Yuri Kadobnov / AFP - Getty Images
Russia's President Vladimir Putin waits for heads of state at the start of the G20 summit on Sept. 5, in Saint Petersburg.
Here's a snapshot of some of the top stories we're following Wednesday evening:
Russian President Putin pens NYT op-ed pleading for 'caution' in Syria
In a rare move, Vladimir Putin brought his case for caution in Syria directly to the American people, writing an op-ed for the Thursday edition of the New York Times that went live Wednesday night. In the piece, Putin warned that a potential U.S. strike in Syria could trigger a new wave of terrorism, escalate violence and further unsettle the Middle East and North Africa. Read more at NBC News.
Americans pause to remember Sept. 11 attacks
Across the country — at schools, homes, and workplaces — Americans stopped to remember lives lost in the Sept. 11 attacks that shook the nation 12 years ago. In remarks on the lawn of the White House, President Obama called on citizens to "stand vigilant and defend our nation" in the face of attacks. Read more at NBC News.
Radical jihadis gain ground in Syrian rebel movement as moderates grow desperate
Fierce divisions in the Syrian revolt — between the generally moderate, U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army and Islamic extremist groups — has become a war within the country's larger civil war. Many moderates in the region are fast losing hope that Washington will take action against Bashar Assad's regime. Read more at NBC News.
5 world superpowers slated to meet in New York City to discuss Syria crisis
The U.S., Russia, France, Britain and China were expected to meet at United Nations headquarters to talk about the ongoing crisis in Syria. It's the launch of a high-stakes diplomatic push to avert an American military strike. Read more at NBC News.
Burning question: How would the Syrian chemical weapons handover work?
The Russian-brokered proposal to put Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles under international control is fraught with uncertainty and will likely face immense challenges — with no guarantee that Assad will hand over his entire arsenal to inspectors, who will have to devise a way to destroy lethal toxins. Read more at NBC News.
Experts: Debate on celibacy for Catholic priests is old but welcome
The Vatican's second-in-command set off a flurry of speculations this week about the fate of priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church when he said the institution is open to discussion. And yet it hasn't always been the case that priests were not allowed to marry — and the discussion is hardly new, experts said. Read more at NBC News.
Despite viral video confession, so-called 'YouTube confessor' pleads not guilty
An Ohio man who captured national attention after confessing in an online video to killing a man in a drunk driving accident surprised a courtroom by pleading not guilty Wednesday afternoon. Matthew Cordle, 22, released an almost four-minute long video on YouTube Sept. 3 that has now been viewed upwards of 1.9 million times. Read more at NBC News.
California wildfire claims one life as crews forge on
California authorities Tuesday discovered a man's body inside the perimeter of a raging wildfire, officials said — the first confirmed fatality since the wind-whipped Clover Fire sparked Monday in the northern community of Shasta County. The blaze was 40 percent contained Wednesday evening. Read more at NBC News.