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Photo: Spreading the word

As the Occupy Wall Street protest in lower Manhattan entered its third week Monday, related sit-in demonstrations are popping up in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. Later this week, similar rallies are scheduled for Detroit, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Sante Fe and many other cities. More than 700 people were arrested in the NYC Occupy Wall Street protest over the weekend as they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: The universe, over easy

Astronomers have used European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope to image a rare yellow hypergiant star called IRAS 17163-3907. Its diameter is about a thousand times bigger than our Sun and shines more than 500,000 times brighter. It is the closest yellow hypergiant found to date at approximately 13,000 light-years from Earth. The star and its shells resemble an egg white around a yolk center, leading it to be nicknamed the Fried Egg Nubula. Photo: ESO/E. Lagadec

Photo: A long way for a close look

Several specialized inspectors will repell down the side of the 555-ft. Washington Monument on Tuesday, Sept 27, looking for damage caused by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake last August. They will inspect each stone for cracks like the ones found between the stone and mortar joints at the top of the pyramidion, which were up to 1.25 inches wide. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Occupy Wall Street

Participants at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations are entering their 10th day camping out in the financial district of New York City. Several hundred activists have been gathering near Wall Street since September 17, protesting the mortgage crisis, bank bailouts, wealth inequality and the cost of war, among other things. More than 80 people were arrested Saturday for disorderly conduct and blocking traffic when they marched from Zuccotti Park to Union Square. Photo: Flickr/David Shankbone

Photo: Release and relief

American hikers Josh Fattal (center in blue shirt) and Shane Bauer were released from an Iranian jail on Wednesday after bail of $500,000 each was paid by the government of Oman. For the last two years, they were imprisoned in Iran on charges of spying for the U.S. Photo: AP Photo/Sultan Al-Hasani

Photo: Troy Davis faces execution

An Amnesty International activist demonstrates outside the U.S. Embassy in support of death row inmate Troy Davis, Rome, Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. Davis has drawn a considerable amount of worldwide support, from the Vatican to the European Union, from President Jimmy Carter to Pope Benedict XVI. Photo: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Update, Sept. 22, 10:29 a.m.: After a last-minute delay of Troy Davis’s execution, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his request for a stay. Troy Davis was executed Wednesday night, shortly after 11 p.m. EDT. His official time of death was 11:08 p.m.

Phone calls are still pouring in, and people are still rallying in protest, but most signs still indicate that tonight, Troy Davis will be executed by the state of Georgia.

Davis, a 42-year-old man from Savannah, Ga., has been on death row for 20 years for the 1989 murder of Mark MacPhail, a Savannah police officer killed while off duty. Amnesty International has defended Davis’s case for several years, arguing that a wealth of evidence casts significant doubt on the verdict. Since Davis’s trial, all but two of the witnesses in the case have recanted or changed their testimonies, and nine people have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester “Red” Coles, one of the two witnesses who did not recant his testimony, as the one who committed the murder. Moreover, no DNA matches, murder weapons or other physical evidence was ever found implicating Davis in the shooting.

Amnesty International and several other groups have led a mass movement to convince Georgia authorities to spare Davis from execution. Davis’s case has further focused national attention on the death penalty in the U.S., after recent Republican presidential debates highlighted Texas Governor Rick Perry’s death penalty record and the U.S. Supreme Court halted the execution of Texas death row inmate Duane Edward Buck just last week.

Georgia’s State Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected Davis’s appeal for clemency Wednesday, and Davis’s last-minute request for a polygraph test was denied. Davis is scheduled to undergo a lethal injection at 7 p.m. EDT.

Photo: Don’t ask, say ‘I do’

After the stroke of midnight last night, the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy was repealed. To celebrate, long time partners Navy Lt. Gary Ross (right) and Dan Swezy exchanged wedding vows in Duxbury, Vt. Photo: AP Photo/Toby Talbot

Photo: Keeping your ears to the ground

Meet Harbor, an 8 year old coonhound from Boulder, Colorado. He has just been declared "dog with the longest ears" by the Guinness Book of World Records. His left ear measures 12 1/4" and his right one measures 13 1/2". Perhaps being the 2012 record holder makes up for all those tumbles down the stairs as a puppy! Photo: AP Photo/Ryan Schude/Guinness World Records

Photo: A cat from Possum

Mike Hester holds a cat he rescued from an area destroyed by a wildfire at Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. The wildfire, which started last week, swept through the neighborhood and destroyed more than three dozen homes. Fourteen-hundred firefighters from 34 states, plus local volunteers are fighting the blaze. Photo: AP Photo/LM Otero