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When I was 6 years old, my mom woke up, got out of bed and crashed to the floor. That's when she figured out half her body was paralyzed. The left side. Right down the middle, like a paper doll folded at the center. She made it to the phone, called a guy she'd just started dating, asked him to take her to the hospital.

When he rang the bell, my mom had to drag the limp half of her body backward, down the stairs, to open the door for him. She told me later, the guy was so scared that during the car ride to the ER he farted the whole time. Couldn't stop. They broke up after that.

As the host of the Peabody award-winning series Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain has visited conflict zones like Beirut, Congo, Gaza and Libya — places his CNN colleagues routinely cover. But Bourdain is clear that he doesn't want to be mistaken for a journalist.

Twitter shocked the Internet Thursday with a farewell to Vine: "In the coming months we'll be discontinuing the mobile app."

We could have seen it coming. The six-second looped-video site hasn't gotten much love from Twitter, which is grappling with self-reflection: another quarter of losses, layoffs of 9 percent of the staff, constant rumors of a potential sale.

It's been a brutal forest fire season in California. But there's actually a greater threat to California's trees — the state's record-setting drought. The lack of water has killed at least 60 million trees in the past four years.

Scientists are struggling to understand which trees are most vulnerable to drought and how to keep the survivors alive. To that end, they're sending human climbers and flying drones into the treetops, in a novel biological experiment.

U.S.-sponsored peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians broke down two years ago. But very quietly, the Palestinian government in the West Bank has been running its own initiative to reach out to Israelis.

Reporter Daniel Estrin has more from the Palestinian city of Ramallah.


Daniel Estrin, reporter. He tweets @DanielEstrin.

Sweet potatoes are a big part of many a holiday meal. But Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst says that you can do so much more with them.

She brings Here & Now‘s Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson sweet potato chips, a puree and a chocolate cake made with a recipe from her friend and cookbook author Raghavan Iyer.

Twitter has released its third quarter earnings and, along with them, announced the layoff of around 350 employees.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Curt Nickisch, senior editor at Harvard Business Review, about why Twitter is struggling and what might be next for the company.

A new report by the World Wildlife Fund warns that global wildlife populations are in steep decline worldwide.

"It's the consumers' information. How it is used should be the consumers' choice." So said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler as the commission adopted rules requiring Internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon to get customers' permission before selling the data they collect to marketers.

The vote was 3-2 along party lines.

Sara K. Schwittek JDP/Reuters

Most people over a certain age remember where they were on Sept. 11, 2001, and have a story about that day. Fifteen years later, it's practically a cliche to call Sept. 11 a day when everything changed. But for the thousands of men and women who decided to join the US military after the attack, it really did change everything.

We reached out to our online community of veterans to hear their reflections on 9/11, why they joined up, and what's happened since.

Here's what they had to say. Their responses have been edited for clarity.

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Even by the grim standards of Syria’s five-year-old civil war, the news from Aleppo has been particularly shocking in recent days. 

Syrian military forces and their Russian allies appear to be trying to wipe out whatever remains of the opposition in the northern city with an intense bombing campaign. 

Erik Valebrokk 

Most people can name just one work by Norway's most famous artist, Edvard Munch. It's "The Scream," of course, which is actually a series — four versions of a single composition. The paintings famously express raw emotion. It's pretty clear that emotion is unfiltered, gut-wrenching fear.

But there's much more to Edvard Munch than that.

Josh Wood courtesy Harper Collins. 

The photo of 6-year-old Sulome Anderson in a tiny red coat clutching her father's hand was beamed around the world in 1991.

Minutes earlier she'd met her dad, Terry Anderson, for the first time. 

The family was celebrating the release of Anderson, the Associated Press bureau chief in Beirut, after nearly seven years in the hands of Shiite radicals. 

Poorly managed projects. Questionable spending. Dubious claims of success.

That's how an NPR report last year described recovery efforts in Haiti from international humanitarian groups after the earthquake in 2010. That's why NGOs — nongovernmental organizations — helping out in the wake of Hurricane Matthew know they need to get it right this time.

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Aleppo resident Abdul Kafi Al Hamdo doesn't sleep for more than two hours at a time anymore. He's always restless.

"Every hour, every half-hour I get up," he says. "Sometimes I can't get back to sleep because of the sounds of shelling, rockets. But I have to make sure that my wife is OK, that my daughter is OK." 

The University of Aleppo English teacher can't shake his terror, even when his eyes are shut. 

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Vehicles on the streets of rebel-held eastern Aleppo do their best to avoid detection at night. These days that often means switching off car lights and traveling slowly through rubble in the dark.  

That's according to Dr. Farida, the only female obstetrician in this part of Aleppo. 

Reached via Skype in the besieged city, Dr. Farida says she usually walks to work because gasoline is in short supply. But Thursday evening the hospital sent a car for her.  

It's called sticking to your guns to the noble and bitter end, and it's almost certainly what the Senate majority is going to do when it comes to refusing to even consider President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland.

Call it a win for the Walloons.

The Belgian government says it's broken a deadlock over a major trade agreement between the European Union and Canada, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or CETA. The deal had been held up in the final days by Wallonia, a small French-speaking enclave in the small country of Belgium.

Amtrak has reached a $265 million settlement with people affected by last year's derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight and injured more than 200 others.

A federal judge approved the deal this morning. "The settlement is $30 million dollars less than the cap on damages for an accident like this," as NPR's Jeff Brady reports. "But attorneys for the victims say this agreement will get money to their clients more quickly than if the case were litigated."

A rusty-brown rock found on a beach by a fossil hunter might contain a bit of preserved dinosaur brain.

If so, it would be the first time scientists have ever found fossilized brain tissue from a dinosaur.

The fossil comes from a species closely related to Iguanodon, a large herbivore that lived about 130 million years ago. A collector named Jamie Hiscocks found it in 2004, near Bexhill in the United Kingdom.

Adam Crapser was brought to the United States when he was 3, to start a new life — new parents, new culture, new country.

But his adoptive parents didn't complete his citizenship papers. Then they abandoned him to the foster care system.

And now, as a 41-year-old father of four, he's being deported. Despite his appeals for help, he has been ordered to be sent back to South Korea, a country The Associated Press describes as "completely alien to him."

His predicament is the result of parental failings, a criminal past and acts of Congress.

Conservationists often discuss the fact that hunting bush meat in tropical areas is creating an ecological and public health crisis.

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged 61 people and entities with conspiracy and fraud over a scam that involved phone calls from people pretending to be from the IRS or other government agencies.

The conspiracy defrauded at least 15,000 people of more than $300 million, the U.S. government says. The defendants — 56 people and five call center groups — were indicted last week, and the documents were unsealed on Thursday.

Warplanes repeatedly bombed a complex of three schools in northern Syria on Wednesday in what UNICEF is calling one of the deadliest attacks on schools since the conflict began more than five years ago.

"This is a tragedy. It is an outrage. And if deliberate, it is a war crime," said UNICEF Director Anthony Lake. "Children lost forever to their families ... teachers lost forever to their students ... one more scar on Syria's future."

Placebos can't cure diseases, but research suggests that they seem to bring some people relief from subjective symptoms, such as pain, nausea, anxiety and fatigue.