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
10:36 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Mount McKinley's Gotten Shorter Again

Mount McKinley. There's a bit less of it than we thought.
Tim Rains/National Park Service Reuters/Landov

Could Alaska's Mount McKinley be in danger of developing a Napoleon complex?

Well, it's still said to be the tallest peak in North America, so perhaps it won't need to worry about its height just yet. But for the second time in recent decades, the mountain's been shortened.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Fri September 13, 2013

He's Down, Not Up: Trans-Atlantic Balloonist Forced To Land

Jonathan Trappe lifted off Thursday from Caribou, Maine. He had to give up his trans-Atlantic trip about 350 miles later.
Mark McBreairty AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 10:09 am

Before we even had a chance to tell you he was up, Jonathan Trappe is down.

"Hmm, this doesn't look like France," says the American aviator on his Facebook page.

Trappe left from Caribou, Maine, on Thursday on a bid to fly across the Atlantic in a small boat hanging beneath about 300 helium-filled balloons. Think Up.

No one's ever made that trip using a "cluster balloon" rig.

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Fri September 13, 2013

'Biblical' Flooding Rages In Colorado

Patrick Tinsley and Mary Kerns walk from their mountain community, Magnolia, where road access is shut off by debris. Flash flooding in Colorado has left at least three people reportedly dead and the widespread high waters have hampered emergency workers' access to affected communities as heavy rains hammered northern Colorado.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 7:15 pm

"As heavy rains brought wide ranging flood conditions across the state Thursday, the Front Range is bracing for more Friday," our colleagues at Northern Colorado's KUNC report.

They add that:

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Fri September 13, 2013

As Talks Continue, CIA Gets Some Weapons To Syrian Rebels

A Free Syrian Army fighter looks through the scope of his sniper rifle at an area controlled by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad in Aleppo.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 4:13 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman talks with host Steve Inskeep about the crisis in Syria

It's Day Two of talks in Geneva between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who are seeing if they can come to an agreement on Russia's suggestion that Syria hand over its chemical weapons to international monitors — and thus avert a possible strike by the U.S. military.

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Death For 4 Men Convicted In Indian Gang Rape And Murder

Outside the courthouse in New Delhi on Friday, demonstrators gathered to call for — and then celebrate — the death sentences handed down for four men convicted in the December gang rape and murder of a young woman.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:44 am

The four men convicted for December's notorious gang rape and murder of a young woman in New Delhi, India, were given the death penalty on Friday.

"It took all of 90 seconds" for the judge to announce his decision and then leave the courtroom, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from New Delhi. One of the four convicted men "shrieked and slumped," while outside a cheer went up when spectators heard the news, she adds.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Frightened By Friday The 13th? Say Paraskevidekatriaphobia

iStockphoto.com

It's baaaaack.

Friday the 13th, that is.

So in what's become a Two-Way tradition, we again offer something that's supposed to help.

Learning how to say paraskevidekatriaphobia supposedly cures one of any Friday the 13th-related fears.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Prince William Musters Out: He's Leaving The Military

Flight Lt. Wales (a.k.a. Prince William or the Duke of Cambridge).
Arthur Edwards Getty Images

After more than seven years in the Royal Air Force that included three years of service as a helicopter pilot on search-and-rescue missions, the Duke of Cambridge is leaving the military life behind.

According to the BBC, "he will now focus on royal duties and charity work together with the Duchess of Cambridge, a palace spokesman said."

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Bitter Battle Ends As Dell Shareholders OK $25 Billion Buyout

Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell in 2011.
Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:44 pm

Dell Inc. shareholders, as expected, have approved founder Michael Dell's $25 billion offer to take the company private, ending a protracted battle that saw billionaire investor Carl Icahn mount his own takeover bid for the computer maker.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu September 12, 2013

J.K. Rowling To Write Screenplay For 'Harry Potter' Spinoff

Remember the frenzy when Harry Potter books and movies came out? Fans may be cast under a similar spell now that J.K. Rowling has agreed to write the screenplay for a Potter spinoff. (This 2005 photo was taken in London when the book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released.)
Paco Serinelli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:00 am

Hold on to your sorting hats, everyone, there's exciting news today for muggles everywhere:

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Massive Molasses Spill Devastates Honolulu Marine Life

video shot by diver Roger White for Hawaii News Now shows how the molasses spill has affected the water in part of Honolulu Harbor and killed many creatures." href="/post/massive-molasses-spill-devastates-honolulu-marine-life" class="noexit lightbox">
An image from video shot by diver Roger White for Hawaii News Now shows how the molasses spill has affected the water in part of Honolulu Harbor and killed many creatures.
Hawaii News Now

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:20 pm

"Everything down there is dead."

That's one stunning quote from Hawaii News Now's latest report about the devastating damage that's been done to the marine life off Honolulu's Sand Island by 233,000 gallons of molasses that were spilled into Honolulu harbor on Monday.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Thu September 12, 2013

UPDATED: U.S. Rejects Assad's Timetable For A Chemical Weapons Deal

In Washington, D.C., this week, there have been demonstrations both in favor of and against a military strike on targets in Syria. Outside the White House on Monday, supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad waved a Syrian flag with his face on it.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 5:44 pm

Thirty days after his regime signs the international Chemical Weapons Convention that bans their use he will start handing over data about Syria's stockpile, President Bashar Assad told a Russian TV channel Thursday.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Jobless Claims Hit 7-Year Low, But Data Weren't Complete

At a Target store in San Francisco last month, job seekers waited in line.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

A plunge in the number of first-time claims for jobless benefits last week — to a 7-year-low 292,000 — can be partly explained away by "technical problems," Reuters writes:

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Thu September 12, 2013

You May Not Want To Look: Blobfish Named 'Ugliest Animal'

The blobfish: world's ugliest animal?
NOAA.gov

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:47 am

At first glance, we thought it was a Star Wars character.

But, no, the blobfish is a real creature that bobs around in the waters off Australia.

And now it's the "winner" of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society's online vote to choose a mascot.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Thu September 12, 2013

'Massive Flooding' In Colorado's Boulder County

A city worker talks on his phone while surveying high water levels on Boulder Creek following overnight flash flooding in downtown Boulder, Colo. today. Flash flooding in Colorado has left two people dead and the widespread high waters are keeping search and rescue teams from reaching stranded residents and motorists in Boulder and nearby mountain communities.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 11:28 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: KGNU's Maeve Conran on the flooding

A huge overnight downpour that brought 4 to 7 inches of rain to the area around Boulder, Colo., has already produced "massive flooding" in the streets there, The Denver Post writes.

Even worse:

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Russian Plan 'Is Just A Lie,' Syrian Rebel General Says

A Free Syrian Army fighter in eastern Syria on Wednesday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:13 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris

As Secretary of State John Kerry was preparing to sit down with his Russian counterpart Thursday to discuss whether the Assad regime's chemical weapons can be handed over to international monitors, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army was telling NPR that "the Russian initiative is just a lie."

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

U.S. Troops Oppose Striking Syria, Online Survey Suggests

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps listen to President Obama during his visit to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in August.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

An online survey of 750 active-duty U.S. troops suggests that opposition to striking Syria is "more intense" among military personnel than among the American public.

Military Times, a publication and newssite owned by Gannett Co. (not the federal government) reports that:

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Oklahoma State Promises Own Probe Of Alleged Football Abuses

Oklahoma State players celebrate after a score during an Aug. 31 game against Mississippi State.
Bob Levey Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:05 pm

On this third day of Sports Illustrated's five-part series that exposes what the magazine says are sweeping problems in Oklahoma State University's football program — including money being paid to players, tutors doing players' schoolwork and women from a "hostess program" having sex with recruits — the school's president is vowing to investigate it thoroughly.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Wed September 11, 2013

If Verizon Sells A Record $49B In Bonds, Are Good Times Ahead?

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 12:22 pm

The number is stunning:

"Verizon Communications could be taking on nearly $50 billion in new debt in a massive bond sale to help the telecom giant pay for its $130 billion acquisition of Verizon Wireless shares," writes USA Today.

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Wed September 11, 2013

One Year After Benghazi Attack, 'Huge Gap' In Investigation

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images

There are two sad anniversaries today. As we said earlier, the nation is pausing to mark the 12 years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Nation Pauses To Mark Sept. 11 Attacks

A woman looks out at One World Trade Center from inside the 9/11 Empty Sky memorial at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., on Wednesday. Americans commemorated the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with solemn ceremonies and pledges to not forget the nearly 3,000 people killed.
Gary Hershorn Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 12:51 pm

It was just after 8:45 a.m. ET on Sept. 11, 2001, when the first jet struck the World Trade Center in New York City and the worst terrorist attack in the nation's history began. Nearly 3,000 people died.

At that time this morning, many Americans paused for a moment of silence. President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were among them.

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