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.

Pages

The Two-Way
8:49 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Pope Francis Asks Abuse Victims' Forgiveness

Pope Francis on Wednesday in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.
Claudio Peri EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 9:45 am

Pope Francis asked Friday for forgiveness from the victims of pedophile priests in some of his strongest words to date about the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome that:

"The pope has come under fire from advocacy groups for a perceived lack of attention to the issue.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:00 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Optimism, But No Breakthrough In Search For Malaysian Jet

Sgt. Trent Wyatt looks out an observation window on Friday from aboard a Royal New Zealand air force P-3 Orion maritime search aircraft as it flies over the southern Indian Ocean. So far there's been no sign of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. But officials are hoping that sounds detected below the surface are coming from one or both of the plane's black boxes.
Richard Wainwright Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 9:06 am

Hopes were both raised and lowered Friday by officials involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The jet and the 239 people on board have now been missing for five weeks.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:49 am
Fri April 11, 2014

VIDEO: Woman Throws Shoe At Hillary Clinton; No Harm Done

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ducks after a woman threw a shoe at her while she was delivering remarks at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries conference on Thursday in Las Vegas.
Isaac Brekken Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 4:10 pm

Hillary Clinton was not struck Thursday when a woman threw a shoe at the former secretary of state while she was on stage in Las Vegas giving the keynote speech at conference hosted by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.

"What was that, a bat? Was that a bat?" Clinton said moments after the footwear flew by.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:59 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Tragedy In California: Truck Hits Bus Full Of Students

Flames devoured both vehicles just after a FedEx truck hit a charter bus Thursday in Northern California. At least 10 people were killed. The bus was carrying high school students who were going to visit a college.
Jeremy Lockett AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 1:31 pm

A highway in Northern California was turned into an inferno Thursday when a FedEx truck slammed into a charter bus full of high school students.

The California Highway Patrol says at least 10 people, including both drivers and five of the teenagers, were killed. An additional 30 or so people were injured. Those who survived escaped through smashed windows.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:33 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Stephen Colbert Will Take Over 'Late Show'

Stephen Colbert: He's moving on up, from basic cable to the big time.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 12:38 pm

Breaking news on CBS-TV's Twitter feed:

"Stephen Colbert to be next host of 'The Late Show'...press release coming"

Read more
The Two-Way
10:29 am
Thu April 10, 2014

'Will I Survive, Or Will I Die?' Stabbing Survivor Wondered

Brett Hurt, 16, a sophomore at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., and a victim of the stabbings there Wednesday, talks with reporters about what happened. With him is his mother, Amanda Hurt, and some of the doctors at Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville, Pa.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 12:37 pm

As he bled from a stab wound to his back Wednesday morning, the first thoughts that went through his mind were "will I survive, or will I die?" one of the high school students injured Wednesday in Murrysville, Pa., told reporters Thursday.

Brett Hurt was among the first of more than 20 people (most of them students) injured when a young man wielding two steak knives began stabbing and slashing at other teens.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:52 am
Thu April 10, 2014

The Story Flips: Burger King Says It Isn't Moving Into Crimea

A Burger King restaurant in Moscow. The company's Russian arm says it will extend its reach into Crimea.
Zurab Dzhavakhadze ITAR-TASS/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 12:38 pm

We updated this post with a major development at 1:15 p.m. ET.

Reports that Burger King is looking to open restaurants in Crimea now that McDonald's has decided to pull out of that region were overcooked, a Burger King spokesman says.

Responding to the stories that we saw across the news media and posted about earlier today, Burger King spokesperson Bryson Thornton emailed to say that "neither Burger King Worldwide, nor any of its franchisees, have plans to open Burger King restaurants in Crimea."

Read more
The Two-Way
7:48 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Drop To Near 7-Year Low

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 11:50 am

There were 300,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, the fewest since mid-May 2007, the Employment and Training Administration reported Thursday.

Claims were down 32,000 from the week before, the agency adds.

Reuters says the news "could bolster views of an acceleration in job growth after a cold winter dampened hiring."

Read more
The Two-Way
7:17 am
Thu April 10, 2014

'Stay With Me, Bud,' Mom Told Baby After Mudslide Trapped Them

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 11:26 am

The pain, anguish and fear comes through as a young mother who held on to her baby boy as their Oso, Wash., home was swallowed by a mudslide on March 22 describes the harrowing ordeal.

Here's how our colleagues at Seattle's KPLU begin their story:

Read more
The Two-Way
6:19 am
Thu April 10, 2014

School Stabbing Suspect Was 'Nice Young Boy,' Attorney Says

At Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church in Murrysville, Pa., on Wednesday evening, worshipers held candles as they prayed for those injured in a stabbing attack at the local high school.
Connor Mulvaney Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 11:21 am

Until Wednesday, the 16-year-old Pennsylvania boy who's charged with multiple counts of attempted murder and aggravated assault after a stabbing attack at his high school was known as "a nice young boy," his attorney said this morning. Now the sophomore is in custody after the attack that left more than 20 people — nearly all of them fellow students — injured.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

More Force May Be Used To Move Pro-Russia Protesters, Ukraine Says

A pro-Russia protester stands at a barricade outside a regional government building in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Wednesday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:38 pm

Tensions that wouldn't seem capable of rising even further are threatening to do just that with the news that Ukrainian authorities say they're ready to use force if necessary to remove pro-Russia protesters from government buildings they're occupying in eastern Ukraine.

From The Wall Street Journal:

Read more
The Two-Way
8:35 am
Wed April 9, 2014

At Least 20 Students Injured In Knife Attack At Pa. High School

Emergency responders gather in the parking lot on the campus of Franklin Regional High School in Murraysville, Pa., on Wednesday after an attack there left at least 20 people, nearly all of them students, injured. Most suffered stab wounds or lacerations.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 5:48 am

(This post is being updated as news comes in.)

At least 20 teenagers and one adult were injured, two of them critically, Wednesday morning at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., when a 16-year-old fellow student attacked them with two knives.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:55 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Dose Of Caution Prescribed When Evaluating New Medicare Data

Data released Wednesday about Medicare payments to doctors in 2012 have raised questions, but some experts warn against drawing "sweeping conclusions" from the numbers.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:05 pm

The headlines about one of Wednesday's big stories — the release of data from 2012 about Medicare payment to doctors around the nation — are certainly serious sounding:

-- "Sliver of Medicare Doctors Get Big Share of Payouts." (The New York Times)

Read more
The Two-Way
6:58 am
Wed April 9, 2014

UConn Women Win, Making School Center Of College Hoops World

They're No. 1: Breanna Stewart of the Connecticut Huskies reacts after a score during Tuesday night's game against Notre Dame. Her team won its ninth national championship.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 8:58 am

By routing Notre Dame 79-58 Tuesday night in Nashville, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team won its ninth NCAA championship — which means that coach Geno Auriemma is no longer tied with legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt for the most titles among women's coaches.

But that's not the only milestone that highlights UConn's place in the upper echelon of college basketball programs. Check this out:

Before Tuesday, only one school had won both the men's and women's Division I basketball titles in the same year.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:12 am
Wed April 9, 2014

New Pings Have Head Of Search Optimistic Jet Will Soon Be Found

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 1:28 pm

"I'm now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not-too-distant future," the head of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 told reporters on Wednesday after an Australian ship detected two more pings that may be signals from the plane's black boxes.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:24 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Bush's 'Art Of Leadership' Puts Putin And Others On Display

Former President George W. Bush says his favorite from among the portraits he's painted of world leaders is the one he did of his father, former President George H.W. Bush. "I painted a gentle soul," he says.
George W. Bush Presidential Center

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 12:01 pm

"The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy" officially opens Saturday at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

As the nation's 43rd president says: "Who woulda thought it?"

Talking with his daughter Jenna Bush Hager during a pre-recorded interview on NBC-TV's Today show, the self-deprecating Bush says:

Read more
The Two-Way
9:22 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Racing's Michael Schumacher Has 'Moments Of Consciousness'

Michael Schumacher in April 2012.
Eugene Hoshiko AP

A little more than three months after he suffered a severe head injury while skiing in France, Formula One racing legend Michael Schumacher is experiencing "moments of consciousness and awakening" his agent says.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:07 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Jobless Rate Holds Steady As Employers Add 192,000 Jobs

This recruiter was waiting to meet with job seekers at a career fair last year in King of Prussia, Pa.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 12:09 pm

This post has been updated.

The nation's unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Meanwhile, there were 192,000 more jobs on public and private payrolls last month — a bit under the 200,000 or so economists had expected but still above the average growth in previous months.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:45 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Fort Hood MP Hailed As Hero For Confronting Shooter

Bob Butler (left) and Bob Gordon paint crosses they placed in front of American flags at Central Christian Disciples of Christ church in the city of Killeen, Texas, which is home to Fort Hood.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 9:16 am

As investigators try to determine why Army Spc. Ivan Lopez would open fire on his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, stories are emerging about the harrowing minutes on the post Wednesday and what are being described as the heroic actions of the military police officer who confronted the gunman.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:47 am
Fri April 4, 2014

AP Photographer Killed, Reporter Wounded By Gunman In Afghanistan

Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus is seen in a 2005 photo taken in Rome. She was killed Friday in Khost, Afghanistan. AP reporter Kathy Gannon was injured. A gunman opened fire on them as they sat in a car.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 9:16 am

"A veteran Associated Press photographer was killed and an AP reporter was wounded on Friday when an Afghan policeman opened fire while they were sitting in their car in eastern Afghanistan," the wire service reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:42 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Thousands Of Artifacts Seized At 91-Year-Old Indiana Man's Home

FBI agents work around a home in Rush County to confiscate what the agency is calling artifacts on Wednesday.
Kelly Wilkinson The Indianapolis Star

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 10:32 am

Federal agents, art experts and museum curators descended on the home of a 91-year-old man in central Indiana on Wednesday to take control of a huge collection of artifacts from Native American, Russian, Chinese and other cultures.

FBI Special Agent Robert Jones told reporters that the collection's cultural value "is immeasurable," reports RTV6 The Indy Channel.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:44 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week

The scene at a job fair last fall in Van Nuys, Calif.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 12:18 pm

There were 326,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, up by 16,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reported Thursday morning.

Although the number increased, claims remained at the lower end of the range they've been in for the past year and were running at a pace close to where they were before the economy sank into its latest recession in December 2007.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:02 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Early Evidence: Fort Hood Gunman Showed No Warning Signs

SPC Ivan Lopez is pictured in the Sinai Peninsula between 2007 and 2008 during his service with the 295th Infantry of the Puerto Rico National Guard in this undated handout photo.
HANDOUT Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 6:11 pm

A picture is beginning to emerge of 34-year-old Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, who officials have said is the man who opened fire Wednesday at Fort Hood and killed at least three people and wounded another 16 before taking his own life.

The early signs indicate that while Lopez was being treated for depression or some other type of mental issue, he had shown no sign he might be a threat to either himself or others.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:12 am
Thu April 3, 2014

'We Do Not Expect Any More Fatalities,' Doctor Says Of Fort Hood Victims

Sgt. First Class Erick Rodriguez stood guard at the entrance to Fort Hood as officials prepared to brief the news media about Wednesday's attack at the post.
Erich Schlegel Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 7:37 pm

On the day after a deadly shooting incident on the grounds of Fort Hood, Texas, in which a gunman killed at least three people, wounded 16 and then reportedly killed himself, there was this welcome news:

Read more
The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

GM Has 'Culture Of Cover-Up,' Key Senator Says

General Motors CEO Mary Barra as she testified Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Day Two of General Motors CEO Mary Barra's time testifying before Congress about safety problems with her company's cars has been highlighted by a top senator saying the company "repeatedly lied" about its problems and has fostered a "culture of cover-up."

From The Detroit News:

Read more
The Two-Way
10:04 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Drones Will Not Be Hunted In Colorado Town

It's going to remain safe for drones in the skies above Deer Trail, Colo.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection AP

You won't be able to fire away at government drones — if any were to fly by — in Deer Trail, Colo.

A proposal to issue $25 drone hunting licenses was rejected Tuesday by voters in the little town about 55 miles east of Denver.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:55 am
Wed April 2, 2014

'Race Card Project' Is Among Peabody Award Winners

Michele Norris
Stephen Voss

This year's Peabody Award winners for excellence in electronic media include The Race Card Project from NPR's Michele Norris.

Her project, which was featured in a series of reports on Morning Edition, invites people to distill their "thoughts, experiences or observations about race into one sentence that only has six words."

Read more
The Two-Way
7:56 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Job Growth Picked Up Some Speed In March, Survey Signals

Kiara Crawford, Brittney Winkler and Jessyca Freeman (left to right) were among those applying for work last month at a job fair in Washington, D.C. Early data from that month signal that job growth may have gained some speed.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The first slice of data about job growth in March offers some hope that the U.S. labor market gained some strength:

Read more
The Two-Way
7:23 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Oso Mudslide: As List Of Missing Shrinks, Death Toll Rises

A flag flies at half-staff in the midst of the mudslide rubble in Oso, Wash.
U.S. Army National Guard/handout Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:45 pm

This post will be updated as news comes in.

Here is some of the latest news from Oso, Wash., the tiny community north of Seattle that was devastated by a mudslide on March 22:

-- Death Toll At 29: Authorities say the number of confirmed fatalities as of this morning was 29. (We updated that figure at 11:15 a.m. ET.)

Read more
The Two-Way
6:02 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Tense Hours, Then Sighs Of Relief After Huge Quake Off Chile

Scared residents hug in the hallway of an apartment building Tuesday after Iquique, Chile, was rocked by a strong earthquake.
Cristian Viveros AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:32 pm

The extent of the damage isn't yet clear and the six deaths reported so far may be followed by news of other fatalities.

But on the morning after a massive, 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern Chile there are sighs of relief there and in neighboring Peru.

Read more

Pages