Eyder Peralta | KERA News

Eyder Peralta

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

He is responsible for covering the region's people, politics, and culture. In a region that vast, that means Peralta has hung out with nomadic herders in northern Kenya, witnessed a historic transfer of power in Angola, ended up in a South Sudanese prison, and covered the twists and turns of Kenya's 2017 presidential elections.

Previously, he covered breaking news for NPR, where he covered everything from natural disasters to the national debates on policing and immigration.

Peralta joined NPR in 2008 as an associate producer. Previously, he worked as a features reporter for the Houston Chronicle and a pop music critic for the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, FL.

Through his journalism career, he has reported from more than a dozen countries and he was part of the NPR teams awarded the George Foster Peabody in 2009 and 2014. His 2016 investigative feature on the death of Philando Castile was honored by the National Association of Black Journalists and the Society for News Design.

Peralta was born amid a civil war in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. His parents fled when he was a kid, and the family settled in Miami. He's a graduate of Florida International University.

Family members of some of the victims of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle used by the gunman to kill 26 people.

One of six northern white rhinos left in the world died at the San Diego Zoo on Sunday.

Angalifu was thought to be 44 years old. He came to the park from Sudan in 1990 and had been treated for a range of age-related ailments.

U-T San Diego reports:

A gunman was holding an unknown number of hostages at a downtown chocolate cafe in Sydney. Early on Tuesday morning, Australian time, police moved in and said the siege was over.

We're following the news here. Below is a feed of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's news coverage. ABC is the country's national public broadcaster:

(Last updated at 1:48 p.m. ET.)

Just as the siege entered its second day, police stormed a chocolate shop in downtown Sydney, ending a more than 12-hour hostage standoff that began during morning rush hour.

The airspace over London has been severely restricted because of a "computer failure," Eurocontrol, the European flight safety body, said on Friday.

NPR's Ari Shapiro tells us many flights are expected to be grounded for more than three hours.

"The U.K.'s National Air Traffic Control Center experienced a mid-afternoon power failure," Ari reports. "That forced Heathrow and other airports in the London area to stop all air traffic in and out. Heathrow is Europe's busiest airport, so this will have ripples all across the continent."

Plagued by controversy and sharp drops in attendance and stock prices, SeaWorld has announced that CEO Jim Atchison will step aside.

U-T San Diego reports that the amusement park also plans on cutting an unspecified number of jobs. Atchison, according to the newspaper, will receive a $2.4 million payout and become vice chairman of the board.

Chairman David F. D'Alessandro will take on the job of chief executive officer while a permanent replacement is sought.

Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Michel du Cille died Thursday while on assignment in Liberia for The Washington Post. The newspaper says du Cille collapsed while walking on foot from a village in Liberia's Bong County. He was taken to a hospital but died of an apparent heart attack.

The "Pineapple Express" is being blamed for two deaths in Oregon this morning, as it continues to dump wind and rain across the drought-stricken region.

The Associated Press reports that from Oregon all the way to Southern California, residents battled with power outages, flooded roads and mudslides.

The news service adds:

"Avalanches of mud and debris blocked part of the Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County early Friday, National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto said.

The parents of 43 students who went missing more than two months ago in Mexico say they don't believe the government's account of what happened to their loved ones and they will continue to protest and demand justice.

"The report is full of crap."

That's what former Vice President Dick Cheney told Fox News in an interview about a Senate investigation that found the Central Intelligence Agency used brutal techniques to interrogate terrorism suspects and then misled lawmakers, the White House and Congress about what they were doing.

The United States says that with the closing of its detention center at Bagram, it is no longer holding any prisoners in Afghanistan.

As Reuters puts it, the announcement was made late Wednesday and marks the end of a controversial chapter in U.S. history.

NBC News reports the U.S. gave up custody of its two final prisoners:

After months of acts of civil disobedience that at some points paralyzed Hong Kong, police cleared the final encampment of what's come to be known as the Umbrella Revolution.

Demonstrators had gathered on the streets of Hong Kong for two months. The protest site at Admiralty was, symbolically, the most important because it was closest to the government offices. In the end, it was also the last one standing.

Pirate Bay, one of the world's most popular and largest file-sharing sites, is offline today, after police in Sweden raided their servers.

TorrentFreak, which reports on file-sharing sites, says that while Pirate Bay has been targeted by authorities in the past, this is the first time the peer-to-peer network disappeared from the Internet.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Weather Underground says a storm moving up the West Coast of the United States is the wettest to hit the region since 2009.

The good news, writes Weather Underground's Jeff Masters, is that the region has been hurt by a historic drought:

"Rainfall amounts of 3 - 8 inches are expected over most of Northern California, with snowfall amounts of 1 - 3 feet predicted in the Sierra Mountains.

After two-months' worth of pro-democracy demonstrations that at times paralyzed Hong Kong, authorities are warning that they will clear protesters from a campsite blocking a main road near government headquarters on Thursday.

The Admiralty protest site is the last bastion of a protest movement that has come to be known as the Umbrella Revolution.

Reuters reports:

One of the big arguments the Central Intelligence Agency has used to defend its enhanced interrogation techniques is that information stemming from those interrogations led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

More specifically, officials have argued that those types of questionings led to important information about Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti, the courier that led the U.S. to bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

The CIA "provided inaccurate information to the White House, Congress, the Justice Department, the CIA inspector general, the media and the American public" about the "brutal" interrogation techniques it used on terrorism suspects, a long-held Senate intelligence committee report finds.

The report provides the most comprehensive public accounting of the interrogation techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel landed in Iraq this morning. Hagel is scheduled to meet with Iraqi officials and U.S. commanders about the U.S.-led war against the so-called Islamic State.

This visit is of note because Hagel is the first secretary of defense to visit the country since President Obama ended American combat involvement in Iraq in 2011.

Since then, the U.S. has beefed up its military presence in Iraq to combat ISIS, which started an assault on the country over the summer.

A white police officer killed an unarmed black man in Phoenix on Tuesday, echoing similar recent incidents in New York and Missouri.

According to The Arizona Republic, Phoenix police received a tip that a man in a car was dealing drugs. They tried to apprehend Rumain Brisbon outside his Phoenix apartment complex and Brisbon ran. According to police, the officer gave chase, caught up with him and saw him dig into his pocket, before tumbling into an apartment where Brisbon's two children lived.

The November jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the U.S. job market continues to improve at a steady pace.

Here are the two big numbers from Friday's report:

An investigation by the New Jersey Legislature has cleared Gov. Chris Christie in an apparently politically motivated scheme that closed some lanes of the George Washington Bridge last year, leading to major traffic jams and a political firestorm.

The investigation could find no evidence that Christie was involved in the scheme.

NASA's unmanned Orion spacecraft has successfully splashed down about 400 miles west of La Paz, Mexico, in the Pacific Ocean after a liftoff, two orbits and re-entry that lasted just under 4 1/2 hours.

Orion, which could one day take astronauts to Mars, made a "bull's-eye splashdown" at 11:29 a.m. ET, mission control said, after the spacecraft endured a searing 4,000-degree Fahrenheit re-entry and was carried to the ocean surface under four giant red-and-white parachutes.

The grand jury that weighed whether to charge the New York police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner heard from 50 witnesses and saw dozens of exhibits, including four videos, before declining to indict.

After a long investigation, the Department of Justice has found that Cleveland's Division of Police has "engaged in a pattern and practice of using excessive force" because of inadequate training and a lack of accountability, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.

In a press conference in Cleveland, Holder added that the city and the federal government had reached some understanding on ways they could curb the deficiencies.

And on the 18th try, the Philadelphia 76ers finally snapped their losing streak, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 85-77 on Wednesday.

Yes, they managed to right the ship to avoid tying the record for worst start to an NBA season and, yes, a win is a win.

The Yemen branch of al-Qaida is threatening to kill a hostage who says he is a British-born American citizen.

Reuters reports the video of the man was first noticed by SITE, an organization that tracks terrorist groups. The video shows a man who says his name is Luke Somers, a 33-year-old journalist allegedly captured in Sanaa back in September.

Reuters adds:

We've written a lot about the emotions that poured out onto the streets of U.S. cities and across the Internet when a grand jury in Staten Island declined to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner.

Super Typhoon Hagupit is gathering strength in the Western Pacific and threatening to deal another significant blow to the Philippines.

The Weather Channel reports that the tropical cyclone is already significant:

"At 8 p.m. EST Wednesday, the U.S. military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated Hagupit's maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed at 180 mph, putting it in a tie with Super Typhoons Vongfong and Nuri in October as the most powerful typhoon of 2014. Hagupit is now the equivalent of a high-end Category 5 hurricane.

Saying President Obama does not have the authority to wage a war against the so-called Islamic State, Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, introduced a measure declaring war against the Sunni militant group.

Obama declared a war against the group back in September. Administration officials have said that they believe Obama could order military action against the group, relying on the Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by Congress in 2001.

We're a little late to this news, but we're pointing it out to set the record straight: The White House says immigrants protected under President Obama's executive action will be eligible for Social Security benefits.

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