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
10:15 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Putin 'Doesn't Believe In You,' McCain Tells Russian People

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 11:50 am

In a stinging response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's put-down of "American exceptionalism," Arizona Sen. John McCain told Russians Thursday that Putin "doesn't believe in you."

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Whale Of A Fine: JPMorgan Chase To Pay $920M In Penalties

The JPMorgan Chase building in London, where traders ran up huge losses.
Timur Emek AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 11:39 am

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to acknowledge that it violated federal securities laws and will pay $920 million in penalties assessed by regulators in the U.S. and U.K. to settle charges related to the huge trading losses racked up by its London traders last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday morning.

As we wrote earlier this week when word of the pending settlement first emerged, this all:

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Jobless Claims Rose Less Than Expected Last Week

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 11:06 am

While the number of people filing first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 15,000 last week, the increase was less than economists expected, Bloomberg News reports.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Thu September 19, 2013

'Wheel Of Misfortune' Tongue Slip Is Potential $1M Mistake

Paul Atkinson, the unfortunate Wheel of Fortune contestant, during his appearance Thursday on CNN's New Day.
CNN.com

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 10:27 am

"It was painful," Oregon firefighter and beer brewer Paul Atkinson tells CNN's New Day of a now infamous moment on Wheel of Fortune that cost him a chance to win $1 million.

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Navy Yard Shootings: Thursday's Headlines

Flowers, flags and a child's drawing at a makeshift memorial outside the Washington Navy Yard, where a gunman killed 12 people on Monday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:56 am

Picking up the story from where we last left it, here are some of Thursday's headlines about Monday's mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, in which 12 victims and gunman Aaron Alexis died:

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Death Toll At 80 And Likely To Rise As Storms Slam Mexico

Near the town of Petaquillas, Mexico, a man held on to a line Wednesday as he crossed a stream swollen by rain dumped by the storm Manuel.
Alejandrino Gonzalez AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:54 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Host Renee Montagne talks with the AP's Michael Weissenstein

Mud slides, flash floods and rising waters are proving to be a deadly combination in the mountains near Acapulco, Mexico, where dozens of people have died in recent days as a tropical storm-turned hurricane pummels the area.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Russia Says It Will Implicate Syria's Rebels In Chemical Attack

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow will provide the U.N. Security Council evidence implicated Syrian rebels in a chemical attack.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:58 pm

Russia's top diplomat says his nation will give the U.N. Security Council evidence that implicates Syria's rebel forces in the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus, the BBC reports.

Word of what Syrian President Bashar Assad's strongest ally on the Security Council plans comes from Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

VIDEO: You Will Smile At This Dancing Queen And Her Good Luck

Ellie Cole, in the "dancing queen" video that's made her famous.
YouTube.com

Building on our first feel-good story of the day — "$64,000 Raised So Far For Homeless Man Who Turned In $42,000" — here's another:

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Put A Camera On An Eagle And What Do You Get? Soaring VIDEO

The eagle's view.
YouTube/Srachi

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 1:09 pm

If this is a trick, it's a spectacular one.

A video that purports to have been taken by a GoPro or similarly small camera strapped to an eagle soaring above Chamonix, France, is quickly going viral.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Wed September 18, 2013

2 Cars, 5 Or 6 Bodies From Decades Ago Found In Oklahoma Lake

The two cars recovered from Foss Lake in western Oklahoma. Bodies were found inside both. The discoveries may help solve the mysteries of what happened to people who went missing decades ago.
Laura Eastes/Daily Elk Citian AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 11:59 am

Sheriffs' deputies who were testing a new sonar device on a lake in western Oklahoma's Custer County have come across two grim discoveries that may help solve two cold cases from decades ago.

The local Elk City Daily News says the "practice run for new sonar technology at Foss Lake became a recovery effort after officials discovered two vehicles submerged near the marina — with human remains inside."

It was Sept. 10, the newspaper says, when sonar detected "two cars side by side in about 12 feet of water."

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Wed September 18, 2013

'I Killed A Man' Video Confessor Pleads Guilty

An image from the video confession of Matthew Cordle.
becauseisaidiwould.com AP

Matthew Cordle, the 22-year-old Ohio man whose online video confession to having killed a man while driving drunk went viral earlier this month, formally pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated vehicular homicide.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Several Deaths Reported After Train Hits Bus In Ottawa

Officials monitor the scene of a crash between a passenger train en route to Toronto and a double-decker bus at a crossing in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on Wednesday.
Stephen Morrison EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 12:23 pm

A passenger train hit a passenger bus at a railroad crossing around 8:48 a.m ET Wednesday in Canada's capital city and there were fatalities.

Canadian Broadcasting reported initially that "Ottawa fire officials say preliminary figures show 5 dead in bus-train collision. #ViaRail tweets nobody seriously hurt on train."

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Wed September 18, 2013

$64,000 Raised So Far For Homeless Man Who Turned In $42,000

Glen James, a homeless man who found $42,000 and turned it in to police, after he was honored for his honesty earlier this week by Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis (in background).
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 12:05 pm

This week's feel-good story of the homeless man in Boston who found a backpack containing $42,000 in cash and travelers checks and then turned it into authorities is developing into an even better tale.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Wed September 18, 2013

As Colorado Floodwaters Recede The Damage Becomes Clear

A view from the air Tuesday of one of the roads that have been cut by floodwaters in Weld County, Colo.
Rick Wilking Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 12:53 pm

This morning's top headline from The Denver Post is encouraging:

"Nature finally cooperates as Colorado floodwaters begin to recede"

According to the Post:

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Wed September 18, 2013

UPDATE: 'So, So Very Sorry,' Says Navy Yard Gunman's Mother

Aaron Alexis in an undated photo provided by a friend, Kristi Suthamtewakul.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 4:34 pm

"I don't know why he did what he did and I'll never be able to ask him why," Cathleen Alexis, mother of the man who authorities say killed 12 people Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, said in a statement she read to the media at midday Wednesday.

CNN has audio of her comments, in which she also says that "Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone, and for that I am glad."

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Wed September 18, 2013

VIDEO: Slide Into Second Ends With Face Firmly In Butt

Up close and personal: Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, left, reaches back to tag out Houston Astros' Jonathan Villar during Tuesday's game in Houston.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 8:31 am

Because we need something silly after some very serious days:

When the Houston Astros' Jonathan Villar slid into second base Tuesday night, he ended up coming face-to-butt with Cincinnati Reds infielder Brandon Phillips.

There's video here of "Villar's unfortunate slide." Notice how Phillips calmly reaches between his legs to tag Villar.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Wed September 18, 2013

No Guns Please, Starbucks Tells Customers

A Starbucks customer — gun on his hip and drink in his hand — watches a rally by gun control advocates, in Seattle in 2010.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 10:42 am

With the coffee giant caught in the middle of what he says is an "increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening" debate, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has posted a letter to "fellow Americans" asking that they not bring guns into Starbucks' shops.

Schultz writes that:

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Who Was Aaron Alexis? Records Offer Clues Of Instability

The FBI is asking the public to help fill in the profile of Aaron Alexis.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:13 pm

Focusing only on public documents and on-the-record statements paints a complicated picture of the man police say walked into a building at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday and shot dead 12 people before being killed himself.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Poverty Rate Unchanged In 2012

How the number of Americans below the poverty line and the poverty rate have changed.
Census Bureau

The nation's poverty rate remained unchanged at 15 percent in 2012, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.

For a family of four (two adults, two children) the poverty threshold in 2012 was $23,283.

There were 46.5 million Americans below the poverty line last year, Census says, vs. 46.2 million in 2011.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Tue September 17, 2013

WATCH: Time-Lapse Video Of The Costa Concordia Being Righted

The wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia, now back in an upright position.
Claudio Giovannini EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 2:14 pm

Take a minute if you want a break from the heavy news to see the cruise ship Costa Concordia being brought into an upright position.

Reuters is among several news outlets that have posted time-lapse video, condensing the 19-hour Monday-into-Tuesday operation into about 60 seconds.

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