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
11:18 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Striking Syria Still Seems A Question Of When, Not Whether

At the White House, President Obama and his advisers continue to work to build support in Congress and among allies for striking Syria.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:54 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman reports.

Though Great Britain won't be joining in any military action aimed at Syria, it appears the White House is determined to go ahead — most likely within the next few days and most likely with missile strikes.

We'll be following the news throughout the day and over the weekend. As Friday dawns, here's where things stand:

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Federal Prosecutors Told Not To Focus On Marijuana Users

A customer rolls a joint made of half marijuana and half tobacco to smoke inside of Frankie Sports Bar and Grill in Olympia, Wash., in December 2012.
Nick Adams Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 7:58 pm

Federal prosecutors are being told by Attorney General Eric Holder to focus on cartels, criminal enterprises and those who sell the drug to children, not on casual marijuana users, a Justice Department official tells NPR's Carrie Johnson.

Holder today informed the governors of Washington and Colorado — two states that recently legalized the sale of marijuana for personal use — about the new guidelines for prosecutors, the official adds.

Bu the new guidelines will apply to all states, not just Washington, Colorado and those where "medical marijuana" is legal.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Largest Strike So Far By Fast-Food Workers Set For Thursday

Outside a Taco Bell restaurant in Warren, Mich., early Thursday, supporters of the push by fast-food workers to raise the minimum wage were marching.
Jessica J. Trevino MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 9:45 am

Organizers say workers at fast-food restaurants in cities across the nation will walk off their jobs Thursday in what's expected to be the largest such strike so far, The Associated Press writes.

As the wire service adds:

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Obama: Time Frame For Possible Action On Syria Has Shortened

Syrian activists — many wearing gas masks — looked for victims and evidence Thursday in an area near Damascus where government forces allegedly used chemical weapons.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:05 pm

While the U.S. and its allies cannot move militarily against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence" that Assad's forces have used chemical weapons, the time within which a decision about such action must be made has been shortened, President Obama tells CNN.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Tue August 20, 2013

UPDATE: No Decision Yet On Egyptian Aid, White House Says

Egyptian soldiers stand guard in front of the constitutional court in Cairo.
Al Youm Elsabaa newspaper EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 2:02 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo

(We put a new top on this post at 11:50 a.m. ET and added a new development being reported by the AP at 2 p.m. ET.)

The Obama administration is still reviewing U.S. assistance to Egypt and it's incorrect to say that such aid has been "secretly" put on hold, the White House said Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

NPR CEO Gary Knell Announces He's Leaving

NPR CEO and President Gary Knell.
Sesame Workshop

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 6:58 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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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Attacks, Reprisals And Church Burnings As Egypt Teeters

In Cairo, soldiers have put barbed wire around the constitutional court, one of many government institutions under guard.
Amina Ismail MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 11:22 am

The news from Egypt, where more than 900 people have died and thousands more have been wounded since the interim government began cracking down on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi last Wednesday, remains grim:

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Fri August 16, 2013

NSA Has Broken Privacy Rules 'Thousands Of Times Each Year'

The National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade, Md.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:57 am

The morning's major scoop comes from The Washington Post:

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Thu August 15, 2013

After Deaths Of Hundreds, More Bloodshed Feared In Egypt

Posters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi lay amid the rubble of a protest camp in Cairo after Wednesday's crackdown by government forces.
Ahmed Assadi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:30 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo

"It's difficult to see a path out of this crisis, at least not without more people dying."

That's how NPR's Cairo bureau chief, Leila Fadel, ended her Morning Edition report Thursday. After Wednesday's deadly crackdown by Egyptian troops on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi — a crackdown that according to latest estimates left more than 500 people dead and 3,500 or so wounded — the fear is that there will be much more bloodshed.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Holder Decries 'Draconian Mandatory Minimum Sentences'

The sun sets behind a guard tower at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind.
Scott Olson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 3:50 pm

(We put a new top on this post at 1:40 p.m. ET.)

Arguing that it is "well past time to address persistent needs and unwarranted disparities," Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday laid out more of the Obama administration's thinking on changes it wants to make to the way nonviolent offenders are prosecuted and how they are punished.

"Our system is in too many ways broken," Holder told the American Bar Association at its annual meeting in San Francisco. "The course we are on is far from sustainable."

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