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
8:53 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Hold Steady

The scene at a job fair in Manhattan earlier this year.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:54 am

There were 333,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. Claims were up 1.5 percent from the previous week's 328,000 — and basically remained at the lower end of the range where they've stayed for the better part of the last two years.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Report: NSA Is Searching 'Vast Amounts' Of Americans' Emails

The National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade, Md.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:50 am

"The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials," The New York Times reported Thursday.

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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Burglars Return Loot To Group That Helps Sex Assault Victims

The note left behind by whoever took computers and other valuables from the offices of the San Bernadino County (Calif.) Sexual Assault Services. The goods were returned.
California Governor's Office of Emergency Services

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 8:12 am

(Update at 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 9: Click here for new information about efforts to help the agency pay for the damage done to its office.)

Let's start our day with a feel-good story:

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Thu August 8, 2013

3 Winning Powerball Tickets Sold: 2 In N.J., 1 In Minnesota

This one wasn't a winner: A Powerball ticket sold Wednesday in Port Washington, N.Y.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:43 am

If you haven't gotten in touch recently with relatives in New Jersey and Minnesota, this might a good time to check on how they're doing.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Why Were The Baboons So Sad? Many Theories, No Answers

The Emmen Zoo's baboons last week, when they were looking so sad.
Courtesy of the Emmen Zoo

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:06 am

  • Wijbren Landman, biologist and press officer at the Emmen Zoo, on why baboons sometimes act so sad.

When the keepers at the Netherlands' Emmen Zoo opened the night enclosure for 112 baboons on July 29, they expected the animals would be, as usual, eager to get inside.

After all, the baboons knew there was food for them in there.

Instead, biologist and zoo press officer Wijbren Landman tells All Things Considered the baboons didn't want to budge. "It took us about an hour to get them inside," he says. That night, the baboons didn't eat.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Oh Snap! U.S. Tourist Breaks Finger Off 600-Year-Old Statue

A close-up of the damaged statue at Florence's Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.
Maurizio Degl' Innocenti EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:23 pm

Add this to the list of damages done in recent years to important pieces of art:

"An American tourist in Italy has generated shock and outrage by snapping the finger off a 600-year-old statue at a museum in Florence." (NBC News)

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Shark Week Roundup: New SharkCat Video; 'Fake Documentary'

SharkCat in action.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 11:09 am

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Obama Cancels One-On-One Meeting With Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Obama when they sat down together in June at a G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
Alexi Nikolsky EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 10:12 am

President Obama has canceled a one-on-one September summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House says.

It's the most dramatic effect so far on U.S.-Russian relations in the wake of Russia's decision to grant "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden temporary asylum while he tries to get safe haven in some third country.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Wed August 7, 2013

'I Am The Shooter,' Fort Hood Defendant Tells Court

Maj. Nidal Hasan faces 13 charges of murder and 32 of attempted murder for the November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood. A Muslim, he has refused a judge's order to shave his beard, though it violates Army regulations.
Bell County Sheriff's Office Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 12:17 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Martin Kaste reports on Day 1 of the Fort Hood trial

(We updated this post at 11:30 a.m. ET with word that attorneys who are advising Maj. Nidal Hasan want to be excused from the case and at 12:15 p.m. ET with word that the trial had recessed for the day.)

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Yemeni Government Says Al-Qaida Plot Was Foiled

A Yemeni soldier stands guard Tuesday near Sanaa International Airport.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 10:02 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Journalist Iona Craig, in Yemen, talks with NPR's Renee Montagne

Yemen is still the focus of concern as the U.S., its allies and countries across the Middle East and North Africa remain on alert for possible terrorist attacks.

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