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
7:02 am
Fri June 15, 2012

'Forest Boy' Is A Hoax, Police Say

He wasn't really a "forest boy," police say.
Berlin police

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 6:25 pm

We won't pretend to be surprised:

"The forest boy known previously as 'Ray' has been identified as Robin van Helsum. from the Dutch town of Hengelo, Dutch police confirmed Friday morning." (Germany's The Local)

It took only about two days from the time that police in Berlin released a photo of "Ray" for him to be identified by friends.

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Heart Surgery Goes 'Very Well' For 'Little Darth Vader'

In this screen shot provided by Volkswagen of America, Max Page stars as a "Little Darth Vader" who thinks he's used "the force" to start a VW Passat.
AP

We've got good news to pass along regarding the open heart surgery performed Thursday on seven-year-old Max Page, the child actor who captivated viewers as "Little Darth Vader" in a 2011 Volkswagen commercial.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Fri June 15, 2012

In Sports: Tiger Tied For Second, Miami Ties Up NBA Finals

LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Kevin Durant of the Thunder during Thursday's game in Oklahoma City.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

The two sports headlines that matter the most this morning.:

-- Tiger Woods Tied For Second At U.S. Open; Michael Thompson Leads By Three Strokes.

Golf's Open is being played at San Francisco's Olympic Club. ESPN's broadcast resumes at 9 a.m. ET.

-- Miami Wins Game Two Of The NBA Finals By Score Of 100-96; Series With Thunder Tied At 1-1.

The Heat and Thunder play next on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. ABC-TV is the broadcaster.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Egypt's 'Smooth Military Coup' Protested

Egyptian anti-military protesters waved their shoes — a way of showing their extreme anger — as they demonstrated in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Thursday. More protests are planned for today.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 11:36 am

People around the world are watching anxiously to see the reaction in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities to Thursday's "smooth military coup."

"Leftist and liberal Egyptian activists" have called for demonstrations, al-Jazeera reports, starting after midday prayers in that Muslim nation (Egypt is six hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast).

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The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Can You ID Germany's 'Forest Boy'?

"Forest boy," who says his name is Ray.
Berlin police

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 6:59 am

7 a.m. June 15. IMPORTANT UPDATE: 'Forest Boy' Is A Hoax, Police Say.

Our original post:

Take a look at the face.

If you've got any clue as to who this young man is, police in Berlin want to know.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

110-Year Prison Sentence For Ponzi-Scheming Tycoon R. Allen Stanford

R. Allen Stanford before a 2009 court appearance in Houston.
Dave Einsel Getty Images

R. Allen Stanford, the billionaire financier and cricket fanatic who was convicted earlier this year of "bilking investors out of more than $7 billion over 20 years in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history," has been sentenced to 110 years in prison, The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Romney, Obama Squaring Off On Economy

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 12:18 pm

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered speeches that framed their visions for the United States moving forward.

While the appearences — both delivered in Ohio; Obama in Cleaveland, Romney in Cincinatti — were billed as dueling speeches scheduled for roughly the same time slot, the campaigns moved things around and the president delivered a much longer address right after Romney finished speaking.

In his address, Romney took shots at Obama for not delivering a recovery. He painted the president as being the "enemy" of business.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

20,000 Pages Of Boy Scouts' 'Perversion Files' Ordered Opened In Oregon

The state of Oregon's Supreme Court ruled today that "20,000 pages of so-called perversion files compiled by the Boy Scouts on suspected child abusers over a period of 20 years" must be opened to the public, The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Your Shoes May Say A Lot About You

We can tell you now: These are Mark's.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 10:43 pm

Shoes can supposedly tell us more about a person than just whether they're sensible or stylish.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Time To Tee Off: Who Do You Want To Win Golf's U.S. Open?

Tiger Woods during a practice round Wednesday at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images
  • David Greene talks with Christine Brennan

Play begins this morning at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, where the best golfers from around the world have gathered for the U.S. Open.

ESPN and NBC are sharing the broadcasting duties (click here for a schedule). There's also going to be some live video streamed here.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Thu June 14, 2012

George W. Bush's Decapitated Head Appeared On 'Game Of Thrones'

Facebook.com/GameOfThrones

Words escape us on this one:

During season one of HBO's Games of Thrones series, "one of the many heads on a spike decorating King's Landing belonged to ex-president George Bush," the science and science fiction website io9 reports (fair warning: if you click on that link you'll see what we're talking about, and it's graphic).

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week; Consumer Prices Fell In May

The number of unemployed Americans who filed first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 6,000 last week from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reported this morning.

It says there were 386,000 first-time filings, up from a revised 380,000 (earlier, the agency had estimated there were 377,000 first-time clams in the week ended June 2).

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Egypt Braces As Court Says Former Mubarak Aide May Stay In Race

An Egyptian protester chants slogans as he holds a ripped poster of presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq outside the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo today.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 2:25 pm

Rulings by Egypt's highest court to dissolve the country's parliament and keep a former aide to Hosni Mubarak on the presidential runoff ballot have thrown that country's already shaky democracy into chaos.

Much is still unclear about what was happening.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells our Newscast Desk that:

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Russian Helicopters Heading To Syria May Not Be New

The attack helicopters heading to Syria from Russia likely aren't new purchases, The New York Times reports this morning.

Rather, they're "helicopters that Syria had sent to Russia a few months ago for routine repairs and refurbishing" that are now being returned, administration officials tell the Times.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Fandemonium! Pitcher Cain Tosses Perfect Game And Giants Fans Go Nuts

Matt Cain: His no-no (a perfect game) is in the record books.
Jason O. Watson Getty Images

Let's put the serious stuff aside for a moment to celebrate something fun.

San Francisco pitcher Matt Cain Wednesday night pitched the first perfect game in his team's 130-year history as the Giants beat the Houston Astros 10-0 in San Francisco.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Metallica's James Hetfield Makes PSA For FBI To Help Find Fan's Killer

New sketches of the suspect in Morgan Harrington's murder and a sexual assault.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 5:08 pm

James Hetfield, lead singer and guitarist for the heavy metal band Metallica, makes a straight-forward appeal for help in finding a fan's killer in a new public service ad produced for the FBI, Virginia and local law enforcement agencies.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

JPMorgan Execs Who Bungled Billions May Have To Return Bonuses, Stock

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon during his testimony today on Capitol Hill.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Along with saying, again, that his bank "let a lot of people down" when it lost more than $2 billion, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon added this prediction during his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee this morning:

"It's likely that there will be clawbacks."

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

As Wildfires Rage, 'A Helpless Feeling'

Near Laporte, Colo., earlier this week, smoke billowed from the mountains. In the foreground: A helicopter was dumping water on a hotspot.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 10:14 am

There are now at least 19 large wildfires burning in nine Western states U.S. Forest Service officials say.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Russia Says It's The U.S. That's Sending Weapons To Syria

A frame grab from a video taken by U.N. observers as smoke rose over the Syrian city of Homs earlier this week. The observers said Homs had been shelled by Syrian government forces.
U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria

Saying that his country is "not violating any international law," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today defended his country's sale of weapons to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. He said Russia is not supplying anything that "can be used in battles with peaceful demonstrators."

And, Reuters reports, he "accused the United States of supplying rebels with weapons to fight against the government" — a charge the U.S. has rejected many times.

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Wed June 13, 2012

'Pets,' 'Pizza' & 'Porn' Among New Internet Domain Names Sought

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 12:01 pm

The much-anticipated list of Internet domain names that might soon join such familiar suffixes as .com, .edu and .gov is now online.

As expected, the nearly 2,000 suffixes that have been requested include some from companies who think they can help brand themselves with web addresses that end with things such as:

-- .apple

-- .bananarepublic

-- .chevy

-- .google

-- .lamborghini

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Sharp Drop In Gas Prices Puts Brakes On Inflation

Wholesale prices fell 1 percent in May from April thanks to an 8.9 percent plunge in the price of gasoline, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The overall decrease is the largest in one month since July 2009.

Excluding the energy and sectors, prices at the wholesale level ticked up 0.2 percent.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Wed June 13, 2012

'Little Darth Vader' From VW Ad Is Having Open Heart Surgery

In this screen shot provided by Volkswagen of America, Max Page stars as a "Little Darth Vader" who thinks he's used "the force" to start a VW Passat.
AP

Seven-year-old Max Page, the young actor best known for being "Little Darth Vader" in a Volkswagen ad that scored big with Super Bowl viewers last year, is having open heart surgery on Thursday.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Dozens Killed, Hundreds Wounded By Wave Of Attacks In Iraq

Smoke rises from the wreckage of a vehicle in Kirkuk, Iraq. A bomb in it exploded — one of a series of coordinated attacks today on Shiite Muslims across the country.
Marwan Ibrahim AFP/Getty Images

There's grim news from Iraq this morning, where scores of people have been killed in coordinated attacks on Shiite Muslim pilgrims. As often happens when stories such as these are developing, different news outlets are reporting different death tolls. No matter which report you read, however, the news is disturbing:

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Democrat Wins Ariz. Test Of 2012 Themes; 'Fighting Sioux' Retired In N.D.

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, left, celebrates with Ron Barber after he won Tuesday's special election in Arizona to serve the remaining seven months of her term. Like Giffords, Barber is a Democrat. He's also a former Giffords aide.
Ross D. Franklin AP

In a race seen as "a testing ground for Democratic and Republican messages" that will be used from now through Nov. 6, Democrat Ron Barber won Tuesday's special election in Arizona to fill the remaining seven months of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' term.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Russia Is Sending Syria Helicopters, Clinton Says

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 7:28 am

Russia is sending attack helicopters to Syria for President Bashar Assad's regime to use in its campaign to stamp out opposition, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today.

She warned that such action "will escalate the conflict quite dramatically."

The U.S. and Russia have been at odds over how hard to squeeze the regime in an effort to end its harsh crackdown on anti-Assad protests — a crackdown that the U.N. says has killed more than 10,000 people since March 2011, mostly civilians.

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