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
9:45 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Report: 'Pattern Of Harassment' Led Dolphins Player To Quit

Then-Miami Dolphins Richie Incognito (left) and Jonathan Martin before Martin's departure.
Bill Feig AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 12:41 pm

"Three starters on the Dolphins offensive line — Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey — engaged in a pattern of harassment directed at not only Jonathan Martin, but also another young Dolphins offensive lineman and an assistant trainer," according to a report released Friday.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Al Roker's Sorry For 1 Tweet, But Not For Blasting NYC Mayor

A little girl on her way to school Thursday in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides have come under fire for not closing the city's schools before a winter storm hit.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 9:22 am

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision not to close the city's schools Thursday has, as The New York Times says, become "another headache" for the Democratic chief executive.

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The Two-Way
5:26 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Worst Is Over, But More Snow's Coming

In Times Square on Friday morning, plows were clearing away the snowy mess.
Andrew Kelly Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 8:16 am

Here's the good news: The weather's about to get better from the Mid-Atlantic up through New England.

"The big nor'easter which recently delivered heavy snow and ice to much of the southern and eastern states will bring heavy snow and coastal rain to New England before exiting the region by Friday afternoon," the National Weather Service says.

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The Two-Way
4:47 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Virginia's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Ruled Unconstitutional

Supporters of same-sex marriage and opponents were out when the challenge to Virginia's law was heard in a Norfolk federal court earlier this month.
Jay Paul Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 12:11 pm

"A federal judge has struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, ruling on Thursday that the amendment adopted by voters in 2006 is unconstitutional," WAMU's Michael Pope writes this morning. He adds that:

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Thu February 13, 2014

VIDEOS: Rappin' And Rockin' School Closing Announcements

Durham Academy Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner (in foreground) and Assistant Head of School/Upper School Director Lee Hark channeled their inner Vanilla Ice to let students and parents know school is closed today.
DurhamAcademyComm

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 12:56 pm

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The Edge
10:27 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Russian Star Plushenko Withdraws From Men's Skating

Evgeni Plushenko of Russia withdrew from the Sochi Olympics on Thursday, reportedly because of a recurring problem with his back.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 12:38 pm

Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, a star who hoped to compete one more time before his adoring home nation fans, pulled himself from the games on Thursday.

There's word that he may be headed into retirement because of a recurring back problem.

USA Today describes what happened at Sochi's Iceberg Palace:

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Paula Deen Cooks Up $75 Million Deal With Investor

Paula Deen
Joshua Gunter The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 11:42 am

The answer to the question "can Paula Deen recover?" from the uproar over her past use of the "N-word" is apparently yes.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Thu February 13, 2014

How Bad Is It For Fliers Today? Latest 'Misery Map' Shows

Here's where the misery was this morning, according to FlightAware.com.
FlightAware.com

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 11:11 am

With more than 5,000 flights into or out of the nation canceled today and hundreds more delayed because of the snow and ice storm moving up the East Coast, it's time once again to point to FlightAware.com's "Misery Map."

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Rise, As Do Hopes For Better News In Spring

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 1:26 pm

There were 339,000 first-time claims filed last week for unemployment benefits, up 8,000 from the week before, according to the Employment and Training Administration.

So this week's takeaway would seem to be a lot like last week's and several before that.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Afghans Release 65 Prisoners The U.S. Deems Dangerous

Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard at the main gate of the Parwan Detention Facility Center on the outskirts of Bagram. Afghan authorities released 65 prisoners from there Thursday.
Massoud Hossaini AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 1:03 pm

Afghan authorities on Thursday went ahead and released 65 prisoners from a high-security prison north of Kabul over the strong objections of U.S. military commanders, who say the men are dangerous terrorists who have attacked civilians and soldiers in the past.

As the Los Angeles Times writes:

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The Two-Way
5:26 am
Thu February 13, 2014

WATCH: Cameras Capture Corvettes Being Sucked Into Sinkhole

A glimpse of what it's like in the sinkhole that opened up Wednesday under a wing of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.
National Corvette Museum

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 8:44 am

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The Two-Way
4:45 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Will Comcast Get Federal OK To Buy Time Warner?

Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 8:44 am

(We put a new top on this story at 9:25 a.m. ET and added an update at 10:15 a.m. ET.)

As NPR's David Folkenflik pointed out earlier today, Comcast's proposed $45 billion purchase of fellow cable company Time Warner will receive some scrutiny from federal officials. Here's some more about that part of the story:

Politico writes that:

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The Two-Way
4:03 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Winter Storm Shuts Northeast; South Still Reeling

Snow was piling up along Manhattan's Fifth Avenue early Thursday morning.
Carlo Allegri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 6:13 pm

(We're adding details to this post as the day continues.)

The forecasters said it would be "crippling," "mind-boggling" and historic.

Well, this time around we can't complain about them getting it wrong.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Justice Thomas: Americans More Race Conscious Now Than In '60s

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Michael Dwyer AP

This Yahoo News report is causing some conversation today:

"Americans today are too sensitive about race, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told a gathering of college students in Florida on Tuesday."

Yahoo's Chris Moody reports that at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a nondenominational Christian school in West Palm Beach, Fla., Thomas said:

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Let's Weather The Storm: Share '3 Things To Do When Stuck Inside'

Last week in Indianapolis, the Kehoe children — from left, Maria, Anthony and Veronica — played with shaving cream as their mother Joanne tried to keep them occupied when the weather outside was awful.
R. Brent Smith AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 11:46 am

As folks in the Deep South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast deal with yet another severe storm that's bringing rain, ice, sleet, snow or some combination of all those, let's see if we can help each other out.

So, please share in the comments thread or on NPR's Facebook page your "3 Things To Do When Stuck Inside."

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Thawing? Two Koreas Hold Highest-Level Talks Since 2007

In this handout image provided by the South Korean Unification Ministry, Kim Kyou-Hyun (right) the head of South Korea's high-level delegation, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Won Tong-Yon before their meeting Wednesday in Panmunjom, South Korea.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:09 am

Quickly organized talks held Wednesday between representatives from South and North Korea marked the highest-level such meeting between the two nations since 2007, South Korea's Yonhap news reports.

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Republican Faulconer Elected Mayor In San Diego

San Diego Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer celebrated with his family and supporters Tuesday night as votes were counted.
Lenny Ignelzi AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:35 am

Six months after Democratic Mayor Bob Filner left office in disgrace because more than a dozen women had stepped forward to accuse him of sexual harassment, San Diegans have chosen a Republican to take over.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Wed February 12, 2014

'Crippling' And 'Paralyzing': Southern Storm Is Wicked

Not a good day for a drive: A Georgia Department of Transportation sign warned motorists in Norcross Wednesday morning, and few were on the roads.
John Amis AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 5:24 pm

(Click here to jump to a quick look at the latest news about the storm.)

As a wicked storm of ice and snow spreads over parts of Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas and heads toward the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, the National Weather Service is again warning that it's getting ugly out there.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Tue February 11, 2014

'Mind-Boggling,' Historic Ice Storm Headed For Deep South

This car was navigating a snowy road early Tuesday in Fort Payne, Ala. The wicked winter weather there is spreading across the Deep South.
Hal Yeager AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:50 pm

This is not our language. It comes from the forecasters at the National Weather Service, who we have to hope do not say things such as this unless they really mean it:

"Mind-boggling if not historical" ice accumulations are expected Wednesday and Thursday across a wide swath of the Deep South that includes Atlanta, other parts of Georgia, Columbia, S.C., and up to Raleigh/Durham, N.C. The forecasters are warning of a half-inch to an inch of ice.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Tue February 11, 2014

No Change In Fed Policy, Yellen Signals

Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Since every word that the head of the Federal Reserve utters is closely watched by those in the financial markets, it's worth noting that in her first appearance before Congress since being confirmed Fed Chair Janet Yellen plans to say Tuesday that:

"I expect a great deal of continuity in the FOMC's approach to monetary policy."

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The Two-Way
4:59 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple Dies; Childhood Movie Star Became Diplomat

Shirley Temple when she was the nation's biggest movie star.
AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:55 am

  • 'Morning Edition' looks back at the life of Shirley Temple
  • A bit of 'On the Good Ship Lollipop'

Shirley Temple, who charmed the nation as a child movie star in the 1930s and went on to become one of the nation's diplomats in posts that included ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the Cold War, has died.

She was 85.

The Associated Press writes that publicist Cheryl Kagan says the actress, known as Shirley Temple Black in her private life, died late Monday evening at her home near San Francisco. Kagan tells the AP that Temple's family and caregivers were with her.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Militants In Iraq Blow Themselves Up At Bomb Training Camp

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:27 pm

An explosion Monday near Baghdad left about 20 people dead and another 15 or so wounded, according to news reports.

None of those killed, it appears, were innocent victims or Iraqi security personnel.

Instead, insurgents reportedly "set off their own car bomb at a training camp in an orchard," The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Mon February 10, 2014

U.S. Citizen May Be Targeted With Drone Strike: Reports

A U.S. drone in the sky over Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

"An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year," those officials tell The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Coming Out Complicates Player's Prospects, NFL Execs Say

Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam.
Rick Scuteri AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:55 pm

Michael Sam has been a star defensive end at the University of Missouri. He's been an All-American and The Associated Press SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

A senior, he's been among the players scouts have said are sure to be selected by an NFL team when the league holds its draft on May 8-9.

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Avoid Atlanta Until Storm Passes, Governor Tells Truckers

Jan. 29, 2014: Traffic is snarled along the I-285 perimeter north of Atlanta's metro area after an ice and snow storm passed through. Officials hope such a scene isn't repeated.
David Tulis AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 10:44 am

This time, Georgia officials seem determined to get way out ahead of the weather.

With the National Weather Service warning that another blast of rain, sleet, snow and possibly ice is headed for the Deep South later today, authorities are urging Atlantans to be off the roads by early evening.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

First Evacuees Leave Syrian City Of Homs

Two men, who were among about 80 civilians evacuated on Friday, look out from a bus in the Syrian city of Homs.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:04 pm

Three buses brought 83 people — most of them older men — out of the center of the besieged Syrian city of Homs on Friday, Los Angeles Times reporter Patrick McDonnell tells All Things Considered host Melissa Block.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Far Out Photo: Earth As 'Evening Star' Over Mars

From 99 million miles away on Mars, Earth is just a tiny dot in the evening sky.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:26 pm

Seeing a new photo taken by NASA's Curiosity rover of Earth in the night sky over Mars sent us through The Two-Way's back pages in search of other images of home taken from space.

Earth, the tiny bright spot above the Mars horizon, is so hard to see that it helps to also look at the version of the photo in which NASA has embedded a handy pointer. But perhaps Earth being just a tiny spot puts in perspective what it's like to be 99 million miles away.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Jury Awards Nearly $17 Million In Grain Bin Deaths

Grain Operator Austin Clubb surveys corn inside the Homestead Grain Facility at Amana Farms near Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:39 am

An Illinois jury has returned a record verdict of nearly $17 million in the deaths of two teenagers and the traumatic entrapment of a third worker in a grain bin in 2010, NPR's Howard Berkes reports.

The incident was featured in an investigative series by Howard and the Center for Public Integrity. There's also an interactive database about the series here.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Biden: 'No Obvious Reason' He Shouldn't Run For President

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:35 am

He's far behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a recent poll of Democrats, but Vice President Joe Biden tells CNN that "there's no obvious reason" why he shouldn't seek his party's 2016 presidential nomination.

The network reports that:

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The Two-Way
5:47 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Dogs Do Their Doodies And Salmon Swim Home Magnetically

A fish that knows the way to go: the Chinook salmon, which appears to use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate ocean waters and rivers.
Jeff T. Green Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:40 am

You might say we're attracted to this kind of story:

Last month, there was the news that Czech researchers believe that dogs prefer to align themselves along "the North-South axis under calm [magnetic field] conditions" when they're dropping those deposits that we owners have to pick up.

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