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
6:59 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Before Northeast Thaws, Thundersnow Will Roll Through

It will melt eventually: People walk past a pile of dirty snow in New York City's Times Square.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 8:54 am

Hang on, you winter-weary folks.

"Temperatures are expected to warm to above average levels for late February from the Central Plains to the East Coast," the National Weather Service says.

But first, "we have to get through one more winter storm," The Weather Channel writes.

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The Two-Way
5:56 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Jimmy Fallon, 'Your Host ... For Now,' Takes Over 'Tonight'

Jimmy Fallon during his debut Monday as host of NBC's The Tonight Show.
Theo Wargo Getty Images for 'The Tonight Show'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 8:42 am

The new guy's getting pretty good reviews.

Jimmy Fallon took over NBC's The Tonight Show on Monday night, saying he just wants "to do the best I can ... make you laugh and put a smile on your face."

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The Two-Way
5:05 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Pussy Riot's Nadya And Masha Detained In Sochi, Then Released

Maria Alyokhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot on stage at Amnesty International's "Bringing Human Rights Home" concert earlier this month in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Jason Szenes EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 2:38 pm

The two most prominent members of the Russian punk protest band Pussy Riot say they were taken into custody Tuesday by police in Sochi, site of the Winter Olympics. Later in the day, there were reports that the women and other activists who were with them had been released.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Woman Arrested For Not Returning Movie Rented In 2005

Jennifer Lopez back in 2005 when Monster-In-Law was just coming out. An old video of the movie has landed a South Carolina woman in trouble with the law.
Michael Germana Landov

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:34 pm

The first thing we thought of when we heard this news was the Seinfeld episode known as "The Library" — the one where Jerry's tracked down by Lt. Bookman after 20 years for not returning a copy of Tropic of Cancer.

But this isn't a plot from a TV sitcom. This apparently really did happen last week in Pickens County, S.C.:

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

'I'm The Hijacker!' Says Ethiopian Pilot Of Commandeered Jet

After landing in Geneva on Monday, the pilot who reportedly took over control of the Rome-bound Ethiopian Airlines jet used a rope to climb down from the cockpit. He then went to authorities and asked for asylum.
Richard Juilliart AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 1:16 pm

Details are starting to come out about what it was like Monday when one of the pilots of an Ethiopian Airlines flight reportedly locked himself in the cockpit and flew the jet and its 193 passengers to Geneva, Switzerland, instead of Rome, its intended destination.

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The Edge
12:03 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Americans Davis And White Win Gold In Ice Dancing

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of Team USA — the gold medalists in ice dancing at the Sochi Games.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 1:10 pm

The anticipation that NPR's Tamara Keith reported about earlier is over:

Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White won gold Monday in ice dancing.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Penn State Picks New President: Florida State's Eric Barron

Eric Barron, Penn State's next president.
Patrick Mansell PSU.edu

Penn State University, which dismissed its president and its legendary football coach in late 2011 for their roles in dealing with allegations that an assistant coach had been molesting young boys, announced Monday that Florida State University President Eric Barron is leaving the Sunshine State to be PSU's next l

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Help Arrives, But South African Miners Refuse To Be Rescued

Rescuers tend to a mine worker, in striped top, after he was pulled from an illegal gold mine Sunday in Benoni, outside Johannesburg, South Africa. Many of his colleagues remain below ground for fear of being arrested.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 10:45 am

After hearing that the 22 men who have made it to safety so far were all arrested, an unknown number of other South Africans are refusing to leave the illegal gold mine where they were briefly trapped over the weekend.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Pennsylvania Woman Claims To Have Killed At Least 22 People

Miranda Barbour, who has told a newspaper that she's killed at least 22 people.
WNEP.com

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 10:29 am

This is among the day's more disturbing stories:

A 19-year-old woman who's already a suspect in one murder has told a central Pennsylvania newspaper that she's a satanist who has been killing people since she was 13.

Miranda Barbour claims that after her 22nd victim, "I stopped counting."

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Snowden's Leaks About NSA Lead To Awards For 4 Reporters

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 10:23 am

The four reporters who broke the first stories about former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's revelations are among those being honored with 2013 George Polk Awards in Journalism.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Mon February 17, 2014

U.N. Report Details North Korea's 'Crimes Against Humanity'

Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 1:14 pm

"Systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed" by the leaders of North Korea against their own people, the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights declared Monday in a report that goes on to accuse that nation's communist regime of "crimes against humanity."

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Even From Space, Near-Record Ice On Great Lakes Is Chilling

They're down there somewhere: The Great Lakes as seen from space on Wednesday. Lake Ontario, which has less ice than the others, is at the lower right. A bit of open water can be seen in Lake Superior, at the upper left.
CoastWatch.glerl.noaa.gov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:45 pm

The satellite photo we posted last month of a partially frozen Lake Michigan sent shivers down our spines.

Then when we heard today that the ice cover on the Great Lakes is approaching a record, we went in search of other such images.

After looking through several dozen, we need some hot cocoa. See if you agree.

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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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