The five most popular CNN.com stories during the last 24 hours, according to Newspulse.
Person of interest in girl's abduction kills self: A man sought questioning in the abduction of a 4-year-old Missouri girl shot and killed himself as investigators approached him, authorities in St. Louis said.
Lindsay Lohan gets 90 days in jail: Actress Lindsay Lohan was ordered Tuesday to serve 90 days in jail for missing alcohol counseling sessions in violation of her probation.
A 5.4-magnitude earthquake rattled southern California Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The temblor, centered about 60 miles northeast of San Diego, was first reported by USGS to be at 5.7 magnitude but the agency later downgraded it to 5.4.
There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.
"(There was) no damage no injures whatsoever," San Diego County Fire Department spokesman Maurice Luque told CNN. "Not even a spike in call volume at our 911 center, which normally happens when we have a quake of this magnitude."
Read the full story on CNN.com.
A look at highlights from the day's business news:
Bank stocks ignite big rally
Stocks surged Wednesday, with the Dow jumping as much as 283 points, as investors came back after the recent bloodletting, spurred on by State Street's improved earnings forecast.
A stronger euro helped propel commodity shares, cooling some worries about the European debt crisis.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 275 points, or 2.8 percent, its biggest one-day point and percentage gain since June 10.
The S&P 500 gained 32 points, or 3.1 percent for its biggest one-day point and percentage gain since May 27. The Nasdaq composite gained 65 points, or 3.1 percent, its biggest one-day point and percentage gain since May 10.
Police in California say an arrest has been made in the Grim Sleeper serial killer case. Read the full CNN.com story
Nicknamed for taking long breaks in between attacks, the killer is believed to be responsible for at least 11 deaths since 1985 in south Los Angeles. The killer targets black women, some working as prostitutes, using the same small caliber weapon.
Officials struggled to find new leads partially because the changing makeup of the neighborhood where the crimes were committed makes it unlikely that any possible witnesses are still around. The killer left behind DNA and fingerprints that police were unable to match to a name.
In May, new composite sketches went up on billboards across Los Angeles as police intensified their hunt for the serial killer.
The Department of Defense announced that Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi, 50, pleaded guilty today in a military commission to providing material support to al Qaeda and conspiring to commit terrorism and material support to terrorism. His sentence will be determined at a hearing in August.
Responding to questions from the Military Judge, al Qosi admitted that he engaged in hostilities against the United States in violation of the laws of war. Al Qosi said under oath that he intentionally supported al Qaeda in hostilities against the United States since at least 1996, when Osama bin Laden issued an order urging his followers to commit acts of terrorism against the United States. In 1996, al Qosi followed bin Laden to Afghanistan. For the next six years he provided logistical support to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda at al Qaeda compounds in Afghanistan. FULL POST
The head of the company that operates the Trans-Alaska Pipeline is expected to announce his resignation Wednesday after criticism by a congressional committee and the internal watchdog unit of majority owner BP, CNN has learned.
The resignation of Kevin Hostler, a former BP executive, will take effect at the end of September, a senior federal government source and another source with knowledge of the matter told CNN.
Hostler is the chief executive officer of Alyeska, the BP-dominated consortium that operates the 800-mile pipeline. Alyeska did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Iran will begin operating its nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr as early as next month, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency said Wednesday.
Ali-Akbar Salehi, director of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said the final test was conducted Wednesday on the reactor, which Iran says is for civilian use. The United States suspects Iran has ambitions of building nuclear
[Updated at 1:21 p.m.] British police arrested a terror suspect wanted by the United States, they announced Wednesday.
Abid Naseer, 24, was held Wednesday after the United States requested his extradition to face charges of supporting terrorists and plotting "to use a destructive device," London's Metropolitan Police announced. He is due to appear in court Wednesday, police said.
A British court earlier this year found that Naseer "was an al Qaeda operative who posed and still poses a serious threat to the national security of the United Kingdom." The court was considering whether he could be deported to Pakistan, where he comes from. It ruled that he could not because of the risk he would be tortured there. His arrest Wednesday is the latest stage in a saga that has had Naseer in and out of the British court system for more than a year.
He was among a group of men arrested, in a high-profile sweep in April 2009, on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack designed to cause mass casualties in England. They were seized after a top British counterterrorism officer, Bob Quick, allowed himself to be photographed carrying secret documents in a manner such that they could be read. But none of the men was ever charged. Quick resigned.
Police in Rio de Janeiro are searching for a high-profile soccer player accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and murder of a woman believed to have been a former lover, officials said Wednesday.
[Updated at 8:26 p.m.] Investors on Wall Street may have been betting this afternoon that LeBron James will head to the New York Knicks.
Shares of the Knicks' owner, Madison Square Garden, rose 6.41 percent, or $1.30, to $21.57 Wednesday on Nasdaq. Much of the rise happened late in the session before the trading day ended at 4 p.m. ET.
David Joyce, a media analyst with Miller Tabak & Co., told Reuters that the rise is probably because of speculation that James may announce Thursday that he'll sign with the Knicks.
The Reuters report didn't give details about the speculation. But one thing that may have fueled the hopes of Knicks fans was a Twitter post by Phoenix Suns player Jared Dudley.
At about 2 p.m. ET, Dudley tweeted the following: "Breaking News!!! My sources tell me Lebron will announce that he will be goin to the NY KNICKS tomorrow on ESPN.. This is serious.. WOW!!!!"
Later Wednesday, he tweeted this: "That's what I'm hearing.. I don't care where he goes lol.. I personally thought he would stay in Cleveland.."
The first post was retweeted widely among Twitter users, including ESPN's Trey Wingo and Dudley teammate and former NBA MVP Steve Nash.
[Posted at 11:43 a.m.] LeBron James plans to tell us all where he plans to play next season live in an hour-long special his team is calling "The Decision" on ESPN tomorrow night. Here’s what we know already:
He’s going to likely get a contract worth between 96 million and 125 million dollars. He gets the higher amount if he re-signs with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, takes less if he changes teams. Those are the leagues’ salary cap rules.
Two federal law enforcement officials confirm to CNN's Susan Candiotti that federal prosecutors are expected to announce a grand juryindictment against a key al-Qaeda operative, Adnan Shukrijumah, on several terrorism-related charges in connection with a thwarted terror plot to bomb the New York Subway system.
The indictment is expected to be formally announced by the Justice Department late Wednesday afternoon. The case is based out of the Eastern District of New York.
Shukrijumah has alluded authorities and remains at large with an up to five-million dollar reward for information directly leading to his capture.
British police arrested a terror suspect wanted by the United States, they announced Wednesday. Abid Naseer, 24, was held Wednesday after the United States requested his extradition to face charges of supporting terrorists and plotting "to use a destructive device," London's Metropolitan Police announced. He is due to appear in court Wednesday, police said.
A record-breaking heat wave continued to roast much of the Northeast on Wednesday, with the National Weather Service forecasting unusually high temperatures in the region.
The service has issued an "excessive heat warning" until 8 p.m. Wednesday for parts of eastern Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware and New Jersey. The warning covers cities that include Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware and Trenton, New Jersey.
Officials advise people to stay indoors as prolonged heat and humidity creates a "dangerous situation."
A Russian researcher convicted of spying for U.S. intelligence services could be exchanged for one of the suspects in the recent Russian spy scandal in the United States, according to a human rights activist who has spoken with the researcher's mother.
Ernst Chyorny, a member of the Public Committee in Defense of Scientists in Russia, told CNN on Wednesday that the mother of Igor Sutyagin, the convicted Russian spy, told him about the development.
Russia convicted Sutyagin in 2004 for spying for the United States. Chyorny said Sutyagin's mother visited her son at Moscow's Lefortovo prison Wednesday morning where he had been transferred from his prison camp in Russia's northern Archangel region.
Authorities have found a missing 4-year-old Missouri girl and are searching for a mysterious dark-colored car with a loud muffler that may be connected to the case, police said early Wednesday.
Gulf oil disaster – Interfaith leaders prayed for restoration and renewal of the Gulf of Mexico as they prepared Wednesday for a tour of the oil-soaked marshes, wetlands and rookeries of the Louisiana coast. Out at sea, crews are in the process of connecting the vessel Helix Producer to the ruptured oil well in the Gulf, said the man leading the federal response to the oil disaster. The hookup has been partially completed despite rough seas. The vessel should draw up to 53,000 barrels of oil a day when it becomes operational, newly retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said.
As the attempts continue at sea, a nearly 40-year-old board game is getting a lot of renewed attention because of eerie similarities between the scenarios of its play and the Gulf oil disaster. The game BP Offshore Oil Strike, which came out in the 1970s and is adorned with an old BP logo, revolves around four players exploring for oil, building platforms and constructing pipelines – all in the name of being the first to make $120 million.
[Updated at 8:39 a.m.] Manuel Noriega could be eligible for parole as early as next year, his lawyer told CNN.
[Posted at 8:25 a.m.] Former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega was sentenced to seven years in prison for money-laundering by a French court Wednesday.
Noriega was also fined 2.2 million euros ($2.7 million), the amount he was accused of laundering through French banks.
The former dictator looked shaken and disconsolate at the sentence, which means he will be behind bars until he is 83 years old.
An update from London on some of the international stories we expect to develop on Wednesday:
Noriega trail - A verdict is expected in France on Wednesday in the money-laundering trial of former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega. Prosecutors are calling for Noriega to be jailed for 10 years and for money he allegedly received dishonestly to be seized. He denies the charges. Read the full story
Anti-whaling activist - Anti-whaling activist Peter Bethune was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and five years' probation Wednesday by a Tokyo district court judge for his role in boarding a Japanese whaling ship. Read the full story