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Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill makes a point about Republican challenger Rep. W. Todd Akin on Sept. 21 during their first debate in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri. A surge in GOP voter turnout in the past decade increases Mr. Akin’s chances of winning. Republicans also credit a strong evangelical faction and a shift in party preference by rural voters. (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.