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
12:36 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

'Gay President,' Breast-Feeding Mom: Suddenly We're Talking About Magazines

TheDailyBeast.com/Newsweek

Every once in a while, many in the news business seem to rediscover something that's always been rather obvious:

Publishers will put provocative images on their magazines and newspapers — and now their websites — in order to create "buzz" and, they hope, attract readers.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Afghanistan: More Troubles, But U.S. Ambassador Sees Path Forward

Officials and mourners prepare to place the coffin of Afghanistan High Peace Council and former Taliban leader Arsala Rahmani in a grave earlier today, in Kabul.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

While U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker says there is a path toward relative stability in Afghanistan and away from a return to the kind of civil war that devastated the country in the early 1990s, the difficulties still facing that nation have been underscored by more violence:

-- CNN.com reports that "a bomb exploded inside a shop in the northern Afghanistan province of Faryab on Monday, killing nine people, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry."

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Dozens More Murdered In Mexico; Count Of Headless Bodies May Near 70

Morgue employees take in some of the bodies that were found Sunday.
Moises Castillo AP

Few headlines are more horrific than this:

"49 Headless Bodies Dumped In Mexican Town."

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Sophia Is No. 1 Among Girls' Names; Mason Soars To Near Top Among Boys

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 12:53 pm

Sophia has pushed Isabella off the No. 1 spot among most popular names for girls born in the U.S., the Social Security Administration says.

Meanwhile, Jacob remained atop the list of boys' names, where it's been since 1999.

But Mason "rocketed to number two" last year from the No. 12 spot in 2010.

Here are the top 10 for each gender, from the agency's website:

Boys

1. Jacob
2. Mason
3. William
4. Jayden
5. Noah

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Facebook's Zuckerberg Turns 28, With Billions Of Reasons To Celebrate

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in black hoodie.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Happy birthday, Mark Zuckerberg.

Not only do you turn 28 today, but at the end of the week Facebook stock is due to go public for the first time.

The social networking giant is expected to be valued around $100 billion and Zuckerberg's worth will then be around $18 billion, as Wired magazine's Steven Levy said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Yahoo CEO's Ousting Is Victory For Hedge Fund Pushing Change At Company

Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Sunday's news that Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson was stepping down in the wake of questions about his credibility is being followed this morning with accounts about how this is a victory for an activist hedge fund that's been pushing for changes at the Internet search giant.

As the Mercury News reports:

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Reports: JPMorgan's Losses Could Top $4 Billion; Three Execs To Resign

Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 9:17 am

Three high-ranking executives, including one of the most powerful women on Wall Street, are expected to resign from JPMorgan Chase this week because of their roles in the $2.3 billion loss the bank recently suffered when some risky trades blew up in its face.

The Wall Street Journal, which broke that news, also reports that JPMorgan's losses from the "giant trading blunder" keep growing. It cites "people familiar with the situation," as its sources.

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Agent, Double Agent Or Mole? Which Was The Underwear Bomb Character?

Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 3:45 pm

Many headlines and stories (including some of ours) have been saying that a "double agent" infiltrated al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and foiled a plot to get another underwear bomb aboard a U.S.-bound passenger jet.

But we've been looking at definitions of spy terms and think that based on what we have been told so far, the person at the center of the story wasn't a double agent.

That character was at least an "agent."

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Josh Hamilton's Remarkable Story Continues: Four Home Runs In One Game

There goes No. 2: Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers as he hit the second of his four home runs Tuesday night in a game vs. the Baltimore Orioles.
Mitchell Layton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 11:14 am

It's incredible enough that Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton hit four home runs in one game Tuesday night — something that's only been done by 15 other major league players.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Indian Court Blocks Exxon Valdez From Entering Scrap Yard

April 5, 1989: Tugboats tow the Exxon Valdez off Bligh Reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound.
Chris Wilkins AFP/Getty Images

One of the most infamous ships still sailing can't dock at its final resting place just yet.

India's Supreme court has ruled that the Exxon Valdez (now called the Oriental Nicety) cannot enter a scrap yard in the western state of Gujarat until its owners can prove the tanker has been cleaned of mercury, arsenic, asbestos, residual oil and other potential contaminants.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Russian Plane Missing In Indonesia; New Jet Was On Demonstration Flight

A Sukhoi Superjet 100 during a flight above the Paris Air Show on June 22, 2011.
Pierre Verdy AFP/Getty Images

"A Sukhoi SuperJet 100, the first new Russian passenger plane in more than two decades" has gone missing while on a "demonstration flight" in Indonesia, Bloomberg News writes.

Russia's RT News adds that "hijacking and a high-altitude crash into a mountain have not been ruled out." A search is underway.

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Inmate Polls Well Against Obama In West Virginia Primary

Keith Judd, federal prisoner and presidential candidate, in 2008.
Beaumont Enterprise, courtesy of Keith Judd AP

Along with the headlines about Sen. Richard Lugar's loss in Indiana's Republican primary and passage of a ban on gay marriage in North Carolina, there's this news from Tuesday's voting:

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Double Agent In Underwear Bomb Plot Produced Intelligence Coups

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 3:09 pm

  • Dina Temple-Raston talks with David Greene

More details are emerging about the plot to put another "underwear bomber" aboard a U.S.-bound passenger jet and what the CIA says was its successful foiling of the operation:

As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reported on Morning Edition:

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Albanian Who Tried To Help Bring Down Mobster Gets Asylum In U.S.

An Albanian man who more than a decade ago agreed to help the U.S. Justice build a case against a mobster accused of human smuggling has finally won his long-sought quest for asylum in the U.S.

Edmond Demiraj, his wife and adult son have been granted full asylum, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

As Carrie reported last year:

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

What's Your Favorite Sendak Memory?

'Where the Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak.
NPR

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 12:30 pm

The death of children's author Maurice Sendak has brought back many memories for many of us.

This blogger remembers nephew Ben reading Where the Wild Things Are back in the late '60s and being fascinated by what seemed to be a very different, much more interesting, kind of book than I'd been used to as a kid just a few years before.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Americans Remain Split On Same-Sex Marriage, Gallup Poll Signals

Gallup.com

With same-sex marriage back in the news because of Vice President Biden's comment that he's "absolutely comfortable" with equal rights for partners in such relationships, the pollsters at Gallup are out with this report:

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Nebraska Man Changes His Name To 'Tyrannosaurus Rex'

Not the Nebraska Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

He made this decision before scientists told us that, back in the prehistoric day, dinosaur farts likely contributed to climate change:

Tyler Gold of York, Neb., is now officially named Tyrannosaurus Rex Joseph Gold, the local York News Times reports.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Co-Workers Rescue Man From Vat Of Acid

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 1:16 pm

While initial headlines that said a man jumped into a vat of acid to rescue a co-worker at at New Jersey construction site may have overstated what happened just a bit, there's still a dramatic tale to tell.

According to NorthJersey.com:

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Sacred White Buffalo Slaughtered; Reward For Catching Killer Grows

Lightning Medicine Cloud, a sacred white buffalo, last June.
LM Otero AP

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Santorum Endorses Romney

Back in their sparring days: Rick Santorum (left) and Mitt Romney during a Feb. 22, 2012, Republican presidential debate in Arizona.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Saying that "above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated," Rick Santorum on Monday evening endorsed former Republican rival Mitt Romney's presidential bid.

In an email to supporters, the former Pennsylvania senator said that:

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Clinton Hopes To Soon Welcome Chinese Activist Chen To The U.S.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a news conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Saturday (March 5, 2012).
Munir Uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 7:41 am

Though she won't put a timetable on when activist Chen Guangcheng will be able to leave China with his family and go to the United States, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today that "we're certainly making progress."

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Soccer Stars Are Paid The Best, And Indian Cricketers Out-Earn NFL Players

Lionel Messi of Barcelona during a match Saturday against RCD Espanyol.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 8:26 am

Think the players on your favorite team are the most overpaid in the world?

Well, American sports fans, you may not be able to brag (or complain?) about that.

As the number crunchers at Sporting Intelligence reported earlier this month, European soccer teams hold the top four spots when it comes to average pay per player.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Mon May 7, 2012

VIDEO: Biden On Being Comfortable With Same-Sex Marriage

Vice President Biden.
Win McNamee Getty Images

By saying Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press that he is "absolutely comfortable" with equal rights for partners in same-sex marriages and that love is at the root of all marriages "whether they're marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals," Vice President Biden has set off speculation about whether the Obama administration may soon fully endorse same-sex marriage.

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