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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Parallels
7:12 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 8:39 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
2:24 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 12:07 pm

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
1:29 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 5:30 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
4:10 pm
Sat October 25, 2014

After Shootings, Canada Takes Steps To Balance Security With Tradition

Originally published on Sat October 25, 2014 5:54 pm

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
4:16 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 5:28 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
5:23 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Ebola Protective Suits Are In Short Supply

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 6:34 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
4:29 am
Tue September 23, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 12:20 pm

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
12:22 pm
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 7:40 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
3:13 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 12:07 pm

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
3:42 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 9:51 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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Middle East
6:47 am
Sun August 10, 2014

Negotiations In Tatters As Gaza Clashes Continue

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 10:54 am

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

Parallels
4:13 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

Fear Of Tunnels, Not Rockets, Rattles Israeli Community

An Israeli soldier stands inside an underground tunnel built by Hamas militants leading from the Gaza Strip into Southern Israel. Israel says it has destroyed 32 similar tunnels so far in the nearly monthlong conflict.
Ilia Yefimovich Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 4:14 pm

In the ongoing war with Hamas, Israel says it is looking for new technology to help detect and destroy tunnels used by Islamist militants.

Israel says 32 tunnels have been demolished so far in the conflict, but there are concerns others remain. In the town of Netiv Ha'asara, along the border with Gaza, the discovery of one tunnel is forcing residents to question whether to remain.

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Middle East
5:05 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Following 3-Day Truce, Rocket Fire Resumes In Gaza

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 10:15 am

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

Transcript

STVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Wow, Israel and Hamas's three-day cease-fire is over. Moments after it expired, a barrage of rockets left Gaza for Israel, and Israel fired back. NPR's Jackie Northam is in Jerusalem. She's covering the story. Hi, Jackie.

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U.S.
3:09 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

White House Widens Scope Of Russian Sanctions To Finance And Defense

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 6:31 pm

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

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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News
3:15 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Central American Leaders: Immigrant Children Are A Shared Problem

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:22 pm

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

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Europe
3:45 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Despite Growing Anger, EU Nations May Balk At Russian Sanctions

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 12:13 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A train arrived in Ukraine's second-largest city. Its cargo was the remains of hundreds of people. They were killed when a Malaysian passenger jet was shot down last week.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the movement of the remains is considered a step forward. Until today pro-Russian separatists had prevented the train from leaving the area near the crash. Now the remains will be taken to the Netherlands for identification.

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Parallels
2:32 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Kurds May Have Oil To Export, But Buyers Are Harder To Find

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraq's Kurdish region anchors near Ashkelon, Israel. It's believed the oil has been off-loaded into Israel. The U.S. and Baghdad oppose the Kurdish export of oil from the autonomous northern region.
David Buimovitch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 8:14 am

Kurdish security forces, the peshmerga, have taken over two major oil fields near Kirkuk, in northern Iraq. The fields have the potential to put billions of dollars into the coffers of the Kurdish regional government.

But there's a hitch: Even if the Kurdish government has control of the oil, it doesn't necessarily mean it can export it — thanks to the Baghdad government and the U.S.

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Europe
3:02 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Amid Eroding Trust, Germany Expels America's Top Spy In Berlin

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 6:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Germany has told the chief U.S. intelligence officer in Berlin to leave the country. A dramatic turn of events comes after reports that two German government employees are suspected of spying for the U.S. NPR's Jackie Northam has been following this story and she joins me in the studio. Jackie, the announcement about the expulsion of the top American spy in Germany was made by the Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman. Did he explain it?

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Parallels
2:14 am
Thu July 3, 2014

For Once, The U.S., Russia And Iran Actually Agree On Something

Iraqi policemen take up positions on a bridge north of Baghdad on Monday. There's a consensus among Western and Middle Eastern states that militants from the Islamic State pose a serious threat to the region. But there's no sign yet that countries like the United States, Russia and Iran are prepared to work together.
Ahmed Saad Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 1:05 pm

The ferocious charge across much of Iraq by militants now calling themselves the Islamic State has created something almost unheard of in the highly divisive Middle East: international consensus.

The U.S. and its allies, as well as some American rivals, including Russia and Iran, are all opposed to the Sunni group formerly known as ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, noted Rachel Bronson, a Mideast expert with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

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Iraq
5:41 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Kerry's Iraq Mission Takes Him To Kurdistan

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 9:10 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Iraq
3:07 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Kerry Lands In Badhdad, Bearing Warnings For Iraqi Leaders

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 7:07 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Iraq
5:12 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Kerry In Iraq To Pressure Al-Maliki To Reach Across Sectarian Lines

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:11 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Iraq
8:38 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Militants' Advance In Iraq Agitates Oil Markets

Cars pack a Kurdish checkpoint as residents flee Mosul in northern Iraq. The city was overrun by Islamic militants last week.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 10:38 am

When Sunni militants began seizing broad swathes of territory across northern Iraq last week, global oil markets shrugged it off. After all, instability in Iraq is nothing new.

But that all changed on Wednesday, when the insurgents swept into the oil refinery town of Baiji, says Robert McNally, president of the Rapidan Group, an energy consulting firm. The price of oil climbed nearly 4 percent in just a few short days.

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Energy
4:32 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Russia-China Natural Gas Deal Likely To Reshape Energy Markets

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:33 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep in New York.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene in Washington. Good morning. Let's look now at the shifting balance of power in East Asia. In a moment, we'll hear President Obama's view of a rising China. First we'll report on the implications of China's latest energy deal. China signed an agreement to buy Russian natural gas sent through a pipeline in Siberia. This deal has far-reaching implications as we hear from NPR's Jackie Northam.

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Economy
4:05 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Russian Economic Forum Boycotted Over Ukraine Crisis

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 8:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Each spring Russian president Vladimir Putin welcomes international business and political leaders to an economic forum in St. Petersburg. It started today and Putin told those who arrived that Russia is ready to do business, although it expects to be treated as an equal.

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