Jackie Northam

Jackie Northam is Foreign Affairs correspondent for NPR news. The veteran journalist has more than two decades of experience covering the world's hot spots and reporting on a broad tapestry of international and foreign policy issues.

Based in Washington, D.C., Northam is assigned to the leading stories of the day, traveling regularly overseas to report the news - from Afghanistan and Pakistan, to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Northam just completed a five year stint as NPR's National Security Correspondent, covering US defense and intelligence policies. She led the network's coverage of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, traveling regularly to the controversial base to report on conditions there, and on US efforts to prosecute detainees.

Northam spent more than a decade as a foreign correspondent. She reported from Beirut during the war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006, from Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and from Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War. She lived in and reported extensively from Southeast Asia, Indochina, and Eastern Europe, where she charted the fall of communism.

While based in Nairobi, Kenya, Northam covered the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. She managed to enter the country just days after the slaughter of ethnic Tutsis began by hitching a ride with a French priest who was helping Rwandans escape to neighboring Burundi.

A native of Canada, Northam's first overseas reporting post was London, where she spent seven years covering stories on Margaret Thatcher's Britain and efforts to create the European Union.

Northam has received multiple journalism awards during her career, including Associated Press awards, regional Edward R. Murrow awards, and was part of an NPR team journalists that won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Malaysia, Cuba Taken Off U.S. Human Trafficking Blacklist

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 12:19 pm

The U.S. State Department has taken Malaysia and Cuba off its list of worst human trafficking offenders — which many human rights advocates and U.S. lawmakers say has more to do with politics than facts on the ground.

The department's latest annual Trafficking in Persons Report also upgraded Uzbekistan and Angola, while Belize, Belarus and South Sudan were among 18 nations downgraded this year. Russia, Iran, Eritrea and Algeria are some of the countries that have been on the blacklist for years.

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Business
2:57 pm
Wed July 22, 2015

With U.S.-Cuba Ties Restored, Embargo Leaves Trade Restrictions In Place

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 5:24 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
4:13 am
Sat July 18, 2015

Is N. Korea Facing A Famine Or Just Seeking More Aid?

A farmer stands near a field in South Hwanghae, North Korea.
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 10:48 am

North Korea knows a little bit about drought and famine. In the 1990s, it's believed that up to 1 million North Koreans died in one of the worst famines of the 20th century.

So when Pyongyang issued a statement last month saying the country is facing its "worst drought in 100 years," it was taken seriously.

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Parallels
1:53 pm
Thu July 16, 2015

Lifting Sanctions Will Release $100 Billion To Iran. Then What?

Shoppers make their way in a Tehran bazaar. Once international sanctions are lifted, $100 billion from Iranian oil sales will be released from escrow accounts.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Sun July 19, 2015 11:37 am

$100 billion: That's roughly how much the U.S. Treasury Department says Iran stands to recover once sanctions are lifted under the new nuclear deal. The money comes from Iranian oil sales and has been piling up in some international banks over the past few years. But there are questions about what Iran will do with this windfall.

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Business
2:30 pm
Mon July 6, 2015

Major U.S. Airlines Push Back Against Expansion Of Gulf Carriers

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 7:02 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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Europe
3:09 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Online Fund Started To Raise Money For Greece's Debt

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 7:19 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Latin America
2:58 am
Tue June 30, 2015

Brazil Tries To Rebuild Relations With U.S. After NSA Spying Scandal

President Barack Obama walks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, second from right, during a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 6:06 am

It's rare that a world leader will cancel a planned state visit to the White House, but that's what happened two years ago when Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff found out that the U.S. had been spying on her and her top aides.

The Brazilian leader is now trying to let bygones be bygones, and is in Washington, D.C., to visit with President Obama.

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Parallels
1:36 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

Anxious About China, Asian Nations Buy More U.S. Military Hardware

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, right, and Vietnam's Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh review the guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony at the Defense Ministry in Hanoi, Vietnam, on June 1. The U.S., Russia, France, the U.K. and other countries are all jockeying to sell military equipment to Southeast Asian countries.
Hoang Dinh Nam Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 4:57 pm

Southeast Asia is becoming a booming market for U.S. defense companies. Countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand are spending billions to upgrade and expand their defense systems. At the heart of this shopping spree is anxiety over China.

But American defense companies have plenty of competition.

Southeast Asian countries have been steadily building up their defense systems over the past decade — some more than others. But the pace has picked up recently, says Anthony Nelson, with the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.

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Parallels
2:46 pm
Mon June 1, 2015

As The Arctic Opens Up, The U.S. Is Down To A Single Icebreaker

The Polar Star completes ice drills in the Arctic in July 2013. Built in the 1970s and only meant to last 30 years, the vessel is the U.S. Coast Guard's only heavy icebreaker.
U.S. Coast Guard Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 8:46 pm

Melting ice in the Arctic is creating opportunities for access to oil and gas, and shipping lanes. But the area is still mostly frozen and navigating the inhospitable region on top of the world still requires an icebreaker, the heavy duty ships that are able to crash through massive layers of ice.

The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for search-and-rescue missions, as well as protecting the environment and defending U.S. sovereignty. The U.S. is one of five countries with territorial claims to the land and waters of the Arctic (The others are Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark.).

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The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Canadian Judge Grants Former Guantanamo Inmate Bail

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 6:22 am

A former Guantanamo Bay inmate, convicted of killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, has been granted bail after a judge rejected an 11th hour appeal by the Canadian government to keep him behind bars.

Court of Appeal Justice, Myra Bielby, refused the government's request to stop Omar Khadr's release on bail while he appeals a war crimes' conviction handed down by a U.S. military commission in 2010.

"Mr. Khadr, you're free to go," Bielby said, according to news reports. Khadr smiled while the cheers rang through the courtroom in Edmonton, Alberta.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Thu May 7, 2015

Saudi Arabia Proposes A 5-Day Truce In Yemen

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir held a joint news conference Thursday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Andrew Harnik AP

Saudi Arabia is proposing a temporary truce in neighboring Yemen to help get humanitarian aid into the country, but the offer is contingent on whether Houthi rebels also agree to lay down their arms.

Saudi Arabia's newly-installed foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, announced the proposal at a news conference Thursday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in Riyadh for talks about war in Yemen.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Tue May 5, 2015

New Fighting Along Yemen Border Closes Schools And Airports

An airport official walks past a military aircraft destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes, at the Sanaa International airport in Yemen on Tuesday. Destroyed runways prevent aid from being delivered.
Hani Mohammed AP

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 2:05 pm

The fighting in Yemen has expanded from the major cities and ports to a border region with Saudi Arabia. Shelling by Shiite Houthi rebels in the area of Najran in northwestern Yemen has forced Saudi Arabia to suspend school and halt flights into the local airports, according to news reports.

This latest flashpoint comes nearly six weeks into a Saudi-led air campaign to stop the Houthis and their allies, security forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh, from taking control of Yemen.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

NATO Forces Launch Largest Anti-Submarine Exercises Ever Off Norway Coast

Helicopter belonging to the Netherlands participates in NATO's Dynamic Mongoose anti-submarine exercise in the North Sea, off the coast of Norway, on May 4, 2015.
MARIT HOMMEDAL AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 4:38 pm

Naval Forces from 10 NATO countries and Sweden have launched a massive anti-submarine exercise in the Norwegian Sea. The two-week exercise, dubbed Dynamic Mongoose, brings together thousands of NATO troops, and dozens of vessels, including submarines, that will practice hunting, attacking and avoiding detection, according to news reports.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Israel Braces For More Protests By Minority Ethiopian Community

Israeli police officers detain an Ethiopian-Israeli during a demonstration Sunday in Tel Aviv.
Tsafrir Abayov AP

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 2:46 pm

Israeli leaders are urging calm after violence marred a night of protests in Tel Aviv by the country's Ethiopian community. Dozens of people were injured, including many police officers, and dozens were arrested, according to news reports.

NPR's Emily Harris reports that people protesting treatment of Ethiopian-Israelis chanted peacefully near Tel Aviv City Hall on Sunday. "Later, police and demonstrators fought — with stones and bottles, tear gas and flash grenades," she says.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

PROFILE: Young Prosecutor In Gray Case Shows No Tolerance For Police Misconduct

Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announces that criminal charges will be filed against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore on Friday. Gray died in police custody after being arrested on April 12.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 10:12 pm

When Marilyn Mosby was elected in January as state's attorney for the city of Baltimore, it's unlikely she had any inkling that just four months later she would be thrust into the national spotlight.

But as Mosby stood behind a bank of microphones Friday and announced criminal charges - including murder and manslaughter — against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, it looked as though she was born into the job.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Documents Show FAA Questioned Mental Fitness of Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz

September 13, 2015 photo of Andreas Lubitz, who is believed to have deliberately crashed Germanwings flight 9525 into a mountain in southern France on March 24, 2015, killing all 150 people on board.
Getty Images Getty Images

Newly released documents from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration show that it initially declined to grant a medical certificate to Andreas Lubitz, the pilot who is believed to have intentionally crashed an airline into the French Alps last month.

The documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, provide an eerie glimpse into Lubitz's mental history and an effort to conceal that from U.S. medical examiners.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Japan's Prime Minister Makes Historic Address To Congress

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is greeted by members before speaking to a joint meeting of Congress, the first Japanese prime minister to do so.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

In a historic address to Congress, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid out his vision for a stronger alliance with the U.S. and expressed condolences for his country's behavior during World War II.

Abe received a standing ovation as he entered the House chamber and shook hands with several lawmakers. He is the first Japanese Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of Congress, and his speech caps several days of high-profile meetings and agreements that bolster Japan's standing as America's closest Asian ally. Abe called it an alliance of hope.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Wed April 29, 2015

Game Of Thrones: Saudi King Shakes Up Line Of Succession

Saudi King Salman (center) appears alongside then-Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz (third from left) and then-deputy Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef (left) in January. Muqrin has since been pushed aside to make way for Mohammed.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 9:34 am

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has issued a series of royal decrees bringing about a dramatic reshuffling in the line of succession and ushering in a younger generation to take up key ministerial positions.

This is the second major shake-up to the ranks of power in the kingdom since the 79-year-old Salman assumed the throne Jan. 23.

(There are roughly 15,000 princes and princesses in Saudi Arabia, but power is consolidated among a few. You can follow along with this helpful Wall Street Journal family tree.)

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Tue April 28, 2015

As Curfew Goes Into Effect, Baltimore Police Clear Defiant Crowds

A man on a bicycle greets Maryland state troopers on Tuesday in the aftermath of rioting in Baltimore.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 5:05 am

Updated at 10:55 p.m. ET:

As the curfew declared by Baltimore's mayor goes into effect, a number of protesters — hundreds, according to The Associated Press — are refusing to leave the streets, and are facing off against gathered police officers.

Protesters threw objects at the police when they first advanced on the crowd, and police responded with smoke grenades and flash grenades at about 10:25 p.m.

To the southeast, National Guard troops could be seen stationed in the city's Inner Harbor entertainment district.

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Politics
2:25 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

U.S., Japan Announce Updated Defense Guidelines

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 6:14 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
2:35 am
Mon April 27, 2015

For Japan's Prime Minister, U.S. Visit A Chance To Elevate Image

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter earlier this month in Tokyo. Abe's visit to the U.S. this week features an agreement for the Japanese military to have a more active role.
Franck Robichon AP

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 3:42 pm

Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is in the U.S. this week for a tightly packed visit that will focus largely on the strong ties between the U.S. and its closest Asian ally.

There was a time not so long ago that the prime minister's office in Tokyo appeared to have a revolving door. Japan went through four prime ministers during President Obama's first three years in office.

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Parallels
1:50 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Merchant Ships Called On To Aid Migrants In Mediterranean Feel The Strain

The King Jacob, a Portuguese-flagged cargo vessel, was the first ship to arrive near the migrant boat that sank off the Libyan coast over the weekend. The boat had been carrying more than 800 people.
Alessandro Fucarini AP

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 12:22 pm

Italian prosecutors say the ship carrying hundreds of migrants that sank over the weekend most likely crashed against a cargo ship that had come to its rescue.

Merchant ships are often called on to help rescue migrants on vessels attempting to cross the Mediterranean. So when a distress call went out late Saturday evening from the overloaded migrant vessel, commercial vessels in the region responded.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Iran Charges 'Washington Post' Reporter With Espionage

Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post, faces four serious charges, including espionage, according to his lawyer. He's shown in 2013.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 11:59 am

Iran is charging a Washington Post reporter with four crimes, including espionage, the newspaper said today. This is the first time the precise charges against Jason Rezaian, the Post's bureau chief in Tehran, have been made public since he was detained by the Iranian authorities nine months ago.

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Why A Blockbuster Of A Trade Deal With Asia Matters

Freighters wait to unload cargo at the Tanjung Pagar container port in Singapore.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 3:51 pm

It has been a decade in the making, but when completed, it will be a free trade agreement to beat all others — representing 40 percent of the world's economy.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, agreement would bring together the economies of the U.S., Japan, Australia and nine other Pacific Rim nations, allowing the free trade of everything from agriculture to automobiles and textiles to pharmaceuticals.

President Obama said Friday that the deal is critical for the U.S. market.

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The Two-Way
6:42 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Feds Cancel Commercial Sardine Fishing After Stocks Crash

A tray of sardines in Costa Mesa, California, in this November 17, 2014 photo. Plummeting sardine populations force a complete ban on sardine fishing off the U.S. West Coast for more than a year.
LUCY NICHOLSON Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:58 am

Life has suddenly gotten easier for the sardine. Federal regulators are not only closing the commercial sardine fishing season early in Oregon, Washington and California, but it will stay closed for more than a year.

The decision to shut down the sardine harvest is an effort to build up depleted stocks of the small, oily fish. The conservation group, Oceana, says that sardine populations have crashed more than 90 percent since 2007.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Pro-Russia Journalist Shot Dead In Ukraine

Oles Buzyna, a Ukrainian journalist seen here in 2012 who was known for his pro-Russia views, was gunned down in broad daylight in Kiev on Thursday.
Sergei Vaganov AP

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 10:34 am

A senior Ukrainian journalist known for his pro-Russia stance has been shot dead in Kiev, one day after a former pro-Russia lawmaker was found dead in the Ukrainian capital.

Oles Buzyna, 45, had recently resigned as editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Sevodnya. Ukraine's interior ministry said in a statement that he was killed Thursday afternoon by two masked gunmen shooting from a passing car, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Documents Show Global Outpouring Of Grief Over Lincoln's Assassination

An engraving of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington on April 14, 1865. Lincoln died the next day.
De Agostini Picture Library De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 2:24 pm

"The exhibition of profound grief was such as I have never seen equalled. Several overcome by their emotion, sat down upon the very ground and wept."

That was how Thomas Nelson, a U.S. minister to Chile, described the reaction of ordinary citizens in Spain to the news of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination in 1865.

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Iraqi Leader Visits Washington Looking For Help In Fight Against Islamic State

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and President Obama meet at the White House on Tuesday. The prime minister is visiting to discuss the fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is in Washington this week, trying to drum up financial and military support for his country. His first stop today was the White House, where he met with President Obama.

The administration promised $200 million in humanitarian assistance for Iraqis uprooted by violence. But the heart of the discussion was the joint fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Blackwater Security Guards Handed Lengthy Sentences For Iraqi Killings

Former Blackwater security guards were sentenced Monday for the shooting of dozens of Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad, Iraq. The square is seen here on Sept. 20, 2007, four days after the incident.
Khalid Mohammed AP

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 6:53 pm

Four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards have been handed decades-long sentences, ending a case stemming from the deadly shootings of dozens of Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Three of the guards — Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — were each handed down 30-year sentences for voluntary and attempted manslaughter. Nicholas Slatten was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Alan Turing Notebook Sells For More Than $1 Million At Auction

A page from the notebook of World War II code-breaking genius Alan Turing is displayed along with his portrait. The 56-page manuscript sold Monday for more than $1 million.
Kin Cheung AP

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 1:36 pm

A handwritten notebook by Alan Turing, the British mathematician credited with breaking German codes during World War II, sold for more than $1 million at auction Monday in New York. It is the first time a manuscript by Turing, a pioneer in computer science, has come to public market, according to Bonhams.

Bonhams says it is currently unable to reveal the identity of the buyer.

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