5 stories to follow: Sept. 5

Secretary of State John Kerry confers with U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, right, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on President Barack Obama's request for congressional authorization for military intervention in Syria. (AP Photo)

Here's your look at five stories to know about today:

1. Syria: While a Senate panel voted to authorize the use of U.S. force in Syria, advancing the measure toward what's expected to be a showdown vote next week, Philadelphia-area lawmakers remain skeptical about President Obama's plan. The United States has no good options in the debate over whether to launch a military strike, the Inquirer's Trudy Rubin writes.

2. Same-sex marriage in Montco: A Montgomery County judge says he will rule "as quickly as I can" in a lawsuit brought by the state Health Department over the marriage licenses the county's register of wills has issued to gay couples. A hearing Wednesday centered mostly on legal and jurisdictional questions, rather than the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage.

3. Assault charge for rapper: Rapper A$AP Rocky has been charged with assault and harassment for allegedly slapping a concertgoer at last weekend's Made in America festival.

4. Body in Schuylkill: A severed body recovered from the Schuylkill River on Tuesday may be 40-year-old Francis Zarzycki, who had been missing for about a week. Police were questioning witnesses late Wednesday in the Northeast Philadelphia man's death, and a man arrested on a prostitution-related charge may be a suspect. Investigators are awaiting a medical examiner's ruling on Zarzycki's cause of death.

5. Union halting anti-Nutter ads: The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is suspending television and radio ads critical of Mayor Nutter and Gov. Corbett. The commercials claimed the two failed Philadelphia students. PFT President Jerry Jordan is slated to meet with the mayor this week, and the ads are expected to be pulled by this morning. Contract negotiations between the union and the Philadelphia School District are halted today to observe Rosh Hashanah, but set to resume Friday.