Here are some of the stories we’re following Wednesday at NBC News:
Cleveland captor found dead
Life in prison, plus 1,000 years, wound up being a little over a month for Ariel Castro, who was found hanged in his prison cell Tuesday night. The convicted kidnapper and rapist was sentenced Aug. 1 in the abduction and imprisonment for a decade of three Cleveland-area women. Read more at NBC News.
Syria campaign continues on Capitol Hill
The Obama administration faces a tougher examination of its plans for military intervention in Syria, squaring off against tea party Republicans and other skeptical House members on Wednesday after a long and sometimes heated hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Hagel will continue their campaign to coax Congress into endorsing the White House’s plan for limited action. Read more at NBC News.
Odd coalition gathers to oppose Syria action
It’s strange to see Tea Party favorites like Mike Lee and Rand Paul agreeing with outspoken liberals like Charlie Rangel and Alan Grayson, but then again, war makes for strange bedfellows. The debate over congressional authorization for military intervention in Syria has produced an unusual and vocal coalition against the plan, any plan, to get involved. Read more at NBC Politics.
Embattled judge orders new sentence for rapist
The Montana judge who created a national uproar when he sentenced a teacher to 30 days in jail for having sex with a 14-year-old student backed down Tuesday and ordered a new sentencing hearing. Former Billings Senior High School teacher Stacey Dean Rambold, 54, will be back in court Friday after state District Judge G. Todd Baugh said Tuesday that he'd misread state law and that he now believed Rambold should have faced, at minimum, two years in prison. Read more at NBC News.
Naval Academy rape charge
After eight days, 20 witnesses and 70-plus pieces of evidence, military attorneys wrapped up a hearing Tuesday night over an alleged Naval Academy sexual assault involving midshipmen. The investigative officer who presided over the case will now review the evidence and make a recommendation to the academy's superintendent on whether the men should be court-martialed. Read more at NBC News.
Champs advance at U.S. Open
Defending champions Serena Williams and Andy Murray marched on at the U.S. Open in New York. Williams blasted into the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-0 victory that lasted 52 minutes; Murray earned a trip to the quarterfinals after a four-set win. Each face tougher foes next: Williams gets sixth-ranked Li Na; Murray meets No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka. Read more at NBC Sports.
Jon Stewart returns to ‘Daily Show’
His 12-week break behind him, host Jon Stewart jumped back into his gig at Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” with an extended riff on Syria and the Middle East. Stewart spent the summer in Jordan directing a film, leaving the host’s chair to John Oliver. Read more at TODAY Entertainment.