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
11:09 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Obama Pushes Congress To Avoid Automatic Cuts; GOP Says It's Not The Problem

As he pressed Congress for action Tuesday, President Obama stood before a group of first responders. He made the case that their departments will be hurt if automatic budget cuts go into effect March 1.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 11:54 am

Standing in front of first responders who he says could lose their jobs, President Obama pushed Tuesday for Congress to act now to avoid $85 billion in "automatic, severe budget cuts" set to kick in starting on March 1.

The cuts due because of the so-called sequestration "are not smart, they are not fair [and] they will hurt our economy," the president said.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Clues Connect Global Hacking To Chinese Government, Security Firm Says

Cyberattack headquarters? The 12-story building in a Shanghai suburb that American investigators say houses an operation responsible for hundreds of cyberattacks on companies around the world.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 3:41 pm

  • Frank Langfitt on 'Morning Edition'

"Hundreds of investigations convince us" that the Chinese government is at least aware of, and likely sponsoring, cyber thieves who have stolen massive amounts of information from companies around the world, including American defense contractors, a U.S. security firm reported Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Quite A Haul: $50 Million Worth Of Diamonds Stolen In Lightning-Fast Heist

Yves Herman Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 2:50 pm

In a heist right out of movies such as The Italian Job, eight masked gunman drove on to the tarmac at Brussels' international airport Monday night, sped to a plane being loaded with diamonds and made off with about $50 million worth of the precious stones, authorities say.

It was all over in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Pistorius Says He Felt Terror; Prosecutor Says Shooting Was Premeditated

Oscar Pistorius in a Pretoria court Tuesday.
Siphiwe Sibeko Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 9:51 am

South African prosecutors laid out their case Tuesday against sprinter Oscar Pistorius, charging that the Olympic and Paralympic athlete committed premeditated murder on Valentine's Day when he allegedly rose from bed, put on his prosthetic legs, walked to a locked bathroom door and fired through it four times — killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

It's Out Of Here: Asteroid Whizzes By

An illustration of what asteroid 2012 DA 14 may look like as it approaches Earth.
NASA/JPL-CalTech EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:46 pm

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET. Asteroid Has Passed By:

According to NASA, asteroid 2012 DA14 — a rock thought to be about 150 feet across and the weight of about 318 fully loaded Boeing 747s — just flew past the planet.

So, we're all safe.

Update at 3:43 p.m. ET. A Photograph:

NASA has released this photograph of 2012 DA14:

Our original post and earlier updates:

If you haven't heard by now, then we've got some perhaps unsettling news:

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Educators Killed At Sandy Hook School Honored At White House

President Obama with Donna and Carlos Soto, who accepted the Presidential Citizens Medal awarded to their daughter, slain Sandy Hook teacher Victoria Soto.
Shawn Thew EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 2:36 pm

The six women killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a gunman who also murdered 20 children were honored with posthumous Presidential Citizens Medals today at the White House.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Grad Who Sued Over C+ Grade Flunks In Court

Megan Thode, who lost her case against Lehigh University.
Donna Fisher/The Morning Call MCT /Landov

The latest person to sue a university over a "bad" grade has failed to make her case.

As the Allentown, Pa., Morning Call reports, "a Northampton County judge on Thursday rejected the claims of a Lehigh University graduate suing over her C+ grade, a verdict that upheld the school's insistence that she earned the mark she got."

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Why Did So Many Russian Drivers Get Such Great Meteor Videos?

One of the dashcam videos recorded Friday when a meteor appeared over Russia.
RussiaToday

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 11:58 am

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Fri February 15, 2013

'Cruise From Hell' Was A Mix Of 'Survivor' And 'Lord Of The Flies'

After finally getting off the Carnival cruise ship Triumph, this passenger waited for a ride early Friday in Mobile, Ala.
Mark Wallheiser EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:22 pm

As they finally came off the Carnival cruise ship Triumph late Thursday and early Friday in Mobile, Ala., passengers from the ill-fated cruise told stories that call to mind TV's Survivor and literature's classic Lord of the Flies, the Los Angeles Times writes.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Fri February 15, 2013

'Blade Runner' Pistorius In Tears As Murder Charge Is Filed

South African Paralympic and Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius as he wept today while being charged with murder.
Antoine De Ras EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 9:32 am

"South African 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius broke down in tears on Friday after he was charged in court with shooting dead his girlfriend in his Pretoria house," Reuters reports from Pretoria.

According to the wire service: "The 26-year-old Olympic and Paralympic superstar stood with head bowed in front of magistrate Desmond Nair to hear the murder charge read out, then started sobbing, covering his face with his hands."

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Fri February 15, 2013

'No Link' Between Meteor That Hurt Hundreds And Asteroid About To Fly By

A meteor's vapor trail above the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia, on Friday.
Vyacheslav Nikulin EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:40 pm

  • Sound from the AP: Booms, then breaking glass and car alarms, when the meteor roared in

So, on the day when an asteroid the size of an office building buzzed the planet, there's this unsettling news:

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The Two-Way
2:48 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Canada To Zombies: Drop Dead, Eh

Canadian zombies dress for success. (An Occupy Vancouver "Zombie Walk" in October 2011.)
Sergei Bachlakov Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:06 pm

Apparently, the undead aren't even welcome in the ever polite Great North.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Reminder: An Asteroid Buzzes By On Friday (But NASA Says Don't Worry)

An illustration of what asteroid 2012 DA 14 may look like as it approaches Earth.
NASA/JPL-CalTech EPA /LANDOV
  • Nell Greenfieldboyce, for the NPR Newscast

NASA calls it a "small near-Earth asteroid."

And though "2012 DA14" will come within about 17,000 miles of our planet and be closer than some satellites, the space agency assures everyone that "there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth."

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'Prisoner X' Mystery Puts Spotlight On Israel's Spy Agency

The "prisoner x" story is front page news in Australia.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 9:40 am

This sounds like something from a spy novel, but it's the top of a real-life Associated Press story today:

"He was known as Prisoner X, his crimes unknown. For months he languished in an Israeli prison until he was he was found dead in his cell in an apparent suicide. Later, rumors would swirl that he was an Australian-Israeli who worked for the Israeli secret service Mossad.

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Warren Buffett Puts Heinz In His Pantry

J.B. Reed Landov

The Oracle of Omaha is again showing he's got a taste for companies that make the kinds of food many Americans love.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is joining with the Brazilian investment group 3G Capital to buy H.J. Heinz Co. for $23.3 billion. Add in the debt that the new owners will assume and the deal's value grows to $28 billion, Buffett's company says.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Jobless Claims Fell By 27,000 Last Week

The number of people filing first-time clams for unemployment insurance fell by 27,000 last week, to 341,000 from 368,000 the week before.

The Employment and Training Administration also reports that the "4-week moving average was 352,500, an increase of 1,500." That average, in theory, gives a better picture of the trend.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'I Thought We Were Dead,' Says One Of Cop Killer's Hostages

Karen and Jim Reynolds.
AP video

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:05 pm

The two people held hostage Tuesday by former Los Angles police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner say they expected the worst after they discovered Dorner inside a vacation property they own near the Big Bear mountain resort.

"I thought we were dead," said James Reynolds. "Really, pretty scary."

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius In Custody After Girlfriend's Shooting Death

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa leaves the starting blocks of the men's 400-meter race at the 2012 London Olympics.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:50 pm

Our most recent update was added at 1:45 p.m. ET.

South African Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius "has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend," The Associated Press reports from Pretoria.

Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed inside Pistorius' home early Thursday, police say.

The AP adds that:

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Deputy And Teacher Praised For Talking Down Alabama Gunman At School

WBRC-TV reporting from the scene at Chelsea (Ala.) Middle School, where a gunman briefly held some students.
WBRC-TV

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:12 pm

As the nation watched anxiously to see how the manhunt in California for accused cop-killer Christopher Jordan Dorner would turn out, a harrowing situation at an Alabama middle school thankfully ended peacefully.

AL.com reports that a man entered the school in Chelsea, Ala., Tuesday afternoon and "held several students at gunpoint."

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Behind The Mic: Here's Why The 11 A.M. Newscast Was All 'Live'

How many NPR staffers can you fit in one booth? From left to right: Craig Windham, Dave Mattingly, Mark Memmott and Korva Coleman.
Dave Pignanelli

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 12:00 pm

  • The all-live Newscast

We don't usually write about what happens in the NPR newsroom. That old line about not wanting to know how the sausage is made certainly applies in most cases.

But if you were tuned in at 11 a.m. ET and the newscast sounded a little different, it's because some technical gremlins got hold of the pre-recorded reports from NPR's correspondents and wouldn't let go. So, it was "live radio" time.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Wed February 13, 2013

The State Of The Union In 10 Headlines

President Obama during Tuesday night's State of the Union address. Behind him: Vice President Biden (left) and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Pete Marovich EPA /LANDOV

Since what's said and written about a State of the Union address on the morning after can determine what's most remembered about such speeches, let's look at Wednesday's headlines:

-- NPR's It's All Politics: "Obama To Congress: With Or Without You."

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Rubio's Big Drink Gets Big Buzz

He needed to hydrate: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., during his address Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:29 pm

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Single Gunshot Reportedly Ends Dramatic California Manhunt

Police blocked roads Tuesday leading to the mountains near San Bernardino, Calif., where accused killer Christopher Dorner was thought to be hiding.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 2:47 pm

  • NPR's Kirk Siegler, reporting for the NPR Newscast

We most recently updated the top of this post at 1:25 p.m. ET.

While authorities have canceled the "tactical alert" that had been in place during the manhunt for accused killer Christopher Jordan Dorner, the case has not been closed because it's not absolutely certain that Dorner is dead, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman just told reporters.

So, Los Angeles police officers and their families who have been under protection while Dorner was on the run will continue to get that protection until his death has been confirmed.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Rosa Parks Statue, Capitol's First Of African-American Woman, To Be Dedicated

Rosa Parks in June 1999, when she was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal.
William Philpott Reuters /Landov

The late civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who broke racial barriers in 1955 when she would not move to the back of a segregated bus in Montgomery, Ala., will be posthumously part of another barrier-breaking moment on Feb. 27.

The office of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Tuesday that a statue of Parks will be dedicated that day in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol.

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