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.

There are obviously more provocative things being written and said about the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman than we could ever hope to keep up with.

One of the odder stories of the day is that of 61-year-old Michael Boatwright, "a Florida man who awoke speaking only Swedish, with no memory of his past, after he was found unconscious four months ago at a Southern California motel," as The Associated Press writes.

While on vacation Monday at Florida's Seagrove Beach, east of Pensacola, NPR's Russell Lewis snapped a photo that's been picking up quite a few retweets. It wasn't "Sharknado II," but does seem to have caught folks' interest.

Looking ahead after the not guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman for the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin — a case that reignited the national discussion about race relations:


You're a huge Dave Matthews fan. As you're going to his band's show Saturday in Hershey, Pa., you see a guy standing by the side of the road next to a bike with a flat tire.

Do you stop to help?

Well, when you see that it's Dave himself, you certainly do.

That's just what happened to Emily Kraus and her boyfriend Joe.

Former President George H.W. Bush, who spent nearly two months in a Houston hospital during late 2012 and early 2013 for treatment of a variety of life-threatening illnesses, was hailed by President Obama at the White House on Monday.

(We added to this post at 7:30 a.m. ET. July 16)

(Think of this as a coffee break from the day's serious stories.)

The standard may have been set back in December when 228 drive-through customers at a Tim Horton's in Winnipeg paid for the order of the folks in the next vehicle.

It was sort of a case of "pay it forward" by paying it backward.

A passenger train with several hundred people on board "has derailed in the southern Paris suburb of Brétigny, with authorities reporting 'many casualties,'" France 24 reports. Officials are still sorting through what French media are calling their country's worst rail accident in 25 years.

(Click here for latest updates.)

Saying the post has been "the highlight of my professional career," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Friday morning that she is stepping down to become president of the University of California.

Her statement followed a Reuters report that broke the news.

The morning's major economic news:

-- Inflation. Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in June from May, fueled by a 2.9 percent surge in the price of energy products, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. As drivers can confirm, a 7.2 percent jump in the cost of gasoline was responsible for most of that boost.

In a video statement to the people of his city, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner conceded Thursday that he has "failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times, I have intimidated them."

"I certainly would have thought a lot more about what I said. ... People should be very careful about what they say" on social media sites.

That was the word Friday morning on CNN's New Day from Justin Carter, the 19-year-old Texas gamer who was arrested and jailed in February after making a Facebook comment about a school shooting.

Nearly 17 months after the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin — a death that would spark protests across the nation — a jury is about to begin considering whether defendant George Zimmerman acted in self defense or should be convicted of murder or manslaughter.

(We most recently added information to the top of this post at 11:15 a.m. ET. Click here for more updates. )

Twitter has been abuzz with speculation that "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden is on Aeroflot Flight 150, which is headed to Havana from Moscow as we write.

What's the supposed evidence?

The jury weighing the guilt or innocence of the man accused in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin can consider convicting George Zimmerman on a lesser charge of manslaughter, the judge ruled Thursday morning.

Paula Deen, the celebrity cook who has seen her TV shows and corporate sponsorships disappear in recent weeks because of reports about her past use of the N-word, is going to be the star of a comic book this fall, a publisher says.

There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, up 16,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The "four-week moving average," which gives a sense of the recent trend, "was 351,750, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised average of 345,750."

Country singer Randy Travis is in critical condition at a hospital in Plano, Texas, after suffering a stroke, the Baylor Health Care System says.

He underwent surgery Wednesday night to relieve pressure on his brain, the hospital system adds. Word of his stroke came that evening.

Police in Quebec are not holding out hope that any of the people still missing after Saturday's train derailment and explosions in the town of Lac-Mégantic are alive.

With 20 bodies found so far and an additional 30 people still unaccounted for, that means the death toll is expected to be around 50. Authorities are telling the families of the missing to prepare for the worst.

Tell your best friend:

DogTV, which launched online in Southern California last year, says it's going national on DirecTV starting Aug. 1.

The defense is expected to wrap up its case Wednesday afternoon at the murder trial of George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer accused in the February 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.

Update at 4:50 p.m. ET: Defense Rests Case