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
1:03 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

World Is 'Hellish Nightmare' In Player's 10-Year Long Strategy Game

If you're a fan of Waterworld, then the vision of the future in the Civilization II game played by "Lycerius" may be to your liking. (Kevin Costner in a scene from that 1995 movie.)
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 1:20 pm

"The world is a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation." Ninety percent of the population has died from nuclear annihilation or famine. "Three superpowers have been locked in a 1,700-year war" that's "an eternal death struggle."

On Reddit earlier today, a gamer called Lycerius posted those apocalyptic notes about what the year 3991 is like in his decade-long game of Civilization II.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Blood, Smoke, Fear: U.N. Video From Syria

"We are not animals!" this man told U.N. monitors in Syria.
United Nations

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 1:36 pm

Stay with this video from the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria. After scenes of smoke rising above Homs and scared-looking families trying to cross highways, it takes viewers inside Talbiseh and al-Rastan — where the monitors were shown blood-stained ruins and where a man angrily declares:

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Elinor Ostrom, First Woman To Win Nobel In Economics, Dies

Elinor Ostrom in January 2011.
Raveendran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 3:10 pm

  • Elinor Ostrom, speaking with Michele Norris

Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, died this morning at Indiana University's Health Bloomington Hospital.

The university says that the 78-year-old distinguished professor succumbed to cancer.

Ostrom shared the 2009 Nobel. As the prize committee said at the time:

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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Alcatraz Escapees Didn't Return 50 Years Later? Says Who?

An Alcatraz cell.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Sure, "there was no sign of the men," as Laura Sullivan and Ben Bergman reported on Morning Edition.

The legend was that Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin would reappear Monday on Alcatraz Island — 50 years to the day after they escaped in one of the most daring prison breaks in U.S. history.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Tue June 12, 2012

JPMorgan Knew Of Risks, 'WSJ' Reports

"Some top JPMorgan Chase executives and directors were alerted to risky practices by a team of London-based traders two years before that group's botched bets cost the bank more than $2 billion," The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Tue June 12, 2012

The Dingo Did Take The Baby

Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton holds her daughter Azaria's death certificate as ex-husband Michael Chamberlain (left) looks on after a coroner ruled today that a dingo snatched the baby from a tent in the Australian desert 32 years ago.
Patrina Malone AFP/Getty Images

A coroner in Australia has agreed that the dingo did in fact take the baby — "settling a notorious 1980 case that split the nation and led to a mistaken murder conviction," as The Associated Press writes.

And Australia's ABC News says Michael Chamberlain and his ex-wife Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton on Tuesday (in Australia) heard words for which they've waited 32 years:

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Syrian Children Are Being Killed, Tortured And Used As Shields, U.N. Says

A Syrian boy sits in the rubble of house destroyed during a military operation in April in the town of Taftanaz, Syria.
AP
  • NPR's Deborah Amos, reporting from Damascus

After more than a year's worth of appalling news about atrocities in Syria as President Bashar Assad's regime cracks down on dissent, now there's this:

"New crises have caused enormous suffering for children and continue in 2012. In Syria, children were victims of killing and maiming, arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and ill-treatment, including sexual violence, by the Syrian Armed Forces, the intelligence forces, and the Shabbiha militia.

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

ABC's Robin Roberts Vows To Beat Blood Disorder

Good Morning America's Robin Roberts on the show today.
Good Morning America

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 2:21 pm

Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts told the ABC-TV show's viewers today that she's been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), "a disease of the blood and bone marrow and was once known as preleukemia."

She also said "doctors tell me I'm going to beat this — and I know it's true."

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Prosecutor Says Sandusky Cultivated Boys, Defense Calls Case Flimsy

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky as he arrived at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., this morning.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 3:53 pm

In his opening statement at the trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky this morning, the prosecutor accused Sandusky of "cultivating" young boys over many years for his alleged "serial predatory behavior," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Violent Crime Down Fifth Year, FBI Says

There was a 4 percent drop in the number of violent crimes reported in the U.S. last year vs. 2010, the FBI reports. It's the fifth straight year of declines, according to FBI records.

In its Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, the FBI says that data collected from 14,009 law enforcement agencies indicate that:

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Has 'Occupy' Crashed Or Just Begun?

Protesters, some affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement, at the NATO summit in Chicago last month.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Occupy Wall Street's founding forum has declared that the movement's "first generation is succumbing to an insidious institutionalization and ossification that could be fatal to our young spiritual insurrection unless we leap over it right now."

And Canada's Adbusters website, which kicked off the Occupy idea last year, says that "putting our movement back on track will take nothing short of a revolution within Occupy."

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Supreme Court's Ruling On Health Care Law Looms

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 10:15 am

  • Nina Totenberg on 'Morning Edition'

We could hear as soon as this morning how the Supreme Court rules on the most-anticipated issue of the year: the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — better known as the health care overhaul enacted in 2010 with the support of President Obama and his fellow Democrats over the opposition of Republicans.

The decision will be released for sure before the end of the month, Supreme Court watchers say.

For those who want to get their minds ready, might we suggest:

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Mon June 11, 2012

New Coma Report About Mubarak

An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak sitting inside a cage in a courtroom during his verdict hearing in Cairo on June 2.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 10:49 am

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak "entered today into a full coma," according to Interior Ministry spokesman Alaa Mahmoud, CNN says.

Piers Scholfield of the BBC, though, reports on his Twitter page that a ministry spokesman has told his nework that Mubarak, 84, "has some health problems but is not in a coma."

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Nadal Wins Record Seventh French Open

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning the French Open earlier today.
Bernat Armangue AP

Rafael Nadal today won his record seventh French Open tennis title.

His 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 win over Novak Djokovic had been delayed a day, when rain forced suspension of play on Sunday.

Nadal, from Spain, had shared the record of 6 French titles with Sweden's Bjorn Borg. He's now won 11 Grand Slam titles (the French, U.S., Australian and British opens).

Djokovic, a Serbian, had been trying to win his fourth straight major title.

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Egad! British Prime Minister Left 8-Year-Old Daughter Behind In Pub

British Prime Minister David Cameron in London last month.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 6:41 am

Dad thought she was with mum. Mum thought she was with dad. But 8-year-old Nancy wasn't with either of them.

Instead, she was left behind at a pub in Buckinghamshire, England. It was about 15 minutes before the mistake was realized and the little girl was reunited with her parents.

Oh, yeah, about her parents: They are British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha.

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Mon June 11, 2012

'Relief Rally' Weakens As Markets Study Spanish Deal

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:07 pm

  • NPR's Philip Reeves, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

After rising sharply earlier today, European financial markets have come off their highs as investors "question the logistics of the $125 billion bailout of Spanish banks and wonder ... whether Monday's gains in financial markets were nothing but a relief rally," Dow Jones Newswires reports.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Commerce Secretary Cited For Hit-And-Run After Car Crashes

Commerce Secretary John Bryson in March, during a visit to Mumbai, India.
Rajanish Kakade AP

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 10:36 pm

Commerce Secretary John Bryson suffered an apparent "seizure" before a series of car crashes on Saturday in Los Angeles, a department spokesman says, according to an Associated Press "alert" issued just after 9:30 a.m. ET today.

As we reported earlier, Bryson was involved in three seemingly fender benders that did little damage and left those involved with only minor injuries — but led police to cite him for "felony hit-and-run."

Update at 10:26 p.m. ET. Bryson To Take Medical Leave:

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

'She Hit Me First,' Greek Slapper Says

YouTube.com

This sounds like something we said in first grade:

"She raised her hand and hit me first and since I respect my honor and my name, I had to defend myself. The police ought to arrest her."

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Fri June 8, 2012

'I'll Have Another' Scratched From Belmont, Won't Race For Triple Crown

I'll Have Another training earlier this week at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 2:16 pm

I'll Have Another, which was set to run for racing glory in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, will not be racing for the Triple Crown.

"History is going to have to wait for another day," owner J. Paul Reddam said during a press conference at Belmont Park, today. Reddam said I'll Have Another, who had good odds of becoming the first winner of a Triple Crown since 1978, was suffering from tendinitis in his left, front tendon and that the colt's racing career was over.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Fri June 8, 2012

'Car Talk' Guys Are Retiring, But Their Best Stuff Will Be Rebroadcast

Ray, left, doing some dental work on Tom.
CarTalk.com

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 3:30 pm

Click and Clack are going into retirement.

This just in from NPR's communications department:

June 8, 2012; Our Fair City – Tom and Ray Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers, the comedian mechanics who host NPR's Car Talk, will tell their listeners this afternoon that as of this fall, they'll no longer record new programs. But their weekly call-in series will continue to be distributed by NPR drawing on material from their 25 years of show archives.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Obama: Congress Needs To Do More Than Talk About Jobs

President Obama during this morning's news conference at the White House.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 12:58 pm

President Obama used the White House press briefing room this morning to again make the case that Congress — and in particular the Republican-controlled House — needs to take up more of his ideas about how to boost job growth.

He also said it's "offensive" to suggest "my White House" may have leaked some secrets to gain political advantage.

We updated with highlights, so hit your "refresh" button to be sure you're seeing our latest.

Update at 12:15 p.m. ET. Romney Says Obama Is 'Out Of Touch':

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Reports Swirl That Spain Will Seek Bailout

The Banco de Espana (Bank of Spain) in Madrid.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

One day after seeing its sovereign debt downgraded to just above junk status, Spain is dealing with reports that it's about to ask the other eurozone nations for help in bailing out its beleaguered banks.

As The Guardian writes:

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Blood, Flesh, Gore At Site Of Suspected Massacre In Syria

Late last month, people gathered near a home that had been destroyed by fighting in al-Latamneh, Hama Province, Syria.
Austin Tice MCT /Landov

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 1:45 pm

There was "blood on the floor ... pieces of flesh ... a tablecloth filled with gore" when U.N. monitors and journalists got to one home today in a tiny central Syrian village where activists say dozens of people were killed by pro-Assad forces this week.

That's the report from NPR's Deborah Amos, one of the journalists traveling with those U.N. monitors. She spoke with our Newscast Desk just after 9 a.m. ET, from that village.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

That 'Splendid Splinter' Is Really Slinging The Old Pigskin, Boston Mayor Says

Ted Williams, "The Splendid Splinter." Perhaps Mayor Menino will mention him next.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 3:08 pm

Big-city mayors need to be able to do some basic things to keep their jobs.

Get the streets plowed. Fill the potholes. Make sure garbage is picked up. Take a bite out of crime. Love your local teams and extol the accomplishments of their heroes.

Apparently, Boston Mayor Tom Menino (D) can get away without doing very well on that last requirement.

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