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
7:40 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Remembering Letitia Baldrige, The 'Doyenne Of Decorum'

Letitia Baldrige, when she was first lady Jacqueline Kennedy's social secretary.
JFK Presidential Library and Museum

We want to note the death of Letitia Baldrige, who as The Washington Post writes "was social secretary to first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and also became known as a 'doyenne of decorum' and chief arbiter of good manners in modern America."

Baldrige died Monday at a nursing facility in Bethesda, Md. She was 86.

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Wed October 31, 2012

N.Y. Drama: Officer Dies After Saving Family; Videos Show Rooftop Rescues

A lift to safety: New York City Police officers used "Helicopter 23" — named for the 23 officers killed on Sept. 11, 2001 — to rescue six people from rooftops on Staten Island.
InsideNYPD

Heartbreak and heroics on Staten Island in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy:

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The Two-Way
4:54 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Latest On Sandy: Death Toll Rises, Wait For 'Normal' Life Continues

Rescue in Hoboken: Much of the New Jersey city remains flooded and the National Guard has been called in to help rescue stranded residents. Tuesday, this was the scene on one of the city's flooded streets.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 6:30 pm

  • Three short audio reports from NPR's Zoe Chace
  • From 'Morning Edition': Robert Smith in New York City
  • From 'Morning Edition': David Folkenflik in New Jersey

Across New York City, much of New Jersey and other places hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, power remains out today and the long, hard process of digging through debris and starting to rebuild continues.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Tue October 30, 2012

A Bright Light During Dark Days: Bloomberg's Sign Language Star

Fans like her style: Mayor Michael Bloomberg (at right) briefing New Yorkers about Hurricane Sandy on Monday. At left is his sign language interpreter, who the mayor identified as Lydia Callis.
Mayor Bloomberg's YouTube channel

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:54 am

Since we noted Monday that the sign language interpreter for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) was becoming an Internet sensation, her fan base seems to have kept on growing.

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The Two-Way
3:42 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Latest On Sandy: Death Toll, Damages Rise As Superstorm Heads North

Debris and sections of a destroyed boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J., earlier today.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:16 am

Sandy, the hurricane-turned-superstorm, has left dozens dead, millions without power and thousands in need of rescue from rising waters as it slowly moves north and west from the Mid-Atlantic to pass over the Great Lakes and into Canada.

According to The Associated Press, storm damage was projected at $20 billion, "meaning it could prove to be one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history."

Sandy has also taken a huge human toll: More than 30 deaths since the weekend and millions more coping with damaged homes, crippled transportation systems and no power.

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Consumer Spending Jumped Up In September

Hitting the mall: Spending rose in September.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Though Hurricane Sandy is the dominant news of the day, there are other stories, including:

"Personal income increased $48.1 billion, or 0.4 percent," in September from August, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says, while "personal consumption expenditures" — consumer spending — rose 0.8 percent.

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The Two-Way
4:11 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Other News: Giants Win World Series; Syrian 'Ceasefire' Ending

San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval was the World Series' most valuable player. He hit three home runs in Game 1.
Matt Slocum Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 5:21 am

  • Mike Pesca on 'Morning Edition'

While we continue to monitor Hurricane Sandy, we wanted to pass on some of the morning's other top headlines:

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The Two-Way
3:59 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Sandy: Latest News As The Worst Begins To Be Felt

Broken and non-functional traffic lights hang over an intersection in Atlantic City, N.J., on Monday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 8:18 am

As Hurricane Sandy drenches much of the Mid-Atlantic and moves northwest, we're updating with the latest news about a storm that forecasters say will be historic in size and intensity and how it is affecting millions of Americans:

Update at 8:43 p.m. ET. Sandy Makes Landfall:

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Economic Growth Picked Up Slightly In Third Quarter

A GM assembly line in Lansing, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 7:31 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

That follows growth (at annual rates) of 1.3 percent in the second quarter and 2 percent in the first.

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Giants Take 2-Game World Series Lead With 'Small Ball,' 'Slap & Score'

Please go foul, please go foul, please go foul: Third-baseman Miguel Cabrera (No. 24) and catcher Gerald Laird of the Detroit Tigers watched closely to see if a bunt by the Giants' Gregor Blanco would go foul Thursday night in San Francisco. It didn't. The Giants scored and went on to win the game and take a 2-0 lead in the World Series.
Thearon W. Henderson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 4:53 am

After the home run heroics of "Kung Fu Panda" in Game 1, last night's World Series faceoff between the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers was a much different game, NPR's Tom Goldman said earlier on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Fri October 26, 2012

If Sandy Becomes 'Frankenstorm,' It Could Be Worst In A Century

National Hurricane Center's "5-day forecast cone" at 2 p.m. ET today (Oct. 26).
www.nhc.noaa.gov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 7:52 am

"We're not trying to hype it," National Weather Service meterologist Paul Kocin tells Bloomberg News. "What we're seeing in some of our models is a storm at an intensity that we have not seen in this part of the country in the past century."

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Banned In China: Ai Weiwei's 'Gangnam Style' Video

Ai Weiwei, "Gannam style."
YouTube

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 8:18 am

Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei is pushing authorities' buttons again, this time with a "Gangnam style" video spoof that was quickly blocked from Chinese websites.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Will It Hold? Assad Regime Says It Agrees To Truce; Rebels Are Skeptical

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 10:21 am

A message has appeared on the website of Syria's SANA news agency saying that the country's armed forces will halt military operations for four days, starting tomorrow.

On its face, that would appear to be acceptance of U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's plan for a truce during the Eid al-Adh holiday that Muslims begin observing on Friday.

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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Boom, Boom, Boom! 'Kung Fu Panda' Joins Elite Club With Three Homers

San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval rounding the bases after one of his three home runs last night.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 5:26 am

  • Tom Goldman on 'Morning Edition'

For those like us who can't stay up late to watch the World Series, here's a cheat sheet on what happened in Game 1 last night.

The San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 8-3, but the amazing part of the story is that for the second year in a row a player hit three home runs in one World Series game.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Here's The List: 63 Barnes & Noble Stores Where Crooks Hacked PIN Pads

A Barnes & Noble store in San Bruno, Calif. It's on the list.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 6:41 am

If you shopped recently at 63 Barnes & Noble stores in nine states and used a credit or debit card there's a chance that thieves got hold of data about your accounts and your PIN.

As the company has announced:

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Sales Of New Homes Hit Fastest Pace In 2 1/2 years

A sign of the times at a building site in Ohio earlier this year.
John Kuntz The Plain Dealer /Landov

Sales of new single-family homes rose 5.7 percent in September from August and at an annual rate of 389,000 hit the fastest pace since April 2010, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development say.

Sales were up 27.1 percent from September 2011.

Reuters calls the news "further evidence the housing market recovery is gaining steam."

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed October 24, 2012

After Shark Kills Surfer, Central California Beach Closed

The beach is closed near Vandenberg Air Force Base after Tuesday's shark attack.
U.S. Air Force photo Reuters /Landov

Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base along California's central coast is closed after the death of a 39-year-old man who was attacked by a shark Tuesday while surfing.

The man's death came two years and a day after a shark killed a 19-year-old man along the same stretch of the coast.

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Reports: Militants Quickly Claimed Responsibility For Benghazi Attack

A burned vehicle outside the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after the Sept. 11 attack.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters /Landov

Reuters and Fox News have obtained copies of an email sent about two hours after the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which the White House, Pentagon and other agencies are told that the Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia had "claimed responsibility."

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The Two-Way
4:47 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Developing: Four-Day Truce Coming In Syria, U.N. Envoy Says

In Aleppo, Syria, an opposition fighter shouted as he manned a position on Monday.
Fabio Bucciarelli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 9:30 am

Earlier ceasefire deals have quickly fallen apart in Syria this year, so this news should be viewed with some skepticism:

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The Two-Way
4:23 am
Wed October 24, 2012

'God Intended' A Pregnancy Caused By Rape, Indiana Candidate Says

Richard Mourdock, Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana.
Nick Carey Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 8:57 am

After saying during a debate Tuesday night that a pregnancy caused by rape is "something that God intended to happen," the Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana is arguing that it is "twisted" to suggest he thinks God wants some women to be raped.

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