Jackie Northam

Jackie Northam is NPR's International Affairs Correspondent. She is a veteran journalist who has spent three decades reporting on conflict, politics, and life across the globe - from the mountains of Afghanistan and the desert sands of Saudi Arabia, to the gritty prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and the pristine beauty of the Arctic.

Northam spent more than a dozen years as an international correspondent living in London, Budapest, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Nairobi. She charted the collapse of communism, covered the first Gulf War from Saudi Arabia, counter-terrorism efforts in Pakistan, and reported from Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Her work has taken her to conflict zones around the world. Northam covered the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, arriving in the country just four days after Hutu extremists began slaughtering ethnic Tutsis. In Afghanistan, she accompanied Green Berets on a precarious mission to take a Taliban base. In Cambodia, she reported from Khmer Rouge strongholds.

Throughout her career, Northam has put a human face on her reporting, whether it be the courage of villagers walking miles to cast their vote in an Afghan election despite death threats from militants, or the face of a rescue worker as he desperately listens for any sound of life beneath the rubble of a collapsed elementary school in Haiti.

Northam joined NPR in 2000 as National Security Correspondent, covering US defense and intelligence policies. She led the network's coverage of the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal and the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Her present beat focuses on the complex relationship between international business and geopolitics, including how the lifting of nuclear sanctions has opened Iran for business, the impact of China's efforts to buy up businesses and real estate around the world, and whether President Trump's overseas business interests are affecting US policy.

Northam has received multiple journalism awards during her career, including Associated Press awards and regional Edward R. Murrow awards, and was part of an NPR team of journalists who won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for "The DNA Files," a series about the science of genetics.

A native of Canada, Northam spends her time off crewing in the summer, on the ski hills in the winter, and on long walks year-round with her beloved beagle, Tara.

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Chinese tech giant Huawei says its revenue for the first half of 2019 soared 23% from a year ago, even though the U.S. put it on an export blacklist that will effectively ban U.S. companies from providing Huawei with critical components, such as computer chips.

"Given the situation, you might think things have been chaotic for us," Huawei Chairman Liang Hua said in a statement. "But that's far from the case."

Editor's note: This story contains graphic details of the actions leading up to Jamal Khashoggi's death.

A special U.N. investigator says Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should be investigated in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi because there is "credible evidence" that he and other senior officials in the kingdom were responsible.

Last year, the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum in London, Ontario, installed a monument for the country's armed forces who have served in the Afghanistan war. It's a 25-ton, light armored vehicle, complete with a turret on top.

But these days, LAVs have taken on another sort of symbolism for Canada.

About a mile from the museum, workers with the Canadian division of U.S. defense company General Dynamics Corp. are building the eight-wheeled, amphibious vehicles for Saudi Arabia's National Guard.

When you cross over the Granville Street Bridge that winds into downtown Vancouver, you'd be forgiven for thinking you're in Hong Kong. The skyline has the same ribbon of gleaming apartment towers hugging the waterfront, and similar mountains in the distance.

There is also an unabashed display of wealth, readily apparent in the city's Kitsilano neighborhood. Within a few short blocks, you can find dealerships for some of the world's most expensive cars: Lamborghini, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin, among others.

Last week, at the tail end of a monthlong trial in a federal court in Boston, a tall and impeccably dressed man took the witness stand. Jean Leonard Teganya, a Rwandan, raised his hand and took an oath to tell the truth.

For the next three hours, Teganya's lawyer probed where he was and what he did during the genocide that engulfed Rwanda 25 years ago. More than 800,000 people were slaughtered over the course of about three months.

On a drizzly day earlier this month, a gaggle of mostly Chinese protesters gathered outside a provincial Supreme Court in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. Inside the court, an extradition hearing was underway to decide whether to send Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei, to be prosecuted in the United States.

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The international blowback to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is making things uncomfortable for Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at this year's Group of 20 summit, which began Friday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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The Trump administration hopes the sweeping sanctions it has imposed on Iran's oil, shipping and banking industries will cripple its economy and force it to negotiate a new nuclear deal.

But analysts point out that while such economic penalties can be persuasive, there are also ways to circumvent them.

"There will always be both overt and covert activities to work around sanctions, to dodge sanctions or evade them," says Dan Wager, a global sanctions expert at the consulting firm LexisNexis Risk Solutions. "That's something that's gone on for a very long time."

A year ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping stood before the 19th Communist Party Congress and laid out his ambitious plan for China to become a world leader by 2025 in advanced technologies such as robotics, biotechnology and artificial intelligence.

It was seen as a direct challenge to U.S. leadership in advanced technology. James Lewis, a specialist in China and technology at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says China recognizes that technological superiority helps give the United States an edge in national security and wants in on it.

Maersk, the world's largest container line, is about to test the frigid waters of the Arctic in a trial of shorter shipping lanes that could become viable as warmer temperatures open up the Northern Sea Route.

On or around Sept. 1, Denmark-based Maersk plans to send its first container ship through the Arctic to explore whether the once inhospitable route could become feasible in the future. Many analysts see the test as a turning point for both the shipping industry and the Arctic.

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President Trump has railed against Canada for taking advantage of the U.S. when it comes to trade. A particular point of criticism is the dairy industry. Canada slaps steep tariffs on imports of milk, cheese and butter from the U.S., something Trump has called a "disgrace."

Don Woodbridge breaks open a cardboard box and pulls out a big jar of bread-and-butter pickles.

"If you ever find a better bread-and-butter on the market, I'd like to see where," he says.

He says his company, Lakeside Packing, uses a special blend of dill, garlic and mustard oils, and real sugar.

"American products, they use corn syrup and it's not as good," he declares.

In a large, brightly lit grocery store in Canada's capital Ottawa, Scott Chamberlain smoothly navigates his shopping cart through the produce section, looking for ingredients to make chili. He snaps up a bag of red peppers, clearly stamped "Product of Canada." But the only onions available are from the U.S. He reaches for Canadian-grown leeks instead.

Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state oil company, is often described as the kingdom's crown jewel.

It produces more oil than any other company in the world, supplying the world with a steady supply of crude and providing the kingdom with revenues that make up more than 80 percent of the national budget.

The White Foam Cafe in Riyadh is a cheery little place with wooden tables and chairs, and a good reputation for its fair-trade coffees and vegan desserts. It's also well-known for something else.

"This is one of the really famous dating places here. I dated my fiancé a lot here," says a 29-year-old woman enjoying a French-press coffee.

On a balmy Thursday evening, dozens of young Saudis stream into the AlComedy Club in the western port city of Jeddah. It's the start of the weekend, and the crowd snacks on popcorn and ice cream before grabbing some of the sagging seats in the theater. Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" blares from speakers hanging above a tiny stage.

Lubna Olayan remembers the date. It was April 15, 1983, when she and her father sat down to dinner in Riyadh. Olayan and her American husband, John Xefos, had just returned to her native Saudi Arabia after nine years in the United States.

"Over dinner he says 'Lubna, what are you going to be doing here?' " Olayan recalls her father saying. Olayan had worked as a J.P. Morgan analyst in New York, and half-heartedly thought she'd see if there was work at a bank in Saudi Arabia. But her father had something in mind.

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The last few months have seen enormous change for women in Saudi Arabia. They'll soon be allowed to drive and are being encouraged to enter the workforce.

An elite group of movie lovers in the Saudi capital Riyadh got a special treat on Wednesday — a screening of the Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther. The invitation-only event marked the lifting of a ban on cinemas that's lasted more than three decades. It also heralds a new era for Saudi filmmakers, who for years have faced harassment from Saudi authorities for pursuing a profession considered haram, or forbidden, in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

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It was well beyond fashionably late to begin. But models finally took to the runway on Thursday in Saudi Arabia's first-ever Arab Fashion Week.

The event is one of the new entertainment opportunities opening up recently in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

The fashion show hit significant delays, with logistical problems forcing it to open two weeks later than planned. Designers and models had trouble getting travel visas, and the organizers had to change venues to tents on the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

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