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
6:27 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Top Stories: Boston Bombing; Syrian Crisis

The Two-Way
6:04 am
Mon May 6, 2013

UPDATE: White House Doubts Syrian Rebels Used Sarin

Carla del Ponte, a diplomat and prosecutor who now serves on the Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Syria.
Salvatore Di Nolfi EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 12:07 pm

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET: White House Is "Highly Skeptical":

At the White House this afternoon, spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. is "highly skeptical" of the comments made over the weekend by international prosecutor Carla del Ponte, who said there are "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof" that rebels in Syria have used sarin gas.

We've been covering del Ponte's comments, and the reaction to them, through the day. Scroll down to see an earlier update and our original post.

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The Two-Way
5:16 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Boston-Area Cemeteries Say No To Burying Bombing Suspect

Tamerlan Tsarnaev in April 2009.
Barcroft Media Barcroft Media /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:47 am

  • From the NPR Newcast: WBUR's Deborah Becker reports (with introduction from Jean Cochran)

Officials in Cambridge, Mass., have urged the family of deceased Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev not to ask that he be buried in a city-owned cemetery. Meanwhile, at least four private cemeteries in the area have already turned down such a request.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Witherspoon's Punishment: $100 Fine & A Viral Arrest Video

Actress Reese Witherspoon in a photo provided by the City of Atlanta Department of Corrections after her arrest.
AP

Actress Reese Witherspoon on Friday "pleaded no contest and paid a $100 fine [for] berating a state trooper in Atlanta while her husband was given a sobriety test," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri May 3, 2013

165,000 Jobs Added In April, Jobless Rate Fell To 7.5 Percent

Waiting for work: Job seekers lined up last month at the 25th Annual CUNY big Apple Job and Internship Fair in Manhattan.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 8:05 am

(Most recent update: 10 a.m. ET.)

The nation's jobless rate edged down to 7.5 percent in April from 7.6 percent in March and employers added 165,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Cocaine, Heroin May Have Played Role In Chris Kelly's Death

Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly during a performance on Feb. 23 in Atlanta.
Paras Griffin Landov

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:56 am

"Former Kris Kross rapper Chris Kelly had taken a mixture of cocaine and heroin the night before his death and had a history of drug abuse, according to a police report released Thursday," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The newspaper adds that:

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Reports: American Refueling Plane Crashes In Kyrgyzstan

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:55 am

An American military refueling plane crashed Friday in Kyrgyzstan, according to that nation's emergencies ministry.

The Associated Press says "there was no immediate word on any casualties."

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Plodding Along Or Picking Up Speed? News On Job Growth Due

Looking for work: The scene at a job fair in New York City earlier this year. Figures on job growth and unemployment in April are due Friday morning.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:53 am

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET. Better Than Expected:

165,000 Jobs Added In April, Jobless Rate Fell To 7.5 Percent

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Thu May 2, 2013

'Warren Is In The House,' Buffett Says As He Joins Twitter

Twitter.com/WarrenBuffett

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 11:33 am

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor known as the "oracle of Omaha" and renowned for making lots of money for both himself and his Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, joined Twitter on Thursday.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Charges Possible In Death Of Ky. 2-Year-Old Shot By Brother

The home in Kentucky's Cumberland County where a 2-year-old girl was shot by her 5-year-old brother with a gun he'd been given as a gift. Investigators say the shooting Tuesday was accidental, but there is a chance some charges might be filed.
Dylan Lovan AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 10:23 am

The heartbreaking death of a 2-year-old Kentucky girl who was shot and killed Tuesday by her 5-year-old brother with a rifle he had been given as a gift might lead to criminal charges.

The Lexington Herald-Leader writes that "Kentucky State Police said Wednesday it is too early to say whether charges will be filed in the case of a 5-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister."

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Obama Picks Major Fundraiser To Be Next Commerce Secretary

Penny Pritzker, who is being nominated to be the next secretary of commerce, in February.
Nancy Stone MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 9:29 am

Penny Pritzker, one of the nation's richest people and a "longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser," as The Chicago Tribune writes, is President Obama's choice to be his next secretary of commerce.

The president announced the news this hour at the White House. He also said that one of his economic advisers, Michael Froman, is his choice to be the next U.S. trade representative.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Boston Bombings: A Guide To Who's Who

A makeshift memorial in Copley Square, near the site of one of the Boston Marathon bombings, on April 24.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:30 am

As the investigation continues into the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon and the crimes that followed, more names are being added to the story. Here's a guide that we'll keep updating, with links to relevant posts or stories. As always, if new information comes in that changes what is being said about anyone, we will pass that along:

THE VICTIMS

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Drop Again, Stay Near 5-Year Low

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 7:33 am

There were 324,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 18,000 from the previous week's 342,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Claims continue to run around the lowest pace since early 2008 — they haven't been lower since a week in mid-January 2008 when they came in at 321,000.

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Rapper Chris Kelly, Half Of Duo Kris Kross, Dies

Chris Kelly, left, and Chris Smith in 1992's "Jump" video, which was a hit for their rap duo Kris Kross.
KrisKrossVEVO

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:11 am

  • LISTEN: A clip from "Jump"

Update at 8:10 a.m. ET, May 3. A New Post:

Cocaine & Heroin May Have Played Role In Chris Kelly's Death

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Boston Police: Three More Individuals In Custody

Items FBI agents say were inside a backpack recovered from a landfill in New Bedford. Investigators say the backpack was thrown in the trash by friends of Tsarnaev.
FBI

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:53 pm

(Most recent update: 4:36 p.m. ET.)

Three 19-year-old men — two of them University of Massachusetts Dartmouth college students from Kazakhstan who were friends with Boston bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — were taken into custody Wednesday by authorities in Boston. The third individual, an American citizen, was also a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Tsarnaev was enrolled.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Judge Doubles Down On Double Entendres In Strip Club Case

The judge's name for the case says quite a bit about his opinion.
WOAI.com

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 4:27 pm

In what Huffington Post Business calls "one of the funniest, most eloquent court documents we've ever seen," a federal judge in Texas has loaded up his ruling on a case involving San Antonio strip clubs with at least 17 double entendres.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Wed May 1, 2013

So, A Tiger Walks Into A Zoo ...

Stephen Jaffe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 8:03 am

This is no joke:

A wild male tiger, which seems to be in search of some female companionship, has been lured into eastern India's Nandankanan Zoological Park after several frightening nights for those in nearby villages.

According to the Deccan Herald:

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Slow Growth In April: Survey Shows 119,000 Jobs Added

In Denver last month, a recruiter (right) talked with a job seeker at a health care career fair. There was job growth in April, according to a new survey, but the pace was modest.
Rick Wilking Reuters /Landov

A relatively weak 119,000 jobs were added to private employers' payrolls last month as federal spending cuts and tax increases began to bite, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Boston Bombing: No Death Penalty If Suspect Cooperates?

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in an undated photo released by the FBI.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:51 am

Following up on word there have been discussions between lawyers for Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and federal investigators about sparing him from the possibility of the death penalty if he provides valuable information about the attacks, NPR counterterrorism correspondent

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The Two-Way
4:52 am
Wed May 1, 2013

U.S. Said To Be Leaning Toward Arming Syrian Rebels

Opposition fighters from the Free Syrian Army last month in Aleppo, Syria.
Maysun EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:46 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Kelly McEvers on the U.S. options regarding Syria

As the U.S. considers a "spectrum of military options" it could take to assist the groups battling against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Obama administration is leaning toward giving lethal arms to some of those rebels, a senior administration official has told NPR's Kelly McEvers.

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The Two-Way
11:54 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Hic, Hic, Hic: TV Weatherman Keeps Going Despite Hiccups

KHOU-TV's David Paul, hiccuping his way through his forecast Monday night.
KHOU.com

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:12 pm

We admire KHOU-TV meteorologist David Paul's good-natured determination.

Check how he handled it when a case of the hiccups hit during his time on the air Monday evening.

And in the comments thread, please share any stories of a time when hiccups hit. Also: your surefire cure.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Tue April 30, 2013

In Japan: Running Out Of Places To Put Radioactive Water

As they inspected an underground storage pool near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant earlier this month, Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose (4th from left) and other officials wore protective suits and masks. Radioactive water stored in some of the pits has leaked.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Reuters /Landov

Adding to reporting from NPR, The Associated Press and other news outlets, The New York Times writes Tuesday that:

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Home Prices Continue To Rise Across The Nation

A home that was for sale earlier this month in Washington, D.C.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:10 am

There were solid increases in home prices during the month of February across all 20 major cities where that data is tracked, according to the latest S&am

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama: Rumors Of My Demise Are Exaggerated

President Obama during his news conference Tuesday at the White House.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:02 pm

  • President Obama's April 30, 2013, news conference

(We updated the top of this post with a recap at 11:45 a.m. ET.)

Joking that a reporter's question Tuesday about whether he has "any juice" left to get things done in Washington made it sound like "I should just pack up and go home," President Obama paraphrased Mark Twain:

"Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated," the president said, as he predicted that an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws will be among the things that get accomplished in his second term.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Orange Is Everywhere As Dutch Welcome New King

New Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and their daughters wave to the crowd Tuesday from the balcony of the royal palace in Amsterdam.
Patrick Van Katwijk DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:12 am

The signing ceremony looked rather simple, but the celebrations seemed joyous Tuesday in Amsterdam as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands handed over the crown to her son Willem-Alexander.

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Dozen People Said To Be Under Investigation In Boston Probe

This image from a surveillance video helped investigators identify Tamerlan Tsarnaev (in black cap) and his brother, Dzhokhar (in white cap), as the main suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:38 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Dina Temple-Raston reports

The investigation into the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon is widening, with authorities looking at about a dozen people to see whether they might have helped the two main suspects either before or after the attack, law enforcement officials familiar with the probe tell NPR's Dina Temple-Raston.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Mon April 29, 2013

NBA's Jason Collins Is First Active Player To Come Out As Gay

Jason Collins (left), then of the Washington Wizards, during a game this month against the Chicago Bulls.
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 8:39 pm

"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport," National Basketball Association center Jason Collins writes in a Sports Illustrated essay posted Monday, "but since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation."

With that, the 34-year-old veteran of 12 NBA seasons and six pro teams becomes the first active player in the four major American team sports to come out.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Crazy Photo: Reporter Snaps Pic As Baseball Nearly Beans Her

That's a baseball zooming in behind Kelly Nash's head. The image is from Nash's Instagram account, with her permission.
@KNashSports

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 10:40 am

When Fox Sun Sports reporter Kelly Nash was at Fenway Park in Boston on Saturday to cover the Houston Astros' game with the Red Sox, she decided to take a few "selfie" photos while atop the famous Green Monster in left field.

Below, batting practice was underway. So some balls were flying in her direction. Nash turned her back to the field, held her smartphone up and started snapping.

And when she looked at one of the photos she'd just taken, Nash says, she discovered she'd come much closer to being beaned than she'd realized.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Mon April 29, 2013

At Holocaust Museum, Clinton And Wiesel Urge Young To Remember

In the Hall of Remembrance at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, visitors can light candles in memory of the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 9:59 am

"You are our witnesses because you will go beyond our lives," Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel told the world's young people Monday morning during an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's opening.

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