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
8:32 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Reports: Militants Quickly Claimed Responsibility For Benghazi Attack

A burned vehicle outside the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after the Sept. 11 attack.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters /Landov

Reuters and Fox News have obtained copies of an email sent about two hours after the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which the White House, Pentagon and other agencies are told that the Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia had "claimed responsibility."

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Developing: Four-Day Truce Coming In Syria, U.N. Envoy Says

In Aleppo, Syria, an opposition fighter shouted as he manned a position on Monday.
Fabio Bucciarelli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 12:30 pm

Earlier ceasefire deals have quickly fallen apart in Syria this year, so this news should be viewed with some skepticism:

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Wed October 24, 2012

'God Intended' A Pregnancy Caused By Rape, Indiana Candidate Says

Richard Mourdock, Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana.
Nick Carey Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 11:57 am

After saying during a debate Tuesday night that a pregnancy caused by rape is "something that God intended to happen," the Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana is arguing that it is "twisted" to suggest he thinks God wants some women to be raped.

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The Two-Way
7:29 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

After Bad Day For Market, Facebook's Revenue Rise Boosts Stock

Wall Street's bad day — the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 240 points (1.8 percent) — has been followed by something unusual these days: good news about Facebook's shares.

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The Two-Way
6:34 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

59.2 Million Tuned In To Monday's Debate, Smallest Of The Audiences

Watch the wash or watch the debate? This woman was at a laundromat in Manhattan during Monday's debate.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 1:52 pm

An estimated 59.2 million people tuned in Monday night to watch President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in their third and final debate before the Nov. 6 election, The Nielsen Company reports.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Update: USAID Says Figures On Flood Aid In Pakistan Misinterpreted

Aug. 28: A flooded road in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Umar Qayyum Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 6:11 pm

Update at 6 p.m. ET:

Our original headline on this post was "U.S. Pledges Exceed Pakistan's Spending On Its Own Flood Relief." As we reported, the Christian Science Monitor has looked into the details of a Congressional Research Service report and concluded that U.S. aid to Pakistan for flood relief exceeded that country's own spending.

But Ben Edwards, a spokesman at the U.S. Agency for International Development, tells us in an email that:

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Court Lays Bare Strip Club's Argument That Lap Dances Are Art

In New York State, she's not an artist.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

No, the Nite Moves strip club in Latham, N.Y., can't claim that lap dances, pole performances and other moves in its ladies' repertoire are "art" and therefore exempt from sales taxes, New York State's highest court ruled today in a 4-3 decision.

According to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Photo Of Dying WWII Veteran Casting Last Vote Inspires Thousands

Oct. 17: Frank Tanabe, center, casts his vote with help from his daughter Barbara Tanabe, left, and his wife Setsuko Tanabe.
Irene Tanabe AP

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 11:12 am

See if you agree with most of the nearly 600,000 people who have seen this photo and think it should inspire others to vote this year.

As The Associated Press writes, it shows 93-year-old World War II veteran Frank Tanabe casting what's almost surely to be his last vote — from a hospice bed in Hawaii. He has liver cancer.

This message was posted with the photo:

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Armstrong Deletes Tour Titles From Twitter, But Not Other Websites

Lance Armstrong at a LIVESTRONG Challenge Ride on Sunday in Austin, Texas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 12:57 pm

One day after having his seven Tour de France titles officially taken away and getting banned for life from competitive cycling, Lance Armstrong's getting some media attention for removing a reference to those victories from his Twitter bio.

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It's All Politics
12:15 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Facts Got Bent Again In Last Debate

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 10:55 am

Fact checkers got a shout out Monday night from President Obama when he declared that Republican challenger Mitt Romney had repeated "the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign."

"Every fact checker and every reporter who's looked at it, governor, has said this is not true," the president pointed out — correctly — during Monday's debate after Romney charged that Obama went on an "apology tour" during his first year in office.

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It's All Politics
7:16 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

In Final Debate: Some Sparks, But Also Points Of Agreement

President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at tonight's debate in Boca Raton, Fla.
Rick Wilking/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 12:14 am

  • Listen To The Debate
  • Listen To NPR's Analysis Of The Debate

Foreign policy proved to be a subject that kept the tone mostly substantive tonight in the third and final debate between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney before the Nov. 6 election.

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The Two-Way
6:54 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Arlington Cemetery's Gravesites Now Searchable Online

Headstones in Arlington National Cemetery last March. The new online database should make it easier to find specific graves.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 10:42 pm

Arlington National Cemetery, which has come under intense criticism in recent years because of unmarked graves, misplaced records and mishandling of some veterans' cremated remains, today launched an online database (and apps) that it hopes will allow "family members and the public to find gravesites and explore Arlington's rich history."

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The Two-Way
5:53 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Great Caesar's Ghost! Clark Kent Quits 'Daily Planet'

Back in the day, Clark and Lois were news hounds. Would they be bloggers today? (George Reeves and Noel Neill, from the television series Adventures of Superman, circa 1955)
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Another reporter has quit the mainstream news business because he thinks there's too much emphasis on entertainment rather than old-fashioned reporting:

"In Superman issue 13, the Man of Steel's alter ego, mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, quits the Metropolis newspaper that has been his employer since the DC Comics superhero's earliest days in 1940," USA Today says.

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It's All Politics
4:32 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

One More Time: Here's Where To Get Debate 'Fact Checks'

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 6:06 pm

While President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney are debating tonight in Boca Raton, Fla., the fact checkers at news outlets and independent organizations will again be busy.

So for those who want to know where to go for their truth squadding:

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Oldest Auschwitz Survivor, A Teacher Who Defied Nazis, Dies At 108

Antoni Dobrowolski during a 2009 interview.
TVB24

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 10:57 am

Antoni Dobrowolski, who was put in the Auschwitz concentration camp because he defied Nazi orders not to teach young Poles, has died. He was 108 and was the oldest known survivor of that World War II Nazi death camp.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Saying Moderator Is Prettier Than CNN's Crowley Gets Candidate In Trouble

Democrat Richard Carmona, who is running for the Senate from Arizona.
Ross Franklin ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 3:11 pm

As Republican Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois was courting controversy last night by saying during a debate that the "health of the mother" isn't a reason for an abortion anymore, out in Arizona a Democratic candidate for Senate was stepping in it by telling a male debate moderator that "you're prettier" than CNN's Candy Crowley.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Fri October 19, 2012

What The ...? Tom Hanks Drops 'F-Bomb' On 'Good Morning America'

TMZ.com was on the story quickly.
TMZ.com

If we were asked to list actors who would be likely to slip up and drop the "f-bomb" on live, national TV, we don't think Tom Hanks would have come to mind.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Sales Of Existing Homes Dipped In September, But Prices Rose

A "sold" sign in San Francisco in August.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

There was a 1.7 percent drop in sales of existing homes in September from August, the National Association of Realtors says.

But the median selling price compared to one year earlier was up for the seventh month in a row, leading NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun to say "we're experiencing a genuine recovery."

According to NAR:

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Suspect In Libya Attack Denies Involvement, Is Living In Open

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images

Not only is Ahmed Abu Khattala saying he wasn't part of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, but the man who witnesses and officials have said was "a ringleader" that night is living openly and "scoffing at the threats coming from the American and Libyan governments," The New York Times reports.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Obama, Romney Trade Jokes; Critics Aim At Obama's 'Optimal' Comment

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (left) and President Obama at the 67th Al Smith Dinner in New York City Thursday night.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images
  • Scott Horsley on the NPR Newscast

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, as predicted, took on the challenge of being funny last night at the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York City — which as we said Thursday has become a quadrennial must-stop on the campaign trail for those seeking the White House.

As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, they "added a laugh track to their campaigns."

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Malala Stood For First Time Since Being Shot By Taliban, Doctors Say

Demonstrators in Islamabad at a protest earlier this week about Malala Yousafzai's shooting.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 9:20 am

  • Larry Miller reporting

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who spoke out against the Taliban and was shot in the head by one of its gunman for her bravery, "has stood for the first time since her attack," ITV News, The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Second Federal Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act

Edith Windsor, whose case led to an appeals court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 5:57 pm

The Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it discriminates against same-sex couples, a second federal appeals court has ruled.

NPR's Joel Rose reports that it took the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York less than a month to come to its decision. As he tells our Newscast Desk:

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Google's Stock Drops After Premature Release; 'PendingLarry' Goes Viral

Google CEO Larry Page. What's he going to say now?
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 3:05 pm

Oops.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Winter Outlook: Above Normal Temperatures In West; Below In Southeast

Jan. 21, 2012: A winter scene in Brooklyn, N.Y. Snow may be a relatively rare sight this coming winter in the U.S.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 2:12 pm

Here are some of the details from the winter weather forecast released this morning by the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center:

-- There are "enhanced chances for above normal temperatures across most of the western half of the lower 48 states."

-- The Florida peninsula is likely to experience "below-normal temperatures."

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Mississippi Queen: My Race Wasn't A Factor In Homecoming Title

University of Mississippi Homecoming Queen Courtney Pearson, as she was escorted on to the football field last Saturday by her father, Cmdr. Kerry Pearson.
Robert Jordan UM Communications
  • Michel Martin talks with Courtney Pearson

Courtney Pearson just became the first African-American woman to be elected homecoming queen at the University of Mississippi.

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