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Gary Oldman (right) spent a month mulling over whether to take on the role of George Smiley, which Alec Guinness put a distinctive stamp on. "The ghost of Guinness just sort of loomed so large," said Mr. Oldman, shown on the set (above) during the filming of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." (Associated Press)

Gary Oldman (right) spent a month mulling over whether to take on the role of George Smiley, which Alec Guinness put a distinctive stamp on. "The ghost of Guinness just sort of loomed so large," said Mr. Oldman, shown on the set (above) during the filming of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." (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.