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
8:45 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Creator Of Anti-Muslim Film Being Released From Custody

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in a courtroom sketch done on Sept. 27, 2012.
Mona Shafer Edwards AP

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 11:08 am

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, whose Innocence of Muslims film sparked deadly protests in Muslim nations in the summer of 2012, is being released from federal custody on Thursday.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Private Meetings With Iranians Give Veteran Diplomat Hope

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the U.N. on Tuesday.
Ray Stubblebine Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:03 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Diplomat Ryan Crocker on his meetings with Iranian officials

One of the United States' most experienced diplomats says he's come away from behind-the-scenes conversations with Iranian officials this week thinking "it is possible to come to accommodations" with new President Hassan Rouhani and his aides on key issues such as Iran's nuclear ambitions.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Thu September 26, 2013

George H.W. Bush Is Witness At Same-Sex Wedding Of Friends

Former President George H.W. Bush, former first lady Barbara Bush, right, and their newly wedded friends Helen Thorgalsen, center, and Bonnie Clement.
Susan Biddle AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 8:34 am

Former President George H.W. Bush's presence as a witness and guest at the marriage of two women in Maine last weekend is being treated by some as his quiet endorsement of same-sex marriage.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Senate Takes Next Step Toward Shutdown Showdown

After a dramatic 21-plus hours in which Republican Sen. Ted Cruz stood to express his opposition to President Obama's health care programs, the Senate early Wednesday afternoon voted 100-0 to move ahead and take up legislation that would avert a government shutdown next Tuesday.

As expected, the move by the Democratic-led Senate sets up what promises to be another showdown with the Republican-controlled House.

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Kenyan Mall Attack: The Latest News

Members of the Kenyan Sikh community gathered in Nairobi on Wednesday to cremate a grandmother and son who were killed when terrorists took over the Westgate Mall.
Kabir Dhanji EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 7:00 pm

Here's a quick look at where things stand in Nairobi, Kenya, where terrorists claiming to be part of the Somalia-based al-Shabab organization attacked a shopping mall on Saturday and then kept security forces at bay until late in the day on Tuesday:

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Yankees Bobble The Ball On Mariano Rivera Giveaway Night

This is what all the fuss was about: One of the Mariano Rivera bobblehead dolls that were eventually given away Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 11:18 am

Mayhem. Chaos. Fiasco.

Choose your favorite. Those words and others are making their way into headlines about what happened Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

It was Mariano Rivera Bobblehead Night, and the first 18,000 fans through the gates were supposed to get jiggly statues of their soon-to-be retired star pitcher.

But the truck bringing the bobbleheads to the stadium broke down. So the thousands of fans who had gathered outside the gates were given vouchers instead.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Another Car, Another Watery Grave, Another Cold Case Solved?

An undated photo provided by the South Dakota Attorney General's Office shows a Studebaker found this week in a creek near Elk Point, S.D. Two teenage girls from the area were last seen May 29, 1971, driving a car like it. Remains found in the vehicle may be those of the two teenagers.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:23 pm

Just one week after the discovery of two long-lost cars in an Oklahoma lake and what appear to be the remains of six long-lost people inside them, a 1960 Studebaker Lark has been recovered from a creek in South Dakota.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Pakistan Quake Killed Hundreds, Created Island Off Coast

It rose from the sea: The small island that appeared off the coast of Pakistan on Tuesday after an earthquake shook the region.
Government of Pakistan EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 11:26 am

As more becomes known about the strong, 7.7-magnitude earthquake that rocked southern Pakistan on Tuesday, we're hearing that:

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Latest MacArthur Geniuses Include Sound Savior

Carl Haber, 2013 MacArthur fellow.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 11:59 am

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

NCAA Lifts Some Of The Sanctions Imposed On Penn State

Penn State football players run onto the field earlier this month in State College, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 5:18 pm

Citing what it says has been "Penn State's continued progress toward ensuring athletics integrity," the NCAA said Tuesday that it is gradually restoring the football scholarships the school lost in the aftermath of the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Tue September 24, 2013

U.N. Must Battle 'Cold Logic Of Mass Graves,' Obama Says

President Obama addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in New York.
Timothy Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:09 pm

While conceding that nations will disagree about when and how to step in as "tyrants ... commit wanton murder," President Obama told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that "we must get better" at preventing atrocities.

The president again laid out his case for strong international action to hold Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable for his regime's alleged use of chemical weapons. Then Obama told world leaders that:

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Dozens Killed By Strong Quake In Southwestern Pakistan

A U.S. Geological Survey map showing the location of Tuesday's earthquake in Pakistan.
USGS.gov

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 1:14 pm

(This post last updated at 1:00 p.m. ET)

A strong, 7.7-magnitude earthquake in southern Pakistan on Tuesday has killed at least 45 people, according to Reuters. The U.S. Geological Survey says the initial temblor was followed by several aftershocks — one of them a 5.9-magnitude.

The affected area is reportedly about 145 miles southeast of Dalbandin in Pakistan's western province of Baluchistan.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Home Prices Rise At Best Pace In Seven Years

This home was under contract last month in Chicago.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 12:02 pm

Led by more strong gains in Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, home prices in major U.S. cities were up just more than 12 percent on average in July vs. July 2012, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

The average increase was the largest since February 2006, Reuters adds, and is yet another sign that the housing sector is among the economy's strongest sectors.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Word Spreads Far Of Canceled Wedding That Fed The Homeless

Carol Fowler (in blue dress) at the dinner her family turned into a charity event after her daughter's wedding was canceled.
Hosea Feed the Hungry, via Here & Now

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 11:57 am

We first heard about Carol and Willie Fowler's generosity from our friends at Here & Now late last week.

Now, the feel-good story of how they turned something sad into something glad is spreading across the Web.

ABC News describes what happened earlier this month in Atlanta this way:

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Tue September 24, 2013

UPDATED: Obama And Iranian President Rouhani Will Not Meet

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during an interview with NBC — part of a charm offensive ahead of his visit to the U.N. General Assembly.
Rouzbeh Jadidoleslam AP

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 3:59 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ari Shapiro on what President Obama will tell the U.N.

Update at 3:07 p.m. ET. Leaders Will Not Meet:

After intense speculation that the United States and Iran were on the verge of making history today by coordinating a meeting between President Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, there came word this afternoon that the two would not meet during the ceremonies surrounding the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Siege Over, Kenya Has 'Defeated The Monster Of Terrorism'

Kenyan police officers take cover outside the Westgate mall in Nairobi on Monday.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 4:12 pm

Update at 12:55 p.m. ET:

Telling his nation that security forces have "ashamed" those who attacked a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday declared "we have defeated the monster of terrorism."

As night fell in Kenya and after four days that captured attention around the world, it appeared the crisis was over.

Kenyatta said, as the BBC reports, that the death toll from Saturday's attack by Somalia-based terrorists and the siege that followed was:

-- 61 civilians.

-- 6 security officers.

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Detroit Has Many Strays, But 'We're Not Tripping Over Dogs'

A stray dog in Detroit last week.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 8:38 pm

While there's a serious dog problem in Detroit, the initial results of an effort to count the number of homeless canines in the city indicate there are far fewer than the 50,000 strays that some news accounts have talked about.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Boston Police Chief Is Stepping Down

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis talks with reporters during the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombers in April.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 3:45 pm

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who became a nationally known figure as he led his department's response to last April's bombings at the Boston Marathon, announced Monday that he's stepping down after seven years in the job.

"It's time for me to try other things," the 57-year-old Davis told reporters. Among the first opportunities he said he may take advantage of is a fellowship at Harvard.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Mon September 23, 2013

U.N.: Child Labor Is Down, But 168 Million Children Still Work

Near Islamabad, Pakistan, 6-year-old Jabro Mounir was arranging bricks this summer — part of his daily work at a brick-making facility. He earns a little less than $2 per day.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:59 am

The trend is good:

"The global number of child laborers has declined by one third since 2000."

But:

That still means there are an estimated 168 million child laborers around the world, and more than half "are involved in hazardous work" involving such things as dangerous machinery and harmful chemicals.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Reports: Two Arrests In Chicago Shooting That Wounded 13

After last Thursday's mass shooting in Chicago, a police detective collected crime scene tape when investigators were done with their work.
Paul Beaty AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 3:07 pm

"Two men are in custody in connection with last week's shooting in a South Side park that left 13 people injured," the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Tribune adds that:

"The men, both 22, were arrested around 7:30 p.m. Sunday in an abandoned building in the 5200 block of South Marshfield Avenue, police said. No charges have been filed.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Mon September 23, 2013

No Way, Man! Last VW Bus To Soon Roll Off Assembly Line

Enio Guarnieri of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in his 1972 Volkswagen. Soon, the last of the vans will be made in a nearby factory.
Andre Penner AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 9:00 am

We just tripped over some news that's got us a bit bummed out:

The last Volkswagen "hippie bus" is due to roll off an an assembly line in Brazil on Dec. 31.

It seems the van that became known as the transportation of choice for counter-culture folks in the '60s can't be made with the air bags and other safety equipment that "the man" wants it to have.

So Volkswagen is ending production in the last place where the van's still made; a factory near Sao Paulo.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Kenyan Police Say They're 'In Charge' Of The Mall

Kenyan soldiers outside the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi on Monday. Inside, attackers had killed dozens of shoppers, wounded more and it was feared they also had hostages.
Daniel Irungu EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 7:15 am

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Beat It, Bidders: Marshals Cancel Jackson Jr. Auction

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen came on stage during a Texas stop of Michael Jackson's 1984 tour to play on "Beat It," the Jackson hit that featured a solo by Van Halen. Now, questions about a guitar that the two supposedly signed have led to the cancellation of an auction of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s goods.
Carlos Osorio AP

"Legitimate concerns about the authenticity of the guitar purportedly signed by Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen" have led the U.S. Marshals Service to cancel an auction of the goods forfeited by former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Praise Pours In For Dairy Queen Manager Who Helped A Blind Man

Joey Prusak has been a busy man since his act of kindness went viral. CBS Minnesota is among the TV outlets that have spotlighted his story.
Minnesota.CBSlocal.com

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 12:12 pm

Today's good-guy award goes to Joey Prusak of Hopkins, Minn.

Prusak, a Dairy Queen manager, back on Sept. 10 saw a woman pick up a $20 bill that a blind customer dropped. When Prusak told her to give it back, she refused. So, the 19-year-old manager refused to serve her. He then took $20 of his own money and gave it to the visually impaired customer.

Prusak's good deed might have gone unnoticed. But, as KARE-TV reports:

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Joy Covey, Who Was Key To Amazon.com's Success, Dies

"Joy Covey, who helped take Amazon.com Inc. public as the Internet retailer's chief financial officer, died Wednesday when her bicycle collided with a van on a downhill stretch of road in San Mateo County," the Los Angeles Times writes.

She was 50.

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