Mark Memmott, NPR

Mark Memmott joined NPR News in the spring of 2009 to launch a new blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Frank James.

"The Two-Way" is the place where NPR.org gives readers breaking news and analysis — and where it engages users in conversations ("two-ways") about the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Memmott came to NPR from USA Today, where for over 20 years he worked as a reporter and editor on subjects ranging from politics and, foreign affairs to economics and the media.

In recent years he helped launch and then led three different news blogs at USATODAY.com, including the website's 2008 presidential campaign blog, On Politics.

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Politics
9:06 am
Tue September 3, 2013

'The Worm' Returns To North Korea; Rodman Visits Again

Former basketball star Dennis Rodman at Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday, before his flight to Pyongyang, North Korea.
Petar Kujundzic Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 7:48 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Anthony Kuhn reports on Dennis Rodman's latest visit to North Korea

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is visiting North Korea again, six months after spending time there with dictator Kim Jong Un — an "awesome" man, in Rodman's opinion.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing that:

"Rodman was spotted transiting the Beijing airport en route to Pyongyang, sporting his characteristic lip and nose rings, plus green hair.

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March on Washington
1:50 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Speaking At The Lincoln Memorial, Obama Assesses 'The Dream'

Former President Bill Clinton tells the crowd that Americans today owe a tremendous debt to "those people who came here 50 years ago." Millions of us, he said, have lived the dream King talked about.
Shawn Thew EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 11:05 am

  • Listen: NPR Special Coverage Of The March On Washington Anniversary

Thousands gathered under gray skies in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

They gathered in the exact same spot where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, and many of the same themes — equality, dignity, unity — echoed through the crowd.

President Obama was joined by the King family and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

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NPR
8:17 am
Tue August 20, 2013

NPR CEO Gary Knell Announces He's Leaving

NPR CEO and President Gary Knell.
Sesame Workshop

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:58 pm

After fewer than 21 months on the job, NPR CEO Gary Knell announced at mid-day Monday that he's leaving the organization to become president and CEO at the National Geographic Society.

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George W. Bush
10:13 am
Tue August 6, 2013

George W. Bush Has Heart Procedure; Stent Inserted

Former President George W. Bush at the April dedication of his presidential library in Dallas.
Larry W. Smith EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 2:11 pm

"Former President George W. Bush has successfully undergone a heart procedure after doctors discovered a blockage in an artery," The Associated Press writes.

According to the wire service, "Bush spokesman Freddy Ford says a stent was inserted during a procedure Tuesday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The blockage was discovered Monday during Bush's annual physical at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, where the nation's 43rd president lives."

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Fashion
7:26 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

40 Years Of Disco Duds Prove A Teacher Can Be Awesome, Too

Dale Irby in 1973 (left) when his streak began, and in 2012, when the last of his 40 wonderful school photos was taken.
Courtesy of Dale Irby and The Dallas Morning News

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 2:44 pm

One word came to mind this week when we saw the stories about Texas physical education teacher Dale Irby and how he had worn the same "groovy shirt and sweater vest" for every school photo in the past 40 years:

Awesome.

Before we explore his awesomeness, though, here's some background.

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Arts and Culture
11:07 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Here She Is: Statue Of Liberty Reopens On Independence Day

She's open for visitors again.
Reena Rose Sibayan The Jersey Journal/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 9:37 am

It's an even more notable July 4th this year on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, where the Statue of Liberty is open for the first time since Superstorm Sandy pummeled the Mid-Atlantic region last fall.

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Sports
8:04 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Spurs Blow Out The Heat, Take 2-1 Lead In NBA Finals

The San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili (left) congratulates teammate Gary Neal on his three-pointer during Tuesday night's game.
Al Diaz / Miami Herald MCT / Landov

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 7:55 am

The Spurs were red hot Tuesday night, not the Heat.

San Antonio blew out Miami in Game 3 of the NBA finals, winning 113-77 and taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Led by Danny Green and Gary Neal, the Spurs went on a tear — hitting a Finals record 16 shots from beyond the three-point arc. As NPR's Tom Goldman said on Morning Edition, "Miami melted into the hardwood like the wicked witch of the west" as San Antonio hit shot after shot.

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Supreme Court
12:21 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

No Decisions Yet On The Most-Anticipated Supreme Court Cases

An artist's sketch of the scene during a U.S. Supreme Court hearing earlier this year.
Art Lien Reuters / Landov

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 9:32 am

There's no big news again today from the U.S. Supreme Court — which is sort-of big news in itself because it means we're still waiting for the justices' decisions on these major cases:

-- Fisher v. University of Texas, a key test of affirmative action in higher education.

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Trayvon Martin
9:18 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Trayvon Martin Killing: Two Sides Want Very Different Jurors

George Zimmerman, the man accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel MCT /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 7:59 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Greg Allen previews the George Zimmerman trial

Nearly 16 months after the shooting death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., the man charged with second-degree murder is due in court Monday for the start of his trial.

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Sports
7:18 am
Mon June 10, 2013

After Igniting In 2nd Half, Heat Easily Beat Spurs In Game 2

Oh no you don't: The Miami Heat's LeBron James (right) rejects a slam dunk attempt by the San Antonio Spurs' Tiago Splitter during Sunday night's game in Miami.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 7:56 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman reports on Game 2 of the NBA finals

With three minutes left in the third quarter Sunday night, the San Antonio Spurs were ahead of the Miami Heat by a point.

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Texas
1:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Reports: Husband Cleared, Wife Arrested In Latest Ricin Case

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 12:43 pm

There's been an arrest by federal authorities who are trying to track down the person responsible for last month mailing possibly ricin-laced letters to President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a gun control group the mayor supports.

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Politics
1:05 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

'Nobody Is Listening To Your Telephone Calls,' Obama Says

President Obama on Thursday in Mooresville, N.C.
Davis Turner EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 11:44 am

In his most extensive comments so far on the revelations this week about the electronic data that the nation's spy agencies are collecting, President Obama told the American people Friday that "nobody is listening to your telephone calls."

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NSA
8:09 am
Fri June 7, 2013

'Profound Questions About Privacy' Follow Latest Revelations

The National Security Agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
NSA Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 11:32 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Glenn Greenwald on the data spy agencies are collecting
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Dina Temple-Raston
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Larry Abramson on the nation's secret court

Fresh reports about the massive amount of electronic data that the nation's spy agencies are collecting "raise profound questions about privacy" because of what they say about how such information will be collected in the future, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston said Friday on Morning Edition.

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Sports
8:01 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Spurs Beat The Heat In Game 1 Of NBA Finals

Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs during Thursday night's first game of the NBA finals in Miami. The Spurs beat the Miami Heat, 92-88.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 7:38 am

So much for a Heat sweep:

"Tim Duncan overcame a slow start to finish with 20 points and 14 rebounds, Tony Parker banked in a desperation jumper on a broken play with 5.2 seconds left and the San Antonio Spurs withstood LeBron James' triple-double to beat the Miami Heat 92-88 on Thursday night in a thrilling Game 1 of the NBA finals." (The Associated Press)

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Oklahoma
8:40 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Why Chase Tornadoes? To Save Lives, Not To 'Die Ourselves'

Friday's storm, which produced a mile-wide tornado, as it neared El Reno, Okla.
Richard Rowe Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 7:10 am

  • Josh Wurman on why scientists get close to tornadoes
  • Josh Wurman on how the community is reacting to three storm chasers' deaths

The deaths Friday of veteran storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul and their friend Carl Young when a tornado near El Reno, Okla., pummeled their vehicle has raised some questions:

-- Why do storm chasers do what they do?

-- Do the benefits outweigh the dangers?

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Oklahoma
12:30 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Death Toll From Latest Oklahoma Tornado Rises Further

After the storm: Sheet metal that was torn off a building during Friday's tornado in El Reno, Okla., ended up caught in a tree.
Bill Waugh Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 7:58 pm

There are now reports that as many as 18 people died from injuries they received Friday when the latest in a weeks-long series of tornado-spawning storms tore through parts of Oklahoma.

Update at 8:50 p.m. ET. Death Toll Revised:

An update from Oklahoma's Department of Emergency Management Monday evening reports that 12 adults and 6 children died in Friday night's storms, NPR Southern Bureau Chief Russell Lewis tells us. Officials say that they haven't identified all of the victims. Our original post continues:

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Supreme Court
9:37 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Collection Of DNA

The U.S. Supreme Court building
Zhang Jun Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 3:24 pm

By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a Maryland law that allows police to collect DNA, without first getting a warrant, from persons who are arrested.

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Business
1:36 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

No Smoking Outside Starbucks Shops Starting Saturday

Don't sit down here and have a smoke with your coffee, Starbucks says.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 12:17 pm

Starbucks is moving its smoking ban outdoors.

Starting Saturday, according to signs posted in its more than 7,000 shops across the U.S. and Canada, "the no-smoking policy ... will include outdoor areas."

"Smoking will be restricted within 25 feet of the store and within outdoor seating areas," the notices read.

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Ricin Letters
9:00 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Reports: Texas Man Questioned About Latest Ricin Letters

None of the possibly ricin-tainted letters mailed to President Obama have reached the White House, authorities say. They were intercepted at a remote mail handling facility.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:19 am

"Authorities, including the FBI, questioned a New Boston, Texas, man Thursday night in connection with an investigation of ricin-laced letters sent to government officials, including President Barack Obama," KSLA-TV in Shreveport, La., reports.

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