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.

The U.S. economy grew at a 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported.

That's a downward revision from BEA's original estimate of 2.5 percent growth. The agency will issue one more estimate for the quarter on Dec. 22.

Three young Americans are among those who have been detained by authorities in Cairo during the last few days of protests there, according to reports from The Washington Post, CNN and other news outlets.

"A visibly shaken" Chancellor Linda Katehi, as The Davis Enterprise says, apologized publicly Monday for the now-infamous pepper-spraying of Occupy UC Davis protesters by campus police last Friday.

Angered by the ruling party's successful push to ratify a free trade deal with the U.S., a South Korean lawmaker "doused rivals with tear gas" earlier today during a raucous session of parliament, The Associated Press writes from Seoul.

Now that it's official and the so-called supercommittee in Congress has declared its members can't agree on how to cut about $1.2 trillion from the next decade's federal budget deficits, the "what next" stories are everywhere.

And many are zeroing in on the political effects.

There's another mass rally underway in Cairo's Tahrir Square — where four straight days of anti-military rule protests have turned violent and led to about 30 deaths and thousands of injuries as government forces responded with force.

When he walked down a line of seated Occupy protesters Friday at the University of California Davis and shot pepper spray directly at them, campus police Lt. John Pike likely never thought that video of the incident would go viral on the Web, that there would be outrage not only at the school but around the nation, or that "casually pepper spraying cop" would quickly become one of the year's top memes.

From NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and The Associated Press, both in Cairo:

State TV in Egypt is reporting that Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and his cabinet have submitted their resignations to the nation's military council.

It isn't known, Soraya says, whether the interim government's resignations will be accepted.

You can still text the name "Jesus Christ" and the word "naked" if you're a Pakistani with a cellphone.

Also still safe for texting: damn, nude and poop.

Those are among more than 1,600 words and phrases that the Pakistan Telecommunications Agency had reportedly ordered mobile companies in the country to block by today.

The likely collapse of the so-called supercommittee's efforts to put together a deficit-reduction deal and continued concern about the debt crisis in Europe are pushing stocks lower on Wall Street.

From Cairo's Tahrir Square, where three days of clashes between authorities and thousands of protesters have left more than 20 people dead and more than 1,700 injured, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson says the Egyptians who have taken to the streets again:

There was a 1.4 percent increase in sales of existing homes in October from September, the National Association of Realtors reported this hour.

At its 4.97 million annual rate, the pace of sales was up 13.5 percent from October 2010.

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh has been brought in to be a "special investigative counsel" for Penn State's internal look into how its officials handled reports that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky might have been sexually abusing young boys.

Full disclosure: We're not even close to being qualified to figure out who's right and who's wrong on this one.

"Dutch police say Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman has been stabbed to death and his brother has been arrested as a suspect," The Associated Press reports from Rotterdam. He died earlier today.

Halman, 24, is Dutch-born. In the past two years with the Mariners, he appeared in 44 games — hitting at a .207 average, with two home runs and nine runs batted in.

The death toll from three days of clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square has risen to at least 24, a morgue official tells The Associated Press. (Note at 8:25 a.m. ET: Earlier, the official told the AP that the toll was 35; now, he says 11 of the deaths were unrelated to the violence.)

The headlines this morning all say pretty much the same thing:

-- "Deficit Effort Nears Collapse." (The Wall Street Journal)

-- "Debt Supercommittee Members Brace For Failure." (The Washington Post)

Saying it is deeply troubled by "tragic events" alleged to have happened at Penn State, the NCAA has told the school it is launching an examination of whether the university has "institutional control over its intercollegiate athletics program, as well as the actions, and inactions, of relevant ... personnel."

A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution just failed to get the two-thirds majority vote in the House that's needed to move such a measure forward.

It was approved by a simple majority: 261 to 165. But for a two-thirds majority, at least 290 votes would be needed.

There are currently 434 House members (one seat is vacant). Of those, 242 are Republicans and 192 are Democrats.

"Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, who outlined an emergency plan two days ago, isn't wasting any time taking action" in tackling his city's financial crisis, our colleague Micki Maynard at the Changing Gears project reports. "Today, Bing said the city will lay off 1,000 employees, or about 9 percent of the city's payroll, by Feb. 25."

"It is virtually certain that on a global scale hot days [will] become even hotter and occur more often" in coming decades, according to a report released today from a group of more than 100 scientists convened by the United Nations.

An index that's designed to forecast how the economy will be doing in coming months rose a solid 0.9 percent in October from September, the business research group The Conference Board reports. It had risen just 0.1 percent in September and had fallen 0.3 percent in August.

Kurt Budke, coach of the women's basketball team at Oklahoma State University, was killed in the crash of a small plane last night in Perry County, Ark.

Also dead: assistant women's basketball coach Miranda Serna and two others, including the pilot. The coaches had been on a recruiting trip to Arkansas.

As The Oklahoman reports:

It's not the final word, but scientists at the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics report today that "new tests conducted at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory of INFN by the OPERA Collaboration, with a specially set up neutrino beam from CERN, confirm so far the previous results on the measurement of the neutrino velocity."

Update at 3:50 p.m. ET: Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has called the accusations about him "patently false," The Associated Press reports.

Our original post:

An Associated Press reporter was on hand last night in Tennessee when two representatives from the Occupy Memphis movement sat down with about 75 members of the Mid-South Tea Party and had what's described as a "sometimes strained and confrontational, but mostly civil discussion."