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.

Pope Francis asked Friday for forgiveness from the victims of pedophile priests in some of his strongest words to date about the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome that:

"The pope has come under fire from advocacy groups for a perceived lack of attention to the issue.

Hopes were both raised and lowered Friday by officials involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The jet and the 239 people on board have now been missing for five weeks.

Hillary Clinton was not struck Thursday when a woman threw a shoe at the former secretary of state while she was on stage in Las Vegas giving the keynote speech at conference hosted by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.

"What was that, a bat? Was that a bat?" Clinton said moments after the footwear flew by.

A highway in Northern California was turned into an inferno Thursday when a FedEx truck slammed into a charter bus full of high school students.

The California Highway Patrol says at least 10 people, including both drivers and five of the teenagers, were killed. An additional 30 or so people were injured. Those who survived escaped through smashed windows.

Breaking news on CBS-TV's Twitter feed:

"Stephen Colbert to be next host of 'The Late Show'...press release coming"

As he bled from a stab wound to his back Wednesday morning, the first thoughts that went through his mind were "will I survive, or will I die?" one of the high school students injured Wednesday in Murrysville, Pa., told reporters Thursday.

Brett Hurt was among the first of more than 20 people (most of them students) injured when a young man wielding two steak knives began stabbing and slashing at other teens.

We updated this post with a major development at 1:15 p.m. ET.

Reports that Burger King is looking to open restaurants in Crimea now that McDonald's has decided to pull out of that region were overcooked, a Burger King spokesman says.

Responding to the stories that we saw across the news media and posted about earlier today, Burger King spokesperson Bryson Thornton emailed to say that "neither Burger King Worldwide, nor any of its franchisees, have plans to open Burger King restaurants in Crimea."

There were 300,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, the fewest since mid-May 2007, the Employment and Training Administration reported Thursday.

Claims were down 32,000 from the week before, the agency adds.

Reuters says the news "could bolster views of an acceleration in job growth after a cold winter dampened hiring."

The pain, anguish and fear comes through as a young mother who held on to her baby boy as their Oso, Wash., home was swallowed by a mudslide on March 22 describes the harrowing ordeal.

Here's how our colleagues at Seattle's KPLU begin their story:

Until Wednesday, the 16-year-old Pennsylvania boy who's charged with multiple counts of attempted murder and aggravated assault after a stabbing attack at his high school was known as "a nice young boy," his attorney said this morning. Now the sophomore is in custody after the attack that left more than 20 people — nearly all of them fellow students — injured.

Tensions that wouldn't seem capable of rising even further are threatening to do just that with the news that Ukrainian authorities say they're ready to use force if necessary to remove pro-Russia protesters from government buildings they're occupying in eastern Ukraine.

From The Wall Street Journal:

(This post is being updated as news comes in.)

At least 20 teenagers and one adult were injured, two of them critically, Wednesday morning at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., when a 16-year-old fellow student attacked them with two knives.

The headlines about one of Wednesday's big stories — the release of data from 2012 about Medicare payment to doctors around the nation — are certainly serious sounding:

-- "Sliver of Medicare Doctors Get Big Share of Payouts." (The New York Times)

By routing Notre Dame 79-58 Tuesday night in Nashville, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team won its ninth NCAA championship — which means that coach Geno Auriemma is no longer tied with legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt for the most titles among women's coaches.

But that's not the only milestone that highlights UConn's place in the upper echelon of college basketball programs. Check this out:

Before Tuesday, only one school had won both the men's and women's Division I basketball titles in the same year.

"I'm now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not-too-distant future," the head of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 told reporters on Wednesday after an Australian ship detected two more pings that may be signals from the plane's black boxes.

"The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy" officially opens Saturday at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

As the nation's 43rd president says: "Who woulda thought it?"

Talking with his daughter Jenna Bush Hager during a pre-recorded interview on NBC-TV's Today show, the self-deprecating Bush says:

A little more than three months after he suffered a severe head injury while skiing in France, Formula One racing legend Michael Schumacher is experiencing "moments of consciousness and awakening" his agent says.

This post has been updated.

The nation's unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Meanwhile, there were 192,000 more jobs on public and private payrolls last month — a bit under the 200,000 or so economists had expected but still above the average growth in previous months.

As investigators try to determine why Army Spc. Ivan Lopez would open fire on his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, stories are emerging about the harrowing minutes on the post Wednesday and what are being described as the heroic actions of the military police officer who confronted the gunman.

"A veteran Associated Press photographer was killed and an AP reporter was wounded on Friday when an Afghan policeman opened fire while they were sitting in their car in eastern Afghanistan," the wire service reports.

Federal agents, art experts and museum curators descended on the home of a 91-year-old man in central Indiana on Wednesday to take control of a huge collection of artifacts from Native American, Russian, Chinese and other cultures.

FBI Special Agent Robert Jones told reporters that the collection's cultural value "is immeasurable," reports RTV6 The Indy Channel.

There were 326,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, up by 16,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reported Thursday morning.

Although the number increased, claims remained at the lower end of the range they've been in for the past year and were running at a pace close to where they were before the economy sank into its latest recession in December 2007.

A picture is beginning to emerge of 34-year-old Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, who officials have said is the man who opened fire Wednesday at Fort Hood and killed at least three people and wounded another 16 before taking his own life.

The early signs indicate that while Lopez was being treated for depression or some other type of mental issue, he had shown no sign he might be a threat to either himself or others.

On the day after a deadly shooting incident on the grounds of Fort Hood, Texas, in which a gunman killed at least three people, wounded 16 and then reportedly killed himself, there was this welcome news:

Day Two of General Motors CEO Mary Barra's time testifying before Congress about safety problems with her company's cars has been highlighted by a top senator saying the company "repeatedly lied" about its problems and has fostered a "culture of cover-up."

From The Detroit News:

You won't be able to fire away at government drones — if any were to fly by — in Deer Trail, Colo.

A proposal to issue $25 drone hunting licenses was rejected Tuesday by voters in the little town about 55 miles east of Denver.

This year's Peabody Award winners for excellence in electronic media include The Race Card Project from NPR's Michele Norris.

Her project, which was featured in a series of reports on Morning Edition, invites people to distill their "thoughts, experiences or observations about race into one sentence that only has six words."

The first slice of data about job growth in March offers some hope that the U.S. labor market gained some strength:

This post will be updated as news comes in.

Here is some of the latest news from Oso, Wash., the tiny community north of Seattle that was devastated by a mudslide on March 22:

-- Death Toll At 29: Authorities say the number of confirmed fatalities as of this morning was 29. (We updated that figure at 11:15 a.m. ET.)

The extent of the damage isn't yet clear and the six deaths reported so far may be followed by news of other fatalities.

But on the morning after a massive, 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern Chile there are sighs of relief there and in neighboring Peru.

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