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
1:36 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Reminder: An Asteroid Buzzes By On Friday (But NASA Says Don't Worry)

An illustration of what asteroid 2012 DA 14 may look like as it approaches Earth.
NASA/JPL-CalTech EPA /LANDOV
  • Nell Greenfieldboyce, for the NPR Newscast

NASA calls it a "small near-Earth asteroid."

And though "2012 DA14" will come within about 17,000 miles of our planet and be closer than some satellites, the space agency assures everyone that "there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth."

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'Prisoner X' Mystery Puts Spotlight On Israel's Spy Agency

The "prisoner x" story is front page news in Australia.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 9:40 am

This sounds like something from a spy novel, but it's the top of a real-life Associated Press story today:

"He was known as Prisoner X, his crimes unknown. For months he languished in an Israeli prison until he was he was found dead in his cell in an apparent suicide. Later, rumors would swirl that he was an Australian-Israeli who worked for the Israeli secret service Mossad.

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Warren Buffett Puts Heinz In His Pantry

J.B. Reed Landov

The Oracle of Omaha is again showing he's got a taste for companies that make the kinds of food many Americans love.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is joining with the Brazilian investment group 3G Capital to buy H.J. Heinz Co. for $23.3 billion. Add in the debt that the new owners will assume and the deal's value grows to $28 billion, Buffett's company says.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Jobless Claims Fell By 27,000 Last Week

The number of people filing first-time clams for unemployment insurance fell by 27,000 last week, to 341,000 from 368,000 the week before.

The Employment and Training Administration also reports that the "4-week moving average was 352,500, an increase of 1,500." That average, in theory, gives a better picture of the trend.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'I Thought We Were Dead,' Says One Of Cop Killer's Hostages

Karen and Jim Reynolds.
AP video

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:05 pm

The two people held hostage Tuesday by former Los Angles police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner say they expected the worst after they discovered Dorner inside a vacation property they own near the Big Bear mountain resort.

"I thought we were dead," said James Reynolds. "Really, pretty scary."

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius In Custody After Girlfriend's Shooting Death

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa leaves the starting blocks of the men's 400-meter race at the 2012 London Olympics.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:50 pm

Our most recent update was added at 1:45 p.m. ET.

South African Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius "has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend," The Associated Press reports from Pretoria.

Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed inside Pistorius' home early Thursday, police say.

The AP adds that:

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Deputy And Teacher Praised For Talking Down Alabama Gunman At School

WBRC-TV reporting from the scene at Chelsea (Ala.) Middle School, where a gunman briefly held some students.
WBRC-TV

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:12 pm

As the nation watched anxiously to see how the manhunt in California for accused cop-killer Christopher Jordan Dorner would turn out, a harrowing situation at an Alabama middle school thankfully ended peacefully.

AL.com reports that a man entered the school in Chelsea, Ala., Tuesday afternoon and "held several students at gunpoint."

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Behind The Mic: Here's Why The 11 A.M. Newscast Was All 'Live'

How many NPR staffers can you fit in one booth? From left to right: Craig Windham, Dave Mattingly, Mark Memmott and Korva Coleman.
Dave Pignanelli

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 12:00 pm

  • The all-live Newscast

We don't usually write about what happens in the NPR newsroom. That old line about not wanting to know how the sausage is made certainly applies in most cases.

But if you were tuned in at 11 a.m. ET and the newscast sounded a little different, it's because some technical gremlins got hold of the pre-recorded reports from NPR's correspondents and wouldn't let go. So, it was "live radio" time.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Wed February 13, 2013

The State Of The Union In 10 Headlines

President Obama during Tuesday night's State of the Union address. Behind him: Vice President Biden (left) and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Pete Marovich EPA /LANDOV

Since what's said and written about a State of the Union address on the morning after can determine what's most remembered about such speeches, let's look at Wednesday's headlines:

-- NPR's It's All Politics: "Obama To Congress: With Or Without You."

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Rubio's Big Drink Gets Big Buzz

He needed to hydrate: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., during his address Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:29 pm

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Single Gunshot Reportedly Ends Dramatic California Manhunt

Police blocked roads Tuesday leading to the mountains near San Bernardino, Calif., where accused killer Christopher Dorner was thought to be hiding.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 2:47 pm

  • NPR's Kirk Siegler, reporting for the NPR Newscast

We most recently updated the top of this post at 1:25 p.m. ET.

While authorities have canceled the "tactical alert" that had been in place during the manhunt for accused killer Christopher Jordan Dorner, the case has not been closed because it's not absolutely certain that Dorner is dead, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman just told reporters.

So, Los Angeles police officers and their families who have been under protection while Dorner was on the run will continue to get that protection until his death has been confirmed.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Rosa Parks Statue, Capitol's First Of African-American Woman, To Be Dedicated

Rosa Parks in June 1999, when she was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal.
William Philpott Reuters /Landov

The late civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who broke racial barriers in 1955 when she would not move to the back of a segregated bus in Montgomery, Ala., will be posthumously part of another barrier-breaking moment on Feb. 27.

The office of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Tuesday that a statue of Parks will be dedicated that day in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

'Heart Attack Grill' Greeter Dies After Heart Attack

One of the Heart Attack Grill's "triple bypass" burgers.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 3:22 pm

Two customers' collapses last year didn't seem to faze fans of Las Vegas' Heart Attack Grill.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

'Zombie Alert' Also Aired In Michigan; Hacking Traced To Overseas Source

OK, we're pretty sure this isn't real. (A 1012 Halloween-related festival in Georgia.)
Erik S. Lesser EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 2:07 pm

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Newtown Teacher Among First Lady's State Of The Union Guests

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:05 pm

Gun violence. Immigration. Education. The economy. Veterans. Afghanistan. Women in combat. Innovation. Science. Equality. Heroism.

It's safe to say those will themes in Tuesday night's State of the Union address, based on the list the White House has released of the guests who will be sitting with first lady Michelle Obama in the House gallery. Such guests, and the reasons they're there, usually make their way into a president's address.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Hagel Three-Step: Committee Vote; Floor Fight; Then Confirmation?

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been nominated to be the next secretary of defense.
Ron Sachs DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 5:18 pm

Update at 5:04 p.m. ET. Committee Approves Confirmation:

Voting along party lines, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to approve the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the country's next defense secretary.

The vote was 14 to 11 with Sen. David Vitter, a Republican of Louisiana not casting a vote.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Cheney Likes Something Obama's Doing: Drone Strikes

Former Vice President Dick Cheney in October 2011.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:08 pm

"I think it's a good program and I don't disagree with the basic policy that the Obama administration has pursued."

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Two Arrested In Shocking Shooting Death Of Chicago Girl

At a Chicago funeral home last week, a painting of 15-year-old shooting victim Hadiya Pendleton stood at the entrance.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Chicago police say "two reputed gang members were out for revenge from a previous shooting when they opened fire on a group of students in a South Side park last month, killing 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton," the Chicago Tribune writes this morning.

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Report: Obama To Announce Withdrawal Of 34K Troops From Afghanistan

Soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, earlier in February.
Andrew Burton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 10:04 am

What will likely be a day-long drip of leaks about tonight's State of the Union address begins with this:

"President Barack Obama will announce in his State of the Union address that 34,000 U.S. troops will be home from Afghanistan within a year, two people familiar with his remarks said Tuesday." (From The Associated Press)

The wire service adds: "That's about half the U.S. forces currently serving there, and marks the next phase in the administration's plans to formally finish the war by the end of 2014."

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Doing The Cardinal Math: Numbers Point To Another European Pope

Pope Benedict XVI (left) and Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan in 2011. Scola is among those seen as a likely successor to Benedict.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 10:07 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Sylvia Poggioli reports

On this morning after the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning at the end of the month, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli looks at the numbers and concludes it's more than likely the next pope will be a European, just like nearly all the others.

Why?

As Sylvia told Morning Edition guest host Linda Wertheimer:

-- 117 cardinals are eligible to vote at the upcoming conclave (only those under the age of 80 can take part).

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