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
6:46 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Obama Aides Considered A Clinton-For-Biden Switch, Book Says

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Biden at a White House event in October 2011. A new book says President Obama's aides were then studying whether to replace Biden with the former first lady on the 2012 ticket.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 11:52 am

"President Obama's top aides secretly considered replacing Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Hillary Rodham Clinton on the 2012 ticket, undertaking extensive focus-group sessions and polling in late 2011 when Mr. Obama's re-election outlook appeared uncertain," The New York Times reports.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Police Have Video That Led To Claim Toronto Mayor Used Crack

When he emerged from his home Thursday morning, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford found reporters in his driveway. As they peppered him with questions, he shouted that they had to get out of his way. He didn't respond to questions about a video that allegedly shows him smoking crack.
Mark Blinch Reuters /Landov

Last spring, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was compelled to say that "I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine" because of reports about a video that allegedly showed him doing just that.

Now he's back in the same uncomfortable spotlight.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Stealing Candy From Your Kids? It's A Halloween Tradition

The Witch Head nebula, a spooky image from NASA. But is it scarier that more than half of adults think about the best way to eat candy corn?
NASA.gov

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 1:06 pm

We've rounded up some Halloween-related news. Think of this as our treat bag:

-- Bad Moms And Dads. "Eighty-one percent of parents surveyed say that they take candy from their children's Halloween candy haul for their own enjoyment (with 26 percent admitting that they sneak treats after the children go to bed or school)." National Confectioners Association

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Thu October 31, 2013

FAA Says Fliers Can Safely Use Most Electronics

Leonardo Patrizi iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:09 am

Saying it has "determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight," the Federal Aviation Administration announced Thursday that it is advising airlines they can let fliers use their much-loved e-books, tablets and other handhelds "gate-to-gate."

Cellphone calls, however, would still be prohibited.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Thu October 31, 2013

No More Guns For Neighborhood Watch In Sanford, Fla.

George Zimmerman.
Gary W. Green EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:03 am

The police chief in Sanford, Fla., where neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012, will unveil rules next week that stress "volunteers are not to carry guns and not to follow suspects," our colleagues at Orlando's WMFE report.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Jobless Claims Dip For Third Straight Week

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:37 am

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell by 10,000 last week, to 340,000 from 350,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Edward Snowden Has Job At Russian Website, Lawyer Says

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:22 am

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has leaked secrets about the agency's spying and surveillance programs, "has found a website maintenance job in Russia," according to that nation's RIA Novosti news agency.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Big Papi, Worst-To-First, 1918: Your World Series Must-Knows

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara points to the sky as he and his teammates celebrate their World Series victory Wednesday.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:19 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Mike Pesca wraps up the World Series

OK, by now you've hopefully heard that the Boston Red Sox are Major League Baseball's champions thanks to a 6-1 win Wednesday night over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Sox won the best-of-seven World Series in six games.

With the headline out of the way, here's a cheat sheet for those of us who need to be ready with something to say about this year's Fall Classic:

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Syria's Chemical Weapons Facilities Destroyed, Watchdog Says

In the northern Syrian city of Aleppo last month, there was a class about how to protect against chemical weapons attacks.
J.M. Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:15 am

A key deadline in the quest to rid Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime of its chemical weapons has been met, according to international observers.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Report: NSA Has Broken Into Google And Yahoo Data Centers

"The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world," The Washington Post reported at midday Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Obama's 'Keep Your Health Care Plan' Pledge Fails Fact Checks

September 2010: President Obama at an event in Falls Church, Va., where he answered questions about his health care plan.
Dennis Brack/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:30 pm

As lawmakers grill Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the botched startup of HealthCare.gov and other issues related to the Affordable Care Act, nonpartisan fact checkers are giving failing grades to President Obama's oft-repeated pledge to Americans that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Job Growth Slowed Further In October, Survey Signals

Looking for work: The scene at a job fair earlier this month in Emeryville, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:21 am

Only a relatively low 130,000 jobs were added to private employers' payrolls in October and the labor market in September was even weaker than first thought, according to the latest data from the ADP National Employment Report.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Wed October 30, 2013

75 Years Ago, 'War Of The Worlds' Started A Panic. Or Did It?

Invader? No, it's a man dressed as one in 1988. He was in Grovers Mill, N.J., at a 50th anniversary celebration of The War of the Worlds broadcast.
Chris Lischy AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:18 am

We interrupt this blog to bring you a special bulletin:

Martians have invaded New Jersey!

OK, as far as we know that hasn't happened.

But we wanted to issue that faux alert because 75 years ago tonight, as our friend Korva Coleman pointed out on the NPR Newscast, Orson Welles and his troupe of radio actors interrupted the Columbia Broadcasting System's programming to "report" that our planet had been invaded.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Sebelius: 'Hold Me Accountable For The Debacle'

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as she was sworn in prior to the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:28 pm

  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Secretary Sebelius on who's responsible for 'this debacle'

(We last added to this post at 4:10 p.m. ET.)

"You deserve better. ... I apologize. ... I'm accountable to you."

That's what Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Americans on Wednesday morning during a Congressional hearing into problems with the Obama administration's HealthCare.gov website and Republicans' concerns about the Affordable Care Act.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Meet The Mom Who Shamed A Pumpkin Thief

The sign to shame a pumpkin thief (with a rather mild expletive digitally hidden).
Eric Fidler Flickr

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Obama Aide Apologizes For HealthCare.gov's Troubled Launch

Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, during her testimony Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
Shawn Thew EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:55 pm

  • Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner apologizes for problems with HealthCare.gov
  • Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner says progress has been made

The first of two days worth of hearings about the problems plaguing HealthCare.gov got going Tuesday with an apology for the botched rollout from Marilyn Tavenner — administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. As It's All Politics noted earlier, she heads the agency "that oversaw the ill-fated website project."

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Consumer Confidence Fell Sharply This Month; Shutdown Blamed

A "For Sale" sign outside a home in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago on Monday.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government and the wrangling in Washington over the nation's finances combined to shake consumers' confidence sharply in October, the private Conference Board reported Tuesday morning.

Its widely watched consumer confidence index dropped to 71.2 from 80.2 in September.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Sriracha Factory Under Fire For Fumes; City Sues

Bill Hogan Chicago Tribune/MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 1:16 pm

Complaints from nearby residents about "burning eyes, irritated throats and headaches" have led the city of Irwindale, Calif., to ask a judge to order the company that makes Sriracha hot sauce to suspend production.

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Report: Obama White House OK'd Spying On Other Leaders

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Obama in September at the G20 summit in Russia. She and other leaders have objected after hearing that the NSA was listening to their phone calls.
Anton Denisov Host photo agency/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:59 pm

This morning's provocative stories about the spying that the National Security Agency has been doing in recent years include this attention-grabber from the Los Angeles Times:

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Red Sox Lead Series 3-2, But .733 Is The Stunning Number

Big Papi is red hot: Boston's David Ortiz has driven the Red Sox to a 3-2 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 8:30 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman talks with Steve Inskeep about the Series

The headline from Monday night is that the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals by the score of 3-1 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven World Series.

Game 6, which could make the Red Sox the world champions, is Wednesday night in Boston. It starts just after 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Fox. If the Cardinals win Wednesday, Game 7 would be played in Boston Thursday night.

For us, the eye-popping number of the Series so far is .733.

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