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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9:23am

Tue February 25, 2014
The Two-Way

Crisis In Ukraine: Formation Of New Government Is Delayed

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 1:51 pm

Praying For Those Who Died: Mourners were in Kiev's Independence Square again on Tuesday. It was the site of protests in recent months, and was where more than 80 people died last week in violence blamed on security forces.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

The search for ousted President Viktor Yanukovych continues in Ukraine, where months of protests over his turn toward Russia and away from the European Union, along with public anger over corruption, led to his removal from office on Saturday.

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8:14am

Tue February 25, 2014
The Two-Way

More Than Two Dozen Boys Killed In Attack On Nigerian School

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 8:47 am

Suspicion is immediately focusing on the Islamist group Boko Haram as word emerges about another horrific attack on school children in Nigeria.

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7:44am

Tue February 25, 2014
The Two-Way

Missing Mango Mystery Solved, Here Are The Juicy Details

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 9:25 am

The Big Mango in Bowen, Australia, seen here in 2011.
Jack Zalium/NPR

7:06am

Tue February 25, 2014
The Two-Way

Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Goes Dark After Theft Report

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:10 pm

Kolin Burges, a self-styled cryptocurrency trader and former software engineer, was among a small number of protesters outside the Tokyo offices of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox on Tuesday.
Toru Hanai Reuters/Landov

"The website of major bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was offline Tuesday amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft, a new setback for efforts to gain legitimacy for the virtual currency," The Associated Press reports.

Also Tuesday, all the posts had been erased from the Mt. Gox Twitter account.

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1:14pm

Mon February 24, 2014
The Two-Way

Harold Ramis, 'Ghostbuster' Actor And 'Groundhog Day' Director, Dies

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:10 pm

Harold Ramis in 2009. He died Monday.
Jim Prisching AP

Harold Ramis, who was in the director's chair for the comedies Groundhog Day and Caddyshack and was one of the stars of the Ghostbuster movies, has died. He was 69.

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11:55am

Mon February 24, 2014
The Two-Way

Oldest-Known Holocaust Survivor Dies; Pianist Was 110

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:46 am

Alice Herz-Sommer in July 2010.
'The Lady in Number 6' AP
  • From the documentary 'The Lady in Number 6': Alice Herz-Sommer says whether life is good or not 'depends on me.'

10:28am

Mon February 24, 2014
The Two-Way

Rep. John Dingell, Who Has Served A Record 58 Years, Is Retiring

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 1:23 pm

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Michigan Democratic Rep. John Dingell, who was first elected to Congress in 1955 to fill a seat his father had held, says he will not seek re-election later this year.

He'll leave office having served in Congress longer than anyone else in history. Last June, Dingell passed the previous record holder, the late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.

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9:45am

Mon February 24, 2014
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Warm Reception As NBA's Jason Collins Makes History

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:01 pm

Jason Collins of the Brooklyn Nets during Sunday's game against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Jeff Gross Getty Images

8:30am

Mon February 24, 2014
The Two-Way

Pentagon Budget-Cutting Plans Sure To Draw Flak

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:37 pm

Mark Wilson AFP/Getty Images
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman talks with host David Greene about the Pentagon's budget problems

Click here to jump to Monday afternoon's highlights of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's announcement. We've rewritten the top of this post since Hagel announced his budget plan.

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7:29am

Mon February 24, 2014
The Two-Way

Resignations In Egypt May Be Prelude To General's Presidential Run

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 10:42 am

Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in April 2013.
Jim Watson AP

In something of a surprise, Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi announced Monday that his entire Cabinet is stepping down.

From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel says the prime minister gave no reason for the mass resignation.

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6:56am

Mon February 24, 2014
The Two-Way

Ukraine's Yanukovych On Run From Mass Murder Charge

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:10 am

In Kiev's Independence Square, flowers have been left in memory of protesters killed there in recent days.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Viktor Yanukovych, ousted Saturday from his post as president of Ukraine, is now wanted by authorities in his country on charges of mass murder, the acting interior minister says.

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1:47pm

Fri February 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko May Soon Be Free

In Kiev last month, this anti-government protester in protective gear stood in front of a poster featuring an image of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Her jailing on what supporters believe were bogus charges was among the complaints protesters raised.
Darko Bandic AP

There's another big breaking story from Ukraine, where earlier today an agreement was reached to hopefully end what in recent days had been a deadly series of clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces:

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been in jail since 2011 on what her supporters say were trumped-up charges aimed at silencing one of President Viktor Yanukovych critics, may soon be free again.

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12:40pm

Fri February 21, 2014
The Edge

Team USA's Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Skiing Gold

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:06 am

She's a winner: Team USA's Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates after taking gold in the women's slalom at the Sochi Games.
Olivier Morin AFP/Getty Images

Eighteen-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin has lived up to her reputation as the pre-race favorite by winning the gold medal in women's slalom at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

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12:18pm

Fri February 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Garrick Utley, 'Quintessential Foreign Correspondent,' Dies

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:14 pm

Garrick Utley in 2012.
Mark Lennihan AP

If reporting from foreign lands is important to you, then Garrick Utley is someone you most likely admired over the past four or five decades.

So it's with some sadness that we pass along word that the veteran newsman, who in the mid-'60s was NBC News' first bureau chief in Saigon and later went on to a career that took him around the world and to the moderator's chair on Meet the Press, has died.

He was 74.

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11:04am

Fri February 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Photos: Kiev's Independence Square Before And After

Kiev's Independence Square on Thursday (Feb. 20, 2014).
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters/Landov

Hopes are high that the worst is over in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, where dozens of people died this week as security forces responded to anti-government protests. As we reported earlier, President Viktor Yanukovych and key opposition leaders have signed an agreement about forming a unity government, holding new elections and restoring the nation's 2004 constitution.

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9:45am

Fri February 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Good Work On Those 'Feeli The Finnish Reindeer' Lyrics

His antlers are so bright.
Reindeer Herders' Association (of Finland)

We asked and Two-Way readers came through.

The challenge:

Set the story of "Feeli the Finnish Reindeer" and his shiny antlers to the tune of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

The responses in our comments thread:

Feeli the Finnish reindeer
Had antlers that didn't glow.
And drivers didn't see them
As right over them they'd mow.

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7:04am

Fri February 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Breakthrough? Ukrainian President, Opposition Leaders Reach Deal

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 6:52 pm

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (right) and opposition leader Vitali Klitschko shake hands Friday after signing an agreement that diplomats hope will end the bloodshed in Kiev.
Tim Brakemeier EPA/Landov
We're updating this post as the day continues.

In what could be a major move toward ending the violence in the streets of his capital, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and leaders of the anti-government opposition reached agreement Friday on a deal to hold new elections, form a unity government and restore a constitution drafted in 2004.

Some details have yet to be spelled out. But the BBC sums up the news this way:

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1:57pm

Thu February 20, 2014
The Two-Way

These Reindeer Really Do Shine, And It's For Their Own Good

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 10:23 am

His antlers are so bright.
Reindeer Herders' Association (of Finland)

Feeli the Finnish reindeer,

Had some very shiny horns ...

OK, we'll stop there.

Here's the news:

"Herders in Lapland are spraying their reindeer with reflective paint to help drivers see them in the dark," the BBC writes.

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9:06am

Thu February 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Dip In Weekly Jobless Claims Seen As Sign Of Better Times Ahead

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:37 am

As the weather warms, will more signs such as this pop up? Economists say the latest data on claims for unemployment benefits may signal that better times are ahead.
Eric Gay AP

There were only 3,000 fewer first-time claims filed for jobless benefits last week, but the slight decline is being seen as another sign that the nation's labor market will gain some strength once spring arrives.

The Employment and Training Administration said Thursday that 336,000 applications were submitted last week, versus 339,000 the week before.

That means the pace of claims is still running about where it's been since late 2011.

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8:24am

Thu February 20, 2014
The Two-Way

In Venezuela, Another Beauty Queen's Death Adds To Anger

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 11:40 am

This photo, which witnesses say shows Venezuelan beauty queen Genesis Carmona being evacuated from the scene of a protest on Tuesday, is ricocheting around the Web. She died after being shot.
Reuters/Landov

There's a sad symmetry to the news from Venezuela, where anti-government protests in recent weeks have been fueled in part by outrage over the shooting death of a beauty queen — a death that underscored that nation's struggle to control violent crime.

One of the five people killed this week during protests against the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro, it's now being reported, was another young beauty queen.

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7:06am

Thu February 20, 2014
The Two-Way

World's Outrage Grows As Death Toll Rises In Kiev

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 7:46 am

An injured man is carried away Thursday after more clashes between anti-government protesters and police in Kiev.
Yannis Behrakis Reuters/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Kiev

This post is being updated as the day continues.

Just hours after a truce was declared, deadly clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces broke out again in Ukraine's capital.

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1:11pm

Wed February 19, 2014
The Two-Way

Jailed Protest Leader Urges Venezuelans To Keep Demonstrating

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 2:10 pm

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez (in white shirt) as he turned himself over to police on Tuesday in Caracas.
Cristian Hernandez Xinhua/Landov

In a video released Wednesday, imprisoned protest leader Leopoldo Lopez urges his supporters in Venezuela to continue pressing for the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro, Reuters reports from Caracas.

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11:10am

Wed February 19, 2014
The Two-Way

U.K. Court OKs Detention Of Reporter Glenn Greenwald's Partner

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 11:26 am

Glenn Greenwald, left, and David Miranda after Miranda's arrival at Rio de Janeiro's International Airport on Aug. 19, 2013. Miranda had been detained for nine hours at London's Heathrow Airport. Authorities questioned him about Greenwald's reporting of the "NSA leaks."
Ricardo Moraes Reuters/Landov

British authorities were within their rights to detain journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner for nine hours last August and to seize an external hard drive containing classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden, three high court judges in the U.K. have ruled.

David Miranda, who lives with Greenwald in Brazil, was stopped at London's Heathrow Airport last August as he was making his way home from Europe.

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9:45am

Wed February 19, 2014
The Edge

Finnished! Russian Hockey Team Bounced Out Of Olympics

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:33 pm

Russian fans who gathered in Sochi's Olympic Park react with dismay as they watch a broadcast of the ice hockey match between Russia and Finland.
Shamil Zhumatov Reuters/Landov

"Uskotko ihmeisiin?"

No, this isn't exactly a "do you believe in miracles?" bit of history for Finland, but its men's hockey team just produced a moment-to-remember at the Sochi Games.

Finland beat Russia 3-1, bouncing the home team out of the tournament.

As NPR's Robert Smith has reported, there was tremendous pressure on Alex Ovechkin and his Russian teammates to win gold in Sochi.

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8:56am

Wed February 19, 2014
The Two-Way

Nun Who Broke Into Nuclear Complex Gets 35-Month Jail Term

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 11:15 am

Anti-nuclear activists (from left) Gregory Boertje-Obed, Sister Megan Rice and Michael Walli, pictured Feb. 6 in Knoxville, Tenn., were sentenced to prison terms on Tuesday for the 2012 break-in at Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.
Linda Davidson The Washington Post/Getty Images

"An 84-year-old Catholic nun was sentenced Tuesday to nearly three years in prison for breaking into a nuclear weapons complex and defacing a bunker holding bomb-grade uranium, a demonstration that exposed serious security flaws at the Tennessee plant," The Associated Press writes from Knoxville, Tenn.

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7:31am

Wed February 19, 2014
The Edge

Team USA's Ted Ligety Wins Gold In Giant Slalom

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:10 am

Ted Ligety of Team USA celebrates Wednesday after winning the men's giant slalom event at the Sochi Winter Games.
Hans Klaus Techt EPA/Landov

Ted Ligety is now only the second American to ever earn two Olympic gold medals in Alpine skiing after finishing first Wednesday in the giant slalom at the Sochi Winter Games.

As USA Today writes:

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7:05am

Wed February 19, 2014
The Two-Way

Negotiations In Ukraine Under Close Scrutiny After Bloodshed

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 11:13 pm

Riot police officers stand in Kiev's Independence Square on Wednesday as smoke rises from protesters' burning barricades.
Alexey Furman EPA/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': David Stern of the BBC speaks from Kiev
This post was updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

The U.S. and the European Union are closely watching Ukraine amid news that the government was starting negotiations with opposition leaders to end the violence, which has left more than two dozen people dead since Tuesday.

A statement on the Ukrainian presidential website said:

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2:39pm

Tue February 18, 2014
The Two-Way

Soldiers' 'Fun' Photo With Flag-Draped Coffin Sparks Outrage

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 2:05 pm

The photo that has offended many. The soldier responsible for posting it on Instagram has been suspended and an investigation has begun.
Wisconsin National Guard Facebook page

Two photos posted on Instagram by a member of the Wisconsin National Guard have caused an uproar on social media.

In one, 14 soldiers are seen joking around in front of what authorities say was an empty coffin draped with the American flag. The caption with that image reads, in part: "We put the FUN in funeral."

In the other, the soldier who put the pictures on the Web is seen in uniform. The caption with that photo reads: "It's so damn cold out....WHY have a funeral outside !? Somebody's getting a jacked up flag."

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1:09pm

Tue February 18, 2014
The Two-Way

Obama Wants Tougher Fuel Standards For Big Trucks

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 2:02 pm

Exhausts rises from a truck in California last September.
Mike Blake Reuters/Landov

President Obama said Tuesday that he has told the Environmental Protection Agency to work with the Department of Transportation on a second round of regulations to improve the fuel efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The goal: reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they contribute to the environment.

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11:59am

Tue February 18, 2014
The Two-Way

A Big Asteroid Just Flew By, And Guess What? More Are Coming

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 3:18 pm

NASA/JPL-Caltech

An asteroid that's about the size of three football fields flew past Earth on Monday, coming within 2.1 million miles. That was near enough to generate headlines such as this, from Reuters: "Earth marks close encounter with enormous asteroid."

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