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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7:35am

Thu February 9, 2012
The Two-Way

More Deaths Today In Syrian City Of Homs, Residents Say

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 8:23 am

A Syrian rebel runs for cover during an exchange of fire with army troops in Idlib, Syria.
AP

"Syrian forces fired mortars and rockets Thursday in the rebellious city of Homs, the latest salvo in a weeklong assault that has killed hundreds as President Bashar Assad's regime tries to crush increasingly militarized pockets of dissent," The Associated Press reports.

Relying on reports from activists and residents in Homs, the AP and other news outlets say it appears that a brutal crackdown continues.

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7:05am

Thu February 9, 2012
The Two-Way

AP: First 10 States Granted Waivers From 'No Child Left Behind'

Following up on a plan he unveiled last September to let states apply to be exempt from basic elements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law, President Obama will today announce the first 10 states that have qualified for such exemptions.

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2:55pm

Wed February 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Israel Isn't Going To Attack Us, Iran's U.N. Ambassador Says

Originally published on Sun February 12, 2012 9:22 am

Asked this afternoon if he thinks Israel will attack his nation anytime soon in a bid to destroy work Iran is doing on nuclear technology, the Persian nation's ambassador to the United Nations told NPR, "I don't think that is going to happen."

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11:10am

Wed February 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Report: Data Show No 'Upsurge In Muslim-American Terrorism'

January 2010: Muslim-Americans protest against terrorism outside a federal court building in Detroit, where "Christmas Day" bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was being arraigned.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

There was a decline last year in the already "small" number of Muslim-Americans indicted for violent terrorist plots and the rate of radicalization among that group remains "far less than many feared" after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a researcher at North Carolina's Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security reports today.

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9:35am

Wed February 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Russians Claim To Have Punched Through To Antarctic 'Subglacial Lake'

In Antarctica, Russian scientists posed at the site where they say they've drilled through to Lake Vostok. The sign indicates that the breakthrough happened on Feb. 5, 2012.
Russia's Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring

One week after pausing with about 40 feet to go, Russian scientists today announced that they have successfully drilled through two miles of ice to reach Lake Vostok — a body of water the size of New Jersey that hasn't been touched for millions of years.

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8:45am

Wed February 8, 2012

8:15am

Wed February 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Egyptian Judge Says Foreign Groups Have Been Working There Illegally

Egyptian soldiers stand guard in front of the U.S. National Democratic Institute, an NGO rights group in downtown Cairo on December 29, 2011.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Foreigners who have been working for international organizations in Egypt are in the country illegally and have been engaging in "political activity," a judge in Cairo just told reporters.

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7:35am

Wed February 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Santorum's Wins: Huge? Meaningless? In Between?

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 7:47 am

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum celebrated his victories at a rally in St. Charles, Mo.
Whitney Curtis Getty Images

Last night "belonged to Rick Santorum, who went three-for-three in Tuesday's Republican contests," as Eyder wrote on It's All Politics very early this morning.

The former Pennsylvania senator took first place in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

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7:00am

Wed February 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Report: Pentagon 'Beginning Review Of Syria Options'

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 8:36 am

A Syrian rebel stands guard at a street in Idlib, Syria, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012.
AP

As the U.S. continues to search for diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria, "the Pentagon and the U.S. Central Command have begun a preliminary internal review of U.S. military capabilities," CNN is reporting.

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2:55pm

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Flipping 'The Bird' Just Isn't Obscene Anymore, Law Professor Argues

M.I.A.'s now famous finger during halftime of the Super Bowl.
Christopher Polk Getty Images
(Note: This is a post about obscenity. Proceed with caution if the subject bothers you.)

We've got one more thing to say about "the bird" and singer M.I.A.'s flipping of her middle finger on national TV during Sunday's halftime show at the Super Bowl.

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1:01pm

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

California's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional, Court Says

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:26 pm

At the top: Proposition 8's supporters (who oppose same-sex marriage). Below: Proposition 8's opponents. Outside the court today in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today in a much-anticipated decision from the nation's most populous state. The judges upheld a lower court's ruling.

As you'd expect, the ruling has drawn praise from those who support same-sex marriage and condemnation from those who oppose it. Both sides acknowledge that the decision isn't the last word on the subject — an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is expected.

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12:45pm

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Ticker-Tape Sure Sounds Better Than 'Recycled Unprinted Newspaper' Parade

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 1:59 pm

As the paper falls, New York Giants fans cheer during today's parade in Manhattan.
John Minchillo AP

Ah, the ticker-tape parade.

A celebration of heroes. A welcome home for champions. An outpouring of joy.

And since the late '60s, a ticker-tapeless affair.

As the NFL champion New York Giants parade Broadway's Canyon of Heroes today in the 200th-or-so "ticker-tape parade," let's take a moment to consider just what is floating down from buildings above.

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11:25am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

'Year Of The Dragon' Means It's 'Year Of The Baby' Too

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 10:19 am

Yu Qiuyan (right) held her newborn baby girl Li Muhua, as father Li Wanhong (left) and a relative stood by in Beijing on January 26.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

There's been more than enough grim news this morning. How about something lighter?

The Los Angeles Times catches up with the every-12-years story that since it's the "Year of the Dragon" in the zodiac cycle that means "in Chinese, Vietnamese and other Asian communities across the world" this is thought to be an especially fortunate time to have a baby.

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11:09am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Komen Official At Center Of Planned Parenthood Controversy Resigns

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 11:31 am

The Susan G. Komen Foundation just confirmed to NPR.org's Scott Hensley that Karen Handel has resigned from her post as the organization's senior vice president of public policy.

Scott will be posting about the news over at Shots.

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9:40am

Tue February 7, 2012

9:25am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Gulf Arab Nations Recall Ambassadors From Syria, Expel Syrian Diplomats

"Gulf Arab countries announced on Tuesday they were recalling their ambassadors from Damascus and expelling Syrian envoys in response to worsening violence in Syria," Reuters says.

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8:55am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Before Dying In Inferno, Little Boys Were Struck

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 8:57 am

Toys and flowers have been left outside the Puyallup, Wash., home of Chuck and Judy Cox, the grandparents of Charlie and Braden Powell.
Ted S. Warren AP

Horrific details keep emerging about the deaths in Graham, Wash., on Sunday of Braden and Charlie Powell.

Among the disturbing news: Authorities now say it appears that before the boys died in a fire ignited by their father, Josh Powell, he struck his sons with a hatchet.

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8:00am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

As L.A. Probes Sex Abuse Charges, Staff Replaced At Elementary School

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:26 pm

Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Krista Kennell AFP/Getty Images

"In a dramatic move to quell parents' fears, Los Angeles school officials said they will temporarily replace the entire staff of an elementary school south of downtown Los Angeles, where two teachers have been accused of lewd acts against students," the Los Angeles Times writes.

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7:30am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

As Gunfire Echoes Inside Syria, A Cry For Help From A City Under Attack

With heavy machine gun fire in the background as he spoke from the Baba Amr section of Homs, Syrian citizen journalist and blogger Omar Shakir told Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne earlier today that "we are asking for [an] SOS" and help from the International Red Cross to stop what he said has been the deadly shelling of his city by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.

"There is no one with us," Shakir said.

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3:20pm

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

First Barbie, Now Bart Simpson Is Banned In Iran

Homer, left, and Bart Simpson: too dangerous for Iran.
Claire Greenway Getty Images

As most of the headlines we're seeing say: "Aww, man!"

A newspaper in Iran says the authorities there have banned dolls of characters from The Simpsons because they supposedly promote Western culture.

So that means Homer, Marge, Lisa, Maggie and, of course, Bart, join Barbie on the list of toys deemed to be too hot for Iranian children to handle.

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1:55pm

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

'Prop 8' Ruling Expected Tuesday; California Measure Banned Gay Marriage

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals plans to release its ruling on the constitutionality of Calfornia's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state, at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday (10 a.m. in California), the court just announced.

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1:15pm

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

'What If?' Moments Stand Out In Story Of Father Who Killed Himself And Sons

Investigators work around the smoldering remains of the house near Graham, Wash., on Sunday (Feb. 5, 2012).
John Froschauer AP

"I'm sorry, goodbye," Josh Powell wrote in an email to his attorney just before he apparently ignited an explosive fire Sunday that took not just his life but those of his 5- and 7-year-old sons, authorities say.

The tragic events at Powell's home in Graham, Wash., came nearly three years after the disappearance of Powell's wife Susan and the emergence of Powell as the only "person of interest" in the case. Throughout, he maintained his innocence.

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11:55am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama Signs Order Extending Sanctions To Property Of Iranian Government

President Obama has signed an executive order blocking the movement of "all property and interests in property of the government of Iran, including the Central Bank of Iran," if the assets are in the U.S. or are controlled by an American or U.S. entity at foreign branches of U.S. institutions.

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11:05am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

M.I.A.'s Flip Of The Finger: Big Deal Or Not?

M.I.A.'s now famous finger during halftime of the Super Bowl.
Christopher Polk Getty Images
(Note: If seeing someone "flip the bird" greatly offends you, this might not be the post for you.)

If it's the morning after a Super Bowl then that must mean everybody's talking not just about the game but about the ads and the halftime show as well.

The game? OK, but not the greatest. (If you haven't heard, the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17.)

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9:55am

Mon February 6, 2012

9:30am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Release Americans 'Immediately,' Ambassador Rice Tells Egypt

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 9:31 am

Saying that "these Americans have done absolutely nothing wrong," the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations this morning called on Egypt to immediately allow 19 U.S. citizens to leave that country and to drop plans to accuse them of illegally funding groups that oppose Egypt's ruling military regime.

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8:45am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Poll Gives Obama 'Clear Edge' Over Romney

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 5:14 pm

President Obama has his first "clear edge" over Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney in polling done for The Washington Post and ABC News:

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8:10am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Eli Has Two Rings, Peyton Has One; Time For Little 'Bro To Get More Respect?

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 8:14 am

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the NFL Super Bowl XLVI game against the New England Patriots, Sunday (Feb. 5, 2012).
Charlie Riedel AP
  • NPR's Mike Pesca reports on the Super Bowl

After leading his New York Giants to a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots last night, quarterback Eli Manning is now 2-0 in Super Bowl games.

That puts him ahead of older brother Peyton, who has taken the Indianapolis Colts to two Super Bowls and won one.

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7:30am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Regime Has 'License To Kill' After Diplomatic Impasse, Activists Say

Activists say this image, taken from a video uploaded to YouTube, shows Syrians outside a field hospital in Homs earlier today. Blood stains the sidewalk. Because few foreign journalists are inside Syria, images such as this cannot be independently verified.
AFP/Getty Images
  • Steve Inskeep talks with Kelly McEvers about the violence in Homs

People in Homs, Syria, say government forces are shelling the city and that at least 15 to 20 people have died so far today. The renewed attacks follow an even deadlier weekend barrage — human rights groups say government forces killed about 200 people in Homs on Saturday, making it perhaps the bloodiest day since opposition protests began last spring.

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3:20pm

Fri February 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Winklevoss Twins May Reap $300 Million From Facebook IPO

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 3:23 pm

Tyler (left) and Cameron Winklevoss.
Thomas Samson AFP/Getty Images

Before we finish the week, we have to pass on at least one more story related to Facebook's plan to raise about $5 billion with its first sale of shares to the public.

It seems that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss — the "Winklevii" twins — could get up to $300 million worth of Facebook shares when the deal goes through.

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