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
10:13 am
Wed April 23, 2014

7 Weeks Before World Cup, Rio Is Rocked By Riot

An officer from Brazilian Police Special Forces took aim Tuesday during the violent protest that broke out in one of Rio de Janeiro's slums. People there blame police for a young man's death, and say authorities are clamping down too hard in advance of this June's World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Summer Olympics, both of which will be held in Brazil.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 11:12 am

"A Rio de Janeiro slum erupted in violence late Tuesday following the killing of a popular local figure, with angry residents setting fires and showering homemade explosives and glass bottles onto a busy avenue in the city's main tourist zone," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Government Will Try To Persuade Sherpas To Stay On Everest

The sun shines on the peak of Mount Everest in this October 2011 photo. On Friday, an avalanche swept away 16 Sherpas.
Kevin Frayer AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:17 am

The news from high up the world's tallest mountain continues to be confusing, with some reports implying that a boycott by Sherpas means there will be no climbs to the summit this year and others indicating that there will still be attempts to reach the top.

Based on what we can glean from various news accounts, it appears that some expeditions have indeed canceled their climbs. But it also seems that at least some of the estimated 400 Sherpas on the mountain may be willing to continue on — meaning there will be summit attempts in coming weeks.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Death Toll Rises, Hopes Fade At Site Of Korean Ferry Disaster

As the sun set Wednesday in Jindo, South Korea, a woman kept watch on the waters where the Sewol ferry sank. It's feared the death toll will reach 300.
Nicolas Asfouri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:52 am

The already slim hope that anyone might still be alive aboard the South Korean ferry that sunk a week ago was all but extinguished Wednesday with the news that divers have found no air pockets in key areas of the ship.

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Stowaway Teen May Have Been Trying To Reunite With His Mom

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:09 am

The latest word about the teenager who survived a ride Sunday from California to Hawaii in the frigid wheel well of a jet is that he may have hoped to eventually get to Somalia to be with his mother.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Wed April 23, 2014

'Object Of Interest' Found In Search For Malaysian Jet

Ships continued to search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on Wednesday. They were looking in an area about 1,000 miles northwest of Perth. Ocean Shield is an Australian ship that has been looking for the jet's black boxes.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 11:24 am

After 6 1/2 weeks of false leads and conflicting information about what may have happened to the jet and the 239 people on board, Wednesday's headlines about the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 need to be viewed with considerable caution:

-- " 'Object of interest' found on Western Australian coast." (CNN.com)

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

45 People Were Shot In Chicago Over The Weekend

The Chicago skyline. The city's police chief says his officers can't keep up with the number of illegal weapons on the city's streets.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 1:23 pm

There are more data to add to Chicago's well-documented problem with gun violence.

Headlines such as this from the Chicago Sun-Times — "In violent weekend, at least 8 dead, 37 wounded in shootings across Chicago" — set us off in search of news reports after previous weekends.

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The Two-Way
11:01 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 4:28 pm

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Tue April 22, 2014

UPDATE: Everest Climbing Season Still In Doubt

Family members of the Mount Everest avalanche victims were lighting oil lamps Sunday at a Sherpa Monastery in Katmandu, Nepal.
Prakash Mathema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 1:03 pm

Update at 12:30 p.m. ET. Despite Government's Concessions, Many Sherpas May Leave:

The likelihood of the upcoming climbing season on Mount Everest being canceled altogether seemed to veer from very possible to very unlikely to somewhere in between within the space of less than an hour on Tuesday as news reports came in from the world's tallest mountain.

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The Two-Way
7:12 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 Wed April 23, 2014 12:57 am

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
6:10 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Wheel Well Stowaway Was 'Runaway Kid With A Bad Idea'

Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 after its arrival on Monday at Maui's Kahului Airport. After the same flight landed on Sunday, a California teen emerged from the left rear wheel well.
Oskar Garcia AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 11:20 am

The California teenager who survived a 5 1/2 hour flight to Hawaii in the wheel well of a Boeing 767 was "just a runaway kid with a bad idea," FBI Special Agent Tom Simon says.

Simon also says, according to The San Jose Mercury News, that the unidentified boy's lousy idea wasn't very well thought out: "He ran for the nearest plane. This was not a well-planned thing."

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The Two-Way
1:31 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 8:13 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
11:42 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Parents Say 234 Girls Are Missing From School In Nigeria

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 2:23 pm

Disturbing news from Nigeria about girls kidnapped last week from their school by Islamist extremists grew even more distressing on Monday when parents told authorities that 234 of the young women are still missing.

That's nearly triple the number — 85 — that officials have been reporting.

According to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Mon April 21, 2014

After Tragedy, Nepalese Sherpas May Refuse To Climb Everest

Mount Everest straddles the border of Nepal and the Tibetan region of China. This is a view of the Nepalese side.
Hans Edinger AP

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 11:37 am

Friday's tragedy on Mount Everest in which at least 13 Sherpa guides were killed in an avalanche has led others among that group of Nepalese who lead foreigners up the world's tallest mountain to issue some demands — and threaten to boycott the soon-to-start climbing season if their requests aren't granted.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Teen Survives Flight To Hawaii In Jet's Wheel Well, FBI Says

It was a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767 such as this, authorities say, on which a California teen stowed away in the wheel well. He reportedly survived the 5 1/2-hour flight from San Jose to Maui.
PR News/Hawaiian Airlines

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 10:36 pm

"Aviation experts call it a miracle," says Honolulu's KHON-TV. "The FBI says a 16-year-old boy stowed away in the wheel well of a flight from California to Hawaii, and survived. The boy is expected to fully recover."

Update at 11:33 p.m. EDT: The AP is now saying the boy is 15, not 16, as was earlier reported.

Our original report continues:

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Mon April 21, 2014

'Murder,' South Korean Leader Says Of Ferry Captain's Actions

A prayer for the missing and dead: Family members and friends have gathered in the port city of Jindo, South Korea, as the search continues for the scores of passengers still missing after last Wednesday's ferry disaster. At the water's edge, many are offering prayers — including this woman.
Issei Kato Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 11:33 am

"The conduct of the captain and some crew members is wholly unfathomable from the viewpoint of common sense, and it was like an act of murder that cannot and should not be tolerated."

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Mon April 21, 2014

It's Time To Run Again In Boston: Here's The Schedule

Runners, their friends and family members posed Sunday for photos at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which is being run on Monday.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 11:15 am

We don't need to go on at length about why today's running of the Boston Marathon is important.

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The Two-Way
10:53 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

"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
9:34 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Pakistani Madrassa Names Its Library For Osama Bin Laden

Osama bin Laden is referred to as a shaheed, or martyr, on a sign outside the library at a girls' school in Islamabad.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 9:54 am

A sign now outside the small library at a religious school for girls in Pakistan's capital says the room has been named for a martyr — Osama bin Laden, whose al-Qaida terrorist network was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed more than 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

"For us he was a hero of Islam," a school spokesman tells Agence France-Presse.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Deal In Doubt As Separatists Refuse To Budge In Ukraine

A masked pro-Russia gunman looks through a window of a regional administration building seized earlier in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 9:49 am

"Armed pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said Friday that they were not bound by an international deal ordering them to disarm and were looking for more assurances about their security before leaving the public buildings they are holding," Reuters reports.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Tragedy Atop The World: Everest Avalanche Kills At Least 12

The sun shines on the peak of Mount Everest in this October 2011 photo. On Friday, an avalanche killed at least 12 Sherpas on the mountain.
Kevin Frayer AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 11:58 am

At least 12 Sherpa guides died Friday on Nepal's side of Mount Everest when an avalanche buried them on the world's tallest mountain.

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Captain Of Korean Ferry Arrested As Vessel Sinks Below Surface

Cranes, ships and other rescue equipment are on the scene off the southern coast of South Korea, where a ferry capsized Wednesday. About 270 people, most of them high school students, remain missing.
Kim Hong-Ji Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 3:28 pm

The captain of the South Korean ferry that sank earlier this week in the Yellow Sea, leaving at least 28 dead and hundreds missing, has been arrested, along with two other crew members, South Korea's Yonhap news agency says.

The 69-year-old captain, Lee Jun-Seok, faces five counts including negligence of duty and violation of maritime law, Yonhap says.

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The Two-Way
10:47 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 12:25 pm

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Fate Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Now Uncertain

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 11:38 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
8:11 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 8:04 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
7:38 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Stay Near 7-Year Low

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 12:42 pm

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
7:31 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 10:25 am

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The Two-Way
6:03 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 5:45 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports about the South Korean ferry disaster
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
12:39 pm
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 2:24 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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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Most Of The Dozens Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Reportedly Free

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:48 am

9:45 a.m. ET, April 17: The latest developments have changed this story. We've put up a news post with this headline: Fate Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Now Uncertain.

Our post from April 16:

Most of the 100 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped have been freed, Nigeria's military reports. Only eight are still unaccounted for.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Wed April 16, 2014

43-Year-Old Cold Case Closed: South Dakota Girls Died In Accident

Cheryl Miller's driver's license was among the evidence collected from the car she and Pamela Jackson were last seen in. The two South Dakota girls disappeared in 1971. Now, authorities say it appears they accidentally drove into a creek. It wasn't until last year that low waters revealed the vehicle.
South Dakota Attorney General's office AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 1:02 pm

Families and friends who have wondered since 1971 about what happened to two South Dakota girls now have some closure.

Authorities said Tuesday that they believe Pamela Jackson and Cheryl Miller died when their 1960 Studebaker Lark accidentally went off a gravel road and into a local creek. "All the evidence would appear to indicate an accident," South Dakota Attorney Gen. Marty Jackley said.

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