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
6:44 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Trains Running Again In San Francisco As BART Strike Ends

Ready to go back into service: Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train cars at a station in Oakland, Calif.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 11:39 am

Commuters in the San Francisco area should see things start returning to normal Tuesday, thanks to an overnight agreement that has ended a strike by workers at the transit system known as BART.

The walkout began Friday. Around 10:30 p.m. local time Monday (1:30 a.m. ET Tuesday), Bay Area Rapid Transit management and representatives of the workers' unions announced they had reached a deal.

Details of the agreement weren't released, but according to KQED:

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland Steps Down

He's leaving the field: Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland earlier this month.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images
  • NPR's Mike Pesca on Jim Leyland's decision to step down

One of Major League Baseball's most-respected and most-successful managers announced Monday that he's stepping down.

Detroit Tigers skipper Jim Leyland told reporters: "I'm going to be 69 years old [on Dec. 15]. I'm not ashamed of that. I'm proud of it. The fuel's getting a little low."

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Existing Home Sales Dip After Hitting 4-Year High

A sold sign in Chicago earlier this year.
Scott Olson Getty Images

There were 1.9 percent fewer existing homes sold in September than in August, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

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Politics
10:50 am
Mon October 21, 2013

France, Mexico Latest Nations Reportedly Spied On By U.S.

has the scoop on allegations about NSA spying on French phone calls." href="/post/france-mexico-latest-nations-reportedly-spied-us" class="noexit lightbox">
Le Monde has the scoop on allegations about NSA spying on French phone calls.
LeMonde.fr

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 9:42 am

The latest reports based on documents said to have been leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden allege that:

-- France. "The U.S. National Security Agency recorded millions of French phone calls, including those involving individuals with no links to terrorism, Le Monde reported on Monday."

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Mon October 21, 2013

UPDATE: N.J. Gov. Christie Won't Fight Gay-Marriage Ruling

The hands of Beth Asaro, left, and Joanne Schailey after they exchanged vows to become the first same-sex couple married in Lambertville, N.J., early Monday.
Rich Schultz AP

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 2:09 pm

"Gov. Chris Christie announced today that he was dropping the fight against same-sex marriage in New Jersey by withdrawing his appeal of a major case that was being heard by the state Supreme Court," The Star-Ledger writes.

Christie's office has released a copy if its court filing, in which it officially withdraws its appeal.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Mon October 21, 2013

These Cats Are Mules: Kitties Smuggle Goods Into Prisons

Brazil's General Superintendency of Prisons of Alagoas (SGAP) released this photo last Dec. 31 of a cat caught with contraband taped to its body at a medium-security prison in Alagoas state.
AP

January:

"Cat Caught Smuggling Contraband Into Brazilian Prison." Gothamist

June:

"Cat Caught Smuggling Cell Phones Into Prison" (in Russia). The Moscow Times

Last week:

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Cheney Says He Couldn't Overrule Doctors Who Declared Him Fit

Former Vice President Dick Cheney in April.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 9:43 am

Among the newsworthy moments in Dr. Sanjay Gupta's interview of former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday's 60 Minutes is a discussion about how Cheney came to be the 2000 Republican vice presidential nominee even though he had already suffered three heart attacks by that time.

Here's how CBS News' website puts it:

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

JPMorgan Strikes Tentative $13B Mortgages Settlement

JP Morgan Chase & Company headquarters in New York.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 5:28 pm

In what would be the largest such settlement in U.S. history, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has reportedly reached a tentative deal with the Justice Department that would see the bank pay $13 billion to settle civil charges related to wrongdoing by some of its units just before and during the housing crisis.

The deal, sources tell news outlets including NPR, would not absolve JPMorgan from possible criminal liability.

Word of the tentative agreement emerged around 3 p.m. ET. Saturday. We posted when the news broke and followed with background and more details.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

Violin Said To Have Been On The Titanic Sells For $1.6M

This violin is said to have been played by bandmaster Wallace Hartley during the final moments before the sinking of the Titanic. It's thought he put the instrument in that leather case. Hartley's body and the case were found by a ship that responded to the disaster. Now the violin has been sold.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

An anonymous buyer on Saturday paid about $1.6 million for a violin believed to have been played by one of the musicians who famously stayed aboard as the Titanic sank in the icy waters of the North Atlantic in April 1912.

The Associated Press writes that "the sea-corroded instrument, now unplayable, is thought to have belonged to bandmaster Wallace Hartley, who was among the disaster's more than 1,500 victims."

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

190-Plus Nations In 23 Years For World's 'Most Traveled' Man

Mike Spencer Bown in Mogadishu, Somalia, in December 2010.
Mustafa Abdi AFP/Getty Images

Mike Spencer Bown's latest Facebook post has him in Cork, Ireland, which means he isn't quite finished wandering the world.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Shedding Stereotypes, More Librarians Show Us Their Tats

Jennifer Galpern, August
Kate Fischer Rhode Island Library Association

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 1:56 pm

Is it their love of ink?

There seems to be something about tattoos that appeals to quite a few librarians.

Back in 2009 there was the Texas Library Association's "Tattooed Ladies of TLA" calendar that raised money for libraries damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Girl's Deportation Was Mishandled, But Legal, French Say

Leonarda Dibrani, 15, on Friday in Mitrovica, Kosovo.
Visar Kryeziu AP

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 12:07 pm

"An interior ministry investigation into the controversial deportation of a Roma schoolgirl from France has found that her deportation was lawful, but said police could have used better judgment in the case," France 24 is reporting.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Police Capture 2 Florida Prison Escapees Who Used Phony Documents

Convicted killer Joseph Jenkins in a photograph taken on Sept. 20 by the Orange County,Fla., Sheriff's Office — after he escaped from prison. Jenkins went to the Orange County Jail to register as a felon.
AP

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 8:23 pm

(Updated 8:10 p.m. ET)

The Associated Press reports that two convicted murderers from Florida who used phony documents to escape prison were arrested Saturday night without incident at a motel in Panama City, Fla.

According to the AP:

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Sat October 19, 2013

St. Louis Heads To World Series; Here's How The Cards Did It

Matt Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals as he scored his team's first run Friday night. The Cards would go on to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-0 and advance to the World Series.
Dilip Vishwanat Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 11:44 am

The final score was 9-0. The win Friday night puts the St. Louis Cardinals into this year's World Series.

The Cards are Major League Baseball's National League champions after taking four of six games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Here's what you need to know if (like us) you missed the game:

"Everything great about the Cardinals was on display in their third-inning rally."

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt And KISS Among Rock Hall Nominees

Gene Simmons of KISS during a 2009 concert in Washington, D.C.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Have years of complaining by fans (and The Two-Way) paid off?

The nominees for this year's of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honorees have been announced and the band that many love to hate (or hate to love?) is back on the list.

Yes, KISS is up for consideration.

So, soldiers of the KISS Army, here's your chance to show your support.

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