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
5:56 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Ukraine's Yanukovych On Run From Mass Murder Charge

In Kiev's Independence Square, flowers have been left in memory of protesters killed there in recent days.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:10 am

Viktor Yanukovych, ousted Saturday from his post as president of Ukraine, is now wanted by authorities in his country on charges of mass murder, the acting interior minister says.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko May Soon Be Free

In Kiev last month, this anti-government protester in protective gear stood in front of a poster featuring an image of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Her jailing on what supporters believe were bogus charges was among the complaints protesters raised.
Darko Bandic AP

There's another big breaking story from Ukraine, where earlier today an agreement was reached to hopefully end what in recent days had been a deadly series of clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces:

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been in jail since 2011 on what her supporters say were trumped-up charges aimed at silencing one of President Viktor Yanukovych critics, may soon be free again.

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The Edge
11:40 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Team USA's Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Skiing Gold

She's a winner: Team USA's Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates after taking gold in the women's slalom at the Sochi Games.
Olivier Morin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:06 am

Eighteen-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin has lived up to her reputation as the pre-race favorite by winning the gold medal in women's slalom at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Garrick Utley, 'Quintessential Foreign Correspondent,' Dies

Garrick Utley in 2012.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 11:14 am

If reporting from foreign lands is important to you, then Garrick Utley is someone you most likely admired over the past four or five decades.

So it's with some sadness that we pass along word that the veteran newsman, who in the mid-'60s was NBC News' first bureau chief in Saigon and later went on to a career that took him around the world and to the moderator's chair on Meet the Press, has died.

He was 74.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Photos: Kiev's Independence Square Before And After

Kiev's Independence Square on Thursday (Feb. 20, 2014).
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters/Landov

Hopes are high that the worst is over in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, where dozens of people died this week as security forces responded to anti-government protests. As we reported earlier, President Viktor Yanukovych and key opposition leaders have signed an agreement about forming a unity government, holding new elections and restoring the nation's 2004 constitution.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Good Work On Those 'Feeli The Finnish Reindeer' Lyrics

His antlers are so bright.
Reindeer Herders' Association (of Finland)

We asked and Two-Way readers came through.

The challenge:

Set the story of "Feeli the Finnish Reindeer" and his shiny antlers to the tune of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

The responses in our comments thread:

Feeli the Finnish reindeer
Had antlers that didn't glow.
And drivers didn't see them
As right over them they'd mow.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Breakthrough? Ukrainian President, Opposition Leaders Reach Deal

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (right) and opposition leader Vitali Klitschko shake hands Friday after signing an agreement that diplomats hope will end the bloodshed in Kiev.
Tim Brakemeier EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:52 pm

We're updating this post as the day continues.

In what could be a major move toward ending the violence in the streets of his capital, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and leaders of the anti-government opposition reached agreement Friday on a deal to hold new elections, form a unity government and restore a constitution drafted in 2004.

Some details have yet to be spelled out. But the BBC sums up the news this way:

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

These Reindeer Really Do Shine, And It's For Their Own Good

His antlers are so bright.
Reindeer Herders' Association (of Finland)

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 9:23 am

Feeli the Finnish reindeer,

Had some very shiny horns ...

OK, we'll stop there.

Here's the news:

"Herders in Lapland are spraying their reindeer with reflective paint to help drivers see them in the dark," the BBC writes.

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Dip In Weekly Jobless Claims Seen As Sign Of Better Times Ahead

As the weather warms, will more signs such as this pop up? Economists say the latest data on claims for unemployment benefits may signal that better times are ahead.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 9:37 am

There were only 3,000 fewer first-time claims filed for jobless benefits last week, but the slight decline is being seen as another sign that the nation's labor market will gain some strength once spring arrives.

The Employment and Training Administration said Thursday that 336,000 applications were submitted last week, versus 339,000 the week before.

That means the pace of claims is still running about where it's been since late 2011.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Thu February 20, 2014

In Venezuela, Another Beauty Queen's Death Adds To Anger

This photo, which witnesses say shows Venezuelan beauty queen Genesis Carmona being evacuated from the scene of a protest on Tuesday, is ricocheting around the Web. She died after being shot.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:40 am

There's a sad symmetry to the news from Venezuela, where anti-government protests in recent weeks have been fueled in part by outrage over the shooting death of a beauty queen — a death that underscored that nation's struggle to control violent crime.

One of the five people killed this week during protests against the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro, it's now being reported, was another young beauty queen.

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