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
11:47 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Down Goes Duke In Biggest Upset So Far

Duke forward Amile Jefferson, in white, and Mercer guard Langston Hall battle for the ball during Friday's game.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:53 pm

We updated this post with the first shock of the day at 2:35 p.m. ET:

It's one-and-done for the Duke Blue Devils as their men's basketball team was beaten Friday by the Mercer Bears, 78-71, in the Division I men's basketball championship.

Mercer, a No. 14 seed in the Midwest region, was a huge underdog to the No. 3 seed Duke.

The win for Mercer, which has its main campus in Macon, Ga., is by far the biggest upset of the tournament so far. Heading into play, Duke was No. 8 in The Associated Press rankings. Mercer wasn't even among the nation's top 75 teams.

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Fri March 21, 2014

In Hawaii, Sex With A Prostitute May Be Legal For Undercover Cops

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Undercover police in Honolulu say they need to be exempt from laws barring sex with prostitutes because sometimes they can't reveal their identities too soon.
Ronen Zilberman AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:36 pm

"Honolulu police officers have urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes during investigations," the Star Advertiser writes. The issue has come up as the state legislature considers a bill that sponsors say would strengthen several criminal statutes.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Split Decisions: Ukraine Signs Up With EU, Russia Wraps Up Crimea

As Russian soldiers walked one way in the distance, a departing Ukrainian soldier carried some of his belongings Friday at a military base in Perevalne, Crimea.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 9:57 am

There will be few days that better symbolize the crisis in Ukraine.

On Friday:

As Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was signing an agreement on closer relations with the European Union ...

... Russian President Vladimir Putin was signing the laws his country has put in place to take Crimea from Ukraine and make it part of the Russian Federation.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Nothing So Far In Search For Debris From Malaysian Jet

Searching from the air and on the sea: The view Friday from a Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion. The Norwegian car transport ship Hoegh St. Petersburg is below. They're part of the search in the southern Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Justin Benson-Cooper/pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 12:05 pm

We have woven some updates into this post.

Two weeks after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the first "credible lead" in the search for the Boeing 777 and the 239 people on board is still just that — a lead, not a discovery.

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Reds Pitcher Expected To Recover After Line Drive To Face

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman last month. Now, he's recovering from being hit in the face by a batted ball last night.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:28 pm

All-Star relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds is expected to make a full recovery and pitch again despite the injuries he suffered Wednesday night when he was hit square in the face by batted ball.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Top Stories: Search For Missing Jet Narrows; Westboro Baptist Founder Dies

Good afternoon.

Sorry for being late in our daily roundup. Here's what has been happening so far today:

-- Search For Missing Jet Focuses On Objects Seen Off Australia

-- Ukrainian Troops' Departure From Crimea Isn't A Simple Matter

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps Sr. Dies

July 2007: The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. prepares to protest outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:03 am

The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., whose tiny Westboro Baptist Church has protested outside the funerals of fallen soldiers and celebrities to spread its views about homosexuality and abortion, has died, according to news reports. He was 84.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Thu March 20, 2014

U.S. To Impose Sanctions On More Russian Officials

President Obama on the south lawn of the White House Thursday as he spoke about new sanctions on some Russian officials.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 8:23 pm

More senior Russian officials are being added to the list of those who the U.S. will seek to penalize for their nation's interference in Ukraine's affairs, President Obama announced Thursday morning.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Reprimand, $20K Fine, No Jail Time For General's Sexual Misconduct

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair as he arrived for his court-martial case Thursday at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C.
Chris Keane Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 5:45 pm

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair avoided jail time Thursday and instead "was reprimanded and fined a total of $20,000 for inappropriate relationships with three subordinates in a closely watched court case," The Associated Press reports from Fort Bragg, N.C.

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ukrainian Troops' Departure From Crimea Isn't A Simple Matter

A Russian flag flies behind him Thursday as a Ukrainian soldier leaves what was one of his military's bases outside Simferopol, on the Crimean Peninsula. Local "self-defense forces," followed by Russian troops, have seized many strategic locations.
Yuri Kochetkov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 5:36 pm

Ukraine's plans to withdraw its troops from Crimea, which as we reported were announced Wednesday, have apparently been complicated by the issue of whether they will be allowed to take their weapons and other equipment with them.

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The Two-Way
5:48 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Search For Missing Jet Focuses On Objects Seen Off Australia

This map adds in routes that investigators believe Malaysia Flight 370 might have taken.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 12:14 pm

This post is being updated.

Satellite images showing objects floating in the Indian Ocean have focused the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people who were on board to an area about 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Is Safe, FAA Team Concludes

At Tokyo International Airport last July, Boeing 787 Dreamliners flown by All Nippon Airways taxied across the tarmac.
Kimimasa Mayama EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 2:53 pm

A year-long review of the Boeing 787, which experienced problems such as fuel leaks and a battery fire, has concluded that the plane is safe.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported Wednesday that a review team believes the aircraft, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, "was soundly designed, met its intended safety level, and that the manufacturer and the FAA had effective processes in place to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after certification."

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The Two-Way
11:54 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Obama Picks Michigan State To Win Men's Basketball Title

The president is a big fan of the game and still likes to shoot hoops. But has he picked the winner?
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 12:07 pm

The nation's "first basketball fan" has Michigan State winning it all in this year's NCAA Division I men's basketball championship.

President Obama filled out his brackets for ESPN again this year. The sports network aired the president's pre-recorded appearance earlier today.

Why Michigan State?

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Air France Relatives Have Sad Bond With Malaysia Air Families

June 5, 2009: Relatives and friends pray for passengers of Air France Flight 447 at the Nossa Senhora do Carmo church in Rio de Janeiro. Those who lost loved ones in that flight are expressing their sympathy and concern for those waiting for word about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Sergio Moraes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 12:05 pm

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Toyota To Pay $1.2B To End Safety-Related Probe

Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 11:43 am

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Saying that "Toyota intentionally concealed information" and misled the public about the danger that some of its vehicles might suddenly accelerate, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder announced Wednesday that the automaker is being fined $1.2 billion for not being forthcoming after car owners started to complain in 2009.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Ukraine Says It's Preparing A Plan To Withdraw From Crimea

Armed men stood atop a chimney near Ukraine's naval headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Wednesday. They raised Russian flags after taking over much of the facility.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 7:25 pm

This post was last updated at 4:50 p.m.

A day after Russia claimed Crimea as its own, Ukraine's security chief said they were drawing up plans to withdraw troops and their families from the area.

The BBC reports Andriy Parubiy said during a press conference that Ukraine wanted to move the troops "quickly and efficiently" to mainland Ukraine and that they would also ask the United Nations to declare Crimea a demilitarized zone.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Missing Jet's Mysterious Turn May Have Been Plotted Early In Flight

The cockpit of a Boeing 777.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:29 am

Twelve days into the mystery of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people on board, more clues seem to raise only more questions.

The latest news about the investigation and search for the plane includes:

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Tue March 18, 2014

VIDEO: Flames Spread After Helicopter Crashes In Seattle

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:03 pm

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Here Are The 24 Heroic Stories Behind Today's Medals Of Honor

Vietnam veterans Melvin Morris (center), Jose Rodela (obscured) and Santiago J. Erevia (left) received the Medal of Honor from President Obama at the White House on Thursday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 7:50 am

This post was updated at 4:09 p.m. ET.

Old wrongs were righted Tuesday afternoon, as The Associated Press says, when President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to 24 Army veterans.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Tue March 18, 2014

More Theories But Still No Sign Of Missing Malaysian Jet

A Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency pilot scans the sea below for any sign of Flight 370.
Edgar Su Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 10:38 am

The search continues for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people on board. They disappeared on March 8 when the jet apparently turned west while over the Gulf of Thailand. It was on a flight that should have taken it from Kuala Lumpur north to Beijing.

Now, a search that stretches far to the south in the Indian Ocean to far to the north in Central Asia is underway. The area covers more than 3 million square miles.

Tuesday's headlines help highlight the latest developments:

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Tue March 18, 2014

West Is Ruled 'By The Gun,' Putin Says As He Annexes Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:21 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Ellen Barry, Moscow correspondent for 'The New York Times,' talks with NPR's Renee Montagne
We updated this post as Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke and other leaders reacted.

Wasting no time and showing no sign that he's concerned about Western objections or economic sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea on Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

GM Recalls 1.2 Million SUVs For Problem With Air Bags

The 2013 Buick Enclave.
GM AP

Already in the news for a recall involving 1.6 million small vehicles with faulty ignition switches, General Motors on Monday added 1.2 million SUVs and nearly 400,000 other vehicles to its list of models with problems that need fixing.

The new recalls, which GM has listed here:

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The Two-Way
11:02 am
Mon March 17, 2014

VIDEO: News Anchors Dive For Cover As Quake Shakes L.A.

KTLA-TV anchors Megan Henderson, left, and Chris Schauble as they emerged from beneath their desk once the earthquake was over.
KTLA

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 12:45 pm

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Paris Ends 'Odd Or Even' Limit On Cars After One Day

Police were checking cars throughout Paris on Monday, including near the Arc de Triomphe, as the city tried to cut air pollution by instituting odd-even driving restrictions.
Philippe Wojazer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 1:41 pm

Hoping to cut down on air pollution that in recent days has reached dangerous levels, city officials in Paris on Monday began trying to cut automobile emissions by enforcing an odd-even system of traffic rules.

For the most part, only cars with odd-numbered license plates could be on the rues et boulevards Monday (since it's the 17th of March). On Tuesday, the city's streets were to be open only to cars with even-numbered plates.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Last Words From Cockpit May Be Clue To Jet's Disappearance

Multi-lingual cards about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 line a wall at a mall in Kuala Lumpur.
Rahman Roslan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 9:51 am

We're updating this post as new information comes in.

There's still no sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 or the 239 people on board.

The plane went missing March 8, less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on what was supposed to be about a six-hour flight to Beijing.

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Russia Recognizes Independent Crimea; U.S. And EU 'Stand Firm' With Ukraine

A pile of the votes cast Sunday in Simferopol, Ukraine, the regional capital of Crimea.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 2:28 pm

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET.

Russia has officially recognized Crimea as a sovereign independent state, after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to that effect late Monday, according to a release from the Kremlin. The decree takes effect immediately, naming "the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status."

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Two Weeks After Waking Up In Body Bag, Man Dies

Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 2:56 pm

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