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The restoration's goal is to put as much of the Kissimmee as possible back to the way it was. This photo shows the river after restoration.

The Kissimmee: A River Recurved

It sounds almost superhuman to try straighten a river and then recarve the curves.

That's what federal and state officials did to the Kissimmee River in central Florida. They straightened the river in the 1960s into a canal to drain swampland and make way for the state's explosive growth. It worked — and it created an ecological disaster. So officials decided to restore the river's slow-flowing, meandering path.

A Hello Kitty balloon floats down Broadway during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York in 2008.

9 Lives And Counting: Hello Kitty Turns 40

Hello Kitty is celebrating a big birthday this year. In the time since the first simple coin purse was sold in Japan back in 1974, Hello Kitty has become a multi-billion dollar empire — $8 billion worth of products bearing her image sold internationally in 2013. The Japanese company that created the cartoon cat now oversees the production of products ranging from backpacks to lunchboxes to picture books.

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr lies wounded in the back of a police car following his arrest in July 2012. A Saudi court sentenced him to death this week for disloyalty to the ruling family and other charges.

Saudi Cleric's Death Sentence Focuses Shia Anger On Ruling Family

Protests broke out in Saudi Arabia this week over the death sentence of a leading Shiite cleric. Human rights activists call his sentencing political and warn that by killing him, the country may deepen sectarian discord and spur more violence.

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was a leading voice during protests in 2011 and 2012 by the minority Shiite Muslim community.

Pope Francis opens the morning session of a two-week synod on family issues at the Vatican, on Saturday.

Vatican Bishops Scrap Opening To Gays, Divorced Members

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

A synod of Catholic bishops gathered at the Vatican has decided to eliminate a landmark opening to gays that had appeared in an interim summary of discussions made public earlier this week that had appeared to signal a possible shift in the tone of the church.

An artist's rendering of the flyby with Mars orbiters taking cover. Note that the image says "spacecraft not to scale."

Mars Probes Give Scientists Box Seats For Rare Comet Flyby

Mars is about to get a visitor that comes around only once in a million years or so.

The arrival of a "mountain-sized" comet, Siding Spring (C/2013 A1), is made all the more extraordinary by the fact that humans — who were busy refining their stone-tool-making skills the last time such an event might have occurred — now have spacecraft from multiple countries at the Red Planet to see it happen.

Pretend to be a pineapple.

America's Boo-It-Yourself Halloween Spirit

How about we call it boocycling — putting together an adult's or child's costume using recycled, thrift-store clothing?

Pro-democracy protesters set up new barricades after riot police retreated from a main road at Mong Kok shopping district in Hong Kong early Saturday.

Hong Kong Activists Clash With Police, Retake Protest Site

Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have retaken parts of a protest camp that authorities had cleared on Friday after scuffles with police clad in riot gear that left dozens of people injured.

The BBC says: "Activists clashed with police, as about 9,000 protesters re-occupied the area. At least 26 people have been arrested."

People stand on the island's south shore to feel the winds from approaching Hurricane Gonzalo, in Astwood Park, Bermuda, on Friday. The storm has knocked out power to half of the residents of the British island territory.

Hurricane Gonzalo Hits Bermuda; Ana To Skirt Past Hawaii

Update at 4:00 p.m. ET

Hurricane Ana is creeping up on Hawaii, just as Gonzalo is leaving Bermuda behind thousands of miles away in the Atlantic.

The Supreme Court early Saturday declined to block a Texas Voter ID law for the November election.

Supreme Court Lets Texas Enforce Voter ID Law For Nov. Election

Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court has refused to block a Texas voter identification law for the November election after a lower federal court had deemed it restrictive and unconstitutional.

The ruling came just after 5 a.m. on Saturday. Three justices dissented.

Brooklyn DA Works To Overturn His 'Legacy Of Disgrace'

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