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
2:45 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Satellite Fell Into South Pacific Far From Land, NASA Says

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 2:52 pm

That bus-sized Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite that fell back to Earth late last week broke up and spread its debris "over a broad, remote ocean area in the Southern Hemisphere, far from any major land mass," out in the South Pacific Ocean, NASA just reported.

The space agency adds that:

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

OnStar Hits Reverse: It Won't Keep Collecting Data From Old Customers

Just days after it received intense criticism from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), some other lawmakers and privacy advocates, General Motors' OnStar service has agreed that it won't keep its data connections open to customers who have canceled the service.

In a statement, the company says today that:

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Prosecution Begins Case Against Michael Jackson's Doctor

The early word from the trial of pop star Michael Jackson's physician is that the prosecutor says "the superstar's misplaced trust in the doctor led to his death" in June 2009, The Associated Press reports.

As the AP adds, "Jackson died of an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol." Dr. Conrad Murray has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. he has pleaded not guilty.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

No Hoax, BBC Says: Alessio Rastani Is A Trader Who Wants A Recession

Alessio Rastani during his appearance this week on the BBC.
bbc.co.uk

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:29 pm

His words were provocative enough.

Alessio Rastani dreams of another global recession, the "independent market trader" told the BBC this week, because he knows he — and anyone who's prepared — can make money when that happens.

Traders, he said, don't care if the European bailout plan works or not. They'll profit either way if they're smart.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Shanghai Subway Crash Renews Questions About Safety In China

Rescue workers evacuated passengers after a subway train crashed into another train between stations Tuesday in Shanghai.
AFP/Getty Images

There's been another train crash in China — this time a collision of subway trains in Shanghai earlier today. The accident injured more than 200 people.

It's yet another blow to China's image.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Rappelling Work Begins At Washington Monument

At 555 feet above Washington, the work begins.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 4:03 pm

There's live video now from CNN and Washington's NBC-4 as work begins to have engineers rappel down the sides of the Washington Monument to inspect for damage from the Aug. 23 earthquake that shook much of the eastern U.S.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Texas Turns Down Cook's Offer Of Free 'Last Meals'

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 5:42 pm

Last week the state of Texas said it would no longer let condemned prisoners order practically anything they want for their last meals before execution.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Home Prices Edged Up In July, Report Says

A "sale pending" sign outside a home in Bath, Maine, in July.
Pat Wellenbach AP

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 9:52 am

July marked a fourth consecutive month of slight gains in home prices in its surveys covering major cities across the nation, researchers who put together the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Obama To Heckler: 'I Agree Jesus Christ Is The Lord'

The man who interrupted President Obama during a fundraiser Monday in Los Angeles is removed from the audience.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 1:01 pm

A man shouting "Jesus Christ is God!" interrupted President Obama's address at a fundraiser in Los Angeles last night.

He began by shouting that the "Christian God is the one and only true living God." Then he added that "Jesus Christ is God!" Others in attendance tried to overcome the interruption by chanting "four more years!"

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Today's Top Stories: Eurozone Crisis, Typhoon In Philippines

Good morning.

Today's top story so far in the U.S. seems to be about the government shutdown that isn't going to happen.

As we reported earlier, Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement last night that averted what might have been at least a partial shutdown later this week. And, as often is the case, both sides are claiming vindication.

Meanwhile, other stories making headlines include:

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Both Sides Claim Vindication After Shutdown Is Averted

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky walks to the floor as the Senate prepares to vote on a short-term funding measure .
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 10:28 am

As some last-minute developments and a late-evening deal came together to bring another shutdown showdown to a close last night, Democratic and Republican leaders were both declaring their positions in the latest budget battle had been vindicated.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Mon September 26, 2011

VIDEO: Atop Washington Monument, Visitors Scrambled During Quake

Visitors near the top of the Washington Monument headed for the stairs as it rocked back and forth. Debris was falling inside.
National Park Service

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Mon September 26, 2011

GOP Students' Race-Based Bake Sale Sparks Controversy At Berkeley

Row of brightly-colored cupcakes.
iStockphoto.com

Republican students at the University of California, Berkeley, say they're being satirical. The school's student senate says they're being discriminatory and others on campus say they're being offensive.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Mon September 26, 2011

VIDEO: 'Bird Man' Jeb Corliss Flies Through A Mountain In China

The view from Jeb Corliss' headcam as he flew toward the hole in Tianmen mountain on Saturday.
CCTV News Channel

There are several videos out there of wingsuit flyer Jeb Corliss' latest adventure, but the most complete report with the best bird's eye view may be this one from China's CCTV. Check it out.

The BBC says Corliss jumped out of a helicopter from 6,560 feet above Tianmen mountain in Hunan Province on Saturday before flying through the gap.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Mon September 26, 2011

More People Than Ever Are Unhappy With The Government, Poll Shows

Gallup's latest polling on how Americans feel about the way they're being governed.
Gallup.com

In some ways this news just states the obvious. But it's still worth noting that according to the pollsters at Gallup:

"A record-high 81 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed, adding to negativity that has been building over the past 10 years."

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Creator Of Doritos To Be Buried With His Chips

Word is just reaching the rest of the nation that Arch West, the man credited with creating Doritos, died last week in Texas. He was 97, the Dallas Morning News says.

At a graveside service next Saturday, the newspaper adds, "his family plans to sprinkle Doritos." A daughter says they will be "tossing Doritos chips in before they put the dirt over the urn."

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Sales Of New Homes Fell 2.3 Percent In August

Sales of new single-family houses fell 2.3 percent in August from July, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported. The annualized rate: 295,000 sales.

The report underscores the weakness of the housing market, The Associated Press says. Sales have now fallen four straight months and are at a six-month low. Economists, according to the AP, say the pace needs to be about 700,000 "to sustain a healthy housing market."

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Marathon Record Lowered By 21 Seconds

Patrick Makau of Kenya celebrates in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate after setting a new world record for the marathon.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

Kenya's Patrick Makau ran the Berlin Marathon on Sunday in a new world record time — 2 hours, 3 minutes and 38 seconds. He shaved 21 seconds off the previous record, set by Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie on the same course in 2008.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Top Stories: Shutdown Showdown; CIA Station Attacked In Kabul

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 8:17 am

Good morning.

Our headlines so far today:

-- Shutdown Showdown Continues: Senate Has Key Vote Today

-- NYPD Could 'Take Down A Plane' If Necessary, Commissioner Says

Other stories making headlines include:

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Mon September 26, 2011

NYPD Could 'Take Down A Plane' If Necessary, Commissioner Says

A plane flies past the Manhattan skyline at sunset.
Clive Brunskill Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 7:49 am

One exchange in particular between CBS News' Scott Pelley and New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly on Sunday's edition of 60 Minutes is getting lots of attention today.

The subject was the possibility of another terrorist attack aimed at the city and the efforts by Kelly's department to prevent such a thing from happening. Here's an excerpt:

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Shutdown Showdown Continues: Senate Has Key Vote Today

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) at the Capitol last week.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 12:58 pm

We warned last week that a second "shutdown showdown" was looming in Washington.

And, sure enough, as the new week begins lawmakers in Washington are still at odds over how to put some more money into the coffers of the stretched-thin Federal Emergency Management Agency. And if the dispute isn't settled by the end of the week, part of the federal government might be forced to shut down.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Fri September 23, 2011

No More Special Last Meals For Death Row Inmates In Texas

Lawrence Russell Brewer in 1999.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 9:53 am

The huge meal that white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer ordered and then left untouched before his execution Wednesday has convinced Texas officials to end the state's traditional practice of giving death row inmates a "last meal" of their choice.

As the Houston Chronicle writes:

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Those Muffins Did Not Cost $16 Each, Hilton Says

Kevin D. Weeks for NPR

Half-baked.

That's what you might say about one much-reported part of the much-discussed report this week that the Justice Department bought some very expensive food for its conferences in recent years.

Hilton Worldwide says the muffins it provided for a 2009 Justice conference in Washington did not cost $16 each, as was reported by Justice's inspector general.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Fri September 23, 2011

From Pakistan: 'Vehement Denials' And Indignation After U.S. Accusations

There are "vehement denials and also ... a good degree of indignation" from Pakistan today, Los Angeles Times correspondent Alex Rodriguez tells NPR from Islamabad. Officials there are responding to comments from the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff — who said Thursday that "extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers."

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