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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates (left) arrives Thursday to testify to the Senate Armed Services Committee about the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military. Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, is greeted by Sen. John McCain of Arizona (right), the panel's ranking Republican.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates (left) arrives Thursday to testify to the Senate Armed Services Committee about the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military. Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, is greeted by Sen. John McCain of Arizona (right), the panel's ranking Republican.

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Say hello, Assad: See the Navy warships off the coast of Syria

The Navy has sent four warships — USS Ramage, USS Mahan, USS Gravely and USS Barry — armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea amid violence in Syria. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military actions, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles as they did against Libya in 2011.