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
9:54 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Negotiations In Ukraine Under Close Scrutiny After Bloodshed

Riot police officers stand in Kiev's Independence Square on Wednesday as smoke rises from protesters' burning barricades.
Alexey Furman EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:13 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': David Stern of the BBC speaks from Kiev
This post was updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

The U.S. and the European Union are closely watching Ukraine amid news that the government was starting negotiations with opposition leaders to end the violence, which has left more than two dozen people dead since Tuesday.

A statement on the Ukrainian presidential website said:

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Nun Who Broke Into Nuclear Complex Gets 35-Month Jail Term

Anti-nuclear activists (from left) Gregory Boertje-Obed, Sister Megan Rice and Michael Walli, pictured Feb. 6 in Knoxville, Tenn., were sentenced to prison terms on Tuesday for the 2012 break-in at Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.
Linda Davidson The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:15 am

"An 84-year-old Catholic nun was sentenced Tuesday to nearly three years in prison for breaking into a nuclear weapons complex and defacing a bunker holding bomb-grade uranium, a demonstration that exposed serious security flaws at the Tennessee plant," The Associated Press writes from Knoxville, Tenn.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Wed February 19, 2014

U.K. Court OKs Detention Of Reporter Glenn Greenwald's Partner

Glenn Greenwald, left, and David Miranda after Miranda's arrival at Rio de Janeiro's International Airport on Aug. 19, 2013. Miranda had been detained for nine hours at London's Heathrow Airport. Authorities questioned him about Greenwald's reporting of the "NSA leaks."
Ricardo Moraes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:26 am

British authorities were within their rights to detain journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner for nine hours last August and to seize an external hard drive containing classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden, three high court judges in the U.K. have ruled.

David Miranda, who lives with Greenwald in Brazil, was stopped at London's Heathrow Airport last August as he was making his way home from Europe.

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The Edge
9:49 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Finnished! Russian Hockey Team Bounced Out Of Olympics

Russian fans who gathered in Sochi's Olympic Park react with dismay as they watch a broadcast of the ice hockey match between Russia and Finland.
Shamil Zhumatov Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 4:33 pm

"Uskotko ihmeisiin?"

No, this isn't exactly a "do you believe in miracles?" bit of history for Finland, but its men's hockey team just produced a moment-to-remember at the Sochi Games.

Finland beat Russia 3-1, bouncing the home team out of the tournament.

As NPR's Robert Smith has reported, there was tremendous pressure on Alex Ovechkin and his Russian teammates to win gold in Sochi.

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The Edge
9:47 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Team USA's Ted Ligety Wins Gold In Giant Slalom

Ted Ligety of Team USA celebrates Wednesday after winning the men's giant slalom event at the Sochi Winter Games.
Hans Klaus Techt EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 5:10 am

Ted Ligety is now only the second American to ever earn two Olympic gold medals in Alpine skiing after finishing first Wednesday in the giant slalom at the Sochi Winter Games.

As USA Today writes:

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Obama Wants Tougher Fuel Standards For Big Trucks

Exhausts rises from a truck in California last September.
Mike Blake Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:02 am

President Obama said Tuesday that he has told the Environmental Protection Agency to work with the Department of Transportation on a second round of regulations to improve the fuel efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The goal: reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they contribute to the environment.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Soldiers' 'Fun' Photo With Flag-Draped Coffin Sparks Outrage

The photo that has offended many. The soldier responsible for posting it on Instagram has been suspended and an investigation has begun.
Wisconsin National Guard Facebook page

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 11:05 am

Two photos posted on Instagram by a member of the Wisconsin National Guard have caused an uproar on social media.

In one, 14 soldiers are seen joking around in front of what authorities say was an empty coffin draped with the American flag. The caption with that image reads, in part: "We put the FUN in funeral."

In the other, the soldier who put the pictures on the Web is seen in uniform. The caption with that photo reads: "It's so damn cold out....WHY have a funeral outside !? Somebody's getting a jacked up flag."

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Pussy Riot's Nadya And Masha Detained In Sochi, Then Released

Maria Alyokhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot on stage at Amnesty International's "Bringing Human Rights Home" concert earlier this month in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Jason Szenes EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:38 pm

The two most prominent members of the Russian punk protest band Pussy Riot say they were taken into custody Tuesday by police in Sochi, site of the Winter Olympics. Later in the day, there were reports that the women and other activists who were with them had been released.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Before Northeast Thaws, Thundersnow Will Roll Through

It will melt eventually: People walk past a pile of dirty snow in New York City's Times Square.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 7:54 am

Hang on, you winter-weary folks.

"Temperatures are expected to warm to above average levels for late February from the Central Plains to the East Coast," the National Weather Service says.

But first, "we have to get through one more winter storm," The Weather Channel writes.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Jimmy Fallon, 'Your Host ... For Now,' Takes Over 'Tonight'

Jimmy Fallon during his debut Monday as host of NBC's The Tonight Show.
Theo Wargo Getty Images for 'The Tonight Show'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 7:42 am

The new guy's getting pretty good reviews.

Jimmy Fallon took over NBC's The Tonight Show on Monday night, saying he just wants "to do the best I can ... make you laugh and put a smile on your face."

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Tue February 18, 2014

A Big Asteroid Just Flew By, And Guess What? More Are Coming

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 12:18 pm

An asteroid that's about the size of three football fields flew past Earth on Monday, coming within 2.1 million miles. That was near enough to generate headlines such as this, from Reuters: "Earth marks close encounter with enormous asteroid."

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Tue February 18, 2014

There's A Clown Shortage: Who Will Fill Those Big Shoes?

Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 7:19 am

This may be welcome news for those who suffer from coulrophobia, but it's no joke to those who agree with Cole Porter that "all the world loves a clown":

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

'I'm The Hijacker!' Says Ethiopian Pilot Of Commandeered Jet

After landing in Geneva on Monday, the pilot who reportedly took over control of the Rome-bound Ethiopian Airlines jet used a rope to climb down from the cockpit. He then went to authorities and asked for asylum.
Richard Juilliart AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 12:16 pm

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Pennsylvania Woman Claims To Have Killed At Least 22 People

Miranda Barbour, who has told a newspaper that she's killed at least 22 people.
WNEP.com

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 9:29 am

This is among the day's more disturbing stories:

A 19-year-old woman who's already a suspect in one murder has told a central Pennsylvania newspaper that she's a satanist who has been killing people since she was 13.

Miranda Barbour claims that after her 22nd victim, "I stopped counting."

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Penn State Picks New President: Florida State's Eric Barron

Eric Barron, Penn State's next president.
Patrick Mansell PSU.edu

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 10:44 am

Penn State University, which dismissed its president and its legendary football coach in late 2011 for their roles in dealing with allegations that an assistant coach had been molesting young boys, announced Monday that Florida State University President Eric Barron is leaving the Sunshine State to be PSU's next l

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