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Rep. Donald M. Payne, New Jersey Democrat, once headed the Congressional Black Caucus and was a current member of the House foreign affairs and education and the workforce committees. He died Tuesday from cancer. (Associated Press)

Rep. Donald M. Payne, New Jersey Democrat, once headed the Congressional Black Caucus and was a current member of the House foreign affairs and education and the workforce committees. He died Tuesday from cancer. (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.