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
7:08 am
Thu August 16, 2012

11 Killed In Afghan Helicopter Crash; 3 Were U.S. Military Personnel

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 8:04 am

The crash of an International Security Assistance Force helicopter in southern Afghanistan today killed 11 people who were on board, according to the NATO command in Kabul.

It has posted a statement saying:

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Thu August 16, 2012

More Carnage In Pakistan: Gunmen Execute About 20 Shiites

Pakistani Air Force personnel guard an air base northwest of Islamabad earlier today. It was attacked Thursday by militants armed with guns, rocket launchers and suicide vests.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Thursday's attack on a Pakistani air base near Islamabad by heavily armed militants, which security forces were able to repel, has been followed by the news that gunmen executed about 20 Shiite Muslims today in northern Pakistan.

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Family Research Council Attacker Could Face Terrorism Charge

The scene Wednesday morning outside the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., after the shooting.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:41 am

Update at 11:35 a.m. ET. Charges Filed:

The man arrested for opening fire at the Washington, D.C., offices of the Family Research Council on Wednesday faces charges of "assault with intent to kill" and illegal transportation of a gun and ammunition. He has not been charged with attempting a terrorist act.

In a statement emailed a short time ago to reporters, the Justice Department says:

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Hypersonic 'WaveRider' Failed

An artist's rendition of an X-51A WaveRider (in white) attached to the wing of a B-52.
Pratt & Whitney

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 1:58 pm

An experimental aircraft that designers hoped would hit 3,600 mph in a test flight over the Pacific on Tuesday "suffered a control failure" and failed in its attempt to go hypersonic, The Associated Press writes.

Its report follows earlier word from Wired magazine's Danger Room blog that it had been told by an "insider familiar with the test" that:

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Paterno 'Sobbed Uncontrollably' Day After Being Fired, Book Says

Joe Paterno on Nov. 8, 2011, the day before his firing.
Rob Carr Getty Images

The first excerpts are out from journalist Joe Posnanski's upcoming biography of former Penn State head football Joe Paterno.

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Will E.T. Hear Us? Reply To 'WOW! Signal' Gets Beamed Into Space Today

The message is going out ... and out ... and out.
APEX/A. Hacar et al./Digitized Sky Survey 2/Davide De Martin ESO

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Teachers Return To L.A. School Where Two Were Accused Of Lewd Conduct

Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Krista Kennell AFP/Getty Images

Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles, where the entire staff was temporarily replaced last February after two teachers were accused of lewd conduct with students, opened for the 2012-13 school year on Tuesday with most of the instructors who had been displaced back in the classrooms.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Inflation Stayed In Check Last Month: No Change In July

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 7:41 am

There was no change in the consumer price index last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

It's the second month in a row that the index was flat — a sign that inflation remained in check for the first half or so of summer. Whether that trend will continue, however, is uncertain.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Campaign Trail: Biden's Comment About 'Chains' Sparks Controversy

By telling a racially mixed audience in Virginia on Tuesday that the Republican ticket's economic plans would "put y'all back in chains," Vice President Biden sparked the latest campaign controversy.

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney called it an "outrageous charge" and said called on President Obama to "take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago."

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Nellie Gray, Founder Of 'March For Life,' Dies

Nellie Gray, president of the March for Life Fund, at the March for Life rally near the White House in 2004.
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 7:24 am

  • Nellie Gray: 'No one ... can legalize even a little bit of abortion'

Nellie Gray, who in 1974 helped start the annual antiabortion demonstration in Washington called March for Life that attracts thousands to the nation's capital, has died. She was 88.

According to The Washington Post, "Gene Ruane, a colleague, said that he found Miss Gray dead Monday in her Capitol Hill home and that the chief medical examiner will determine the cause and date of her death."

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Actor Ron Palillo Dies, He Was Horshack On 'Welcome Back, Kotter'

Actor Ron Palillo, best known as Arnold Horshack.
Todd Williamson Getty Images for TV Land

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 1:40 pm

"Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Mr. Kotter!"

If you watched TV in the '70s, you probably recognize that line.

So it's with some sadness that we pass along word that Ron Palillo, the actor who played Arnold Horshack on ABC-TV's Welcome Back, Kotter, has died in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Multiple Suicide Attacks Cause Double-Digit Death Toll In Afghanistan

Suicide bombers struck in a normally peaceful area of southwestern Afghanistan today.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Florida's Biggest Python So Far Measured 17 Feet, 7 Inches; Had 87 Eggs

Florida Museum of Natural History researchers at work on the record-long Burmese python.
University of Florida

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 12:07 pm

She was about three feet longer than the distance from an NBA free throw line to the basket. She was a bit more than twice the height of many bedroom ceilings. You could park two Smart Cars beside her with a foot or so to spare.

Those are some ways to get a sense of just how big the biggest Burmese python discovered so far in Florida was.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Retail Sales Rose 0.8 Percent In July; More Than Expected

There was a 0.8 percent increase in retail sales in July from June, the Census Bureau says, thanks in part to gains in purchases of cars, furniture and appliances.

Overall, The Associated Press says, "all major categories showed increases, a sign that consumers may be gaining confidence." If that is indeed the case, it's good news for the economy. Consumers purchase about 70 percent of all goods and services.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Tue August 14, 2012

F-Bomb Added To Dictionary

March 23, 2010: Vice President Biden famously drops an f-bomb.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:45 am

  • Vice President Biden's March 23, 2010, f-bomb (we've bleeped it)

We expect that most folks won't need to look up the definition. But just in case, "f-bomb" now has its own entry in the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Unsealed Documents 'Hint At The Evidence' In Colorado Shootings

While a Colorado judge on Monday kept sealed most key documents in the case against Aurora movie theater shootings suspect James Holmes, the materials that have been made public do "hint at the evidence being marshaled," The Denv

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Luxury Cars Do Poorly In New Type Of Crash Test

This type of crash is particularly deadly and the first set of cars tested generally didn't provide very good protection.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 7:51 am

The first set of cars put through a new type of safety test did poorly even though they were "luxury and near-luxury cars" that should have the latest safety technology built in, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports today.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Hog Prices Rise On Word That Feds Will Buy Pork In Bid To Help Farmers

Hogs at a farm in Elma, Iowa (2009 file photo).
Scott Olson Getty Images

President Obama not coincidentally chose Iowa today as the backdrop for his announcement that the federal government is buying $170 million worth of pork, chicken, lamb and catfish to help producers who've been hit hard by drought-related increases in feed costs and by soft prices because of overproduction.

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Norway's Massacre Could Have Been Stopped Sooner, Commission Concludes

July 24, 2011: A man and woman look out across Tyrifjorden Lake towards Utoya Island, where 69 of the victims were killed.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

The bombing that began the July 22, 2011, attacks in Oslo could have been prevented and the massacre that followed on an island outside the city could have been stopped much sooner than it was, according to a report released today by an independent commission.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Key Test Tuesday For Hypersonic Flight

An artist's rendition of an X-51A WaveRider (in white) attached to the wing of a B-52.
Pratt & Whitney

Imagine being able to fly from Los Angeles to New York City in less time than it takes to commute from most of Long Island into Manhattan.

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Mon August 13, 2012

VIDEOS: Another Dust Storm Blankets Phoenix

That's a wall of dirt and dust rolling over Phoenix on Saturday. (Screen grab from video posted on YouTube.)
Epicrender YouTube.com

From the air and the ground, camera phones captured another huge dust storm in Phoenix on Saturday.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Top Stories: Campaign Enters New Phase; 'Coup' In Egypt

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 7:58 am

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Mon August 13, 2012

In Egypt, Talk Of Coups And Counter-Coups

In Cairo Sunday night, thousands of Egyptians shouted political slogans in support of President Mohamed Morsi.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 12:48 pm

Sunday's sacking (or forced retirements, if you prefer) of Egypt's military chiefs by new President Mohammed Morsi has analysts scrambling to explain what it all means.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Google Cutting 4,000 Jobs At Motorola; 1,300 Of Them Are In U.S.

Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx.
David Becker Getty Images

Google is eliminating about 20 percent of the jobs at Motorola Mobility, the struggling cellphone manufacturer it finished acquiring earlier this year for $12.5 billion, according to reports from The New York Times, Dow Jones' All Things Digital blog and other news outlets.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Mon August 13, 2012

It's Deja Vu All Over Again: Campaign's Focus Returns To Iowa

Rep. Paul Ryan, who has been chosen by Mitt Romney to be his running mate on the GOP ticket, greeting supporters Sunday in his home state of Wisconsin. Ryan will be in Iowa today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Good morning.

With Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick now in the books (if you somehow escaped the news from the weekend, it's Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin), the presidential campaign shifts into a higher gear this week.

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It's All Politics
6:23 am
Sat August 11, 2012

Romney Picks Wisconsin's Ryan To Be His Running Mate On GOP Ticket

The Republican ticket at this morning's announcement in Norfolk, Va.: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 2:11 pm

  • Listen to NPR's Live Coverage

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is Mitt Romney's choice for running mate on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket.

The official word, which began leaking overnight, came early this morning from the Romney campaign via a smartphone app and a news release.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

7,500 Square Miles Of Pumice Floating In Pacific Is 'Weirdest Thing I've Seen'

This photo photo from the New Zealand Defense Force shows a handful of the rocks found floating in the South Pacific.
EPA /Landov

Nearly 300 miles long and about 35 miles wide, a floating raft of pumice in the South Pacific Ocean is "the wierdest thing I've seen in 18 years at sea," says Royal Australian Navy Lt. Tim Oscar.

He was aboard the Royal New Zealand Navy's HMNZS Canterbury on Thursday when the "amphibious support ship" investigated the phenomenon.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

California's Baking And The Power Grid's Being Tested

Will there be too much demand? Power lines near Redondo Beach, Calif.
Gerard Burkhart AFP/Getty Images

Southern California will be broiling through the weekend, as a heat wave that has brought record-breaking temperatures continues, the Los Angeles Times says.

That's why the managers of California's power grid have issued a "flex alert" to customers.

They're asking that residents:

-- "Turn off all unnecessary lights."

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Bears With Taste For Beer Have Quite A Night In Norway

Don't get between a beer and a bear.
London Express Getty Images

"Drunk Bear Family Downs Over 100 Beers During Bear Rager."

Given our fondness for stories about pick-a-nicking bears, we couldn't resist that Gawker headline.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Consumer Bureau Moves To Make Mortgages Clearer, Foreclosures Fewer

A "bank owned" sign in front of a home in Miami last October.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Saying it wants "to protect homeowners from surprises and costly mistakes by their mortgage servicers," the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today proposed new rules it believes would make the home loan process simpler and give struggling homeowners more of a chance to avoid foreclosures.

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