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.

Good morning.

There's a new study, as we just reported, that concludes the "global war on drugs has failed." It comes from the Global Commission on Drug Policy. The commission's members include former Secretary of State George Shultz, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and others who have held top policy posts around the world.

Other stories making headlines this hour include:

"The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world," a high-powered commission whose members include former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan warns today.

The report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy goes on to recommend:

-- An end to "the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others."

There are now no names left in the "unaccounted for" column of the official list of those who were initially missing after the devastating tornado that swept through Joplin, Mo., on May 22.

And that report from the Missouri Department of Public Safety says the official "confirmed deceased" toll stands at 124.

Officials say this is the "final" such report they'll be issuing.

"By the end of this year," Defense Secretary Robert Gates says, the Taliban should be to the point where it's willing to take part in formal talks aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan.

But, he said during a conversation set to air on today's All Things Considered, the Taliban must "put down their weapons ... abandon [any ties] to al-Qaida" and agree to live "under the Afghan constitution."

MSNBC reports that:

"Rep. Anthony Weiner [D-NY] said Wednesday that he can't say 'with certitude' whether or not a lewd below-the-belt photo depicted his body, but he insisted that he did not tweet the picture to a 21-year old college student in Seattle, Wash."

While reporting for his three-part series on drug trafficking in Central America, NPR's Jason Beaubien spoke at length with "Blue" (a pseudonym) the second in command of the Mara Salvatrucha gang in El Salvador.

In today's report, Jason says that:

Saying that the Fair Sentencing Act that narrowed the disparity between penalties for crack and power cocaine offenses has been "a historic step forward," Attorney Gen. Eric Holder pushed today for retroactively applying the lighter crack penalties to some offenders now serving time.

If you fly a lot you've had this happen.

Seconds after the jet's in the air, the @#$%^&* in front of you reclines his seat, crunching your knees and raising some questions:

-- 1. Do you recline your seat as well and spread the pain to the person behind you?

-- 2. Do you grin and bear it like the stoic person you think you are?

-- 3. Do you ask the offender to give you a break and put the seat up at least a little?

While the government of Bahrain today officially lifted the state of emergency that it declared in March when the "Arab spring" spread there and protests erupted, NPR's Kelly McEvers reports that activists say they've been warned against doing anything that authorities don't like.

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