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
12:19 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Romney's 2011 Tax Return Shows He Paid At 14.1 Percent Rate, Campaign Says

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Mitt Romney and his wife Ann paid $1,935,708 in federal taxes last year on income of $13,696,951, an effective tax rate for the couple of 14.1 percent, the Republican presidential nominee's campaign just reported.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Please Tell Us Your Password Isn't 1-2-3-4

Try 1-2-3-4 and there's a fair chance you'll get in.
Kristian Dowling Getty Images
  • From 'All Things Considered': PINs That Aren't So Secure

Be honest, now.

Is 1-2-3-4 the password to some of your supposedly secure accounts?

If so, as Nick Berry of the analysis firm Data Genetics told All Things Considered's Robert Siegel, you're definitely not alone. When it comes to bank cards, he says, "the single most common password is 1-2-3-4 and over 10 percent of all cards use that particular number."

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Rep. Maxine Waters Cleared By House Ethics Committee

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and her husband Sidney Williams at the Capitol Hill hearing today where it was announced that she's been cleared.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

After an investigation that lasted two years, the House Ethics Committee has cleared Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of charges that she tried to influence regulators when a bank that her husband owns stock in went looking for a federal bailout in 2008.

Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, acting chairman of the ethics panel, announced the decision this morning.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Another iPhone, Another Day Of Long Lines And Big Hype

In Tokyo today, a customer on line for the iPhone 5 was wearing a Steve Jobs mask.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 8:51 am

It's a "now familiar global ritual," as The Associated Press says: Apple fans are lining up today at stores "from Sydney to Paris to pick up the tech juggernaut's latest iPhone."

That would be the iPhone 5, which the company unveiled earlier this month.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Here's Where And When To See Space Shuttle Endeavour Today In California

Endeavour passed by the Golden Gate Bridge today.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 3:28 pm

The last leg of space shuttle Endeavour's flight to its retirement home in Los Angeles began at 8 a.m. Pacific time today, NASA says.

And the space agency has put together a timetable for Endeavour's flybys that will give folks from San Francisco to Southern California a chance to see the shuttle aboard the jumbo jet that's carrying it to L.A.

Update at 4:25 p.m. ET. Touchdown:

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Fri September 21, 2012

As Last Surge Troops Leave, Some Afghans Take Up Arms Against Taliban

January 2011: Boys in the Andar district of Afghanistan gathered to collect candy from passing U.S. Army soldiers. Now, there are reports from that area of locals rising up against the Taliban.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta notes that the last of the 33,000 so-called surge troops who were added to the U.S. force in Afghanistan last year have now left the country, there's this interesting news:

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Fri September 21, 2012

More Protests In Muslim Nations; Some Violence

In Islamabad today, this demonstrator threw a tear gas canister back toward police.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:45 am

(Check below for updates.)

Tens of thousands of people are protesting in all of Pakistan's major cities today, NPR's Jackie Northam reports from Islamabad, as those who oppose U.S. policy in the region continue to use outrage over an anti-Islam video to whip up anti-American sentiment.

There are also reports of new protests in other Muslim nations, including Bangladesh and Malaysia.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Leader Of Amish Sect, 15 Others Found Guilty Of Hate Crimes In Beard Cuttings

Samuel Mullet outside his home in Bergholz, Ohio, in 2011.
Amy Sancetta AP

Fifteen members of an Amish breakaway group in Ohio "have been found guilty of hate crimes by carrying out beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in a dispute over religious differences," The Associated Press reports.

According to the wire service, a jury today "also found the sect's leader, 66-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr., "guilty of planning the attacks last fall in eastern Ohio. ... They all face prison terms of 10 years or more."

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Thu September 20, 2012

No Criminal Charges For 'Pepper Spray Cop' Or Other Officers

Nov. 18, 2011: Occupy protesters get sprayed at University of California Davis.
YouTube

This may be one of the last developments in the story of the "pepper spray cop" and what happened last November when University of California Davis Police Lt. John Pike infamously blasted some Occupy protesters who were blocking a campus road with some tear-inducing gas:

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Actress: Anti-Islam Filmmaker Lied And Made Me Look Like A 'Religious Bigot'

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a.k.a. Sam Bacile, made her look like a religious bigot by "having hateful words put in her mouth" when he dubbed a new soundtrack into the anti-Islam video Innocence of Muslims that has sparked violence and protests around the Muslim world, one of the actresses in the video charges.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Colorado's 'Deeply Spiritual' Chimney Rock To Be A National Monument

Chimney Rock, in southwestern Colorado.
National Trust for Historic Preservation Sen. Michael Bennet's Flickr photostream

Southwestern Colorado's 4,700-acre Chimney Rock Archaeological Area will on Friday be designated a national monument, according to Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

The designation, which President Obama will approve and that has bipartisan support, will help preserve the site.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Woman Who Ruined Fresco Of Jesus Now Wants To Be Paid

Three images: How the fresco should look (left); how it looked before the "restoration" (center); and what it looked like after Cecilia Gimenez was done.
Centre de Estudios Borjanos AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 8:44 am

Cecilia Giménez, the Spanish woman who really messed up when she tried to restore a 19th-century fresco of Jesus, now wants a piece of the action from the 2,000 or so euros ($2,600) her church has collected from tourists coming to see the ruined artwork.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Jobless Claims Changed Little Last Week

There were 382,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, down by just 3,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Meanwhile, "the 4-week moving average was 377,750, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average of 375,750." That figure offers a slightly better look at the trend.

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The Two-Way
5:18 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Pakistani Students Burst Barricades In Latest Protest Linked To Anti-Islam Video

One scene from the site of today's protest in Islamabad, where men identified as students got through police barricades and into the diplomatic enclave.
Sajid Mehmood NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:19 am

More than 500 people presumed to be university students today broke through police barricades and got into Islamabad's diplomatic enclave as they protested against the anti-Islam video that has sparked sometimes deadly demonstrations in many Muslim nations, NPR's Jackie Northam reports from the Pakistani capital.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Chick-fil-A Welcome In Chicago, Alderman Says, After Renewed Pledge Of Respect

A Chick-fil-A in Fort Worth, Texas, on "appreciation day" last month.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 1:23 pm

Chicago Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno, who led the opposition in his city to the opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant there because of company President Dan Cathy's outspoken stand against same-sex marriage, now says he won't stand in the fast-food chain's way.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Zombies In The News: Living Dead To Help Liven Up A Counterterrorism Summit

Need to lighten up your day? Invite some of these folks. (A "zombie walk" in Stockholm on Aug. 25.)
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

There's no rest for the undead, it seems.

Zombies have been used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help spread tips about preparing for natural disasters. They've been "studied" by Canadian researchers trying to figure out the best way to respond to new, highly infectious diseases.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Housing Starts Rose Again In August, Pace Remains Well Above Previous Years

Construction that was underway this summer in San Mateo, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:30 am

(This post was updated at 10:05 a.m. ET.)

In the morning's second sign of strength in the housing sector, the National Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes rose 7.8 percent in August from July and were 9.3 percent above the pace of August 2011.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Wed September 19, 2012

18 Innings Are A Lot, But Orioles-Mariners Game Is No Record-Breaker

Fans were few and far-between (and possibly not awake) as the Orioles-Mariners game went on and on in Seattle.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 7:57 am

Hearing about the 18-inning, 5 hours and 44 minutes-long game between the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners that stretched from last night into today set us off in search of news about Major League Baseball's longest games.

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour Is On Its Way To California

Space shuttle Endeavour, attached to a 747, on the tarmac at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Bill Ingalls/NASA UPI /Landov

Space shuttle Endeavour has taken off on its farewell tour across the country.

The third of the retired fleet of four to head off to a retirement home, Endeavour is being ferried from Florida to Los Angeles — with a stop on the way in Houston. It is perched atop a 747.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Wed September 19, 2012

France On Alert, Closing Embassies, After Magazine Publishes Muhammad Cartoons

At the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo earlier today, publisher/editor Stephane Charbonnier ("Charb") struck a defiant pose.
Fred DuFour AFP/Getty Images

A French magazine's publication today of "crude caricatures" depicting the Prophet Muhammad has that nation on alert and preparing to close 20 of its embassies in Muslim nations.

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Our Mistake: We Missed The Ball On Reporting Baseball's 500,000th Error

Jose Reyes of the Miami Marlins.
Jason Arnold Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 10:53 am

This blogger makes mistakes, as sharp-eyed Two-Way readers who can spell and punctuate know all too well.

So errors are something familiar.

Which brings up this milestone: Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes on Saturday committed what is thought to have been the 500,000th error in Major League history (since 1876, that is).

But did he?

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Tue September 18, 2012

To Celebrate A New Cub, Listen Again To NPR's Ode To The 'Panda Cam'

A composite of images from the panda cam, showing Mei Xiang during and after giving birth.
National Zoo Xinhua/Landov

The birth this week of a giant panda cub at Washington's National Zoo brings back fond memories and generates new excitement for Morning Edition supervising senior editor Kitty Eisele.

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Tue September 18, 2012

French Magazine Ordered To Hand Over Photos Of Topless Kate, Not Republish Any

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, was visiting the Polynesian island of Tuvalu earlier today.
Tony Prcevich AFP/Getty Images

The French magazine Closer must hand over all digital files of photos containing snapshots of a topless Kate Middleton and refrain from republishing any of them or face fines of $13,000 a day.

According to France 24, a French court ruled today that:

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Romney's Wrong And Right About The '47 Percent'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talking to reporters Monday in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 11:12 am

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told supporters that "there are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what" because they are "dependent upon government ... believe that they are victims ... believe the government has a responsibility to care for them ... these are people who pay no income tax."

Who was he talking about?

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Palestinians Have 'No Interest ... In Establishing Peace,' Romney Says

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:30 am

The liberal news outlet Mother Jones has followed Monday's leaked video of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney saying that 47 percent of Americans will vote for President Obama because they are "dependent upon government" and "believe that they are victims," with another clip in which he says Palestinians have "no interest whatsoever

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Tue September 18, 2012

As Attacks Continue, NATO Scales Back Joint Operations In Afghanistan

A suicide bomber struck a convoy of buses today in Kabul, killing at least 12 people — mostly foreigners.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images
  • Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on 'Morning Edition'

NATO's announcement Monday that it is suspending some joint operations with Afghan forces could have a "huge impact" on coalition forces' work in Afghanistan, NPR's Soryaya Sarhaddi Nelson said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Family Of Man Behind Anti-Islam Video Flees Home

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:42 am

In the pre-dawn hours today the wife, two sons and daughter of the man most prominently linked to the anti-Islam video that has sparked violence in many Muslim cities fled their home in Cerritos, Calif.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Chicago's Mayor Emanuel Asks Court To Order Teachers Back To School

Striking Chicago public school teachers outside of George Westinghouse College Prep high school earlier today.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Following through on what he said he would do if the city's teachers didn't end their week-old strike and return to their classrooms, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has asked a judge to intervene.

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