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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Montana Democrat (left), and Minority Whip Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, confer during a meeting of the payroll-tax conferees Wednesday. Partisan debate on conditions to add to the federal unemployment benefits program threatens to bog down negotiations on extending the payroll-tax break. (Associated Press)

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Montana Democrat (left), and Minority Whip Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, confer during a meeting of the payroll-tax conferees Wednesday. Partisan debate on conditions to add to the federal unemployment benefits program threatens to bog down negotiations on extending the payroll-tax break. (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.