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
7:40 am
Thu April 4, 2013

North Korea Moves Missile, Threatens To Close Factories Used By South

On Thursday, a South Korean security guard kept watch as South Korean trucks waited to enter the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea. For the second day, the North blocked the trucks and workers from the South from entering its territory.
Kim Hong-ji Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 2:02 pm

Bear in mind that, as NPR's Louisa Lim has said, North Korea's regime is skilled at making threats. And fortunately, the most ominous of those threats have not been followed by action in recent decades.

With those caveats in mind, here are Thursday's developments in the latest round of provocative moves by the communist state. From Beijing, Louisa tells our Newscast Desk that:

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu April 4, 2013

'Historic' Gun Bill To Become Law In Connecticut

A Bushmaster rifle, similar to the type used by Adam Lanza during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and some ammunition magazines. The sale and possession of this type of weapon, and high-capacity magazines, will be severely restricted in Connecticut under new legislation.
Michelle McLoughlin Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:27 pm

Saying that on this "profoundly emotional day" he hoped that his state would serve as an example to the rest of the nation, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sat down Thursday at 12:20 p.m. ET to sign into law what's being described as the most sweeping gun control legislation in the nation since the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Malloy praised lawmakers and those who helped craft the legislation for coming together "as few places in our nation have demonstrated the ability to do."

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

It's Set: Jimmy Fallon To Replace Jay Leno On 'Tonight Show' In Spring 2014

Jay Leno (left) and Jimmy Fallon at the Golden Globe Awards in January. Next year, Fallon will be taking Leno's place on The Tonight Show, NBC says.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:04 am

Here's the official word, courtesy of NBC News' tweets:

-- "JUST IN: Jay Leno will depart NBC's 'Tonight Show' in Spring 2014; Jimmy Fallon to replace, NBC says."

-- "MORE: 'Tonight Show' will return to New York City in 2014; Lorne Michaels will be executive producer."

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

'Best Jobs In North Korea' Pay $62 A Month; Now They're Diplomatic Pawns

An undated file photo showing a general view of the North-South industrial complex in the North Korean city of Kaesong.
Yonhap News EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 2:03 pm

  • From 'All Things Considered': North Korea expert Aidan Foster-Carter

At an industrial park where they build appliances and other products for companies from South Korea, 55,000 North Koreans typically earn about $62 each a month, a North Korea expert tells NPR.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Wed April 3, 2013

All Clear In Berlin After 220-Pound WWII-Era Bomb Is Defused

Safe and secure: The bomb after it was defused Wednesday in Berlin.
Tobias Schwarz Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 12:52 pm

From Berlin, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells us that:

An unexploded bomb from World War II was successfully defused Wednesday. Its discovery Tuesday night near the city's main railway station forced trains to divert and snarled traffic in the German capital.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Job Growth Slowed In March, Survey Signals

The scene at a job fair in Manhattan on March 6.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There were 158,000 more jobs on private employers' payrolls in March than in February, the latest ADP National Employment Report estimates.

The gain was less than economists expected, Reuters reports. They thought ADP would say there had been a 200,000-jobs increase.

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Wed April 3, 2013

'Fired' Could Be Next F-Word For Rutgers Coach Seen Berating Players

Rutgers men's basketball coach Mike Rice during a game in March.
Chris Szagola CSM/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 12:38 pm

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 11:10 a.m. ET.)

Responding to outrage from around the nation after videotape of men's basketball coach Mike Rice assaulting his players and spewing homophobic slurs at them was aired on ESPN, New Jersey's Rutgers University fired Rice at mid-morning Wednesday.

The 44-year-old "visibly distraught" Rice, WABC in New York reports, told reporters earlier in the day that:

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Wed April 3, 2013

North Korea's Brinksmanship: Same As Before, More Dangerous Or Both?

Turned back: South Korean trucks returned Wednesday after being barred from entering a joint industrial complex just across the border inside North Korea.
Park Jin-hee Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 10:47 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Louisa Lim and Steve Inskeep discuss North Korea

Wednesday's news from the Korean peninsula, where tensions seem to rise each day:

"North Korea ... barred South Korean workers from entering a jointly run factory park just over the heavily armed border in the North, officials in Seoul said."

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

James Hansen, NASA Scientist Who Raised Climate Change Alarm, Is Retiring

NASA scientist and climatologist James Hansen in 2009.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

"After nearly half a century of research in planetary and climate science for NASA, James E. Hansen is retiring on Wednesday to pursue his passion for climate activism without the hindrances that come with government employment," The New York Times' Dot Earth blog writes.

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