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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8:38am

Wed May 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Russian Plane Missing In Indonesia; New Jet Was On Demonstration Flight

A Sukhoi Superjet 100 during a flight above the Paris Air Show on June 22, 2011.
Pierre Verdy AFP/Getty Images

"A Sukhoi SuperJet 100, the first new Russian passenger plane in more than two decades" has gone missing while on a "demonstration flight" in Indonesia, Bloomberg News writes.

Russia's RT News adds that "hijacking and a high-altitude crash into a mountain have not been ruled out." A search is underway.

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8:19am

Wed May 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Inmate Polls Well Against Obama In West Virginia Primary

Keith Judd, federal prisoner and presidential candidate, in 2008.
Beaumont Enterprise, courtesy of Keith Judd AP

Along with the headlines about Sen. Richard Lugar's loss in Indiana's Republican primary and passage of a ban on gay marriage in North Carolina, there's this news from Tuesday's voting:

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7:20am

Wed May 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Double Agent In Underwear Bomb Plot Produced Intelligence Coups

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 3:09 pm

  • Dina Temple-Raston talks with David Greene

More details are emerging about the plot to put another "underwear bomber" aboard a U.S.-bound passenger jet and what the CIA says was its successful foiling of the operation:

As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reported on Morning Edition:

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12:24pm

Tue May 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Albanian Who Tried To Help Bring Down Mobster Gets Asylum In U.S.

An Albanian man who more than a decade ago agreed to help the U.S. Justice build a case against a mobster accused of human smuggling has finally won his long-sought quest for asylum in the U.S.

Edmond Demiraj, his wife and adult son have been granted full asylum, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

As Carrie reported last year:

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12:05pm

Tue May 8, 2012
The Two-Way

What's Your Favorite Sendak Memory?

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 12:30 pm

'Where the Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak.
NPR

The death of children's author Maurice Sendak has brought back many memories for many of us.

This blogger remembers nephew Ben reading Where the Wild Things Are back in the late '60s and being fascinated by what seemed to be a very different, much more interesting, kind of book than I'd been used to as a kid just a few years before.

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11:34am

Tue May 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Americans Remain Split On Same-Sex Marriage, Gallup Poll Signals

Gallup.com

With same-sex marriage back in the news because of Vice President Biden's comment that he's "absolutely comfortable" with equal rights for partners in such relationships, the pollsters at Gallup are out with this report:

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10:15am

Tue May 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Nebraska Man Changes His Name To 'Tyrannosaurus Rex'

Not the Nebraska Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

He made this decision before scientists told us that, back in the prehistoric day, dinosaur farts likely contributed to climate change:

Tyler Gold of York, Neb., is now officially named Tyrannosaurus Rex Joseph Gold, the local York News Times reports.

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9:19am

Tue May 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Co-Workers Rescue Man From Vat Of Acid

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 1:16 pm

While initial headlines that said a man jumped into a vat of acid to rescue a co-worker at at New Jersey construction site may have overstated what happened just a bit, there's still a dramatic tale to tell.

According to NorthJersey.com:

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8:12am

Tue May 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Sacred White Buffalo Slaughtered; Reward For Catching Killer Grows

Lightning Medicine Cloud, a sacred white buffalo, last June.
LM Otero AP

7:15am

Tue May 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Santorum Endorses Romney

Back in their sparring days: Rick Santorum (left) and Mitt Romney during a Feb. 22, 2012, Republican presidential debate in Arizona.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Saying that "above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated," Rick Santorum on Monday evening endorsed former Republican rival Mitt Romney's presidential bid.

In an email to supporters, the former Pennsylvania senator said that:

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6:37am

Tue May 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Clinton Hopes To Soon Welcome Chinese Activist Chen To The U.S.

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 7:41 am

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a news conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Saturday (March 5, 2012).
Munir Uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

Though she won't put a timetable on when activist Chen Guangcheng will be able to leave China with his family and go to the United States, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today that "we're certainly making progress."

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4:23pm

Mon May 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Soccer Stars Are Paid The Best, And Indian Cricketers Out-Earn NFL Players

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 8:26 am

Lionel Messi of Barcelona during a match Saturday against RCD Espanyol.
David Ramos Getty Images

Think the players on your favorite team are the most overpaid in the world?

Well, American sports fans, you may not be able to brag (or complain?) about that.

As the number crunchers at Sporting Intelligence reported earlier this month, European soccer teams hold the top four spots when it comes to average pay per player.

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12:40pm

Mon May 7, 2012

11:10am

Mon May 7, 2012
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Biden On Being Comfortable With Same-Sex Marriage

Vice President Biden.
Win McNamee Getty Images

By saying Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press that he is "absolutely comfortable" with equal rights for partners in same-sex marriages and that love is at the root of all marriages "whether they're marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals," Vice President Biden has set off speculation about whether the Obama administration may soon fully endorse same-sex marriage.

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9:57am

Mon May 7, 2012
The Two-Way

What Killed Soldier In Afghanistan Who Died While Skyping With His Wife?

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 11:41 am

Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark.
U.S. Army AP

The mystery surrounding the death of Army Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark, who collapsed on April 30 while on a Skype call from Afghanistan to his wife back in the U.S., has deepened.

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7:51am

Mon May 7, 2012
The Two-Way

'Strategic Release' Program Has Set Free Some Afghan Insurgents

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 7:52 am

Former Taliban fighters displayed their weapons as they joined Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat province last Wednesday ( May 2, 2012).
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

"The United States has for several years been secretly releasing high-level detainees from a military prison in Afghanistan as part of negotiations with insurgent groups," reports The Washington Post, which calls the program "a bold effort to quell violence, but one that U.S. officials acknowledge poses substantial risks."

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7:20am

Mon May 7, 2012
The Two-Way

'Seismic Shift' In Europe After French And Greek Elections

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 12:53 pm

In Paris on Sunday, supporters of newly elected president Francois Hollande celebrated.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images
  • Eleanor Beardsley, reporting on 'Morning Edition'
  • Sylvia Poggioli reporting on 'Morning Edition'
(Note: We updated the market news in this post at midday.)

A victory Sunday by Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande in France and the rejection by voters in Greece of that country's austerity policies have caused a "seismic shift" that threatens the future of the euro,

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1:47pm

Fri May 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch Has Died

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 3:26 pm

Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys during a 2001 performance in New York City.
Scott Gries Getty Images

Update at 2:30 p.m. ET: The news that Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys has died has now been confirmed by the group's public relations firm.

Our original post:

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12:21pm

Fri May 4, 2012
The Two-Way

'Falling Bear,' We Hardly Knew You; Famous Bruin Killed On Highway

The "falling bear" photo that brought him fame.
Andy Duann CU Independent

It was just a week ago that he dropped into our lives.

Now, we're sorry to report that "falling bear" is dead.

In case you're not familiar with the story, it was April 26 when University of Colorado Boulder student Andy Duann snapped a shot of a tranquilized bear as it was falling from a tree on campus.

The bear survived and was released back into the wild about 50 miles from Boulder.

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11:10am

Fri May 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Fracking: New Rules Aim To Bring 'Best Practices' To Public Lands

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 12:45 pm

Saying that the rules would "make sure that fracturing operations conducted on public and Indian lands follow common-sense industry best practices," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar this morning issued proposed regulations that would:

-- Require "public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations on federal lands."

-- Ensure that "wells used in fracturing operations [on public lands] meet appropriate construction standards."

-- Require operators to "put in place appropriate plans for managing flowback waters from fracturing operations."

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10:36am

Fri May 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Junior Seau's Family OKs Having His Brain Studied, 'L.A. Times' Reports

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:49 pm

Junior Seau in 2008, when he played for the New England Patriots.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

As soon as it was learned on Wednesday that former NFL star Junior Seau had killed himself, there was speculation about whether he may have suffered brain injuries during his career that in turn led to depression or dementia.

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9:48am

Fri May 4, 2012
The Two-Way

AP Apologizes For WWII-Era Firing Of Reporter

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:55 am

May 7, 1945: In Frankfurt, Germany, Allied commanders including British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, U.S. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Soviet Marshal Gregori Zhukov and others celebrate the German surrender.
AFP/Getty Images

Sixty seven years later, The Associated Press is apologizing for the way it condemned and then fired one of its correspondents for reporting "perhaps the biggest scoop in its history."

Edward Kennedy was among a small group of reporters taken by Allied military officials to witness the May 7, 1945, surrender by German forces at a schoolhouse in Reims, France.

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8:35am

Fri May 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Just 115,000 Jobs Added Last Month, But Jobless Rate Dipped To 8.1 Percent

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:58 am

A sign earlier this month in New York City's Queens borough.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

The nation's jobless rate edged down to 8.1 percent in April from 8.2 percent in March, but just 115,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

The job growth was well below expectations and has raised new questions about the strength of the U.S. economy.

We'll add more to this post as we read through the report and gather reactions and analysis. So be sure to hit your "refresh" button to get our latest updates.

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8:05am

Fri May 4, 2012
The Two-Way

No Mo! Yankees Great Mariano Rivera Suffers Possible Career-Ending Injury

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 5:19 pm

New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, earlier this season.
Patrick Semansky AP

Update at 5:18 p.m. ET. He'll Be Back:

"I can't go out like this."

That's what Mariano Rivera told the AP about an injury that many thought could end the greatest closer in baseball history's career.

The AP reports that Rivera said he would be back on the mound by 2013.

Our Original Post Continues:

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7:20am

Fri May 4, 2012
The Two-Way

'Elegant Solution' Possible For Chinese Activist; He May Study Abroad

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 8:17 am

Chen Guangcheng, left, with U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke on Tuesday at the U.S. embassy in Beijing.
State Department
  • Louisa Lim, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

The news that China's Foreign Ministry now says legal activist Chen Guangcheng can apply to study abroad could be an "elegant solution [of] a really difficult diplomatic problem," NPR's Louisa Lim reported earlier on Morning Edition.

Chen has "a letter of invitation" from New York University, she says.

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2:20pm

Thu May 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Finish This Sentence: 'Before I Die, I Want To ...'

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 2:47 pm

From the Before I Die wall in New Orleans.
Candy Chang

Artist Candy Chang turned the wall of an abandoned house in New Orleans into "a giant chalkboard where residents can write on the wall and remember what is important to them."

And since putting up that public art project in February 2011, "Before I Die" walls have spread to at least 19 cities around the world. Friday, a wall goes up in Denver.

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1:23pm

Thu May 3, 2012
The Two-Way

With Chen's Fate Uncertain, Online 'Dark Glasses' Campaign Continues

The Dark Glasses blog.
ichenguangcheng.blogspot.com

Before his escape from house arrest, his stay at the U.S. embassy in Beijing and now his plea that he be allowed to go to the U.S., Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng was the focus of a "Dark Glasses" campaign aimed at drawing attention to his plight.

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8:51am

Thu May 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Coming Up: Bin Laden Documents To Go Online

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 1:59 pm

Osama bin Laden.
AP

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was frustrated with "regional jihadi groups and his seeming inability to exercise control over their actions" in the last few years before he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs.

That's "the most compelling story to be told," according to an analysis of some documents seized from bin Laden's Pakistani compound in the May 2011 raid that ended with his death, West Point's Combating Terrorism Center reported today.

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8:38am

Thu May 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Dropped By 27,000 Last Week

There were 365,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, down 27,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

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8:20am

Thu May 3, 2012
The Two-Way

No Note, No Firm Clues So Far In Junior Seau's Death

Junior Seau in 2002, when he was with the San Diego Chargers.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

While the signs so far point to suicide, there aren't yet any really revealing clues to why former NFL star Junior Seau apparently killed himself Wednesday.

About all there is so far is a hint that, in retrospect, Seau may have said some goodbyes. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that:

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