TODAY's Takeaway: Rumsfeld rumbles, Castro's lawyer speaks out
1. News broke overnight that convicted kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro was found hanged in his prison cell.
Castro’s lawyer, Craig Weintraub, told TODAY Wednesday morning that authorities twice denied requests for independent psychiatric evaluations of his client, and that he was not on suicide watch.
“I understand that the public in general is probably going to say, 'Well, good riddance,’” Weintraub told Willie Geist. “But this is a human being, we are in a civilized society, and we expect that the person will be protected when they’re institutionalized, and so there is an obligation on the part of the prisons.”
Ariel Castro attorney: He should have been protectedPlay Video
Carli Lloyd: USA will 'cherish this moment' after World Cup win
Donald Trump: I didn't expect backlash 'this severe'
Burt's Bees co-founder dies at 80
Prison escapee David Sweat is back behind bars
2. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld criticized President Obama’s handling of the Syrian crisis, asserting that the president has lacked vision in his military strategy.
“If there’s anything that’s clear,” Rumsfeld told Savannah, “it’s that they do not have that kind of unity at the present time because of a lack of clarity.”
Rumsfeld on Syria: Do something 'worth doing' or nothingPlay Video
White House Says 'Significant Differences' Remain in Iran Nuclear Talks
Iran Nuclear Talks Could Go 'Either Way': Kerry
U.S. Has Faced Many Tougher Challenges Than ISIS, Says Obama
Syrian Army Forces Close in on Rebel-Held Zabadani
3. As part of NBC’s week-long “Age of Alzheimer’s” series, experts shed light Wednesday morning on a growing trend in research: prevention.
“We have found that the brain changes of Alzheimer’s disease begin maybe 20, possibly 25 years before we expect individuals to develop symptoms of dementia,” Washington University’s Dr. John Morris told TODAY.
New focus for Alzheimer's research: PreventionPlay Video
Mysteries of the Brain: Searching for Answers
Family Fights to Keep Therapy Pigs
Watch Man Play Guitar While Surgeons Operate on His Brain
Canines Greet Charlotte Air Travelers
4. Could you use your own Mary Poppins? Well, “flying nannies” are actually a thing now, thanks to Etihad Airways. The UAE-based airline is hiring on-board babysitters to provide in-flight child care to passengers.
A gift from above: Nannies for plane passengersPlay Video
Travel + Leisure editor reveals top cities to visit
Tamron's Tuesday Trend: Taking perfect pictures
Jane Lynch talks about return of 'Hollywood Game Night'
Military dad surprises son at baseball game
5. The party drug known as “Molly,” which killed two people over the weekend, is easier for kids to get their hands on than you might think. Jeff Rossen goes under cover to report on just how easy it is, and finds startling results.
Rossen Reports: Party drug 'Molly' is easy to getPlay Video
Holiday tips for barbecue, outdoor food, pool safety
Keene, N.H. sues 'Robin Hoods' who feed expired parking meters
See how dangerous some fireworks can be: Live demonstration
Rossen Reports: How police dogs track criminals, find the missing
6. Viewers asked, and Hoda answered! To provide inspiration for viewers who never step foot in the kitchen (like herself!), Hoda prepared a three-step fish dish. The result: simple success!
“You get your own cooking show!” Kathie Lee said after trying the ponzu-soaked fish.
KLG on Miley Cyrus: Vulgarity doesn't require talentPlay Video
Hoda on racy 'Bachelorette' episode: 'What is going on?'
Brody Jenner on Scott Disick photos with ex: 'Uh oh!'
Some husbands never see their wives without makeup
Demi Lovato takes a dive during a pool party performance
And that's TODAY's Takeaway!