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Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

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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

Daily Photo Galleries

'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.

Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

On the “Watch List”:

• Local development. Billions of dollars in big-ticket projects are being touted in 2014 as an indication of a broad economic uptick for the region. And while such projects are indeed, in general, encouraging, the question too easily forgotten is this: How many of these projects attempt to turn taxpayers into venture capitalists?

• The latest PNC settlement. The Pittsburgh banking giant is paying $35 million to settle charges of racial bias in lending at the former National City Bank, which it took over a few years back, thanks to public money (since repaid). No good deed goes unpunished in the wacky world of government interventionism.

• The Peduto administration. A new era dawns next week with the inauguration of Bill Peduto as Pittsburgh's next mayor. The Democrat has promised an inclusive administration with the very worthy goal of refocusing efforts to revitalize the city's neighborhoods. Mr. Peduto is hitting the ground running and that's a very good sign.

•The Steelers. At 7-8, Pittsburgh remains a long shot to make the playoffs as a wild card. But a combination of a win at home Sunday against the Browns and losses by Miami, Baltimore and San Diego would send the Black and Gold into the post-season as a wild card. Stranger things have happened. But not much more strange.

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