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.
Missing girl found alive – 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 abduction case, police said Wednesday. Alisa Maier, whose disappearance prompted an Amber Alert, was found in Fenton, Missouri, about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday (11:15 p.m. ET) at a car wash and taken to a hospital, the St. Louis County Police Department said.
Northeast heat wave – A scorching, record-breaking heat wave continues to roast much of the Northeast, with the National Weather Service keeping heat advisories in effect for the region until Wednesday evening. In addition, the service has issued an "excessive heat warning" until 8 p.m. Wednesday for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Trenton, New Jersey; and parts of Delaware. Officials are advising people to stay indoors as the prolonged heat and humidity create a "dangerous situation."
"Climategate" report – An independent report into leaked e-mails that appeared to question climate change data is due to be published Wednesday. The review began work in December after e-mails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit were hacked into and published online. Skeptics claimed the e-mails showed scientists had been hiding and manipulating climate data.
The Climate Change E-mail Review has been examining whether there is any evidence of manipulation or suppression of data that is at odds with acceptable scientific practice, and may therefore call any research into question. If you need a primer on "climategate," check out CNN.com's explainer.