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
8:34 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Syrian Conflict: Refugees Race To Escape; Battle Goes On In Aleppo

Syrian refugee children at the refugee camp in Jordan on Sunday.
Khalil Mazraawi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 12:03 pm

  • Anthony Kuhn reporting about Aleppo for 'Morning Edition'

The focus of the battle between the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and opposition fighters remains on the city of Aleppo, where it could be a long, deadly fight before either side can claim victory.

Meanwhile, a refugee crisis continues to build:

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Grid Failure In India Cuts Power To 370 Million

Passengers in New Delhi were waiting for trains that couldn't run because of Monday's power outage.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 10:31 am

An estimated 370 million people — about 60 million more than live in the U.S. — were without power for at least part of today in northern India because of a massive failure in the country's power grid.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Long Legal Process Begins For Colorado Shooting Suspect

James Holmes, in an Arapahoe County, Colo., court on July 23.
AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 8:46 am

  • Kirk Siegler on 'Morning Edition'

Months of pre-trial legal arguments begin in earnest this morning when James Holmes, the man accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others in a July 20 shooting rampage at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., appears in an Arapahoe County, Colo., court.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Maryland Police Arrest 'A Joker' They Say Threatened To 'Blow Everybody Up'

A photo released by Prince George's County (Md.) police of the weapons seized.
Prince George's Police Department

Police in Prince George's County, Md., "have arrested a man who [they say] referred to himself as 'a joker' and threatened to shoot people at his former workplace," The Washington Post's The Crime Scene blog writes.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

One White Buffalo To Get Sacred Name; Death Of Another Still Stirs Anger

The little guy in Connecticut. Saturday, he gets his sacred naming ceremony.
Courtesy of Peter Fay

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:02 pm

Hundreds of Native Americans are expected to gather Saturday at a former dairy farm in Goshen, Conn., to hold a sacred naming ceremony for what they hope is a rare white buffalo.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Amazon's Bezos Enters Gay Marriage Debate With $2.5M Worth Of Support

Mackenzie Bezos and Jeff Bezos.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Fast food's Chick-fil-A has been at the center of the culture wars in recent days because of company President Dan Cathy's outspoken opposition to gay marriage.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

CNN Chief Jim Walton Stepping Down

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 12:18 pm

Saying that the cable news network "needs new thinking," CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton told his staff today that he's stepping down at the end of the year.

In a memo, he said:

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Hubig Pies, Landmark New Orleans Bakery, Has Burned Down

Fresh Hubig pies read for delivery in 2007.
Alex Brandon AP

A bakery that's been producing hand-size, fried fruit pies for hungry folks in and around New Olreans since 1922 is "a total loss" after a blaze today, city fire officials tell The Times-Picayune.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Stories Of The Colorado Victims: Young Artist Was 'Ball Of Joy'

Alexander "AJ" Boik in an undated photo provided by his family.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:02 pm

As they're 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.

-- "AJ" Boik, Wanted Everyone To Be Happy:

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Derecho, The Sequel: Storm Roars Over Pennsylvania And New York

Broken trees lying across a truck in Elmira, N.Y., after Thursday's storm.
Heather Ainsworth AP

It didn't leave behind as much destruction or as many downed power lines as the storm that rolled over states from the Midwest through the Mid-Atlantic on June 30, but some news outlets are saying the summer's second derecho struck on Thursday.

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Did Economy Slow Further In Second Quarter? We Find Out Today

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:01 am

The economy grew at a sluggish 1.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this morning, down from a 2 percent pace in the first quarter.

This is the bureau's first estimate of GDP growth in the spring months. It will revise the figure twice in coming months. It's now 8:33 a.m. ET. We'll have more about the report shortly.

Update at 10 a.m. ET. The White House Points To String Of Positive Quarters:

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri July 27, 2012

In London, The Games Are Afoot

The Olympic Flame as it passed through London on Thursday.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 7:47 am

You've almost surely heard by now:

The London Summer Olympics officially begin today. The opening ceremony, with — we hear — a song from Sir Paul McCartney, some farm animals and "helmeted cyclists wearing giant silvery-blue flapping wings, pedaling around in two huge circles" — is to start just after 4 p.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

NPR Taps Lobbying Firm To Help Make Case On Public Funding

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:47 pm

Our colleague David Folkenflik reports for the Newscast Desk that:

"NPR has hired an outside lobbying firm to help make its case with lawmakers on Capitol Hill as some House Republicans seek to make deep funding cuts to public broadcasting.

"Recent disclosure forms show NPR has paid $10,000 to Navigators Global, a firm founded by Republican political figures including strategist and pundit Mike Murphy.

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Stories Of The Colorado Victims: Mom's Sure Her Daughter Stood Up To Gunman

Rebecca Wingo.
Facebook

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:56 am

As they're told, we'll point to some of the stories about the 12 people who died and the 58 who were wounded last Friday when a gunman opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. As you see others, please share the links in the comment threads.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:03 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Oakland Police Radios Failed During Obama's Visit To City

A protester yelling at a line of police officers guarding an intersection near a fundraiser for President Obama at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Monday.
David Yee UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 11:48 am

"A major portion of Oakland's troubled police radio system failed shortly after President Obama's visit on Monday, leaving many of the 100 officers assigned to handle presidential security unable to communicate as protesters roamed the streets, police said Wednesday,"

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Guilt First, Trial Later: Murder Charge For Chinese Politician's Wife

Gu Kailai, left, and her husband, Bo Xilai, in 2007. She's been charged with murder.
Kyodo Reuters /Landov
  • Louisa Lim, reporting for the NPR Newscast

China's Xinhua news agency ends its report this morning on the murder case against a prominent politician's wife with this remarkable passage:

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Cheer Up Toronto, 16-0 Loss Isn't A Major League Worst

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Romero gave up eight runs in 1 1/3 innings Wednesday night. It was a "complete embarrassment," he told the Toronto Star afterward. His team lost 16-0.
Brad White Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:03 pm

As bad as the players on the Toronto Blue Jays must feel about losing to the Oakland Athletics by a score of 16-0 Wednesday night, they can at least take comfort in knowing that other teams have suffered worse losses in the past.

As Yahoo Sports recounted:

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop, Previous Week's Increase Erased

The number of people filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 35,000 last week, to 353,000, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

That brings the level about back to where it was three weeks ago and down near a four-year low — but also keeps claims in the range where they've been trending for about the last year.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Reports: Notebook From Colo. Shootings Suspect Arrived At School After Attack

A medical building on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 2:48 pm

A "suspicious package" that the University of Colorado's medical school in Aurora says was delivered to the school on Monday was "a notebook sent through the mail by suspected killer James Eagan Holmes before [last] Friday morning's massacre," The Denver Post reports.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Thu July 26, 2012

'China's Katrina': Second City Flooded; Corruption, Incompetence Blamed

Residents look at a submerged bus on a flooded street amid rainfall in the Tianjin on Thursday. A much expected downpour bypassed Beijing Wednesday but battered the neighboring city of Tianjin instead, flooding many downtown streets and submerging vehicles.
China Daily Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 1:48 pm

  • Louisa Lim on 'Morning Edition'

Outrage in China about the dozens of deaths last weekend when Beijing's drainage system couldn't cope with heavy rains and much of the city was flooded has been followed by more frustration and anger today.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

As Details Emerge On Difficulty Getting Help To Victims, Colorado Funerals Begin

An ambulance and police cars outside the Century 16 movie theater complex in Aurora, Colo, during the early hours of July 20, 2012. A gunman attacked an audience there — killing 12 people and wounding 58.
Bob Pearson EPA /Landov
  • Aurora, Colo., police dispatch recordings

There's an account in today's Denver Post of the huge problems first responders faced early Friday when they got to the scene of the shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater where 12 people were killed and 58 others wounded.

According to the Post:

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Senate Plans Two Symbolic Votes On Taxes That Won't Change Anything

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 6:22 pm

"Senate leaders have reversed course and decided to stage showdown votes later today on rival Democratic and Republican plans for extending broad tax cuts next year that will otherwise expire in January," The Associated Press writes.

So, Democrats will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the so-called Bush tax cuts only for those earning less than $250,000 a year. Republicans will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the tax cuts for everyone.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Kim Jong Un Has Married That Mystery Woman, North Korean TV Says

In this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service on Monday, July 9, 2012, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and a woman clap with others on Friday as they watch a performance by North Korea's new Moranbong band in Pyongyang. Now it appears they have gotten married.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:58 am

Closing the loop — almost — on our reports about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the "mystery woman" who has been seen with him in recent weeks:

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Aleppo 'Cowers' As Fighting Flares In And Around Syria's Biggest City

Tuesday in Aleppo, these men from an anti-Assad force were on guard at a checkpoint.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

"Ancient Aleppo Cowers Amid Reports of Approaching Syrian Forces."

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Wed July 25, 2012

'Heat Dome' Linked To Greenland's Biggest Melt In 30 Years

In these illustrations NASA produced from satellite data, the melt in Greenland on July 8 (at left) and July 12 are shown. According to NASA, "the areas classified as 'probable melt' (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as 'melt' (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting."
NASA

Last week there were the pictures of an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan breaking off Greenland's Petermann Glacier.

Now there are NASA images showing that in four days earlier this month, "Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations."

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Waitress, There's A Spy In My Soup (Or At Least There's One Serving It)

You might want to watch what you say. A screen grab from one of many videos taken by diners at a North Korean restaurant. This one is in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
YouTube

It's no secret that the government of North Korea has been pushing to open restaurants in cities around the world.

NPR's Peter Kenyon told that story back in December, 2010.

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Feel-Good Photo: Gabrielle Giffords Atop A Mountain In France

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (center) and her husband Mark Kelly (right), at the peak of Aiguille du Midi in the French Alps on Monday. Behind them is mountain guide Vincent Lameyre.
Denis Balibouse Reuters /Landov

After four days of sadly serious news about what happened in Aurora, Colo., here's a photo that may lift your heart.

Reuters explains that former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., rode a two-stage cable car on Monday to the peak of Aiguille du Midi in the French Alps. That's 12,605-feet above sea level.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Gun Sales Are Up Sharply In Colorado Since Theater Shootings

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 1:04 pm

Sales of guns have risen strongly in Colorado since the early Friday shootings at a movie theater near Denver that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded.

The Denver Post reports that:

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