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
9:13 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Russia's Credit Rating Cut To Just Above 'Junk'

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 9:18 am

Saying that "the tense geopolitical situation between Russia and Ukraine" could accelerate the already heavy flow of money coming out of Russia, Standard & Poor's on Friday cut that nation's credit rating to just above "junk" level.

What's more, S&P says it doesn't expect things to improve anytime soon:

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Pope OKs Communion For The Divorced? Not So Fast, Vatican Says

Pope Francis as he celebrated Communion last July in Brazil.
Buda Mendes Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 12:38 pm

The Vatican on Thursday sought to tamp down speculation that Pope Francis wants to reverse church teachings and allow divorced and remarried Catholics and their spouses to take Communion.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Tue April 22, 2014

'Stop Supporting Men Hiding Behind Masks,' Biden Tells Russia

Vice President Biden and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk spoke with reporters Tuesday in Kiev.
Sergey Dolzhenko EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 2:28 pm

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Tue April 22, 2014

As Korean Ferry Sank, Some Crew Members Fought To Save Lives

As the sun set on Tuesday, recovery operations continued at the site of the ferry disaster off South Korea's southern coast.
Issei Kato Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:57 pm

With the death toll continuing to rise and likely to exceed 300, the captain and crew of the ferry that sank last week off the coast of South Korea have been called cowards and accused of murder.

Now, though, we're also hearing about the heroic acts of some among the 29-member crew — seven of whom either are confirmed to have died or are missing.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

You Can Survive A Flight In A Jet's Wheel Well, But Probably Won't

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 6:13 am

The amazing story of a 16-year-old California boy who the FBI says survived a 5 1/2-hour flight in the frigid wheel well of a jet that flew from San Jose to Hawaii on Sunday raises a logical question:

How does one survive a trip like that when the temperature would have dropped to more than 50 degrees below zero and the air would have been thinner than that at the top of Mount Everest?

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

You Can Survive A Flight In A Jet's Wheel Well, But Probably Won't

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 6:13 am

The amazing story of a 16-year-old California boy who the FBI says survived a 5 1/2-hour flight in the frigid wheel well of a jet that flew from San Jose to Hawaii on Sunday raises a logical question:

How does one survive a trip like that when the temperature would have dropped to more than 50 degrees below zero and the air would have been thinner than that at the top of Mount Everest?

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Here's What Putin Didn't Tell Snowden About Russia's Spying

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who appears not to have told the whole story about his nation's surveillance programs.
Alexei Nikolsky AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 8:53 am

"Does Russia intercept, store or analyze in any way the communications of millions of individuals?" former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden asked Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

"We don't have a mass system of such interception, and according to our law it cannot exist," the Russian leader responded.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Take A Break For Something Cute: Two Kittens Who Traveled Far

After a pretty long trip for two little kittens, they're safe and sound in San Diego.
San Diego Humane Society and SPCA

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 11:37 am

After so many stories this month about accidents and disasters, we needed something completely different and hopefully cute.

This would seem to fit the bill:

"Kittens accidentally packed in box, shipped from Los Angeles to San Diego." (San Diego's ABC10 News)

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Putin Tells Snowden That Russia Doesn't Do Mass Surveillance

Russian President Vladimir Putin as he answered questions on national TV Thursday in Moscow.
Alexey Nikolsky/RIO Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 8:25 am

Saying that because they're both former spies they can speak the same language, Russian President Vladimir Putin told "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden on Thursday that his nation does not have a "mass system" that collects data about Russian citizens' phone calls and other electronic communications.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Stay Near 7-Year Low

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 10:42 am

There were 304,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, up just 2,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 302,000, the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Fate Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Now Uncertain

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 9:38 am

This post was updated at 5:50 p.m. ET.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports that Nigeria's defense ministry has retracted its earlier claim that they missing schoolgirls were free.

"[A] report was filed in from the field indicating that a major breakthrough had been recorded in the search," the ministry said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu April 17, 2014

One Man's Pee Pushes Portland To Flush 38 Million Gallons Of Water

There are signs around the reservoirs in Portland's Mount Tabor Park that warn against putting anything in the water. They apparently didn't dissuade one young man from urinating into the city's drinking supply this week.
Randy L. Rasmussen The Oregonian/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 10:25 am

Though they concede it's unlikely the public was endangered, officials in Portland, Ore., have decided to drain 38 million gallons of water from a reservoir after a young man was observed urinating into it on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu April 17, 2014

No Sign Yet Of Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Disaster

Holding out hope, fearing the worst: A man looks out from the shore in Jindo, South Korea, toward where a passenger ferry sank Wednesday and nearly 300 people are still missing.
Kim Kyung-Hoon Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 3:45 pm

This post will be updated as news comes in.

A second day of dangerous efforts to reach any survivors has ended with still no sign of the nearly 300 people — most of them high school students — believed to be trapped aboard a South Korean ferry that has capsized in the Yellow Sea.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: Russia Endorses Call For Protesters To Disarm

Armed men wearing military fatigues gathered on armored personnel carriers Wednesday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk, where they and other pro-Russia gunmen took control of some key locations.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:04 am

This post was updated with a new top at 4:10 p.m. ET.

Diplomats from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and the European Union emerged Thursday from a meeting that wasn't expected to accomplish much saying they had made progress toward resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

"We worked hard and we worked in good faith in order to narrow our real differences," Secretary of State John Kerry said following the meeting in Geneva. He and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that the four parties at the negotiating table agreed:

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Boston Bombing Defendant Can See Victims' Autopsy Photos, Judge Says

Blue and yellow are the colors for tributes to victims of the Boston Marathon. Street lights on the route of this year's race are among the places they're showing up.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 12:24 pm

A federal judge said Wednesday that Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may see autopsy photos of the three people who died after the explosions near the finish line of last year's race.

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