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
7:36 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 11:37 am

(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
6:50 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 11:37 am

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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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Top Stories: Heat Wave; NSA Spying On The EU

The Two-Way
5:43 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Egypt: Morsi Rejects Calls To Step Aside As Protests Build

Thousands of protesters who oppose Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi were in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 4:14 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo
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The Two-Way
4:55 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Western States' Heat Wave Turns Deadly; No Relief In Sight

It was hot Saturday in Sun City, Ariz., and across the Southwest.
Richard A. Brooks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 1:51 pm

(Most recent update: 4:45 p.m. ET.)

The brutal heat wave that has Southwest states in its grip is being blamed for at least one death.

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Biden Asks Ecuador To Deny Snowden Asylum

Vice President Joe Biden.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

"Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the United States had asked him not to grant asylum for former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in a 'cordial' telephone conversation he held with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden," Reuters writes.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Crashes, Chaos During Stage 1 Of Tour De France

Riders and bicycles were spread across the road after one of the crashes Saturday during Stage 1 of the Tour de France, which began in Corsica.
Joel Saget/pool EPA/LANDOV

There were pileups on the race course and a bus got stuck at the finish line as the Tour de France began Saturday with "chaos and crashes," as The Guardian puts it.

When Stage 1 was over on Corsica, The Associated Press writes, "German rider Marcel Kittel was first to arrive, after dodging all sorts of mayhem."

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

It's 'Wedding Weekend In San Francisco' After Prop 8 Ruling

U.S. Army Captain Michael Potoczniak (right) embraced his partner of 10 years Todd Saunders as they obtained their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco on Saturday.
Stephen Lam Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 3:59 am

"A long line of fianc├ęs and their families snaked out of the clerk's office" in San Francisco on Saturday, the Chronicle reports, as couples lined up to be among the first to be married now that it's legal again for same-sex couples to be get hitched in California.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

3 Things To Know About Edward Snowden's Passenger Purgatory

Edward Snowden's home, for now: Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

"NSA leaker" Edward Snowden is reportedly still in Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, where he arrived June 23 on a flight from Hong Kong.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Bird On Rare Visit To U.K. Killed As Dismayed Twitchers Watch

The white-throated needletail, after it was found below the wind turbine it hit on an island off the northwest coast of Scotland.
Courtesy of David Campbell

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Paula Deen's Next Cookbook Is Canceled

Celebrity cook Paula Deen during an appearance last Wednesday on NBC-TV's The Today Show.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 12:12 pm

Pre-publication orders had made it No. 1 on Amazon, but now Paula Deen's publisher has said it won't be putting out her next cookbook this fall.

As Publishers Weekly says:

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Sat June 29, 2013

American Killed At Protest In Egypt ID'd As Kenyon Student

Andrew Pochter.
Courtesy of the Pochter family

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 1:05 pm

Andrew Pochter, a 21-year-old Kenyon College student from Chevy Chase, Md., is the American who was killed Friday in Alexandria, Egypt, when violence broke out during a protest against the government of President Mohammed Morsi, the college says. He was one of at least three people who died from injuries they suffered.

Citing U.S. Embassy officials as its source for that news, the Ohio school adds that:

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Will Death Valley Top 130 Degrees? Here's Where To Watch

If you're in the red or orange zones, try to stay cool.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 1:33 pm

We can't do anything about the oppressive heat wave that's cooking states across the nation's Southwest.

We can, though, wish everyone the best and point to the always-important tips and guidance for how to stay safe when temperatures soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Those include:

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Mandela Is 'Inspiration To The World,' Obama Says

Friday in Pretoria, South Africa, people gathered outside a hospital to pray for former President Nelson Mandela. He remains in critical condition with a lung infection.
Jeff J. Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 1:33 pm

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Cardboard Bike's Fundraiser Is Rolling

The cardboard bicycle.
Baz Ratner Reuters /Landov

A quick update for the many who seemed fascinated by Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni's cardboard bicycle and his bid to bring it to the world:

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