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
8:06 am
Fri August 16, 2013

There It Is! Area 51 Revealed In Declassified CIA Report

The CIA has put Area 51 on the map.
National Security Archive

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 11:51 am

Cue The X-Files theme:

A newly declassified CIA report written in 1992 not only mentions Nevada's Area 51, it places it on a map. What's more, it acknowledges that the place where many sci-fi stories have said space aliens' bodies are being kept is a real-life government facility.

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Fri August 16, 2013

NSA Has Broken Privacy Rules 'Thousands Of Times Each Year'

The National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade, Md.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:57 am

The morning's major scoop comes from The Washington Post:

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Fri August 16, 2013

In Egypt: 'Day Of Rage' Adds To Body Count

A man in Cairo who said he had been wounded by a rubber bullet Friday gets help.
Andre Pain EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 10:55 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Peter Kenyon, in Cairo, talks with host David Greene

(We updated the top of this post at 4:50 p.m. ET. For other updates, click here.)

With the Muslim Brotherhood marching in Cairo and other Egyptian cities in a "day of rage" over the deadly crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, this week's alarming body count went higher on Friday.

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Obama Played Cards The Day Bin Laden Was Killed: Important?

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other members of his national security team as they monitored the mission that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Pete Souza White House

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:06 am

Much is being made of something that former presidential "body man" Reggie Love said earlier this summer during a Q&A at UCLA. His words only came to light this week.

According to Love, on May 1, 2011, the day that Navy SEALs were closing in on Osama bin Laden:

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

What's Up With That, Doc? Researchers Make Bunnies Glow

Those are bright bunnies. (The photo shows the two that have the "glowing gene," along with their siblings.)
University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 1:44 pm

Like cats and other animals before them, a couple of rabbits are now among the animals that have been genetically manipulated so that they glow green under a black light.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Obama 'Strongly Condemns' Crackdown In Egypt

President Obama, speaking Thursday from the island of Martha's Vineyard, Mass., said the U.S. has canceled joint military exercises with Egypt.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:05 pm

  • President Obama's comments about the crisis in Egypt; Aug. 15, 2013

"The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt's interim government" that have led to civilians "being killed in the streets," President Obama said Thursday from Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where he is vacationing with his family.

He called on Egypt's interim government to lift the state of emergency it has declared and said the U.S. has canceled joint military exercises with Egypt that had been scheduled for September.

"Our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual while civilians are being killed in the streets," Obama said.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Thu August 15, 2013

James Bond Parachutist At London Olympics Dies In Accident

Stuntman Mark Sutton, doubling for actor Daniel Craig (or, as James Bond) during the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics last summer.
Ian Langsdon EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:41 pm

"The stuntman who parachuted into the London 2012 opening ceremony as James Bond has been killed in an accident," the BBC reports. "Mark Sutton, 42, from Surrey, died Wednesday while wingsuit flying near Martigny, Switzerland. Swiss police investigating the Briton's death said it appeared he had died after crashing into a ridge of rock."

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Jobless Claims Drop To Pre-Recession Level

The scene at a career fair held by the National Urban League last month in Philadelphia.
Mark Makela Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 10:37 am

There were 320,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Not only is that 15,000 fewer than had been filed the week before, it's also the lowest number for any single week since before the U.S. economy officially slipped into its most recent recession, in December 2007.

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Thu August 15, 2013

VIDEO: 'Sideways Rocket Hop' By SpaceX Prototype

The "Grasshopper" during its hop into the air.
SpaceX

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 1:50 pm

The engineers at SpaceX this week successfully launched a 10-story rocket to an altitude of about 800 feet, moved it about 330 feet sideways and then brought the "Grasshopper" back down to its landing pad.

Check out the video.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Gingrich: Most GOP Lawmakers Have 'Zero' Ideas On Health Care

Republicans need to pitch their own ideas on healthcare, not just object to the president's, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 9:47 am

Look your Republican member of Congress in the eye and ask, "What is your positive replacement for Obamacare?"

In most cases, says former House speaker and past Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich, "they will have zero answer."

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Thu August 15, 2013

After Deaths Of Hundreds, More Bloodshed Feared In Egypt

Posters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi lay amid the rubble of a protest camp in Cairo after Wednesday's crackdown by government forces.
Ahmed Assadi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:30 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo

"It's difficult to see a path out of this crisis, at least not without more people dying."

That's how NPR's Cairo bureau chief, Leila Fadel, ended her Morning Edition report Thursday. After Wednesday's deadly crackdown by Egyptian troops on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi — a crackdown that according to latest estimates left more than 500 people dead and 3,500 or so wounded — the fear is that there will be much more bloodshed.

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

'Nothing Racist' Implied In 'Obama' Act, Says Rodeo Clown

A photo taken of the clown who wore a mask resembling President Obama during a rodeo Saturday at the Missouri State Fair.
Jameson Hsieh AP

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:40 am

Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown at the center of the controversy over the skit at the Missouri State Fair in which a man wearing a President Obama mask was mocked, says "nothing racist was ever implied."

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

San Diego's Hooters, Other Businesses Tell Mayor To Stay Away

At the entrance to this Hooters restaurant in San Diego, the sign is up telling Mayor Bob Filner that he's not welcome.
Gregory Bull AP

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who is refusing calls to resign following the dozen or so accounts of women who say he sexually harassed them, isn't welcome at his city's Hooters restaurants.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Wed August 14, 2013

The Knuckleball Can Devastate, So Why Don't All Pitchers Throw It?

The knuckleball grip used by Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright. Good fingernails are important.
Marvin Fong The Plain Dealer /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 6:17 pm

This sports news got our attention this week:

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Is Europe's Recession Really Over? It's Too Soon To Say

The line outside an employment office in Madrid last October. Spain's economy has been among the hardest hit in Europe.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 11:29 am

These headlines this morning make it sound like Europe's economy is up and running again:

-- "Euro Area Exits Longest Recession on Record." (Bloomberg News)

-- "Euro Zone Emerges from Recession." (The Wall Street Journal)

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed August 14, 2013

AOL CEO Apologizes For Public Firing

Tim Armstrong, the CEO of AOL.
Michael Kovac Getty Images for AOL

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 12:51 pm

After several days of brutal criticism and commentary about the brutal way he fired a man during a conference call, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is now apologizing.

"I am writing you to acknowledge the mistake I made last Friday during the Patch all-hands meeting when I publicly fired Abel Lenz," Armstrong says in an email to AOL employees, which Mashable has posted here.

Armstrong adds that:

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Wed August 14, 2013

2 Killed When UPS Cargo Plane Crashes In Alabama

Debris burns as a UPS cargo plane lies on a hill near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport after crashing Wednesday.
Hal Yeager AP

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 1:36 pm

We're monitoring the news from Birmingham, Ala., where a UPS cargo plane crashed Wednesday morning. UPS says the incident involves UPS Flight 1354, which was traveling from Louisville.

The flight, which would normally last about 45 minutes, had been scheduled to land before 5 a.m. local time, according to several flight-tracking websites. Louisville is in the Eastern time zone, while Birmingham is in the Central.

We'll update this post as details emerge.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Wed August 14, 2013

'Bloodbath' In Cairo As Troops Move On Morsi Supporters

Protesters taunt security forces moving in to clear one protest camp near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo. The military-backed government described the camps as violent and unlawful.
Hesham Mostafa EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 6:00 am

  • On 'Morning Edition' just after 10 a.m. ET: NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 5:08 p.m. ET.)

In what looks to be the bloodiest day since the July 3 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, dozens of people in Cairo were killed Wednesday as government forces moved to clear Morsi's supporters from sites where they have been camped.

By evening, the ministry of health reported 275 people had been killed and 2,001 had been injured across the country. The government said 43 policemen had been killed.

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Would Some Marriages Be Better If Couples Signed 'Wedleases'?

To have and hold, to sign on the bottom line?
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 5:56 pm

"People marry and divorce as if getting married is the equivalent of the high school concept of going steady," says Florida lawyer Paul Rampell.

Which is why, as Rampell said Tuesday on Tell Me More, he's pitching the idea of "wedleases."

That is:

"A combination of the words wedlock and lease. Two people commit themselves to a marriage, to a written contract for a period of years. One year. Five years. Ten years. Whatever term suits them.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Tue August 13, 2013

'Rat-A-Tat Whitey!' Bulger Trial's Most Memorable Moments

James "Whitey" Bulger, in an image released by the U.S. Marshal's Service in August 2011.
EPA /Landov

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 12:12 pm

Now that the trial's over and Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger has been convicted of 11 murders and multiple counts of extortion and money laundering, it's a good time to look back at a few memorable moments, surprises and conclusions.

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