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Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

The latest example of your federal government in action — a $222,000 renovation of the private bathroom of the U.S. secretary of the Interior. As reminds Atlanta's WSB-TV, which first reported the story, “that's more expensive than many homes.” The feds blame water leaks for the high cost of the project, done in 2007. Guess that's why the renovated loo also includes a $3,500 Sub-Zero fridge? Heck, we know plenty of contractors who would have done the job for, say, $150,000. ... The Obama administration wasted no time in calling last week's terrorist attack on a British Petroleum gas field in Algeria “a terrorist attack.” That's encouraging considering its nomenclature game playing in last September's Benghazi tragedy. So why did so many in the media insist and persist in calling it an attack by “militants” or “extremists”? To be clear, the attack was the work of dirty rotten smelly terrorists under the auspices of the even dirtier, more rotten and stinkier al-Qaida. Truth in reportage requires vermin to be called “vermin.” Of course, this is a lot to ask from the same crowd that regularly uses the phrase “assault weapons” and has no idea what it means. (Hel-LOW, Toledo, Ohio, Block Bugler.) ... The New York Times has closed its environmental desk. The newspaper has reassigned environmental editors and reporters to other sections. Guess the greatest threat to the future of mankind (since, what, Barry Goldwater?) wasn't much of a “threat,” eh?

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