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W Hotels and Jennifer Hudson Ask Americans to "Turn It Up For Change"

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It’s not every day you see an Academy Award-winning actress, a Top Chef, a hardcore punk singer, and a drag queen sitting at the same table watching two transgendered dancers battle it out in heels.
 
But that’s what happened at the W New York Union Square this week, when Jennifer Hudson, joined by Padma Lakshmi, Courtney Love, and Lady Bunny, among others, judged a voguing dance-off.
 
It was the city’s first look at Turn It Up For Change, a new initiative from W Hotels and the Human Rights Campaign, with Jennifer Hudson as the program’s ambassador. Each month, W hotels across the country will host concerts and DJ parties promoting marriage equality in the United States.

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International Airlines Make a Push for the U.S. with New Nonstop Routes

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Another week, another nonstop international flight. Over the last year—and into 2015—many overseas airlines, including Etihad, Emirates, Korean Air, and Cathay Pacific, are enhancing their presence in the U.S. market, launching new routes to and from hubs around the world. One of the latest comes from Qantas, whose new nonstop between Dallas and Sydney is now the world’s longest flight, at 8,500 miles and almost 16 hours.

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Book A Hotel Directly on Yelp With Help From Hipmunk

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Think twice before visiting your stalwart trip-review site or go-to OTA for recommendations or an online booking: there’s a new—but familiar—player ready to disrupt the travel market.

Yesterday, Yelp announced a partnership with Hipmunk that is making it much more than a home for crowd-sourced restaurant reviews. Yelpers can now preview and instantly book hotels directly on Yelp.

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Google Uses a Camel to Capture Street View of Dubai's Desert

Google Street View has taken us inside cruise ships and museums, down famous boulevards and nameless alleys, and now, thanks to some surprisingly low-tech help, across the Arabian peninsula’s Liwa desert, in Dubai.

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What Gay Marriage Means for Las Vegas

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Las Vegas, Nevada, Wedding Capital of the World is now handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples. For a city that markets itself as a free-spirited wedding destination, the change could mean big business.

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New Video Announces Virgin Hotel Chicago's Perks

While we eagerly await Sir Richard Branson to take us all to space on Virgin Galactic, a more imminent expansion of the Virgin travel empire is keeping us grounded.

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New Virgin America Ad Targets "Blah Airlines"

No weekend plans? You might want to consider watching a new 5 hour and 46 minute advertisement from Virgin America

In a genius attack on its competitors, it recreates a flight, populated by manequins traveling from Newark to San Francisco on “Blah Airlines” (read: every airline that isn’t Virgin).

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Skype Launches New Video Messaging App, Qik

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Ten-plus years after Skype was first made available for download, the ubiquitous app is gaining a sibling—Qik, Microsoft’s first foray into video messaging. Available now for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, the free, stand-alone app allows users to send short video messages, up to 40 seconds in length, to anyone in your phone book with the tap of a button. Cheeky name aside, it’s a great solution for travelers—the videos are shared almost instantly, cutting out traditionally long relay times, and don’t use up precious phone storage space.

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U.S. Begins Enhanced Airport Screenings for Ebola

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Amid rising fears of more cases of Ebola reaching our shores, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Centers for Disease Control have introduced enhanced passenger-screening procedures at several international airports. Screenings at New York's JFK airport (which receives 43 percent of travelers from Ebola-afflicted nations) began last week; similar protocols are scheduled to start this week at Newark Liberty, Washington-Dulles, Chicago O’Hare, and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Minnesota officials are also lobbying for screenings at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Breaking news that a Dallas health care worker took a flight to Cleveland from Dallas the night before she reported symptoms of Ebola (for which she has tested positive), will certainly send another shudder through the aviation industry, as airlines and airport workers evaluate what procedures they have in place to handle infected passengers. As a reminder: Ebola is not transmittable through casual contact. A person must be exhibiting symptoms to spread the virus—putting health-care workers and close family members at greatest risk.

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Denver Hotel Launches Brewery by Bike Tour

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In a city famous for both its outdoorsiness and its booming craft beer scene, it seems only natural that the two combine. Denver’s recently-renovated Hotel Teatro has done just that, with its new Brewery-by-Bike tour.

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