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
8:33 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Bank Of America To Pay $2.43 Billion To Settle Class Action Lawsuit

Bank of America's corporate center in Charlotte, N.C.
Scott Olson Getty Images

While denying it did anything wrong, Bank of America announced this morning it will pay "$2.43 billion and institute certain corporate governance policies ... to settle a class action lawsuit brought in 2009 on behalf of investors who purchased or held Bank of America securities at the time the company announced plans to acquire Merrill Lynch."

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Income And Spending Both Basically Flat In August

Higher prices at the pump meant the amount of money consumers spent went up last month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Americans' personal income grew by just 0.1 percent in August from July and consumer spending would have been basically flat as well if it hadn't been for higher gasoline prices, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this morning.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Fri September 28, 2012

After Further Review, Having Regular Refs Back Made It 'A Real NFL Game'

In Baltimore, fans made their feelings clear Thursday night.
Larry French Getty Images

Friday morning quarterbacks seem to be unanimous in saying that having a "regular" crew of officials back on the field for Thursday night's NFL game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns made an immediate — and positive — difference.

"It felt like a real NFL game because the real NFL refs were back," writes ESPN's Jamison Hensley.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Once Prominent Politician Bo Xilai Expelled From China's Communist Party

Bo Xilai in 2004.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 1:34 pm

Citing "severe disciplinary violations" connected to his wife's murder of a British businessman and other allegations of corruption, the Communist Party of China today expelled once prominent politician Bo Xilai and turned him over to "judicial organs" for prosecution, the state-controlled Xinhua News Agency reports.

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The Two-Way
6:14 am
Fri September 28, 2012

'It's Insane. It's Crazy:' Gunman Kills Four, Then Himself, In Minneapolis

In shock: The scene outside a Minneapolis business Thursday. A gunman killed four people, wounded four others and then killed himself.
Richard Tsong-Taatarii Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT /Landov

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 8:03 am

"This is something we see on the news in other parts of the country, not here," Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief Kris Arneson said Thursday night as her department began investigating why a man apparently walked into a sign company, killed at least four people and then took his own life.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Hit In The Head In His First At Bat, Adam Greenberg Will Get A 2nd Chance

Adam Greenberg, who's going to get another chance to bat, on NBC's The Today Show.
NBC.com

On July 9, 2005, Adam Greenberg of the Chicago Cubs went to the plate for his first major league at bat.

One pitch later, his major league career was over.

Until now.

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Netanyahu Calls For 'Red Line' On Iran; Rejects Palestinian's 'Libelous' Charges

At the U.N. today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a graphic to show how far he says Iran will be by mid-2013 in a quest to develop nuclear weapons. He drew the red line to mark where he says Iran must be stopped.
Lucas Jackson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:48 am

Israeli Prime Minister laid out in some detail this afternoon his nation's case for taking stronger action against Iran and his nation's response to what he said are "libelous" accusations about how Israel treats Palestinians.

Taking to the stage just minutes after the head of the Palestinian Authority, Benjamin Netanyahu told United Nations delegates this afternoon that Israelis and Palestinians "won't solve our conflicts with libelous speeches at the U.N."

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Abbas Repeats Accusation That Israel Is Waging 'Campaign Of Ethnic Cleansing'

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:47 am

Israel's government effectively rejects a "two-state solution" to its impasse with Palestinians and instead continues to wage a "campaign of ethnic cleansing" in the territories where his people live, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told delegates to the United Nations this afternoon.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Is This An Early 'Mona Lisa?'

A closeup from the portrait that a Swiss foundation says is an early "Mona Lisa" by Leonard Da Vinci.
Denis Balibouse Landov

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 1:41 pm

  • Listen to Elizabeth Blair's report

The Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation said today that it has evidence that a painting that first came to light in the late 1800s is an early "Mona Lisa" also done by Leonard Da Vinci.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Search For Jimmy Hoffa Leads To Driveway Near Detroit

Jimmy Hoffa on July 24, 1975. He disappeared six days later.
Tony Spina MCT /Landov

The 37-year-old search for Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa moves to a driveway in Roseville, Mich., on Friday.

"Police will be taking soil core samples," the Detroit Free Press reports, after receiving what they say is a "credible" tip that around the time of Hoffa's 1975 disappearance someone was buried under what's now a driveway in a Roseville residential neighborhood.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Photos: Inside And Around North Korea's Still-Unfinished 'Hotel Of Doom'

The Ryugyong Hotel, from the front.
Koryo Tours

Construction of the Ryugyong hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, began in 1987 — but was halted for 16 years by a lack of funds. The still-unfinished 105-story skyscraper has become something of a symbol of that nation's "thwarted ambitions," as the BBC says.

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Orders Plunge, GDP Growth Revised Down

A huge drop in demand for cars, aircraft and other transportation equipment pulled down orders for so-called durable goods in August, the Census Bureau says.

Orders fell 13.2 percent, "the largest decrease since January 2009."

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Actor Herbert Lom, Exasperated 'Pink Panther' Police Chief, Dies

Herbert Lom, left, as police chief Charles Dreyfus and Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau in the 1976 film The Pink Panther Strikes Again.
Keystone Getty Images

He was in more than 100 films, including such classics as Spartacus and El Cid.

But actor Herbert Lom, who died in London today at the age of 95, is best known as the perpetually peeved, increasingly insane police chief Charles Dreyfus in the Pink Panther films.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Netanyahu To Press For 'Red Line' On Iran

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:47 am

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the U.N. General Assembly today he will "argue for the need to set a 'red line' for Iran's nuclear program," Reuters reports.

NPR's Michele Kelemen adds that Netanyahu has "been urging the Obama administration to spell out clear red lines that would trigger military action" against Iran if it appears to be near to developing or acquiring nuclear weapons.

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Thu September 27, 2012

We Have A Ruling: NFL Referees Are Returning To The Field

They'll be welcomed back by fans: Regular NFL refs will be on the job again starting tonight. (2006 file photo.)
Shaun Best Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 6:34 am

  • Mike Pesca and Steve Inskeep

The not-so-long, not-so-much of a national nightmare is over.

Regular NFL officials will be on the field starting with tonight's game now that the league and its referees union have reached tentative agreement on a new, eight-year contract.

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Young Man Who Helped Capture Gadhafi Dies After Being Tortured

Friends and relatives of Omran Ben Shabaan carried his coffin Tuesday after it arrived as the airport in Misrata, Libya.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 12:58 pm

A year ago, Omran Ben Shaaban was among the young men who helped capture Moammar Gadhafi as the former Libyan leader tried to hide in a drainage ditch.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Wed September 26, 2012

City Folk Are More Likely To Read This Post

Remember these? They're most important to those who live in small towns, a new survey shows.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Reinforcing some things you might have suspected, the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism and Internet & American Life Project, along with the Knight Foundation, report today that a national telephone survey of adults finds:

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Psst! Wanna Buy Some Mozzarella? U.S. Cheese Being Smuggled Into Canada

Somebody check the cheese.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Criminals and cops looking to grab a slice of some tasty action are smuggling American cheese into Canada, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

At the center of this "mozzarella mafia" conspiracy are some officers in the Niagara Regional Police Service, the news agency says. It says that:

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Wed September 26, 2012

New Home Sales Were Flat In August, But Prices Rose Sharply

Model homes at a new development in Millbrae, Calif., earlier this year.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

While the number of new homes sold in August was barely changed from July, the median sales price was up sharply, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report. So the news adds to other recent signs, including Tuesday's report about higher home prices in major cities, of a recovering housing sector.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Andy Williams Dies; Crooner Was Known For 'Moon River,' Christmas TV Specials

Singer Andy Williams in 1970.
Central Press Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 9:24 am

  • A bit of Andy Williams singing 'Moon River'

Singer Andy Williams, best known for his rendition of Moon River, his Christmas TV specials and his long-running show in Branson, Mo., has died.

He was 84.

Williams' publicist, Paul Shefrin, says in a statement sent to reporters that the singer "passed away last night (Tuesday) at home in Branson, Mo, following a year long battle with bladder cancer. ... Williams, 84, who also had a residence in La Quinta, Calif., is survived by his wife Debbie and his three children, Robert, Noelle and Christian."

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Before U.N. Address, Ahmadinejad Talks Of New World Order

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his address today at the U.N.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 12:44 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Michele Kelemen previews Day II at the U.N.

In something of a swan song, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used his eighth — and likely final — appearance before the U.N. General Assembly to elaborate on his vision of a new world order and criticize what he calls the world's "hegemonic" and "expansionist" powers.

In general, the Iranian leader took a less confrontational tone than in previous years.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Wed September 26, 2012

After Uproar, No Signal That NFL Refs Will Be Back Soon

Things haven't been going well for these guys: Some of the NFL's replacement referees, during a Sept. 23 game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 1:22 pm

  • David Green and Tom Goldman talk on 'Morning Edition'

Though the nation's football fans — from President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the average couch quarterback — are begging the two sides to settle their contract dispute so that regular NFL referees can come back to work, there seems to be no clear reason to think that's going to happen in time for this week's games.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Tear Gas, Rocks Fly At Anti-Austerity Protest In Athens

In Athens today, anti-austerity demonstrations began peacefully. Later, protesters threw rocks and petrol bombs. Police responded with tear gas.
John Kolesidis Reuters /Landov
  • On 'Morning Editon': Lauren Frayer reporting from Spain

Riot police in Athens have fired tear gas at protesters who in turn have been lobbing stones and petrol bombs in one of the largest anti-austerity demonstrations to hit the Greek capital in months.

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Wed September 26, 2012

U.S. Believes It Has Pakistan's 'Tacit Consent' For Drone Strikes, 'WSJ' Reports

February: A protest in Multan, Pakistan, over the drone attacks.
S.S. Mirza AFP/Getty Images

The CIA tells Pakistan in advance about "broad areas" where it intends to take aim at suspected terrorists with drone strikes and interprets the other government's silence and clearing of airspace as "tacit consent," The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

Saying its sources are "U.S. officials" and "two senior [Obama] administration officials," the Journal adds that:

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Who Killed Messy Mya? High-Profile New Orleans Murder Trial Halted

Messy Mya.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 12:57 pm

New Orleans is known for being different. The trial of the man accused in the 2010 murder of "social-media celebrity Anthony Barre, better known as Messy Mya," is adding to the city's reputation.

As The Times-Picayune reports, the trial was halted Monday after the district attorney's office "got wind of a YouTube video of the 7th Ward slaying and dropped the murder charge against Jason Baptiste Hamilton in an attempt to track down the footage."

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Obama Focuses On 'Outrage Of Human Trafficking'

Saying it "must be called by its true name, 'modern slavery,' " President Obama this afternoon used his address before the Clinton Global Initiative to focus on "the outrage of human trafficking."

When a man is "working, toiling for little or no pay and [is] beaten if he tries to escape, that is slavery," Obama said.

"When a woman is locked in a sweat shop or trapped in a home as a domestic servant ... that is slavery."

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Obama: Those Like Slain U.S. Ambassador Must Determine World's Future

President Obama at the U.N. General Assembly this morning.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:31 am

  • The 2012 president's address to the U.N.

Using the example set by the life of slain U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, President Obama this morning told delegates to the United Nations that the diplomat's killers will not determine the world's future. Instead, Obama said, it will be people such as Stevens who build "bridges across oceans and cultures" and set the world's agenda.

We updated as the president spoke. Scroll down to read through the highlights.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Romney Touts 'Prosperity Pacts' To Help Middle East, Developing Nations

One former president, one would-be: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (left), spoke this morning at former President Bill Clinton's annual forum in New York City. President Obama addresses the Clinton Global Initiative later today.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Saying that foreign aid must play a role in bringing peace to the Middle East, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made the case today for what he calls "prosperity pacts" that would aim U.S. assistance packages at nations that develop "the institutions of liberty, the rule of law, and property rights."

Romney was addressing the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, a forum that will host President Obama later today.

If he's elected in November, Romney said (per his prepared remarks):

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Tue September 25, 2012

More Positive News On Housing: Prices Rose For Third Straight Month

A home for sale in Los Angeles last month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Home prices rose in July from June by 1.5 percent in its 10-city index and 1.6 percent in the 20 major cities where it tracks changes, the latest S&P/

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