Jackie NorthamJackie 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.
Syrian has come under increasing international pressure in recent days. On Monday, Syrians protested in the capital Damascus against the Arab League's decision to impose sanctions. Syria has also come under sharp criticism from an independent commission that accused the security forces of systematically carrying out abuses against anti-government demonstrators.
Yin Bogu/Xinhua /Landov
Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan's ambassador in Washington (right), talks to President Asif Ali Zardari in Multan, Pakistan, in August. Haqqani resigned over claims he wrote a memo to Washington asking for its help in reining in Pakistan's powerful military.
Pakistani protesters shout slogans during a protest in Multan on Oct. 14 against U.S. drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas. Officials said U.S. drone strikes on Oct. 13 killed 10 militants, including a senior commander in the Haqqani network. Drone attacks are one way the U.S. hopes to squeeze the Haqqani militants.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President Obama hold a joint news conference in Australia on Wednesday. The U.S. is sending some 250 U.S. Marines to the country next year, a number that will later grow to 2,500.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Pakistani security personnel stand alert on a street in Quetta in September. Proposed appropriations bills in both the U.S. House and Senate make economic and military assistance to Pakistan conditional.
Banaras Khan/AFP/Getty Images