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
9:44 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 9:47 am

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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 9:12 am

A Nigerian school principal says searchers are still looking for about 100 girls and young women abducted by Islamist extremists, even though the nation's military has said all but eight of the victims are now safe and accounted for.

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

Ukraine Crisis: Diplomats Meet, Putin Admits Russia's Role In Crimea

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 Thu April 17, 2014 8:48 am

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers from Ukraine, Russia and the European Union were gathering Thursday in Geneva to see if they can find a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin was publicly acknowledging for the first time that his military played a part in Crimea's breakaway from the rest of Ukraine.

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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 8:27 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.

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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 Thu April 17, 2014 8:25 am

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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 8:49 am

  • 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Mon April 14, 2014

In Ukraine: Pro-Russia Occupiers Defy Deadline, War Fears Grow

Armed men in military fatigues stood guard Monday outside a regional administration building they seized in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 9:57 am

"A deadline set by the Ukrainian government for pro-Russian gunmen to leave government buildings in eastern Ukraine and surrender weapons passed early Monday," The Associated Press writes, "with no immediate sign of any action to force the insurgents out."

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The Two-Way
4:57 am
Mon April 14, 2014

'This Was A Hate Crime,' Police Say Of Kansas City-Area Killings

Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, is accused of killing three people Sunday in Kansas City. He allegedly attacked them at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement facility.
Johnson County, Kan., Sheriff's Office

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 3:38 pm

(This post was updated at 1 p.m. ET.)

The man who shot and killed three people Sunday near Kansas City will face federal hate crime charges for the attacks at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement home, authorities said Monday.

"This was a hate crime," Overland Park, Kan., Police Chief John Douglass told reporters at a midday news conference.

Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, is already in jail. The 73-year-old man was taken into custody shortly after the attacks and is accused of premeditated murder.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Singer-Songwriter Jesse Winchester Dies

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 11:53 am

Jesse Winchester, whose "blend of folk, blues and country ... embodies the spirit of American music," has died.

His manager, Keith Case, tells NPR's Jacob Ganz that Winchester died Friday morning in Charlottesville, Va., where he lived. He was 69 and had been battling cancer.

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Fri April 11, 2014

'I Knew It Wouldn't Be Easy,' Outgoing Health Secretary Sebelius Says

Vice President Biden (from left), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell at the White House Friday. Sebelius is stepping down. Burwell is being nominated to replace her.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 11:53 am

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has borne the brunt of criticism for the troubled rollout of the HealthCare.gov website, said Friday that as she prepares to leave that agency she is thankful to have had the chance to work on "the cause of my life."

Her agency, Sebelius said, has been "in the front lines of a long overdue national change — fixing a broken health system."

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Pope Francis Asks Abuse Victims' Forgiveness

Pope Francis on Wednesday in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.
Claudio Peri EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 8:45 am

Pope Francis asked Friday for forgiveness from the victims of pedophile priests in some of his strongest words to date about the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome that:

"The pope has come under fire from advocacy groups for a perceived lack of attention to the issue.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Optimism, But No Breakthrough In Search For Malaysian Jet

Sgt. Trent Wyatt looks out an observation window on Friday from aboard a Royal New Zealand air force P-3 Orion maritime search aircraft as it flies over the southern Indian Ocean. So far there's been no sign of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. But officials are hoping that sounds detected below the surface are coming from one or both of the plane's black boxes.
Richard Wainwright Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 8:06 am

Hopes were both raised and lowered Friday by officials involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The jet and the 239 people on board have now been missing for five weeks.

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Fri April 11, 2014

VIDEO: Woman Throws Shoe At Hillary Clinton; No Harm Done

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ducks after a woman threw a shoe at her while she was delivering remarks at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries conference on Thursday in Las Vegas.
Isaac Brekken Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 3:10 pm

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The Two-Way
4:59 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Tragedy In California: Truck Hits Bus Full Of Students

Flames devoured both vehicles just after a FedEx truck hit a charter bus Thursday in Northern California. At least 10 people were killed. The bus was carrying high school students who were going to visit a college.
Jeremy Lockett AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 12:31 pm

A highway in Northern California was turned into an inferno Thursday when a FedEx truck slammed into a charter bus full of high school students.

The California Highway Patrol says at least 10 people, including both drivers and five of the teenagers, were killed. An additional 30 or so people were injured. Those who survived escaped through smashed windows.

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Stephen Colbert Will Take Over 'Late Show'

Stephen Colbert: He's moving on up, from basic cable to the big time.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 11:38 am

Breaking news on CBS-TV's Twitter feed:

"Stephen Colbert to be next host of 'The Late Show'...press release coming"

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