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
11:25 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Putin Grants French Actor Depardieu Russian Citizenship

French actor Gerard Depardieu (left) and Russian leader Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg in December 2010.
Ria Novosti Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 3:12 pm

If French actor Gerard Depardieu really does want to renounce his native land and evade its taxes, he's now got a home land in Russia if he wishes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin today ordered that Depardieu be granted Russian citizenship, the Kremlin announced.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

NPR's Michele Norris Returning As Host/Special Correspondent

NPR's Michele Norris.

Stephen Voss

Michele Norris, who stepped away from the hosting duties at All Things Considered during the 2012 presidential election because her husband took a senior position with President Obama's re-election campaign, is returning to NPR "in a new role as host/special correspondent," Margaret Low Smith, senior vice president for news, just announced.

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The Two-Way
9:32 am
Thu January 3, 2013

This May Blow Your Mind: Video Of New Year's Eve Fireworks In Reverse

In the video, you can watch them disappear.
http://www.youtube.com/jcltay

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 11:27 am

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Layoffs Have Slowed, Hiring Has Picked Up, But Jobless Claims Are Higher

The scene at a career fair in New York City last fall.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 8:46 am

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. Jobless Claims Went Up; So Two Out Of Three Reports Were Positive:

There were 372,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 10,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. What's more, that previous week's total was revised up from the previous estimate of 350,000.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Thu January 3, 2013

With Those Lost In Mind, Sandy Hook Students And Staff Return To Classes

Early Thursday morning, a school bus carrying students from Sandy Hook Elementary headed to their new school.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 2:49 pm

  • Jean Cochran reporting on the NPR Newscast

(Scroll down for updates. Our most recent was at 2:45 p.m. ET.)

Hoping that they have done their best to create "a safe and a secure learning environment for these kids," school officials in Connecticut today welcomed the 500 or so surviving students from Sandy Hook Elementary School and their teachers back to class.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Malala, Shot For Speaking Out Against Pakistan's Taliban, To Stay In U.K.

In November, Pakistani students in Karachi participated in a "Malala Day" to show support for the girl who was shot when she spoke out against the Taliban.
Masroor Xinhua /Landov

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman because she had been speaking out against that group's efforts to stop Pakistani girls from going to school, will be staying in Great Britain.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Andrew Sullivan's 'The Dish' Is Leaving 'The Daily Beast,' Going Solo Again

Andrew Sullivan
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Saying that he and his team want "to help build a new media environment that is not solely about advertising or profit above everything, but that is dedicated first to content and quality," blogger Andrew Sullivan confirmed today that The Dish is leaving The Daily Beast and striking out on its own again.

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Financial Markets Cheer 'Fiscal Cliff' News

Looking up: Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange earlier today.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:08 pm

Though more big battles lie ahead in Washington, Wall Street is following the lead of financial markets around the world in giving a thumbs-up to the deal that kept the federal government from going completely over the so-called fiscal cliff.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Wed January 2, 2013

More Than 60,000 Have Died In Syria, U.N. Estimates

An almost deserted, rubble-filled street in Aleppo, Syria (Oct. 9, 2012).
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:47 am

Blaming the regime of President Bashar Assad for "ruthless suppression of what were initially peaceful and legitimate protests by unarmed civilians," the U.N. Human Rights Office today released a report that estimates at least 59,648 people had been killed in Syria through November in the protests and fighting there since March 2011.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Well, It Is In The Dictionary: Boehner Reportedly Aimed 'F-Bomb' At Reid

House Speaker John Boehner (right) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the White House in April 2011. Last week, they weren't so chummy.
Olivier Douliery/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:47 am

Politico's long "tick-tock" account of "the fiscal cliff deal that almost wasn't" is getting lots of attention this morning because of this vignette:

"House Speaker John Boehner couldn't hold back when he spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday. ... 'Go f— yourself,' Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present."

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Wed January 2, 2013

N.Y. News Outlet That Posted Names Of Gun Owners Hires Armed Guards

At its website, the image is interactive so that users can see who has handgun permits and where they live." href="/post/ny-news-outlet-posted-names-gun-owners-hires-armed-guards" class="noexit lightbox">
The Journal News' map of gun owners in Rockland County, N.Y. At its website, the image is interactive so that users can see who has handgun permits and where they live.
The Journal News

The Journal News newspapers that drew intense criticism after posting an interactive map showing the names and addresses of people with licenses to own handguns in three counties just to the north of New York City has hired a security firm and placed armed guards at its offices, a competing newssi

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Bipartisan Outrage As Vote On Superstorm Sandy Aid Is Postponed

Nov. 6: Some of the damage from Superstorm Sandy on New York's Staten Island.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 4:01 pm

(We put a new top on this post at 3:45 p.m. ET.)

The House of Representatives will vote on aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy before Jan. 15, according to promises Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made to legislators from the affected areas this afternoon. The speaker met with angry representatives at 3 p.m., seeking to quell their outrage over the postponement of a vote on federal help.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Wed January 2, 2013

It's Not Over: Big Battles Ahead Even After 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

President Obama was in the Oval Office late Tuesday night as the House finished voting on the "fiscal cliff" deal. After praising the passage, he left for Hawaii to resume a vacation with his family.
Aude Guerrucci/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:59 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': The upcoming battles

We're sorry to start the first work day of 2013 on a negative note, but here goes:

Though the House voted 257-167 late Tuesday to OK legislation that kept the federal government from going over the so-called fiscal cliff — and stopped income taxes from rising for about 99 percent of Americans — lawmakers didn't reach agreement on other very divisive issues.

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The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Deal To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' Appears Likely

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 10:01 am

  • NPR's coverage of President Obama's comments on the "fiscal cliff" talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Good Riddance! 'Fiscal Cliff' Tops List Of 'Words To Be Banished'

Be gone!
NPR

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 11:44 am

Oh, if only someone could enforce this "edict."

Michigan's Lake Superior State University is out with its 38th "List of Words to be Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness," and right there at the top is a two-word combination that none of us in the media seem able to avoid, especially not today:

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Top Stories: 'Fiscal Cliff' Deadline Nears; New Year's Celebrations Begin

In Sydney, Australia, early today, New Year's Eve celebrations included fireworks and a big kiss.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Good morning.

Our early headlines on this last day of 2012:

-- Year Ends As It Began, With Lawmakers Headed Toward The 'Fiscal Cliff'.

-- Secretary Clinton's Condition 'Extremely Common'.

Other stories making headlines include:

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Secretary Clinton's Condition 'Extremely Common'

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Dec. 4 in Brussels, before she fell ill.
Kevin Lamarque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:12 pm

  • From 'Morning Editon': Jackie Northam and Rob Stein

Update at 5:04 p.m. ET Clot Located Behind Right Ear

The clot that has put U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a New York City hospital for treatment and observation is located behind her right ear, in a vein that's in the space between her brain and skull.

A statement by her physicians released by the State Department said the clot did not result in a stroke or neurological damage.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Year Ends As It Began, With Lawmakers Headed Toward The 'Fiscal Cliff'

The U.S. Capitol. Will lawmakers avoid the "fiscal cliff" or go over?
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 2:05 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Scott Horsley reports
  • From 'Morning Edition': David Welna reports

(Scroll down for updates.)

Well, here we are. It's New Year's Eve and with just hours to go before the end of the year and the arrival of the so-called fiscal cliff, Democrats and Republicans in Washington are still trying to strike a deal that heads off automatic increases in taxes, automatic deep spending cuts in a variety of programs and the automatic expiration of some jobless benefits.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Tracking Gun-Related Deaths, One Tweet At A Time

A makeshift shrine to the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Slate and a citizen journalist are trying to track gun deaths across the nation since that Dec. 14 mass shooting.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 8:36 am

How many Americans died on Christmas Day from a gun shot? How many have been shot and killed since the Dec. 14 mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Conn.?

No one knows for sure. Authorities pull together annual figures, but not daily reports on gun-related murders, suicides and accidental deaths.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Fri December 28, 2012

As Water Level Falls, Concerns About Mississippi River's Barge Traffic Rise

This WWII-era minesweeper once was a floating museum in St. Louis. Swept away in a 1993 flood, it has been under water in the river for most of the years since. But the ship has been exposed as the river's water level has fallen. (Photo taken on Dec. 14.)
Army Corps of Engineers

With a gauge at the tricky section of the Mississippi River near Thebes, Ill., already registering a remarkably low water level — and projections that it will fall further in coming days and weeks — trade groups are warning that barge traffic through that part of the river may have to halt completely as soon as next week.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Little Hope, Low Expectations, Lots Of Gloom: 'Fiscal Cliff' Talk Is Dreary

Leaders will meet at the White House this afternoon.
Michael Reynolds EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:10 pm

  • David Welna on 'Morning Edition'

Yes, President Obama and congressional leaders are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. ET to discuss how to avoid going over the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.

But, no, that isn't inspiring much talk this morning of a breakthrough before the midnight New Year's Eve deadline:

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Top Stories: 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks Resume; Russia Bans U.S. Adoptions

Eric Waite and his 8-year-old daughter Emerson went sliding Thursday in Greenfield, Mass.
Matthew Cavanaugh Getty Images
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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Remembering Gen. Schwarzkopf, 'Military Hero Of His Generation'

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf in 1990.
Kevin Larkin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 9:37 am

The death Thursday of retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf — "Stormin' Norman" — has prompted many looks at the legacy of the American commander who led coalition forces during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, which pushed Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Army out of Kuwait.

Schwarzkopf was 78. He:

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Secretary Clinton Due Back At Work Next Week, 'Foreign Policy' Reports

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Dec. 6 in Dublin.
Kevin Lamarque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 9:38 am

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will return to the State Department next week after three weeks of recovery from a stomach virus and a related concussion," Foreign Policy's The Cable blog reports.

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines tells The Cable that:

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Fri December 28, 2012

U.S. Families Stunned By Russia's Ban On Adoptions

Children at an orphanage in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don earlier this month.
Vladimir Konstantinov Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 9:37 am

As expected, Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed a law "that bans Americans from adopting Russian children and imposes other measures in retaliation for new U.S. legislation meant to punish Russian human rights abusers," Reuters reports.

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