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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7:38am

Thu September 12, 2013
The Two-Way

You May Not Want To Look: Blobfish Named 'Ugliest Animal'

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:47 am

The blobfish: world's ugliest animal?
NOAA.gov

At first glance, we thought it was a Star Wars character.

But, no, the blobfish is a real creature that bobs around in the waters off Australia.

And now it's the "winner" of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society's online vote to choose a mascot.

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6:50am

Thu September 12, 2013
The Two-Way

'Massive Flooding' In Colorado's Boulder County

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:28 am

A city worker talks on his phone while surveying high water levels on Boulder Creek following overnight flash flooding in downtown Boulder, Colo. today. Flash flooding in Colorado has left two people dead and the widespread high waters are keeping search and rescue teams from reaching stranded residents and motorists in Boulder and nearby mountain communities.
Brennan Linsley AP
  • From the NPR Newscast: KGNU's Maeve Conran on the flooding

A huge overnight downpour that brought 4 to 7 inches of rain to the area around Boulder, Colo., has already produced "massive flooding" in the streets there, The Denver Post writes.

Even worse:

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6:00am

Thu September 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Russian Plan 'Is Just A Lie,' Syrian Rebel General Says

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:13 am

A Free Syrian Army fighter in eastern Syria on Wednesday.
Reuters/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris

As Secretary of State John Kerry was preparing to sit down with his Russian counterpart Thursday to discuss whether the Assad regime's chemical weapons can be handed over to international monitors, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army was telling NPR that "the Russian initiative is just a lie."

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1:05pm

Wed September 11, 2013
The Two-Way

U.S. Troops Oppose Striking Syria, Online Survey Suggests

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps listen to President Obama during his visit to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in August.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

An online survey of 750 active-duty U.S. troops suggests that opposition to striking Syria is "more intense" among military personnel than among the American public.

Military Times, a publication and newssite owned by Gannett Co. (not the federal government) reports that:

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12:36pm

Wed September 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Oklahoma State Promises Own Probe Of Alleged Football Abuses

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:05 pm

Oklahoma State players celebrate after a score during an Aug. 31 game against Mississippi State.
Bob Levey Getty Images

On this third day of Sports Illustrated's five-part series that exposes what the magazine says are sweeping problems in Oklahoma State University's football program — including money being paid to players, tutors doing players' schoolwork and women from a "hostess program" having sex with recruits — the school's president is vowing to investigate it thoroughly.

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10:21am

Wed September 11, 2013
The Two-Way

If Verizon Sells A Record $49B In Bonds, Are Good Times Ahead?

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 11:22 am

The number is stunning:

"Verizon Communications could be taking on nearly $50 billion in new debt in a massive bond sale to help the telecom giant pay for its $130 billion acquisition of Verizon Wireless shares," writes USA Today.

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8:20am

Wed September 11, 2013
The Two-Way

One Year After Benghazi Attack, 'Huge Gap' In Investigation

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images

There are two sad anniversaries today. As we said earlier, the nation is pausing to mark the 12 years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

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7:36am

Wed September 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Nation Pauses To Mark Sept. 11 Attacks

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

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

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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6:47am

Wed September 11, 2013
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 7:55 am

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

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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6:03am

Wed September 11, 2013
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 8:00 am

Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday as he testified before the House Armed Services Committee.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
  • 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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12:10pm

Tue September 10, 2013
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:12 pm

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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9:31am

Tue September 10, 2013
The Two-Way

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

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

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

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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7:57am

Tue September 10, 2013
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 8:47 am

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

7:06am

Tue September 10, 2013
The Two-Way

Breakthrough? Syria Hints It Might Give Up Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:04 pm

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

(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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5:54am

Tue September 10, 2013
The Two-Way

4 Men Convicted In Rape And Murder That Shocked India

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

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