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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1:30pm

Fri March 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Editor Who Misled 'Oregonian' About Colleague's Death Is Fired

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 2:14 pm

The "family friend" who told The Oregonian that its editorial page editor was in his car on Saturday when he died of a heart attack turns out to have been another editor at the newspaper. She says she was trying to protect Caldwell's family from the public embarrassment that would come with the truth: that he had been in the apartment of a young woman with whom he was allegedly having sex.

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12:20pm

Fri March 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Report: Bin Laden Tried To Organize Plot To Kill Obama And Petraeus

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 3:31 pm

Some of the documents seized last May after U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden at his compound in Pakistan show that the al-Qaida leader "boldly commanded his network to organize special cells in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack the aircraft of President Barack Obama and Gen.

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12:07pm

Fri March 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Rutgers Student Convicted In Spying Case Linked To Roommate's Suicide

Dharun Ravi in court on Wednesday.
John O'Boyle AP

Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student "accused of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate's love life has been convicted of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy in a case that exploded into the headlines when the victim of the snooping committed suicide" in September, 2010, The Associated Press writes.

The 20-year-old "could face 10 years in prison when he's sentenced," the AP adds.

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11:35am

Fri March 16, 2012
The Two-Way

California Students Push For Removal Of Syrian From Foundation

Dr. Hazem Chehabi.
University of California Irvine Foundation
  • Amy Walters on the NPR Newscast

The student council at the University of California Irvine approved a resolution Thursday demanding that Dr. Hazem Chehabi, Syria's honorary consul in Southern California, be removed from the post of chair at the UC Irving Foundation, which supports the school and is trying to raise $1 billion for it.

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9:45am

Fri March 16, 2012

8:59am

Fri March 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Karzai At 'End Of The Rope,' Says Witnesses Dispute U.S. Account Of Killings

Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Saying that Sunday's murders of 16 civilians has him at "the end of the rope," Afghan President Hamid Karzai "lashed out at the United States" today, The Associated Press reports.

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8:35am

Fri March 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Consumer Prices Rose 0.4 Percent Last Month

Consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in February from January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported. The increase — the largest in the past 10 months — was mostly fueled by higher prices for gasoline.

Excluding the food and energy sectors, prices rose 0.1 percent. That's a sign that the so-called core rate of inflation remains in check.

According to BLS:

-- Gas prices spiked 6 percent last month and were up 12.6 percent from February 2011.

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8:20am

Fri March 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Cricket's Tendulkar Gets His 100th 100

Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar kisses his helmet after scoring his 100th century (100 runs) today in a match against Bangladesh.
Munir uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

While American sports fans focus on college basketball, there's big cricket news that's making headlines in much of the rest of the world:

"Sachin Tendulkar Scores his 100th International Century For India." (BBC News)

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8:00am

Fri March 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Early Hoops Upsets: Connecticut, Wichita State Bounced Out Of Men's Tourney

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 10:43 am

Alex Oriakhi of Connecticut controls the ball during the game against Iowa State.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

If you had defending national champions Connecticut making it out of the first round in your NCAA men's basketball championship bracket, we're sorry to say that the Huskies lost on Thursday to Iowa State by a score of 77-64.

It's not a huge upset, since Iowa State was seeded No. 8 in the South region and Connecticut was seeded No. 9. But still, it's a quick exit for last year's top team.

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7:35am

Fri March 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Soldier Accused Of Massacre 'Just Snapped,' Official Says

We're learning more about the U.S. Army staff sergeant accused in Sunday's massacre of 16 Afghan civilians, including women and children:

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7:00am

Fri March 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Archbishop Of Canterbury Is Stepping Down

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in February.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

Rowan Williams, who as archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual leader for more than 70 million Anglicans around the world, announced today that he will step down at the end of the year to become Master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University.

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4:00pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

First Neutrino Message Sent Through Rock; Could One Travel Back In Time?

What if we could shoot a message through the center of the planet and back in time?
NASA

"Researchers from the University of Rochester and North Carolina State University have for the first time sent a message using a beam of neutrinos — nearly massless particles that travel at almost the speed of light," U of R reports.

And they pushed the message — which simply spelled out the world "Neutrino" — through "240 meters of stone" (787 feet).

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12:00pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

On 'Decorah Eagle Cam:' This Year's Hatchings Likely Next Week

A close up view of mom, on the nest in Decorah, Iowa.
Raptor Resource Project

An alert for all those who were caught up in the excitement last year when the Decorah Eagle Cam was streaming as a pair of bald eagles in Iowa watched over their three eggs and as the eaglets hatched:

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10:55am

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

'Star Rabbit' Dies When Photographer Takes Wrong Step

Til, on Wednesday, before his untimely death.
Uwe Meinhold AP

He's "like James Dean, a star dead before his time," according to The Local.

Spiegel Online says "the future had looked so bright for tiny Til."

Global Post somberly says that "an attempt to show a rare rabbit on TV took a tragic turn."

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10:15am

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Report Slams Sen. Stevens' Prosecutors

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 10:34 am

Former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, in 2008.
Alex Wong Getty Images

In a "blistering" 500-page report released this morning a special prosecutor concludes that Justice Department lawyers "intentionally withheld" information that could have bolstered then-Sen. Ted Stevens' defense during the Alaska Republican's 2008 trial on corruption charges, NPR's Carrie Johnson tells us.

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8:38am

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Fell By 15,000 Last Week

There was a 14,000 decline in the number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration just reported:

"In the week ending March 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 351,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 365,000. The 4-week moving average was 355,750, unchanged from the previous week's revised average of 355,750."

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8:25am

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Priest Defends Denying Communion To Lesbian Mourner

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 9:35 am

Saeed Khan AFP/Getty Images

The priest who was put on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Washington following a much-talked-about incident in which he denied communion to a lesbian woman attending her mother's funeral, has issued a long defense of his action and has said the church isn't being candid about the reason for its decision to put him on leave.

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7:25am

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Afghans Object, U.S. Officials Defend Decision To Move Massacre Suspect

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 10:35 am

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, with Col. John Shafer, at Foward Operating Base Shukvani in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Scott Olson Getty Images
  • Tom Bowman
  • Larry Abramson speaks with Renee Montagne

The news that the U.S. Army staff sergeant who is suspected of murdering 16 Afghan civilians has been moved to a detention facility in Kuwait is sparking some small protests in Afghanistan.

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11:50am

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Goldman Sachs Starts To Fire Back At Exec Who Quit In Scathing Op-Ed

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 2:25 pm

Chris Hondros Getty Images

Greg Smith is a fairly ordinary name — but it's now one that's all the talk of Wall Street after he quit his position at Goldman Sachs today in one of the most amazingly public ways:

With an essay in The New York Times that accuses Goldman Sachs of having a money-is-everything culture that is "toxic and destructive."

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11:10am

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama, Cameron Say Afghan Mission Remains Unchanged

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 1:16 pm

President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron during their news conference this afternoon in the Rose Garden of the White House.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The U.S., Britain and their NATO allies cannot accelerate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan because it's critical that they not leave until that nation's security forces can stand on their own and ensure that al-Qaida never has a safe haven there again, President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron said during a joint news conference this afternoon at the White House.

"We will not give up on this mission," Cameron said at one point. The plan, he and Obama said, remains to have most troops withdrawn by the end of 2014.

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11:00am

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama Picks North Carolina To Win Men's Basketball Championship

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 11:03 am

President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron were courtside in Dayton, Ohio, Tuesday at the "play in" game between Western Kentucky and Mississippi Valley State. Western Kentucky won, 59-58.
Gregory Shamus Getty Images

After two years of going with the wrong team to win it all, President Obama is counting on North Carolina — the team he correctly picked to win the 2009 NCAA men's basketball championship — to end up No. 1 this year.

As he has each year since taking office, the president spent time with ESPN going over his bracket for the tournament.

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9:50am

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Editor's Obituary Takes Tawdry Twist

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 9:51 am

After Oregonian editorial page editor Bob Caldwell died Saturday, the report from the newspaper on Sunday said he had suffered a heart attack.

That does appear to be the 63-year-old journalist's cause of death. But the circumstances surrounding his last moments were considerably more complicated.

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9:00am

Wed March 14, 2012

8:40am

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Boston's Back Bay Slowly Recovering After Smoky Fire Causes Chaos

The smoke over Boston from Tuesday's electrical fire.
Bianca Vazquez Toness WBUR
  • WBUR's Bianca Vazquez Toness
  • NPR's Tovia Smith

Repair crews are working this morning to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses in Boston's Back Bay district, "after two transformers caught fire Tuesday night, knocking out power" and sending think black smoke billowing over the area, our colleagues at WBUR report.

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8:05am

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

'Tragic Day For All Of Belgium': 22 Children Killed In Bus Crash

The mangled front of the bus. The crash happened in a tunnel in Sierre, in the Swiss canton of Valais.
Sebastien Feval AFP/Getty Images

There's been a horrible traffic accident inside a Swiss tunnel. At least 28 people — 22 of them children mostly around the age of 12 — were killed Tuesday night when the bus they were in crashed.

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7:45am

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

In Afghanistan, Panetta Says Mission Continues

  • Larry Abramson, reporting from Afghanistan

At Camp Leatherneck in southern Afghanistan today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged U.S. military personnel to not be deterred from their mission and continue "to make life difficult" for the Taliban and al-Qaida, says NPR's Larry Abramson, who is travelling with Panetta.

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7:15am

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

6.8 Magnitude Quake Shakes Japan, But Tsunami Warning Canceled

The same general area of Japan that was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami almost exactly one year ago was rattled today by a 6.9 magnitude temblor that led authorities to warn of another possible tsunami along the nation's northeast coast. (Note at 7:42 a.m. ET: The U.S.

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7:00am

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Santorum Wins In Dixie, Romney Takes Hawaii And American Samoa

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum with supporters Tuesday night in Lafayette, La. Louisiana's primary is on March 24.
Sean Gardner Getty Images
  • Mara Liasson on 'Morning Edition'

After another set of presidential contests the story remains much the same — pundits say former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney remains the front runner in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum continues his strong challenge.

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2:30pm

Tue March 13, 2012
The Two-Way

With Economy 'Expanding Moderately,' Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 2:31 pm

Citing an economy that is "expanding moderately," an improving labor market and subdued inflation — but a housing sector that "remains depressed" — the Federal Reserve just announced it is holding to its current policy on short-term interest rates.

The central bank's policymakers also said they expect "moderate economic growth over coming quarters" and that the jobless rate will continue to "decline gradually."

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2:10pm

Tue March 13, 2012
The Two-Way

Why Praise For An Olive Garden Turned Marilyn Hagerty Into A Star

Her fame has taken Marilyn Hagerty to New York City to be on the TV networks. And her newspaper has created a blog just for following her travels.
Grand Forks Herald

The sudden national fame for 85-year-old North Dakota newspaper columnist Marilyn Hagerty because she wrote last week that the new Olive Garden restaurant in Grand Forks is "impressive ... welcoming ... [and] is the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating" in the city reinforces two things for this blogger:

1. Almost everyone loves a story about someone who seems to be just so darn nice and who's still going strong at an age when many of us will just be glad to still be around.

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