Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.

As the NPR Ethics Handbook states, the Standards & Practices editor is "charged with cultivating an ethical culture throughout our news operation. This means he or she coordinates regular training and discussion on how we apply our principles and monitors our decision-making practices to ensure we're living up to our standards."

Before becoming Standards & Practices editor, Memmott was one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog, which he helped to launch when he came to NPR in 2009. It focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Prior to 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 reported from places across the United 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.

A tropical storm that's expected to drench parts of Louisiana with as much as 20 inches of rain this weekend and could cause flooding along the Gulf coast has begun to soak southern Louisiana. Local authorities are beginning to declare states of emergency, as The Times-Picayune reports.

Saying that "reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover" prompted his administration to rethink, President Obama just announced that he's withdrawing proposed regulations that would have tightened government smog standards in a bid to protect the ozone.

Along the Pacific coast near San Diego in recent days, lots of nature lovers have been gathering to watch for sharks — including great whites. Several sightings have experts saying that great white population in the waters off southern California may be on the rise, the Los Angeles Times says.

The Pima County (Arizona) Republican Party's decision to raffle off a Glock 23 .40-caliber handgun has generated some sharp criticism because not only is Pima County part of Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' district, but also because the gun used in January to kill six people and wound 13 others, including Giffords, was a Glock.

There was no net growth in jobs in August and the nation's unemployment rate stayed at 9.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

Good morning.

The most anticipated story of the day, which we reported about earlier, is the 8:30 a.m. ET release of the August employment report.

We've also already posted about a strong earthquake that was detected in the last hour off the Aleutian Islands.

This just happened:

A strong earthquake (preliminary magnitude of 7.1 later revised to 6.8) has been detected in a remote area of the Aleutian Islands off Alaska, about 1,000 miles west southwest of Anchorage, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

The August employment report, due for release at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show that the jobless rate stayed at 9.1 percent, or ticked higher, and that fewer jobs were added to payrolls than in July, both Reuters and Bloomberg News are reporting.

Each news service is basing their forecasts on surveys of economist.

"Terrorists can't change who we are," former Secretary of State Colin Powell told NPR's Steve Inskeep earlier today.

Americans, he said, will only lose touch with the freedom-loving, open society we enjoy if we "take such counsel of our fears that we change who we are."

Though he said this week that he hasn't decided who he'll vote for in the 2012 presidential race, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said today that shouldn't be seen as some sort of message about his opinion of President Obama — the Democrat who Republican Powell famously endorsed in 2008.

"I'm always undecided in every election" until he knows who the candidates are, Powell told NPR's Steve Inskeep.

"I would urge Ron Paul and any critics of FEMA to come to Vermont," the state's governor said earlier today on The Takeaway.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Gov. Peter Shumlin (D), has "an A-team" on the ground in his state, which was crushed by Hurricane Irene-related flooding this week.

"Football fans take comfort," CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller says on his Twitter page. "WH official says Pres Obama's speech next Thursday won't conflict with NFL opening game."

We've looked at the schedule.

A quick follow-up to the story of the Minnesota family that looked like it had won $50,000 — until dad came forward to say that the boy who had made a lucky hockey shot wasn't the son who was supposed to have taken it:

As word comes that leaders of the opposition that has taken control of much of Libya have extended the deadline by which they want fighters loyal to Moammar Gadhafi to surrender, the ousted leader has been heard urging his supporters to fight on, Al-Arabiya and other news outlets are reporting.

Gadhafi's whereabouts aren't known. Nor is just when the recorded message was recorded.

Just a little more than a year ago, President Obama was in Fremont, Calif., to tout the jobs created by a solar cell manufacturing company called Solyndra.

As NPR's Scott Horsley reported:

"The federal government guaranteed a $500 million loan for the company that, White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein said, is allowing Solyndra to build a new solar cell factory employing 3,000 construction workers and creating 1,000 permanent jobs."

Having grown up in "pop" country, gone to college in a "soda" city and lived for nearly 30 years in a place where the two cultures mix, this blogger is well aware that folks can get excited when they start debating about what to call carbonated beverages.

Top officials from President George W. Bush's administration continue to fire back at former Vice President Dick Cheney for things he says in his new memoir.

First it was former Secretary of State Colin Powell who accused Cheney of taking "cheap shots" with some of his criticisms of former colleagues.

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell by 12,000 last week from the week before, to 409,000, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

It adds that "the 4-week moving average was 410,250, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average of 408,500."

One staple of economics and business reporting is the "odd indicator" story.

Having done a few in our time, we know a good one when we see it.

A business dispute that's now in court has brought to light some more details about the secret flights that took terrorism suspects and U.S. officials to CIA-operated "black sites" and prisons around the world in recent years.

As The Associated Press reports:

Good morning.

The story that the news media seem to believe is this morning's important news is word that the back-and-forth over which night next week President Obama will address a joint session of Congress has ended with the White House agreeing to do it on Thursday (the 8th) instead of Wednesday, which it had requested.

The Republican presidential candidate who's been ignored by many in the news media spent 20 minutes on the air with Talk of the Nation's Neal Conan and Political Junkie Ken Rudin this afternoon.

"Extremely rough" roads have been reopened to all but one of the communities in Vermont that were devastated by floods after Hurricane Irene passed over New England, the state's Emergency Management agency reports.

Wardsboro, which is still cut off, could be reconnected later today, officials add.

As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks nears, news outlets and blogs are taking their turns at anniversary stories.

Foreign Policy offers this from blogger/author David J. Rothkopf: "10 events that were more important than 9/11." Counting down, Rothkopf says they are:

President Obama just told House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that he wants to address a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7, at 8 p.m. ET, to lay out his latest jobs plan.

President Obama wants to lay out his latest jobs plan before a joint session of Congress next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

In a letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and just released to the news media, the president writes that:

The Justice Department just confirmed that it has "filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T Inc.'s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc."

"At least $31 billion, and possibly as much as $60 billion, has been lost to contract waste and fraud in America's contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan," the independent and bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan reported this morning.

That's out of the $206 billion that's expected to have been spent on contracts and grants in those two countries by the end of September, the commission says.

In its report, the commission adds that:

One guy on The Two-Way's masthead speaks Spanish, and it isn't this blogger.

So I can't really poke fun at New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) for his efforts to hablar espanol during the news conferences he held before, during and after Hurricane Irene.

While they believe "our country is undoubtedly safer and more secure than it was a decade ago," the co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission warn today that some of their panel's most important recommendations remain unfilled.

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