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.

Pages

Boston Marathon Bombings
4:07 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosions: Thursday's Developments

The FBI released this photograph of a man they are calling a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
FBI

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 8:11 am

Note: We're following Friday's breaking news — that one suspect is dead and that police are searching for the other — in a new post.

Thursday's post:

Read more
Boston Marathon Bombings
8:28 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosions: Wednesday's Developments

Flowers, flags and balloons at a memorial in Boston near the site of Monday's explosions.
Wang Lei Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 6:50 am

(Note at 7:50 a.m. ET, April 18: We've begun a new post to track Thursday's developments.)

Investigators made progress Wednesday, as they tried to determine who planted two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, leaving three people dead and injuring about 180.

Read more
Washington DC
10:34 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Second Suspicious Letter Found; Was Sent to Obama

A Hazardous Materials Response Team (HAZMAT) truck outside the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:04 pm

Update at 8:44 p.m. ET. Authorities Make An Arrest:

Authorities have made an arrest in connection to the suspicious envelopes sent to a senator and President Obama.

The FBI identified the suspect as Paul Kevin Curtis.

The The Clarion Ledger reports:

Read more
Texas
10:02 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Texas Prosecutor Murder: Wife Of Jailed Ex-Justice Arrested

A wreath of flowers in honor of slain District Attorney Mike McClelland at the Kaufman County [Texas] Courthouse in early April.
Richard Rodriguez Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:44 pm

"The wife of a former justice of the peace is being held on a capital murder charge in the killings of the Kaufman County District Attorney, his wife and a top prosecutor," The Dallas Morning News reports.

Read more
Politics
7:11 am
Wed April 17, 2013

For Thatcher, 'A Great Calm' After A Life Of Controversy

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral was held Wednesday at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.
Christopher Furlong EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:52 pm

Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister whose time leading Great Britain in the 1980s brought joy to conservatives and despair to liberals, was remembered Wednesday for "a life lived in the heat of political controversy."

With her death last week at the age of 87, "there is great calm" for the Iron Lady, added the bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, during a funeral service at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.

Read more
Boston Marathon Bombings
5:06 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosions: Latest Developments

A marathon runner, wrapped in a blanket to stay warm after the race, watched Monday as authorities investigated the bombings that shook the finish line area at the Boston Marathon. At least three people were killed and dozens were wounded.
Nicolaus Czarnecki Barcroft Media /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:59 am

The day after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, investigators began to unravel some of the details of what happened, and we began to learn about the lives of the three people who were killed.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers said that they believed the devices used in the attack may have been pressure-cooker bombs stuffed with BBs and nails. Investigators said the bombs may have been left inside nylon bags or backpacks.

Read more
National
7:57 am
Mon April 15, 2013

'Mila' Is First Grandchild For George W. And Laura Bush

Former President George W. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush with their daughter Jenna Bush Hager (holding baby Margaret Laura "Mila" Hager) and her husband Henry Hager
Today Show

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 1:48 pm

Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush, gave birth over the weekend to a girl.

Margaret Laura "Mila" Hager is named for her grandmothers, the former president announced in a statement. According to The Associated Press, the little girl's nickname is pronounced MEE-luh.

Read more
Politics
6:19 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Kerry Warns North Korea, But Holds Out Hope For Diplomacy

A North Korean soldier on the bank of the Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, along the Chinese border.
Jacky Chen Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 12:00 pm

Walking a line meant to show both resolve and willingness to trust in diplomacy, Secretary of State John Kerry warned North Korea on Friday not to engage in more warmongering — but also said the U.S. is willing to talk with that communist state if it's serious about discussing denuclearization.

"No one is going to talk for the sake of talking," Kerry said, but the U.S. does want to see a peaceful resolution of the latest crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Read more
North Korea
9:21 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Will North Korea Claim Victory and Stand Down?

On Wednesday, a North Korean soldier looked on from the banks of the Yalu River on the border with China.
Wang Zhao AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 7:21 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Frank Langfitt and David Greene discuss the latest news from the Korean peninsula

As the world waits for what's expected to be another ballistic missile test by North Korea sometime in the next few days, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports there's reason to think that tensions on the Korean Peninsula might soon ease.

Read more
Gun Violence
10:21 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Bipartisan Bill Would Extend Background Checks to Gun Shows

The scene at a gun show in Alabama last month.
Joe Songer AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 12:52 pm

We last updated this post at 1:50 p.m. ET:

Saying "this is a start and it's not the end of our work," Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia confirmed Wednesday morning that he and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania have put together a bipartisan plan that they believe will "keep guns out of dangerous hands."

Read more
Texas
8:21 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Students Stopped The Stabbing Suspect At Texas College

Dylan Quick, who is accused in the stabbings at Lone Star College, in a photo supplied to the news media Wednesday by the Harris County (Texas) Sheriff's Office.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 12:19 pm

"My first thought was I need to go catch him."

Read more
Politics
7:21 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Former British Prime Minister Thatcher Dies

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1981. She died Monday, at the age of 87.
PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 11:12 am

Margaret Thatcher, who as British prime minister in the 1980s became known as the "Iron Lady" for her tough economic policies, her partnership with President Reagan in standing up to communism and the short war with Argentina over the Falklands, has died.

Her spokesman, Lord Bell, tells the British Press Association that Baroness Thatcher died Monday following a stroke. She was 87.

Read more
Gun Violence
1:00 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

NRA Task Force Recommends Training School Personnel Who Want To Be Armed

Former Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson holds up his task force's report during a news conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Shawn Thew EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 11:56 am

A task force launched by the National Rifle Association after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has come back with a report that recommends the creation of programs that give additional weapons training to school resource officers as well as "selected and designated school personnel" who could then carry arms.

Read more
Science
10:37 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Obama Says $100 Million Will Be Invested In Brain-Mapping Initiative

Mauricio Lima AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 12:11 pm

Adding some details to an initiative he announced during his latest State of the Union address, President Obama on Tuesday said that federal agencies plan to spend $100 million to jump start an effort to map the human brain. It's research that could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment and prevention of brain disorders.

Read more
Texas
9:59 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Texas on 'High Alert' Following District Attorney's Killing

In Forney, Texas, Kaufman County Sheriff's deputies are on the lookout after the killings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife in their Forney home.
Mike Fuentes AP

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 11:51 am

  • From the NPR Newscast early Monday

"Security is high this morning for both elected officials and employees" in Kaufman County, Texas, after the shooting deaths of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthina, KERA reports.

Read more
April Fools
8:10 am
Mon April 1, 2013

If Something Smells Funny, Remember What Day It Is

Spaghetti is "harvested" in 1961 from the ceiling of an Italian restaurant in London. A 1957 April Fools Day report by the BBC about spaghetti trees fooled many, and has been famous since.
Keystone/Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 4:59 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': 'Hootie and the Time Travelers'

Google Nose was unveiled Monday morning. It's "the new scentsation in search." Just put your nose to the screen to sample "15M+ sentibytes." Google's also offering new options to its "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, including "I'm Feeling Wonderful" and "I'm Feeling Hungry."

Twitter is out with "Twttr," a version that only lets you use consonants.

Read more
Newtown
11:34 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Police Reports: 'Arsenal' Found at Newtown Shooter Lanza's Home

Dec. 18, 2012: Crime scene tape stretches across the property outside the home where Adam Lanza lived with his mother, Nancy Lanza. Inside, police found weapons and other evidence.
Lucas Jackson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 12:57 pm

Police found hundreds of rounds of ammunition, guns, three photos of "what appears to be a deceased human covered with plastic" and other evidence when they searched the Newtown, Conn., home of killer Adam Lanza, according to records released Thursday.

Read more
Economy
8:14 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Slow but Better Than Thought: 4th Quarter GDP Revised Up Again

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 9:22 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 0.4 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2012, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

Read more
gay marriage
10:33 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Votes May Be There To Strike Down DOMA, But There's A Big 'If'

Demonstrators gathered again outside the Supreme Court Wednesday as the time approached for another case to be heard about issues related to same-sex marriage.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 1:52 pm

  • NPR's Nina Totenberg: If the court strikes down DOMA, what would be the grounds?
  • NPR's Nina Totenberg: An interesting exchange about the 'power' of DOMA opponents.
  • NPR's Nina Totenberg: On what happens if the court declines to decide.

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 1:45 p.m. ET.)

There seem to be four solid votes on the Supreme Court — and possibly a fifth — to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, NPR's Nina Totenberg told us after Wednesday's oral arguments before the nine justices.

But there's a big "if."

As in: There's possibly a 5-vote majority to strike down the law if the court first decides it should even issue an opinion.

Read more

Pages