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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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Finally, Egyptians Have Their Say

In Cairo, earlier today, a man cast his ballot.
Marco Longari AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:21 am

  • Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on 'Morning Edition'

"This is definitely the big event" on Egypt's way toward its own form of democracy.

That's how NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson summed up the news earlier on Morning Edition as she reported from Cairo about the opening day of the first free presidential elections in a nation that just a little more than a year ago was in the throes of a revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak's regime.

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The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

As Egyptians Prepare To Vote, Jimmy Carter Watches 'Complete Transformation'

In Cairo on Monday, Egyptian Parliament Speaker Saad al-Katatni (left) met with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 7:44 pm

On All Things Considered today, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson will look ahead to Egypt's first free presidential election — voting begins Wednesday and is expected to lead to a mid-June runoff — and how some Egyptians who played roles in last year's revolution there are refusing to take part because they don't trust the military leaders who run the country.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

We Should Have Known: Megaseconds Are Much Longer Than Milliseconds

Typos and mistakes are part of the news business — as anyone who regularly reads this blogger surely knows. We don't want them to happen, but they do.

Sometimes they're kind of quirky and educational.

Check out this correction from The New York Times:

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

U.S.-Bound Passenger Jet Diverted Due To 'Security Issue' On Board

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 2:47 pm

There was a "security issue" aboard a US Airways flight from Paris to Charlotte, N.C., earlier today, and the plane was diverted to Maine's Bangor International Airport, where it landed around noon ET.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Auction Of Reagan's Blood Draws Condemnation

March 30, 1981: President Ronald Reagan, moments before he was shot.
Mike Evens AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 2:06 pm

An online auction of a vial said to contain blood drawn from President Reagan on the day he was shot in 1981 is "a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase," says a spokesman for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Facebook's Stock: What Should It Cost?

Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 4:08 pm

As the downward pressure continues on the price of Facebook's newly issued shares, let's see what our collective financial wisdom tells us.

The initial public offering was priced at $38 a share. After technical snafus on Friday, and only thanks to lots of help from Facebook's bankers, that's about where the stock settled its first day.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Existing Home Sales And Prices Both Rose In April

As sales of existing homes rose 3.4 percent in April from March, prices of those previously owned houses, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops also rose, the National Association of Realtors said this morning.

"The recovery appears to be extending to home prices," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says in a report issued earlier.

Sales were 10 percent above the level of April 2011, NAR adds. Last month's pace: a 4.62 million annual rate.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Europe's Crisis Threatens To Kill Global Economic Recovery, Experts Warn

Unless leaders in Europe act quickly, the financial crisis there could drag down the global economy and kill what appears to be a "fragile, extremely uneven" recovery, the multi-national Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned today.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Tue May 22, 2012

U.S. Ambassador To Afghanistan To Step Down, Reports Say

Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, last month in Kabul.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, "is expected to step down soon from his post," sources familiar with the matter tell Reuters and a few other news outlets.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Let's Catch Two: Same Fan Grabs Back-To-Back Home Run Balls

Caleb Lloyd, with the ball in his left hand, celebrates after catching the first of the back-to-back home runs that came his way Monday night in Cincinnati.
MLB.com

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 6:02 pm

  • Caleb Lloyd speaking to NPR

"That's just crazy," Cincinnati Reds fan Caleb Lloyd said Monday night after he ended up snagging two home runs balls — from consecutive batters — during the Reds' 4-1 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Word Of Deal To Inspect Iran's Nuclear Program Raises Hopes For Broader Talks

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano earlier today in Vienna, after his return from talks in Tehran.
Dieter Nagl AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 5:50 pm

A deal has been agreed to that will facilitate international monitors' effort to investigate whether Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency told reporters in Vienna earlier today.

The Financial Times puts the news this way:

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It's All Politics
3:54 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Booker, Bain, Romney & Obama: Ad Wars Go Full Circle And Then Some

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.
Bennett Raglin Getty Images for Macy's

This is a classic chain of events that never seems to go out of style in an election year.

First one of the presidential campaigns put out videos that it says are informational but critics say are attack ads. This time, it's President Obama's team and the target is Republican rival Mitt Romney. The point of the spots, such as this one, is to make the case that when Romney ran Bain Capital, some of the companies the investment firm took over ended up shedding jobs rather than creating them.

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Someone Couldn't Count To 10, So British Olympian Can't Claim Personal Best

Heptathlon athlete Jessica Ennis in March at the official British team kit launch for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Warren Little Getty Images for adidas

When she hit the tape Sunday at the Powerade Great City Games in Manchester, England, Britain's Jessica Ennis hadn't only beaten Olympic heptathlon champion Dawn Harper.

Ennis had also run a personal best 12.75 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles — 0.04 of a second faster than she'd ever run that race.

It was her personal best, that is, until 2004 Olympic heptathlon bronze medalist Kelly Sotherton, also of the U.K., tweeted this question:

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

30 Days In Jail, Three Years Probation In Rutgers Webcam Case

Dharun Ravi in a Brunswick, N.J., court today during his sentencing.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 2:36 pm

After emotional appeals from parents on both sides of the case, Dharun Ravi was this afternoon sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of probation for bias intimidation and invasion of privacy when he used a webcam to spy on his gay roommate at Rutgers University in September 2010.

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The Two-Way
11:37 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Supreme Court Lets Stand Student's $675,000 Penalty For Downloading

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 12:16 pm

Without commenting on the merits of the case, the Supreme Court this morning let stand a $675,000 jury verdict against a 25-year-old Boston University student who downloaded 30 songs nearly a decade ago and then shared them with others on a peer-to-peer network.

The court denied Joel Tenenbaum's "write of certiorari," which means his appeal of a lower court's ruling and the judgment were turned down.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Four Tons Of Marijuana Found Floating Off California Coast

It would take a lot of marijuana plants such as these to make four tons.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 1:33 pm

Who dumped the dope?

That's the question of the day along the coast of Southern California as authorities try to figure out how four tons of marijuana — more than 150 bales — got into the Pacific Ocean near Orange County's Dana Point Harbor. They were found this weekend about 15 miles out to sea.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Mon May 21, 2012

On Its Second Day, Facebook Stock Drops

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 9:54 am

After its much-ballyhooed initial public offering on Friday ended with the stock's price just about where it started, Facebook ended sharply lower today.

Just after the start of trading, the social media giant's shares were trading around $33, down 13 percent about $5 from Friday's close. At close, it ended 11 percent lower at $34.03.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Pakistan Threatens To Overshadow NATO Summit

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 1:23 pm

  • Scott Horsley reporting for 'Morning Edition'

As President Obama and other NATO leaders wrap up a two-day summit today in Chicago, the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over reopening supply routes from that country into Afghanistan threatens to "put a crimp in the Obama administration's efforts to lay out a clear strategy for winding down the war in Afghanistan," NPR's Jackie Northam tells our Newscast desk.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Dozens Killed By Suicide Bomber In Yemen

It's been another deadly day in Yemen:

According to the BBC: "At least 63 people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack during a rehearsal for a military parade in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, officials say. The assailant, who was reportedly wearing an army uniform, blew himself up among a group of soldiers at al-Sabin Square, near the presidential palace."

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Eclipse Of The Sun: Did You Fall Into The Ring Of Fire's Path?

This combination picture shows the annular solar eclipse as viewed from Tokyo earlier today.
Kazuhiro Nogi AFP/Getty Images

"That's got to be the prettiest thing I've ever seen," Brent Veltri of Salida, Colo., told The Associated Press, when asked about the eclipse of the sun that was visible across the western U.S. on Sunday afternoon and in much of Asia earlier today.

The celestial show attracted quite a crowd. According to the AP:

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Insurers Paid $479 Million In Claims For Dog Bites Last Year

Matthew Weins of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles, works with Daisy on a demonstration aimed at showing that even small dogs can jump high to bite.
Damian Dovarganes AP

With National Dog Bite Prevention Week set to start Saturday, the Insurance Information Institute wants Americans to know that:

-- Insurers paid $479 million in home owner insurance claims involving dog bites last year, up 16.1 percent from the year before.

-- The number of such claims rose 3.3 percent, to 16,292.

-- The average cost per claim grew by 12.3 percent from the year before, to $29,296.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Is It Fair That A Quarterback Set The Record For Paper Airplane Tossing?

Joe Ayoob (in red shirt) winding up for the record-breaking throw. Plane designer John Collins is behind him.
ThePaperAirplaneGuy

We'd seen the video of the world-record paper airplane toss — 226 feet, 10 inches.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Updated: French President Sticks By Quicker Troop Withdrawal Schedule

President Barack Obama meets with French President Francois Hollande on Friday in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 1:36 pm

Update at 1:17 p.m. ET. Support Afghanistan In 'Different Way':

During their meeting in the White House, President Francois Hollande, the new socialist leader of France, said he told President Obama that he was committed to withdrawing French troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

But, the AP reports, Hollande said he was committed to supporting Afghanistan in a "different way."

This was Obama's first meeting with Hollande.

The two leaders also said they wanted Greece to remain a part the European monetary union.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Fri May 18, 2012

French Plan To Pull Troops From Afghanistan Starts Busy Diplomatic Days

Before President Obama welcomes world leaders to Camp David and Chicago, new French President Francoise Hollande is expected to say he wants his nation's 3,300 troops home from Afghanistan by year's end. That could upset other NATO nations.

The Two-Way
8:34 am
Fri May 18, 2012

5 Takeaways From Trove Of Evidence Related To Trayvon Martin's Death

A photograph of George Zimmerman's head taken after the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. It shows blood from injuries he Zimmerman says he received during their encounter.
Florida State Attorney's Office AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Greg Allen reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Among the key things to know about what's in the hundreds of pages of evidence and other materials related to the Feb. 26 shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, which were released Thursday:

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Like It Or Not, It's Facebook's Day On Wall Street

Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:03 pm

  • Steve Henn talks with Steve Inskeep on 'Morning Edition'

Facebook's much-publicized first sale of stock to the public started with a bang late this morning as the price per share jumped. But though the volume of shares sold was a record for an initial public offering, the stock's price gave up its gains as the day continued.

By the end of trading in the U.S., Facebook had settled right at the $38 initial offering price that had been set before shares went on sale.

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Diplomat: U.S. Has Military Option Ready, If Needed, To Deal With Iran

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 8:43 am

President Obama has said "I don't bluff," when it comes to opposing any effort by Iran to develop nuclear weapons (which that nation says it is not trying to do). And, he told The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg in March, "all options are on the table."

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Hot Pants Indeed: Rocks In Pocket Set Woman's Shorts On Fire

The look so harmless.
Win McNamee Getty Images

A 43-year-old woman in San Clemente, Calif., suffered second- and third-degree burns on her right leg and right arm Saturday after rocks in a pocket set her shorts on fire, The Orange County Register says.

Orange County Fire Authority officials tell the newspaper that the woman collected the rocks on a nearby beach, returned home and "was standing in her kitchen ... when the pocket of her cargo shorts caught fire."

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Good News, Bad News: Japanese Economy Surges, But Likely Will Slow

In a classic example of "on the one hand, on the other hand" economic analysis, the word that Japan's economy grew at a strong 4.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter is being followed by cautionary talk of slower growth for the world's third-largest economy in coming quarters.

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