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
2:57 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Is It Time To Resurrect The Brontosaurus?

A life-size replica of a Brontosaurus towers above park goers on Christmas day in 2006 in Manila, Philippines.
Pat Roque AP

Originally published on Sun April 12, 2015 2:46 pm

The Brontosaurus may be back.

Not that it ever really went away, at least not in the minds of generations of people who grew up watching Fred Flintstone devour one of his beloved Brontosaurus burgers.

But if you're a scientist, you have to stick to the rules, and in 1903, the name Brontosaurus was struck from the record. That was when paleontologist Elmer Riggs deemed that the Brontosaurus was really just a different dinosaur, Apatosaurus.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Power Outages Hit Parts Of Washington, D.C., Including The White House

Visitors to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum wait for it to reopen after widespread power outages caused many of the buildings along the National Mall in Washington to shut down temporarily on Tuesday.
Andrew Harnik AP

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 1:19 pm

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Large portions of Washington, D.C., were hit by power outages Tuesday, momentarily plunging the White House and other buildings into darkness.

The Pepco utility company says the culprit was a transmission line in southern Maryland that caused "a dip in voltage" shortly before 1 p.m. ET. The power company says there was never a loss of permanent supply of electricity, but the situation caused some customers to move to their backup systems, which is what caused the dip in voltage.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Mon April 6, 2015

StuckInYemen.com Website Offers To Help Americans Trapped In Yemen

Smoke and flames reportedly from Shiite Houthi rebels camps rise over part of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Monday. Fierce fighting has left people trapped, including U.S. citizens.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 1:05 pm

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET.

Several Arab-American groups have launched a website to help U.S. citizens trapped by the fighting in Yemen.

StuckInYemen.com was created after the advocacy groups began hearing from mostly Yemeni-American citizens who reportedly were being told by the U.S. State Department that there are currently no evacuation plans for Yemen. The website addresses Yemeni-Americans, in particular, but is open to all U.S. citizens.

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The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Sat April 4, 2015

Framework Nuclear Deal Could Be Good News For Iran's Oil Sector

Iranian oil workers gather at an oil refinery south of the capital Tehran, Dec. 22, 2014. Iran's oil exports have been crippled by sanctions.
Vahid Salemi AP

The framework nuclear deal reached with Iran this week could have an enormous impact on the global oil market. Sanctions, which have crippled the country's oil exports, could be lifted if a final nuclear agreement is signed at the end of June between Iran, the U.S. and five other world powers.

Cliff Kupchan, a senior Iran analyst at the Eurasia Group, says oil exports brought in about 40 percent of the government's revenues. He says since sanctions were tightened in 2012, Iran's oil exports have fallen by almost a half.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Thu April 2, 2015

U.N. Report: 25,000 Foreign Fighters Joining Islamist Militant Groups

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

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 3:11 pm

A new United Nations report says that more than 25,000 fighters have left their homes bound for Iraq, Syria and other countries to join terrorist networks such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State and the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front.

The report says the fighters hail from more than 100 countries worldwide, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Iraq Claims Victory Over Militants In Strategic City Of Tikrit

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (left) tours Tikrit after it was retaken by security forces Wednesday, a key step in driving the militants out of their biggest strongholds.
AP

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 2:43 pm

The Iraqi government says its security forces have retaken Tikrit from militants with the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Recapturing the strategic city after a monthlong battle is considered a major setback for the jihadist group, also known as ISIS.

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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
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
2:24 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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