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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

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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.

Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009

The economic ignorami on Pittsburgh City Council unanimously have passed a "prevailing wage" bill. New government-subsidized development (which should be an oxymoron) of a certain size will be forced to pay government-mandated wages (which is an oxymoron) of a certain amount. Perhaps the Allegheny Conference on Community Development will tally up the number of jobs never created because of this nonsense and send the council a bill• Don't bank on it. ... Venezuela imposed electricity rationing last week, "trying to avert widespread blackouts in the coming months," Business Week reports. That's because the worst drought in nearly 60 years has severely stressed the Guri hydroelectric dam, the country's largest. Those in Hugo Chavez's socialist "heaven" also are being urged to take cold showers of no longer than three minutes. Sounds real "progressive" to us; how about you• ... Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla. -- who claims Republicans' idea of health care is to ask the sick to "die quickly" -- has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate, fine and perhaps jail a Florida activist who reacted to the congressman's behavior by establishing the Web site. If the pecan fits ... .

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