Eyder Peralta | New Hampshire Public Radio

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.

Over the past few days, NPR has been airing chunks of Steve Inskeep's in-depth interview with President Obama.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un says he's open to dialogue with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports that Kim's overture was made during a televised address. Anthony filed this report for our Newscast unit:

" 'If the atmosphere and environment are right, there's no reason not to hold a high-level summit' with South Korea, Kim said in his 30-minute long address.

"Kim added that the North is ready to expand special economic and tourist zones where South Koreans can invest and travel.

Authorities returned the remains of Hayati Lutfiah Hamid to her family on Thursday in a ceremony in Indonesia.

Lutfiah was the first victim identified and turned over to family members since rescue crews zeroed in on the missing AirAsia jetliner, which crashed into the Java Sea in December.

The AP reports this is the first ceremony of many more to come. The AP adds:

Dubai, a city already known for its extravagance, upped the ante on New Year's Eve celebrations.

Instead of just wowing the world with a spectacular fireworks show, it wrapped the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, with 70,000 panels of LED bulbs.

An Egyptian court has canceled the sentences and ordered a retrial of three Al-Jazeera journalists who have been in jail for more than a year.

NPR's Leila Fadel, who was in the courtroom, tells Morning Edition that while this is good news for the men, their family members worry that another protracted legal proceeding could mean more time behind bars.

Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were convicted on terrorism charges. They insist they were only doing their jobs, and many news organizations, including NPR, have called for their release.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is set to commute the death sentences of the final four prisoners on death row.

Maryland abolished the death penalty in 2013, but that left an open question as to what would happen to prisoners sentenced to the death penalty before the law was passed.

With a few hours left before we turn the page on 2014, we decided to get nostalgic.

We ran numbers — we swear, we only do this once a year — to reveal what the NPR.org audience most appreciated.

Here are three top five lists, using different metrics.

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera had a plan to test just how tolerant Cuba had become of dissident voices.

She planned a performance at Havana's Revolution Square for Tuesday afternoon. She would provide a microphone and Cubans were encouraged to speak about their vision for the island.

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro spoke to Bruguera on Monday and asked her why she was planning the performance.

The United States has released five more detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Pentagon said the three Yemenis and two Tunisians were transferred to Kazakhstan. The detainees are the latest in what's been a flurry of releases over the past few months.

In a statement, the Pentagon said the interagency task force charged with reviewing detainee releases had approved the transfer of these five men "unanimously."

Former President George H.W. Bush has left a Houston hospital and is now "resting at home, grateful to the doctors and nurses for their superb care," his spokesman Jim McGrath said on Twitter.

Bush, 90, was taken to a hospital in Houston a week ago after he experienced shortness of breath.

Bush had previously spent a month at Houston Methodist Hospital back in January of 2013.

The number of police officers killed in the line of duty increased in 2014, a report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund finds.

In total, 126 officers were killed in 2014. That's a 24 percent increase from 2013, when 102 officers were killed. According to the report, the number of police officers killed by firearms also rose by 56 percent — from 32 in 2013 to 50 in 2014.

Here's a graphic that puts those numbers in historical context:

Updated at 2:14 p.m. ET

Rep. Steve Scalise, the recently elected House majority whip, has acknowledged that he spoke at a gathering of white supremacists more than a decade ago, calling it "a mistake" that he regrets.

Rescue crews scouring the waters off Indonesia say they have found dozens of bodies and have spotted wreckage that belongs to AirAsia QZ8501, the jetliner that went missing Sunday, carrying 155 passengers and seven crew members.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. quotes an Indonesian navy spokesman:

Adding to an already tense situation, police cadets heckled New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a graduation ceremony on Monday.

CBS News describes the scene at Madison Square Garden:

" 'Let's be honest about the realities of our society,' de Blasio told the graduating class of more than 800 new officers. 'You'll confront all the problems that plague our society, problems that you didn't create.'

The Los Angeles Police Department says two suspects opened fire on a patrol car with a rifle Sunday evening.

KTLA-TV reports:

"Several rounds were shot in the direction of the officers, LAPD Capt. Lillian Carranza said.

"'This was a completely unprovoked attack,' she added.

"One of the officers returned fire toward the alleged gunmen, but it was not immediately clear whether either was hit."

Update at 5:49 p.m.

Indonesia has asked the U.S. for help in locating the missing AirAsia jetliner, the State Department said today.

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said the U.S. was reviewing the request. The Defense Department said the U.S. assistance could include "some air, surface and sub-surface detection capabilities."

Update at 7:50 pm. Death Toll Rises To 10:

The death toll has climbed to 10, but dozens of passengers are still missing from a Greek ferry that caught fire. Authorities have been unable to determine exactly how many people were on board.

Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET

President Obama called Sony's decision to pull its film The Interview, following threats to movie theaters, a "mistake."

"We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States," the president said in his year-end news conference.

He added that he was "sympathetic" to Sony's concerns, but, "I wish they would have spoken to me first."

Soccer's governing body is sticking to its guns.

FIFA has voted not to revisit the bidding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. It also decided to release, at some later date, at least part of a 430-page confidential report produced by American lawyer Michael Garcia.

President Obama will close out 2014 with his traditional end-of-year press conference.

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET., and it's bound to be eventful because Obama has a lot to talk about.

Among the news events that will likely come up:

-- The normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Two days after the U.S. and Cuba decided to end a more than 50-year estrangement, the natural question is: What's next?

On Morning Edition, NPR's Michelle Kelemen reports that the process of normalizing diplomatic relations will be pretty straight forward and is likely to be done quickly.

"We can do that via an exchange of letter or notes. It doesn't require a formal sort of legal treaty or agreement," Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary of state for the western hemisphere, said during a briefing on Thursday.

There was a significant drop in the number of executions and death penalty sentences in 2014, a new report by the Death Penalty Information Center finds.

The group's year-end accounting finds that:

-- States conducted 35 executions in 2014 — the lowest since 1994.

-- And the justice system sentenced 72 people to death — the lowest number in 40 years.

Just hours after the United States and Cuba announced they were moving toward normalizing relations, crowds gathered in Havana and Miami trying to come to grips with a historic shift.

NPR covered the reaction in those two places with two pieces on Morning Edition.

NPR's Greg Allen reported from Miami:

On Tuesday, President Obama picked up the phone and talked to Cuban President Raul Castro.

Updated at 3:42 p.m.

The Obama administration announced today that it would begin the process of re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba.

It's a contentious issue, and reaction has been swift. Here's a roundup:

With news that the United States will work toward re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and easing the embargo, there is already talk about the reaction in the Cuban-American community.

In political terms, this is a major voting bloc in the hugely important swing state of Florida.

The Church of England has named its first female bishop.

The Rev. Libby Lane, who has been a parish priest for 20 years, will be consecrated on Jan. 26, becoming the first woman to hold that position since the church was founded five centuries ago.

Pakistan is picking up the pieces today after an attack on a school by Taliban militants left 145 people dead.

It's a heart-wrenching story. We've collected the news in a different post. Here, we'll tell the story visually, but fair warning — the photographs are representative of the horrific attack, so they're tough to look at:

A day after a horrific Taliban attack on a school that left 145 people dead, Pakistan began to take stock.

One of the big, controversial questions to emerge from the Senate investigation into the CIA interrogation of terrorism suspects is this: Did President George W. Bush know the specific techniques used by the CIA to interrogate terrorism suspects?

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