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
6:44 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Missing Mango Mystery Solved, Here Are The Juicy Details

The Big Mango in Bowen, Australia, seen here in 2011.
Jack Zalium/NPR

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 8:25 am

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Goes Dark After Theft Report

Kolin Burges, a self-styled cryptocurrency trader and former software engineer, was among a small number of protesters outside the Tokyo offices of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox on Tuesday.
Toru Hanai Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 3:10 pm

"The website of major bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was offline Tuesday amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft, a new setback for efforts to gain legitimacy for the virtual currency," The Associated Press reports.

Also Tuesday, all the posts had been erased from the Mt. Gox Twitter account.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Harold Ramis, 'Ghostbuster' Actor And 'Groundhog Day' Director, Dies

Harold Ramis in 2009. He died Monday.
Jim Prisching AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 4:10 pm

Harold Ramis, who was in the director's chair for the comedies Groundhog Day and Caddyshack and was one of the stars of the Ghostbuster movies, has died. He was 69.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Oldest-Known Holocaust Survivor Dies; Pianist Was 110

Alice Herz-Sommer in July 2010.
'The Lady in Number 6' AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 10:46 am

  • From the documentary 'The Lady in Number 6': Alice Herz-Sommer says whether life is good or not 'depends on me.'

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Rep. John Dingell, Who Has Served A Record 58 Years, Is Retiring

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:23 pm

Michigan Democratic Rep. John Dingell, who was first elected to Congress in 1955 to fill a seat his father had held, says he will not seek re-election later this year.

He'll leave office having served in Congress longer than anyone else in history. Last June, Dingell passed the previous record holder, the late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Mon February 24, 2014

VIDEO: Warm Reception As NBA's Jason Collins Makes History

Jason Collins of the Brooklyn Nets during Sunday's game against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Jeff Gross Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 11:01 am

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Pentagon Budget-Cutting Plans Sure To Draw Flak

Mark Wilson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 4:37 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman talks with host David Greene about the Pentagon's budget problems

Click here to jump to Monday afternoon's highlights of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's announcement. We've rewritten the top of this post since Hagel announced his budget plan.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Resignations In Egypt May Be Prelude To General's Presidential Run

Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in April 2013.
Jim Watson AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 9:42 am

In something of a surprise, Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi announced Monday that his entire Cabinet is stepping down.

From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel says the prime minister gave no reason for the mass resignation.

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The Two-Way
5:56 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Ukraine's Yanukovych On Run From Mass Murder Charge

In Kiev's Independence Square, flowers have been left in memory of protesters killed there in recent days.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:10 am

Viktor Yanukovych, ousted Saturday from his post as president of Ukraine, is now wanted by authorities in his country on charges of mass murder, the acting interior minister says.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko May Soon Be Free

In Kiev last month, this anti-government protester in protective gear stood in front of a poster featuring an image of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Her jailing on what supporters believe were bogus charges was among the complaints protesters raised.
Darko Bandic AP

There's another big breaking story from Ukraine, where earlier today an agreement was reached to hopefully end what in recent days had been a deadly series of clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces:

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been in jail since 2011 on what her supporters say were trumped-up charges aimed at silencing one of President Viktor Yanukovych critics, may soon be free again.

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The Edge
11:40 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Team USA's Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Skiing Gold

She's a winner: Team USA's Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates after taking gold in the women's slalom at the Sochi Games.
Olivier Morin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:06 am

Eighteen-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin has lived up to her reputation as the pre-race favorite by winning the gold medal in women's slalom at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Garrick Utley, 'Quintessential Foreign Correspondent,' Dies

Garrick Utley in 2012.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 11:14 am

If reporting from foreign lands is important to you, then Garrick Utley is someone you most likely admired over the past four or five decades.

So it's with some sadness that we pass along word that the veteran newsman, who in the mid-'60s was NBC News' first bureau chief in Saigon and later went on to a career that took him around the world and to the moderator's chair on Meet the Press, has died.

He was 74.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Photos: Kiev's Independence Square Before And After

Kiev's Independence Square on Thursday (Feb. 20, 2014).
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters/Landov

Hopes are high that the worst is over in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, where dozens of people died this week as security forces responded to anti-government protests. As we reported earlier, President Viktor Yanukovych and key opposition leaders have signed an agreement about forming a unity government, holding new elections and restoring the nation's 2004 constitution.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Good Work On Those 'Feeli The Finnish Reindeer' Lyrics

His antlers are so bright.
Reindeer Herders' Association (of Finland)

We asked and Two-Way readers came through.

The challenge:

Set the story of "Feeli the Finnish Reindeer" and his shiny antlers to the tune of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

The responses in our comments thread:

Feeli the Finnish reindeer
Had antlers that didn't glow.
And drivers didn't see them
As right over them they'd mow.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Breakthrough? Ukrainian President, Opposition Leaders Reach Deal

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (right) and opposition leader Vitali Klitschko shake hands Friday after signing an agreement that diplomats hope will end the bloodshed in Kiev.
Tim Brakemeier EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:52 pm

We're updating this post as the day continues.

In what could be a major move toward ending the violence in the streets of his capital, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and leaders of the anti-government opposition reached agreement Friday on a deal to hold new elections, form a unity government and restore a constitution drafted in 2004.

Some details have yet to be spelled out. But the BBC sums up the news this way:

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

These Reindeer Really Do Shine, And It's For Their Own Good

His antlers are so bright.
Reindeer Herders' Association (of Finland)

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 9:23 am

Feeli the Finnish reindeer,

Had some very shiny horns ...

OK, we'll stop there.

Here's the news:

"Herders in Lapland are spraying their reindeer with reflective paint to help drivers see them in the dark," the BBC writes.

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Dip In Weekly Jobless Claims Seen As Sign Of Better Times Ahead

As the weather warms, will more signs such as this pop up? Economists say the latest data on claims for unemployment benefits may signal that better times are ahead.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 9:37 am

There were only 3,000 fewer first-time claims filed for jobless benefits last week, but the slight decline is being seen as another sign that the nation's labor market will gain some strength once spring arrives.

The Employment and Training Administration said Thursday that 336,000 applications were submitted last week, versus 339,000 the week before.

That means the pace of claims is still running about where it's been since late 2011.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Thu February 20, 2014

In Venezuela, Another Beauty Queen's Death Adds To Anger

This photo, which witnesses say shows Venezuelan beauty queen Genesis Carmona being evacuated from the scene of a protest on Tuesday, is ricocheting around the Web. She died after being shot.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:40 am

There's a sad symmetry to the news from Venezuela, where anti-government protests in recent weeks have been fueled in part by outrage over the shooting death of a beauty queen — a death that underscored that nation's struggle to control violent crime.

One of the five people killed this week during protests against the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro, it's now being reported, was another young beauty queen.

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Thu February 20, 2014

World's Outrage Grows As Death Toll Rises In Kiev

An injured man is carried away Thursday after more clashes between anti-government protesters and police in Kiev.
Yannis Behrakis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 6:46 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Kiev

This post is being updated as the day continues.

Just hours after a truce was declared, deadly clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces broke out again in Ukraine's capital.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Jailed Protest Leader Urges Venezuelans To Keep Demonstrating

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez (in white shirt) as he turned himself over to police on Tuesday in Caracas.
Cristian Hernandez Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 1:10 pm

In a video released Wednesday, imprisoned protest leader Leopoldo Lopez urges his supporters in Venezuela to continue pressing for the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro, Reuters reports from Caracas.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Wed February 19, 2014

U.K. Court OKs Detention Of Reporter Glenn Greenwald's Partner

Glenn Greenwald, left, and David Miranda after Miranda's arrival at Rio de Janeiro's International Airport on Aug. 19, 2013. Miranda had been detained for nine hours at London's Heathrow Airport. Authorities questioned him about Greenwald's reporting of the "NSA leaks."
Ricardo Moraes Reuters/Landov

British authorities were within their rights to detain journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner for nine hours last August and to seize an external hard drive containing classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden, three high court judges in the U.K. have ruled.

David Miranda, who lives with Greenwald in Brazil, was stopped at London's Heathrow Airport last August as he was making his way home from Europe.

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The Edge
9:15 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Finnished! Russian Hockey Team Bounced Out Of Olympics

Russian fans who gathered in Sochi's Olympic Park react with dismay as they watch a broadcast of the ice hockey match between Russia and Finland.
Shamil Zhumatov Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 6:33 pm

"Uskotko ihmeisiin?"

No, this isn't exactly a "do you believe in miracles?" bit of history for Finland, but its men's hockey team just produced a moment-to-remember at the Sochi Games.

Finland beat Russia 3-1, bouncing the home team out of the tournament.

As NPR's Robert Smith has reported, there was tremendous pressure on Alex Ovechkin and his Russian teammates to win gold in Sochi.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Nun Who Broke Into Nuclear Complex Gets 35-Month Jail Term

Anti-nuclear activists (from left) Gregory Boertje-Obed, Sister Megan Rice and Michael Walli, pictured Feb. 6 in Knoxville, Tenn., were sentenced to prison terms on Tuesday for the 2012 break-in at Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.
Linda Davidson The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 10:15 am

"An 84-year-old Catholic nun was sentenced Tuesday to nearly three years in prison for breaking into a nuclear weapons complex and defacing a bunker holding bomb-grade uranium, a demonstration that exposed serious security flaws at the Tennessee plant," The Associated Press writes from Knoxville, Tenn.

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The Edge
6:31 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Team USA's Ted Ligety Wins Gold In Giant Slalom

Ted Ligety of Team USA celebrates Wednesday after winning the men's giant slalom event at the Sochi Winter Games.
Hans Klaus Techt EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:10 am

Ted Ligety is now only the second American to ever earn two Olympic gold medals in Alpine skiing after finishing first Wednesday in the giant slalom at the Sochi Winter Games.

As USA Today writes:

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Negotiations In Ukraine Under Close Scrutiny After Bloodshed

Riot police officers stand in Kiev's Independence Square on Wednesday as smoke rises from protesters' burning barricades.
Alexey Furman EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 10:13 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': David Stern of the BBC speaks from Kiev
This post was updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

The U.S. and the European Union are closely watching Ukraine amid news that the government was starting negotiations with opposition leaders to end the violence, which has left more than two dozen people dead since Tuesday.

A statement on the Ukrainian presidential website said:

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Soldiers' 'Fun' Photo With Flag-Draped Coffin Sparks Outrage

The photo that has offended many. The soldier responsible for posting it on Instagram has been suspended and an investigation has begun.
Wisconsin National Guard Facebook page

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 1:05 pm

Two photos posted on Instagram by a member of the Wisconsin National Guard have caused an uproar on social media.

In one, 14 soldiers are seen joking around in front of what authorities say was an empty coffin draped with the American flag. The caption with that image reads, in part: "We put the FUN in funeral."

In the other, the soldier who put the pictures on the Web is seen in uniform. The caption with that photo reads: "It's so damn cold out....WHY have a funeral outside !? Somebody's getting a jacked up flag."

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Obama Wants Tougher Fuel Standards For Big Trucks

Exhausts rises from a truck in California last September.
Mike Blake Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:02 pm

President Obama said Tuesday that he has told the Environmental Protection Agency to work with the Department of Transportation on a second round of regulations to improve the fuel efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The goal: reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they contribute to the environment.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

A Big Asteroid Just Flew By, And Guess What? More Are Coming

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 2:18 pm

An asteroid that's about the size of three football fields flew past Earth on Monday, coming within 2.1 million miles. That was near enough to generate headlines such as this, from Reuters: "Earth marks close encounter with enormous asteroid."

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Tue February 18, 2014

There's A Clown Shortage: Who Will Fill Those Big Shoes?

Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:19 am

This may be welcome news for those who suffer from coulrophobia, but it's no joke to those who agree with Cole Porter that "all the world loves a clown":

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Before Northeast Thaws, Thundersnow Will Roll Through

It will melt eventually: People walk past a pile of dirty snow in New York City's Times Square.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:54 am

Hang on, you winter-weary folks.

"Temperatures are expected to warm to above average levels for late February from the Central Plains to the East Coast," the National Weather Service says.

But first, "we have to get through one more winter storm," The Weather Channel writes.

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