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
11:18 am
Wed April 1, 2015

U.S. Creates First Sanctions Program Against Cybercriminals

Dollar bills are reflected in a computer hard drive.
Thomas Trutschel Photothek via Getty Images

The U.S. wants to slap sanctions on cybercriminals. President Obama issued an executive order Wednesday creating the nation's first sanctions program to combat "malicious" cyberattacks and cyberspying.

President Obama said cyberthreats pose one of "the most serious economic and national security challenge" to the U.S., and that the executive order offers a "targeted tool" for countering that threat.

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Dozens Of Countries Join China-Backed Bank Opposed By Washington

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei (left) speaks during the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank last year in Beijing.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 4:24 pm

Dozens of countries have slid under Tuesday's deadline to join a China-backed infrastructure development bank that is opposed by Washington.

U.S. allies such as South Korea and Australia were among the more than 40 nations that signed up at the last moment as founding members of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Staff At Britain's Windsor Castle May Strike Over Low Wages

Windsor Castle, home to the British monarchy for hundreds of years, was built by William the Conqueror in the 1070s, according to the monarchy's official website.
W. Buss De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 3:36 pm

Staff at Windsor Castle, one of Britain's most popular tourists sites, begin voting Tuesday on whether to go on strike over low wages. It is the first time Queen Elizabeth is facing such an action by members of the royal household.

The union representing 120 employees at Windsor Castle — everything from wardens to ticket office personnel — will ask members to decide whether to take action.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Major Power Outage Darkens Dozens Of Cities In Turkey

Parts of the subway system were shut down in the city of Bursa when a major power outage hit cities and provinces across Turkey on Tuesday.
Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 1:10 pm

A massive power outage hit dozens of Turkish cities and provinces Tuesday, bringing public transportation services to a halt and disrupting businesses that have no backup power.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said officials are investigating all possible causes, including a terrorist attack, for the electricity shutoff across Turkey, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

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The Two-Way
8:06 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Venezuela Cuts Oil Subsidies To Caribbean Nations

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 12:57 pm

Low oil prices are forcing Venezuela to cut a generous subsidy program to Cuba and a dozen other Caribbean nations.

Venezuela is Latin America's largest oil producer, and its economy depends heavily on oil exports. It's been been hit hard by the tumbling oil prices.

"Venezuela is in desperate straits. The oil sector has been deteriorating, and now with the slumping oil prices, they needed cash desperately," says Michael Shifter, the president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington, D.C.-based group that studies the region.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Airstrikes In Yemen Intensify, Hit Refugee Camp

Pakistani activists march in support of the Saudi government at a protest in Quetta on March 30, 2015. Pakistan is the latest country to join a Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen.
BANARAS KHAN AFP/Getty Images

Saudi-led airstrikes intensified against Houthi rebels in Yemen. International aid agencies say one strike hit a camp for displaced people and refugees in the north of the country, killing at least 29 people and wounding many others.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says the strike hit the Al Mazraq refugee camp in an area controlled by the Houthis. The aid agency says at least 34 people were taken to a nearby hospital, and an additional 29 people were dead on arrival.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Oops: World Leaders' Personal Data Mistakenly Released

French President Francois Hollande (from left), President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron at the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, in November 2014.
Glenn Hunt AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 11:28 am

With a single keystroke, the personal information of President Obama and 30 other world leaders was mistakenly released by an official with Australia's immigration office.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Yemen's Turmoil Sparks Big Swings In The Global Oil Market

Yemenis walk past near oil tankers that were burnt during clashes between Shiite Houthi rebels and their opponents in the capital, Sanaa, in September. Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes this week to counter the Houthis' offensive.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

The current upheaval in Yemen is a sharp reminder of the fragility of the global oil market. Airstrikes by Saudi Arabia against Houthi rebels in Yemen has stoked fears of a disruption to the supply market.

Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, share a long border. While Yemen is only a small producer of crude oil, it controls the Bab el-Mandeb Strait at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Saudi Arabia Pounds Rebel Targets In Yemen On 2nd Day Of Air Campaign

A Houthi Shiite fighter stands guard Thursday as people search for survivors under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes near Sanaa Airport in Yemen.
Hani Mohammed AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 5:03 pm

Saudi Arabia unleashed another round of airstrikes today on its southern neighbor, Yemen. The warplanes targeted Houthi rebel targets, including air bases, in a bid to neutralize the militants' air defenses.

Explosions rocked the capital, Sanaa, and anti-aircraft guns could be heard returning fire, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Wed March 25, 2015

U.S. Confirms It Is Supporting Saudi Military Operations In Yemen

People seek shelter amid gunfire at an army base in Yemen's southern port city of Aden on Wednesday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 5:00 am

Update at 2 a.m. ET Thursday: U.S. Confirms It Is Supporting Saudi Military Operations

In a statement late Wednesday night, National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said:

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Russia Loses Bid To Deny Benefits To Spouses Of Gay U.N. Staff

Flag of the United Nations
Steve Allen Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 4:04 pm

The United Nations has approved a plan to give family benefits to the spouses of same-sex employees if they are legally married.

Russia had led an effort to derail the plan, which was announced by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in July. But the U.N. General Assembly budget committee voted 80-43 against Russia's proposal.

There were 37 abstentions, and 33 countries did not vote. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria and China were among the countries that supported Russia.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Tue March 24, 2015

U.S. Providing Reconnaissance Flights Over Booby-Trapped Tikrit

A volunteer fighter with a Shiite militant group known as Jihad Brigades fires his weapon during clashes with Islamic State militants outside Tikrit, Iraq, on Saturday.
AP

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 12:01 pm

The U.S. is providing surveillance flights over the besieged Iraqi city of Tikrit, where militants from the self-proclaimed Islamic State remain holed up, protected by a defensive network of explosives and snipers.

NPR's Alice Fordman reports that a senior military official from the U.S.-led coalition against the militants, also known as ISIS, says the U.S. has been conducting reconnaissance missions over Tikrit since Saturday.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Nation's Oldest Female Veteran Dies At 108

President Obama and Vice President Biden visit with Lucy Coffey in the Vice President's Office of the White House on July 25, 2014.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 2:46 pm

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Lucy Coffey, the nation's oldest female military veteran, has died at the age of 108. She died Thursday in her sleep at her home in San Antonio, Texas. Her friend, Queta Marquez, a veterans' service officer, says Coffey had been sick for about a week and had a chronic cough, according to CBS.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Prices For Chanel Handbags To Rise In Europe, Lower In Asia

A sales assistant arranges handbags inside a Chanel boutique at a shopping mall in central Guangzhou, China, in February 2014.
Alex Lee Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 6:49 am

A Chanel handbag is classic, designed to withstand upheavals in fashion and taste. But not price. The Paris-based fashion house has announced that the prices will go up in Europe, and down in Asia.

The move will affect the 11.12, the 2.55, and the Boy Bag models.

At the moment, there's a significant difference in cost between the two regions. Hana Ben-Shabat, a retail and consumer goods specialist at A.T. Kearney, tells NPR that a bag that costs $3,500 in Europe can run up to $6,000 in China.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Protesters, Police Clash At Opening Of European Central Bank Headquarters

A protester holds a stone as police use water cannons on crowds near the new headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.
Michael Probst AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 4:15 pm

Anti-capitalist demonstrators and police battled Wednesday outside the European Central Bank's new headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. Police cars were set on fire and nearby streets were blockaded with burning tires while a ceremony got underway inside to inaugurate the $1 billion-plus building.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Britain Unveils A New 1-Pound Coin

The new 1-pound coin is expected to be released by 2017.
The Royal Mint

The Royal Mint in the U.K. has unveiled a new 1-pound coin that it says will be the world's most counterfeit-proof coin.

The 12-sided coin, which is set to be released by 2017, will still feature a likeness of Queen Elizabeth II on one side. But the "tails side" will have a new design representing the four symbols of the U.K.: an English rose, a leek for Wales, a Scottish thistle and shamrock for Northern Ireland. They emerge from a single stem within a crown.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Gunmen Storm Tunisian Museum In Deadly Attack

Tunisian security forces secure the area after gunmen attacked Tunis' famed National Bardo Museum on Wednesday.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 11:41 am

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Tunisia's prime minister says at least 21 people were killed Wednesday after gunmen stormed the National Bardo Museum in the capital city, Tunis. Seventeen foreign tourists from Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain were among the dead, according to Prime Minister Habib Essid.

Two gunmen also were killed, Essid said, along with a Tunisian citizen and a police officer. Initial reports had put the death toll at eight.

At least 22 foreigners and two Tunisians were injured in the most serious attack in Tunisia in years.

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

European Allies Defy U.S. In Joining China-Led Development Bank

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, and Asian leaders approved an agreement on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing in Oct., 2014. European countries are beginning to sign up too.
Takaki Yajima AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 3:33 pm

Four key European allies have broken ranks with the U.S. to join a major new development bank created by China. Germany, France, and Italy today agreed to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Last week, the U.K., one of America's staunchest allies, became the first Western nation to join the new bank.

The Obama administration opposes the AIIB, due to open later this year, and has pressured allies such as South Korea, Japan and Australia not to join the new bank. The administration says there's no need for another international lending institution.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Tue March 17, 2015

U.S. Returns Dozens Of Looted Artifacts To Iraq

Some of the artifacts that were handed over to Iraq during a ceremony Monday in Washington, D.C.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 1:31 pm

The U.S. returned dozens of artifacts to the Iraqi government Monday. The cultural treasures, some dating back more than 4,000 years, were looted from Iraq and smuggled into the United States.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Wed March 4, 2015

U.K. Government Selling Its Share Of Eurostar

Eurostar unveiled its e320 fleet in November 2014 at St. Pancras Station in London.
Tristan Fewings Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:22 pm

The British government says it is selling its stake in Eurostar, the high-speed rail service linking London to Paris and Brussels. The government is selling its full 40 percent stake in the company to a group of international investors for $1.1 billion.

The move is part of an effort by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to sell a number of national assets to bring in $20 billion by 2020.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Putin Speaks About The Killing Of Kremlin Critic Boris Nemtsov

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) attends an Interior Ministry meeting Wednesday in Moscow. He condemned the death of Boris Nemtsov, saying it was a "disgrace" to Russia.
Alexei Druzhinin AP

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 12:20 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin has for the first time spoken publicly about the killing of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, calling his death a shameful tragedy. Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister who became a major opposition figure, was shot four times in the back Friday as he was walking near the Kremlin.

"The most serious attention should be paid to high-profile crimes, including the ones with a political subtext," Putin said in a televised address to the Interior Ministry. He said the country should be devoid of the shame and tragedies it has recently seen and endured.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Indian State Bans The Slaughter, Sale And Consumption Of Beef

A streetside vendor stands on the pavement next to her cow as it rains in Mumbai, India.
Danish Siddiqui Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 5:13 pm

Eating a steak dinner in Mumbai nowadays could land you in prison for up to five years and cost you more than $150 in fines.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee approved a bill Tuesday that strictly bans the slaughter of cows, along with the sale, consumption or even possession of beef in the state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located. The bill will also include a ban on the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, but not water buffaloes.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Riddle Of Mysterious Tunnel Solved, Toronto Police Say

A 33-foot-long tunnel found in Toronto, Ontario, is pictured in this handout photo provided by Toronto Police.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 2:02 pm

Police in Toronto say they have solved the riddle of a mysterious tunnel discovered near a venue for the upcoming Pan American and Parapan American Games.

Maybe.

Police say two men told investigators that they built the tunnel for "personal reasons." Police verified their account, deemed there was no criminal intent or concerns about security, and closed the case.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, Longtime President Of Notre Dame University, Dies

The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, longtime president of the University of Notre Dame, was influential in reshaping Catholic higher education.
Joe Raymond AP

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 4:21 pm

The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, a former president of the University of Notre Dame who tangled with the Nixon administration, died late Thursday. He was 97.

For those who knew him, Hesburgh was simply Father Ted. But make no mistake, he was a highly influential priest who moved among presidents and popes. During his 35 years as president of Notre Dome, he reinforced the importance of a college education and urged that it be affordable and accessible to all.

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Remembrances
2:44 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

'Father Ted' Remembered As Influential Figure In Catholic Education

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 6:13 pm

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

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Toronto Police Try To Uncover Riddle Of Mystery Tunnel

Deputy Chief Mark Saunders speaks at a news conference in Toronto on Tuesday. A mysterious tunnel discovered in Toronto near one of the venues for this summer's Pan American Games contained a rosary with a crucifix and poppy. Police said there is nothing to suggest the tunnel was linked to criminal activity.
Aaron Harris Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 12:04 pm

Police in Toronto are asking for the public's help to solve the riddle of a mysterious tunnel discovered more than a month ago. Investigations have so far been unable to determine who built the tunnel or its purpose, but its discovery has fueled security concerns ahead of the Pan American and Parapan American Games in Canada this summer.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Secret Service To Fly Drones Over Washington, D.C.

Secret Service officers search the White House grounds on Jan. 26 after an unmanned aerial drone was found there during the middle of the night.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 12:32 pm

Tourists may soon have a new attraction to look at when they visit the nation's capital. The U.S. Secret Service says it will begin flying drones over Washington, D.C., in the near future.

The decision comes just weeks after a small unmanned — and unarmed — drone landed on White House property. In late January, as we've reported, a government employee lost control of the "quad copter," crashing it in the early morning hours.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

3 Missing Teenage Girls Now In Syria, British Police Say

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 3:13 pm

British police say three teenage girls believed to have run away to join Islamist extremists have now crossed into Syria. The girls, ages 15 and 16, left their London homes Feb. 17 and boarded flights for Istanbul. Police think they then crossed the border into Syria hoping to join up with militants from the so-called Islamic State.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Tue February 24, 2015

19 Stuck Manatees Rescued From Florida Storm Drain

In this photo taken Aug. 6, 2014, a manatee comes up for a breath of air at the Miami Seaquarium in Key Biscayne, Fla.
Alan Diaz ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Rescue crews worked through the night to free 19 manatees that had gotten stuck in a storm drain in Satellite Beach, Fla. It's believed the massive, lumbering mammals, in search of warm water after a recent cold snap, swam into a large drainage pipe near Cape Canaveral but were unable to turn around to get out.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Justice Department Appeals Ruling Blocking Obama's Immigration Plan

President Obama speaks about immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas in November, after taking a series of executive actions.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:23 pm

The U.S. Justice Department is asking a federal judge to put on hold his ruling that temporarily blocks President Obama's executive action that would protect more than 4 million people in this country illegally from the threat of deportation.

In its motion to stay, the Justice Department said U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen "lacked authority to issue the preliminary injunction."

Justice Department officials also filed an appeal of Hanen's decision and asked that the executive action move forward while the appeals process is underway.

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