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An election official in Juba, southern Sudan, holds up a pro-independence ballot as votes are counted at a polling station in the southern capital, Juba. Weeklong balloting ended Saturday; most observers expect the south to secede from the north. (Associated Press)

An election official in Juba, southern Sudan, holds up a pro-independence ballot as votes are counted at a polling station in the southern capital, Juba. Weeklong balloting ended Saturday; most observers expect the south to secede from the north. (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.