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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).

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.

Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Stanford University law professor John J. Donohue claims the Second Amendment, which prohibits Congress from infringing the right to keep and bear arms, actually permits strong gun control. He says that's because, in part, the Framers could not envision modern firepower. Neither could the Framers have envisioned high-speed printing presses or electronic communications. Does this mean, dear professor, that modern press and speech capabilities don't enjoy First Amendment protections? ... Meet Chloe Stirling, 11, of Troy, Ill. A day after her local newspaper did a feature story on her burgeoning cupcake business, operated out of her parents' kitchen, the Madison County Health Department shut her down. It wanted the child's family to either build a bakery or a kitchen separate from her parents'. “Public health” was cited by the government. Not only was Chloe trying to raise money to buy a car when she turns 16, she's well known for baking cupcakes to raise money for a schoolmate with cancer and for a cancer fundraiser. The government is an ass. ... The same thing happened three years ago to Mark Stambler of Los Angeles. Health officials shut him down (but not up) for selling homemade baked bread. But he became an activist and lobbied for passage of a “cottage food” law. Since going into effect a year ago, Forbes.com reports, California's cottage food industry has exploded, creating more than a thousand new local businesses. Government getting out of the way — and getting its head out of its you-know-what — never looked so good.

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