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 Super Bowl sure didn't live up to expectations. Pigskin prognosticators told us it would be a close game between the NFL's two best teams.

Instead, Seattle won a 43-8 laugher. Denver was never really in it.

We all probably sort of knew this already, but a new map seems to show quite clearly that it doesn't take much snow to close schools in the Southern U.S. — and that it takes a lot to close them in the Northern half of the nation.

First things first: No one was hurt.

Now, with that out of the way, we have to confess to being amazed by some photos from northern Italy — where a huge boulder broke free earlier this month, rolled down a mountain and turned a barn into splinters as it narrowly missed a farmhouse.

A classified document that's among the many secrets revealed by former U.S.

Georgia state troopers finished towing vehicles off Atlanta-area interstates early Friday morning, and three days after ice-covered roads forced thousands of drivers to abandon their cars, traffic is finally flowing freely, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

At the conclusion Friday of the first round of talks between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition, the United Nations mediator reported that he "observed a little bit of common ground, perhaps more than the two sides themselves realize or recognize."

Diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters in Geneva that "there have been moments when one side has even acknowledged the concerns and difficulties of the other side," the BBC reports.

The nearly six-month-long search for Microsoft's next CEO is nearing an end, and news reports indicate it's likely the technology giant will turn to Satya Nadella, executive vice president of its Cloud and Enterprise group, to lead the company.

As cities in the southern U.S. continue to recover from the ice and snow storm that brought life to a standstill in many places this week, stories are emerging about the incredible things some people did to help out others.

Let's start Friday with one of those tales.

A photo posted by our friends at Michigan's Interlochen Public Radio is so cool we just had to know more about it and about what's going on with the Great Lakes during this extra-frigid winter.

As you'll see, the satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows clouds and snow blowing across the now partially ice-covered Lake Michigan.

Nearly 20 percent of the officers in the U.S. Air Force's nuclear weapons corps have now been implicated in a proficiency test cheating scandal, the secretary of the Air Force said Thursday.

Deborah Lee James told reporters that 92 individuals in the 500-member force are now thought either to have shared information about the answers to the test or to have known that others had done so, The Associated Press reports.

The wire service adds that:

Before we start this post, we'll point to one from earlier this week:

Rather Than Joking About Justin Bieber, Watch This Video

The U.S. economy grew at a healthy 3.2 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

Coming on the heels of the third quarter's even better 4.1 percent pace, the news suggests the economy finished 2013 in better shape than it had been a year earlier.

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET. Recovery Of Cars Is Underway:

We're starting to see photos of drivers in Atlanta being reunited with their cars, two days after the ice and snow storm that caused havoc on roads there.

The sedation that put race car legend Michael Schumacher into a medically induced coma after he suffered a serious head injury while skiing in France last month is gradually being reduced "to allow the start of the waking up process," the German driver's manager said Thursday.

Even the famed German automaker concedes that it "may resemble an old horse-drawn carriage."

But the recently rediscovered "first Porsche in the world" — dubbed the P1 — was a technological marvel for its time. It "included a compact electric drive weighing 286 pounds," writes the automotive news site Jalopnik, and could chug along at 22 mph.

Even during a week when the NFL's Super Bowl is dominating sports pages and sports talk shows, college football is back in the headlines because players at Northwestern University have voted to form a union.

Update at 12:35 p.m. ET. Grimm Apologizes; Says He 'Overreacted':

"@repmichaelgrimm called to apologize. He said he 'overreacted.' I accepted his apology," tweets NY1 reporter Michael Scotto, who was the object of Rep. Michael Grimm's anger Tuesday night.

Update at 12:17 p.m. ET. 'Obviously, There Were Errors':

During a televised press conference, the governor of Georgia and the mayor of Atlanta both said they would take responsibility for the mess unfolding across Atlanta's highways.

CNN reports that the broad effect is now coming to light: Officials says one person died, 130 were hurt, and 1,254 accidents were reported during the snowstorm.

Did you hear about Queen Elizabeth II? That times are tough for Britain's monarch?

Or as an inspired headline writer at Australia's Canberra Times put it:

Royal no longer flush — Queen 'down to her last million'

Well, don't schedule a telethon for her just yet.

The queen herself is not running out of money.

Sure, the game-time temperature's going to be in the low-30s or high-20s at Sunday's Super Bowl in New Jersey.

But brokers say that's not the only reason why tickets to the game aren't going for super-high prices on the websites where they're being resold.

Demonstrators in Kiev's main square are welcoming the news that Ukraine's "widely despised" prime minister is stepping down, that anti-protest laws have been repealed and that protesters may get amnesty, NPR's Corey Flintoff reports.

In Louisiana:

-- "Jindal declares state of emergency, urges caution ahead of winter storm." (The Times-Picayune)

In Mississippi:

"Storm warning: Emergency plans put in place." (Clarion-Ledger)

In Alabama:

News broke this morning that President Obama will announce during his State of the Union address tonight that he's going to sign an executive order raising the minimum wage in new federal contracts.

And as stories about that were popping up on news sites, one of the president's top advisers was on Morning Edition saying that Obama has "warmed up to" the idea of using such executive orders to advance his agenda.

Pete Seeger, "a tireless campaigner for his own vision of a utopia marked by peace and togetherness," died Monday at the age of 94.

As former NPR broadcaster Paul Brown adds in an appreciation he prepared for Morning Edition, Seeger's tools "were his songs, his voice, his enthusiasm and his musical instruments."

The songs he'll be long remembered for include "If I Had a Hammer," "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone."

As creepily fascinating as the story may be, the tale about a "rat-infested ghost ship" supposedly headed toward Britain may need to be filed in the too-good-to-be-true category.

Charlie Shrem, CEO of the BitInstant bitcoin exchange, and another man have been charged with allegedly laundering money for individuals who illegally bought drugs online.

One of only three known containers holding what's said to be Pope John Paul II's blood was stolen over the weekend from a small church in the mountains of Italy's central Abruzzo region.

According to the BBC, the thief or thieves "left the collection box, but took a crucifix and the priceless relic, which contains a piece of gauze once soaked in the blood of the late pope."

Update at 1:53 p.m. ET. El-Sissi Should Run For President:

NPR's Leila Fadel sends us this update from Cairo:

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces says that Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi should heed the calls of the people to run for president and that el-Sissi is free act as his conscience guides him. El-Sissi hasn't explicitly declared but what is clear is he will run for president.

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET. Letter Sent To Boehner: