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
7:35 am
Thu July 5, 2012

WikiLeaks Begins Release Of 2.4 Million Emails Linked To Syrian Officials

WikiLeaks' webpage for its "Syria Files."
WikiLeaks.org

Saying that "the material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria's opponents," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his aides today said they have more than 2.4 million emails "from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies."

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Countrywide Gave Lawmakers, Officials Hundreds Of Discount Loans

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 8:40 am

Countrywide Financial Corp., the one-time mortgage giant, may have "skirted the federal bribery statute," but nonetheless used a VIP discount program to gain influence in Washington, a report from the Republican-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee concludes.

We first posted on this news, broken earlier by The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal, at 9 a.m. ET. Since then, the committee's report has been released. Read through to see our original post and the update with links and excerpts from the committee's work:

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Employers Added 176,000 Jobs In June, Survey Says

There were 176,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in June, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report. The gain was larger than May's 136,000, ADP says.

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The Two-Way
6:14 am
Thu July 5, 2012

KABOOM! San Diego's Entire Fireworks Show Ignites At Once

Oops. A "premature ignition" in San Diego sent an entire fireworks show off at once.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 3:08 pm

Here's what it looks like when about 18-minutes worth of professional fireworks all go up at once.

As the San Diego Union-Tribune says, the "city's big kaboom ka-bombed on Wednesday night."

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Romney Says Mandate's A Tax, But Also Sides With Justices Who Say It's Not

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney participates during the Wolfeboro, N.H., Independence Day parade on Wednesday.
Kayana Szymczak Getty Images
  • Josh Rogers of New Hampshire Public Radio on 'Morning Edition'

There are many stories this morning about what Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said to CBS News on Wednesday. The conventional wisdom is that he reversed his own campaign's view to say that the so-called individual mandate in the 2010 health care overhaul is a tax, not a penalty.

There's attention being paid to what he said to CBS because many in the news media, such as The Associated Press, conclude that:

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Woman Sentenced To Read The Bible? Yes, But There's More To The Story

iStockphoto.com

There's news from South Carolina that's beginning to get attention because of headlines like this:

-- "Judge Sentences Woman To Read Bible For Drunk Driving Conviction." (CBS Local in Charlotte)

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The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Fewer Fireworks This July 4th; Wildfires, Drought And Derecho To Blame

Fireworks over the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on July 4, 2008. Photo taken from hear the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images
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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Andy Griffith Dies, Was TV's Sheriff Taylor And Matlock

Andy Griffith in 1960, when he started playing Sheriff Andy Taylor on TV.
CBS /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 12:06 pm

Andy Griffith, who played the wise sheriff of Mayberry, N.C., in one of American television's most beloved situation comedies, has died, according to a family friend and a real-life sheriff in North Carolina.

He was 86.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Timbuktu's Treasures Are Being Destroyed As World Watches Helplessly

This image from a video shows Islamist militants destroying an ancient shrine in Timbuktu on Sunday.
AFP/Getty Images

Once again the world is watching with increasing alarm as religious extremists destroy centuries-old historical sites because they find them offensive.

In 2001 it was the towering statues of Buddha in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, that were turned into rubble by the Taliban.

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The Two-Way
5:16 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Power's Still Out For Nearly 2 Million, And Intense Heat Continues

In Silver Spring, Md., on Monday, Matt MacCartney was one of many workers dismantling fallen trees that took down power lines.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 1:42 pm

As the day gets started, about 1.8 million homes and businesses in states stretching from Indiana east through the mid-Atlantic are still without power because of the enormous damage caused by Friday's derecho. That's the huge wall of severe storms that swept across towns and cities from Indiana east to the Atlantic coast.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Anderson Cooper Confirms: 'I'm Gay'

CNN's Anderson Cooper.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 6:39 am

"The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud."

That's CNN's Anderson Cooper in an email to The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan, which Sullivan posted this morning.

Why say that now? As Cooper says in the email, he's been asked "the gay question" before about what had been an open secret for years and not publicly addressed it.

Now, he says in the email:

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Sprinters' Runoff May Be All Off

In this handout photo provided by the USATF, Jeneba Tarmoh (bottom, lane 1) and Allyson Felix cross the finish line at exactly the same time in the women's 100 meter dash final during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 23 in Eugene, Ore. It's their torsos, not head, hands, feet or arms, that matter.
USATF Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 1:12 pm

There will be no runoff today between sprinters Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix to determine which athlete is eligible to run for Team USA in the 100-meter sprint for women at the London Olympics.

Just before 1:30 p.m. ET, USA Track & Field confirmed in an email to reporters that Tarmoh "has withdrawn herself from consideration." The association says that:

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Manufacturing Sector Shrank In June, Report Signals

For the first time since July 2009 a gauge of how U.S. manufacturers are doing is signalling shrinkage in the factory sector.

The Institute for Supply Management says its June "PMI" index stood at 49.7, down from 53.5 and the first time in nearly three years that it wasn't above 50 — the line between growth in manufacturing (an above 50 reading) and contraction (below 50).

A subcategory of ISM's report — its measure of new orders — also fell below 50, to 47.8.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Word Of The Day: 'Derecho'

Where you're most likely to be in the path of a derecho, and how often.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 4:35 pm

We learned a new word on Saturday, thanks to Korva's post about the devastating storm that has left millions without power from Ohio east through the mid-Atlantic states:

Derecho.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Mexico's PRI Rises From 'Death Bed' With Return To Power

Enrique Pena Nieto and his family celebrated Sunday in Mexico City after he claimed victory in the presidential election.
Yuri Cortez AFP/Getty Images

"Mexico's old guard sailed back into power after a 12-year hiatus Sunday," The Associated Press writes, "as the official preliminary vote count handed a victory to Enrique Pena Nieto, whose party was long accused of ruling the country through corruption and patronage."

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Finally, 'Some Good News' About Colorado Springs Wildfire

On Sunday in Colorado Springs, residents waited for word about whether their homes had survived the Waldo Canyon wildfire.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

As we said earlier, millions of people in mid-Atlantic states and Ohio are starting a third day without power because of damage from Friday's "land hurricane."

But in Colorado Springs, "it's nice to finally have some good news," Steve Cox, chief of economic vitality and innovation for the city, tells the local Gazette.

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Mon July 2, 2012

No Power? No A.C.? You Don't Have To Tell Us About It (But We Hope You Do)

Sign of the times: In Bethesda, Md., a Starbucks breaks some bad news. Ice is in short supply in many places where the power is out.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 12:49 pm

For about 2.7 million people across mid-Atlantic and west to Ohio it's Day 3 without power.

Friday's "land hurricane" — technically known as a derecho — may be long gone, but it is certainly not forgotten. Crews, many brought in from states well outside the affected region, continue to work on restoring power. But utilities are warning it could be next weekend before everyone is back on the grid.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Chief Justice's Critics Don't Understand What Judges Do, Gonzales Says

Sept. 29, 2005: Then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, at lower right, watches as Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts speaks after being sworn in.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Conservative critics who say that Chief Justice John Roberts is some kind of traitor to their movement because he was the deciding vote in favor of upholding the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act "don't understand how these judges are supposed to discharge their responsibilities," Bush-era Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told NPR this morning.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Stockton, Calif., Files For Bankruptcy

Among the projects that have helped put Stockton in the red: this downtown multiplex, which opened in 2003 and cost $15 million in public and private money.
Ian Hill KQED

The city of Stockton, Calif., has officially filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, The Stockton Record writes.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri June 29, 2012

On The Morning After, Who's The Winner Is Everybody's Guess

Susan Clark (left) argues with another protester about the Affordable Care Act outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 10:38 am

Figuring out who benefits most politically from Thursday's Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul seems to be today's toughest assignment.

On It's All Politics, our colleague Frank James says it's "difficult to overstate how big a win" it was for Obama.

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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Syrian Opposition Says 190 Civilians Killed In Deadliest Day So Far

"Syrian opposition groups that track casualties reported on Friday that the previous day was the deadliest so far this year, and possibly in the entire Syrian uprising, with as many as 190 civilians killed in a 24-hour period," The New York Times is reporting.

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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Europe's New Deal Has Markets Cheering

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi (left) and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (right) during the summit of European leaders in Brussels.
Bertrand Langlois AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 2:25 pm

"European stocks rallied after policy makers eased repayment rules for Spanish banks, relaxed conditions for possible aid to Italy and unveiled a $149 billion growth plan for the region's economy," Bloomberg News reports this morning. "U.S. index futures and Asian shares also rose."

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Fri June 29, 2012

First Death Confirmed From Colorado Springs Wildfire

This aerial photo taken Thursday shows the destructive path of the Waldo Canyon fire in the Mountain Shadows subdivision area of Colorado Springs, Colo.
RJ Sangosti / Denver Post AP

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 12:32 pm

  • Jeff Brady reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Though there's been welcome news about progress in fighting the wildfire that has now destroyed about 350 homes in and around Colorado Springs, Colo., there's also the sad news that at least one person has died.

Here's this morning's lede from The Denver Post's coverage:

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Knotty Problem Solved: Knitters Won't Call Their Games The 'Ravelympics'

Don't tread on our trademark with those, said U.S. Olympics officials.
J. Pfeiffer dpa /Landov

Those knitters we told you about who had been asked to "cease and desist" by the U.S. Olympics Committee because they were planning a "Ravelympics" have opted to give the slip to any legal issues.

They're going to call their competitions "The Ravellenic Games," The Oregonian reports.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Good News: 'Great Progress' Reported In Fighting Colorado Springs Fire

Smoke was rising earlier today from the Waldo Canyon wildfire that's threatening Colorado Springs, Colo.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 4:44 pm

Our day began with talk of "hell in the review mirror" when a reporter from The Gazette in Colorado Springs fled his home earlier this week as the Waldo Canyon wildfire approached.

But the newspaper now reports that:

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Thu June 28, 2012

We Must Mention Don Grady Of 'My Three Sons,' It's The Polite Thing To Do

Don Grady (second from right) as "Robbie Douglas," with (at far left) Barry Livingson as "Ernie," Fred MacMurray as "Steve Douglas" the dad, and Stanley Livingston as "Chip."
CBS /Landov

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 12:02 pm

  • A Bit Of The 'My Three Sons' Theme

Now that we're past the day's big news about health care, we just want to take a moment to note the death of actor Don Grady. He died Wednesday after a battle with cancer.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Thu June 28, 2012

As It Happened: Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law

Supporters of President Obama's health care legislation celebrated outside after hearing that the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 10:39 am

The Supreme Court ruled today that the 2010 Affordable Care Act is constitutional — giving the Obama administration a big election year win over conservative critics who argue that the health care overhaul is a step on the way toward socialized medicine.

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Thu June 28, 2012

If E.T. Comes Calling, Americans Favor Obama Over Romney To Handle Things

In the 1996 20th Century Fox film Independence Day, the White House did not fare well.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 10:00 am

This comes from National Geographic, not The National Enquirer:

"Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Americans think [President] Barack Obama would be better suited than fellow presidential candidate Mitt Romney to handle an alien invasion."

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Thu June 28, 2012

Jobless Claims Dip Only Slightly; First-Quarter GDP Estimate Unchanged

Two fresh bits of economic data, neither of which change the picture much if at all:

-- The Employment and Training Administration says there were 386,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 6,000 from the week before. But it also revised up that previous week's estimate, from the initial report of 387,000.

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