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
8:17 am
Fri August 3, 2012

'Tanning Mom' Has Given Up The Sun; She's Now Practically Pale

Patricia Krentckil's new look, for In Touch magazine.
In Touch

The pictures do indeed tell the story.

Patricial Krentcil, the so-called tanning mom who couldn't stop trying to bronze her body and was accused of taking her 6-year-old daughter into a tanning booth (Krentcil says she didn't do that) has gone pale.

In Touch challenged her to quit, and "after an entire month out of the sun (real and artificial)" she's looking much different in a photo shoot for the magazine.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Fierce Fighting Continues In Syria As U.N. General Assembly Prepares To Vote

In Aleppo, Syria, on Thursday: Children climb on an abandoned Syrian army tank.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 8:18 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Steve Inskeep speaks with Robert Malley

"There has been renewed fighting in Syria ahead of a U.N. General Assembly vote condemning its own Security Council for failing to end the unrest," the BBC writes. "The army has been shelling rebel positions in the largest city, Aleppo. There was also bloodshed in Hama and the capital, Damascus."

According to al-Jazeera:

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Fri August 3, 2012

It's 'Kiss In' Day At Chick-fil-A For Gay Rights Activists

Facebook.com

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 5:50 pm

Two days after Chick-fil-A set a one-day sales record thanks to a show of support for company President Dan Cathy and his outspoken stand against same-sex marriage, it's "National Same-Sex Kiss Day" for gay rights activists.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Best Guess: 100,000 Jobs Added In July; Unemployment Stayed At 8.2 Percent

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 8:52 am

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET. Report Has Better Than Expected News:

"163,000 Jobs Added In July; Unemployment Rate Rose To 8.3 Percent"

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Colorado Shooting Stories: Teen Shielded Woman And Her Kids; He Got Shot

Jarell Brooks.
KUSA-TV

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 10:40 am

As they're being told, we're pointing to some of the stories about the 12 people who died and the 58 who were wounded when a gunman opened fire on July 20 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Click here to see more. As you see others, please share the links in the comment threads.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Thu August 2, 2012

In Syria, Both Sides Now Have Heavy Weapons In Aleppo

Anti-Assad fighters stood atop a captured army tank on Wednesday in the village of Anadan, about 4 miles northwest of Aleppo.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 10:59 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn, in Beirut, talks with Steve Inskeep

Anti-Bashar Assad forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo now have at least a few tanks, rocket-propelled grenades and improved explosives.

And that has U.N. observers warning about the deadly consequences of heavy weapons being used by both sides within such a "confined urban area," NPR's Anthony Kuhn said earlier on Morning Edition. The fear, of course, is that even more non-combatants will be caught in the crossfire.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose By 8,000 Last Week

The number of people filing first-time clams for unemployment insurance rose by 8,000 last week, to 365,000 from 357,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

It adds that the "4-week moving average," which is supposed to give a slightly broader look at the trend in claims, "was 365,500, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's revised average of 368,250."

But according to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Near Collision Near D.C.: Planes Were 12 Seconds From Possible Impact

A passenger jet preparing for takeoff from Reagan National Airport in 2002.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 2:42 pm

  • Radio traffic between pilot and controller

Update at 2:40 p.m. ET. FAA Disputes Report:

The Associated Press writes that "none of the three commuter jets that flew too close together near Washington was ever on course to collide head-on with the others, U.S. officials said Thursday. "During a news conference, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood strongly disputed media reports characterizing the incident as a near-miss."

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Psychiatrist Was Alarmed By Aurora Shooting Suspect's Behavior, Media Report

James Holmes, who's accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58.
RJ Sangosti Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 12:50 pm

A University of Colorado Denver psychiatrist was so worried about James Holmes' behavior that in early June she began the process of getting the school's "threat assessment" team involved in his case, sources with knowledge of the investigation into the movie theater shooting suspect are telling two Denver news outlets.

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The Two-Way
5:13 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day Brings Out Supportive Crowds

The line stretched into the parking lot today at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Wichita, Kan.
Travis Heying / Wichita Eagle MCT /Landov

The call from conservatives such as former Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum to short support for Chick-fil-A and company President Dan Cathy's stand against same-sex marriage has produced long lines at the fast-food chain's restaurants today, judging from news reports:

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Federal Reserve Says Economy Has Slowed, But Leaves Policy As Is

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 4:00 pm

While it does indeed appear that "economic activity decelerated somewhat over the first half of this year," the Federal Reserve also said in its policy statement this afternoon that it is not — as of yet — taking any news steps to give the economy a boost.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

South Carolina Gov. Haley's Husband Deploying To Afghanistan

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) and her husband, Michael Haley, at her inauguration in January 2011.
Mary Ann Chastain AP

"In what could be a first nationwide, the husband of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is heading on a yearlong National Guard deployment to Afghanistan, starting in January," The State reports.

Michael Haley, the South Carolina newspaper says, is "a first lieutenant in the SC National Guard [and] will be part of an agribusiness team of 100 to 200 Guard members in Afghanistan."

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Cool! Tickets For The Who's Canceled '79 Show Good For 2013 Concert

Pete Townshend of The Who. Fans in Providence have waited 33 years to see him.
Lucy Pemoni Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 12:44 pm

In 1979, after 11 people died in a stampede before a concert by The Who in Cincinnati, the band's show scheduled for two weeks later in Providence, R.I., was canceled by then-Mayor Buddy Cianci. He didn't think it would be safe to have the band play in his city. And The Who hasn't been there since.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Wed August 1, 2012

'Pepper Spray Cop' Is No Longer On UC Davis Police Force

Nov. 18, 2011: Occupy protesters get sprayed at University of California Davis.
YouTube

"Lt. John Pike, the UC Davis police officer who became a focal point of last November's pepper-spraying incident during a campus protest, is no longer employed by the university," a school spokesman confirmed to The Sacramento Bee Tuesday evening.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Employers Added 163,000 Jobs In July, Survey Suggests

There was a 163,000-gain in the number of jobs on private payrolls in July, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

That's down from an estimated 172,000 boost in June (a number revised slightly from ADP's previous report of a 176,000-increase for that month).

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Heir To Billions Pleads Guilty To Keeping Dead Wife's Body At Home

Eva Rausing, right, and her husband Hans Kristian Rausing in 1996.
Alan Davidson AP

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 9:35 am

In London today the Swedish heir to a fortune worth billions of dollars pleaded guilty to "preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife" and the court heard that Eva Rausing's body may have been lying beneath "bin bags, clothing and bed linen" for as long as two months, the BBC reports.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Indignant In India: Blackouts Have Millions 'Fuming'

Plenty of wires. But where's the juice? This electric pole in Kolkata is typical of many in heavily populated India.
Dibyangshu Sarkar AFP/Getty Images

"Powerless and Clueless" was today's top headline on the Times of India's front page.

India's Economic Times went with "Superpower India, RIP."

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Gore Vidal, In Words

Gore Vidal in 1991. He died Tuesday, at the age of 86.
Central Press Getty Images

The death of writer and cultural critic Gore Vidal on Tuesday, at the age of 86, means many are trying today to capture that man of words' life in just a few phrases:

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Deal Struck To Avoid Possibility Of Government Shutdown In October

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced on Tuesday an agreement to avoid a government shutdown shortly before the November election," The Hill writes. "He said he, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and President Obama have all agreed to the deal."

Boehner confirmed the news in an email his staff just sent to reporters:

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Dying Man's Wish To Leave $500 Tip Turns Into Nearly $50,000 Charity

Aaron Collins, who wanted to leave a big tip.
Facebook.com/AaronsLastWish

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 10:13 am

This good-news story began on July 9 with a blog post simply titled "My Brother."

Aaron Collins, wrote his brother Seth, "was the type of person that took great joy in unexpected kindness." And before his July 7 death, the nearly 30-year-old Aaron had made a request:

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Romney Aide To Reporters: 'Kiss My ... This Is A Holy Site'

Mitt Romney, at the top right, as he prepared to get into his car even as reporters were shouting questions.
Politico

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 2:02 pm

Note: there is a mild obscenity in this post.

We have a feeling this quote will loom large in campaign 2012 lore:

"Kiss my ass; this is a holy site for the Polish people."

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Share Your Stories: Did You Do 'Bedtime Math' Or Something Like It?

A bedtime story is a longtime tradition. What about a math, science or history quiz, though?
George Marks Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 7:14 am

  • Ashley Milne-Tyte reporting for 'Morning Edition'

Morning Edition catches up today with one New Jersey mom's way of teaching math to her children: bedtime problems "that soon became a beloved routine."

Laura Overdeck, as it says on her Bedtime Math website, "along with her husband, John, started giving math problems to their two older kids. ... [And] when their 2-year-old started hollering for his own math problem, they knew they were onto something."

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Homes Prices Rise, Consumer Spending Flattens

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 11:55 am

Two fresh economic indicators:

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Did Twitter Go Too Far? It Suspended Critic Of NBC's Olympics Coverage

Twitter.com

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 7:54 am

Update at 1:45 p.m. ET. Adams Has Been Reinstated On Twitter:

Guy Adams just tweeted that "Oh. My Twitter account appears to have been un-suspended. Did I miss much while I was away?"

That doesn't change the thrust of our post. And we haven't heard back from Twitter about his questions regarding the suspension.

Update at 4:23 p.m. ET. Twitter's Response:

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Reports: GOP Lawmakers Blame Five ATF Officials For 'Fast And Furious'

"Republican congressional investigators have concluded that five senior ATF officials ... are collectively responsible for the failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation that was 'marred by missteps, poor judgments and inherently reckless strategy,' " the Los Angeles Times reports.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Massive Failure: 600 Million In India Lose Power; Grid Collapses For Second Day

Passengers waited for trains Tuesday at a railway station in New Delhi. Another grid failure cut power, causing chaos.
Raveendran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 2:38 pm

At day's end in India, after what's been called the "world's biggest blackout" ever, officials were reporting that electric service had been restored to most of the 670 million or so people who lost it on Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

24 Murder Counts, 116 Attempted Murder Counts For Colo. Shooting Suspect

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 1:21 pm

Prosecutors in Colorado today charged James Holmes with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the July 20 deaths of 12 people and wounding of 58 during a shooting rampage at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Colorado Shooting Stories: There Were Many 'Heroes Among Us'

A heart shaped balloon hovered above a memorial for victims outside the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., last week.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 9:15 am

As they're being told, we're pointing to some of the stories about the 12 people who died and the 58 who were wounded when a gunman opened fire on July 20 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Click here to see more. As you see others, please share the links in the comment threads.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:13 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Romney's Words That Outraged Palestinians Were 'Mischaracterized,' Aide Says

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem's old city on Sunday.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 2:00 pm

Reports that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said at a fundraiser in Jerusalem that "culture" is among the reasons Israel's economy is much stronger than those in "areas managed by the Palestinian Authority" have led a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to accuse Romney of racism.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Afghan Reconstruction Projects May Be 'Counterproductive,' Report Warns

At a road project in Qalat, Afghanistan, last summer, U.S. forces were providing security.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt.Brian Ferguson Reuters /Landov
  • Former Ambassador Ryan Crocker speaks with Renee Montagne

The rising hopes but still-daunting challenges facing the people of Afghanistan and their allies, most notably the U.S., were underscored again this morning by two new stories:

-- The recently departed U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, told Morning Edition host Renee Montagne that he does not think Afghans will suffer through another devasting, multi-party civil war after U.S. combat forces are gone in 2014.

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