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The Thursday wrap

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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.

Thursday, March 10, 2011
 

A better solution :The banking lobby is arguing that a proposed cut in the fee banks charge retailers for each swipe of a debit card -- from an average of 44 cents per transaction to 12 cents -- will leave them unable to afford to issue debit cards or force them to raise other fees to cover the loss, reports The New York Times. Using cash should solve that problem, eh?

Climate fraud: A federal government inspector general "has revealed prima facie proof that the so-called independent inquiries widely if implausibly described as clearing the ClimateGate principals of wrongdoing were, in fact, whitewashes," writes Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in the Daily Caller. One of those "studies" was conducted by Penn State. He says the university may have been "complicit" in a "cover-up." Stay tuned.

Gas taxes: The spike in gasoline prices has sparked the usual cries about Big Oil "gouging" the public, never mind supply and demand, never mind the "futures" market. But you're not hearing a whole lot about the real gouging that's going on -- in the form of federal and state taxes on gasoline. Combined, they exceed the total increases over the last month or so. And don't blame "speculation," which actually helps to ensure steady supplies. But do blame, in part, government "speculators," so to speak.

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