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
11:12 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Major Ukrainian Air Base In Crimea Handed Over To Russia

A Russian military officer, left, talks to Ukrainian Col. Yuli Mamchur before the Russian takeover of an air base near the Crimean town of Belbek on Saturday.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 1:07 pm

Russia's grip on Crimea was further solidified Saturday when its forces took complete control of a Ukrainian Air Force base in the town of Belbek, NPR's Gregory Warner and Reuters report.

The landing field and other key sections of the air base had been taken over by Russian forces previously. The section handed over today was where Ukrainian soldiers and their families lived, Gregory reports.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Down Goes Duke In Biggest Upset So Far

Duke forward Amile Jefferson, in white, and Mercer guard Langston Hall battle for the ball during Friday's game.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 3:53 pm

We updated this post with the first shock of the day at 2:35 p.m. ET:

It's one-and-done for the Duke Blue Devils as their men's basketball team was beaten Friday by the Mercer Bears, 78-71, in the Division I men's basketball championship.

Mercer, a No. 14 seed in the Midwest region, was a huge underdog to the No. 3 seed Duke.

The win for Mercer, which has its main campus in Macon, Ga., is by far the biggest upset of the tournament so far. Heading into play, Duke was No. 8 in The Associated Press rankings. Mercer wasn't even among the nation's top 75 teams.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Split Decisions: Ukraine Signs Up With EU, Russia Wraps Up Crimea

As Russian soldiers walked one way in the distance, a departing Ukrainian soldier carried some of his belongings Friday at a military base in Perevalne, Crimea.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:57 am

There will be few days that better symbolize the crisis in Ukraine.

On Friday:

As Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was signing an agreement on closer relations with the European Union ...

... Russian President Vladimir Putin was signing the laws his country has put in place to take Crimea from Ukraine and make it part of the Russian Federation.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Fri March 21, 2014

In Hawaii, Sex With A Prostitute May Be Legal For Undercover Cops

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Undercover police in Honolulu say they need to be exempt from laws barring sex with prostitutes because sometimes they can't reveal their identities too soon.
Ronen Zilberman AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 8:36 pm

"Honolulu police officers have urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes during investigations," the Star Advertiser writes. The issue has come up as the state legislature considers a bill that sponsors say would strengthen several criminal statutes.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Nothing So Far In Search For Debris From Malaysian Jet

Searching from the air and on the sea: The view Friday from a Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion. The Norwegian car transport ship Hoegh St. Petersburg is below. They're part of the search in the southern Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Justin Benson-Cooper/pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:05 am

We have woven some updates into this post.

Two weeks after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the first "credible lead" in the search for the Boeing 777 and the 239 people on board is still just that — a lead, not a discovery.

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Reds Pitcher Expected To Recover After Line Drive To Face

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman last month. Now, he's recovering from being hit in the face by a batted ball last night.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 12:28 pm

All-Star relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds is expected to make a full recovery and pitch again despite the injuries he suffered Wednesday night when he was hit square in the face by batted ball.

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Thu March 20, 2014

U.S. To Impose Sanctions On More Russian Officials

President Obama on the south lawn of the White House Thursday as he spoke about new sanctions on some Russian officials.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:23 pm

More senior Russian officials are being added to the list of those who the U.S. will seek to penalize for their nation's interference in Ukraine's affairs, President Obama announced Thursday morning.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Stay Toward Lower End Of Recent Range

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 7:09 am

There were 320,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration says.

While that's 5,000 more than were filed the week before, it's also a level that's at the lower end of the recent range for such claims and is roughly the pace they were running before the economy slipped into its most recent recession in December 2007.

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ukrainian Troops' Departure From Crimea Isn't A Simple Matter

A Russian flag flies behind him Thursday as a Ukrainian soldier leaves what was one of his military's bases outside Simferopol, on the Crimean Peninsula. Local "self-defense forces," followed by Russian troops, have seized many strategic locations.
Yuri Kochetkov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:36 pm

Ukraine's plans to withdraw its troops from Crimea, which as we reported were announced Wednesday, have apparently been complicated by the issue of whether they will be allowed to take their weapons and other equipment with them.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Reprimand, $20K Fine, No Jail Time For General's Sexual Misconduct

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair as he arrived for his court-martial case Thursday at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C.
Chris Keane Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:45 pm

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair avoided jail time Thursday and instead "was reprimanded and fined a total of $20,000 for inappropriate relationships with three subordinates in a closely watched court case," The Associated Press reports from Fort Bragg, N.C.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps Sr. Dies

July 2007: The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. prepares to protest outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 3:03 am

The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., whose tiny Westboro Baptist Church has protested outside the funerals of fallen soldiers and celebrities to spread its views about homosexuality and abortion, has died, according to news reports. He was 84.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Missing Jet's Mysterious Turn May Have Been Plotted Early In Flight

The cockpit of a Boeing 777.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:29 am

Twelve days into the mystery of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people on board, more clues seem to raise only more questions.

The latest news about the investigation and search for the plane includes:

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Obama Picks Michigan State To Win Men's Basketball Title

The president is a big fan of the game and still likes to shoot hoops. But has he picked the winner?
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:07 am

The nation's "first basketball fan" has Michigan State winning it all in this year's NCAA Division I men's basketball championship.

President Obama filled out his brackets for ESPN again this year. The sports network aired the president's pre-recorded appearance earlier today.

Why Michigan State?

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Toyota To Pay $1.2B To End Safety-Related Probe

Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:43 am

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Saying that "Toyota intentionally concealed information" and misled the public about the danger that some of its vehicles might suddenly accelerate, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder announced Wednesday that the automaker is being fined $1.2 billion for not being forthcoming after car owners started to complain in 2009.

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