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House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat (right), confers with the committee's ranking Republican, Spencer Bachus of Alabama, during a September hearing. Mr. Bachus, who will succeed Mr. Frank as chairman in January, is expected to exhibit a more reserved style. (Associated Press)

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat (right), confers with the committee's ranking Republican, Spencer Bachus of Alabama, during a September hearing. Mr. Bachus, who will succeed Mr. Frank as chairman in January, is expected to exhibit a more reserved style. (Associated Press)

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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.