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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7:33am

Thu May 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Chinese Activist Wants To Leave With Clinton; U.S. Diplomats Back In Touch

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:07 pm

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng (in wheelchair) held the hand of Gary Locke (at right) the U.S. ambassador to China in Beijing as he arrived at a hospital in Beijing on Wednesday.
AFP/Getty Images
  • Chen speaks with NPR
  • Michele Kelemen talks with Steve Inskeep

The fate of Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng remains uncertain one day after he left the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

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3:52pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Former NFL Player Junior Seau Is Dead; Possible Suicide

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 4:36 pm

Junior Seau in 2009, when he played with the New England Patriots.
Elsa Getty Images

San Diego's Union Tribune reports that former NFL linebacker Junior Seau "has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at his beachfront home."

It adds that:

"Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell said he was notified of the death and is on his way to be with family members."

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3:19pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

It's Official: Newt Gingrich Bows Out

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 4:31 pm

Saying "I never could have predicted either the low points or the high points," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich just officially suspended his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

He's been leading up to this for more than a week. Tuesday, he posted a video to say goodbye to his supporters.

Update at 4:30 p.m. ET. Romney On Gingrich:

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2:44pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Student Left And Forgotten In Holding Cell For Five Days Gets Apology

Daniel Chong, a California college senior who "was left alone in a federal holding cell for five days with no food or water," now at least has an apology from the Drug Enforcement Adminstration.

That likely won't make up for having to drink his urine to survive, as Chong spoke of to reporters on Tuesday.

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2:20pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

13 Face Criminal Charges In Florida A&M Hazing Death

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 4:28 pm

Criminal charges have been filed against 13 individuals in the November 2011 death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion, Florida State Attorney Lawson Lamor just announced.

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1:59pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

After Bar Brawl, British Parliament Moves To Limit Members' Drinks

When Parliament is in session, some may be overdoing it.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images
  • Larry Miller reporting from London

Getting into a fight at one of the four bars within the borders of the British Parliament's grounds not only brought House of Commons member Eric Joyce (a Labour MP) unwanted notoriety, it has also led to orders that bartenders and event staff start cutting off obviously intoxicated lawmakers.

Which, of course, would seem like something they already should have known they should do.

As the BBC says:

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12:26pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

NFL Suspends Four Players, One For Full Season, Over Saints' Bounties

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 12:37 pm

Oct. 31, 2010: Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (then of the New Orleans Saints) talks to linebacker Jonathan Vilma. Williams has been suspended from the league indefinitely. Vilma will miss the 2012 season.
Matthew Sharpe Getty Images

Four NFL players tied to the so-called bountygate have now been hit with suspensions by the league. They were part of a scheme in which a New Orleans Saints coach created a bounty system for hits that knocked opponents out of games.

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12:04pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Stocks Give Back Some Gains After Weak Economic Data Are Released

After hitting its highest mark since December 2007 on Tuesday because of a bullish report about the health of the manufacturing sector in April, the Dow Jones industrial average is right now down about 45 points (less than 0.3 percent) because of negative news about hiring and manufacturing.

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9:42am

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Hiring Slowed In April, Report Signals

Businesses added just 119,000 jobs to their payrolls in April, a sharp drop from an estimated 201,000-gain in March, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

The private group's report is "a troubling sign" two days before the Bureau of Labor Statistics issues its figures on April employment growth and unemployment, The Associated Press says.

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8:57am

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

We Had Dinner With Bin Laden In 2010, Men Tell BBC

Following the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, the image of the al-Qaida leader was one of a man in hiding, watching himself on videos and plotting.
AFP/Getty Images

The story that Osama bin Laden never left his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, during the last five years of his life takes a hit with word from the BBC about a dinner the al-Qaida leader reportedly attended in the summer of 2010.

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8:15am

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

'Afghan Good Enough' May Be Best U.S. And Allies Can Do

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 8:29 am

During his brief visit to Afghanistan, President Obama spoke to troops at Bagram Air Field north of Kabul.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Among the day-after analyses of President Obama's surprise trip to Afghanistan and the new pact about U.S.-Afghan relations is this from Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.:

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7:26am

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Will China Follow Through On Assurances About Activist's Safety?

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 4:26 pm

Chinese activist activist Chen Guangcheng earlier today at the a hospital in Beijing. He reportedly injured himself during his escape from house arrest last month.
Jordan Pouille AFP/Getty Images
  • From 'Morning Edition'

Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng has said to The Associated Press that "he was told Chinese officials would have killed his wife had he not left [the U.S.] embassy," the wire service reports.

It also writes that "Guangcheng says a U.S. official told him that Chinese authorities threatened to beat his wife to death had be not left the American Embassy."

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3:10pm

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama In Afghanistan On Surprise Visit

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 6:54 pm

President Barack Obama is greeted by Lt. Gen. Curtis "Mike" Scaparrotti, and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker as he steps off Air Force One at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan earlier today (Tuesday, May 1).
Charles Dharapak AP

One year to the day after announcing to the world the death of Osama bin Laden, President Obama is in Afghanistan, the nation from which the al-Qaida leader and his followers planned and organized the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The news of the president's unannounced trip was confirmed just before 3 p.m. ET. Obama is scheduled to deliver a televised address aimed at Americans this evening at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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1:20pm

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Stocks Rallying After Bullish Manufacturing News

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 4:34 pm

Adding 87 points, the Dow closed at 13,339, its highest level since December of 2007.

CNN Money reports that the index rose in reaction to a rise in U.S. manufacturing activity.

The Wall Street Journal adds:

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11:19am

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

'There's A Wild And Crazy Man' Inside Mitt Romney, His Wife Says

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 11:50 am

Ann and Mitt Romney, on March 20, celebrating his win in the Illinois primary.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

She wants the nation to know that "there's a wild and crazy man" inside Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential contender's wife said on CBS This Morning earlier today.

"I still look at him as the boy that I met in high school when he was playing all the jokes and really just being crazy, pretty crazy," Ann Romney added.

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10:53am

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Five 'Anarchists' Arrested For Allegedly Plotting To Blow Up Ohio Bridge

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 3:24 pm

The FBI announced this morning that it "has arrested five people on terrorism charges, accusing them of planning to blow up a bridge near Brecksville, Ohio," our colleagues at WKSU report.

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10:17am

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Gingrich Says Goodbye To 2012 Campaign In New Video

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 10:41 am

Newt Gingrich.
Marianne Todd Getty Images

Saying he wants to give his supporters "an insider advanced notice that on Wednesday I'll be officially suspending the campaign," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich uses a video this morning to take another step on his way out of the 2012 Republican presidential campaign.

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9:58am

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Norwegian Swimming Star Dies In Arizona

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 6:44 am

Gold medalist Alexander Dale Oen of Norway with his medal at last July's World Championships in Shanghai.
Feng Li Getty Images

Swimming star Alexander Dale Oen, one of Norway's top gold medal hopes in the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in London, died Monday at his hotel near a training facility in Flagstaff, Ariz.

The 26-year-old world champion in the 100-meter breaststroke suffered an apparent heart attack, according to Norway's Olympic Committee.

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9:18am

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Looking Back: How The World Quickly Learned About Bin Laden's Death

Iconic image: President Barack Obama and members of his national security team as they monitored the mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.
Pete Souza White House

One year ago today, we learned that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden had been located and killed by U.S. Navy SEALs at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

There's no shortage of stories and news related to that event, including these:

-- "After Bin Laden, Al-Qaida Still Present As Movement." (NPR's Dina Temple-Raston, on Morning Edition.)

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8:02am

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Afghan Soldiers' Attacks On U.S. Troops Not Being Fully Reported, AP Finds

A soldier from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division on patrol in southern Afghanistan. (October, 2010, file photo.)
Chris Hondros Getty Images

An Associated Press investigation has concluded that the U.S. military and its allies in Afghanistan have been "under-reporting the number of times that Afghan soldiers and police open fire on American and other foreign troops."

According to the wire service:

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7:33am

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

New Facebook Status Lets You Share Whether You're An Organ Donor

A new status option.
Facebook.com

In a bid to encourage its members to become organ donors, Facebook just announced that "starting today, you can add that you're an organ donor to your timeline, and share your story about when, where or why you decided to become a donor."

Also, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg write, "if you're not already registered with your state or national registry and want to be, you'll find a link to the official donor registry there as well."

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7:05am

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Rupert Murdoch 'Not A Fit Person' To Lead A Major Company, Report Charges

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 2:33 pm

Rupert Murdoch and his wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, as they were being driven away from the Royal Courts of Justice following his testimony last Thursday in London.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person" to lead a major international company, a committee of U.K. parliament members concludes today in a scathing report about the News Corp. chief and the actions of his British tabloids, NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast Desk.

The report also accuses Murdoch's companies of "misleading a parliamentary committee," Philip says, and exhibiting "willful blindness" regarding their illegal activities.

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3:00pm

Mon April 30, 2012
The Two-Way

George Zimmerman's Defense Takes Case To The Web

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 3:08 pm

George Zimmerman during his bond hearing in a Seminole County, Fla., courtroom on April 20.
Gary Green Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images

The legal defense team for George Zimmerman, the man accused of second-degree murder in the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, has created a website, Facebook page and Twitter account to protest his interests.

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1:49pm

Mon April 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Crash That Killed Seven Was Along 'Cursed' Stretch Of Bronx River Parkway

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 1:50 pm

This van plunged off the Bronx River Parkway on Sunday. All seven people inside were killed.
Louis Lanzano AP

A horrible car accident Sunday in the Bronx, which killed seven people from one family, happened on a "cursed" section of the Bronx River Parkway where six people died in a terrible 2006 accident, New York's Daily News reports.

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12:42pm

Mon April 30, 2012
The Two-Way

In 'Manchester Derby' Man City Comes Out On Top

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 6:16 pm

Manchester United's Nani (in red) and Manchester City's Aleksandar Kolarov during a game last August in London.
Ian Kington AFP/Getty Images

Update at 6:08 p.m. ET. Man City Wins 1-0:

A header from Vincent Kompany was all it took for Manchester City to come out today against Manchester United.

As the AP reports, this match has been billed as the "biggest Manchester derby ever," and Kompany scored the winning goal during first-half stoppage time.

Our Original Post Continues:

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10:54am

Mon April 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Five Surviving Exotic Animals To Be Given To Ohio Man's Widow

A sign warning motorists that exotic animals were on the loose near Zanesville, Ohio, last October.
Tony Dejak AP

Ohio officials have decided they will hand over five animals to the widow of a man who last October paralyzed a community by releasing 56 lions, tigers, bears and other exotic animals from his farm.

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10:27am

Mon April 30, 2012
The Two-Way

1 World Trade Center Set To Claim Spot Atop NYC's Skyline Today

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 3:46 pm

Rising above the Manhattan skyline: 1 World Trade Center.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images
(The milestone was reached at 2:14 p.m. ET.)

With the addition of some steel columns, 1 World Trade Center has reached a height of symbolic importance.

At 1,271 feet (and growing) it is 21 feet taller than the observation deck on the Empire State Building.

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9:18am

Mon April 30, 2012

9:02am

Mon April 30, 2012
The Two-Way

After Big Gain In February, Consumer Spending Rose Less In March

A large 0.9 percent gain in consumer spending from January to February was followed by a more modest 0.3 percent increase from February to March, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

Personal income, meanwhile, was up 0.4 percent in March. It had risen 0.3 percent in February.

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8:38am

Mon April 30, 2012
The Two-Way

China, U.S. Rushing To Resolve Crisis Over Blind Activist Chen

Chen Guangcheng, in an image from a YouTube video.
AP

With Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner due in China for economic talks that start on Thursday, the U.S. and China are rushing to avert a diplomatic crisis over the fate of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng.

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