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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, Dec. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

State Auditor General Gene DePasquale returned to his native Pittsburgh last week to shill for increasing the government-mandated minimum wage. He says hiking it $2 per hour, to $9.25, would, in part, lessen the burden on taxpayer-funded public relief programs. Considering such a hike would destroy jobs, hurt minorities the most and increase the public burden, Mr. DePasquale deserves lumps of coal and buckets of clinkers for public policy malpractice. ... Chile has taken a deucedly leftist turn, returning former President Michelle Bachelet (2006-10) to office. But this time, she's a socialist who ran on a platform of jacking up corporate taxes to make higher education “free.” But as Investor's Business Daily reminds, that will actually increase the cost of education while lowering its quality. Socialists never learn. ... John Podesta, Barack Obama's newest senior hatchet man, er, adviser, brought in to bail out the president's flagging second term, likened House Republicans to “a cult worthy of Jonestown.” Mr. Podesta, an old Bill Clinton hand, later apologized. But the GOP should not accept his apology. Instead, it should use his words against him in next year's midterms, highlighting how “progressives” really practice “civility.” ... R.J.O. Intermediate School in Kings Park, N.Y., removed the most significantly religious lyrics of “Silent Night” during this month's fifth-grade chorus performance — so as not to offend those of other faiths. But remember, there's no war on Christmas.

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