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People wearing masks are common in many Chinese cities now choked by dense smog, including Wuhan in Hubei province. Air pollution is a major problem because of the country’s rapid changes and disregard for environmental laws, but, for the first time, government officials are talking about it. (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.