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
8:17 am
Tue August 27, 2013

'Book News' Continues Its Summer Break

Ole Spata DPA/LANDOV

While we tap away on our keyboards, "Book News" blogger Annalissa Quinn remains on vacation. We're not jealous, of course.

As we've said, Annalisa may have her feet up relaxing in some exotic locale, but she asks that "hot tips, scurrilous attacks and existential questions" be directed to @annalisa_quinn on Twitter. She'll sort through them when she returns.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Tue August 27, 2013

STUNNING VIDEO: Pilots' View Of California's Rim Fire

A view of California's Rim Fire from the cockpit of a California Air National Guard tanker plane.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 2:05 pm

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Tue August 27, 2013

'Syrian Regime Is Responsible,' White House Says Of Attack

In Aleppo, Syria, on Monday, this Free Syrian Army fighter stood in the rubble of a building that has collapsed during fighting there.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 1:18 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Diplomat Frederic Hof speaks with David Greene about the crisis in Syria

(We added a new top to this post at 1:15 p.m. ET.)

"Anyone who approaches this logically" would conclude that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad is responsible for last week's chemical weapons attack near Damascus that reportedly left hundreds dead and thousands more injured, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters early Tuesday afternoon.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Wingsuit Flying: Incredible Thrill, But 'No Second Chance'

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:30 pm

"There is no second chance ... there is no margin of error whatsoever."

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Rodeo Clown 'Would Be Honored' To Shake Obama's Hand

Rodeo clown Tuffy Gessling in his first on-camera interview about the "Obama mask" incident, with Kansas City's KCTV.
KCTV

"I didn't do this to do any hating on anyone. I did this to be funny. I did it to be a joke," says Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown behind a skit at the Missouri State Fair earlier this month that sparked outrage when a masked "President Obama" was chased by a bull that Gessling said was "gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha!"

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Little Girl Who Needed Lung Transplants Due To Go Home

Sarah Murnaghan, center, on May 30 as she and her parents marked the 100th day of her stay in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her father, Fran, is at left. Her mother, Janet, is at right.
Murnaghan family AP

Sarah Murnaghan, whose plight prompted a national debate about transplant policies when she came close to dying while waiting for new lungs, could leave a Philadelphia hospital as soon as Tuesday, CNN says.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Mon August 26, 2013

New Details On How U.S. 'Helped Saddam As He Gassed Iran'

Then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein (at right) behind an artillery piece during the Iraq-Iran war. (An undated photo from the 1980s.)
Reuters/Landov

Newly declassified CIA documents "combined with exclusive interviews with former intelligence officials, reveal new details about the depth of the United States' knowledge of how and when Iraq" used chemical weapons against Iran in the 1980s, Foreign Policy reports.

According to the magazine:

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Did Miley Cyrus 'Flirt With Bad Taste' Or Dive Right In?

Singers Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke during Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards in New York.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 11:33 am

You may have to turn off your television today if you wish to avoid seeing clips of one-time squeaky clean Disney star Miley Cyrus as she "twerked and gyrated, stripped and swayed," Sunday night at the MTV Video Music Awards.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Mon August 26, 2013

'Fire Tracker': Online Tool To Monitor Blaze Near Yosemite

Some of the flames Saturday as the "Rim Fire" spread near Northern California's Yosemite National Park.
Elias Funez MCT /Landov

Hundreds of firefighters are "digging trenches, clearing brush and starting back blazes to keep a wildfire raging north of Yosemite National Park out of several mountain hamlets," The Associated Press writes Monday morning in its latest update on the huge "Rim Fire" that is threatening some of the power and water services to the city of San Francisco.

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Reminder: 'Book News' Is On Vacation

Not a bad idea on a sunny day.
Salvatore Di Nolfi EPA/Landov

Just in case you're looking for Annalisa Quinn's "daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly," here's a reminder:

She's on vacation this week. So this might be the time to read one of those books she's been writing about for us in recent months.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Talk Of Strike On Syria Moves From 'Will It Happen?' To When

Ammunition was stacked up Saturday in an area near Damascus that is controlled by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.
Khaled al-Hariri Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 7:06 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Aaron David Miller speaks with Renee Montagne about the situation in Syria
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Larry Abramson talks with David Greene about the military options

With U.S. officials saying there's little doubt that President Bashar Assad's regime used chemical weapons on the Syrian people last week, and with U.S. Navy ships moving toward that country's coast, it now seems to be a question of "when" not "whether" America will strike military targets inside that nation.

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Drop In New Home Sales May Be Sign Higher Rates Are Biting

The scene earlier this year at a home construction site in Phoenix.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:59 pm

Proving once again that when it comes to economic data there's almost always a "but" to watch out for:

The housing sector has been one of the economy's stars in recent months, as we said Thursday when the news broke that sales of existing homes rose an estimated 6.5 percent in July from June.

But ...

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Fri August 23, 2013

50,000 Stray Dogs In Detroit? That 'Makes No Sense'

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:23 pm

A disturbing story from Bloomberg News that we posted about on Wednesday — "Detroit's Stray Dog Epidemic: 50,000 Or More Roam The City" — is getting some pushback from Detroit journalist Jeff Wattrick.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Sea Monster? Explanation Is Much Less Mysterious

Whatever it is, it's not pretty at this point.
https://www.facebook.com/ideal.almeria

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:33 pm

We like stories about things that wash up on beaches, such as the softball-size eyeball that appeared on the Atlantic Ocean shore in Florida last fall.

So our eyes lit up when we saw this headline: "Mysterious 'Horned' Sea Monster Washes Ashore in Spain; Officials Baffled."

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Microsoft CEO Ballmer Retiring Within The Next Year

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at the Microsoft "Build" conference in San Francisco in June.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:52 pm

Steve Ballmer will retire as CEO at Microsoft within the next 12 months, the software giant announced Friday.

According to the company:

"In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most."

Ballmer says in the same statement that:

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Woman Who Talked Down School Gunman Wins President's Praise

Antoinette Tuff, on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 on Thursday.
CNN.com

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:22 pm

"She was remarkable," President Obama tells CNN after being asked about Antoinette Tuff.

She's the school bookkeeper in Decatur, Ga., who on Tuesday persuaded a young man with an assault rifle and other weapons to lay down the guns he had brought into her elementary school and give himself up to police.

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Top Stories: Talk Of Action Against Syria; Fort Hood Jury Meets

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:21 pm

Good morning.

Our early headlines:

-- Obama: Time Frame For Possible Action On Syria Has Shortened.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri August 23, 2013

After Wild Start, Silence From Bo Xilai Corruption Trial

Bo Xilai, in white shirt, on Thursday during his trial on corruption charges at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in China's Shandong Province.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:19 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn on the trial of Bo Xilai

Chinese authorities clamped down Friday on information coming out of the high-profile corruption trial of one-time rising political star Bo Xilai.

As NPR's Anthony Kuhn reported on Morning Edition, during Thursday's opening day in court Bo appeared to run circles around the judges and prosecutors. He denied any guilt, claimed a confession he gave had been coerced and called the testimony of his own wife "laughable."

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Obama: Time Frame For Possible Action On Syria Has Shortened

Syrian activists — many wearing gas masks — looked for victims and evidence Thursday in an area near Damascus where government forces allegedly used chemical weapons.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:05 pm

While the U.S. and its allies cannot move militarily against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence" that Assad's forces have used chemical weapons, the time within which a decision about such action must be made has been shortened, President Obama tells CNN.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Colorado Town May Issue Licenses To Shoot Down Drones

A federal drone that's used to patrol the U.S.-Canadian border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 2:25 pm

Drones have not been spotted flying over the little town of Deer Trail, Colo., about 55 miles east of Denver.

But that hasn't stopped an effort by some in the town of 550 residents to make it legal to shoot down the unmanned aerial vehicles.

On Oct. 8, people there "will vote on whether to issue permits to hunt drones," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The Lorax Is Home! Statue Taken From Dr. Seuss' Garden Found

The Lorax, before he was taken away.
San Diego Police Department

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:25 pm

The Lorax was missing,

From Dr. Seuss' garden.

Who could be so cruel?

Had their heart just hardened?

--

Now there's good news.

The little guy's back.

Found quite nearby,

Off the beaten track.

--

A man in Montana

Had a tip for police.

And for Seuss' family,

The news brought some peace.

--

His clue led to a canyon,

Beneath the Seuss home.

There the statue was found.

In a bush, quite alone.

--

A prank had gone bad,

Perpetrators had chickened.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Mubarak Released From Prison, Now Under House Arrest

A supporter of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak celebrates his release from prison on Thursday. He's still under house arrest while awaiting retrial on various charges.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:04 pm

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been released from the prison where he's been held while awaiting a retrial on charges related to the killing of protesters in 2011. The protesters lost their lives during the demonstrations that led to the topping of Mubarak's three-decade-old regime.

Earlier this week, a court ruled that after being held for two years while on trial and during his appeals, Mubarak could no longer be kept in prison. He's also facing corruption charges.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week; Still Around 5-Year Low

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:46 am

There were 13,000 more claims for unemployment insurance last week than during the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

According to the agency, 336,000 first-time claims were filed, up from 323,000 the week before.

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