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The Thursday wrap

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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

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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.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's proposal banning 157 models of “assault weapons” — actually they were guns that merely resembled military weapons — is considered dead as a doornail. It's a small victory for common sense that's so lacking in The Great Gun Debate. Past similar bans, based on much of the same cosmetics, did nothing to reduce gun violence. We understand the California Democrat next will seek a ban on “assault senators,” pesky young Republican senators who have the audacity to question her. ... The odds of having filled out a perfect bracket for the just-started NCAA men's basketball tournament are said to be one in 9.2 quintillion. Which actually are better odds than the Obama administration telling the truth about Benghazi. ... The Onion, America's great parody news organization, “reports” that Punxsutawney Phil was beheaded for his inaccurate Feb. 2 prognostication that spring was just around the corner. We're surprised that PETA didn't fire off one of its classic news releases, this time protesting the faux inhumane treatment. ... Roll Call reports that if Republicans hold up the nomination of Labor Secretary-designate Thomas Perez, “it could mean trouble for a party focused on reaching out to minorities.” But if the GOP caves and doesn't, the nation will come to regret Mr. Perez's far-left agenda that's sure to cater to Big Labor thugs and at the expense of every working American.

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