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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?

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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, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Committee has voted for a moratorium on fracking for natural gas until it can be done “safely.” But given that “safely” is not defined, the committee really has adopted a ban. What practical effect the stance will have is uncertain. But it certainly makes us wonder why the hardworking folks who've found good, solid jobs in the Marcellus shale industry would ever vote for state Democrats again. ... The National Council on Teacher Quality concludes that U.S. teacher training is “an industry of mediocrity.” New teachers “don't know how to teach reading, don't know how to master a classroom, don't know how to use data,” group president Kate Walsh tells Programs that train about 80 percent of all teachers were evaluated. Oh, and the study was funded, in large part, by liberal foundations. Here's to school districts everywhere taking this into account when those bright-eyed and bushy-tailed prospective teachers sit for their job interviews. ... The world's last telegram is expected to be sent, in India, on July 14. STOP. India's state-owned telecom company says the antiquated message-sending system no longer makes economic sense in the digital age. STOP. Telegrams first were used in India in 1850. STOP. The first telegraph message was sent in the United States in 1844. STOP. If you have no idea what this “STOP” business is all about, Google it. STOP.

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