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
11:10 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Dogs Prove To Be Key In Battle Against Giant African Snails

"Bear," who has been trained to sniff out Giant African Land Snails.
Joe Skipper Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 11:41 am

More than 128,000 Giant African Land Snails have been found and eradicated in the two years since the highly destructive creatures invaded the Miami-Dade area, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam says.

While it's too soon to declare victory, "we are confident that we will win this fight," Putnam adds.

Part of the credit, officials say, should go to "canine detector teams" that are sniffing out snails in places that are tough for humans to search.

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Thought Of 'Flames Of Hell' For Sgt. Bales Comforts Afghans

Sadiqullah (center), who was shot by Staff Sgt. Robert Bales and was a witness in the trial, stands with some of the Afghan civilians who traveled from Kandahar to the U.S. for Bales' trial. Translator Ahmad Shafi is at left, in the blue shirt.
Martin Kaste NPR

It was jarring for survivors and witnesses of the 2012 attack by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales on two villages in Afghanistan to come to the U.S. to testify at his trial this month, translator Ahmad Shafi tells Morning Edition.

They were at Washington State's Joint Base Lewis-McChord — a place much different than their homes in Kandahar. What's more, the U.S. military's system of justice was strange to them.

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The Two-Way
7:50 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
6:59 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Irish Poet Seamus Heaney Dies

Irish poet Seamus Heaney in 2010.
Paul McErlane EPA/Landov

Seamus Heaney, "acclaimed by many as the best Irish poet since Yeats," has died, the BBC and other news outlets are reporting.

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The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Third Tsarnaev Friend Indicted On Lying Charge

A third friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has now been indicted on a charge related to what authorities say were attempts by the trio to mislead investigators or dispose of evidence that linked Tsarnaev to the bombings.

The office of the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts posted this statement on Twitter early Thursday afternoon:

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The Two-Way
1:31 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
1:06 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

NFL, Retirees Reach $765M Settlement On Concussions Suits

Junior Seau sustained many concussions during his career and was suffering from a degenerative brain disease when he killed himself in May 2012.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 2:45 pm

The NFL and more than 4,500 retired players have reached an agreement calling for the league to contribute $765 million to a fund that will pay "medical and other benefits, as well as compensation" to those who suffered concussions and related injuries during their careers.

Details of the agreement, which would settle concussion-related lawsuits by former players and still needs a judge's OK, were released by the league early Thursday afternoon.

According to that statement:

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Oberlin Students Behind 'Hate Postings' Say They Were Joking

More than 1,000 people turned out on March 4 for a Demonstration of Solidarity at Oberlin College. Classes were cancelled after a string of what appeared to be racist incidents on campus.
Gus Chan The Plain Dealer/Landov

An update on a story we posted about back in March:

Two Oberlin College students who are said to have been responsible for a series of "hate-related incidents" that went on for weeks earlier this year at the northern Ohio school are not going to face criminal charges.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Are We Martians? Scientist Says We Just Might Be

Mars: Our "home" planet?
NASA Getty Images

As Adam Frank has said over on the 13.7 blog, "Earth and Mars have been swapping spit (astrobiologically speaking) for eons ... [and] it is entirely possible we were Earth's first alien invasion."

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Economy Was Stronger Than Thought In Second Quarter

Stronger-than-thought exports produced stronger-than-thought economic growth in the spring. (2010 file photo from the Port of Miami.)
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday.

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