Scott Neuman

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says the three jailed members of the politically radical punk rock band Pussy Riot should have their sentences commuted to time served.

"In my view, a suspended sentence would be sufficient, taking into account the time they have already spent in custody," The Associated Press quoted Medvedev as saying during a televised meeting with members of his United Russia Party.

As a strike by Chicago's schoolteachers enters a third day, the president of their union says negotiators are still "miles apart" from an agreement to get 350,000 students back in the classroom, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The talks were set to resume Wednesday morning, but Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said there had been only "centimeters" of progress and that the union and city were still "kilometers apart."

The death toll from two factory fires in Pakistan has reached 314, most of them killed by suffocation when they were unable to escape the buildings, officials said Wednesday.

The fires in a shoe factory in Lahore and a garment factory in the southern port city of Karachi, broke out Tuesday night. The Karachi fire killed at least 289 people, while the other 25 deaths were reported at the Lahore factory.

Update at 7:02 p.m. ET. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other staff members were killed in an attack against the American consulate in Benghazi, last night. The attack happened over an American-produced film that criticized the prophet Muhammad.

Here's the latest on the story:

-- Quoting U.S. officials, the AP reports that the Pentagon is moving two warships toward the Libyan coast. CNN is also reporting the move.

-- The remains of all four Americans killed in Libya have been recovered.

In the rarefied air of China's leadership circle, anything that strays from strict protocol becomes grist for the rumor mill.

So it is with the mysterious and sudden disappearance of Xi Jinping, the presumptive heir to President Hu Jintao.

Xi, 59, has inexplicably missed a series of important meetings with foreign dignitaries in the past week, including one with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Beijing. The last time anyone saw him in public was Sept. 1.

UPDATE at 9:00 ET:

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and White House staffers observed a moment of silence on the White House South Lawn to remember the nearly 3,000 people killed in terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

After the silence, three bell tolls were struck and a bugler played taps.

Here's our earlier post:

Ceremonies to commemorate the nearly 3,000 people killed 11 years ago today in the worst-ever terrorist attacks on U.S. soil are decidedly lower key this time around.

Striking teachers in Chicago manned the picket lines for a second day today as parents again scrambled to occupy their stay-at-home kids.

Some 350,000 of the district's students are locked out of their classrooms because city officials and thousands of teachers represented by the Chicago Teachers Union have yet to reach a contract. The strike is the first by public school teachers in the Chicago in 25 years.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula's second-in-command has been killed in Yemen, a government website reports.

Saudi national Saeed al-Shehri was killed in the Hadramawt area of southern Yemen along with six other militants, according to the website and ministry of defense officials quoted by the BBC.

Remember the dark days of 2008 when insurer American International Group Inc., better known as AIG, nearly collapsed under the weight of the mortgage crisis before Washington rode to the rescue to the tune of $182 billion?

Then there was the public outrage when AIG executives got millions in bonuses after receiving the largest of all of the Wall Street bailouts.

Since then, the New York-based insurance giant has been essentially a government-owned enterprise, with Uncle Sam holding a controlling share.

Teachers in Chicago walked off the job Monday after contract negotiations fell through, leaving 400,000 students in the nation's third-largest district shut out of their classrooms.

Contract talks broke down late last night, and by Monday morning Chicago public school teachers, many wearing red T-shirts and carrying signs, were picketing around the city for the first time in a quarter-century.

It wasn't what President Obama was hoping for: another disappointing jobs report the morning after he accepted the Democratic nomination and asked Americans to stay the course.

The U.S. economy added just 96,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department, and a drop in the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent was mostly due to people giving up on job searches.

A storm has been brewing for decades in the South China Sea, and it has nothing to do with the weather.

Instead, it's a virtual typhoon of competing claims over tiny, uninhabited island chains that ring the South China Sea and reach even farther north. They all have one thing in common: China has claimed control of them.

Isaac might not be in the same league as Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, but the latest storm to batter Louisiana's Gulf Coast is punching above its weight class in more ways than one, scientists say.

The Latest at 10:20 p.m. ET. More Than 650,000 Power Outages In La.

That tidbit emerged in a letter from gov. Bobby Jindal to President Obama in which he requested expedited major disaster declaration for the state as a result of damage caused by Isaac.

Here's more from the letter:

Pages