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Bustling colonial town of Papeete on the island of Tahiti, capital of French Polynesia. (Photo by Lark Gould)

Travel Tahiti: Beyond the beach in French Polynesia

When you cast off for your honeymoon in French Polynesian be sure to wear your Tiare blossom facing forward from your left ear, Ladies. In a land that speaks through the power of flowers, any other attitude would hint “come hither, I’m available.”

Mom and baby at Patara Elephant Farm in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Travel: Thailand’s great elephant debate

Leaving Chiang Mai, Thailand, and driving through the hills and mountains, I was giddy with anticipation. This was the day I had been most looking forward to during my time in that country. My heart pounded, and I could feel my nervous excitement as the car crunched up a dirt road.

European river cruise giant Viking, already gaining a high profile in the United States with its sponsorship of popular PBS television shows, announced Tuesday that it will make New Orleans its first North American home port for Mississippi River cruises expected to begin by late 2017. (Richard Slusser/The Washington Times/file)

European cruise giant Viking plans Mississippi River tours

- Associated Press

European river cruise giant Viking, already gaining a high profile in the United States with its sponsorship of popular PBS television shows, announced Tuesday that it will make New Orleans its first North American home port for Mississippi River cruises expected to begin by late 2017.

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FILE - In this May 17, 2010 file photo, the peloton rides on a mountain road during the second stage of the Tour of California cycling race near Berryessa Pines, Calif.   California lawmakers and an array of interest groups are ramping up effort to designate four new national monuments in the state. From bill introductions to appearances at the sites by high-profile guests, they want to win protections before President Barack Obama leaves office.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

National monument supporters in California get antsy

- Associated Press

California lawmakers and advocacy groups are ramping up efforts to win national monument designation for four scenic vistas in the state, from vast stretches of the Mojave Desert to redwood stands along the Pacific Coast Highway to canyons and mountains near the state's famous wine country.

Details about proposed national monuments in California

Associated Press

Democratic members of California's congressional delegation have sponsored bills to establish four national monuments. Supporters are also pushing for President Barack Obama to establish the national monuments if Congress declines to act on the bills. The proposed national monuments include:

FILE- This Dec. 11, 2012 file  photo shows a deer crossing a trail off Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park near West Glacier, Mont. Glacier never closes, and those willing to venture into the park in the winter will find an experience completely different from a summer visit. (AP Photo/Matt Volz, file)

Wonderland awaits Glacier visitors in winter

- Associated Press

When visiting Glacier National Park in the dead of winter, it's hard to believe it's the same area that's usually bustling with tourists in the summer.

Activists count homeless before seeking to end homelessness

- Associated Press

In the woods behind a large business on Hartford Turnpike in Waterford, six volunteers found signs of camp: a trail of packed-down snow from footprints, a small bridge built over a brook, a baby stroller and a shopping cart.

FILE - In this April 14, 2008 file photo, a Delta Airlines jet departs Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta. Georgia lawmakers could take the rare step of eliminating a corporate tax break this session _ despite opposition from one of the state's largest employers, Delta Airlines. State Rep. Earl Ehrhart's initial proposal would only have cut Delta's exemption from taxes on jet fuel but now would affect all airlines.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore, file)

Lawmakers may end tax break on jet fuel, to Delta's dismay

- Associated Press

Georgia lawmakers may eliminate a tax break for airlines buying jet fuel at the world's busiest airport, setting up a face-off with one of the state's largest employers, Atlanta-based Delta Airlines.

Light City Baltimore festival set for 2016

- Associated Press

Organizers of a festival aimed at being Baltimore's version of the famous South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, believe it can transform the way people view the city.

Las Vegas Strip's version of bazaar shopping opens

- Associated Press

An outdoor shopping experience modeled after a more modern Middle Eastern marketplace, complete with a little bit of price haggling, has opened in front of Bally's Las Vegas.

House moves to repeal vehicle-enforcement ban on US lands

- Associated Press

The Legislature is moving to repeal a law crafted to punish the federal government for closing roads in national forests to off-highway vehicle use after its ban on enforcement led to property destruction.