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
4:32 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

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

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 2:19 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
4:57 pm
Wed July 22, 2015

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

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 7:24 pm

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

Africa
4:59 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari Makes First U.S. Visit

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 10:17 pm

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

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Parallels
6:13 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 12:48 pm

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
3:53 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 1:37 pm

$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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Energy
4:31 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

After Nuclear Deal, Iranian Oil Could Flow At Molasses Pace

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 7:18 pm

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Politics
4:35 pm
Tue July 7, 2015

Vietnamese Communist Party Chief Makes 1st White House Visit

Originally published on Tue July 7, 2015 6:32 pm

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Business
4:30 pm
Mon July 6, 2015

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

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 9:02 pm

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Europe
5:09 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Online Fund Started To Raise Money For Greece's Debt

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 9:19 am

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

Latin America
4:58 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 8:06 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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Asia
4:39 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

U.S., China Face Tensions At 7th Strategic And Economic Dialogue

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 5:56 am

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Parallels
3:36 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 6:57 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
4:12 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 10:46 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
7:31 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Canadian Judge Grants Former Guantanamo Inmate Bail

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 8:22 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
12:07 pm
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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World
5:16 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

U.S. Issues Licenses For Ferry Travel To Cuba

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 7:55 pm

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Ex-Guantanamo Prisoner In Canada Wants To Be Released On Bail

Canadian-born Omar Khadr is seen in a courtroom sketch during a 2010 hearing at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was moved to a Canadian prison in 2012.
Janet Hamlin AP

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 6:07 pm

Omar Khadr was just 15 years old when he was taken to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2002 — the youngest person ever to be incarcerated at the controversial camp. After a decade there, he was transferred to a prison in western Canada as part of a plea deal.

The Toronto-born Khadr is now at the center of a battle between defense lawyers who want him freed on bail and Canada's government, which has launched an 11th-hour appeal to make sure he stays put.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
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 4:05 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
5:34 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 6:38 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
1:29 pm
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 4:46 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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