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A poster encouraging Christmas shopping is on display at a Beijing shopping mall. Communist Party leaders Sunday concluded a two-day meeting by pledging continuity with earlier party plans aimed at making China’s economy more productive and spreading prosperity to its poor. The economy is pulling out of its deepest slump since the 2008 global crisis. (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.