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
6:41 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Syria's Chemical Weapons Facilities Destroyed, Watchdog Says

In the northern Syrian city of Aleppo last month, there was a class about how to protect against chemical weapons attacks.
J.M. Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:15 am

A key deadline in the quest to rid Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime of its chemical weapons has been met, according to international observers.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Report: NSA Has Broken Into Google And Yahoo Data Centers

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 1:39 pm

"The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world," The Washington Post reported at midday Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Obama's 'Keep Your Health Care Plan' Pledge Fails Fact Checks

September 2010: President Obama at an event in Falls Church, Va., where he answered questions about his health care plan.
Dennis Brack/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:30 pm

As lawmakers grill Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the botched startup of HealthCare.gov and other issues related to the Affordable Care Act, nonpartisan fact checkers are giving failing grades to President Obama's oft-repeated pledge to Americans that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Job Growth Slowed Further In October, Survey Signals

Looking for work: The scene at a job fair earlier this month in Emeryville, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:21 am

Only a relatively low 130,000 jobs were added to private employers' payrolls in October and the labor market in September was even weaker than first thought, according to the latest data from the ADP National Employment Report.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Wed October 30, 2013

75 Years Ago, 'War Of The Worlds' Started A Panic. Or Did It?

Invader? No, it's a man dressed as one in 1988. He was in Grovers Mill, N.J., at a 50th anniversary celebration of The War of the Worlds broadcast.
Chris Lischy AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:18 am

We interrupt this blog to bring you a special bulletin:

Martians have invaded New Jersey!

OK, as far as we know that hasn't happened.

But we wanted to issue that faux alert because 75 years ago tonight, as our friend Korva Coleman pointed out on the NPR Newscast, Orson Welles and his troupe of radio actors interrupted the Columbia Broadcasting System's programming to "report" that our planet had been invaded.

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Sebelius: 'Hold Me Accountable For The Debacle'

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as she was sworn in prior to the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:28 pm

  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Secretary Sebelius on who's responsible for 'this debacle'

(We last added to this post at 4:10 p.m. ET.)

"You deserve better. ... I apologize. ... I'm accountable to you."

That's what Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Americans on Wednesday morning during a Congressional hearing into problems with the Obama administration's HealthCare.gov website and Republicans' concerns about the Affordable Care Act.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Meet The Mom Who Shamed A Pumpkin Thief

The sign to shame a pumpkin thief (with a rather mild expletive digitally hidden).
Eric Fidler Flickr

A photo of a Washington, D.C., mom's message to a pumpkin thief is resonating with many.

"To the person who stole my son's pumpkin," wrote Becky Reina. "Thank you for the life lesson. This will teach him that sometimes people are mean for no reason and you have to just brush it off.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Obama Aide Apologizes For HealthCare.gov's Troubled Launch

Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, during her testimony Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
Shawn Thew EPA/LANDOV
  • Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner apologizes for problems with HealthCare.gov
  • Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner says progress has been made

The first of two days worth of hearings about the problems plaguing HealthCare.gov got going Tuesday with an apology for the botched rollout from Marilyn Tavenner — administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. As It's All Politics noted earlier, she heads the agency "that oversaw the ill-fated website project."

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Consumer Confidence Fell Sharply This Month; Shutdown Blamed

A "For Sale" sign outside a home in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago on Monday.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government and the wrangling in Washington over the nation's finances combined to shake consumers' confidence sharply in October, the private Conference Board reported Tuesday morning.

Its widely watched consumer confidence index dropped to 71.2 from 80.2 in September.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Sriracha Factory Under Fire For Fumes; City Sues

Bill Hogan Chicago Tribune/MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 1:16 pm

Complaints from nearby residents about "burning eyes, irritated throats and headaches" have led the city of Irwindale, Calif., to ask a judge to order the company that makes Sriracha hot sauce to suspend production.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Red Sox Lead Series 3-2, But .733 Is The Stunning Number

Big Papi is red hot: Boston's David Ortiz has driven the Red Sox to a 3-2 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 8:30 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman talks with Steve Inskeep about the Series

The headline from Monday night is that the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals by the score of 3-1 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven World Series.

Game 6, which could make the Red Sox the world champions, is Wednesday night in Boston. It starts just after 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Fox. If the Cardinals win Wednesday, Game 7 would be played in Boston Thursday night.

For us, the eye-popping number of the Series so far is .733.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

If Pumpkin Destruction Offends You, DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO

When a tractor tire meets a pumpkin, the gourd doesn't win. That's one of the "pumpkin killing methods" in this year's video from "Hickok45."
YouTube.com

See if you agree with Gawker that "there's something oddly satisfying about watching this guy kill pumpkins."

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

'Bishop Of Bling' Mansion May Become Refuge For Poor

This panoramic image (a composite of 9 photographs) shows part of the exterior of the bishop's residence in Limburg, Germany.
Thomas Lohnes Getty Images

That mansion in Limburg, Germany, where about $40 million was spent on renovations for the since-suspended cleric now known as the "bishop of bling" may soon be "turned into a refugee centre or a soup kitchen for the homeless," according to reports from The Independent and other European news outlets.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Deficit Hawks 'Have No Monopoly On Morality,' Summers Says

Clinton-era Treasury secretary and former Obama economic adviser Lawrence Summers last week in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
  • Lawrence Summers on deficit reduction, investment and morality

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and others from the GOP have spoken with NPR in recent years about why they believe the federal debt is the nation's "No. 1" problem.

And in Ryan's view, as he told us in 2011, lawmakers have "a moral obligation ... to put up solutions to fix this problem."

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Michael Jackson's Doctor Freed After Serving Half Of Sentence

Conrad Murray at a court hearing in 2010.
David McNew AFP/Getty Images

Conrad Murray, the physician convicted two years ago in the death of pop star Michael Jackson, was released from a Los Angeles jail at 12:52 a.m. local time Monday.

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