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
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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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Australia Announces Security Crackdown Amid 'Rising' Terrorist Threat

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks about his nation's new anti-extremism strategy on Monday in Canberra, Australia.
Rob Griffith AP

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 11:45 am

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has introduced a raft of tough new measures aimed at countering what he called the rising threat of terrorism.

Abbott announced the national security crackdown one day after the release of a review of Australia's counterterrrorism operations and a report on a deadly attack in a Sydney cafe in December that left three people dead.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Arctic Temperatures Create Enormous Ice Formations At Niagara Falls

A partially frozen American Falls in sub-freezing temperatures is seen in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on Tuesday. Temperature dropped to 6 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning for western New York from midnight Wednesday to Friday.
Lindsay DeDario Reuters/Landov

The Arctic cold snap that has gripped much of the U.S. lately may be causing hardship for many, but it's also creating some spectacular ice formations at Niagara Falls. The spectacle is drawing huge crowds on both the Canadian and American side of the border.

The air temperature is so cold that the water and mist coming off the falls is frozen in place. Some of the formations look like massive boulders, others look like long shards of white glass.

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Fri February 20, 2015

YouTube Is Expected To Unveil New App Just For Kids

YouTube Kids
YouTube

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 1:48 pm

There's some relief on the way for parents who worry what their young children may be watching on the internet. YouTube is set to release a new app that will offer more age-appropriate viewing for kids. An official with YouTube says the app - YouTube Kids - is due to be released by Google on Monday. It will initially be available only on Android devices.

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The Two-Way
3:32 am
Fri February 20, 2015

U.S. West Coast Port Dispute Forces Shippers To Find Alternatives

Trucks move containers at the Port of Long Beach in California on Tuesday. Contract negotiations between dockworkers and shipping companies have led to a slowdown on the piers.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 3:52 pm

The global shipping industry is a ferociously competitive business, and the trans-Pacific route — from Asia to the West Coast seaports of the U.S. — is considered one of the most lucrative routes. Normally, cargo ships carrying everything from fruits and vegetables to cars and electronics can count on getting into a berth at one of the 29 West Coast seaports in a reasonable time.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

British Fighter Jets Escort Russian Bombers Away From Coast Of U.K.

In this photo provided by Britain's Royal Air Force, taken Oct. 29, 2014, a Russian military long-range bomber aircraft photographed by an intercepting RAF Typhoon flies in international airspace.
Robyn Stewart AP

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:12 pm

British fighter jets scrambled from their base on Wednesday after two Russian long-range bombers skirted the coast of Cornwall, in the southwest of England. The incident comes one day after British Foreign Secretary Michael Fallon warned about Russia's intentions in Europe.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Wal-Mart Gives 500,000 Employees A Pay Raise

Wal-Mart says it will raise hourly wages for thousands of full- and part-time employees.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:29 pm

Some 500,000 Wal-Mart employees will soon be getting a pay raise. Starting in April, the company's full- and part-time U.S. employees will earn at least $9 an hour, at least $1.75 above today's federal minimum wage.

The pay boost will also apply to employees of Sam's Club, which is owned by Wal-Mart.

The retailer says wages will jump to at least $10 one year from now.

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News
3:01 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

U.N. Security Council Passes Resolution Targeting ISIS Revenue

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 4:20 pm

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Australia To Compete In The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest

Singer Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, Denmark. Wurst, who won the competition, placed seventh on Google's list of 2014's fastest-rising global search requests.
Frank Augstein AP

If you open an atlas, you'd see pretty quick that Australia is nowhere near Europe. That doesn't seem to matter to the organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest, who have decided that Australia can compete this year. The decision to allow Australia into the 2015 competition for the first time was announced on a Eurovision website, followed by the line: "Yes, you read that right!"

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The Two-Way
12:47 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
12:00 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
1:04 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 2:07 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
10:06 am
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 8:53 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
12:22 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 2:37 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
8:55 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 11:34 am

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
4:26 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Alberta Premier Says Keystone XL Pipeline Benefits U.S. And Canada

A placard with the Canadian flag rests on the ground covered in oil as demonstrators protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Alberta tar sands.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 12:34 pm

Jim Prentice, the premier of Alberta, Canada, says the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline has been a long and tortured process. But, he adds, if President Obama vetoes a bill that would approve construction, the issue will not necessarily go away.

There is enormous opposition among environmentalists to the $8 billion pipeline project that's designed to bring crude oil extracted from the Canadian tar sands to refineries along America's Gulf Coast.

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The Two-Way
10:28 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 5:05 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
2:25 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 6:57 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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NEWS
1:24 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 1:36 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
6:12 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 7:39 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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Parallels
1:24 am
Fri December 5, 2014

For World's Oil Exporters, Falling Prices Have A Domino Effect

A sculpture of oil workers in Caracas, Venezuela. The country is heavily dependent on oil exports, and falling oil prices have had a ripple effect on the country's already troubled economy.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 11:07 am

Imagine you're sitting back one evening, planning your holiday shopping list, knowing that every day you wait to get to the shops, the value of your money will be losing ground.

That's what's happening in places like Russia, Venezuela, Nigeria and other nations that rely heavily on oil exports.

Oil was more than $100 a barrel at the start of the summer. Now it's around $70 a barrel, and many forecasts say it could go lower still.

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Parallels
12:29 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Why Does Saudi Arabia Seem So Comfortable With Falling Oil Prices?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud as the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, listens before a meeting at the Royal Palace in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, on Sept. 11.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 4:30 pm

Oil prices continue to tumble: down about 25 percent since mid-June to a four-year low, and many analysts believe there is no end in sight.

While that's good for consumers and most businesses in the U.S., the falling price is bad for oil-exporting countries such as Russia, Venezuela, Iran and Iraq.

And blame — or credit — for the plummeting prices is falling squarely on Saudi Arabia.

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World
3:10 pm
Sat October 25, 2014

After Shootings, Canada Takes Steps To Balance Security With Tradition

Originally published on Sat October 25, 2014 4:54 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
3:16 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Three Forlorn Presidents Bring Ebola Wish List To The World Bank

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited West Point in August, when the impoverished neighborhood was quarantined to prevent the spread of Ebola.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 4:28 pm

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a "tragedy not seen in modern times," said Sierra Leone's president Ernest Bai Koroma.

At the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on Thursday, Koroma and the presidents of Guinea and Liberia are pleading with the international community for help battling the Ebola epidemic. In the three hardest-hit countries, the virus has already killed nearly 4,000 people.

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Global Health
4:23 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Ebola Protective Suits Are In Short Supply

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 5:34 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're hearing a lot in today's program about the people who care for patients with Ebola. There is a shortage of suits to protect them.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
3:29 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Ebola's Toll: Farmers Aren't Farming, Traders Aren't Trading

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 11:20 am

The Ebola outbreak is having a devastating effect on the economies of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, crippling major industries and forcing people out of work.

The three nations hardest hit by the virus are among the poorest on the African continent. Combined, their GDP is less than 3 percent of Nigeria's, the regional economic powerhouse.

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Parallels
11:22 am
Fri August 29, 2014

With Homegrown Technology, Israel Becomes Leading Arms Exporter

An Israeli soldier launches a drone that's attached to a military vehicle in southern Israel, not far from the border with the Gaza Strip, on July 29. Israel was a pioneer with drones and has developed a number of military technologies that it later sells abroad.
Jim Hollander EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:40 pm

One byproduct of the recurring battles between Israel and its Arab neighbors is that Israel has developed a homegrown weapons industry that addresses its very specific needs.

Over the decades, this has included a number of cutting-edge technologies, from drones to night-vision equipment, which have been widely exported.

A more recent example is the Iron Dome, which was used throughout the latest conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The mobile missile defense system is capable of stopping short-range rockets from places like Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon.

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Parallels
2:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Gaza Violence Tests Once-Unshakable Allies U.S. And Israel

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on July 23. While the two countries are close allies, they have exchanged criticism during the recent Israel-Hamas fighting in Gaza.
Pool AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:07 am

Relations between Israel and the United States are going through a turbulent time. The two sides — normally seen as unshakable allies — have increasingly taken to trading barbs and accusations about the other's policies and decisions, breaking diplomatic protocol.

The occasional frictions of the past few years have been exacerbated by the war in the Gaza Strip.

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Parallels
2:42 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Hamas Conflict Could Have Lingering Impact On Israel's Economy

An Israeli Merkava tank drives past a field of sunflowers along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip as it moves out of the Gaza Strip on Aug. 3.
Gil Cohen Magen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 8:51 am

Itay Maoz climbs into his dusty SUV and presses a series of buttons on his cellphone, which opens an electronic gate surrounding the Nahal Oz Kibbutz. From here, in the far south of Israel, you can see across the border into Gaza and the remains of buildings pulverized by Israeli missiles.

This 2,500-acre collective farm was on the front line during the war between Israel and Hamas, and it sustained millions of dollars worth of damage. Maoz points at a patch of hard earth, gouged with deep tracks, leading toward Gaza.

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