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
7:31 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Neil Armstrong 'Doing Great' After Heart Surgery

Neil Armstrong last November at the U.S. Capitol, when he and the other astronauts from the Apollo 11 mission were awarded Congressional Gold Medals.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 9:06 am

There's word from the wife of first-man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong that he's "doing great" after cardiac bypass surgery on Tuesday, NBC News reports.

And that's good, tweets second-man-on-the-moon Buzz Aldrin, because he and Armstrong have "agreed to make it [to] the 50th Apollo Anniv in 2019."

Armstrong turned 82 on Sunday.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Jobless Claims Dipped Last Week; Still In Range They've Been In All Year

There were 361,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. That's down 6,000 from the week before (that previous week's total was revised up by 2,000).

Claims have stayed in a range between 350,000 and 400,000 all year. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, has also varied little: it's low this year has been 8.1 percent and the high has been 8.3 percent.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Even As Rains Ease, Disaster Grows In Philippines; 2.1 Million Affected

From a rooftop in a Manila suburb today, residents watched water flow through flooded streets.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

The numbers keep rising in the Philippines, where monsoons have overwhelmed Manila and other areas.

According to the country's disaster response agency

-- The number of people affected by the devastating rains, flooding and landslides has grown to 2.1 million, up from 1.2 million on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Assad Names New Prime Minister; Fighting Continues In Aleppo

As Syrian President Bashar Assad today chose a replacement for the prime minister who defected earlier this week, there were conflicting reports about just what's happening in the key northern city of Aleppo.

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Done In A Day: China Wraps Up Murder Trial Of Once-Prominent Politician's Wife

Gu Kailai during today's trial at the Hefei Intermediate People's Court. (Screen image from Chinese TV.)
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 7:10 am

  • Frank Langfitt on 'Morning Edition'

As we said two weeks ago, China's state-controlled media had already concluded that Gu Kailai was guilty of murder even before any sort of a trial.

Today in central China the wife of once-prominent politician Bo Xilai got her day in court.

Literally.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Sweet Story: Bear Breaks Into Candy Shop, Feasts; Camera Captures It All

The bear burglar.
Estes Park News

So, a bear walks into a candy shop.

No, we're not starting a bad joke.

Last week in Estes Park, Colo., a black bear with a sweet tooth took advantage of a candy shop's defective front door to walk in and out seven times over 20 minutes — each time taking some of the treats outside and then coming back in to enjoy more.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Wed August 8, 2012

How Hot Was It? July Was Warmest Month On Record For U.S.

Only one color was needed to show where July ranks in terms of hottest months on record.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 11:14 am

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Wed August 8, 2012

After Being Shot By Police, Sikh Temple Gunman Killed Himself, FBI Says

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:23 am

Wade Michael Page, the man authorities say killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Sunday, appears to have "died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," FBI Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson told reporters in Milwaukee this morning.

After a Oak Creek, Wis., police officer shot Page in the stomach, she said, video from the scene appears to show Page taking his own life.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Wisconsin Teen Looks To Repeat As Texting Champ, FAWC

A closeup from the 2007 competition.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:02 pm

Update at 5:11 p.m. ET. Back-ToBack:

For his second year in a row, teenager Austin Wierschke has earned the title of fastest texter in the United States.

"Weirschke of Wisconsin, won after eight rounds at the texting competition Wednesday in New York's Times Square," the AP reports. "He gets $50,000 in prize money."

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed August 8, 2012

For Sikhs, 'Anger Is Not Just Futile, It's A Sin'

Mourners gathered Tuesday night in Oak Creek, Wis.
Darren Hauck Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 9:06 am

  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Swaranjit Arora.

Sunday's attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, which left six people and the gunman dead, has for many of us opened a window on a religion, a culture and a people we know little about.

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Flooding In Philippines Forces 400,000 To Evacuate; 16 Deaths Reported

A man paddled an improvised raft along a flooded street in suburban Manila earlier today.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

The scope of the flooding in Manila and other parts of the Philippines due to torrential rains in recent days is daunting.

According to the country's disaster response agency:

-- 1.2 million people are in affected areas.

-- Nearly 400,000 have fled to evacuation centers or homes of friends or relatives.

-- At least 16 deaths have been attributed to flooding or landslides.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Situation In Sinai Is 'Extremely Dangerous' As Egypt Moves Against Militants

In Cairo on Tuesday, Egyptian Army military policemen carried the coffin of one of the 16 border guards killed during an attack on a crossing post in the northern Sinai on Sunday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 6:27 am

  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Leila Fadel on 'Morning Edition'

The news that Egypt's military has attacked groups of what it says are "Islamist militants" in the Sinai with missiles from aircraft and shells fired from tanks underscores how "extremely dangerous" the situation has quickly become along that nation's border with Israel, NPR's Leila Fadel said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Once Again, A Call To Remember The Victims; This Time In Wisconsin

In Brookfield, Wis., on Monday members of a Sikh community held a candle-light vigil for those who were killed and injured.
Mira Oberman AFP/Getty Images

After the July 20 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., there were calls to focus as much or more on the victims and their stories as on the gunman.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Tue August 7, 2012

British Bank Denies Laundering Iranian Money; Say It's Not A 'Rogue Institution'

  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Jim Zarroli on 'Morning Edition'

As its stock tumbled today following word that New York State regulators have labeled it a "rogue institution" that allegedly hid about 60,000 secret transactions involving $250 billion in Iranian funds, Britain's Standard Chartered Bank strongly denied the accusations.

It "rejects the position or portrayal of facts as set out in the order," the bank said.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Tue August 7, 2012

One Clue To Romney's Veep Pick: Whose Wiki Page Is Getting The Most Edits?

Wikipedia's entry for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. Is today's activity there a clue to Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick?
Wikipedia

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:46 am

Tech President reminds us that one way to possibly figure out who will be a vice presidential pick is to watch the various contenders' Wikipedia pages in the days before such an announcement is likely.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Composer Marvin Hamlisch Dies, Family Spokesman Says

Marvin Hamlisch in 1979.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 9:04 am

"Marvin Hamlisch, who composed the scores for dozens of movies including The Sting and won a Tony for A Chorus Line, has died in Los Angeles at the age 68," The Associated Press reports.

According to the wire service:

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Dozens Sickened By Fumes From Refinery Fire Near San Francisco

Smoke poured from the fire at a Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif. Here, the plume rises behind Alcatraz Island in San Francisco.
Eric Risberg AP

"Shelter-in-place" warnings have been lifted for people living downwind from a Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif., where a large fire that started Monday evening "sent thick black smoke wafting" over areas around San Francisco and Oakland, the Contra Costa Times reports.

According to the newspaper, authorities say the blaze is now contained.

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Psychiatrist Contacted Police About Colo. Shooting Suspect, Media Report

James Holmes, who's accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58.
RJ Sangosti Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 10:54 am

Six weeks before the July 20 mass shooting at an Aurora, Co., movie theater, a psychiatrist who had been treating accused killer James Holmes called the University of Colorado police department about him, according to reports from Denver's ABC7-TV and from ABC News.

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Reports: Man ID'd As Wisconsin Killer Had Previously Been On FBI's Radar

Wade Michael Page, in a photo released by police.
Oak Creek Police

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 1:20 pm

  • Dina Temple-Raston talks with Steve Inskeep on 'Morning Edition'
The headline and top of this post were updated at 1:50 p.m. ET.

Wade Michael Page, the 40-year-old man killed by police at the scene of Sunday's shooting rampage at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee who authorities say gunned down six people and wounded three others, was referred to in a report the FBI received about six years ago, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston says.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Gibson Guitar Settles Criminal Case Over Exotic Wood Imports

Gibson guitars on sale in New York City.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:06 pm

"After years maintaining innocence," as Nashville Public Radio says, Gibson Guitar Corp. has agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty, donate $50,000 to a conservation fund and give up its claims to ebony and rosewood worth nearly $262,000 to avoid being criminally prosecuted for importing exotic woods.

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Mon August 6, 2012

At Sikh Temple, Leader Attacked Gunman; Died Trying To Protect Others

Satwant Singh Kaleka, in an image broadcast by Milwaukee's TMJ4-TV.
TMJ4

As happened after last month's shooting rampage in Aurora, Colo., we're starting to hear stories of courage and sacrifice about victims of another mass shooting.

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The Torch
1:36 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Usain Bolt Will Defend His Title As 'World's Fastest Man'

Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the men's 100m final at the London Games on Sunday.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 9:31 am

Usain Bolt is still the "world's fastest man."

The Jamaican sprinter has won the men's 100-meter race in an Olympic record time of 9.63 seconds. Just after 4:50 p.m. ET, he successfully defended the gold medal he won four years ago in Beijing.

Jamaica's Yohan Blake came in second today, giving him the silver medal. American Justin Gatlin was third, meaning he gets the bronze.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Breaking News: Shots Fired At Sikh Temple In Wisconsin

A woman waits outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, Wis, where a gunman opened fire and killed six people. The gunman was killed by police.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 6:47 am

A shooting at a Sikh Temple in a suburb of Milwaukee today has left at least seven people dead, including the gunman, police say.

The crime is being treated as a "domestic terrorist-type incident," authorities say.

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The Torch
10:18 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Oscar Pistorius, The 'Blade Runner,' Faces Another Huge Challenge

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa leaving the starting blocks in Saturday's round 1 of the men's 400-meters race.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 1:58 pm

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, the "Blade Runner" who has has artificial legs below the knees but overcame that challenge to become a world class runner, will not be in the finals of the men's 400-meters.

The results of Heat 2 in the semifinals were posted at 3:55 p.m. ET. Pistorius finished last out of eight competitors, nearly two seconds behind winner James Kirani of Grenada.

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The Torch
9:27 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Big Win For Britain: Murray Takes Men's Tennis Title

Gold for queen and country: Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates after his win.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 3:58 pm

One month after his hopes were dashed on the same famous court at Wimbledon, Scotland's Andy Murray just won the men's tennis title at the London Olympics in front of a joyous home crowd.

He did it by defeating the same man who beat him at Wimbledon in July.

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The Torch
8:41 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Badminton Federation 'Looking Forward' In Response To Scandel

South Korea's Kim Min Jung (left) and Ha Jung Eun were among the players disqualified for not trying hard enough.
Adek Berry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 9:15 am

On this final day of badminton at the London Olympics, leaders of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) were vague about how they will respond to a match-throwing scandal at the games.

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The Torch
6:58 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Williams Sisters Take Title In Doubles Tennis

Venus (left) and Serena Williams celebrate after winning the women's doubles gold medal match today.
Luis Acosta AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 7:24 am

As The Guardian just reported:

"Here is perhaps the least surprising outcome of the Games: the awesome Williams sisters have secured the women's doubles for the United States, disposing of the Czech pair Hlavackova and Hradecka 6-4, 6-4. And Serena crowns a dominant display with a delightful twirl of celebration after plundering the gold medal point."

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