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
11:35 am
Mon March 5, 2012

U.S., Israel Stand Together On Iran Issue, Obama And Netanyahu Say

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked on as President Obama spoke this morning in the Oval Office of the White House.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 9:05 am

With Iran and its nuclear program looming over the discussions, President Obama said this morning that "the United States will always have Israel's back." The president's comment came with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is at the White House for talks today, by his side.

For his part, Netanyahu told reporters that the U.S. and Israel stand together on policy toward Iran, The Associated Press reports.

The two leaders just held something of a photo op. Other reports on what they had to say:

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Obama To Hold News Conference Tuesday

With lots of topics to choose from, including the economy, the 2012 presidential race, Syria, Iran's nuclear ambitions and his meetings today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there will be plenty to ask President Obama about Tuesday afternoon when he holds a just-announced news conference.

No word yet on the exact time.

The Two-Way
10:10 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Yemen: More Killing; Reporters Look Back At Uprising, Ahead To Uncertainty

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 10:12 am

  • Kelly McEvers reports on 'Morning Edition'

There's news from Yemen today that's depressing in its familiarity:

"Al-Qaida militants launched a surprise attack against army bases in southern Yemen, killing 78 soldiers, seizing weapons and parading 55 troops they had taken captive through the center of a town under their control, military officials said.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Mon March 5, 2012

4.0 Magnitude Quake Rattles San Francisco

For those who just felt the earth shake in Northern California, the U.S. Geological Survey says there was a 4.0 magnitude temblor in the "San Francisco bay area" at 5:33 a.m. local time (8:33 a.m. ET).

There's no word yet on whether there was much, if any, damage.

The USGS says the quake was centered about 1 mile from El Cerrito, Calif.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Putin's Victory Comes With Claims Of 'Widespread Violations'

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a rally in Moscow on Sunday. He won election to the post he previously held: president.
Alexei Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

It's no surprise that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin won Sunday's election to return to the more powerful post he previously held — president. His victory was widely expected. Putin appears to have gotten about two-thirds of the votes.

Also not surprising: Sunday's results are being followed with reports today that, as The Associated Press says, "the opposition and independent observers insisted the vote had been marred by widespread violations."

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Update: Limbaugh Loses Ninth Advertiser Over Comments About Law Student

Rush Limbaugh.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 6:10 pm

Update at 6:08 p.m. ET. USA Today's On Politics blog reports that both Sears and Allstate are distancing themselves from Limbaugh as well. Both firms said their media buying firms bought space on the show, today, but they have instructed them not to continue.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Toddler's Death Brings Toll From Latest Tornadoes To 39

In Henryville, Ind., on Sunday, Janet Clark stood outside what remains of her home, which was destroyed in Friday's tornado.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 7:33 am

  • Erica Peterson reporting on 'Morning Edition'

There's more sad news from the stretch of five states across the Midwest and South that were slammed by tornadoes on Friday.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Student Is Outraged By Rush Limbaugh Calling Her A 'Slut' And 'Prostitute'

Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University, during her House testimony about contraceptives and insurance coverage.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 3:04 pm

Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student who has become a "poster child" for Democrats since Republicans wouldn't let her testify at a House hearing about President Obama's policy on contraception, said today she was stunned and outraged Wednesday when conservative radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut" and "prostitute" on his nationally syndicated show.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Fri March 2, 2012

California Woman Awarded $168 Million In Workplace Harassment Case

The scales of justice tipped toward the plaintiff in this case.
Christophe Ena AP

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 2:32 pm

A California woman's nearly $168 million award from a jury is "believed to be the largest for a single victim of workplace harassment in U.S. history," the Los Angeles Times reports.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Taliban Claims It Killed More Than 20 Rival Militants In Pakistan

Among the reports of more deadly violence in Pakistan today — about 70 people were killed in three incidents, DAWN reports — is word that about 20 of the deaths were the result of one militant group attacking another.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Red Cross Aid Convoy Arrives In Devastated Syrian City

After weeks of shelling and sniper fire from Syrian Army forces, the people who remain in the Baba Amr district of the city of Homs may finally get some aid from the outside world today.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Ohio School Reopens, Coach Who Chased Shooter Says 'I'm Not A Hero'

Chardon High School assistant football coach Frank Hall.
Tony Dejak AP

Classes are resuming today at Chardon High School in Ohio, where three teenaged boys were killed Monday when a gunman — identified by witnesses as a fellow student — opened fire in the cafeteria. Two other students were wounded.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Tornado Trauma: Five Died On One Short Street; More Storms Due Today

The areas inside the red lines are where tornadoes were being reported at 11:36 a.m. ET.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 6:09 pm

Five of the estimated 13 deaths from the tornadoes that pounded Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee on Wednesday happened on one "short avenue in a tight-knit neighborhood" of Harrisburg, Ill., the Los Angeles Times writes today.

Brady Street was pummeled. "There are no words to describe this," Dena McDonald, whose mother was killed there, tells the Times. The newspaper describes the aftermath this way:

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Russia, China Join Call For Syria To Let U.N. Human Rights Official Visit

In what Israel's Haaretz.com is referring to as a "rare move" by longtime supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, Russia and China today joined other members of the U.N. Security Council in calling on Syria to let U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos see what's happening inside that nation.

Syria so far has not allowed Amos to visit.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Senate Says No To Challenge Of Obama's Birth Control Policy

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:21 pm

By a 51-48 vote, the Senate just set aside an effort to reverse the Obama administration's policy requiring most employers to provide health insurance plans that cover the cost of women's contraception methods.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Detained Americans On Their Way Out Of Egypt

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:28 pm

  • Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on 'Morning Edition'

Seven American democracy advocates who had been prevented for weeks from leaving Egypt and were accused of being there illegally are now on their way out of the country, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo.

"They are walking through security in the VIP terminal at the Cairo Airport," she just said in an email to our Newscast desk.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Andrew Breitbart, Controversial Web Provocateur, Has Died

Andrew Breitbart last June.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Andrew Breitbart, who cultivated controversy with his BigGovernment website and was a conservative thorn in the sides of many liberals, has died, his newssite's editor-in-chief, Joel Pollak, just said he can confirm. He emailed that word to The Two-Way moments ago.

In a post on BigGovernment, it's reported that "Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles." He would turn 43 this year.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Anti-Assad Fighters Said To Be Retreating From Beseiged Syrian District

Syrian mourners on Wednesday carried the body of a man who was killed in fighting near Homs.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

There are reports from several news outlets that fighters who have been battling the Syrian Army in the beseiged Baba Amr district of Homs are retreating from that area.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Jobless Claims Ticked Down Again, Consumer Spending Edged Up

There were 2,000 fewer first-time claims for unemployment last week than in the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

It says there were 351,000 such filings.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Death Toll From Midwest, Southern Storms Put At 13

Vehicles and other possessions lie scattered in Harrisburg, Ill.
Scott Olson Getty Images

A fourth death in Tennessee appears to have brought the toll from severe storms that swept through parts of the Midwest and South on Wednesday to at least 13.

Chrissy Keuper of WUOT-FM in at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville has told our Newscast Desk about the fourth fatality in the Volunteer State.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Two More Americans Killed In Afghanistan

Feb. 23: Afghan demonstrators burn a U.S. flag during a protest in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Tom Bowman, on 'Morning Edition'

Two more American military personnel were killed in Southern Afghanistan today when, officials believe, an Afghan civilian grabbed a weapon from an Afghan soldier and opened fire, NPR's Quil Lawrence reports from Kabul. At least one other attacker may also have been involved.

Quil adds that "we don't know yet whether this attack is linked to the Quran burnings, which set off so much violence — including the killing of four U.S. servicemen in the week that followed."

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Priest Was Wrong To Deny Communion To Lesbian, Archdiocese Says

Saeed Khan AFP/Getty Images

There's been lots of talk on the Web and the news channels today about The Washington Post's front page account of what happened when Barbara Johnson went to Communion on Saturday during the funeral mass for her mother in Gaithersburg, Md.

The priest, Rev. Marcel Guarnizo said he would not give her the sacrament because she is a sinner.

Johnson is a lesbian.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

VIDEO: Amazingly Close Up View Of A Woodpecker

YouTube.com

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 5:04 pm

Maybe you won't agree, but we think this video is fascinating. It's a very close encounter with a woodpecker at a bird feeder in Dryden, N.Y.

(Hint: don't give up before the 15-second mark.)

(H/T to this blogger's old hometown friend, Jim Pearson.)

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