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
8:57 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Britain's Cameron Sees 'A Real Breakthrough' On Syria

British Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin viewed the Sochi Olympic Park along the Black Sea coast by helicopter Friday.
Nikolsky Alexei ITAR-TASS /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 12:17 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': British Prime Minister David Cameron talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry "made a real breakthrough" last week in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they agreed there will be an American-Russian peace conference on Syria, British Prime Minister David Cameron told NPR on Monday.

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Mon May 13, 2013

'I Hope He Rots,' Says Brother Of Cleveland Kidnap Suspect

Onil (left) and Pedro Castro in an exclusive interview broadcast Monday morning on CNN.
CNN

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 10:24 am

Calling his brother a hateful monster, Onil Castro has told CNN he hopes Ariel Castro "rots in that jail."

"I want him to suffer," he said of Ariel, the 52-year-old man accused of holding three young women captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade — years in which Ariel Castro allegedly raped them repeatedly and subjected them to other physical and mental torment.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Mon May 13, 2013

In Pakistan, Sharif Turns To Unstable Nation's Dire Problems

Nawaz Sharif, who will lead Pakistan's next government, at a campaign rally last week.
T. Mughal EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 10:19 am

With a commanding lead for his party in the vote count following Saturday's parliamentary elections, former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is returning to power with a clear mandate to focus on the grave problems facing his nation, as NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from Lahore for Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Sat May 11, 2013

In Cleveland, 30 Minutes Of Bravery Ended 10-Year Nightmare

It took neighbors' help for Amanda Berry to escape through the bolted storm door of the Cleveland home where authorities say she and two other women were held captive for nearly a decade. After she emerged, the women and Berry's daughter were rescued.
David Maxwell EPA /LANDOV

Until today, there's been a rush of news related to the kidnapping of three young women in Cleveland, their rescue after a decade in captivity and the chilling details that have emerged about what they went through. Now, the news has slowed. We suspect there will be less to report in coming days, but we'll watch for important developments.

There is a story to recommend, though:

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Emotions Run High After Boston Bombing Suspect's Burial

Some of the graves at the Al-Barzakh Islamic Cemetery in Doswell, Va., where the body of Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been buried. His grave was not identified to journalists.
Yuri Gripas Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 1:04 pm

The news that Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been buried in a rural cemetery just north of Richmond, Va., is causing controversy there.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Pakistanis 'Defy Violence' To Vote In Landmark Election

Pakistani men lined up to vote in Rawalpindi on Saturday. Men and women cast ballots separately as millions went to the poll.
T. Mughal EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 11:17 pm

Despite attacks in the days and weeks leading up to Saturday's voting — and deadly bombings and other attacks on the very day they're going to the polls — Pakistanis are showing they're willing to "defy the violence," NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from Lahore.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Schools? How About A Science Laureate At The Super Bowl?

Beyonce took the stage at this year's Super Bowl halftime show. Imagine a scientist instead. Perhaps dressed differently.
Michael DeMocker The Times-Picayune /Landov

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 10:11 am

The same scientist who famously "killed Pluto" (as a planet, that is) says it's "brilliant" that there's an effort underway in Congress to name a science laureate.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Astronauts Go On Spacewalk To Fix Ammonia Leak

NASA.gov

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 5:11 pm

Two astronauts went on a last-minute spacewalk Saturday to replace a pump suspected of being the source of a serious ammonia leak.

It was unclear what caused the ammonia leak, NASA spokesman Rob Navias said, "but the installation of this spare pump package — at least at the moment — seems to have done the trick."

NASA officials called the spacewalk a success, but said it would take time to see if the leak was indeed stopped. Engineers will review photos the astronauts took at the site.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Officials Aren't Linking Man's Arrest To Texas Explosion

April 25, in Waco: Friends, family members and fellow firefighters held a memorial for the first responders killed by the April 17 explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas.
Jerry Larson/pool EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 7:48 am

Saturday's reports about the arrest of a former emergency services volunteer in the town of West, Texas, indicate the story has not moved much from where we left things on Friday:

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Genocide Conviction In Guatemala Is 'Huge Breakthrough'

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt during his trial earlier this week.
Jorge Dan Lopez Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 2:04 pm

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was convicted of genocide by a court in his country Friday for the part he played in massacres and other crimes committed against Mayans while he ruled in 1982 and 1983.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Top Stories: Cleveland Kidnapping; Benghazi Emails

In Cleveland earlier this week, friends and family gathered balloons and other things to have on hand to welcome home kidnapping victim Michelle Knight.
Thomas Ondrey The Plain Dealer /Landov

Good morning.

As the day gets going, the top stories include:

-- Cleveland Kidnap Victim Michelle Knight Released From Hospital; Thanks Community, Asks For Privacy. (Plain Dealer)

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

IRS Apologizes For Singling Out Conservative Groups

Dennis Brack Landov

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 6:14 pm

Update at 6:10 p.m. ET: White House: IRS was 'Inappropriate':

White House press secretary Jay Carney called the IRS actions "inappropriate" and said they should be investigated.

Carney, speaking to reporters Friday afternoon, noted that the Internal Revenue Service is an independent agency with only two political appointees.

Here's our original post:

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Criminal Probe Launched In Texas Fertilizer Plant Blast

The remains of the fertilizer plant that exploded in the town of West, Texas, on April 17.
Mike Stone Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 12:56 pm

Authorities in Texas announced Friday that they're launching a criminal investigation into the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people and devastated the small community of West.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Fri May 10, 2013

'Monkeemobile' Creator Dean Jeffries Dies

Hey, hey: The Monkeemobile, one of Dean Jeffries best-known creations.
Steve Marcus Reuters/Landov

Dean Jeffries, the car customizer who created the "Monkeemobile" for The Monkees TV show, "Black Beauty" for The Green Hornet and who painted two famous words on actor James Dean's Porsche 550 Spyder, died last weekend at his Hollywood home. He was 80. A son says Jeffries died in his sleep.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Jacob & Sophia Rule Among Baby Names, Liz & Liam Are Hot

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:09 am

If this was a contest, some might call for the name Jacob to be retired after so many wins.

According to the Social Security Administration:

"Jacob and Sophia are repeat champions as America's most popular baby names for 2012. This is the fourteenth year in a row Jacob tops the list for boys and the second year for Sophia."

Rounding out the top 10 lists:

Girls / Boys

2. Emma / Mason

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Cleveland Kidnapping Suspect Could Face Thousands Of Charges

Ariel Castro during his arraignment Thursday at Cleveland Municipal Court. He's accused of kidnapping and raping three young women, and then holding a daughter born to one of those women captive. The women had been missing for about a decade. The child is now six years old.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 10:56 am

  • Brian Bull of WCPN reports

Update at 10:45 a.m. ET. DNA Testing Confirms Suspect Is Child's Father, Ohio Attorney General Says:

Preliminary DNA tests confirm that Ariel Castro, the man charged with kidnapping and repeatedly raping three young women held captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade, is the father of a girl born to one of the victims six years ago, Ohio's attorney general announced Friday morning.

A statement posted by Attorney General Mike DeWine's office says:

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Fri May 10, 2013

FBI Says Data About Probe Of Bombing Suspect Was Shared

FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers (at the microphones), Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis (standing, at far left) and other authorities briefing the news media on April 19. That's the day Boston bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed and his brother, Dzhokhar, was captured.
Neal Hamberg Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 8:43 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Brian Naylor reports

Boston Police Chief Edward Davis told Congress on Thursday that before the Boston Marathon bombings, his department wasn't aware the FBI had questioned Tamerlan Tsarnaev in recent years about whether he had been in contact with Muslim extremists in Dagestan.

As far as he knew, Davis said, the FBI did not share that information with local authorities.

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Reports: Survivor Rescued 17 Days After Bangladesh Building Collapse

Rescuers carry a survivor who was buried for 17 days under the rubble of a building that collapsed in Saver, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Parvez Ahmad Rony AP

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 1:25 pm

(Most recent update: 1:15 p.m. ET.)

There's incredible news from Bangladesh:

"Miraculous as it may sound," a survivor was rescued Friday from the rubble of the eight-story building that collapsed 17 days ago near Dhaka, The Daily Star reported this morning.

That story from Bangladesh's English-language newspaper has been followed with these bulletins from other news outlets:

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

After 100,000+ Downloads, Group With 3-D Gun Plans Goes Dark

The Liberator — a plastic handgun made with a 3-D printer.
Defense Distributed

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 2:45 pm

Minutes ago, just as we were reading a Forbes story headlined "3D-Printed Gun's Blueprints Downloaded 100,000 Times In Two Days," this message appeared on the Twitter page of the group that has made those plans available to the world:

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Great Fake? 'Kiss Cam Breakup' Video Goes Viral

Fresno Grizzlies

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 12:30 pm

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