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
10:43 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Paying For Success: River Otters Are Being Trapped Again In Illinois

Once almost gone from Illinois, river otters are now back in big numbers.
Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 2:30 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Steve Inskeep speaks Illinois biologist Bob Bluett

"They're wonderful, they're great. But sometimes too much is too much."

That's the basic problem confronting Illinois and its wild river otters, state Department of Natural Resources biologist Bob Bluett said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Mon November 26, 2012

SEC Chief Schapiro Is Leaving

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 9:15 am

(We updated the top of this post at 11:50 a.m. and 12:15 p.m ET):

Moving quickly after the announcement that Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro is leaving on Dec. 14, the White House just said that President Obama has designated SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter to be her replacement.

In a statement, the president says:

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Supreme Court Turns Down Appeal From Former Rep. William Jefferson

Former Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., in 2009.
Molly Riley Reuters /Landov

The congressman who became known as "Dollar Bill" Jefferson appears to have run out of options in his bid to overturn a 2009 corruption conviction.

The Supreme Court just announced it will not hear an appeal from former Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. So, as The Times-Picayune says:

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Mon November 26, 2012

VIDEO: High Dives Into 'World's Biggest Pile Of Leaves'

Bangakang video.

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 7:49 am

In case you haven't fallen for its charms yet, there's a video of three fun guys from Utah and their friends jumping into the "world's biggest pile of leaves" that's getting lots of views these days.

You can see their high jinks here.

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Top Stories: Fiscal Cliff Compromise? Egypt's Morsi Meets With Judges

It's a record: A sign in Atlanta about the $425 million jackpot in the Powerball lottery.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 7:20 am

Good morning.

Earlier, we posted about:

-- Outrage, Protests In Bangladesh After Factory Fire That Killed Scores.

-- 'Cyber Monday,' 'Giving Tuesday;' Then 'Weeping Wednesday?'.

Meanwhile, here are some of the other top headlines of the morning and from over the weekend:

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Outrage, Protests In Bangladesh After Factory Fire That Killed Scores

Inside the factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, after the blaze.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 7:19 am

Horrific is a word that quickly comes to mind about the news from Bangladesh concerning a fire Saturday in a garment factory where clothes were made for retailers around the world, including some in the U.S.

Here's how The Associated Press starts its latest report:

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The Two-Way
4:36 am
Mon November 26, 2012

'Cyber Monday,' 'Giving Tuesday;' Then 'Weeping Wednesday?'

The scene at the registers in a Braintree, Mass., Target store on Black Friday.
Allison Joyce Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 8:15 am

After Grey Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and No Clever Name For It Sunday, we're on to Cyb

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Does Frodo Know? There's Rumbling Near 'Mount Doom'

A massive plume of ash billows up into the sky as Mount Tongariro erupts at Tongariro National Park earlier today in New Zealand.
Reuters /Landov

There's been a volcanic eruption at New Zealand's Mount Tongariro, where ash has been spewed thousands of feet into the air. Sightseers are being warned to stay well away.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Boxer Hector 'Macho' Camacho Shot; 'Prognosis Is Not Good'

March 1, 1997: Hector "Macho" Camacho watches as "Sugar" Ray Leonard falls to the canvas during action in the fifth round of their fight.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

"Former world boxing champion Hector 'Macho"' Camacho went into cardiac arrest Wednesday morning but was stabilized by doctors after being shot in the face Tuesday outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico," ESPN reports.

It adds that:

"The situation with 'Macho' is very delicate," Centro Medico director Dr. Ernesto Torres told reporters during a 7 a.m. media briefing on Wednesday. "The prognosis is not good."

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop; But Superstorm Sandy's Effects Still Being Felt

The scene at a career fair last month in New York City.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

There were 410,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 41,000 from the level of the week before — when the number of applications soared because of the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy.

The Employment and Training Administration just released the latest figure. At 410,000, claims were still running at a pace above the pre-Sandy range of 350,000 to 400,000 a week.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Wed November 21, 2012

In Congo, Rebels Take Key City

A M23 rebel in the streets of Goma.
Phil Moore AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 6:29 am

After some of the worst fighting in recent years in a country where war is all-too common, rebel forces have taken control of the "strategic eastern city of Goma" in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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The Two-Way
4:14 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Truce Agreement Reached: Israel And Fighters In Gaza To 'Hold Fire'

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the "hold fire" agreement in Cairo.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 6:58 am

After a week of bloodshed, Israel and fighters in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip agreed to "hold fire" beginning at 2 p.m. ET today, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced at a joint news conference this afternoon with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Egypt had been trying to broker a truce to end the exchange of rockets and air strikes between Israel and militants in Gaza.

We'll post more on the agreement, which was announced at 12:35 p.m. ET., as the story develops.

Update at 5:55 p.m. ET. 'A Tenuous Nature':

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Time Again To Talk Turkey, And Why Frying Can Be Fatal

Don't try this at home: A fryer that was put in a garage and into which a still-frozen bird was placed. Those are two common mistakes.
State Farm

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 5:22 am

We want everyone to be back with us after the Thanksgiving holiday, so it feels like we should revisit the dangers of turkey frying.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Tue November 20, 2012

VIDEO: Clown, Cop Trade Punches

It could be hard to run from police in these.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 12:03 pm

We need a break from the day's incredibly serious news. Maybe you do too. If so, check the story from Milwaukee about a guy in a clown suit who was running in and out of traffic — and the fistfight/wrestling match he got into with a police officer.

It was all recorded by a guy with a camera phone. Reportedly, no one was hurt. The clown is said to be a local activist of some sort.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Elmo Puppeteer Resigns; Calls Sex Allegations A 'Distraction'

Puppeteer Kevin Clash and Elmo.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 9:22 am

Kevin Clash, the voice and puppeteer who for 28 years has made Sesame Street's Elmo come alive for kids, has resigned because "the controversy surrounding [his] personal life has become a distraction," Sesame Workshop said this morning.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Former Sen. Warren Rudman Dies

Former Sen. Warren Rudman, R-N.H., in 2002.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Former New Hampshire Sen. Warren Rudman has died. His name will always be linked to a 1980s-era effort to tame the federal budget deficit and to a pre-Sept. 11 warning about the nation's security. And he will be remembered as a "moderate" Republican who could work across party lines.

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Charges Filed Against Murdoch Editors Accused Of Paying Officials For Information

Rebekah Brooks, who rose to the top spot at Rupert Murdoch's News International.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 8:45 am

British officials today filed more charges against former top editors at some of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers in the U.K., this time for allegedly paying nearly $160,000 to a ministry of defense official to get information.

That information allegedly included the "Green Book" that lists phone numbers and other contact details for members of Britain's royal family.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, those charged are:

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Tue November 20, 2012

HP Takes $8.8 Billion Hit From 'Misrepresentations' By Company It Bought

At Hewlett-Packard headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 9:23 am

Saying it was a victim of "serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations" by a British software company it acquired last year, tech titan Hewlett-Packard just announced it erased $8.8 billion from its books last quarter to properly account for the acquisition.

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The Two-Way
5:06 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Britain Recognizes Syrian Opposition

Rubble litters the street in the main souk or market area of Maraat al-Numan, Syria.
John Cantlie AFP/Getty Images

Calling it the "sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said today that the U.K. is officially recognizing the Syrian National Coalition, Reuters reports.

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The Two-Way
4:51 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Christian Girl Accused Of Blasphemy Cleared By Pakistani Court

Rimsha Masih (left) was flown by military helicopter to a safe location after her release on bail in September. Now, she's been cleared of a blasphemy charge.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 9:34 am

Rimsha Masih, the young Christian Pakistani girl whose arrest earlier this year drew international attention, has been cleared of the blasphemy charge against her.

According to NPR's Jackie Northam, who is in Islamabad, Pakistan's High Court today threw out the charge against Rimsha because there was no hard evidence that she ever burned pages of the Quran, as neighbors had charged.

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