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
5:14 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Chick-fil-A Chief: 'We Support Biblical Families'

Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 5:58 pm

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy hasn't said much since his comments against same-sex marriage led to shows of support by some and protests by others over the summer.

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It's All Politics
4:19 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Here's Where To Get Your 'Fact Checks' During And After Tonight's Debate

The stage is set: Tonight's debate is at the University of Denver.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:52 pm

Looking to see and hear what the fact checkers are saying during and after tonight's presidential debate about the claims made by President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney?

-- PolitiFact.com says it will be updating on its website and on Twitter. It's also pitching an Argument Ender app.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

'Bully Creep' Or 'Erudite Takedown?' TV Anchor's Response To Being Called Fat

La Crosse, Wis., TV anchor Jennifer Livingston during her on-air response.
WKBT

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:11 am

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Teddy Wins! Washington Nationals' Mascot Snaps 525-Game Losing Streak

Teddy broke the tape first today — after 525 losses over seven seasons.
Greg Fiume Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:15 am

As monumental as the Washington Nationals' first trip to Major League Baseball's playoffs has been, this news may come close in importance for some fans in the nation's capital:

Teddy, one of the team's four presidential mascots, finally won a "race" today.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Currency In Crisis: Collapse Of Iran's Rial Continues

A 20,000 rial banknote, which today was worth less than 60 cents.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 3:56 pm

One U.S. dollar was worth 35,500 Iranian rials today, The Associated Press reports, as the collapse of the Persian nation's currency continued.

Two years ago, the rial traded at 10,000 to the dollar. It has lost about a quarter of its value in just the past week, Business Insider says.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Judge Puts Pennsylvania Voter ID Law On Hold Through Election

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:06 pm

A judge is basically "postponing Pennsylvania's tough new voter identification requirement, ordering that it not be enforced in the presidential election," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Reports: One Border Patrol Agent Killed, Another Shot In Arizona

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 12:09 pm

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent was shot and killed this morning while on duty near Bisbee, Ariz., the Department of Homeland Security tells The Associated Press and other news outlets.

Another agent was shot and wounded, AP says.

According to KPHO-TV in Phoenix, "both agents worked out of the Brian Terry station in the Tucson sector."

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Women Erased From Ikea's Saudi Catalog; Company Apologizes

She's gone: One example of how women disappeared from IKEA's catalog. In the U.S. version, she's standing at a sink. In the Saudi version, she's missing.
IKEA

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 7:54 am

Click through Swedish furniture giant IKEA's U.S. (online here) and Saudi (online here) catalogs.

You'll find all the same stuff.

But you won't find women in the Saudi catalog.

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Report: U.S. Discussing 'Unilateral Strikes' On Terrorist Groups In Africa

Sept. 11, 2012: A blaze erupted during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
AFP/Getty Images

During a "series of secret meetings in recent months," the White House began to "consider for the first time whether to prepare for unilateral strikes" aimed at terrorist groups operating in North Africa, The Washington Post writes this morning.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Remembering To Never Forget: Dominican Republic's 'Parsley Massacre'

1937: Haitians who were hoping to escape the killing in the Dominican Republic.
CulturalDiplomacy.org

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 11:45 am

  • Julia Alvarez
  • Edwidge Danticat and Julia Alvarez pronounce 'perejil'

Seventy five years ago, thousands of Haitians were murdered in the Dominican Republic by a brutal dictator. It was one of the 20th Century's least-remembered acts of genocide.

As many as 20,000 people are thought to have been killed on orders given by Rafael Trujillo. But the "parsley massacre" went mostly unnoticed outside Hispaniola. Even there, many Dominicans never knew about what happened in early October 1937. They were kept in the dark by Trujillo's henchmen.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Mon October 1, 2012

'Carmageddon II' Wasn't So Scary Either

All clear: A section of the 405 freeway in Los Angeles was empty while crews worked over the weekend to demolish the Mulholland Bridge.
Gina Ferazzi/pool EPA /LANDOV

Last year it was "carmageddon, schmarmaggedon."

This year, our friends at Southern California Public Radio are asking "carma-what?"

Once again, it seems, car-crazy Los Angelenos coped well with a weekend shutdown of a major freeway so that crews would demolish a no-longer-needed bridge.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Mon October 1, 2012

With First Debate This Week, We Really Are In Campaign's Final Stretch

The contenders.
Alex Wong (photo of Mitt Romney); John Gurzinski (photo of President Obama) Getty Images

We're nearly to the last of the many milestones that come along during presidential campaigns.

The primaries? Long over.

The conventions? All wrapped up.

Labor Day, when voters supposedly start paying attention? That was four weeks ago.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Bombing Kills At Least 14 In Afghanistan, Including Three NATO Troops

Blood stained the ground at the scene today in Khost, where a suicide bomber struck.
Anwarullah Reuters /Landov

Some of the latest news from Afghanistan, including a grim milestone:

-- "A suicide bombing [today] in the eastern Afghan city of Khost has killed at least 14 people, three of them Nato soldiers, officials say." (BBC News)

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

On Iran: Obama, Netanyahu In 'Full Agreement' About Goal, White House Says

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:50 am

Here's what the White House says the conversation was like when President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone today:

"President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke today as part of their regular consultations, and to follow up on Secretary Clinton's meeting with the prime minister.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Ahmadinejad More Popular Than Obama? Iranian News Agency Gets Fooled

Not unbelievable to some in Iran, it seems.
The Onion

Last week, Fox and Friends saw a photo on The Drudge Report and started saying that President Obama had time to sit down with a comical "pirate" but not to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The only problem: The photo was three years old.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Fri September 28, 2012

No Evidence Yet Of Jimmy Hoffa Under That Michigan Driveway

In Roseville, Mich., officials carry away a soil sample taken from under a driveway where a tipster says a body was buried decades ago — raising speculation that it might be Jimmy Hoffa.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

So far, at least, the dirt beneath a driveway in Roseville, Mich., isn't turning up any sign that former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa was buried there 37 years ago.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Due To Threat, University Barred Colorado Shootings Suspect, Prosecutors Say

James Holmes in a Sept. 20 sheriff's photo.
Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:08 pm

The man charged with killing 12 people and wounding 58 others at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater on July 20 threatened a University of Colorado psychiatrist about six weeks before the massacre and was barred from campus "as a result of those actions," according to local prosecutors.

They also say in court documents released this morning that James Holmes' alleged threat was reported to university police at the time.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Apple Is 'Extremely Sorry' For Its Much-Maligned Maps, CEO Tim Cook Says

Will it take you where you want to go? A new iPhone 5 and Apple's new mapping software.
Beck Diefenbach Reuters /Landov

How much of a "public relations disaster" has Apple's new mapping software been?

Big enough that the famously proud company has apologized — and suggested that users can turn to arch rival Google Maps instead.

In a message "to our customers" posted this morning, CEO Tim Cook says:

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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

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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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