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The Thursday wrap

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Highmark Inc. blows it with its latest TV ad against UPMC. Oh, the facts appear to be A-OK but the affectatious laughs of the woman reciting those facts are totally out of place for such a serious subject. UPMC's out-of-network charges are no laughing matter. ... The Economist reports that one of the reasons the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the merger of American Airlines with US Airways is that it suspects the new American had designs to later merge with United Airlines. That would have left only three major U.S. carriers and even less choice for the flying public. Let's see if that little tidbit comes out if the lawsuit actually goes to trial. ... A funny thing happened on the way to Obama & Co.'s “grassroots” effort claiming “climate change” is wreaking all manner of weather havoc. The website wattsupwiththat.com notes that we typically have about 1,200 tornadoes by this time each year. But this year, there have been only about 720 reported twisters. What's a climate clucker to do? ... Longtime Trib feature obituary writer Jerry Vondas, a veteran Pittsburgh journalist who spent 45 years chronicling our lives and our deaths, died Tuesday. He was 83. Jerry was a friend to all and all were his friends. And there are scores of reporters and editors in this region who can thank him for more than a few history lessons. Rest in peace, Jerry.

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