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
9:50 am
Sun June 30, 2013

13 Years In Jail For Writing On A Sidewalk With Chalk?

Sidewalk chalk: The tools of a criminal?
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 2:37 pm

There's no evidence that he wrote anything obscene.

His messages could be easily erased.

And they don't seem to have upset many, if any, people.

But in San Diego, 40-year-old Jeffrey Olson is on trial for expressing his opinions on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches. He's charged with 13 counts of vandalism. Jury deliberations began Friday, our colleagues at KPBS say. If convicted on all counts, they add, he faces up to 13 years in prison.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Top Stories: Heat Wave; NSA Spying On The EU

The Two-Way
8:43 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Egypt: Morsi Rejects Calls To Step Aside As Protests Build

Thousands of protesters who oppose Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi were in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 7:14 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo
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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Western States' Heat Wave Turns Deadly; No Relief In Sight

It was hot Saturday in Sun City, Ariz., and across the Southwest.
Richard A. Brooks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 4:51 pm

(Most recent update: 4:45 p.m. ET.)

The brutal heat wave that has Southwest states in its grip is being blamed for at least one death.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Biden Asks Ecuador To Deny Snowden Asylum

Vice President Joe Biden.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

"Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the United States had asked him not to grant asylum for former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in a 'cordial' telephone conversation he held with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden," Reuters writes.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Crashes, Chaos During Stage 1 Of Tour De France

Riders and bicycles were spread across the road after one of the crashes Saturday during Stage 1 of the Tour de France, which began in Corsica.
Joel Saget/pool EPA/LANDOV

There were pileups on the race course and a bus got stuck at the finish line as the Tour de France began Saturday with "chaos and crashes," as The Guardian puts it.

When Stage 1 was over on Corsica, The Associated Press writes, "German rider Marcel Kittel was first to arrive, after dodging all sorts of mayhem."

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

It's 'Wedding Weekend In San Francisco' After Prop 8 Ruling

U.S. Army Captain Michael Potoczniak (right) embraced his partner of 10 years Todd Saunders as they obtained their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco on Saturday.
Stephen Lam Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 6:59 am

"A long line of fiancés and their families snaked out of the clerk's office" in San Francisco on Saturday, the Chronicle reports, as couples lined up to be among the first to be married now that it's legal again for same-sex couples to be get hitched in California.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

3 Things To Know About Edward Snowden's Passenger Purgatory

Edward Snowden's home, for now: Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

"NSA leaker" Edward Snowden is reportedly still in Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, where he arrived June 23 on a flight from Hong Kong.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Bird On Rare Visit To U.K. Killed As Dismayed Twitchers Watch

The white-throated needletail, after it was found below the wind turbine it hit on an island off the northwest coast of Scotland.
Courtesy of David Campbell

One of only a handful of a type of small bird from Asia to have been spotted in the U.K. in the past two centuries was thrilling twitchers off the northwest coast of Scotland earlier this week.

Then, tragedy struck. It flew into the blade of a wind turbine and was killed.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Paula Deen's Next Cookbook Is Canceled

Celebrity cook Paula Deen during an appearance last Wednesday on NBC-TV's The Today Show.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 3:12 pm

Pre-publication orders had made it No. 1 on Amazon, but now Paula Deen's publisher has said it won't be putting out her next cookbook this fall.

As Publishers Weekly says:

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Sat June 29, 2013

American Killed At Protest In Egypt ID'd As Kenyon Student

Andrew Pochter.
Courtesy of the Pochter family

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 4:05 pm

Andrew Pochter, a 21-year-old Kenyon College student from Chevy Chase, Md., is the American who was killed Friday in Alexandria, Egypt, when violence broke out during a protest against the government of President Mohammed Morsi, the college says. He was one of at least three people who died from injuries they suffered.

Citing U.S. Embassy officials as its source for that news, the Ohio school adds that:

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Will Death Valley Top 130 Degrees? Here's Where To Watch

If you're in the red or orange zones, try to stay cool.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 4:33 pm

We can't do anything about the oppressive heat wave that's cooking states across the nation's Southwest.

We can, though, wish everyone the best and point to the always-important tips and guidance for how to stay safe when temperatures soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Those include:

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Mandela Is 'Inspiration To The World,' Obama Says

Friday in Pretoria, South Africa, people gathered outside a hospital to pray for former President Nelson Mandela. He remains in critical condition with a lung infection.
Jeff J. Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 4:33 pm

Hailing Nelson Mandela's "moral courage," President Obama on Saturday paid tribute to the anti-apartheid icon and former South African president, who remains hospitalized in critical condition. Doctors have been treating him for a lung infection for the past three weeks.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

'Victory' For Landowners At The Supreme Court

Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

While the Supreme Court decision knocking down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is getting a lot of attention Tuesday, there's another ruling that's going to be of high interest to property owners across the nation.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Cardboard Bike's Fundraiser Is Rolling

The cardboard bicycle.
Baz Ratner Reuters /Landov

A quick update for the many who seemed fascinated by Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni's cardboard bicycle and his bid to bring it to the world:

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue June 25, 2013

5-Year High In Consumer Confidence Bodes Well For Economy

If consumers are feeling better, they may be more apt to spend — which could mean better job growth down the road.
Jessica Rinaldi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 1:30 pm

The economy "is unlikely to slow in the short-term, and may even moderately pick up," economist Lynn Franco predicted Tuesday as the Conference Board released its latest survey on consumer confidence.

The business research group, where Franco is director of economic indicators, said its index rose to a five-year high of 81.4 in June — up from May's 74.3. The index is based on surveys of Americans.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Tue June 25, 2013

LIVE BLOG: Supreme Court's Latest Rulings

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 11:59 am

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET. Today's Major Ruling; Key Part Of 1965 Voting Rights Act Is Ruled Unconstitutional:

"By a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court has struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that establishes a formula to identify states that may require extra scrutiny by Justice Department," Eyder writes.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Tue June 25, 2013

VIDEO For Nelson Mandela: Johnny Clegg's 'Asimbonanga'

A message for "Dear Tata" (Nelson Mandela) outside the hospital in Pretoria where he is being treated.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 10:09 am

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Attackers Killed During 'Brazen Assault' Near Afghan Palace

Afghan security officers at the scene of Tuesday's attack in Kabul.
S. Sabawoon EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 9:58 am

The tenuous nature of efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan were dramatically underscored Tuesday morning when gunmen attacked buildings near Afghanistan's presidential palace in Kabul as journalists were gathering to hear from President Hamid Karzai about nascent plans for peace talks with the Taliban.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Tue June 25, 2013

17 Stunning Seconds Give Blackhawks The NHL's Stanley Cup

Blackhawks center Patrick Sharp lifts the Stanley Cup after Chicago's series-clinching win Monday night in Boston.
Scott Strazzante MCT /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 9:52 am

A goal behind with about 80 seconds to go in regulation time, the Chicago Blackhawks scored twice in a 17-second span Monday night to beat the Boston Bruins and win the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup.

The 3-2 victory came in Game 6 of the best-of-seven series. For Chicago, it's the team's second NHL championship in the past four years.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Twinkies, Ho Hos, Other Hostess Cakes To Return On July 15

Scott Olson Getty Images

According to the countdown clock, at 2 p.m. ET Monday we were just 490 hours away from fresh Twinkies.

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

White House: We Expect Russia To Expel Snowden

After expressing "frustration and disappointment" because Hong Kong and China did not block "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden from flying to Moscow, the White House said Monday that it expects Russia will decide "to expel Mr. Snowden for his return to the United States."

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Supreme Court Sends Affirmative Action Case Back To Lower Court

Abigail Noel Fisher, who challenged a racial component to University of Texas at Austin's admissions policy, speaks to the media outside the U.S. Supreme Court building during oral in the case in October.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 8:39 pm

One of the Supreme Court's most anticipated cases of its current term — a challenge to the University of Texas' affirmative action admissions process — has ended with a ruling that does not revisit the fundamental issue of whether such programs discriminate against whites.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Which Key Cases Will The Supreme Court Rule On?

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 11:32 am

It's another "decision day" at the Supreme Court. So, once again, we're waiting to see which (if any) big rulings are handed down.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Bobby 'Blue' Bland, The 'Sinatra Of The Blues,' Dies

Bobby "Blue" Bland at the 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Rick Diamond Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 10:32 am

  • LISTEN: A bit of 'Turn on Your Love Light'

Bobby "Blue" Bland, the "Sinatra of the blues" who sang such classics as "Turn On Your Love Light" and "Further On Up The Road," has died. He was 83.

According to The Associated Press: "Rodd Bland said his father died due to complications from an ongoing illness at his Memphis, Tenn., home. He was surrounded by relatives."

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