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.

Pages

The Two-Way
8:35 am
Mon April 21, 2014

After Tragedy, Nepalese Sherpas May Refuse To Climb Everest

Mount Everest straddles the border of Nepal and Tibet. This is a view of the Nepalese side.
Hans Edinger AP

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 8:54 am

Last Friday's tragedy on Mount Everest in which at least 13 Sherpa guides were killed in an avalanche has led others among that group of Nepalese who lead foreigners up the world's tallest mountain to issue some demands — and threaten to boycott the soon-to-start climbing season if their requests aren't granted.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:47 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Teen Survives Flight To Hawaii In Jet's Wheel Well, FBI Says

It was a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767 such as this, authorities say, on which a California teen stowed away in the wheel well. He reportedly survived the 5 1/2-hour flight from San Jose to Maui.
PR News/Hawaiian Airlines

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 8:59 am

"Aviation experts call it a miracle," says Honolulu's KHON-TV. "The FBI says a 16-year-old boy stowed away in the wheel well of a flight from California to Hawaii, and survived. The boy is expected to fully recover."

Read more
The Two-Way
5:56 am
Mon April 21, 2014

'Murder,' South Korean Leader Says Of Ferry Captain's Actions

A prayer for the missing and dead: Family members and friends have gathered in the port city of Jindo, South Korea, as the search continues for the scores of passengers still missing after last Wednesday's ferry disaster. At the water's edge, many are offering prayers — including this woman.
Issei Kato Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 8:02 am

"The conduct of the captain and some crew members is wholly unfathomable from the viewpoint of common sense, and it was like an act of murder that cannot and should not be tolerated."

Read more
The Two-Way
4:53 am
Mon April 21, 2014

It's Time To Run Again In Boston: Here's The Schedule

Runners, their friends and family members posed Sunday for photos at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which is being run on Monday.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 7:01 am

We don't need to go on at length about why today's running of the Boston Marathon is important.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:53 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Here's What Putin Didn't Tell Snowden About Russia's Spying

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who appears not to have told the whole story about his nation's surveillance programs.
Alexei Nikolsky AP

"Does Russia intercept, store or analyze in any way the communications of millions of individuals?" former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden asked Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

"We don't have a mass system of such interception, and according to our law it cannot exist," the Russian leader responded.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:34 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Pakistani Madrassa Names Its Library For Osama Bin Laden

Osama bin Laden is referred to as a shaheed, or martyr, on a sign outside the library at a girls' school in Islamabad.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 8:54 am

A sign now outside the small library at a religious school for girls in Pakistan's capital says the room has been named for a martyr — Osama bin Laden, whose al-Qaida terrorist network was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed more than 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

"For us he was a hero of Islam," a school spokesman tells Agence France-Presse.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:34 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Deal In Doubt As Separatists Refuse To Budge In Ukraine

A masked pro-Russia gunman looks through a window of a regional administration building seized earlier in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 8:49 am

"Armed pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said Friday that they were not bound by an international deal ordering them to disarm and were looking for more assurances about their security before leaving the public buildings they are holding," Reuters reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:38 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Tragedy Atop The World: Everest Avalanche Kills At Least 12

The sun shines on the peak of Mount Everest in this October 2011 photo. On Friday, an avalanche killed at least 12 Sherpas on the mountain.
Kevin Frayer AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:58 am

At least 12 Sherpa guides died Friday on Nepal's side of Mount Everest when an avalanche buried them on the world's tallest mountain.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:06 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Captain Of Korean Ferry Arrested As Vessel Sinks Below Surface

Cranes, ships and other rescue equipment are on the scene off the southern coast of South Korea, where a ferry capsized Wednesday. About 270 people, most of them high school students, remain missing.
Kim Hong-Ji Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 2:28 pm

The captain of the South Korean ferry that sank earlier this week in the Yellow Sea, leaving at least 28 dead and hundreds missing, has been arrested, along with two other crew members, South Korea's Yonhap news agency says.

The 69-year-old captain, Lee Jun-Seok, faces five counts including negligence of duty and violation of maritime law, Yonhap says.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:44 am
Thu April 17, 2014

One Man's Pee Pushes Portland To Flush 38 Million Gallons Of Water

There are signs around the reservoirs in Portland's Mount Tabor Park that warn against putting anything in the water. They apparently didn't dissuade one young man from urinating into the city's drinking supply this week.
Randy L. Rasmussen The Oregonian/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 11:25 am

Read more
The Two-Way
7:45 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Fate Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Now Uncertain

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:01 pm

This post was updated at 5:50 p.m. ET.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports that Nigeria's defense ministry has retracted its earlier claim that they missing schoolgirls were free.

"[A] report was filed in from the field indicating that a major breakthrough had been recorded in the search," the ministry said in a statement.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:11 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: Russia Endorses Call For Protesters To Disarm

Armed men wearing military fatigues gathered on armored personnel carriers Wednesday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk, where they and other pro-Russia gunmen took control of some key locations.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:04 am

This post was updated with a new top at 4:10 p.m. ET.

Diplomats from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and the European Union emerged Thursday from a meeting that wasn't expected to accomplish much saying they had made progress toward resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

"We worked hard and we worked in good faith in order to narrow our real differences," Secretary of State John Kerry said following the meeting in Geneva. He and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that the four parties at the negotiating table agreed:

Read more
The Two-Way
6:38 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Stay Near 7-Year Low

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 11:42 am

There were 304,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, up just 2,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 302,000, the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:59 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Putin Tells Snowden That Russia Doesn't Do Mass Surveillance

Russian President Vladimir Putin as he answered questions on national TV Thursday in Moscow.
Alexey Nikolsky/RIO Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 9:25 am

Read more
The Two-Way
5:03 am
Thu April 17, 2014

No Sign Yet Of Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Disaster

Holding out hope, fearing the worst: A man looks out from the shore in Jindo, South Korea, toward where a passenger ferry sank Wednesday and nearly 300 people are still missing.
Kim Kyung-Hoon Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:45 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports about the South Korean ferry disaster
This post will be updated as news comes in.

A second day of dangerous efforts to reach any survivors has ended with still no sign of the nearly 300 people — most of them high school students — believed to be trapped aboard a South Korean ferry that has capsized in the Yellow Sea.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:39 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Boston Bombing Defendant Can See Victims' Autopsy Photos, Judge Says

Blue and yellow are the colors for tributes to victims of the Boston Marathon. Street lights on the route of this year's race are among the places they're showing up.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 1:24 pm

A federal judge said Wednesday that Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may see autopsy photos of the three people who died after the explosions near the finish line of last year's race.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:48 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Most Of The Dozens Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Reportedly Free

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:48 am

9:45 a.m. ET, April 17: The latest developments have changed this story. We've put up a news post with this headline: Fate Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Now Uncertain.

Our post from April 16:

Most of the 100 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped have been freed, Nigeria's military reports. Only eight are still unaccounted for.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:14 am
Wed April 16, 2014

43-Year-Old Cold Case Closed: South Dakota Girls Died In Accident

Cheryl Miller's driver's license was among the evidence collected from the car she and Pamela Jackson were last seen in. The two South Dakota girls disappeared in 1971. Now, authorities say it appears they accidentally drove into a creek. It wasn't until last year that low waters revealed the vehicle.
South Dakota Attorney General's office AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 12:02 pm

Families and friends who have wondered since 1971 about what happened to two South Dakota girls now have some closure.

Authorities said Tuesday that they believe Pamela Jackson and Cheryl Miller died when their 1960 Studebaker Lark accidentally went off a gravel road and into a local creek. "All the evidence would appear to indicate an accident," South Dakota Attorney Gen. Marty Jackley said.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:02 am
Wed April 16, 2014

In Ukraine: Reports Of Soldiers Switching To Pro-Russia Side

Men sit on an armored personnel carrier in Slovyansk, Ukraine, on Wednesday. A Russian flag flies from it. When some Ukrainian forces approached the city, locals say, they were persuaded to hand over their vehicles to pro-Russia protesters.
Gleb Garanich Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 12:49 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from Kramatorsk, Ukraine

Confusion continues to reign in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia gunmen remain in control of many government offices even as the Ukrainian military sends in troops, tanks and armed aircraft in an attempt to dislodge them.

According to NPR's Ari Shapiro, who is in eastern Ukraine, locals who are pushing to separate from the central government and join the Russian Federation claim that at least some Ukrainian troops are refusing to move against them.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:03 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Rescue Crews Dive For Hundreds Still Missing After Ferry Accident

Rescuers head toward the ferry Sewol off the southern coast of South Korea on Wednesday. It sank while on a trip to a resort island. Several hundred people, most of them high school students and teachers, are missing.
Yonhap News EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:05 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports about the ferry accident
This post is being updated as news comes in.

Unsuccessful in their attempts to find the missing in a sunken ferry off the southern coast of South Korea overnight, rescue divers resumed their search at day break Thursday, Jason Strother reports from Seoul.

A day after the boat began to sink, the cause of the accident is unclear and less than half of the passengers who were on board have been rescued, Strother tells NPR's Newscast Desk.

Most of those unaccounted for are high school students who were on a trip to a resort island.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:10 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Think You Can Mail Your Taxes At Midnight? Think Again, Gramps

Mailing your taxes in just before midnight: That's so 2002.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 2:42 pm

One of the least imaginative, but always popular, stories for an editor to assign in years past was the annual Tax Day frenzy at the local post office.

Younger Two-Way readers may not know this, but before e-filing was the thing to do, many procrastinators would wait until the last possible moment to finish their federal tax returns. And many post offices would keep staff on hand until midnight so that those returns could be postmarked before April 15 turned into April 16.

Now?

Read more
The Two-Way
8:11 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Berlusconi Ordered To Do Community Service At Senior Center

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was all smiles last month at Ciampino Airport near Rome.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 9:21 am

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was ordered Tuesday to spend at least four hours a week for the next year doing community service at a center for the elderly, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli tells our Newscast Desk.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:13 am
Tue April 15, 2014

An 'Idiot With A Gun' Leaves Families In Kansas Reeling

Mindy Corporon speaks during a news conference, flanked by Will Corporon (left) and Tony Corporon, at their church in Leawood, Kan., on Monday. Their father, Dr. William Corporon, and Mindy Corporon's 14-year-old son were killed during Sunday's shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 9:52 am

Read more
The Two-Way
5:28 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Ukrainian Military Says It Is Moving Against Pro-Russia Protesters

One of the pro-Russia protesters who have taken over the police headquarters in Slovyansk, Ukraine, watched from the barricades on Tuesday. Ukrainian authorities said special forces were beginning an operation against the demonstrators.
Gleb Garanich Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 12:26 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from Donetsk, Ukraine

Ukraine's acting president says his nation's military has begun "an anti-terrorist operation" aimed at pushing armed pro-Russia demonstrators out of the government buildings in eastern Ukraine that they have occupied for several days.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:44 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Did You See It? If Not, Here's The 'Blood Moon'

The "blood moon" as seen from Koreatown, west of Los Angeles, early Tuesday. The next total eclipse of the moon comes on Oct. 8.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 7:34 am

There were "whistles, cheers and howls" early Tuesday on the grounds of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles as the moon turned red during a total lunar eclipse.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:33 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Russian Attack Jet Repeatedly Overflies U.S. Warship In Black Sea

The USS Donald Cook, a guided-missile destroyer, on patrol Saturday in the Black Sea.
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Edward Guttierrez III U.S. Navy

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:07 pm

The crisis in Ukraine has taken on even more of a Cold War-era feel after a Russian warplane made nearly a dozen low passes over the weekend of a U.S. destroyer that was sailing in the Black Sea.

Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, calls the Russian flybys "provocative and unprofessional," NPR's Tom Bowman reports.

According to the Pentagon, the Russian SU-24 attack aircraft came within several thousand feet of the USS Donald Cook on Saturday and ignored multiple radio warnings from the ship.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:21 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Ohio Ordered To Recognize Out-Of-State Gay Marriages

Nicole Yorksmith (left) holds her son while standing with her partner, Pam Yorksmith. They were among four legally married couples who filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking to compel Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages on birth certificates.
Al Behrman AP

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:12 am

The state of Ohio was told by a federal judge Monday that it must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states, Ohio Public Radio and TV's Jo Ingles reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:32 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Deficit Forecasts Shaved, But Likely Won't Shrink For Much Longer

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:49 am

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Monday that it expects the federal deficit will be about $22 billion less this fiscal year than previously thought, and about $9 billion less than had been anticipated next year.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:37 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Search For Jet Goes Underwater; Oil Slick Also Being Analyzed

The U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle as it was being hoisted on board the Australian Navy vessel Ocean Shield earlier this month. The Bluefin is being deployed to map the sea floor in the area of the southern Indian Ocean where the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is concentrated. It will look for any sign of the missing jet.
MC1 Peter D. Blair U.S. Navy

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 9:28 am

On Day 38, the latest developments in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 come from the surface of the Indian Ocean and more than 2 miles beneath on the sea floor.

-- Search Goes Below. "Underwater vehicle Bluefin-21 deployed to find plane's wreckage." (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Read more
The Two-Way
6:29 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Dozens Dead, Scores Injured After Bomb Blast In Nigeria

A bomb blast and explosions that followed killed more than 70 people and injured more than 120 on Monday near Nigeria's capital, Abuja. Early speculation is that the attack was the work of the Boko Haram extremist group.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 12:00 pm

A rush-hour bomb blast Monday at a bus station near Nigeria's capital and other explosions that followed are thought to have killed more than 70 people and injured more than 120.

An Islamist group that believes Western education is sinful and takes other extremist stands is being blamed.

"Fingers are being pointed at Boko Haram, the terrorist network that has been threatening to attack Nigeria's capital," NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells our Newscast Desk.

Read more

Pages