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
12:25 pm
Fri August 26, 2011

Navy SEAL's Loyal Dog Now With Master's Friend

Hawkeye, by his master one last time.
Lisa Pembleton Home Post

Few stories in the past week or so have touched more hearts that that of Hawkeye, the loyal Labrador retriever who lay down next to the flag-draped casket of his master, U.S. Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson.

One of the 30 U.S. military personnel killed in Afghanistan when their helicopter was hit by enemy fire on Aug. 6, Tumilson was remembered at a funeral service in Rockford, Iowa, on Aug. 19.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Fri August 26, 2011

New York City Orders Evacuations In Low-Lying Areas

All residents of New York City who live in low-lying areas must evacuate their neighborhoods by 5 p.m. ET Saturday because Hurricane Irene is headed their way, Mayor Michael Bloomberg just announced.

Reuters says an estimated 250,000 people are affected. The city is opening shelters. Bloomberg said this has never been done before.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Obama: 'Don't Wait, Don't Delay' If You're In Irene's Path

"If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now," President Obama just told Americans along the East Coast, which is bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Irene this weekend.

"Don't wait, don't delay. We all hope for the best, but we have to be prepared for the worst. All of us have to take this storm seriously," Obama said from Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where he and his family are vactioning.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Rhino Horn Crisis Reaches Into Europe's Museums

In late July, the Brussels Royal Institute for Natural Sciences Museum was among those targeted by horn robbers.
Georges Gobet AFP/Getty Images

The devastating toll that poachers have been taking on Africa's rhinos now has a parallel story in Europe.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Fri August 26, 2011

No Signs Of New Steps In Fed Chief Bernanke's Address

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's much-anticipated speech this morning on the current state of the economy and Fed policy has just been put online by the Fed.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Damn Yankees! Bronx Bombers Smash Record Three Grand Slams

Cano, Granderson and Martin aren't a "murderers' row" just yet,

But they did something last night that hadn't been done before, not even by the 1927 Yankees and that team's famed murderers' row of Ruth, Gehrig, Lazzeri and others.

In a 22-9 shellacking of the Oakland A's, the Yankees' Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin each hit grand slam home runs. It's the first time any Major League team hit more than two in one game.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Economy Grew At 1 Percent Rate In Second Quarter

The U.S. economy grew at an even slightly slower pace than we thought in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Top Stories: Irene, Libya, Bernanke, Attacks In Nigeria And Mexico

Good morning. There's a lot going on today, so we'll be quick with the top headlines, including some of the news we've already posted about:

-- "Irene On Track To Soak N.C., Barrel North Toward New York."

-- "Explosion At U.N. Building In Nigeria; Bomb Suspected."

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Bernanke To Speak: Interest Is High, But No Surprises Are Expected

Originally published on Fri August 26, 2011 6:19 am

Though "nervous investors" are waiting anxiously to hear what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has to say later this morning when he speaks at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's annual economic policy conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., in reality he "isn't likely to break much new monetary-policy ground," The Wall Street Journal's

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Libya: Opposition Pushes On; Gadhafi Still On The Run

In Tripoli on Thursday (Aug. 25, 2011), this anti-Gadhafi fighter celebrated.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

As Libya's Transitional National Council prepares to move its leadership from the eastern city of Behghazi to Tripoli, Moammar Gadhafi remains "on the run with his regime in tatters," NPR.org writes this morning.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Developing: Explosion At U.N. Building In Nigeria; Bomb Suspected

Breaking news from The Associated Press:

"A large explosion struck the United Nations' main office in Nigeria's capital Friday, flattening one wing of the building in Abuja. A U.N. official in Geneva called it a bomb attack.

" 'I saw scattered bodies,' said Michael Ofilaje, a UNICEF worker at the building. 'Many people are dead.' He said it felt like 'the blast came from the basement and shook the building.' "

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Irene On Track To Soak N.C., Barrel North Toward New York

Head inland: Nags Head, N.C., is among the many communities along the East Coast that are, or have been, evacuated as Irene draws near.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Though Hurricane Irene has weakened slightly and its projected track has been nudged east just a bit, it's still headed for what could be a devastating collision with the East Coast of the U.S. that will affect tens of millions of people from North Carolina to New England over the weekend.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Merkel Back At No. 1 On Forbes' List Of World's Most Powerful Women

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday (Aug. 23, 2011) in Belgrade.
Andrej Isakovic AFP/Getty Images

After a dip to No. 4 last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is back at No. 1 on Forbes magazine's annual "World's Most Powerful Women" list.

Merkel's four-year run atop the rankings was broken last year by Michelle Obama. But this year, by Forbes' reasoning, the first lady came in at No. 8.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu August 25, 2011

In Gadhafi's Compound: A Condoleezza Rice Photo Album

Guns. Cars. Artwork. Statues.

And an album full of photos of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Odd as that may sound, what appears to be something of a keepsake about Rice — who Moammar Gadhafi once referred to as "my darling black African woman" and of whom he said, "I love her very much" — was found by opposition fighters as they searched and ransacked the Libyan leader's compound in Tripoli.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Warren Buffett Invests $5 Billion In Bank Of America; Stock Soars

Shares in Bank of America jumped nearly 25 percent in"premarket trading" this morning after it was reported that billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett is buying a $5 billion stake in the company, The Wall Street Journal's MarketBeat blog writes.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Cheney: I Urged Bush To Bomb Syria

Former Vice President Dick Cheney. (Feb. 10, 2011, file photo.)
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Thu August 25, 2011 7:52 am

"Former Vice President Dick Cheney says in a new memoir that he urged President George W. Bush to bomb a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site in June 2007," The New York Times reports this morning.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week; Verizon Strike A Factor

The number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose by 5,000 last week from the week before, to 417,000, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

Though the number of claims remained well above the level normally associated with a healthy economy, one factor was temporary. According to Reuters, "Verizon workers filed 8,500 claims for jobless benefits last week, after submitting 12,500 applications the previous week."

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Markets Rise On More Hopeful Economic Outlook

The Two-Way
5:55 am
Thu August 25, 2011

'International Effort' Underway To Find Gadhafi

Surveillance aircraft provided by the U.S. and, according to British media reports, special forces from the U.K., are helping in the hunt for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, who is in Tripoli, reported for Morning Edition earlier today.

"It's an all-out effort" as opposition fighters, with help from their international allies, look for Gadhafi, she added.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Hurricane Watches Up In N.C. As Irene Chugs Toward U.S.

Irene's latest projected path.
National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Irene has "roared across the Bahamas archipelago" and remains on track to hit the coast of North Carolina on Saturday and then soak much of the Eastern seaboard over the weekend and into next week as it chugs north.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Thu August 25, 2011

As Apple's Steve Jobs Steps Down, Tim Cook Steps Up

Tim Cook, who is Apple's new CEO. (Oct. 20, 2010, file photo.)
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The news last night that Apple Inc. co-founder and visionary Steve Jobs is giving up his post at CEO naturally leads to this question:

Just who is Tim Cook, the Apple chief operating officer who has been tapped to take over as CEO?

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Earth May Be Home To 8.7M Species, Give Or Take A Million Or So

Figuring that one of the basic things we should know about the Earth is how many species of life we're surrounded by, a team of researchers has come up with a new estimate:

-- 8.7 million, "with a standard error of +/- 1.3 million."

Or, that is, somewhere between 7.4 million and 10 million. And so far, experts say, we've only discovered about 15 percent of them.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Wed August 24, 2011

One Of World's 'Most Feared Pests' Keeps Showing Up At Customs

The Khapra beetle. If you see one, tell the authorities.
acgov.org

This headline from the Chicago Tribune got our attention:

'Most feared' pest found in shipment at O'Hare.

According to the story, "a cast skin and larva" later identified as Khapra beetles were discovered in two 10-pound bags of rice last week.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Joey Vento, Famed For Cheesesteaks And 'Speak English,' Has Died

He was "the impresario of cheesesteaks whose 'speak English' sign at his South Philly sandwich shop made him famous to some, infamous to others," The Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Rise In Order For Durable Goods Lifts Spirits On Wall Street

This just in from Bloomberg News:

"U.S. stock futures pared losses, erasing most of a 1.4 percent decline, as a bigger-than-expected increase in orders for durable goods offset concern yesterday's rally went too far, too fast."

Translation: Wall Street may have an OK day. The futures are signalling that the market's likely to head higher.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Terror Fears Made East Coast Earthquake Especially Unsettling

There was supposedly some "snickering" from jaded folks on the West Coast of the U.S. on Tuesday as they watched many on the East Coast express alarm and surprise over the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that shook things from the Carolina's to New England.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Wed August 24, 2011

In Libya: Last Battle Of 'Bitter, Brutal Civil War'

The dramatic scenes Tuesday of joy and looting at what was Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's main compound in Tripoli have again raised the prospect that "the war is almost over," NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reported on Morning Edition earlier today.

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Irene Likely To Be 'Major Hurricane Later Today;' Mid-Atlantic Bracing

Here she comes. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite photo of Hurricane Irene, taken Tuesday (Aug. 23, 2011). Cuba and Florida are to the left.
AFP/Getty Images

Hurricane Irene "continues to strengthen as it pounds the southeastern Bahamas," the National Hurricane Center reports, and "will likely become a major hurricane later today."

Irene is a "category two" hurricane at this moment. The Hurricane Center expects it will be upgraded to "category three," with winds of more than 111 mph, today.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Gadhafi Vows To Fight; Irene Strengthens; East Coast Picks Up After Quake

Opposition fighters flashed the V-sign for victory during celebrations in Tripoli's newly named Martyrs Square, formerly known as Green Square, on Tuesday (Aug. 23, 2011).
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 5:06 am

We'll have more on each of these topics shortly, but first we want to quickly pass on the main headlines related to the day's three major stories:

-- Libya: "From Hiding, Gadhafi Tells Libyans To Free Tripoli."

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Tue August 23, 2011

Lager's Key Yeast May Have Come From Argentina

An Argentinian heritage? Scientists say the key yeast in lager may have originated in Patagonia.
Robert Sullivan AFP/Getty Images

We have to confess we didn't know that for decades, scientists have been trying to find the "parent yeast" that makes lager beer possible.

Apparently they were.

And now, they may have an answer: Beech forests in Argentina.

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