Jackie Northam http://wemu.org en A Reporter Reflects On Rwanda: 'It's Like A Madness Took Over' http://wemu.org/post/reporter-reflects-rwanda-its-madness-took-over There was a thin mist in the early morning air when we set off for the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on April 11, 1994. The genocide had begun four days earlier.<p>There were no flights into the country, so I and three fellow journalists crossed into Rwanda from neighboring Burundi, hitching a ride with a French priest who was shuttling Tutsi nuns out of the country. He took us to the town of Butare, where a Belgian inn keeper rented us an old cream-colored Renault and drew us a map of how to get to Kigali.<p>We drove north, winding our way through Rwanda's soaring hills and deep lush valleys. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 07:36:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 44170 at http://wemu.org A Reporter Reflects On Rwanda: 'It's Like A Madness Took Over' U.S. Taps New Energy Sources, And Potential Geopolitical Clout http://wemu.org/post/us-taps-new-energy-sources-and-potential-geopolitical-clout The recent oil and natural gas boom in the U.S. is paying major dividends for Washington's geopolitical clout. Thanks to <a href="http://www.npr.org/series/151930969/science-and-the-fracking-boom-missing-answers">hydraulic fracturing</a>, the U.S. is awash in domestic energy, which is having a ripple effect globally.<p>If you want to gauge one effect of this newfound energy wealth, you don't have to look any further than the current crisis between Russia and Ukraine, says Michael Levi, a senior fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations.<p>He says the U.S. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 19:24:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 43914 at http://wemu.org U.S. Taps New Energy Sources, And Potential Geopolitical Clout German Chemical Giant BASF Benefits From Cheap U.S. Natural Gas http://wemu.org/post/german-company-benefits-cheap-us-natural-gas Thanks to fracking, there is an abundance of natural gas at about a quarter of the European price. This influx of business may be good for the U.S., but it's cause for concern for European leaders. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 09:04:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 43403 at http://wemu.org Can Europe Wean Itself Off Russian Gas? http://wemu.org/post/can-europe-wean-itself-russian-gas Many European nations were searching for ways to cut back their reliance on Russian energy long before the crisis in Ukraine flared last month.<p>In 2006 and 2009, for example, the EU was rattled by the ease with which Moscow cut off gas supplies to Ukraine and other parts of Europe after disputes over cost and supply. The two-week standoff in 2009 left millions in Eastern Europe without heat in the middle of winter.<p>Russia supplies the European Union with about a third of its natural gas, shipped mostly by pipeline through Ukraine. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 18:50:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 43189 at http://wemu.org Can Europe Wean Itself Off Russian Gas? A Boom In Oil Is A Boon For U.S. Shipbuilding Industry http://wemu.org/post/boom-oil-boon-us-shipbuilding-industry Scott Clapham peers down into a cavernous dry dock at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. He points to massive pieces of steel, some covered with a light dusting of snow. When assembled, they will form a 115,000-ton oil tanker.<p>It's one of two oil tankers being constructed for SeaRiver Maritime, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, costing $200 million apiece. It takes roughly 1,000 workers more than a year to build, and the shipyard already has orders for four more tankers and two container ships, says Clapham, the senior vice president of Aker Philadelphia. Fri, 14 Mar 2014 07:25:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 42817 at http://wemu.org A Boom In Oil Is A Boon For U.S. Shipbuilding Industry The World Bank Gets An Overhaul — And Not Everyone's Happy http://wemu.org/post/world-bank-gets-overhaul-and-not-everyones-happy The World Bank, the largest international development institution, is undergoing a sweeping reorganization, the first of its kind for the bank in nearly a generation.<p>The bank, based in Washington, has laid out a new set of goals, but they're accompanied by deep budget cuts and the elimination of a whole layer of senior management jobs.<p>The overhaul is being led by its president Jim Yong Kim. One of the first things the 54-year-old physician and anthropologist did when took office in July 2012 was launch a company-wide survey. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 20:16:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 42792 at http://wemu.org The World Bank Gets An Overhaul — And Not Everyone's Happy Hitching A Ride On The World's Biggest Cargo Ship http://wemu.org/post/hitching-ride-worlds-biggest-cargo-ship I started my journey at the famed Gdansk Shipyard, home of Poland's solidarity movement in the 1980s. It was nearly midnight when I arrived and saw for the first time the Maersk McKinney Moller, the world's largest container ship.<p>I simply wasn't prepared for just how massive it is. The whole ship really can't be taken in, even standing at a distance, so I gave my neck a good stretch by scanning this behemoth end to end, and up and down.<p>That sense of scale was reinforced when I walked up the ship's steep gangway with Mikkel Linnet, a communications officer with Maersk. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 07:37:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 42758 at http://wemu.org Hitching A Ride On The World's Biggest Cargo Ship After A Downturn, Global Shipping Bets Big On Everything http://wemu.org/post/after-downturn-global-shipping-bets-big-everything On a cold, blustery day at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey, one of several massive cranes whirs along a rail high above the pier, picks up a heavy container from a ship's deck and loads it on a waiting truck back on land. The truck drives away, another arrives, and the whole process starts again.<p>It's a scene played out every day along America's coasts as massive container ships from across the globe pull into deep-water seaports, waiting to be unloaded. Wed, 12 Mar 2014 07:40:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 42699 at http://wemu.org After A Downturn, Global Shipping Bets Big On Everything As Overseas Costs Rise, More U.S. Companies Are 'Reshoring' http://wemu.org/post/overseas-costs-rise-more-us-companies-are-reshoring For decades, American companies have been sending their manufacturing work overseas. Extremely low wages in places like China, Vietnam and the Philippines reduced costs and translated into cheaper prices for consumers wanting flat-screen TVs, dishwashers and a range of gadgets.<p>But now a growing number of American companies are reversing that trend, bringing manufacturing back to the United States in a trend known as "reshoring."<p>Kim Freeman, a spokeswoman for General Electric Appliances, walks into a sprawling plant in Louisville, Ky. Machine noise is thunderous in the brightly lit room. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 14:52:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 40712 at http://wemu.org As Overseas Costs Rise, More U.S. Companies Are 'Reshoring' Do You Know Who Owns Your Favorite Liquor? http://wemu.org/post/do-you-know-who-owns-your-favorite-liquor Liquor companies like to make drinkers think their favorite spirits always have been and always will be attached to a very particular place — Kentucky bourbon, Irish whiskey, Russian vodka.<p>But like many other industries, the liquor business has gone global, and a small number of players increasingly dominate the industry worldwide. Thu, 16 Jan 2014 13:29:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 40288 at http://wemu.org Do You Know Who Owns Your Favorite Liquor? As Costs Soar, Who Will Pay For The Panama Canal's Expansion? http://wemu.org/post/costs-soar-who-will-pay-panama-canals-expansion For five years, a multibillion-dollar expansion has been underway on the Panama Canal so that ships three times the current size can pass through the vital waterway. Wed, 08 Jan 2014 20:49:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 39978 at http://wemu.org As Costs Soar, Who Will Pay For The Panama Canal's Expansion? NAFTA Opened Continent For Some Canadian Companies http://wemu.org/post/nafta-opened-continent-some-canadian-companies Six brand new Challenger corporate jets sit on a showroom floor waiting to be picked up here at the Bombardier Aerospace plant on the outskirts of Montreal. Manager Frank Richie watches as technicians polish the gleaming aircraft and make last-minute adjustments. Each one is personalized, from the leather trim inside to the fancy paint job on its exterior.<p>Through a side door, you enter an enormous assembly line for more than a dozen other Challenger jets. The factory floor spans nearly 900,000 square feet.<p>Bombardier has been around since 1942, when it began making snowmobiles. Wed, 25 Dec 2013 20:04:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 39460 at http://wemu.org NAFTA Opened Continent For Some Canadian Companies Battle Of The Bottom Feeder: U.S., Vietnam In Catfish Fight http://wemu.org/post/battle-bottom-feeder-us-vietnam-catfish-fight Bill Battle peers through the window of a pickup truck at his catfish farm, Pride of the Pond, near Tunica, Miss. The land is pancake-flat, broken up by massive ponds, some holding up to 100,000 pounds of catfish.<p>Cormorants fly low over the ponds, keeping an eye out for whiskered, smooth-skinned fish. Battle keeps a shotgun in the front seat; business is hard enough without the birds cutting into his profit.<p>Battle has been catfish farming for more than three decades. Catfish has always been popular in the South, but its popularity took off throughout the country in the 1980s. Mon, 16 Dec 2013 07:49:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 39049 at http://wemu.org Battle Of The Bottom Feeder: U.S., Vietnam In Catfish Fight Trains Gain Steam In Race To Transport Crude Oil In The U.S. http://wemu.org/post/trains-gain-steam-race-transport-crude-oil-us On a quiet fall morning in the Delaware countryside, a lone sustained whistle pierces the air. Within moments, a train sweeps around a broad curve, its two heavy locomotives hauling dozens of white, cylindrical rail cars, loaded with 70,000 barrels of crude oil.<p>It's a scene playing out with growing frequency across the United States and Canada. The U.S. is awash in oil, due in large part to advances in drilling techniques such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. U.S. production hit a 24-year-high in September. Mon, 28 Oct 2013 20:06:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 36932 at http://wemu.org Trains Gain Steam In Race To Transport Crude Oil In The U.S. Asian Investors Find Hot Market In U.S. Properties http://wemu.org/post/asian-investors-find-hot-market-us-properties The General Motors Building in Manhattan is a majestic 50-story, white marble structure that takes up one full city block. This is prime New York City real estate. A flagship Apple store sits on the ground floor, across the street is the Plaza Hotel, and on another corner is an entrance to Central Park.<p>The GM building is considered one of the most valuable office towers in the U.S. Mon, 30 Sep 2013 07:35:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 35649 at http://wemu.org Asian Investors Find Hot Market In U.S. Properties If It's Not Legal, Can A Strike On Syria Be Justified? http://wemu.org/post/analysts-obama-lacks-legal-frame-syria-strike As the Obama administration argues for a military intervention in Syria in response to a chemical attack that it says killed more than 1,400 Syrians, analysts say the case for a strike lacks a legal framework.<p>President Obama said Friday that the decision to act is part of a U.S. Sat, 31 Aug 2013 11:57:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 34374 at http://wemu.org If It's Not Legal, Can A Strike On Syria Be Justified? French Maker Of Military Rafts Gets An American Identity http://wemu.org/post/french-maker-military-rafts-gets-american-identity For roughly two decades, the Zodiac has been the U.S. military's choice for inflatable rubber rafts. These rafts, especially the high-end model F470, are not the recreational rafts you take out to the lake on a Sunday, says Lionel Boudeau, the head of Zodiac's North America operations.<p>"It is used for a large variety of missions, like assault landings, infiltration and exfiltration," he says. "It can be deployed from the shore or deployed from the air by an aircraft, a helicopter, by a submarine. Wed, 14 Aug 2013 17:13:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 33606 at http://wemu.org French Maker Of Military Rafts Gets An American Identity EU-U.S. Trade: A Tale Of Two Farms http://wemu.org/post/eu-us-trade-tale-two-farms <em>U.S. and EU officials begin talks Monday on an ambitious free-trade agreement aimed at generating billions of dollars of new trade. But negotiators must overcome barriers created by cultural and philosophical differences over sectors like agriculture. In Europe, the cultivation of genetically modified crops is banned, while in the U.S., they are a central part of food production. NPR's Jackie Northam visited a farm in Delaware and NPR's Eleanor Beardsley visited one in Burgundy, France, to look at those deep-seated differences. We hear from Jackie first. Mon, 08 Jul 2013 07:52:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 31835 at http://wemu.org EU-U.S. Trade: A Tale Of Two Farms Can This Dominican Factory Pay Good Wages And Make A Profit? http://wemu.org/post/can-dominican-factory-pay-good-wages-and-make-profit Aracelis Upia Montero bounds through the front door of her wood and cinderblock house, calling out for her children. The bubbly 41-year-old Montero — whom everyone calls Kuki — proudly shows guests around her cramped single-story home in Villa Altagracia in the Dominican Republic.<p>Montero points out her new living room furniture. In the past couple years, she has added two bedrooms and now has indoor plumbing. She has also built a little apartment at the end of her dirt driveway that she rents out.<p>"I was able to save money very quickly, and I could get a loan from the bank," she says. Thu, 20 Jun 2013 06:58:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 31105 at http://wemu.org Can This Dominican Factory Pay Good Wages And Make A Profit? The Global Afterlife Of Your Donated Clothes http://wemu.org/post/global-afterlife-your-donated-clothes On a bright and warm Saturday morning, there's a steady flow of people dropping off donations at Martha's Table, a charity in downtown Washington, D.C. A mountain of plastic and paper bags stuffed with used dresses, scarves, skirts and footwear expands in one corner of the room. Volunteers sort and put clothes on hangers. Tue, 21 May 2013 06:59:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 29669 at http://wemu.org The Global Afterlife Of Your Donated Clothes Port Of Baltimore Seeks Boost From Panama Canal Expansion http://wemu.org/post/port-baltimore-seeks-boost-panama-canal-expansion There is constant motion around four new supersized, Chinese-made cranes as they unload cargo from a ship at the Port of Baltimore's freshly constructed Seagirt Marine Terminal.<p>Control cabs whir across the cranes' broad steel beams, and thick cables spin from giant wheels. Containers packed with consumer goods — TVs, clothing and the like — are hoisted from the ship and transferred to a flatbed truck waiting 140 feet below; the truck then peels away and is immediately replaced by another. Mon, 06 May 2013 07:42:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 28969 at http://wemu.org Port Of Baltimore Seeks Boost From Panama Canal Expansion Britain's Iron Lady, Former Prime Minister Thatcher, Dies http://wemu.org/post/britains-iron-lady-former-prime-minister-thatcher-dies Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher <a href="www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/08/c/former-british-prime-minister-thatcher-dies">died Monday following a stroke</a>. She was 87. Despite many accomplishments during her 11 years in office, she was a divisive figure, and there is still much bitterness surrounding the woman who was dubbed the Iron Lady.<p>Thatcher's long journey to becoming one of Britain's most influential leaders began in humble surroundings. She was born on Oct. 13, 1925, in the small English town of Grantham. Mon, 08 Apr 2013 12:57:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 27759 at http://wemu.org Britain's Iron Lady, Former Prime Minister Thatcher, Dies Google's Eric Schmidt Heads To Another Isolated Asian Nation http://wemu.org/post/googles-eric-schmidt-heads-another-isolated-asian-nation Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, who went to <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/01/07/168823523/why-is-google-exec-interested-in-north-korea">North Korea in January</a>, is making a short visit Friday to Myanmar, also known as Burma.<p>Why is the senior executive of a U.S. technology powerhouse visiting some of the poorest and least wired countries in Asia?<p>Schmidt will be the first top U.S. Fri, 22 Mar 2013 07:00:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 27091 at http://wemu.org Google's Eric Schmidt Heads To Another Isolated Asian Nation At A Pakistani Mobile Library, Kids Can Check Out Books, And Hope http://wemu.org/post/pakistani-mobile-library-kids-can-check-out-books-and-hope On a cold, rainy morning, a van pulls up outside a rural elementary school on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan's capital. The fluorescent green vehicle provides a flash of color on this otherwise gray day. Thu, 28 Feb 2013 21:50:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 26165 at http://wemu.org At A Pakistani Mobile Library, Kids Can Check Out Books, And Hope Controversial Cleric Stirs Protests Upon Return To Pakistan http://wemu.org/post/controversial-cleric-stirs-protests-upon-return-pakistan In Pakistan, a controversial Muslim cleric has been shaking up the political scene.<p>Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri returned to his home country late last year, after spending eight years in Canada. Wed, 20 Feb 2013 08:03:00 +0000 Jackie Northam 25768 at http://wemu.org Controversial Cleric Stirs Protests Upon Return To Pakistan