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
6:19 am
Wed November 21, 2012

In Congo, Rebels Take Key City

A M23 rebel in the streets of Goma.
Phil Moore AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:29 am

After some of the worst fighting in recent years in a country where war is all-too common, rebel forces have taken control of the "strategic eastern city of Goma" in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Wed November 21, 2012

No Peace: Bomb Rips Apart Bus In Tel Aviv; Israel Continues Strikes On Gaza

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the "hold fire" agreement in Cairo.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 7:58 am

After a week of bloodshed, Israel and fighters in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip agreed to "hold fire" beginning at 2 p.m. ET today, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced at a joint news conference this afternoon with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Egypt had been trying to broker a truce to end the exchange of rockets and air strikes between Israel and militants in Gaza.

We'll post more on the agreement, which was announced at 12:35 p.m. ET., as the story develops.

Update at 5:55 p.m. ET. 'A Tenuous Nature':

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Time Again To Talk Turkey, And Why Frying Can Be Fatal

Don't try this at home: A fryer that was put in a garage and into which a still-frozen bird was placed. Those are two common mistakes.
State Farm

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 6:22 am

We want everyone to be back with us after the Thanksgiving holiday, so it feels like we should revisit the dangers of turkey frying.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Tue November 20, 2012

VIDEO: Clown, Cop Trade Punches

It could be hard to run from police in these.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 1:03 pm

We need a break from the day's incredibly serious news. Maybe you do too. If so, check the story from Milwaukee about a guy in a clown suit who was running in and out of traffic — and the fistfight/wrestling match he got into with a police officer.

It was all recorded by a guy with a camera phone. Reportedly, no one was hurt. The clown is said to be a local activist of some sort.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Elmo Puppeteer Resigns; Calls Sex Allegations A 'Distraction'

Puppeteer Kevin Clash and Elmo.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 10:22 am

Kevin Clash, the voice and puppeteer who for 28 years has made Sesame Street's Elmo come alive for kids, has resigned because "the controversy surrounding [his] personal life has become a distraction," Sesame Workshop said this morning.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Former Sen. Warren Rudman Dies

Former Sen. Warren Rudman, R-N.H., in 2002.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 8:23 am

Former New Hampshire Sen. Warren Rudman has died. His name will always be linked to a 1980s-era effort to tame the federal budget deficit and to a pre-Sept. 11 warning about the nation's security. And he will be remembered as a "moderate" Republican who could work across party lines.

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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Charges Filed Against Murdoch Editors Accused Of Paying Officials For Information

Rebekah Brooks, who rose to the top spot at Rupert Murdoch's News International.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 9:45 am

British officials today filed more charges against former top editors at some of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers in the U.K., this time for allegedly paying nearly $160,000 to a ministry of defense official to get information.

That information allegedly included the "Green Book" that lists phone numbers and other contact details for members of Britain's royal family.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, those charged are:

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Tue November 20, 2012

HP Takes $8.8 Billion Hit From 'Misrepresentations' By Company It Bought

At Hewlett-Packard headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 10:23 am

Saying it was a victim of "serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations" by a British software company it acquired last year, tech titan Hewlett-Packard just announced it erased $8.8 billion from its books last quarter to properly account for the acquisition.

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Britain Recognizes Syrian Opposition

Rubble litters the street in the main souk or market area of Maraat al-Numan, Syria.
John Cantlie AFP/Getty Images

Calling it the "sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said today that the U.K. is officially recognizing the Syrian National Coalition, Reuters reports.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Christian Girl Accused Of Blasphemy Cleared By Pakistani Court

Rimsha Masih (left) was flown by military helicopter to a safe location after her release on bail in September. Now, she's been cleared of a blasphemy charge.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 10:34 am

Rimsha Masih, the young Christian Pakistani girl whose arrest earlier this year drew international attention, has been cleared of the blasphemy charge against her.

According to NPR's Jackie Northam, who is in Islamabad, Pakistan's High Court today threw out the charge against Rimsha because there was no hard evidence that she ever burned pages of the Quran, as neighbors had charged.

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The Two-Way
5:34 am
Tue November 20, 2012

With Clinton In The Region, Israel, Hamas Continue To Trade Fire

Palestinians react after they checked the body of their family member killed in an Israeli air strike, at Al-Adwan Hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday.
Chen Xu Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 7:53 am

(We rewrote the top of this post at 6:55 p.m. ET to sum up the day's news.)

Diplomatic efforts accelerated and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in the region on Tuesday, but despite the buildup, despite the rumors of imminent peace, there was no cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

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The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Maybe Twinkies Do Last Forever: Union, Hostess Headed To Mediation

The big name in the Hostess lineup.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 6:43 am

"Twinkies Saved! Hostess, Bakers Union Agree to Mediation, Avoiding Shutdown."

That's the "alert" this hour at CNBC.com.

Reuters has issued this "bulletin":

"US BANKRUPTCY JUDGE SAYS PARTIES AGREE TO MEDIATION ON TUESDAY IN HOSTESS CASE."

And according to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Mon November 19, 2012

27 Animals In 'Hobbit' Movie Died At Farm Where They Were Housed

A promotion for J.R.R. Tolkien's classic, which is now being made into a movie trilogy, at the Frankfurt Book Fair last month.
Arne Dedert EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 11:33 am

Just days before the movie's premiere, there's word that during the filming of director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as many as 27 animals used in its production died at the farm in New Zealand where they were housed.

Animal wranglers tell The Associated Press that there were "bluffs, sinkholes and other 'death traps' " at the farm. Three horses died, along with "six goats, six sheep and a dozen chickens."

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Will San Francisco Tell Its Nudists To Cover Up?

Woody Miller, a "naturist," was among the men out on Market Street in San Francisco this day.
Kimhiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 10:30 am

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener (yes, that's his name) says last year's law ordering those who bare everything in public to put a towel between their bottoms and public benches or restaurant seats hasn't stopped the complaints he gets about men who prefer to go without (clothes, that is) in the city's Castro District.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Good Signs: Home Sales Are Up; Builders' Confidence Is Also Higher

This home sold last month in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 12:39 pm

Two positive economic indicators:

-- "Sales of existing homes increased in October, even with some regional impact from Hurricane Sandy, while home prices continued to rise due to lower levels of inventory supply," the National Association of Realtors reports.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Outrage In India Over Woman's Arrest For Facebook Post

Bal Thackeray's funeral cortege made its way through a sea of supporters in Mumbai on Sunday.
Indranil Mukherjee AFP/Getty Images

There was no violence, as had been feared, when hundreds of thousands of people gathered Sunday in Mumbai, India, to express their grief over the death of Bal Thackeray, "a Hindu extremist leader linked to waves of mob violence against Muslims and migrant workers in India."

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Top Stories: Israel, Hamas Trade More Fire; Obama Visits Cambodia

In New York City's Rockaway neighborhood, a sign asking for help in the clean-up.
Spencer Platt Getty Images
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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Mon November 19, 2012

U.S. Policy Is To Say 'Burma'; Obama Also Uses 'Myanmar'

President Obama and President Thein Sein of Myanmar (also known as Burma) earlier today in Yangon.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 10:31 am

  • NPR's Scott Horsley, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

We've noted before that whether you call the Southeast Asian nation Burma or Myanmar has mattered to many for many years.

It's official U.S. policy, out of support for the opposition that has pressed for democratic reform in that country, to call it Burma. That's the name the nation was known by before a military regime took power in 1989 and started using Myanmar.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Pressure For Truce Grows, But Israel And Hamas Continue Firing

A man covers his face as he passes smoke and fire after Israeli air strikes in Gaza City earlier today.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 7:48 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn reports from Gaza City
  • On 'Morning Editon': Sheera Frankel reports about 'Iron Dome'

(We rewrote the top of this post at 7:45 p.m. ET to sum up the day's news.)

The sixth day of Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip saw Israel striking a media center and other Palestinian targets, raising the Palestinian death toll to more than 100. Palestinian militants fired 95 rockets at Israel; a third of them were intercepted by Iron Dome, the Israeli missile shield. Also Monday, a flurry of diplomacy that attempted to mediate a cease-fire between the two sides.

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The Two-Way
4:24 am
Sun November 18, 2012

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A ... Guy In A Giraffe Suit?

Armstrong Baillie, in costume.
YouTube

"Scotland Is Growing To Love The Good Giraffe's High Ideals:

"A Dundee man who carries out random acts of kindness while dressed as a giraffe admits the bizarre wheeze came to him during a trip to the toilet."

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Talks Get Started

Getting started: President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the start of today's meeting.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:13 am

President Obama and congressional leaders from both major parties met at the White House this morning for the first of what will likely be many negotiations aimed at averting a plunge over the so-called fiscal cliff.

We watched for news from the key players — who include House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio — and updated with highlights.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Fri November 16, 2012

East German Political Prisoners Made Some Of Its Products, IKEA Admits

Denis Charlet AFP/Getty Images

News outlets in German and Sweden have been reporting for the past year that some of the products made in past decades for Swedish furniture giant IKEA were produced by political prisoners in Cold War-era East Germany.

Today, IKEA conceded that the reports are true and that some of its "representatives" were aware of what was happening.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Fri November 16, 2012

No More Twinkies? Hostess Brands Is Shutting Down

Stock up now.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 7:53 am

Carrying through on its warning about what could happen, the management of Hostess Brands announced this morning that the company is going out of business and laying off its 18,500 employees.

At issue: According to Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn, "we simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike."

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Petraeus Supports White House On Post-Benghazi Accounts, Lawmakers Say

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:44 am

  • Dina Temple-Raston on 'Morning Edition'
(We added a new top to this post at 12:40 p.m. ET to round up the latest developments.)

The White House did not insert politics into the process of determining what could be said about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in the days immediately afterward, former CIA Director David Petraeus told Congress this morning, according to lawmakers who were inside closed briefings today.

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The Two-Way
5:29 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Both Sides 'Ready To Escalate' As Israel And Hamas Fire Away

Israeli tanks on the border with the Gaza Strip earlier today. Israeli officials have said they are prepared to mount a ground offensive.
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:26 am

  • NPR's Anthony Kuhn talks with Steve Inskeep

Even though there were talks of a ceasefire to coincide with the visit of the Egyptian prime minister to Gaza, today, the fighting has instead escalated.

Avital Leibovich, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces confirmed that for the first time, rockets fired from Gaza hit an area outside Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, who leads the West Bank, said that the "escalation is at its peak," both in Gaza and out of Gaza.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Al Gore: Most Americans Still Agree Climate Change Is Getting Worse

Former Vice President Al Gore.
Jon Kalish NPR

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 5:04 pm

Climate change and the environment were not major topics of the presidential campaign. And on Wednesday, President Obama said that while he believes more needs to be done to address what's happening, he won't "ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change."

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Thu November 15, 2012

BP's $4 Billion Criminal Penalty: Who Gets The Money?

July 2010: Two pelicans sit on booms protecting Queen Bess Island, La., from oil that spilled after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 12:37 pm

(We updated this post with more details at 2:25 p.m. ET. Scroll down to see them.)

Now that BP has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $4 billion in criminal penalties for misconducted related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill, there's a logical question:

Where does the money go?

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Update: United Airlines Says It's Back In Operation

United Airlines jets in San Francisco earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Update at 11:05 a.m. ET: "Our system is up. We're resuming operations for affected flights," United Airlines says. There's no word yet on how long it will take to get everyone where they need to go.

Our original post:

If you're headed to the airport and planning to fly on United today, be aware:

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Thu November 15, 2012

What Are They Smoking In Seattle? Check Out Police Dept.'s Guide To Pot Use

A young cannabis plant at grows at The Joint Cooperative in Seattle, Washington Jan. 27.
Cliff DesPeaux Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:11 am

We love when police departments put some personality and pizzazz into their public statements.

So the Seattle Police Department's blog post headlined "Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle," definitely got our attention.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Superstorm Sandy Sends Jobless Claims Up Sharply

The line was long last week at a job fair in Chicago.
Scott Olson Getty Images

There were 439,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 78,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. Behind the big increase: Superstorm Sandy, which threw some people in the Mid-Atlantic onto the unemployment rolls and shut down state unemployment offices the week before — meaning that some claims were postponed into last week.

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