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Writing a News Aggregator... What's the best way to do this?

edited February 2011 in Vanilla 2.0 - 2.8
I'm transitioning from PHPBB to Vanilla on a site, and I want to write a simple script that will take a certain number of posts from the "News" category of my Vanilla forum and display them on my home page. Here's how the home page works right now, running on PHPBB:

What's the best-practice way to interface with Vanilla to get this information? I could just open a connection to the MySQL database, but the problem there is I'm not sure how to get the URLs to the user info page or the actual post. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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