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
5:03 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Train Engineer 'Nodded At Controls,' Official Says

Monday, as a train on an unaffected track passed by (in the background) work continued on removing the commuter cars that derailed the day before.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 2:30 am

Updated at 2:00 a.m. ET Wednesday:

Federal investigators in New York announced late Tuesday that they had removed the rail employees union, the Association of Commuter Rail Employees, as a participant in the investigation. According to The Associated Press, investigators cited a breach of confidentiality after Anthony Bottalico, leader of the union, spoke to the media concerning comments train engineer William Rockefeller had made about what happened moments before Sunday's derailment.

Update at 8 p.m. ET:

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

'This Law Is Working,' Obama Says Of Health Care

While conceding that "more problems may pop up as they always do when you're launching something new," President Obama on Tuesday said the troubled HealthCare.gov website "is working well for the vast majority of users" and his Affordable Care Act "is working and will work into the future."

"We may never satisfy the law's opponents," Obama added during an afternoon event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House. But, he said, "we know the demand [for health insurance] is there and we know the product on these marketplaces is good."

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Dead Mice Update: Tiny Assassins Dropped On Guam Again

Researchers hope Guam's snakes take the bait.
Micha Klootwijk iStockPhoto.com

Dead mice laced with acetaminophen have for the fourth time been dropped from helicopters into trees on Guam in an experiment aimed at killing snakes that have devastated the island's bird population and caused other damage.

No, we haven't been duped by something written by The Onion.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Detroit Is Eligible For Bankruptcy Protection, Judge Rules

The Detroit skyline as seen from Windsor, Ontario, across the Detroit River.
Rebecca Cook Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 6:55 am

The largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history took a major step forward Tuesday when a federal judge ruled that the city of Detroit is eligible for protection under Chapter 9 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

'TipsForJesus' Is Leaving Thousands Of Dollars For Servers

One of the two checks that "TipsForJesus" signed at a restaurant in South Bend, Ind., on Oct. 19. The anonymous givers added $5,000 to each of the bills.
@TipsForJesus

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:57 pm

"Crazy-generous" tips, as Gawker says, have been showing up on checks across the nation as some anonymous good Samaritans known only as "TipsForJesus" add hundreds or thousands of dollars to their restaurant and bar bills.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Amazon's Drone Has Many Asking 'What Could Go Wrong?'

Buzzing to a neighborhood near you? Amazon.com's Prime Air prototype may someday fly small packages right to customers' homes.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 6:37 pm

The news that Amazon is hoping to one day use semi-autonomous drones to deliver small packages to customers has many asking a familiar question:

What could go wrong?

Check this tweet:

"An Amazon drone!? What could go wrong?! 'They're autonomous' - this is how the Terminator started FYI..."

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

For First Time In Memory, Icelandic Police Shoot And Kill

Police officers in Reykjavik, Iceland, are rarely armed.
Halldor Kolbeins AFP/Getty Images

A police raid Monday on a home in Reykjavík, Iceland, ended with the death of a 59-year-old man who was shot by officers after he reportedly fired a weapon at them.

According to local news outlets, it's believed to be the first time in that nation of more than 315,000 people that someone has been killed by police fire.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Comet ISON Is No More, NASA Says

NASA took a series of images to create this "timelapse" view of comet ISON's trip around the sun.
NASA

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:02 pm

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Mon December 2, 2013

VIDEO: Eagle Snatches Camera, Flies Away, Takes Great Selfie

Caught red-beaked: This eagle grabbed a small wildlife camera in western Australia, flew away with it and then pecked away at the lens.
ABC Kimberley

We've been fascinated by an "eagle cam" trained on a nest in Iowa and been thrilled by the view from a camera attached to an eagle that soared above Chamonix, France.

If you liked those, you'll likely be interested in this, too:

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Who Knew? Seahorses Are Stone Cold Killers: VIDEO

The profile of a killer (a high-speed digital image of dwarf seahorse).
University of Texas at Austin

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 6:44 pm

Sharks? They're pussycats in comparison.

Piranhas? More like hah-hahs.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Italian Senate Strips Berlusconi Of His Seat

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a speech to supporters Wednesday in Rome.
Tony Gentile Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 1:22 pm

Update at 12:25 p.m. ET. Berlusconi Expelled:

"Vote is done. Berlusconi is no longer senator," Reuters reported just before noon ET on its live blog.

So, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who as we said earlier has survived many other threats to his political life, now faces perhaps his most serious challenge.

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Please Send This Man Photos Of Snow On Your Patio Furniture

Just what Denver news anchor Kyle Clark doesn't want to see.
Kenneth Martin Landov

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 1:30 pm

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Good News, Bad News: Jobless Claims Dip, But Key Orders Drop

While a key measure of factory orders weakened in October, there's better news about the labor market: fewer Americans are filing claims for unemployment insurance.
Mark Duncan AP

First, the good news:

There were 316,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, down 10,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration said Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Supermarket Tragedy Leads To Resignation Of Latvian Leader

Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis.
Yves Logghe AP

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 10:29 am

The collapse of a supermarket roof and the more than 50 deaths it caused last week has led Latvia's prime minister to announce he's stepping down.

"Latvia needs to have a government that will supported by the Saeima [parliament] majority and deal with the current situation in the nation," Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said Wednesday, according to The Baltic Times.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Judge Orders Sriracha Factory To Cool It

Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 9:02 am

Peppered with complaints from citizens about burning eyes, sore throats and headaches, city officials in Irwindale, Calif., went to court to see if they could do something about smells coming from a factory that produces Sriracha hot sauce.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Three Words For Getaway Day: Soggy, Sloppy And Snowy

Passengers wait for a BoltBus to arrive during a light rain, Wednesday, Nov. 27 in New York. A wall of storms packing ice, sleet and rain could upend holiday travel plans as millions of Americans take to the roads, skies and rails for Thanksgiving.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 1:21 pm

While those in the western half of the nation will mostly enjoy fair skies on this Thanksgiving Eve, we regret to repeat that for millions of Americans east of the Mississippi it's going to be a messy busiest-travel-day-of-the-year (otherwise known as Getaway Day).

Here's what the National Weather Service has to say:

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

IRS Proposes Guidelines On Politicking By Tax-Exempt Groups

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:29 pm

Ending the year by weighing in again on a topic that caused it great grief back in the spring, the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday defined limits on the political activity of tax-exempt "social welfare" organizations.

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

WHO's Error Leads To Misguided Meme About Greeks And HIV

Facebook.com/WorldHealthOrganization

We don't want to spread misinformation, but we do want to do what we can to correct it.

So, just to be clear:

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

U.S. Flies B-52s Through China's Proclaimed Airspace

Jet diplomacy: A B-52. According to reports, two flew through an area that China now claims is within its air defense zone.
Andy Rain EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 7:13 pm

"A pair of American B-52 bombers flew over a disputed island chain in the East China Sea" on Monday, according to The Wall Street Journal, "in a direct challenge to China and its establishment of an expanded air-defense zone."

Citing "U.S. officials" as its sources, the Journal adds that Chinese authorities were not told in advance of the planes' flights.

Update at 7 p.m. ET: A Risk For Accidents

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Supreme Court Will Hear New Challenge To Health Law

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear cases brought by companies who say they have religious objections to the Affordable Care Act's requirement that they offer employees health insurance that includes contraception benefits.

In a statement released late Tuesday morning, justices say they have consolidated four related cases and will hear one hour of oral arguments. That will happen next year, likely in late March.

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