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
2:31 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Asia's Richest Woman Slammed After Musing About Workers Paid $2 A Day

Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart.
Tony Ashby AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:12 pm

Nothing ignites controversy like having one of the world's richest women tell her fellow Australians that they need to cut labor costs in order to compete with Africans who are "willing to work for less than $2 a day."

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

The Toothbrush: It's In The Space Station's Toolbox. How About Yours?

The toothbrush/space tool.
NASA.gov

When we heard that astronauts aboard the International Space Station took a spare toothbrush along on a spacewalk today and used it to help clean debris from around some bolts they needed to secure in order to install a power unit, it got us thinking.

Just how versatile are old toothbrushs? We know we've used them to:

-- Clean bike gears.

-- Get grime out of our hubcaps.

-- Get at the crust around a car battery's terminals.

-- Polish jewelry.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Earthquake Triggers Pacific Tsunami Warnings For Central & South America

The star marks the epicenter of today's earthquake in Costa Rica.
U.S. Geological Survey

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 2:48 pm

The Pacific coasts of Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua are no longer the focus of tsunami warnings, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center announced just after 1 p.m ET.

As we've been reporting, there was a strong — 7.6 magnitude — earthquake in Costa Rica this morning. At first, there were concerns about possible tsunamis from Mexico south to Chile. As the day continued, however, authorities gradually reduced their warnings.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Hundreds Of Afghan Soldiers Arrested Or Discharged

A U.S. Marine (right) and an Afghan National Army soldier on patrol this summer in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.
Adek Berry AFP/Getty Images
  • Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on the NPR Newscast

Looking to stem the recent wave of "green on blue" attacks in which men wearing police or military uniforms have killed more than 30 U.S. or other international forces, Afghan officials said today that they have "arrested or discharged hundreds of their country's soldiers," NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Kabul.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Nearly 18 Million U.S. Households Had Trouble Getting Food Last Year

In Oswego, N.Y., this summer, a child waited at a food distribution site.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

An estimated 14.9 percent of U.S. households — 17.9 million in total — "had difficulty" at some point last year getting food because they just didn't have enough money or other resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported this morning.

In 2010, 14.5 percent of households were similarly "food insecure" at some point, USDA says.

Even worse:

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Slaughtering Of Elephants Is Soaring Because Of China's Demand For Ivory

Elephants in Kenya's Tsavo-east National Park earlier this year.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images
  • Jeffrey Gettleman talks with Steve Inskeep

"For the first time in history," hundreds of millions of people in China are now wealthy enough to buy jewelry, combs and trinkets made of ivory and that's led to a huge spike in the illegal slaughtering of elephants in Africa, The New York Times' Jeffrey Gettleman said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Wow! NASA Video Shows 'Mind-Bogglingly Gorgeous' Solar Eruption

That's quite an eruption.
nasa.gov

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 8:23 am

Before we run through the news of the day, let's pause for something spectactular: a new video from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. It shows a "massive filament" eruption on the sun that occurred last Friday. As Britain's The Register says, it is "mind-bogglingly gorgeous."

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It's All Politics
7:29 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Democrats Unleashed Some 'Dubious Or Misleading Claims,' Fact Checkers Say

The scene Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 11:56 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Mara Liasson reports on Night One

Just as they did during the Republican National Convention, independent fact checkers spent the first day of the Democratic National Convention listening for claims that don't add up — and found them.

-- FactCheck.org says it heard "a number of dubious or misleading claims" from the Democrats who spoke on stage Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. Among the problems it found:

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

State Must Grant Murder Convict A Sex Change Operation, Judge Rules

Michelle Kosilek, formerly known as Robert, in 1993.
Lisa Bul AP

A federal judge in Boston today "ordered state prison officials to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate serving life in prison" for murder, The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

There's A 'Bear Epidemic' Out West, And It's 'About To Get Worse'

Perhaps not the sight you want to see when you come home: A black bear.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

As Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen has reported for All Things Considered, encounters between humans and bears are up sharply across the western U.S. The bears are having to cover more territory because of droughts that have dried up some of their natural foods, including berries.

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Ex-NFL Star Strahan Joins 'Live! With Kelly'

The new team: Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan earlier today in New York City.
Ben Gabbe Getty Images

Live! With Kelly is now Live! with Kelly and Michael.

Michael Strahan, a retired defensive end from the New York Giants, was officially named today to fill Regis Philbin's slot on ABC-TV's popular daytime chat show.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Big Three All Posted Double-Digit Gains In Auto Sales Last Month

A Dodge Ram pickup on sale at Criswell Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Gaithersburg, Md.
Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

"All three Detroit automakers saw double-digit sales increases in August compared with the same month last year," the Detroit Free Press writes. The gains "show that the automotive industry remains one of the economy's few bright spots," it adds.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Rumors Of Son's Sexcapade Behind A Ferrari's Wheel Rock China's Leadership

Ling Jihua, left, looked on in March 2010 as Chinese President Hu Jintao, signed a document at the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress in Beijing. Ling has been shifted to a lesser position.
Andy Wong AP

A top lieutenant to Chinese President Hu Jintao has been shifted to a lesser position because of "a lurid new scandal" involving the fiery crash of his son's Ferrari in March, The Associated Press writes.

According to the AP:

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Tue September 4, 2012

'Queen Of Cocaine' Is Gunned Down In Colombia

Griselda Blanco, the "queen of cocaine," in a 2004 photo posted by the Florida Department of Corrections.
Fla. Dept. of Corrections

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:18 pm

Talk about your just deserts:

"A Colombian drug trafficker, known as the 'queen of cocaine,' has been killed in the city of Medellin," the BBC writes. "Griselda Blanco, 69, was shot dead by gunmen as she was leaving a butcher's."

That rather dry report doesn't do justice to the life and death of Blanco, though. As Miami New Times writes, her assassination on Monday:

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Power's Still Out For Many After Isaac, And They're Boiling

Kids in New Orleans on Monday getting some relief from the heat thanks to ice being distributed to those without power.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Check this fresh headline from The Times-Picayune in New Orleans:

"Public's anger at lengthy power outage after Isaac boils over."

According to the newspaper, after six days of camping outside in sweltering temperatures because Hurricane Isaac knocked out power last week, there are many angry folks in the city and surrounding parishes.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Are You Better Off? That's The Question As Democrats Gather

One of the many mementos for sale at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Win McNamee Getty Images
  • Mara Liasson on 'Morning Edition'

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

That classic question — so famously asked by then-candidate Ronald Reagan in 1980 — is again a topic of great debate as Democrats kick off their 2012 national convention in Charlotte, N.C.

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It's All Politics
8:42 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Fact Checkers Ding Romney On A Few Familiar Points

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 10:01 am

Among the things the Republican Party's presidential candidate is hearing this morning about the address he gave Thursday night is that "in a speech heavy on anecdotal history but short on policy details, Mitt Romney avoided major falsehoods."

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It's All Politics
12:33 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Five Takeaways From Thursday At The Republican Convention

Mitt and Ann Romney (center) are surrounded by family members and balloons at the end of the 2012 Republican National Convention on Thursday in Tampa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:42 am

If you missed some of Thursday's action at the Republican National Convention, when Mitt Romney accepted his party's presidential nomination, we were live blogging here and you can always read through it to see how the day and evening went.

But if you'd like to save some time, here are five things that struck us (skip to the end if you only want to read about Clint Eastwood):

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It's All Politics
6:57 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Live Blog: Thursday At The Republican Convention

The Republican ticket: Mitt Romney (left) and Rep. Paul Ryan wave as the 2012 Republican National Convention winds up Thursday in Tampa, Fla. Romney accepted the party's presidential nomination. Ryan is his running mate.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 1:49 am

  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 1
  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 2

Mitt Romney accepted the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nomination tonight and told the nation that if he's elected he will end the four years of "disappointment and division" brought upon America by President Obama.

"I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed," Romney said. "But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn't something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we can do something. With your help we will do something."

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