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
5:31 am
Thu November 15, 2012

In Israel And Gaza Strip: More Explosions, Deaths On Both Sides

An Israeli soldier lies on the ground as missiles are fired from an Iron Dome anti-missile station on Thursday near the city of Beer Sheva, Israel. The Iron Dome was activated to intercept incoming rockets launched from Gaza.
Ilia Yefimovich Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:21 am

  • Anthony Kuhn talks with Linda Wertheimer on 'Morning Editon'

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET. Firing Continues:

"Intensive fire" has continued through the day across the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip, correspondent Linda Gradstein, who is in Jerusalem, tells our Newscast Desk.

Hamas has now fired more than 130 rockets toward southern Israel and the Israeli military continues to fire at targets in Gaza. Palestinian officials report at least 13 deaths on their side of the border. The death toll in Israel remains at three.

White House spokesman Jay Carney today told reporters that:

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Live Blog: President Obama's News Conference

President Obama during his news conference at the White House today.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 7:44 pm

  • Listen to NPR Coverage of the News Conference

Eight days after his re-election — with the fiscal cliff looming, questions being raised about the deadly attack on the U.S.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Hamas Military Chief Killed By Israeli Airstrike, Reports Say

A car hit by one of today's airstrikes in Gaza City.
Ali Hassan Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:13 am

Update at 3 p.m. ET. At Least 10 Dead; Israel Issues More Warnings:

As we've been reporting, Israel hit targets in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip today with multiple airstrikes. The Associated Press says at least 10 people were killed. Among them was Ahmed Jabari, the commander of Hamas' military wing.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Reports: Pelosi Wants To Remain Democratic Leader In House

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 8:31 am

Update at 10:25 a.m. ET. Pelosi Confirms:

Saying that she wants to work on "empowering women .... growing the economy ... [and] a healthy political climate," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California just confirmed that she intends to remain as leader of the Democratic caucus in the House.

Pelosi, who was first elected to Congress in 1987, is the only woman to have served as speaker of the House (from 2007 to 2011).

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Should Petraeus Scandal Be A Big Topic At Obama's News Conference Today?

President Obama at the White House last week.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Eight days after his re-election, President Obama today holds his first full-scale news conference in the East Room of the White House since March.

It's safe to think that the White House had hoped the focus would be on subjects such as the fiscal cliff, taxes, the economy and the president's thoughts on what he can get accomplished in his second term.

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The Two-Way
5:47 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Panetta: Don't Leap To Conclusions About Gen. Allen

Then-Army Gen. David Petraeus (left) and Marine Corps Gen. John Allen in August, 2011.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 5:24 pm

  • Journalist Tom Ricks talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep on 'Morning Edition'

"No one should leap to any conclusions" about whether the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan did anything inappropriate when he was communicating with a Tampa socialite, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters today.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Prince Charles Doesn't Order Seven Eggs And Eat Just One, Palace Says

Prince Charles does like eggs, but he doesn't insist on being able to choose from among many, the palace says.
Michael Dunlea PA Photos /Landov

Weird headline, right? But in case you were wondering, Britain's royal website says:

-- Prince Charles has not asked that seven eggs be boiled for his breakfast, only to eat just the one that pleases him most. He's never done that "at breakfast or any other time."

-- His wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, "gave up smoking many years ago."

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Tue November 13, 2012

'Washington Post' Editor Steps Down; 'Boston Globe' Editor To Fill Job

Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

The Washington Post just announced that executive editor Marcus Brauchli is leaving that position to "become vice president of The Washington Post Company with responsibility for evaluating new media opportunities."

His successor has already been hired: Martin Baron, editor of the Boston Globe, will move to the Post on Jan. 2.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Cleveland's Convicted Idiot Finishes Punishment; Says She's Learned Lesson

On Wednesday, Shena Hardin  held her sign of shame higher — as the judge said she should.
Marvin Fong The Plain Dealer /Landov

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 8:50 am

Update at 9 a.m. ET, Nov. 14: "It's A Learning Lesson ... I'll Move Forward."

Shena Hardin, the Cleveland woman ordered to stand on a street corner with a sign saying she was in idiot for driving on a sidewalk to get past a stopped school bus, finished that two-day punishment this morning and issued a statement saying she's learned a lesson.

As Cleveland's 19ActionNews reports, Hardin:

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Second General Getting Snared In Petraeus Scandal Is 'Mind-Boggling'

Marine Gen. John Allen.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 2:36 pm

  • NPR's Tom Bowman and Carrie Johnson, on 'Morning Edition'

Update at 11:30 a.m. ET: The Associated Press just moved a "bulletin" saying that according to a "senior defense official" the emails between Gen. John Allen and Jill Kelley were "flirtatious."

Update at 4:33 p.m. ET: NPR's Tom Bowman reports that U.S. officials tell him Paula Broadwell sent Gen. Allen messages warning him about Kelley. Allen, in turn, warned Kelley about those messages.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Petraeus Affair Widens: Who's Who & What's What? Here's A Guide

Then-Gen. David Petraeus in mid-2011, just before he became CIA director.
Barbara Sax AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 11:31 am

Feb. 19, 2013: See our note below about Gen. John Allen.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Top Stories: Petraeus Affair Widens; More Air Strikes In Syria

A picture taken from the adjacent Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar shows people running in front of smoke after a Syrian aircraft bombed the strategic border town of Ras al-Ain earlier today.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Good morning.

Earlier, we posted a guide to "who's who and what's what" in the Petraeus affair.

As for other stories making headlines, they include:

-- "Residents Flee Air Strikes On Syria Border Town." (Reuters)

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Abbie Evans, Who Cried About 'Bronco Bamma,' Seems Happy With His Win

Abigael Evans, looking happier after the election.
Elizabeth Evans video on YouTube

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 4:45 am

All is well, it seems, with 4-year-old Abigael Evans of Fort Collins, Colo.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Voice Of Elmo On Leave To Confront 'Unsubstantiated' Allegations

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

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 3:46 pm

Update on Nov. 13 at 5:43 p.m. ET. The man who accused Kevin Clash of having sex with him while he was underage has recanted his testimony. We've added a separate blog with the details.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Israel Reports 'Direct Hits' On Source Of Mortar Fire From Syria

An Israeli armored vehicle at the entrance of Tel Hazeka Israeli army base in the Golan Heights on Sunday.
Jini Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:11 am

Some of the latest news on the conflict in Syria:

-- Israel Fires Back. "Israeli troops fired tank shells into Syria on Monday in retaliation for a mortar round that struck near an army post in the Golan Heights, scoring 'direct hits' on the source of the fire, the [Israeli] army said." (Al-Jazeera)

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Woman In Petraeus Affair Spoke About Having Access To Classified Information

Paula Broadwell in July 2011.
ISAF Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 8:05 am

Paula Broadwell, the woman whose extramarital affair with retired Gen. David Petraeus led to his resignation Friday from the post of CIA director, is a major in the Army Reserve who specializes in counterterrorism issues. She's also the author of All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, a biography of the former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Top Stories: Veterans Day; Indianapolis Search; Petraeus Affair Aftermath

Two weeks after Superstorm Sandy, clean-up continues in the heavily damaged Rockaway neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images
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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Mon November 12, 2012

In Indianapolis, Search For Answers Continues After Massive Explosion

Flames shot high in the sky Saturday at the scene of the explosion and fire in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis Fire Dept. EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 11:07 am

"As the investigation into the deadly explosion on the south side of Indianapolis on Saturday night continues, the city is hoping to answer questions for the nearly three dozen families who still haven't been allowed to return to their homes," WISH-TV reports.

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Petraeus Affair: Lawmakers Want To Know Why They Weren't Told

David Petraeus, while he was the top commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, and Paula Broadwell in July 2011. He resigned from his post as CIA director because of an extramarital affair they had.
ISAF Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 9:23 am

  • Tom Gjelten reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Phase II of this story has begun:

"Lawmakers Want Probe Of Petraeus Investigation," is The Washington Post's main headline this morning in its followup on Friday's stunning news about the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus.

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The Two-Way
4:54 am
Mon November 12, 2012

For Veterans Day: We Pause To Read 'In Flanders Fields'

Marine Corps Capt. Jeff Cliffe, sat to reflect Sunday next to the grave of his grandfather and grandmother at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Lexey Swall Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 1:16 pm

Good morning.

At Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday, President Obama expressed the nation's gratitude to its veterans.

"Whenever America has come under attack, you've risen to her defense," he said. "Whenever our freedoms have come under assault, you've responded with resolve. Time and again, at home and abroad, you and your families have sacrificed to protect that powerful promise that all of us hold so dear –- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Supreme Court To Weigh Constitutionality Of Voting Rights Act

Aug. 6, 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson presents one of the pens used to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to James Farmer, Director of the Congress of Racial Equality.
National Archives Getty Images

The Supreme Court has agreed to weigh the constitutionality of the decision by Congress in 2006 to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, the landmark Civil Rights legislation enacted in 1965 that let millions of African-Americans cast ballots for the first time in states that had long blocked them from voting booths.

According to Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSBlog:

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Lee MacPhail, Half Of Only Father-Son Duo In Baseball Hall Of Fame, Dies

Lee MacPhail in 1985.
Marty Lederhandler AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 1:37 pm

Former American League President Lee MacPhail, who as a baseball executive with the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles helped build World Series champions, has died. He was 95.

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Obama To Lay Down His Markers On Economy & Fiscal Cliff

Vice President Biden looks on as President Obama speaks at the White House.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:08 pm

The post-election negotiations over taxes, the economy and the so-called fiscal cliff moved into a new phase this afternoon when President Obama stepped up to a microphone at the White House to lay out his latest thoughts about what needs to be done.

In many ways, this words were echoes from the hard-fought campaign.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Fri November 9, 2012

What Clinched It For Obama? Two-Way Readers Have Many Answers

The Obamas and Bidens as they celebrated early Wednesday in Chicago.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

We asked why President Obama won re-election and you weren't shy about sharing your opinions.

Our unscientific question, which 14,125 people answered, produced these results:

-- 42 percent said Obama won because of the combination of a stronger economy, a better campaign, his likability, Superstorm Sandy and the debates.

-- The second most popular choice, with 18 percent, was just the stronger economy.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Fri November 9, 2012

No Federal Charges Against Syracuse Coach

Federal prosecutors say they will not bring charges against former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, who a year ago was accused of having sexually abused young boys.

According to The Post-Standard in Syracuse, "after nearly a year of police scouring more than 100,000 pages of seized documents and interviewing 130 witnesses, the investigation that attracted national media attention has ended, prosecutors said."

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Lt. Col Herbert Carter, One Of The Last Tuskegee Airmen, Dies

Tuskegee Airman Col. Herbert Carter, listens as Gov. Robert Bentley reads a proclamation honoring the fliers during a ceremony at the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala., on Jan. 20.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 6:31 am

Retired Lt. Col. Herbert Carter, who flew 77 missions in Europe during World War II with the famed Tuskegee Airmen, died Thursday at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Stan Ingold of Alabama Public Radio reports.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Fri November 9, 2012

'Drunk Nate Silver' Parody Wakes Up After Real Nate Silver's Big Score

@drunknatesilver

Being declared the election's second-biggest winner has meant lots of attention for FiveThirtyEight.com statistical wiz Nate Silver, who pretty much nailed the Obama-Romney race.

It's also put new life into the Twitter parody account "Drunk Nate Silver."

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Fri November 9, 2012

New York Starts Gas Rationing; New Jersey To Re-evalulate

One way to avoid the odd-even rationing rule is to line up with a gas can and no car, as these people were doing last week in Matawan, N.J.
Michael Loccisano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:16 pm

Nearly two weeks after Superstorm Sandy pummeled the region, problems getting gas to stations and power outages that have left many pumps inoperable continue to plague drivers in New York City, New Jersey and some points nearby.

So starting today, New York City and Long Island are joining New Jersey by enacting gas rationing rules.

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Fri November 9, 2012

VIDEO: Obama Tears Up As He Thanks Campaign Staff

President Obama tearing up a bit as he thanks campaign workers.
Obama campaign video

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 5:20 am

"No-drama Obama" got emotional as he thanked his campaign staff this week in Chicago, and a video released Thursday of him tearing up is going viral.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Pee-peegate: 3-Year-Old's Whiz Leads To $2,500 'Public Urination' Ticket

Dillan Warden, the little guy who had to go.
KCTV

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 12:21 pm

While we were busy paying attention to storms and presidential politics earlier this week, we missed a story from Oklahoma that may just (insert four-letter euphemism for urine here) you off.

It seems that when 3-year-old Dillan Warden of Piedmont, Okla., (no joke!) had to "go" on Sunday he did what many little guys will do:

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