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New Orleans: A biz traveler's guide to the 'Big Easy'

New Orleans, like Las Vegas, is a party town, known more for the madness of Mardi Gras and frivolity of the French Quarter than pretty much anything else. But monkey business isn't the only kind of business going on in the Big Easy.

Lyrid meteor shower crosses night sky

Look for spectacular shooting stars this week as the annual Lyrid meteor shower light up the nighttime sky. Although the meteor shower started Thursday and goes through Saturday, the best times to view the shooting stars will be Wednesday into Thursday before dawn.

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How one woman lives a 'zero waste' life

"Do you use toilet paper?" That's the question 26-year-old Anamarie Shreeves receives most often. It's not exactly a typical question, but Shreeves, who lives in Atlanta and is the site manager for the nonprofit Keep Atlanta Beautiful, lives what some may consider an atypical lifestyle: She creates almost no waste.

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'X-Men' character Ice Man outed as gay

He's been part of a wildly popular superhero team since its very beginning. But there's something we never knew about Bobby Drake, aka Ice Man of the X-Men. Wednesday's issue of "All-New X-Men" No. 40 reveals the truth: Bobby is gay.

Rash of hospitalizations in New York state linked to synthetic marijuana

New York state authorities have issued a health alert following a dramatic spike in hospital visits for synthetic marijuana-related emergencies. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that more than 160 patients in nine days have been rushed to hospitals across the state for adverse reactions to synthetic cannabinoid, known as "spice" or "K2."

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Sofia Vergara reportedly sued by ex-fiance over their frozen embryos

She's one of the hottest and most successful Latinas in Hollywood, but now Sofia Vergara is playing defense in a legal battle initiated by her ex-fiance: He wants to keep the two frozen embryos from their relationship, both female. The 42-year old actress and star of the hit TV sitcom "Modern Family" split from businessman Nick Loeb in May 2014.

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Despite security gaps, no full screening for airport workers

A Transportation Security Administration committee concluded that full screening of airport employees nationwide would not lower the overall risk to the public, according to a report released Monday.

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Woman eats three 72-ounce steaks in 20 minutes

It didn't seem like a fair fight. On one side were hulking football players and pro wrestlers, competing as teams of two to eat as many pounds of steak as they could, combined, in one hour. On another was a lone 124-pound mother of four.

'Anne of Green Gables' actor Jonathan Crombie dies

Canadian actor Jonathan Crombie, who co-starred in the "Anne of Green Gables" TV movies, died this week at age 48. Crombie died Wednesday from complications of a brain hemorrhage, "Anne of Green Gables" producer Kevin Sullivan said.

'Just Got Paid' singer Johnny Kemp dies

Bahamian R&B singer Johnny Kemp, best known for the 1988 party anthem "Just Got Paid," died this week in Jamaica. The singer is believed to have drowned at a beach in Montego Bay on Thursday, the Jamaica Constabulatory Force said in a press release.

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Despite Bobby Brown's claim, Bobbi Kristina isn't 'awake,' source says

A source with knowledge of the condition of Bobbi Kristina Brown tells CNN that the 22-year-old daughter of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston remains in the same neurological state that she has been in for over 12 weeks.

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New 'Star Wars' trailer released

Here you go, galaxy. The Force is back. At an emotional event in Anaheim, California, director J.J. Abrams and the "Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens" cast showed off for the audience and then capped the presentation with the trailer for the new film.

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Boko Haram kidnapping of 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, a year later

One year after it was perpetrated, the kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls by a jihadist group in Nigeria remains a crime almost too horrifying to comprehend: Hundreds of teenaged girls, just finishing school, destined perhaps for significant achievement—kidnapped, never to be seen again.

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New York's One World Observatory announces opening date

It's official. New York's highly anticipated One World Observatory will open to the public on May 29, 2015. Sitting on levels 100-102 of the One World Trade Center -- the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere -- it's vying to become the city's hottest new tourist attraction.

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Shake on it: Kanye West settles lawsuit with photographer he assaulted

Kanye West has settled a lawsuit with a paparazzi photographer he assaulted -- and the two have shaken on it. The photographer, Daniel Ramos, had filed the civil suit against West after the hip-hop star attacked him and tried to wrestle his camera from him in July 2013 at Los Angeles International Airport.

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President Obama, others link climate change to public health

Debates on climate change can break down fairly fast. There are those who believe that mankind's activities are changing the planet's climate, and those who don't.

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Mindy Kaling's brother: I faked being black to get into medical school

Actress Mindy Kaling's brother says that he posed as a black man years ago to get into medical school and that the experience opened his eyes to what he calls the hypocrisy of affirmative action.

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IBM's Watson has published a cookbook

By Hope King

Welcome to Watson's test kitchen the artificial-intelligence machine built by IBM.

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Oops: Quote on Maya Angelou stamp isn't hers

Another author confirms that it is hers

The late author/poet Maya Angelou was well-known for her many thought-provoking quotes, but it appears that one that was used for her stamp is not actually hers.

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TSA gets to keep $675,000 change left behind by air travelers

By Melanie Hicken

All the quarters, dimes and other coins forgotten by busy travelers at airport security checkpoints last year added up to a big chunk of change for the federal government.

Could veterans have concussion-related CTE?

After his last tour in Iraq, it took master gunner Shane Garcie about six weeks to notice he'd changed. "Your brain is throwing parties because you're home, you're alive," says Garcie. "So, it doesn't settle in right away."

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Are human head transplants coming soon?

It sounds like the plot for a science fiction movie.Someone has a horrific accident and winds up in the hospital, brain dead and on life support. Doctors approach the family about organ donation, but instead of saving as many as eight lives, the family is asked to donate the whole body to save just one individual. Perhaps a quadriplegic with a mind that outmatches their malfunctioning body.

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'Adventure Time' hits the skies with new Cartoon Network-themed airplane

"Jake the dog and Finn the human. The fun will never end. Adventure Time." begins the dreamy theme song intro to the strangely addictive Cartoon Network TV show that's centered around psychedelic characters like the Ice King, Marceline the Vampire Queen and, of course, Jake and Finn.

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Why trying to make our kids happy can backfire

When it comes to our children's happiness, we modern day parents will go to unbelievable -- yes, sometimes certifiably insane lengths -- all to make our little ones happy.

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Blue Bell shuts down plant after listeria find

Blue Bell ice cream has temporarily shut down one of its manufacturing plants over the discovery of listeria contamination in a serving of ice cream originating from that plant.

Taraji Henson apologizes to police officers after racial profiling claims

Actress Taraji P. Henson apologized Friday for claiming her son was racially profiled during a traffic stop in Southern California last year. The Glendale Police Department released dash cam video of the encounter, which contradicted her son's claims.

'Walking Dead's' big finale: Six shows to watch this week

The Walking Dead's" season-long plotline involving a group that headed north from Atlanta all comes to a head in a 90-minute season finale on Sunday night. It's been a season in which Sonequa Martin-Green's character, Sasha, stood out: She's on the verge of insanity after the deaths of her brother and many friends.

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Angelina Jolie's message to kids at Nickelodeon show: 'Different is good'

Angelina Jolie took the stage Saturday at Nickelodeon's 28th Annual Kids' Choice Awards and delivered a message of hope to anyone who's ever felt out of place. In her first public appearance since revealing that she underwent a second preventative surgery to lower her risk of cancer, Jolie attended the show with her children, Shiloh and Zahara.

Outrage over Jamie Foxx's Bruce Jenner joke at iHeartRadio Music Awards

Some viewers of the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Sunday night took to social media to vent about the opening monologue, saying one controversial joke by Jamie Foxx crossed the line.

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If you must smoke, do it away from the kids

Nearly 60% of children between the ages of 3 and 11 are exposed to second hand smoke

There is a growing body of evidence that children's exposure to smoking increases their risk of heart disease as an adult.

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Ebola outbreak: Here's where we are one year later

The director general for Doctors Without Borders calls the outbreak "tragic and avoidable"

A year ago, when Dr. Stephane Hugonnet was dispatched to Guinea to investigate a series of unexplained deaths, he had little idea that he'd be contending with an outbreak that would quickly spread from a small southern rainforest village, across borders, and around the world.

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E-cigarettes: Helping smokers quit, or fueling a new addiction?

It's a portable piece of technology providing seemingly bottomless access to a drug craved by more than 1 billion people worldwide -- nicotine. That craving is caused by smoking tobacco but is now being increasingly satisfied by e-cigarettes and the trend to "vape" instead of smoke.

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10 websites changing the way we travel

Airbnb may be the poster child of the peer-to-peer movement, with more than 800,000 hosts and a valuation in excess of $13 billion.

Utah to allow firing squads for executions

Lethan injection remains the primary method for executions in the state

Utah's governor signed a bill Monday that brings back firing squads as a potential way to execute some death row prisoners.

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Nine things to know about chemical weapons

The Pueblo Chemical Depot is set to begin destroying the United States' largest remaining stockpile of chemical weapons this week in southern Colorado. Here are nine things to know about these chemical weapons and how we got here:

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2 University of Oklahoma students expelled over racist chant

Two University of Oklahoma students were expelled Tuesday for their alleged "leadership role" in a racist chant by Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members, a decision that President David Boren says speaks to his school's "zero tolerance" policy for such "threatening racist behavior."

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American flag ban vetoed by student leaders at University of California at Irvine

he measure, "Flags and decoration adjustment for inclusivity," banned all flags in lobby

Student leaders at the University of California-Irvine vetoed a resolution on Saturday that would have banned hanging flags of any nation, including America's Stars and Stripes, in the lobby of student government offices, amid widespread criticism from students and alumni.

Justice Dept. echoes Ferguson residents’ complaints

By Eliott C. McLaughlin CNN News Wire

The Ferguson Police Department has demonstrated a pattern of racial discrimination, the Justice Department said Wednesday. But while some experts say the numbers alone tell only part of the story, the 102-page report merely reaffirmed many residents’ beliefs.

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Huge marijuana bust at border nets 15 tons

By Ben Brumfield CNN News Wire

When searching for a hidden stash, an obvious place to check is the mattress.

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PCs are dead. So says Wall Street. Again.

We live in an increasingly mobile world. So it should be no surprise that three stocks synonymous with the personal computer are taking a hit this year.

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Maya Angelou to be honored with postal stamp

Maya Angelou will soon be commemorated in a new forever stamp.

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California plastic bag ban delayed

The nation's first state-wide ban on plastic bags has been pushed back more than a year after opponents secured enough signatures to put it to a public vote.

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"In 2014, I turned $1 million into $120 million.

In 2014, I turned $1 million into $120 million. Too bad it wasn't real money.

Stan Lee draws Spider-Man for a child with autism

It was a story that moved Stan Lee, the creator of many of the best-known superheroes in history, into action: a Spider-Man-loving boy with autism named Jamel Hunter. According to the New York Times, a December Times article about the child, who reportedly didn't say a word until he was in preschool, caught the eye of one of Lee's neighbors, jazz musician Corky Hale.

Superbug cases reported in North Carolina; 1 dead

The same superbug that contributed to two deaths in Los Angeles has been reported in North Carolina, where one person has died, a spokesman told CNN. Eighteen people have contracted carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, so far this year, said Kevin McCarthy, spokesman with the Carolinas HealthCare System.

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Cruisers' choice: Best cruise ships of 2015

While Disneyland has long been known as the "happiest place on Earth," Disney's cruise ships sound like they're also pretty cheerful spots to vacation. At least that's what the 2015 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards, announced Monday, are indicating. Disney Cruise Line dominated this year's awards, winning in 12 categories.

Reality Check: Artist snaps flicks of people in trash

A picture is worth a thousand words, but a California-based photographer turned a picture into a reality check. Award-winning photographer Gregg Segal decided it was high time Americans had a visual of their waste production, so he decided to snap pictures of people in seven days of their own trash in a series titled: "7 Days of Garbage." The photos went viral.

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Sean Penn and others rile up social media at the Oscars

Between light-hearted moments like Benedict Cumberbatch taking a swig from a hip flask and Neil Patrick Harris parading on stage in his underwear, it was all about activism and controversial topics at the 87th Academy Awards. A broad range of issues, from immigration to suicide to Alzheimer's disease to wage inequality, took center stage.

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California's oranges are rotting on the docks

California's famous navel oranges and Washington's apples are rotting in the hot L.A. sun.

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Stevie Wonder tribute may have been better than Grammys

It was a big night for one of music's biggest stars.