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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7:18am

Wed March 19, 2014
The Two-Way

Missing Jet's Mysterious Turn May Have Been Plotted Early In Flight

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:29 am

The cockpit of a Boeing 777.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Twelve days into the mystery of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people on board, more clues seem to raise only more questions.

The latest news about the investigation and search for the plane includes:

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11:59am

Tue March 18, 2014
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Flames Spread After Helicopter Crashes In Seattle

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 6:03 pm

Two people were killed and one was critically injured when a KOMO News helicopter crashed and burned Tuesday near Seattle's Space Needle, the station reports.

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10:35am

Tue March 18, 2014
The Two-Way

Here Are The 24 Heroic Stories Behind Today's Medals Of Honor

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:50 am

Vietnam veterans Melvin Morris (center), Jose Rodela (obscured) and Santiago J. Erevia (left) received the Medal of Honor from President Obama at the White House on Thursday.
Win McNamee Getty Images
This post was updated at 4:09 p.m. ET.

Old wrongs were righted Tuesday afternoon, as The Associated Press says, when President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to 24 Army veterans.

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8:39am

Tue March 18, 2014
The Two-Way

More Theories But Still No Sign Of Missing Malaysian Jet

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 11:38 am

A Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency pilot scans the sea below for any sign of Flight 370.
Edgar Su Reuters/Landov

The search continues for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people on board. They disappeared on March 8 when the jet apparently turned west while over the Gulf of Thailand. It was on a flight that should have taken it from Kuala Lumpur north to Beijing.

Now, a search that stretches far to the south in the Indian Ocean to far to the north in Central Asia is underway. The area covers more than 3 million square miles.

Tuesday's headlines help highlight the latest developments:

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7:33am

Tue March 18, 2014
The Two-Way

West Is Ruled 'By The Gun,' Putin Says As He Annexes Crimea

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 6:21 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': Ellen Barry, Moscow correspondent for 'The New York Times,' talks with NPR's Renee Montagne
We updated this post as Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke and other leaders reacted.

Wasting no time and showing no sign that he's concerned about Western objections or economic sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea on Tuesday.

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1:08pm

Mon March 17, 2014
The Two-Way

GM Recalls 1.2 Million SUVs For Problem With Air Bags

The 2013 Buick Enclave.
GM AP

Already in the news for a recall involving 1.6 million small vehicles with faulty ignition switches, General Motors on Monday added 1.2 million SUVs and nearly 400,000 other vehicles to its list of models with problems that need fixing.

The new recalls, which GM has listed here:

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12:02pm

Mon March 17, 2014
The Two-Way

VIDEO: News Anchors Dive For Cover As Quake Shakes L.A.

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 1:45 pm

KTLA-TV anchors Megan Henderson, left, and Chris Schauble as they emerged from beneath their desk once the earthquake was over.
KTLA

11:17am

Mon March 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Paris Ends 'Odd Or Even' Limit On Cars After One Day

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 2:41 pm

Police were checking cars throughout Paris on Monday, including near the Arc de Triomphe, as the city tried to cut air pollution by instituting odd-even driving restrictions.
Philippe Wojazer Reuters /Landov

Hoping to cut down on air pollution that in recent days has reached dangerous levels, city officials in Paris on Monday began trying to cut automobile emissions by enforcing an odd-even system of traffic rules.

For the most part, only cars with odd-numbered license plates could be on the rues et boulevards Monday (since it's the 17th of March). On Tuesday, the city's streets were to be open only to cars with even-numbered plates.

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9:13am

Mon March 17, 2014

8:23am

Mon March 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Last Words From Cockpit May Be Clue To Jet's Disappearance

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 10:51 am

Multi-lingual cards about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 line a wall at a mall in Kuala Lumpur.
Rahman Roslan Getty Images
We're updating this post as new information comes in.

There's still no sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 or the 239 people on board.

The plane went missing March 8, less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on what was supposed to be about a six-hour flight to Beijing.

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7:28am

Mon March 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Russia Recognizes Independent Crimea; U.S. And EU 'Stand Firm' With Ukraine

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 3:28 pm

A pile of the votes cast Sunday in Simferopol, Ukraine, the regional capital of Crimea.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET.

Russia has officially recognized Crimea as a sovereign independent state, after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to that effect late Monday, according to a release from the Kremlin. The decree takes effect immediately, naming "the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status."

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1:10pm

Fri March 14, 2014
The Two-Way

Two Weeks After Waking Up In Body Bag, Man Dies

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:56 pm

Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Walter Williams, the 78-year-old man from Mississippi who two weeks ago "came back to life once he was put on an embalming table," has died.

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8:40am

Fri March 14, 2014

8:35am

Fri March 14, 2014
The Two-Way

No Breakthrough In Talks About Ukraine

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:11 pm

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before their talks Friday in London. Afterward, they reported no breakthroughs on finding a solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
Brendan Smialowski AP
This post has been updated.

Update at 12:45 ET: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry came away from talks Friday in London saying they had not come any closer to an agreement about how to end the crisis in Ukraine.

Lavrov told reporters after the two men met that Russia intends to "respect the choice of the Crimean people" — who will vote Sunday on whether to join the Russian Federation. That was a sign that Russia may indeed move to annex the region if Crimeans indicate that's their wish.

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7:21am

Fri March 14, 2014
The Two-Way

Missing Jet Reportedly Kept Sending Signals For 5 1/2 Hours

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 12:14 pm

At Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Friday, a woman writes on a banner full of messages about the 239 missing passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Edgar Su Reuters/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Frank Langfitt reports

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET: After Flight MH370 Disappeared, It Kept Telling Satellites 'I'm Awake':

Communications satellites continued to receive signals from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane for at least 5 1/2 hours after it disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand, a source familiar with the investigation tells NPR's Frank Langfitt.

Frank, reporting from Shanghai, writes that:

"Flight MH370's last known communication came after 1 o'clock last Saturday morning, local time, according to Malaysian officials.

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1:56pm

Thu March 13, 2014
The Two-Way

As Vote In Crimea Nears, Kerry Has Words Of Warning For Russia

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during his testimony Thursday before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Among the latest developments related to the crisis in Ukraine:

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10:19am

Thu March 13, 2014
The Two-Way

Officials Dispute Report That Malaysian Jet Kept Flying For Hours

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 7:49 pm

The Malaysian air force, with help from about a dozen other nations, continues to search the seas on both sides of the Malay Peninsula for any sign of Flight 370.
Xinhua/Landov
This post is being updated.

Just a few hours after a stunning report from The Wall Street Journal — headlined "U.S. Investigators Suspect Missing Airplane Flew On For Hours" — the Malaysian officials in charge of the investigation say that story's central premise isn't true.

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9:43am

Thu March 13, 2014
The Two-Way

Small-Scale Attacks Could Bring Down U.S. Power Grid, Report Says

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 3:44 pm

A power outage in August 2003 darkened New York City. A report warns that the national power grid could be knocked out if just a handful of key power stations were sabotaged.
George Widman AP

The nation's entire power grid could be blacked out for months if as few as nine of the nation's 55,000 electric substations were put out of commission by saboteurs, The Wall Street Journal writes, citing a "previously unreported" study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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9:01am

Thu March 13, 2014
The Two-Way

Weekly Jobless Claims Touch 3-Month Low

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 10:41 am

There were 315,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Employment and Training Administration says.

That's down 9,000 from the previous week and marks a three-month low.

So for the second straight week, there's at least modestly good news to report about the labor market.

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8:36am

Thu March 13, 2014

8:22am

Thu March 13, 2014
The Two-Way

Death Toll From NYC Explosion Stands At 8, May Go Higher

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 7:23 pm

Two buildings collapsed in Harlem on Wednesday after an explosion and fire. Authorities say there were reports of a gas leak shortly before the blast.
Jeremy Sailing AP
This post was updated at 7:22 p.m. ET.

Rescue workers in New York pulled an eighth body out the smoldering rubble of two Harlem buildings that collapsed because of a gas explosion that also injured more than 70 people.

Unfortunately, according to NBC New York, not everyone has been accounted for: Crews are still looking for three people who remain missing.

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7:48am

Thu March 13, 2014
The Two-Way

'Bodies Went Flying' As Car Tore Through Crowd At SXSW

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 8:51 pm

Bystanders rushed to help those who were struck by a vehicle early Thursday on Red River Street in Austin, which was crowded with people headed to South by Southwest events.
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman MCT/Landov
This post has been updated. Click here to jump to that news.

Revelry turned to horror early Thursday "after a car plowed through South by Southwest crowds in Downtown Austin," KUT reports.

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1:55pm

Wed March 12, 2014
The Two-Way

Why Did The Possibly Pregnant Shark Cross The Atlantic?

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 4:55 pm

"Lydia" shortly before a tracking device was attached to her last year near Jacksonville, Fla.
OCEARCH.org

You kind of have to admire headlines such as this:

"UK-bound great white shark Lydia could be PREGNANT"

That's the Mirror doing its best to scare folks into reading its report.

The story behind the scary headline, though, is interesting.

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10:23am

Wed March 12, 2014
The Two-Way

VIDEO: San Francisco's Biggest Fire In Years

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 11:08 am

Flames leap from the roof of the under-construction apartment building that caught fire Tuesday in San Francisco.
Terry Schmitt UPI/Landov

A "quick-moving, monstrous blaze" on Tuesday destroyed a nine-story apartment building that was under construction in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood.

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9:29am

Wed March 12, 2014
The Two-Way

Reports: Obama Will Move To Expand Overtime Pay

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 1:37 pm

Punching a time card: It's still one way of tracking hours worked. President Obama believes more workers need to be able to add overtime to their pay.
Armin Weigel dpa/Landov

The Obama administration's push to put income inequality atop the domestic political agenda has another battlefront.

According to The New York Times, the president "this week will seek to force American businesses to pay more overtime to millions of workers, the latest move by his administration to confront corporations that have had soaring profits even as wages have stagnated."

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8:34am

Wed March 12, 2014
The Two-Way

Ukraine Won't Fight Russia In Crimea, Acting President Says

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 4:54 pm

Their nation's flag was draped over a stop sign last week as Ukrainian soldiers stood guard inside part of the Belbek air base outside Sevastopol, Crimea. Other soldiers, said to be Russian troops, took over most of the base.
Maxim Shipenkov EPA/Landov
(This post was updated at 4:52 p.m. ET. to reflect President Obama's meeting with the interim prime minister of Ukraine.)

Conceding that "we cannot launch a military operation in Crimea, as we would expose the eastern border and Ukraine would not be protected," Ukraine's acting president has told Agence France-Presse that his nation won't use force in a bid to keep Crimea from breaking off and joining the Russian Federation.

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7:43am

Wed March 12, 2014
The Two-Way

Officials Seem To Have No Clue About Fate Of Missing Jet

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 9:55 pm

Scratching their heads: Malaysia's minister of transport, Hishamuddin Hussein (center), tried to answer reporters' questions Wednesday about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. He was joined by Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation, and Gen. Zulkifeli Mohd Zin.
Wong Maye-E AP

Our headline from last night could very well be repeated today:

"Confusion Reigns Over Missing Jet's Final Location"

In fact, to say things are confusing might even be an understatement.

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1:49pm

Tue March 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Deborah Hersman Stepping Down As Head Of NTSB

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman briefing reporters about the July 2013 crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Deborah Hersman, known to many Americans because she's the face of the National Transportation Safety Board at the scene of plane crashes and other transportation-related disasters, is stepping down as head of the NTSB.

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12:25pm

Tue March 11, 2014
The Two-Way

They're Melting! Great Lakes Come Close, But Miss Ice Record

The mostly frozen Great Lakes on Feb. 16. Not sure which lake is which? Click here.
NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch

Another cold snap could change things, of course, but it appears that after a long winter the Great Lakes have come close to — but won't break — their recorded record for ice cover.

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10:16am

Tue March 11, 2014
The Two-Way

'Ringing' Phones Do Not Mean Malaysian Passengers Are OK

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 11:18 am

In Beijing, anxious relatives continue to wait for word about the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The Beijing-bound jet disappeared on Saturday.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Already heartbreaking images of grieving family and friends only become more poignant when you hear this:

Some family members and friends of the 239 people who haven't been heard from since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared Saturday say they've been calling their loved ones' cellphones and hearing rings — though no one picked up the calls.

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