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
12:01 pm
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 5:28 pm

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The Two-Way
9:50 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 2:03 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
8:12 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 1:57 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
7:10 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 12:20 pm

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
2:49 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 9:13 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
12:42 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Parents Say 234 Girls Are Missing From School In Nigeria

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 3:23 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
10:54 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 12:37 pm

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
8:47 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 11:36 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
7:56 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 12:33 pm

"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
6:53 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 12:15 pm

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
11:53 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
10:53 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 10:54 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
9:34 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 10:49 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
8:38 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 12:58 pm

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
7:06 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 4:28 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
11:47 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 1:25 pm

Though they concede it's unlikely the public was endangered, officials in Portland, Ore., have decided to drain 38 million gallons of water from a reservoir after a young man was observed urinating into it on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Fate Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Now Uncertain

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 12:38 pm

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
9:11 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 9:04 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
8:38 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Stay Near 7-Year Low

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 1:42 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
7:59 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 11:25 am

Saying that because they're both former spies they can speak the same language, Russian President Vladimir Putin told "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden on Thursday that his nation does not have a "mass system" that collects data about Russian citizens' phone calls and other electronic communications.

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