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
6:26 am
Sat July 6, 2013

If Snowden Tries To Get To Latin America, Cuba Could Be Key

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who spilled secrets about the NSA's surveillance programs, has been condemned by U.S. officials. But he's been praised by some people around the world. In Berlin this week, supporters carried his picture at a demonstration.
Ole Spata DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 7:22 pm

Update at 9:22 p.m. ET. Snowden Reveals Documents On Brazil:

Amid requests and offers of asylum in Latin America, Edward Snowden has apparently released documents showing that the U.S. spied on millions of emails and phone calls of Brazilians. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro tells our Newscast Desk the report, published in the Rio de Janeiro paper O Globo, was co-written by Glenn Greenwald, who has been covering the National Security Agency's programs.

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Sat July 6, 2013

After Deadly Clashes, Cairo Is Calmer But Still Tense

A poster showing ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was hanging on barbed wire outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Cairo on Saturday. On the other side, guards stood watch.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 11:08 am

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 2:05 p.m. ET.)

The death toll from clashes Friday and into early Saturday in Egypt now stands at 36, authorities say. That estimate, released just before 11 a.m. ET, was up from the 30 deaths that had been reported when the day began.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

40 Years Of Disco Duds Prove A Teacher Can Be Awesome, Too

Dale Irby in 1973 (left) when his streak began, and in 2012, when the last of his 40 wonderful school photos was taken.
Courtesy of Dale Irby and The Dallas Morning News

One word came to mind this week when we saw the stories about Texas physical education teacher Dale Irby and how he had worn the same "groovy shirt and sweater vest" for every school photo in the past 40 years:

Awesome.

Before we explore his awesomeness, though, here's some background.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Fri July 5, 2013

That's 'My Son Screaming' On 911 Call, Trayvon's Mother Says

Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, testifies Friday in Sanford, Fla.
Gary W. Green/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 4:40 pm

Update at 5:50 p.m. ET. The prosecution concluded its case Friday in the trial of George Zimmerman. Afterward, the judge denied a request by the defense to acquit Zimmerman of second-degree murder. The defense had argued that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against him.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Fri July 5, 2013

VIDEO: California Fireworks Mishap Injures Dozens

At least 28 people were injured Thursday in Simi Valley, Calif., when many of the fireworks at a July 4th celebration ignited too close to the ground. People there caught the accident and posted videos.
YouTube.com

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Better Than Expected Job Growth In June

At a job fair in Los Angeles last month, job seekers filled out applications.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 8:48 am

More jobs were created last month than economists had expected, but the unemployment rate held steady.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that employers added 195,000 jobs to public and private payrolls. That's better than the gain of 165,000 that forecasters had predicted.

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Pope John Paul II Will Be Made A Saint

Pope John Paul II at Giants Stadium in New Jersey in 1995.
David Ake AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 8:03 am

Pope John Paul II will be made a saint, the Vatican announced Friday, according to Reuters and other news outlets, including Italy's La Repubblica.

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Egypt On Edge: Nation Braces For Protests Of Morsi's Ouster

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood hold a picture of deposed President Mohammed Morsi during a rally outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque on Friday.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 8:14 pm

(Click here for updates.)

After ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood called for mass protests Friday, there were reports of violence in the streets of Cairo and some other cities.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Thu July 4, 2013

As Southwest Finally Cools, Southeast Gets Drenched

That's a lot of hail: the scene in Santa Rosa, N.M., after the storm blew through Wednesday.
Santa Rosa, N.M., Fire Department

The good news from the National Weather Service:

"The Western U.S. will begin to cool on Wednesday after several days of record-high temperatures. Temperatures will still be hot in many locations, but will be closer to normal for this time of year."

The not-so-good news if you're in the Southeast and have outdoor plans on Independence Day:

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Top Stories: Crisis In Egypt; Assad's Confidence

The Two-Way
7:36 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Here She Is: Statue Of Liberty Reopens On Independence Day

She's open for visitors again.
Reena Rose Sibayan The Jersey Journal/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 8:37 am

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Thu July 4, 2013

VIDEO: Toledo Driver Rescued After Huge Sinkhole Swallows Car

After a day's worth of heavy news from Egypt, let's take a quick break with something completely different.

Wednesday in Toledo, a sinkhole opened up under driver Pamela Knox's Chevy Malibu, and the aftermath of the vehicle's drop beneath the ground produced some impressive videos.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Egypt Begins Dangerous New Phase As Interim Leader Steps In

People dance and cheer in Cairo's Tahrir Square on July 4, the day after former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was ousted from power.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 9:09 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson in Cairo
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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Good Signs: Jobless Claims Dip And Job Growth Picks Up

A help wanted sign in the window of a clothing store in Pasadena, Calif., last month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Three reports Wednesday morning all offer at least modestly good news about the U.S. economy:

-- There were 343,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down 5,000 from the week before, says the Employment and Training Administration.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Here's How One Weird Play Saved Homer Bailey's No-Hitter

Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds during the no-hitter he pitched Tuesday.
Joe Robbins Getty Images

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey tossed the second no-hitter of his major league career Tuesday night as his Reds beat the San Francisco Giants 3-0.

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Egypt's President Morsi Is Ousted From Power By Military

Protesters gather at Tahrir Square. Morsi remained defiant as the military pressed the president and his political opponents to strike a compromise.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 5:27 am

(Click here for most recent update: 7 p.m. ET.)

A huge celebration has begun in Egypt's Tahrir Square, after army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi proclaimed that Mohammed Morsi is out as president and the country's constitution has been suspended. The new plan calls for Egypt's chief justice to lead an interim government and set a date for early presidential elections.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Tue July 2, 2013

His Son Is 'A Modern Day Paul Revere,' Snowden's Father Says

Declaring that "you are a modern day Paul Revere; summoning the American people to confront the growing danger of tyranny and one-branch government," the father of "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden on Tuesday released an open letter to his son.

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Why The Fort Hood Suspect Couldn't Plead Guilty To Murder

Maj. Nidal Hasan faces 13 charges of murder and 32 of attempted murder for the November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood. A Muslim, he has refused a judge's order to shave his beard, though it violates Army regulations. The trial will proceed, however.
Bell County Sheriff's Office Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 12:07 pm

(Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET.)

Nearly four years after the mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, in which 13 people were killed and 32 were wounded, the case against the Army psychiatrist who stands accused of the crimes got to the pleading stage Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Top Stories: Fallen Firefighters Honored; Heat Wave Continues

Oh, baby it's hot: The sun shines down on people standing atop the roof of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, one of the cities in the grips of a dangerous heat wave.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 7:44 am

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Tue July 2, 2013

VIDEOS: Solemn Salutes To Fallen Firefighters In Arizona

Holding on to each other: Firefighters hug during a memorial service Monday in Prescott, Ariz. They were honoring 19 others who died Sunday.
Michael Nelson EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 7:43 am

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The Two-Way
5:34 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Pressure Builds On Egypt's Morsi To Compromise Or Step Down

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square again Monday during a protest calling for the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.
Mohamed El-Shahed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 7:37 am

With about 24 hours to go before the deadline set by Egypt's military to work with opponents and craft a roadmap that moves the country past its political problems or have one created for him by the army, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is under intense pressure. He must either "reach some kind of compromise" with those protesting against his government "or step aside," NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells our Newscast Desk.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Snowden Seeks Asylum In 20-Plus Nations, Gives Up On Russia

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:54 am

With help from a WikiLeaks lawyer, the young American who admits he leaked information about National Security Agency surveillance programs has now asked more than 20 nations to give him asylum.

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The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

LOOKING BACK: RFK's 'Ripple Of Hope' Speech In South Africa

A Meeting Of Great Minds: During his 1966 visit to South Africa, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy met with anti-apartheid activist Chief Luthuli and later spoke publicly about their meeting. Because of a government ban on media coverage of Luthuli, it was the first news many had of their leader in more than five years.
Shoreline Productions

At South Africa's University of Cape Town on Sunday, President Obama noted that he was speaking at the same place where, in 1966, then-Sen. Robert Kennedy, D-N.Y., delivered what some historians believe was the best speech of his life.

Obama was discussing about how, as a young man, he had come to believe that "I could be part of something bigger than myself; that my own salvation was bound up with those of others."

Then the president brought up the late senator:

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Snowden Is 'A Hero,' WikiLeaks' Assange Says

From one secrets leaker to another:

Edward Snowden "is a hero," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Sunday on ABC-TV's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. "He has told the people of the world and the United States that there is mass unlawful interception of their communications, far beyond anything that happened under Nixon."

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Justice Kennedy Denies Request To Halt Same-Sex Marriages

Lining up to be married: Adam Chandler, 33, left, and Ivan Chandler, 38, both of Citrus Heights, were among those waiting in line Saturday to get married at San Francisco City Hall.
Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group MCT/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 4:36 pm

(Most recent update: 4:30 p.m. ET.)

Supporters of California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages lost another argument Sunday when Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy turned down their request to at least temporarily bar such marriages in the state.

The Associated Press and Reuters report that Kennedy denied the petition "with no additional comment."

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Jennifer Lopez Sorry She Sang For Turkmenistan's Dictator

Jennifer Lopez on stage Saturday in Avaza, Turkmenistan.
Igor Sasin AFP/Getty Images

Here's how the State Department's latest human rights report about the Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan begins:

"Although the constitution declares Turkmenistan to be a secular democracy and a presidential republic, the country has an authoritarian government controlled by the president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov."

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Sun June 30, 2013

'Furious' EU Demands Answers After New Report Of NSA Spying

European Union flags fly in front of the organization's headquarters in Brussels.
Wu Wei Xinhua/Landov

"Senior European Union officials are outraged by revelations that the U.S. spied on EU representations in Washington and New York," Germany's Der Spiegel writes. "Some have called for a suspension of talks on the trans-Atlantic free trade agreement."

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Sun June 30, 2013

'Deeply Humbled' Obama Visits Mandela's Former Jail Cell

President Obama looks out the window of the Robben Island prison cell that once held Nelson Mandela. The president and his family visited the prison on Sunday.
Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:37 pm

(We most recently updated this post at 1:50 p.m. ET.)

After visiting the jail cell on South Africa's Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison during the long struggle against apartheid, President Obama wrote on Sunday about the bravery of Mandela and others who demanded their rights.

In a message he added to the island's visitors book, the president said:

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Sun June 30, 2013

13 Years In Jail For Writing On A Sidewalk With Chalk?

Sidewalk chalk: The tools of a criminal?
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:37 pm

There's no evidence that he wrote anything obscene.

His messages could be easily erased.

And they don't seem to have upset many, if any, people.

But in San Diego, 40-year-old Jeffrey Olson is on trial for expressing his opinions on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches. He's charged with 13 counts of vandalism. Jury deliberations began Friday, our colleagues at KPBS say. If convicted on all counts, they add, he faces up to 13 years in prison.

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