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French President Francois Hollande prepares for a meeting with his counterpart from Niger, Issoufou Mahamadou, at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Monday. Mr. Hollande, who was elected last month, wants his political kin to control the powerful lower house of Parliament for the next five years so he can move forward with plans to strengthen the state's role in the economy, create thousands of teaching jobs and tackle high youth joblessness.

French President Francois Hollande prepares for a meeting with his counterpart from Niger, Issoufou Mahamadou, at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Monday. Mr. Hollande, who was elected last month, wants his political kin to control the powerful lower house of Parliament for the next five years so he can move forward with plans to strengthen the state's role in the economy, create thousands of teaching jobs and tackle high youth joblessness.

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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.