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
5:25 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Trayvon Martin Case: Voice Calling For Help Isn't Zimmerman's, Experts Say

At a rally in Miami on Sunday, Arleen Poitier held a sign with images of Trayvon Martin.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 5:28 am

Over the weekend, The Orlando Sentinel reported that two experts it consulted believe the voice heard calling for help in the background during a 911 call to police is not that of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who says he acted in self defense when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Wisconsin Recall Elections Set For June

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 9:42 am

In Wisconsin, "state elections officials ordered a set of historic recall elections Friday, making [Republican] Scott Walker the third governor in the nation to face a recall and Rebecca Kleefisch [R] the first lieutenant governor to face one," Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel reports.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Bin Laden Fathered 4 Children, Hid In 5 Safe Houses While On Run, Wife Says

During the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a video showing the al-Qaida leader watching television was discovered.
AFP/Getty Images

During nine years on the run in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden used at least five safe houses and fathered four children, the youngest of his three wives has told Pakistani investigators, according to The New York Times.

Amal Ahmad Abdul Fateh, now 30, married bin Laden in 2000.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Brother: George Zimmerman Would Be Dead If He Hadn't Defended Himself

Robert Zimmerman Jr., brother of George Zimmerman, during his interview with CNN's Piers Morgan.Â
CNN.com

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 7:31 am

"There would have been George dead had he not acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment when he was being disarmed," the brother of George Zimmerman told CNN's Piers Morgan last night in one of the most extensive interviews yet with someone from the family of the man who shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Consumer Spending Jumped Up In February, Incomes Rose Just A Little

There was a 0.8 percent rise in personal spending in February from January, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported. It was the strongest gain in seven months, according to The Associated Press.

But personal income rose just 0.2 percent, the bureau adds. And "disposable personal income," what's left after personal taxes, also rose only 0.2 percent.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Rep. Ryan Endorses Romney

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at NPR headquarters in May 2011.
Erin Schwartz NPR

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 1:10 pm

One day after fellow Republicans in the House ensured passage of his version of a 2013 federal budget, there are reports that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is about to endorse Mitt Romney's bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

The Associated Press says it has been told by two Republican officials that "Ryan's endorsement could come as soon as Friday, when Romney is scheduled to give an economic speech in Appleton, Wis."

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Mega Millions Mania: What If You Win? Then What Do You Do?

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 10:27 am

Everybody, it seems, is talking about tonight's Mega Millions lottery drawing because the jackpot's up to a record $640 million. (Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: Officials just increased the estimated jackpot, which began today at an already record $540 million.)

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Three Key Moments As Trayvon Martin's Story Went Viral

Part of the awareness raising effort: the Justice for Trayvon Martin page on Facebook.
Facebook.com

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 12:10 pm

What moved Trayvon Martin's Feb. 26 death from a local story to a national tale that has sparked a discussion about racial profiling and race relations?

Social media played a critical role. And there were key moments along the way.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Gingrich Is 'At The End Of His Line' Says His Biggest Financial Supporter

Sheldon Adelson.
Mike Clarke AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Peter Overby, during the noon ET Newscast

Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas billionaire who along with his wife has used a superPAC to pour about $15 million worth of support behind Newt Gingrich's bid for the Republican presidential nomination, told reporters earlier this week that the former House speaker's campaign appears to be "at the end of his line."

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu March 29, 2012

West Virginia Mine Superintendent Pleads Guilty To Fraud

"The former superintendent of a southern West Virginia mine where an explosion killed 29 workers in April 2010 pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal fraud charge," The Associated Press reports. "Gary May of Bloomingrose, the highest-ranking Massey Energy official charged in connection with the blast, faces up to five years in prison when sentenced Aug. 9."

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Today On The Campaign Trail: George H.W. Bush To Endorse Romney

Mitt Romney (left) and former President George H.W. Bush in 2007.
Ben Sklar Getty Images
  • Wade Goodwyn reporting

In case you're keeping track of high-profile endorsements in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination:

Wednesday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney picked up the support of Florida Sen. Mark Rubio. This afternoon in Houston, as NPR's Wade Goodwyn tells our Newscast Desk, former President George H.W. Bush will endorse Romney. Bush's wife Barbara and son Jeb (a former Florida governor) have already said Romney's their candidate.

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Jobless Claims Dipped Again Last Week

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 6:43 am

There were 359,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down 5,000 from the week before and a pace that continues to be the lowest since April 2008, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Maryland's Batman Looks Like A Real Hero

The Caped Crusader, about to get into his Batmobile.
Facebook.com

After the news broke that police in Montgomery County, Md., last week stopped Batman for not having the correct plates on his Batmobile, many naturally wanted to know more about the man behind that mask.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin Death: Police Video Shows No Signs Of Zimmerman's Injuries

George Zimmerman, in the red jacket, as he was led through a police station in Sanford, Fla., after the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
ABC News

A police video of George Zimmerman in the hours after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 does not show any obvious evidence of the injuries Zimmerman reportedly received during what he says was an altercation that ended with him firing his handgun in self defense.

ABC News obtained the footage and aired it Wednesday evening. As it reports:

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

'He's Gone And We're Searching For Answers,' Says Trayvon Martin's Father

Tracy Martin, Trayvon Martin's father, at a forum held Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

"I haven't even started grieving and I don't think I'll start grieving until I get justice for him."

That's Tracy Martin, father of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, moments ago in an interview with Tell Me More host Michel Martin (no relation).

During a conversation due for broadcast on Thursday's edition of Tell Me More, Tracy Martin also said:

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Hoodie In The House Leads To Shouting In The Capitol

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., during his hooded statement on the House floor.
C-SPAN.org

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 1:45 pm

On the floor of the House this morning, Rep. Bobby Rush's effort to call attention to the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin turned into a contest of wills between the Illinois Democrat and the presiding officer because Rush donned a hoodie while speaking.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Lorax Statue Stolen From Dr. Seuss' Garden, Family Hopes For Its Return

The Lorax, before he was taken away.
San Diego Police Department

The Grinch returned all those stolen presents.

Now the family of Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) is hoping that the person or persons who took a Lorax statue from the garden of the late, great author's home also has a change of heart.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Tibetan Exile Dies From Burns Suffered In Self-Immolation

In Kolkata on Tuesday, exiled Tibetans and human rights activists held a candlelight for Jamphel Yeshi.
Dibyangshu Sarkar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:55 am

Jamphel Yeshi has died. The 27-year-old Tibetan exile, who on on Monday set himself on fire in New Delhi, was the latest in a small but growing number of Tibetans who in the past year have burned themselves in protest of China's rule over their country.

As we reported Tuesday, at least 30 Tibetans have taken that dramatic step in the past year.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Wed March 28, 2012

JetBlue Freak Out: Passenger Had To Put Panicked Pilot 'In A Choke Hold'

Newseum.org

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 2:38 pm

"I grabbed his arm and put him in a choke hold. ... I'm just happy I was able to get him down to the floor."

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Wed March 28, 2012

It's Day 3 For Health Care Cases At The Supreme Court

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 5:22 am

  • Ari Shapiro, on the NPR Newscast

On the third and final day of Supreme Court arguments over the constitutionality of the health care overhaul law enacted in 2010, the focus turns to whether the law could survive if the justices decide to strike its most controversial component — the so-called mandate that "requires most Americans to either have health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty," NPR's Julie Rovner reports.

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The Two-Way
5:05 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Gingrich Slashes Staff, Pins Hopes On GOP Delegates Turning To Him

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who wants to the the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, during a campaign event in Camp Hill, Pa., on Saturday (March 24, 2012).
Jessica Kourkounis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 12:58 pm

  • Don Gonyea, on the NPR Newscast

As he slashes his campaign schedule and lays off about one-third of his staff, 2012 Republican presidential Newt Gingrich is mounting a "big-choice convention strategy" that he hopes will end with Republicans turning to him to be their nominee, NPR's Don Gonyea tells our Newscast Desk.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Scary Moments Aboard JetBlue Flight When Captain Has 'Medical Situation'

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 1:14 pm

A JetBlue flight from New York to Las Vegas made an unscheduled landing in Amarillo, Texas, this morning after a man identified by passengers as the captain left the cockpit and then started shouting and pounding on its door before he was restrained.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Information Will Be Free: Media, Groups Get Around Supreme Court's Rules

While some reporters inside scrambled to get word out, there were plenty of protesters and spectators outside the Supreme Court this morning.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 3:47 pm

Cameras aren't allowed. There are no broadcasts. No one's supposed to leave the courtroom and then come back in.

As we've said, the U.S. Supreme Court isn't very interested in having its proceedings covered "live" in any way shape or form.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Tue March 27, 2012

At Supreme Court: Health Care Ruling Still Too Close To Call?

Here's some of the early word about today's Supreme Court hearing on the constitutionality of the nation's new health care overhaul law:

-- Five Justices Were Tough: Five members of the court "beat him up pretty hard," NPR's Nina Totenberg says of how the justices treated the counsel representing the government. But she also says, "I don't think you can call this," when asked about whether the court will or won't strike down the so-called individual mandate in the law. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy "seem to be in play," Nina reports.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Protest By Fire: Why Some Tibetans Choose Self-Immolation

A Tibetan Buddhist monk holds up a candle with other Tibetan exiles during a candlelight vigil for Tibetan Janphel Yeshi, who set himself on fire earlier in New Delhi.
Strdel/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:55 am

The number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire in the past year to protest Chinese rule over Tibet is now estimated to be at 30. Most have died.

And more self-immolations are likely.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Home Prices Dipped Again In Most Cities, Report Shows

Home prices fell in most major metropolitan areas again in January, according to the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Suicide Vests Found Inside Afghan Defense Ministry, Soldiers Arrested

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 6:51 am

There are fresh fears about the infiltration of Afghan security forces by anti-government and anti-American insurgents after the discovery of 10 or 11 (depending on the media report) suicide vests inside the headquarters of that country's defense ministry and the arrest of more than a dozen soldiers.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Trayvon Martin's Life Looking Much Like Many Teens'

This photo of Trayvon Martin was held by a supporter during a recent rally in the Goldsboro neighborhood of Sanford, Fla.
Brian Blanco EPA /Landov

While this morning's Miami Herald concludes that emerging details about Trayvon Martin's life paint "a complicated portrait" of a boy with "a spotty school record," anyone who has guided their child through the teenage years may be more likely to see a fairly typical kid who had some brushes with authority and lots of dreams about the future.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Today At The Supreme Court: 'The Heart Of Health Care Arguments'

The U.S. Supreme Court building.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 3:49 pm

  • Nina Totenberg on 'Morning Edition'

On Day Two of three days focused on the health care overhaul law, the Supreme Court this morning will get to the heart of the arguments over the legislation's constitutionality, NPR's Nina Totenberg reported on Morning Edition and at the Shots blog.

As she says:

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