 am

The annual number of mass murders and attempted mass murders in the U.S. has tripled since 2008, to 15 last year, according to statistics that the FBI and Justice Department have been citing in recent weeks.

In a new study posted online by the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, experts make the case that "police have, generally, done an excellent job responding to active shooter events quickly."

But, they add:

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Emails Tie Gov. Christie's Aides To Lane Closings Controversy

Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J.
Kena Betancur Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:20 pm

Update at 8:15 p.m. ET: Gov. Christie Responds

In the late afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie released a statement expressing anger at the situation and denying involvement in what appeared to be an act of political payback:

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Maddux, Glavine And Thomas Going To Baseball Hall Of Fame

At the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., a young fan reads about the game's greats.
Jim McIsaac Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 3:43 pm

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

Two great pitchers from the Atlanta Braves and one great slugger who spent many of his best years with the Chicago White Sox are the newest additions to baseball's Hall of Fame.

The new inductees were announced at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday and they are:

-- Greg Maddux of the Braves

-- Tom Glavine of the Braves and later the New York Mets

-- Frank Thomas, who played for Oakland and Toronto as well as the White Sox. He's the first player who spent most of his career as a designated hitter to be put in the Hall of Fame.

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Hell Has Frozen Over, Headline Writers Rejoice

Hell, Mich., is embracing its frozen fame. The town's Facebook page now features this photo from 2003.
Keasha LeClear-Morse Facebook.com/gotohellmichigan

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:13 pm

When it gets super-cold in Hell, Mich., guess what headline writers and radio hosts have to say about it:

Hell Has Frozen Over

A Google News search of that phrase at 8:45 a.m. ET Wednesday turned up 3,980 results.

The hardy souls in the tiny town near Ann Arbor don't seem to mind the attention.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Death Toll From Deep Freeze Tops 20; Warm-Up Is Coming

A man walks through a steam cloud in frigid cold temperatures Tuesday in Manhattan.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:58 am

The deaths of at least 21 people are now being blamed on the winter storms and severe cold weather that have gripped much of the nation since late last week, The Associated Press reported early Wednesday.

At least half have been attributed to weather-related traffic accidents. The wire service adds that:

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Ships Break Free In Antarctica, U.S. Icebreaker Not Needed

The Chinese research vessel and icebreaker Xue Long broke free from ice and was back in the open waters off Antarctica on Tuesday.
Zhang Jiansong Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:56 am

There's good news from Antarctica, where two ships that had been stuck in ice — one of them for about two weeks — have managed to get to open waters.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Extreme Cold Convinces Escaped Convict To Give Up: VIDEO

Robert Vick, in an undated photo provided by Kentucky Department of Corrections. After a cold night and day, he asked to be put back in prison.
AP

Sunday night, 42-year-old Robert Vick escaped from the minimum security Blackburn Correction Complex in Kentucky.

By Monday evening, he'd apparently had enough of the sub-zero temperatures gripping the Bluegrass State and much of the rest of the nation. Vick showed up at the office of the Sunset Motel in Lexington and asked the clerk to call the authorities.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

What Is The Polar Vortex And Why Is It Doing This To Us?

Ice has built up along Lake Michigan in Chicago as temperatures have plunged in recent days. A dip in the polar vortex is to blame.
Scott Olson Getty Images
  • On 'Morning Edition': science writer Andrew Freedman talks with NPR's David Greene about the polar vortex

We've mentioned the polar vortex several times in recent days.

We've said, for instance, that it's "a low pressure system that's usually whirling around the North Pole but has weakened and come south."

But we're still getting asked this question:

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Run Run Shaw, Kung Fu Movie Pioneer, Dies

Sir Run Run Shaw in 2010.
Bobby Yip Reuters/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's David Greene talks about Run Run Shaw

"If you've ever enjoyed an action-packed Kung Fu film," Morning Edition host David Greene says, "take a moment to thank Sir Run Run Shaw, who passed away Tuesday."

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Deaths Are Bitter Reminder Of Cold Snap's Dangers

This woman in Chicago was well protected from the cold on Monday.
Kamil Krzaczynski EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 11:56 am

While this week's super-cold conditions across much of the nation are fascinating and fun for many of us, there is a far more serious side to the story.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Skier Lindsey Vonn Will Miss Winter Olympics Due To Injury

Skier Lindsey Vonn in November, before her latest injury.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:38 pm

Saying she is "devastated" to have to miss the competition, Team USA's best-known and most dominant Alpine skier said Tuesday that she will not be competing in next month's Winter Olympics.

Here's what Linsey Vonn posted on her Facebook page:

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Hang In There Another Day Or So — Warmer Air Is Coming

Dealing with it in Detroit: A woman protects her face from the cold on Monday.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 11:20 am

Yes, it's going to be awfully cold again Tuesday for 150 million or so Americans.

But if below-zero temperatures aren't to your liking, take heart:

"Bitterly cold air over the eastern two-thirds of the country will slowly moderate through Wednesday," the National Weather Service says.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Florida State Wins A Thriller To Take College Championship

The winning catch: Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin of the Florida State Seminoles catches the 2-yard pass for a touchdown that put his team ahead for good with just 13 seconds left in the game.
Harry How Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 12:34 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman on the championship game

Florida State and Auburn put on a show Monday night with a college football championship game that went down to the wire and ended with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston throwing a touchdown pass with just 13 seconds to go to bring Florida State the crown.

At one point, the Seminoles were behind by 18 points.

The final score: Florida State 34, Auburn 31.

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Last Game Is Finally Here: BCS May Go Out With A Bang

Look, But Don't Touch, Part I: Some players are superstitious and don't want to touch a trophy until they win it. Florida State defensive back Jonathan Akanbi poses with the NCAA's Coaches' Trophy, which goes to the winner of Monday night's game.
Chris Carlson AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 1:55 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman previews the championship game

There are obviously many things that could be said about Monday night's Bowl Championship Series game between No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Auburn, starting with this:

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

'Jihad Jane' Gets 10 Years In Prison

Colleen LaRose, a.k.a. Jihad Jane.
AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 5:56 pm

The Pennsylvania woman known as "Jihad Jane" has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for her role in a failed al-Qaida plot to kill a Swedish artist.

Reuters writes that "Colleen R. LaRose, 50, could have received a life sentence [but] has given authorities significant help in other terrorism cases since her 2009 arrest, prosecutors said."

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Missing N.Y. Man Found In D.C., Thanks To AP Photograph

Nicholas Simmons in the photo that helped his family find him.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

A photograph published Sunday by USA Today along with a story about the frigid weather sweeping across much of the nation led to the discovery of a man from western New York state who had been missing since New Year's Day.

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Was Luck's TD The Most Amazing Moment Of A Wild NFL Weekend?

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck dives over the goal line in the fourth quarter of his team's 45-44 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
David Eulitt MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 12:50 pm

It's hard to imagine a much more dramatic weekend of NFL playoff games.

There was the big comeback by the Indianapolis Colts, who had fallen 28 points behind the Kansas City Chiefs.

Indy bounced back to win a 45-44 thriller.

The game included arguably the most amazing play of the weekend: Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's touchdown late in the fourth quarter when he picked up a ball that had bounced off a teammate's shoulder. Luck dove toward the end zone and managed to just stretch across the goal line.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Nation Turns Blue As Temperatures Continue To Plunge

Alison Mueller skies to work through several inches of snow in Detroit as the area deals Monday with record-breaking freezing weather. Wind chill has driven temperatures in Michigan and much of the Midwest down to 50-70 degrees below zero.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 5:55 pm

One weather map tells the story.

Check out the National Weather Service's map of the Lower 48 for Monday night. If you need to know just how much of the nation's going to be freezing (or well below!), it offers a bone-chilling picture. Anywhere in the blue-to-purple shades is going to be cold — and that's before accounting for wind chills.

What is the Weather Service forecasting?

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Liz Cheney Drops Senate Bid Due To Family 'Health Issues'

Liz Cheney during a 2010 appearance on the CBS news program Face the Nation.
Chris Usher CBS/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 10:32 am

10 a.m. ET: Click here for an update.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Liz is ending her primary challenge to Republican Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Sat January 4, 2014

Saul Zaentz, Oscar Winner Who Feuded With John Fogerty, Dies

Saul Zaentz in 2009.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

"Saul Zaentz, who parlayed a successful career in the music business into a Oscar-winning second act as an independent movie producer, died Friday at his home in the San Francisco area from complications of Alzheimer's," The Hollywood Reporter writes.

He was 92.

The three Oscars that Zaentz won were all "best picture" awards — for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1975, Amadeus in 1984 and The English Patient in 1996.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Sat January 4, 2014

'No One Controls Fallujah,' Which U.S. Soldiers Fought To Free

In Fallujah on Saturday, Sunni fighters turned out for the funeral of a man killed by Iraqi army artillery fire.
Mohammed Jalil EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 2:42 pm

The latest headlines from the city of Fallujah, the scene of much intense fighting involving U.S. forces during the Iraq War, are ominous:

-- "Iraq Government Loses Control Of Fallujah." (Al-Jazeera)

-- "Sunni Fighters 'Control All Of Fallujah.' " (BBC News)

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Sat January 4, 2014

Former First Lady Barbara Bush Released From Hospital

Former first lady Barbara Bush in March 2012.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Former first lady Barbara Bush is home after more than five days of treatment at a Houston hospital. She had pneumonia.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath says the 88-year-old wife of one president and mother of another had a couple "truly great days" in which she responded well to treatment.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Sat January 4, 2014

How Cold Is It? It's So Cold That ...

Brrr. This woman was cold Friday in Washington, D.C. But even more frigid temperatures are descending on much of the nation.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 2:26 pm

... there's no hot air left in Washington.

We bet Two-Way readers can do much better than that. Feel free to answer our headline's question in the comments thread.

The news, of course, is that "record breaking cold" is expected through Monday "from the Northern Plains eastward into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley," according to the National Weather Service. It warns that:

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Sat January 4, 2014

How One Man Won $324M And Didn't Realize It For 2 Weeks

One of two winning tickets in last month's $648 million Mega Millions jackpot was sold here, at Jenny's Gift Shop in San Jose. The guy who bought it didn't realize what he had for nearly two weeks.
John G. Mabanglo EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 2:27 pm

The second very lucky winner of last month's massive Mega Millions jackpot is a California delivery driver who didn't get around to checking his lottery tickets for nearly two weeks.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Wait Is Over For Antarctic Explorers: They Can Head Home

There's ice as far as the eye can see from the deck of the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, which is stuck in the Antarctic. The captain says he and his crew can wait for conditions to improve.
Zhang Jiansong Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 11:02 am

The on-again, off-again trip home for 52 people rescued from a ship stuck in the Antarctic is on again.

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