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
5:45 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Nation Pauses To Mark Sept. 11 Attacks

A woman looks out at One World Trade Center from inside the 9/11 Empty Sky memorial at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., on Wednesday. Americans commemorated the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with solemn ceremonies and pledges to not forget the nearly 3,000 people killed.
Gary Hershorn Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 9:51 am

It was just after 8:45 a.m. ET on Sept. 11, 2001, when the first jet struck the World Trade Center in New York City and the worst terrorist attack in the nation's history began. Nearly 3,000 people died.

At that time this morning, many Americans paused for a moment of silence. President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were among them.

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The Two-Way
4:47 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Anthony Weiner's Run Ends With A Flourish Of His Finger

Anthony Weiner on Tuesday, before the results came in and before he waved goodbye.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:55 am

Voters in New York City are waiting to see whether Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio reached the 40 percent point that would avoid an Oct. 1 runoff with challenger William Thompson.

With about 98 percent of precincts having reported the results from Tuesday's voting, our colleagues at WNYC say that de Blasio has 40.19 percent of the vote to Thompson's 26.04 percent.

If de Blasio is declared the winner, he would face Republican Joe Lhota in November.

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The Two-Way
4:03 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Kerry's Meeting With Russian Is Next Key Moment In Syria Crisis

Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday as he testified before the House Armed Services Committee.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 6:00 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Jean Cochran rounds up the latest news about the crisis in Syria

Now that President Obama has made his case to the nation for holding Syrian President Bashar Assad responsible for a chemical weapons attack last month near Damascus, the next key moment in the quickly evolving crisis appears to be Thursday's meeting in Geneva between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Tue September 10, 2013

U.S. Defends Warrantless Searches Of Electronic Devices At Border

David House, who had his electronic devices seized when entering the country, successfully pushed to get the government to release information about its warrantless searches.
Elise Amendola AP

This much-talked about story Tuesday from The New York Times ...

"Newly released documents reveal how the government uses border crossings to seize and examine travelers' electronic devices instead of obtaining a search warrant to gain access to the data."

... now includes this response from the Customs and Border Protection agency:

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Alcoa's Out & Nike's In As Dow Industrials Gets A Facelift

The Nike "swoosh" on a store in Orlando, Fla.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 8:36 am

There aren't many better signs of how much the U.S. economy has changed in recent decades or how some companies are faring than this news:

Alcoa, Hewlett-Packard and Bank of America are being dropped from the Dow Jones Industrial Average in favor of Nike, Visa and Goldman Sachs.

The changes take effect when trading opens on Sept. 23.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Got 'Ya Web: Jimmy Kimmel Was Behind 'Worst Twerk Fail EVER'

Talk about hot pants: A screen image from the "Worst Twerk Fail EVER" video.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 6:47 am

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The Two-Way
5:06 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Breakthrough? Syria Hints It Might Give Up Chemical Weapons

In Washington, D.C., this week, there have been demonstrations both in favor of and against a military strike on targets in Syria. Outside the White House on Monday, supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad waved a Syrian flag with his face on it.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 1:04 pm

(We most recently updated this post at 4:02 p.m. ET.)

Amid reports that Syrian President Bashar Assad may be willing to give up his chemical weapons, as his strongest ally has suggested he do, the Obama administration expressed skepticism Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
3:43 am
Tue September 10, 2013

4 Men Convicted In Rape And Murder That Shocked India

A police bus believed to be carrying the four men convicted for the December rape and murder.
Money Sharma EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 8:11 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Julie McCarthy, in New Delhi, speaks with Renee Montagne

Four men convicted Tuesday for the December rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in India are due to learn Wednesday whether they will be sentenced to death by hanging.

From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reported on Morning Edition that there's great "political pressure ... to mete out the most extreme punishment." She called the guilty verdicts "a moment that the family [of the victim] and the country has been waiting for."

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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Kerry Says Syria Action Would Be 'Unbelievably Small'

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference Monday in London.
Susan Walsh AFP/Getty Images

As he sought to make the case Monday that the U.S. needs to strike Syria, but won't be going to war as it did in Afghanistan and Iraq, Secretary of State John Kerry said this:

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Talk Turns To Getting Assad To Give Up His Chemical Weapons

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem (left) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Monday.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 11:53 am

(1:45 p.m. ET: Since our original headline — "Russia Urges Assad To Cede Control Of His Chemical Weapons" — we've updated this post several times.)

Saying he hopes to "receive [a] fast and positive answer," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that Russia believes a U.S. military strike on Syria can be averted if President Bashar Assad hands over control of his regime's chemical weapons to international monitors.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Downing St. Denies 'Dozy' David Cameron Left Secrets Unguarded

The prime minister's "red box," looking rather lonely, on a train Saturday from London to York. The Mirror made it front page news.
The Mirror

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 7:12 am

Since he's already got a reputation for absent-mindedness because last year he left his 8-year-old daughter behind at a pub, it's easy to see why Britain's Mirror is jumping on a claim that a "dozy" British Prime Minister David Cameron left the "red box" in which he carries official papers unguarded for a while Saturday whi

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The Two-Way
5:29 am
Mon September 9, 2013

'New' Van Gogh Painting Identified; Was In A Norwegian Attic

Alex Ruger, director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, at the unveiling Monday of Vincent Van Gogh's Sunset at Montmajour.
Olaf Kraak AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 8:15 am

A painting that had earlier been thought to be a fake and had been stored for decades in the attic of a Norwegian home has now been identified as a long-lost work by Vincent Van Gogh.

Sunset at Montmajour has been authenticated thanks to "extensive research into [its] style, technique, paint, canvas, the depiction, Van Gogh's letters and the provenance," Van Gogh Museum Director Axel Ruger says in a statement posted Monday by the Amsterdam museum.

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The Two-Way
4:51 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Strike On Syria: Meaningless Gesture Or Necessary Response?

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., called military action in Syria legitimate and necessary.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 8:09 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power
  • From 'Morning Edition': Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman

The arguments for and against taking military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad for its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians were laid out Monday on Morning Edition.

Making the case for a "legitimate, necessary and proportional response" was Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Feds Asked Yahoo For Data 12,444 Times In First Half Of Year

Yahoo's new logo.
Yahoo.com

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:38 pm

Adding its experience to those of other major browsers and social media sites, Yahoo said Friday that it received 29,470 requests from governments around the world for user data in the first six months of 2013.

Of that total, 12,744 — 42 percent — came from the U.S. government, Yahoo says.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Friday's Moon Launch Visible To A Potential 85 Million

An unmanned Minotaur rocket carries NASA's newest robotic explorer, the LADEE spacecraft, into Earth orbit and then to the moon.
Carla Cioffi AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 3:07 am

Updated, 11:40 p.m. EDT

The LADEE spacecraft is on its way to the moon. The rocket and its two-stage separation was visible at least from the Washington D.C. suburbs, and likely up and down the East Coast, given the clear skies.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Hitler's Last Bodyguard Dies; Was With The Fuhrer In Bunker

Rochus Misch, one of Adolf Hitler's bodyguards, in 1944. He died Thursday in Germany at the age of 96.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:35 pm

Rochus Misch, "Adolf Hitler's devoted bodyguard for most of World War II and the last remaining witness to the Nazi leader's final hours in his Berlin bunker," has died, The Associated Press reports.

Misch was 96. He died Thursday in Germany.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Obama To Address Nation About Syria On Tuesday

President Obama during his news conference Friday in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 7:44 am

Saying he will continue to "make the best case" in coming days for taking military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, President Obama has announced that he will speak to the American people Tuesday about why he's come to that conclusion.

Obama's statement came Friday at the start of a news conference he's holding in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the G-20 Summit of world leaders wrapped up Friday. He spoke for about 50 minutes. We followed along. Scroll down to see what the president had to say.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Obama Has No 'Intention' To Strike Syria If Congress Says No

President Obama on Friday at the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 8:22 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': White House adviser Tony Blinken talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep

"The president of course has the authority to act" even if Congress does not support his plan for a military strike on Syria, White House deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep earlier today.

But Blinken also said of the president that it is "neither his desire nor his intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him."

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The Two-Way
6:01 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Jobless Rate Ticks Down To 7.3 Percent; 169,000 Jobs Added

A recruiter for Cigna greets a job seeker at a career fair in Philadelphia over the summer.
Mark Makela Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 11:30 am

The nation's jobless rate dipped to 7.3 percent in August from 7.4 percent in July as 169,000 jobs were added to public and private payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated Friday morning.

The figures were roughly in line with what economists had been expecting to hear.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Fri September 6, 2013

U.S. Embassies In Lebanon And Turkey Tell Some Staff To Leave

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 6:39 am

Citing "threats to U.S. Mission facilities and personnel," the State Department has told "non-emergency personnel and family members" at its embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, to leave the country.

Also, State "urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon because of current safety and security concerns."

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