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
8:29 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Dozens Dead, Scores Injured After Bomb Blast In Nigeria

A bomb blast and explosions that followed killed more than 70 people and injured more than 120 on Monday near Nigeria's capital, Abuja. Early speculation is that the attack was the work of the Boko Haram extremist group.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 2:00 pm

A rush-hour bomb blast Monday at a bus station near Nigeria's capital and other explosions that followed are thought to have killed more than 70 people and injured more than 120.

An Islamist group that believes Western education is sinful and takes other extremist stands is being blamed.

"Fingers are being pointed at Boko Haram, the terrorist network that has been threatening to attack Nigeria's capital," NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells our Newscast Desk.

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Mon April 14, 2014

In Ukraine: Pro-Russia Occupiers Defy Deadline, War Fears Grow

Armed men in military fatigues stood guard Monday outside a regional administration building they seized in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:57 am

"A deadline set by the Ukrainian government for pro-Russian gunmen to leave government buildings in eastern Ukraine and surrender weapons passed early Monday," The Associated Press writes, "with no immediate sign of any action to force the insurgents out."

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Mon April 14, 2014

'This Was A Hate Crime,' Police Say Of Kansas City-Area Killings

Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, is accused of killing three people Sunday in Kansas City. He allegedly attacked them at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement facility.
Johnson County, Kan., Sheriff's Office

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 5:38 pm

(This post was updated at 1 p.m. ET.)

The man who shot and killed three people Sunday near Kansas City will face federal hate crime charges for the attacks at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement home, authorities said Monday.

"This was a hate crime," Overland Park, Kan., Police Chief John Douglass told reporters at a midday news conference.

Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, is already in jail. The 73-year-old man was taken into custody shortly after the attacks and is accused of premeditated murder.

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The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Singer-Songwriter Jesse Winchester Dies

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 1:53 pm

Jesse Winchester, whose "blend of folk, blues and country ... embodies the spirit of American music," has died.

His manager, Keith Case, tells NPR's Jacob Ganz that Winchester died Friday morning in Charlottesville, Va., where he lived. He was 69 and had been battling cancer.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Fri April 11, 2014

'I Knew It Wouldn't Be Easy,' Outgoing Health Secretary Sebelius Says

Vice President Biden (from left), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell at the White House Friday. Sebelius is stepping down. Burwell is being nominated to replace her.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 1:53 pm

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has borne the brunt of criticism for the troubled rollout of the HealthCare.gov website, said Friday that as she prepares to leave that agency she is thankful to have had the chance to work on "the cause of my life."

Her agency, Sebelius said, has been "in the front lines of a long overdue national change — fixing a broken health system."

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Pope Francis Asks Abuse Victims' Forgiveness

Pope Francis on Wednesday in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.
Claudio Peri EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 10:45 am

Pope Francis asked Friday for forgiveness from the victims of pedophile priests in some of his strongest words to date about the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome that:

"The pope has come under fire from advocacy groups for a perceived lack of attention to the issue.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Optimism, But No Breakthrough In Search For Malaysian Jet

Sgt. Trent Wyatt looks out an observation window on Friday from aboard a Royal New Zealand air force P-3 Orion maritime search aircraft as it flies over the southern Indian Ocean. So far there's been no sign of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. But officials are hoping that sounds detected below the surface are coming from one or both of the plane's black boxes.
Richard Wainwright Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 10:06 am

Hopes were both raised and lowered Friday by officials involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The jet and the 239 people on board have now been missing for five weeks.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Fri April 11, 2014

VIDEO: Woman Throws Shoe At Hillary Clinton; No Harm Done

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ducks after a woman threw a shoe at her while she was delivering remarks at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries conference on Thursday in Las Vegas.
Isaac Brekken Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 5:10 pm

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Tragedy In California: Truck Hits Bus Full Of Students

Flames devoured both vehicles just after a FedEx truck hit a charter bus Thursday in Northern California. At least 10 people were killed. The bus was carrying high school students who were going to visit a college.
Jeremy Lockett AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 2:31 pm

A highway in Northern California was turned into an inferno Thursday when a FedEx truck slammed into a charter bus full of high school students.

The California Highway Patrol says at least 10 people, including both drivers and five of the teenagers, were killed. An additional 30 or so people were injured. Those who survived escaped through smashed windows.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Stephen Colbert Will Take Over 'Late Show'

Stephen Colbert: He's moving on up, from basic cable to the big time.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 1:38 pm

Breaking news on CBS-TV's Twitter feed:

"Stephen Colbert to be next host of 'The Late Show'...press release coming"

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Thu April 10, 2014

'Will I Survive, Or Will I Die?' Stabbing Survivor Wondered

Brett Hurt, 16, a sophomore at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., and a victim of the stabbings there Wednesday, talks with reporters about what happened. With him is his mother, Amanda Hurt, and some of the doctors at Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville, Pa.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 1:37 pm

As he bled from a stab wound to his back Wednesday morning, the first thoughts that went through his mind were "will I survive, or will I die?" one of the high school students injured Wednesday in Murrysville, Pa., told reporters Thursday.

Brett Hurt was among the first of more than 20 people (most of them students) injured when a young man wielding two steak knives began stabbing and slashing at other teens.

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Thu April 10, 2014

The Story Flips: Burger King Says It Isn't Moving Into Crimea

A Burger King restaurant in Moscow. The company's Russian arm says it will extend its reach into Crimea.
Zurab Dzhavakhadze ITAR-TASS/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 1:38 pm

We updated this post with a major development at 1:15 p.m. ET.

Reports that Burger King is looking to open restaurants in Crimea now that McDonald's has decided to pull out of that region were overcooked, a Burger King spokesman says.

Responding to the stories that we saw across the news media and posted about earlier today, Burger King spokesperson Bryson Thornton emailed to say that "neither Burger King Worldwide, nor any of its franchisees, have plans to open Burger King restaurants in Crimea."

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Drop To Near 7-Year Low

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 12:50 pm

There were 300,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, the fewest since mid-May 2007, the Employment and Training Administration reported Thursday.

Claims were down 32,000 from the week before, the agency adds.

Reuters says the news "could bolster views of an acceleration in job growth after a cold winter dampened hiring."

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Thu April 10, 2014

'Stay With Me, Bud,' Mom Told Baby After Mudslide Trapped Them

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 12:26 pm

The pain, anguish and fear comes through as a young mother who held on to her baby boy as their Oso, Wash., home was swallowed by a mudslide on March 22 describes the harrowing ordeal.

Here's how our colleagues at Seattle's KPLU begin their story:

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Thu April 10, 2014

School Stabbing Suspect Was 'Nice Young Boy,' Attorney Says

At Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church in Murrysville, Pa., on Wednesday evening, worshipers held candles as they prayed for those injured in a stabbing attack at the local high school.
Connor Mulvaney Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 12:21 pm

Until Wednesday, the 16-year-old Pennsylvania boy who's charged with multiple counts of attempted murder and aggravated assault after a stabbing attack at his high school was known as "a nice young boy," his attorney said this morning. Now the sophomore is in custody after the attack that left more than 20 people — nearly all of them fellow students — injured.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

More Force May Be Used To Move Pro-Russia Protesters, Ukraine Says

A pro-Russia protester stands at a barricade outside a regional government building in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Wednesday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:38 pm

Tensions that wouldn't seem capable of rising even further are threatening to do just that with the news that Ukrainian authorities say they're ready to use force if necessary to remove pro-Russia protesters from government buildings they're occupying in eastern Ukraine.

From The Wall Street Journal:

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Dose Of Caution Prescribed When Evaluating New Medicare Data

Data released Wednesday about Medicare payments to doctors in 2012 have raised questions, but some experts warn against drawing "sweeping conclusions" from the numbers.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:05 pm

The headlines about one of Wednesday's big stories — the release of data from 2012 about Medicare payment to doctors around the nation — are certainly serious sounding:

-- "Sliver of Medicare Doctors Get Big Share of Payouts." (The New York Times)

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Wed April 9, 2014

At Least 20 Students Injured In Knife Attack At Pa. High School

Emergency responders gather in the parking lot on the campus of Franklin Regional High School in Murraysville, Pa., on Wednesday after an attack there left at least 20 people, nearly all of them students, injured. Most suffered stab wounds or lacerations.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 6:48 am

(This post is being updated as news comes in.)

At least 20 teenagers and one adult were injured, two of them critically, Wednesday morning at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., when a 16-year-old fellow student attacked them with two knives.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed April 9, 2014

UConn Women Win, Making School Center Of College Hoops World

They're No. 1: Breanna Stewart of the Connecticut Huskies reacts after a score during Tuesday night's game against Notre Dame. Her team won its ninth national championship.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 9:58 am

By routing Notre Dame 79-58 Tuesday night in Nashville, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team won its ninth NCAA championship — which means that coach Geno Auriemma is no longer tied with legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt for the most titles among women's coaches.

But that's not the only milestone that highlights UConn's place in the upper echelon of college basketball programs. Check this out:

Before Tuesday, only one school had won both the men's and women's Division I basketball titles in the same year.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Wed April 9, 2014

New Pings Have Head Of Search Optimistic Jet Will Soon Be Found

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 2:28 pm

"I'm now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not-too-distant future," the head of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 told reporters on Wednesday after an Australian ship detected two more pings that may be signals from the plane's black boxes.

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Federal Judge Says He'll Require Ohio To Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

A federal judge in Cincinnati said Friday that he will soon rule that Ohio must recognize gay marriages performed in other states.

WVXU reporter Ann Thompson writes that Judge Timothy Black said he will issue that ruling on April 14. She adds that:

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Bush's 'Art Of Leadership' Puts Putin And Others On Display

Former President George W. Bush says his favorite from among the portraits he's painted of world leaders is the one he did of his father, former President George H.W. Bush. "I painted a gentle soul," he says.
George W. Bush Presidential Center

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 1:01 pm

"The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy" officially opens Saturday at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

As the nation's 43rd president says: "Who woulda thought it?"

Talking with his daughter Jenna Bush Hager during a pre-recorded interview on NBC-TV's Today show, the self-deprecating Bush says:

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Racing's Michael Schumacher Has 'Moments Of Consciousness'

Michael Schumacher in April 2012.
Eugene Hoshiko AP

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 10:22 am

A little more than three months after he suffered a severe head injury while skiing in France, Formula One racing legend Michael Schumacher is experiencing "moments of consciousness and awakening" his agent says.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Jobless Rate Holds Steady As Employers Add 192,000 Jobs

This recruiter was waiting to meet with job seekers at a career fair last year in King of Prussia, Pa.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 1:09 pm

This post has been updated.

The nation's unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Meanwhile, there were 192,000 more jobs on public and private payrolls last month — a bit under the 200,000 or so economists had expected but still above the average growth in previous months.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Fort Hood MP Hailed As Hero For Confronting Shooter

Bob Butler (left) and Bob Gordon paint crosses they placed in front of American flags at Central Christian Disciples of Christ church in the city of Killeen, Texas, which is home to Fort Hood.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 10:16 am

As investigators try to determine why Army Spc. Ivan Lopez would open fire on his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, stories are emerging about the harrowing minutes on the post Wednesday and what are being described as the heroic actions of the military police officer who confronted the gunman.

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