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
5:35 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Twitter Users Risk Damnation, Say Saudi Religious Police

In January, this Saudi man in Riyadh had Twitter open on his computer.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:57 am

"The head of Saudi Arabia's religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis," the BBC reports. "Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said anyone using social media sites — and especially Twitter — 'has lost this world and his afterlife.' "

International Digital Times notes that:

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Suspect Apprehended In New Orleans Second-Line Shooting

Akein Scott, 19, the suspect in a shooting spree Sunday that left 19 people wounded in New Orleans.
New Orleans Police Department EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 1:30 pm

"CAPTURED!"

That's how the New Orleans Police Department spread the word on Facebook early Thursday that its officers had "arrested 19-year-old Akein Scott in connection with the shooting of 19 people on Mother's Day."

Update at 4:05 p.m. ET. Second Suspect Arrested:

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The Two-Way
4:27 am
Thu May 16, 2013

At Least 13 Dead, Including Americans, After Attack In Kabul

The scene Thursday in Kabul, Afghanistan, after a suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy.
Zhao Yishen Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:46 am

Early casualty reports indicate that a powerful suicide car bombing Thursday in Kabul killed at least seven Afghan civilians, four foreign civilian contractors who were working for international forces and two members of the international military force.

Dozens more people were reportedly injured by the blast in Afghanistan's capital city.

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The Two-Way
4:08 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Texas Tornado Leaves 6 Dead, Dozens Hurt, Hundreds Homeless

Jose and Antonio Angudo were among those evacuated from Granbury, Texas, late Wednesday after a tornado devastated the area.
Joyce Marshall / Fort Worth Star-Telegram MCT / Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:38 am

"A massive emergency response" is underway in North Texas, where tornadoes blew through Wednesday night, The Dallas Morning News says. A twister that hit Granbury, about 35 miles southwest of Fort Worth, left at least six people dead, more than 100 injured and even more homeless, The Associated Press adds.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Wed May 15, 2013

White House Releases Complete Benghazi Emails

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 9:49 am

Update at 6:42 p.m. ET: Reaction From Boehner's Office

In a statement, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said the emails "contradict statements made by the White House that it and the State Department only changed one word in the talking points."

Here's the statement in full:

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Pffff: Hong Kong's Six-Story Rubber Ducky's Been Deflated

During deflation, on Tuesday (May 14).
Tyrone Siu Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 10:52 am

That giant rubber duck floating in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor, which we posted about on May 6, is down for maintenance.

And when we say down, we mean it. It's been deflated.

But fans shouldn't despair. Ducky's hosts say it just "needs to freshen up" and will return. It's set to be in Hong Kong until sometime next month.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Boehner: Who's Going To Jail For What IRS Did?

House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday in the Capitol.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 6:34 pm

He doesn't want to know who's going to resign, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Wednesday morning.

He wants to know: "Who's going to jail" for what IRS personnel did to some conservative groups?

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Military Recruiters, Sex Assault Responders To Be Retrained

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel with U.S. troops in Kabul, Afghanistan, on March 11.
Jason Reed/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 11:59 am

All branches of the U.S. military have been ordered "to retrain, re-credential and rescreen all sexual assault prevention and response personnel and military recruiters," the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday morning.

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Cleveland Kidnaps Suspect Will Plead Not Guilty, Lawyer Says

Ariel Castro, in a booking photo released by the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Sheriff's Office.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 11:09 am

Saying that their client is not a "monster," attorneys for Ariel Castro have told Cleveland's WKYC-TV that the man accused of kidnapping three young women, holding them captive and repeatedly raping them over the course of about a decade will plead not guilty to all charges if he is indicted by a grand jury.

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The Two-Way
4:58 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Read The Report On IRS's 'Inappropriate' Scrutiny Of Groups

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 10:58 am

The language is not dramatic, but the message is clear: A much-anticipated report from the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration is straightforward about how Internal Revenue Service personnel unfairly singled out some conservative groups for unnecessary scrutiny during the 2012 campaign cycle.

As the report's summary says:

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The Two-Way
4:14 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Holder Isn't Sure How Often Reporters' Records Are Seized

Attorney General Eric Holder during a news conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:10 am

As his Justice Department faces bipartisan outrage for searching phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder says he is not sure how many times such information has been seized by government investigators in the four years he's led Justice.

During an interview with NPR's Carrie Johnson on Tuesday, Holder was asked how often his department has obtained such records of journalists' work.

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Justice Department To Open Probe Of IRS's Actions

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 5:17 am

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder has ordered the Justice Department to open an investigation into whether any laws were broken when the Internal Revenue Service singled out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny, he told reporters Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue May 14, 2013

It's True: 'Mistakes Were Made' Is The King Of Non-Apologies

President Ulysses S. Grant gets the credit — or blame? — for helping make "mistakes were made" a phrase that politicians can't seem to avoid using.
Spencer Arnold Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 12:01 pm

Make no mistake, the acting commissioner of the IRS put himself in historic company Tuesday by writing in USA Today that "mistakes were made" when his agency singled out for extra scrut

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Please Welcome The Parallels Blog: 'Many Stories, One World'

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 9:27 am

We want to note the launch of a new NPR blog — Parallels, which condenses its mission into four words: "Many stories, one world."

NPR.org international editor Greg Myre, who's hosting the blog, writes that:

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Tue May 14, 2013

IRS Chief Says 'Mistakes Were Made' But Weren't Partisan

Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller. (2009 file photo)
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 8:51 am

"Mistakes were made, but they were in no way due to any political or partisan motivation," the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service writes in USA Today's op-ed pages.

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