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
1:09 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Rather Than Joking About Justin Bieber, Watch This Video

This police booking mug made available by the Miami Dade County Corrections Department shows pop star Justin Bieber on Thursday (Jan. 23, 2014).
AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:58 pm

We are well aware that news outlets, websites and social media seem to be obsessed with the news that pop star Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami Beach early Thursday morning.

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Twin Toilets In Sochi: Some Wonder Why That's A Big Deal

The loo for two in Sochi: BBC correspondent Steve Rosenberg snapped this picture in the men's room at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 10:54 am

Have you seen the "twin toilets" photo that's been swirling round the Internet the past couple of days?

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Sales Of Existing Homes Hit 7-Year High In 2013

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 10:35 am

We updated the top of this post at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The evidence that the housing sector has bounced back from the deep slump it sank into starting in 2007 was reinforced Thursday morning with word from the National Association of Realtors that:

"Existing-home sales edged up in December, sales for all of 2013 were the highest since 2006, and median prices maintained strong growth. ...

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Many Missing After Massive Fire At Seniors' Home In Quebec

A firefighter walks past the Residence du Havre after the fire in L'Isle Verte, Quebec. At least three people died in the blaze at the seniors' home. Early reports were that another 30 people were missing.
Mathieu Belanger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:39 pm

"Three people are dead and 30 people are unaccounted for after an overnight fire broke out at a seniors' residence in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec," the CBC reports.

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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Thu January 23, 2014

In Ukraine, Protesters Warn They'll Go 'On The Attack'

A protester walks pass burning tires in central Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 8:24 pm

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has less than 24 hours to agree to hold early elections and lift anti-protest laws or the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have been in the streets of Kiev for days will go "on the attack," a leader of the opposition says.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Warren Buffett's $1 Billion Basketball Bet Is A Very Long Shot

Warren Buffett with Harlem Globetrotter Chris "Handles" Franklin at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting in May 2013.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 4:13 pm

Talk about March Madness:

Billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans have teamed up on a "Billion $ Bracket Challenge."

Basically, Quicken is offering a $1 billion grand prize — yes, that's billion, with a B — if someone correctly picks the outcome of all 63 games in the men's Division I college basketball tournament this spring.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Think You Know Richard Sherman After His 'Rant'? Maybe Not

Richard Sherman off the football field.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 1:37 pm

Post-game interviews of NFL players are almost always predictable and boring. They go something like this:

Reporter: "Congratulations. How did you guys turn the game around?"

Player: "One play at a time. The team stuck together. We worked hard. The good Lord was with us. The fans were great. Hi, Mom!"

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Antarctic Travelers Who Got Stuck In Ice Finally Get Home

Back home: Passengers disembark from the icebreaker Aurora Australis on Wednesday at a harbor in Hobart, Australia. The ship brought 52 scientists and adventure tourists back to Australia from Antarctica, where the ship they had been on got stuck in ice.
Rob Blakers EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:36 pm

The 52 scientists and paying passengers who spent more than a week aboard a ship that was trapped in ice off the coast of Antarctica over the holidays are now safely back home in Australia.

From Sydney, correspondent Stuart Cohen tells our Newscast Desk that
"three weeks after being rescued from their stranded research vessel," the members of the exhibition are in the city of Hobart.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Almost No Poor Nations By 2035? That's What Bill Gates Says

Bill Gates at an event held by his foundation in Berlin last November.
Maurizio Gambarini EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 1:26 pm

It is a myth that "poor countries are doomed to stay poor," and by the year 2035, "there will be almost no poor countries left in the world," Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates writes in his latest annual letter about the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and conditions in the nations where the foundation works.

Gates sees a world where once-impoverished countries have already made tremendous progress and where more will follow their lead.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Winter's Wicked Wallop In 5 Headlines

The path was snow-covered Tuesday night in Brooklyn as two people walked through a park.
Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:42 am

That "bombogenesis" we warned about on Tuesday (a big word for harsh winter weather) did what it was expected to do across much of the eastern U.S.

Here's how The Associated Press describes what happened:

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Wed January 22, 2014

'Accusations And Acrimony' At Start Of Talks On Syria

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem (left) at the peace talks in Montreux, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
Gary Cameron Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 1:24 pm

Update at 1:20 p.m. ET. No Peace As Long As Assad Remains, Kerry Says:

After what appeared to be a difficult start to talks aimed at eventually ending the civil war in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry repeated the U.S. position that President Bashar Assad must give up his post.

"You can't have peace and stability, you cannot restore Syria or save Syria as long as Bashar al-Assad remains in power," Kerry said, according to NPR's Michele Kelemen.

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Japanese Government Defends Dolphin Hunt As Killing Goes On

Fishermen in wetsuits trap dolphins in a cove off Taiji, western Japan, on Monday.
Adrian Mylne Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 3:09 pm

His nation's annual dolphin hunt "is a form of traditional fishing in our country," Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga says in response to criticism of the practice from Caroline Kennedy, the new U.S. ambassador in Tokyo.

"We will explain Japan's position to the American side," the chief Cabinet secretary adds, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Sen. Vitter Will Run For Governor In Louisiana

Sen. David Vitter, R-La.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 1:25 pm

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, who easily won re-election in 2010 after seeing his career put in jeopardy by a prostitution scandal just three years before, confirmed Tuesday that he will run for governor in his state in 2015.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Tue January 21, 2014

'Gut-Wrenching' Chicago Clergy Abuse Documents Go Online

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 9:09 pm

Thousands of pages of what were once secret church documents related to the way the Archdiocese of Chicago dealt with 30 priests who it believes abused children in the '70s, '80s and '90s are now online.

They give "an unprecedented and gut-wrenching look at how the Archdiocese of Chicago for years failed to protect children from abusive priests," writes the Chicago Tribune.

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Hunt Is On For At Least One 'Black Widow' In Sochi

Police in Sochi have distributed leaflets as they search for Ruzanna Ibragimova, an alleged "black widow" who may be intending to set off a suicide bomb at the site of next month's Winter Olympics.
Natalya Vasilyeva AP

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 11:22 am

Is there already one or more "black widow" in or near Sochi, Russia, who might be determined to set off a suicide bomb at the site of next month's Winter Olympics?

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow that Russian security forces are said to be looking for "Ruzanna Ibragimova, the 22-year-old widow of an Islamist militant who was killed by security forces."

He tells our Newscast Desk that according to Russian news outlets:

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