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
2:47 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Putin Presents Egyptian Leader With An AK-47

Russian President Vladimir Putin presents Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi an AK-47 assault rifle upon his arrival at the Cairo International Airport in Egypt on Monday.
AP

It's not unusual for world leaders to present their host with a gift when they visit a foreign country. But an assault weapon? Russian President Vladimir Putin gave Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi a Kalashnikov AK-47 shortly after arriving in Cairo Monday evening for talks. The weapon, a longtime favorite of rebel groups across the world, was nestled in a gun case.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

U.S. State Department Suspends Operations In Yemen

Supporters of Houthi Shiites, who took over the government of Yemen and installed a new committee to govern, dance with traditional daggers at a rally in support of the Houthis, at a sports stadium in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015.
Hani Mohammed AP

The U.S. embassy in Yemen is suspending operations because of the deteriorating security situation. The country has been gripped by turmoil since President Abd Rabuh Mansur Hadi and his cabinet resigned in January. Shiite Houthi rebels have since seized control of the capital, Sanaa, placed Hadi and his ministers under arrest and announced plans to form another another government.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Obama Defends Decision Not To Meet With Netanyahu During D.C. Visit

President Barack Obama gestures during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 4:07 pm

President Obama is defending his decision not to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during Netanyahu's upcoming visit to Washington. The prime minister was invited by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to address a joint meeting of Congress on March 3.

The White House was not told of the invitation until shortly before it was made public. Obama said meeting with Netanyahu while he's in Washington would break protocol. Netanyahu is due to make his address just two weeks before Israel's general election.

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Donations Roll In For Detroit Man Who Walks 21 Miles To Work

James Robertson, 56, has been making headlines for walking more than 20 miles to and from work every weekday in Detroit.
Ryan Garza Detroit Free Press/TNS/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 10:53 pm

It took just one newspaper article to change James Robertson's life.

Last Sunday, the Detroit Free Press ran a front page story about the 56-year-old factory worker. It said every weekday for a decade, Robertson has left his house and walked more than 20 miles to and from his job in suburban Detroit. Robertson's car had broken down years before and so he made a long and lonely commute on foot in every kind of weather.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

All-Female Jihadi Group Delivers Guide To Life Under Islamic State

Smoke rises behind an Islamic State flag after a Nov. 24, 2014, battle with Iraqi security forces in Diyala province.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 4:37 pm

It is considered legitimate for a girl to be married at the age of 9, most "pure" girls will be married by 16 or 17, and there is no greater responsibility for a woman than being a wife to her husband.

Those are just some of the statements laid out in a manifesto published by female fighters of the so-called Islamic State.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Thousands Of Cats Destined For Vietnamese Tables Are Buried Instead

This picture taken on Jan. 27, 2015 shows a seized cat in one of the cages being transported in a truck in Hanoi.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 1:34 pm

Vietnamese authorities have buried thousands of cats, many of them apparently still alive, that were destined for restaurant tables. The Associated Press says the felines were culled because they posed an environmental and health risk.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Tue February 3, 2015

New York State Clamps Down On Herbal Supplements

DNA tests were run on supplements claiming to contain ginko bilboa, St. John's wort, ginseng and echinacea.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 7:05 pm

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Target says it will pull the supplements identified by the New York attorney general from its stores and website. The company says, with its vendor, it will investigate and will cooperate with the attorney general.

Walmart says it will pull the items from its shelves in New York, and that "based on testing performed by our suppliers we have not found any issues with the relevant products."

Original post:

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Parallels
3:51 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Where Is All That Excess Oil Going?

Tankers are berthed beside the Fawley oil refinery on Jan. 7, in Southampton, England. With low oil prices, some traders are buying oil and storing it in tankers, hoping the price will rise soon so they can sell it at a profit.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 8:57 pm

There's a term traders use when the price of a commodity like oil has fallen because of oversupply but seems guaranteed to rise again.

It's a market that's "in contango," says Brenda Shaffer, an energy specialist at Georgetown University. "It almost sounds like a sort of great oil dance or something."

And Shaffer says that some oil speculators see an oil market that is in contango in a major way.

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Parallels
3:24 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Tiger Skins And Rhino Horns: Can A Trade Deal Halt The Trafficking?

Coleen Schaefer (left) and Doni Sprague display a tiger pelt that was confiscated and is being stored at the National Wildlife Property Repository on the outskirts of Denver. Some 1.5 million items are being held at the facility. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is still under negotiation, would punish wildlife trafficking.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 3:36 pm

If you want a sobering look at the scale of wildlife trafficking, just visit the National Wildlife Property Repository on the outskirts of Denver. In the middle of a national refuge is a cavernous warehouse stuffed with the remains of 1.5 million animals, whole and in parts.

They range from taxidermied polar bears to tiny sea horses turned into key chains. An area devoted to elephants is framed by a pair of enormous tusks.

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Parallels
8:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Oil Prices Go Down, Russia's Gold Buying Goes Up

An employee displays a gold bar at a gold refining workshop of the plant of Uralelektromed Joint Stock Company (JSC), the enterprise of Ural Mining and Metallurgical company (UMMC) in the town of Verkhnyaya Pyshma, outside Yekaterinburg, Oct. 17.
Maxim Shemetov Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 9:39 pm

It's been a rough ride for the Russian economy and it keeps getting worse. Low oil prices helped push the ruble to another record low on Friday. This spate of bad economic news is probably just accelerating an existing trend: Russia's purchase of gold at an astounding rate.

Russia's central bank bought more than 130 tons of gold this year. Last year, it bought about 75 tons. Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at the brokerage firm, RJ O'Brien, says Russia has shifted even more assets into gold because it has had a particularly bad year.

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