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
6:57 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Two-Year Prison Terms For Russia's Pussy Riot Rockers

Members of the all-girl punk band Pussy Riot: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (right), Maria Alyokhina (center) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (left) in a glass-walled cage during a court hearing in Moscow earlier today.
Andrey Smirnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:19 pm

A Russian judge today found three members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot guilty of hooliganism connected to "religious hatred."

Word of the verdict came just before 7:30 a.m ET. Just before 10 a.m. ET, the judge announced that each woman was sentenced to serve two years in jail — the minimum that could be imposed.

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

News Media's Credibility Ratings Have Slipped Sharply, Survey Says

Pew Research Center

"Believability ratings have fallen significantly for nine of 13 news organizations tested," the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reports today.

Its latest national survey signals that "the falloff in credibility affects news organizations in most sectors: national newspapers, such as The New York Times and USA Today, all three cable news outlets, as well as the broadcast TV networks and NPR."

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

More Of The Nation Is Getting The Worst Of The Drought

This week's drought map.
National Drought Mitigation Center

The drought gripping much of the nation is "exceptional" — the most severe classification — in an area covering 6.26 percent of the lower 48 states, according to the latest data from the National Drought Mitigation Center.

That's up from 4.21 percent the week before.

The center's latest map shows increases in size of the areas in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Missouri that are experiencing exceptional drought conditions.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Two Deputies Killed, Two Wounded In Louisiana Shootings

Three days after the shooting death of a constable in College Station, Texas, there's word that two sheriff's deputies in Louisiana's St. John the Baptist Parish were killed this morning and another two were wounded in what appear to be connected shootings.

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Cut Diplomatic Ties? Hide Him In A Crate? How Might Assange Standoff End?

Metropolitan Police Officers outside the main door of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is inside.
Will Oliver AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:27 pm

Now that Ecuador has said it will give WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asylum as he seeks to avoid being extradited from Great Britain to Sweden by hiding out in Ecuador's London embassy, news outlets are looking at the complicated legal issues involved in cases such as his.

Here are some things we've found fascinating in the coverage:

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ecuador Gives WikiLeaks' Assange Asylum

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:39 am

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño just announced in Quito.

Now, the question becomes whether Great Britain will allow Assange to leave Ecuador's embassy in London so that he can travel to the South American nation that is offering him refuge.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Jobless Claims Held Steady At 366,000 Last Week

There were 366,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 2,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

So what we said last week applies again:

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Thu August 16, 2012

11 Killed In Afghan Helicopter Crash; 3 Were U.S. Military Personnel

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 9:04 am

The crash of an International Security Assistance Force helicopter in southern Afghanistan today killed 11 people who were on board, according to the NATO command in Kabul.

It has posted a statement saying:

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Thu August 16, 2012

More Carnage In Pakistan: Gunmen Execute About 20 Shiites

Pakistani Air Force personnel guard an air base northwest of Islamabad earlier today. It was attacked Thursday by militants armed with guns, rocket launchers and suicide vests.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Thursday's attack on a Pakistani air base near Islamabad by heavily armed militants, which security forces were able to repel, has been followed by the news that gunmen executed about 20 Shiite Muslims today in northern Pakistan.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Family Research Council Attacker Could Face Terrorism Charge

The scene Wednesday morning outside the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., after the shooting.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:41 am

Update at 11:35 a.m. ET. Charges Filed:

The man arrested for opening fire at the Washington, D.C., offices of the Family Research Council on Wednesday faces charges of "assault with intent to kill" and illegal transportation of a gun and ammunition. He has not been charged with attempting a terrorist act.

In a statement emailed a short time ago to reporters, the Justice Department says:

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Hypersonic 'WaveRider' Failed

An artist's rendition of an X-51A WaveRider (in white) attached to the wing of a B-52.
Pratt & Whitney

An experimental aircraft that designers hoped would hit 3,600 mph in a test flight over the Pacific on Tuesday "suffered a control failure" and failed in its attempt to go hypersonic, The Associated Press writes.

Its report follows earlier word from Wired magazine's Danger Room blog that it had been told by an "insider familiar with the test" that:

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Paterno 'Sobbed Uncontrollably' Day After Being Fired, Book Says

Joe Paterno on Nov. 8, 2011, the day before his firing.
Rob Carr Getty Images

The first excerpts are out from journalist Joe Posnanski's upcoming biography of former Penn State head football Joe Paterno.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

After 49 Years, Arizona Killer Freed From Prison; Was Longest-Serving Woman

Betty Smithey's record.
Arizona Dept. of Corrections

Now 69-years-old, Betty Smithey was convicted for the 1963 murder of a 15-month old Phoenix girl.

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Will E.T. Hear Us? Reply To 'WOW! Signal' Gets Beamed Into Space Today

The message is going out ... and out ... and out.
APEX/A. Hacar et al./Digitized Sky Survey 2/Davide De Martin ESO

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Teachers Return To L.A. School Where Two Were Accused Of Lewd Conduct

Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Krista Kennell AFP/Getty Images

Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles, where the entire staff was temporarily replaced last February after two teachers were accused of lewd conduct with students, opened for the 2012-13 school year on Tuesday with most of the instructors who had been displaced back in the classrooms.

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