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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8:03am

Sat March 22, 2014
The Two-Way

Buffett's Billion Dollars Are Safe As Upsets Bust Brackets

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 6:59 am

George Washington University players were dejected Friday as they went down in defeat to Memphis. The team's loss also wiped out any chance for someone to win $1 billion from Quicken Loans and Warren Buffett.
Chuck Liddy MCT/Landov

Mercer University's stunning upset of Duke on Friday in the NCAA Division I men's basketball championship ruined most fans' brackets — the guesses they make before the 64 teams face each other about which team's going to win every game.

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11:47am

Fri March 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Down Goes Duke In Biggest Upset So Far

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:53 pm

Duke forward Amile Jefferson, in white, and Mercer guard Langston Hall battle for the ball during Friday's game.
Gerry Broome AP
We updated this post with the first shock of the day at 2:35 p.m. ET:

It's one-and-done for the Duke Blue Devils as their men's basketball team was beaten Friday by the Mercer Bears, 78-71, in the Division I men's basketball championship.

Mercer, a No. 14 seed in the Midwest region, was a huge underdog to the No. 3 seed Duke.

The win for Mercer, which has its main campus in Macon, Ga., is by far the biggest upset of the tournament so far. Heading into play, Duke was No. 8 in The Associated Press rankings. Mercer wasn't even among the nation's top 75 teams.

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11:12am

Fri March 21, 2014
The Two-Way

In Hawaii, Sex With A Prostitute May Be Legal For Undercover Cops

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:36 pm

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Undercover police in Honolulu say they need to be exempt from laws barring sex with prostitutes because sometimes they can't reveal their identities too soon.
Ronen Zilberman AP

"Honolulu police officers have urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes during investigations," the Star Advertiser writes. The issue has come up as the state legislature considers a bill that sponsors say would strengthen several criminal statutes.

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8:04am

Fri March 21, 2014

7:53am

Fri March 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Split Decisions: Ukraine Signs Up With EU, Russia Wraps Up Crimea

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 9:57 am

As Russian soldiers walked one way in the distance, a departing Ukrainian soldier carried some of his belongings Friday at a military base in Perevalne, Crimea.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

There will be few days that better symbolize the crisis in Ukraine.

On Friday:

As Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was signing an agreement on closer relations with the European Union ...

... Russian President Vladimir Putin was signing the laws his country has put in place to take Crimea from Ukraine and make it part of the Russian Federation.

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6:21am

Fri March 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Nothing So Far In Search For Debris From Malaysian Jet

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 12:05 pm

Searching from the air and on the sea: The view Friday from a Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion. The Norwegian car transport ship Hoegh St. Petersburg is below. They're part of the search in the southern Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Justin Benson-Cooper/pool EPA/Landov
We have woven some updates into this post.

Two weeks after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the first "credible lead" in the search for the Boeing 777 and the 239 people on board is still just that — a lead, not a discovery.

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1:23pm

Thu March 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Reds Pitcher Expected To Recover After Line Drive To Face

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:28 pm

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman last month. Now, he's recovering from being hit in the face by a batted ball last night.
Gregory Bull AP

All-Star relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds is expected to make a full recovery and pitch again despite the injuries he suffered Wednesday night when he was hit square in the face by batted ball.

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11:43am

Thu March 20, 2014

11:29am

Thu March 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps Sr. Dies

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:03 am

July 2007: The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. prepares to protest outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.
Orlin Wagner AP

The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., whose tiny Westboro Baptist Church has protested outside the funerals of fallen soldiers and celebrities to spread its views about homosexuality and abortion, has died, according to news reports. He was 84.

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10:54am

Thu March 20, 2014
The Two-Way

U.S. To Impose Sanctions On More Russian Officials

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 8:23 pm

President Obama on the south lawn of the White House Thursday as he spoke about new sanctions on some Russian officials.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

More senior Russian officials are being added to the list of those who the U.S. will seek to penalize for their nation's interference in Ukraine's affairs, President Obama announced Thursday morning.

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9:52am

Thu March 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Reprimand, $20K Fine, No Jail Time For General's Sexual Misconduct

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 5:45 pm

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair as he arrived for his court-martial case Thursday at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C.
Chris Keane Reuters/Landov

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair avoided jail time Thursday and instead "was reprimanded and fined a total of $20,000 for inappropriate relationships with three subordinates in a closely watched court case," The Associated Press reports from Fort Bragg, N.C.

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6:41am

Thu March 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Ukrainian Troops' Departure From Crimea Isn't A Simple Matter

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 5:36 pm

A Russian flag flies behind him Thursday as a Ukrainian soldier leaves what was one of his military's bases outside Simferopol, on the Crimean Peninsula. Local "self-defense forces," followed by Russian troops, have seized many strategic locations.
Yuri Kochetkov EPA/Landov

Ukraine's plans to withdraw its troops from Crimea, which as we reported were announced Wednesday, have apparently been complicated by the issue of whether they will be allowed to take their weapons and other equipment with them.

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5:48am

Thu March 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Search For Missing Jet Focuses On Objects Seen Off Australia

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 12:14 pm

This map adds in routes that investigators believe Malaysia Flight 370 might have taken.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority
This post is being updated.

Satellite images showing objects floating in the Indian Ocean have focused the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people who were on board to an area about 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.

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1:08pm

Wed March 19, 2014
The Two-Way

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Is Safe, FAA Team Concludes

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 2:53 pm

At Tokyo International Airport last July, Boeing 787 Dreamliners flown by All Nippon Airways taxied across the tarmac.
Kimimasa Mayama EPA/Landov

A year-long review of the Boeing 787, which experienced problems such as fuel leaks and a battery fire, has concluded that the plane is safe.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported Wednesday that a review team believes the aircraft, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, "was soundly designed, met its intended safety level, and that the manufacturer and the FAA had effective processes in place to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after certification."

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11:54am

Wed March 19, 2014
The Two-Way

Obama Picks Michigan State To Win Men's Basketball Title

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 12:07 pm

The president is a big fan of the game and still likes to shoot hoops. But has he picked the winner?
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

The nation's "first basketball fan" has Michigan State winning it all in this year's NCAA Division I men's basketball championship.

President Obama filled out his brackets for ESPN again this year. The sports network aired the president's pre-recorded appearance earlier today.

Why Michigan State?

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