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
2:58 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

It's Away! Cargo Jet That Landed At Wrong Airport Takes Off

Grounded: The Boeing 747 Dreamlifter that mistakenly landed Wednesday at Jabara airport in Wichita, Kan.
Jaime Green MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 3:54 pm

Update at 2:17 p.m. ET. In The Air:

Moments ago a massive Boeing 747 "Dreamlifter" cargo jet that mistakenly landed at a small municipal airport late Wednesday took off with a roar from an airfield with a runway much shorter than a jet that size usually uses.

We were watching an NBC News webcast as the big jet took off.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Senate Democrats Detonate 'Nuclear Option' To Curb Filibusters

Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 11:09 am

(We added to the top of this post at 2:08 p.m. ET.)

There was high drama Thursday on the floor of the Senate as Democrats significantly changed the way business in the chamber is done.

In what Republicans cast as a "power grab" but Democrats defended as a way to break gridlock, the Senate's rules were changed to make it much more difficult for a minority of the members to hold up action on key presidential nominees.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Family Asks North Korea To Release 85-Year-Old American

North Korean soldiers march through Kim Il-Sung square in Pyongyang. Merrill Newman, an American grandfather, has been missing since being removed from a plane about to depart North Korea on Oct. 26.
ED JONES AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 8:53 am

The family and friends of an 85-year-old California grandfather have appealed to North Korean officials to release the man, who reportedly has been held by authorities in the communist state since Oct. 26.

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Three Women May Have Spent 30 Years As Slaves In London

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 9:19 am

A very disturbing story is emerging from the U.K.:

-- "Two people have been arrested as part of an investigation into slavery and domestic servitude at a house in London sparked by a report on Sky News. The inquiry was launched after one of three alleged victims told a charity she had been held against her will for more than 30 years." (Sky News)

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey Among 16 Honored At White House

From one president to another: Former President Bill Clinton receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from current President Obama.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:04 pm

A former president, a baseball legend, a country music star and a woman who's a powerhouse in American media were among 16 people honored Wednesday at the White House with the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan's Exact Death Toll May Never Be Known

In Tacloban, the Philippines, graffiti on the side of a grounded ship sends a message out to the world.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 10:30 am

The hard work of getting aid to survivors and accounting for the dead continues in the central and southern Philippines, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Tue November 19, 2013

NSA Releases Some Files On Electronic Surveillance

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 7:17 am

Reporters on the national security beat are sifting through about 1,000 pages of newly declassified documents that the National Security Agency released late Monday.

The heavily redacted records, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement, "demonstrate the care with which NSA's foreign intelligence collection ... is run, managed, and overseen."

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Winter's Coming And Thousands Are Homeless After Tornadoes

One of the homes destroyed in Washington, Ill., by Sunday's storms.
Tasos Katopodis Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 8:16 am

Along with the stories of incredible destruction and heart-breaking losses, Tuesday's reports about the aftereffects of Sunday's tornadoes in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and other parts of the Midwest make this ominous point:

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Two Explosions, Multiple Deaths At Iranian Embassy In Beirut

This car was among many vehicles destroyed by bombs Tuesday in Beirut. Nearby buildings suffered extensive damage. More than 20 people, including an Iran diplomat, were killed by the explosions near Iran's embassy.
Nabil Mounzer EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 6:02 am

Twin explosions Tuesday near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killed more than 20 people, including Iran's cultural attaché, according to reports from The Associated Press and other news outlets. Dozens more people were injured.

From Beirut, producer Rima Marrouch tells our Newscast Desk that the blasts happened around 10 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET).

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Estimate Of Number Left Homeless By Typhoon Soars

Patients injured during Typhoon Haiyan lie in the halls of the Divine Word Hospital in Tacloban, the Philippines. Despite severe damage to the ground floor and the loss of the roof, the staff of the hospital keep treating patients.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 2:05 pm

Update at 4:55 p.m. ET. Estimate Of Those Displaced Soars:

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Princeton Meningitis Cases Spur Emergency Import Of Vaccine

Princeton University's Nassau Hall.
DANIEL HULSHIZER AP

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 12:48 pm

A seventh case since March of bacterial meningitis among students at New Jersey's Princeton University has federal health officials considering the use of "an emergency vaccine," The Star-Ledger writes.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Sat November 16, 2013

How'd They Do That? Jean-Claude Van Damme's 'Epic Split'

The easy part: Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme before the trucks started backing up and he did his "epic split."
Volvo Trucks

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 12:31 pm

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Sat November 16, 2013

U.S. Soldier Accused Of Murder In Deaths Of Deaf Iraqi Boys

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 1:13 pm

A U.S. Army sergeant who in 2007 allegedly shot and killed two unarmed deaf Iraqi boys who had no known ties to the insurgents then battling American forces, has now been charged with two counts of premeditated murder.

The story of what Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera allegedly did was spelled out in detail last December by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. An online version of the newspaper's 8-page report is posted here. It began its package of stories this way:

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Secret Service Shaken By New Report Of Misconduct

Secret Service agents stood watch earlier this month as President Obama arrived at Dallas Love Field airport.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 7:35 am

A Secret Service supervisor has been removed from his post on the team that protects President Obama and another supervisor has been shifted to a different position after allegations of misconduct that have "sent tremors through an agency still trying to restore its elite reputation," The Washington Post reports.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Obama Moves To Delay Cancellations Of Insurance Plans

President Barack Obama speaking at the White House on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:18 am

President Obama announced Thursday that Americans who have had their health insurance plans canceled because of his Affordable Care Act can keep those plans for another year if they wish.

Those cancellations — most effective on Jan. 1 — have sparked intense criticism of the ACA, in part because the president pledged many times that if Americans liked the health plans they had, they wouldn't have to give them up under the terms of his program.

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