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
12:36 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 3:57 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
1:46 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 7:46 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
4:31 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Canadian Judge Grants Former Guantanamo Inmate Bail

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 5:22 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
9:07 am
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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The Two-Way
10:21 am
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 1:05 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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