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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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Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

The New York Times reports that the Europeans have paid al-Qaida and its direct affiliates at least $125 million in ransom money since 2008 to secure the return of those kidnapped. It's how the terrorist groups underwrite their terror campaigns these days and only emboldens more kidnapping. Whatever happened to refusing to negotiate with terrorists? It's a bitter pill for those taken hostage but it's the only way to stop these thugs. ... The Export-Import Bank, the darling of the corporate wealthfare crowd, uses a wholly bogus method to calculate how many domestic jobs are directly related to the bank's loan largess, reports The Washington Examiner's Timothy P. Carney. Yet politicians — and chamber of commerce types — routinely use such numbers to shill for the bank's reauthorization. As Mr. Carney reminds, “The biggest reason to doubt Ex-Im's jobs number is that government subsidies generally don't create jobs or profits — they move money around the economy.” As we've repeatedly editorialized, it's past time for the Export-Import Bank to go away. ... The Department of Homeland Security dispatched “six vehicles full of DHS agents ... to seize a Land Rover” suspected of violating EPA emissions regulations from a Statesville, N.C., couple, Infowars.com reports. What, no machine guns?

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