As the new year arrives, tens of thousands of new laws are about to hit the books.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, nearly 40,000 state laws were enacted in 2011. Some go into effect on January 1.
To see many of them click here.
In the Newsroom today, we're bringing you details on some of the more contentious and quirky ones.
What do you think? What new laws are about to hit you?
It was one of the biggest stories of the year: The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, and is now blamed for the deaths of more than 15,000 people.
Now, you can see the devastation as never before.
Google has created "Memories for the Future," using street views to allow you to tour the destruction, interactively.
You can focus in on specific areas, or use the map to select an area you want to check out.
To learn how to help those in need in Japan or anywhere in the world, be sure to visit our "Impact Your World" page.
In this week's installation of Music Monday, CNN's Brooke Baldwin listens and watches as musician Kaki King demonstrates the "kind of strange" way she plays guitar.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays to all.
I've told you before that showing you fun videos, including some "virals," is my weekend "dessert" after a long week of covering so many serious stories.
So think of these videos as dessert for the year.
Here are just a few of the videos I'll be showing you, coming up in the Newsroom:
Christmas lights show a testament to injured Marines
Girl interviews Santa
Jibjab's "2011, Buh-Bye"
The Maccabeats' "Miracle"
Share some of your favorite holiday vids below!
Paws4Vets.org pairs service dogs with war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Brooke Baldwin speaks to a mother of one of our veterans.
In today's edition of Political Pop, Joe Johns talks to Brooke about Rick Santorum's new "Pop Up Video" style campaign ad, and an HBO movie that focuses on the 2008 presidential election.
Brooke Baldwin talks to former NFL player Coy Wire about a controversial suit involving four other former players. The suit claims that the National Football League, as well as the teams and coaches, did little to educate players on the extensive damage that the game can cause. Players allege that they were told to get back into games after they had suffered concusive injuries. Coy tells Brooke that there is a culture of He-manism in the NFL where players can be chastised for not returning to the action after "getting their bell rung".
Senior National Editor
Gusts of hot air from visiting presidential hopefuls are not enough to ease the chill for many in Iowa and New Hampshire and heat from that other thermal source, Washington, D.C., won’t go as far this winter to aid those from New England to the Southwest who need help to keep their homes warm.
Washington is throwing fewer logs – in the form of taxpayer dollars – on the fire this winter. In budget year 2011, the federal government distributed $4.7 billion to states through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The Obama administration wanted a 2012 budget that reduced LIHEAP funding to nearly $2.6 billion (a return to levels before a 2009 energy price spike), but Congress opted for $3.5 billion in the massive government spending bill the House and Senate recently passed and which has been sent to the White House for the President’s signature.
The situation is enough to scare even author Stephen King.
Speaker John Boehner and House GOP negotiators urged Democrats to restart talks on extending the payroll tax cut Wednesday. There's been little progress in resolving a partisan standoff that now threatens to erode the paychecks of 160 million Americans. The average paycheck will shrink $40 if Congress doesnt act, and right now, members of Congress are on their end-of-the-year holiday. Republican Congresswoman Nan Hayworth of New York talks to Brooke about why she's staying put in Washington to help fight for a solution.
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux talks to an Iraq veteran whose home was saved from foreclosure by Occupy Atlanta.