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 news blogs: "On Deadline," "The Oval" and "On Politics," the site's 2008 presidential campaign blog.

Good morning.

Some of the early and overnight headlines on posts we've done here and at It's All Politics:

-- High Unemployment & Slow Job Growth: Likely News From Today's Report.

-- Obama: 'Times Have Changed ... So Have I'.

The number of jobs on private and public payrolls grew by just 96,000 in August from July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said this morning.

Meanwhile, the nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent the month before. Often, the jobless rate dips even when employment growth is weak because the size of the labor force shrank as many Americans gave up looking for work.

It's a report that will surely add to the presidential campaign rhetoric.

"We heard some facts being spun" Thursday night when President Obama and Vice President Biden gave their acceptance speeches at the Democratic National Convention, report the watchdogs at

They and other independent fact checkers have compiled, just as they did at last week's Republican National Convention, a list of those things said by the two parties' standard bearers that don't quite add up or may give misleading impressions.

NASA continues to share some fascinating photos of the Mars rover Curiosity. Among the latest:

-- An image taken from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that shows Curiosity's tracks from high above. According to NASA, "the image's color has been enhanced to show the surface details better."

Some details are emerging from Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward's new book about the 2011 battle between President Obama and congressional Republicans over the budget, taxes and deficit reduction.

Joe South, who wrote such '60s and '70s hits as Games People Play and (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden, died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack at his home in Buford, Ga. He was 72.

Keeping up with the things Russian President Vladimir Putin says and does that set him apart from other world leaders could be a full time job. Today alone there's word:

Three bits of good news about jobs were just released.

"Private-sector employment increased by 201,000 from July to August on a seasonally adjusted basis," according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

And ADP revised up its estimate of the job growth in July — to 173,000 from the 163,000 it previously reported.

"The European Central Bank refrained from cutting interest rates today as President Mario Draghi prepares to unveil a bond-purchase plan to save the euro," Bloomberg News writes. It adds that:

The news that Art Modell died earlier today in Baltimore at the age of 87 has produced very different ledes from newspapers in the two cities where the former NFL owner was a major presence.

The Baltimore Sun writes that:

Nothing ignites controversy like having one of the world's richest women tell her fellow Australians that they need to cut labor costs in order to compete with Africans who are "willing to work for less than $2 a day."

When we heard that astronauts aboard the International Space Station took a spare toothbrush along on a spacewalk today and used it to help clean debris from around some bolts they needed to secure in order to install a power unit, it got us thinking.

Just how versatile are old toothbrushs? We know we've used them to:

-- Clean bike gears.

-- Get grime out of our hubcaps.

-- Get at the crust around a car battery's terminals.

-- Polish jewelry.

The Pacific coasts of Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua are no longer the focus of tsunami warnings, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center announced just after 1 p.m ET.

As we've been reporting, there was a strong — 7.6 magnitude — earthquake in Costa Rica this morning. At first, there were concerns about possible tsunamis from Mexico south to Chile. As the day continued, however, authorities gradually reduced their warnings.

Looking to stem the recent wave of "green on blue" attacks in which men wearing police or military uniforms have killed more than 30 U.S. or other international forces, Afghan officials said today that they have "arrested or discharged hundreds of their country's soldiers," NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Kabul.

An estimated 14.9 percent of U.S. households — 17.9 million in total — "had difficulty" at some point last year getting food because they just didn't have enough money or other resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported this morning.

In 2010, 14.5 percent of households were similarly "food insecure" at some point, USDA says.

Even worse:

"For the first time in history," hundreds of millions of people in China are now wealthy enough to buy jewelry, combs and trinkets made of ivory and that's led to a huge spike in the illegal slaughtering of elephants in Africa, The New York Times' Jeffrey Gettleman said earlier today on Morning Edition.

Before we run through the news of the day, let's pause for something spectactular: a new video from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. It shows a "massive filament" eruption on the sun that occurred last Friday. As Britain's The Register says, it is "mind-bogglingly gorgeous."

Just as they did during the Republican National Convention, independent fact checkers spent the first day of the Democratic National Convention listening for claims that don't add up — and found them.

-- says it heard "a number of dubious or misleading claims" from the Democrats who spoke on stage Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. Among the problems it found:

A federal judge in Boston today "ordered state prison officials to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate serving life in prison" for murder, The Associated Press writes.

As Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen has reported for All Things Considered, encounters between humans and bears are up sharply across the western U.S. The bears are having to cover more territory because of droughts that have dried up some of their natural foods, including berries.

Live! With Kelly is now Live! with Kelly and Michael.

Michael Strahan, a retired defensive end from the New York Giants, was officially named today to fill Regis Philbin's slot on ABC-TV's popular daytime chat show.

"All three Detroit automakers saw double-digit sales increases in August compared with the same month last year," the Detroit Free Press writes. The gains "show that the automotive industry remains one of the economy's few bright spots," it adds.

A top lieutenant to Chinese President Hu Jintao has been shifted to a lesser position because of "a lurid new scandal" involving the fiery crash of his son's Ferrari in March, The Associated Press writes.

According to the AP:

Talk about your just deserts:

"A Colombian drug trafficker, known as the 'queen of cocaine,' has been killed in the city of Medellin," the BBC writes. "Griselda Blanco, 69, was shot dead by gunmen as she was leaving a butcher's."

That rather dry report doesn't do justice to the life and death of Blanco, though. As Miami New Times writes, her assassination on Monday:

Check this fresh headline from The Times-Picayune in New Orleans:

"Public's anger at lengthy power outage after Isaac boils over."

According to the newspaper, after six days of camping outside in sweltering temperatures because Hurricane Isaac knocked out power last week, there are many angry folks in the city and surrounding parishes.

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

That classic question — so famously asked by then-candidate Ronald Reagan in 1980 — is again a topic of great debate as Democrats kick off their 2012 national convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Among the things the Republican Party's presidential candidate is hearing this morning about the address he gave Thursday night is that "in a speech heavy on anecdotal history but short on policy details, Mitt Romney avoided major falsehoods."

If you missed some of Thursday's action at the Republican National Convention, when Mitt Romney accepted his party's presidential nomination, we were live blogging here and you can always read through it to see how the day and evening went.

But if you'd like to save some time, here are five things that struck us (skip to the end if you only want to read about Clint Eastwood):