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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.

Saturday, April 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

More than a few defense-policy experts have drawn a straight line from President Obama's strength-through-weakness “nuclear zero” policy to North Korean nut in chief Kim Jong-Un's gum-flapping and nuclear saber-rattling. But not everyone is being so hard on the president. Why, we understand that Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is entirely supportive of the president's nuke policies, which have effectively taken the heat off his nuclear ambitions. ... A key statistic that Mr. Obama has been using to advance gun control is a tad out of date. He says up to 40 percent of all gun purchases are made without background checks. That figure comes from a relatively small sampling in a poll that's almost two decades old, Fox News reports. The Washington Post “Fact Checker” suggests that the president's numbers need some background checking of their own. ... Whereas the White House has canceled all public tours (at least for March) because of sequestration — and reportedly has chastised some reporters for not playing up the public's supposed pain — the bands will play on. Yes, the first couple's series of White House concerts will go on as scheduled this month, with Al Green, Queen Latifah and Justin Timberlake among others. Far be it for a mandatory (albeit minor) reduction in the growth rate of Washington spending to inconvenience the Obamas. ... Michelle Obama recently told invited White House guests at a workshop for the film “42” that “This is your house, too,” The Weekly Standard reports. And those shut-out school tours? The first lady tells them to eat their vegetables.

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