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A dock extends into a dry cove at Morse Reservoir in Noblesville, Ind., in July, vivid evidence of the drought affecting the middle of the United States. After a hot, dry summer, hopes for a wet winter haven’t materialized, and farmers and water utilities are fearful of the consequences. “It would take a record-breaking snowfall for the season to get us back on track,” says National Weather Service hydrologist David Pearson. (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.