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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - July 7, 1989, Darmstadt, Hesse Navrofj/ova,Graf reach finalsat Wimbledon— SportsPage 21The STARS andVSTRIPESAUTHORIZED UNOFFICIAL PUBLICATION FOR THE US ARMED FORCESVol. 48, No. 81 Friday. July 7. 1989 ** 2» DM, .* a«a, D 8693 AGorbachev offers more cutsSays NATO would hove to OK nuclear folksSTRASBOURG, France (AP) — Sovi-et Prcsidenl Mikhail S. GorbachevThursday offered additional and rapidcuts in his country's nuclear arsenal ifNATO accepts negotiations on tacticalnuclear weapons.Gorbachev's proposal, contained in aspeech to the Council of Europe's assem-bly in this eastern French city, appeareddesigned to increase pressure on theUnited States to agree to the talks, anissue that caused a deep rift in the West-ern alliance that was patched over lastmonth. (Set related ".ton, Page 4)."If it became clear that NATO coun-tries arc ready to join us in negotiationson tactical nuclear weapons, we could.naturally, after consulting our allies,carry out without delay further unilateralreductions in our tactical nuclear mis-siles in Europe," Gorbachev told the as-sembly, which contains parliamentariansfrom 23 West European democracies.Gorbachev did not say how many mis-siles the Soviets would cut.In Washington, presidential press sec-retary Marlin Fitzwaler said the Gorba-chev statement had been anticipated."We welcome any unilateral reduc-tions" in the Soviet's nuclear arsenal,See CUTS on back page Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and MX wife, Kaisa. wate K«« )t' Thursday in Paris before living to Strasbourg, France.Gl payment plan would ease overseas movesBy CHUCK VINCHWashington bureauWASHINGTON — Servicemembcrs would getlump-sum, up-front payments to cover the initial costsof moving into overseas housing under a provisionapproved by the House Armed Services Committeelast week.That initiative, which would take effect Sept. 1,1990, is one of several in the committee's fiscal 1990defense authorization bill aimed at casing some of thehassles of military moves.The bill also would direct the Pentagon to signifi-cantly expand its relocation assistance efforts and domore to publicize a rental security deposit guaranteeprogram that has been on the books for two years butapparently is not widely used.Before the bill can take effect, it must be approvedby the House and Senate and signed by PresidentBush. The Senate Armed Services Committee willbegin work on its own version of the defense authori-zation bill next week.Faced with a light budget climate this year, lawmak-ers were unable to launch major new compensationprograms or substantially increase existing allowances,a committee staffer said."Most of the changes are along the lines of theserelocation provisions — relatively minor adjustmentsthat may not be all that flashy on their own, but, whentaken together, add up to a pretty good package." thestaffer said.After the committee approved a 3.6 percent payraise and higher bonuses for doctors and pilots — twochronically short military skills — "there wasn't a lotleft over" for other programs, the staffer said.Concern over the initial costs that usually must bepaid by serviccmembers when moving into overseasoff-base housing arose from several recent field visitsby committee staffers.The report accompanying the committee bill saidlawmakers feel the current system of allowances is in-adequate to cover those initial costs.Many items that arc taken for granted in statesidehousing, such as lighting fixtures and kitchen cabinetsor sinks, often arc not part of the deal in foreign rentalagreements."As a result, serviccmembers arc faced with substan-tial up-front cash outlays just to make housing facili-ties livable," the report said.The current overseas housing allowance is meant toSee PLAN on back pageTip-off ads had S&S Pen Pals standing in the islesByGARYPOMEROYStaff writerII didn't take long for the Letters to the Editorsection at The Stars and Stripes to notice somethingwas up. Way up.Up was the level of mall seeking pen pals. Nearly400 pen pal letters poured into the office during oneweek alone in June. Before the tide was over, almost600 letters from the British Isles flooded the office.The Pen Pals column, which began in 1975, con-sists of letters from people all over the world whowant their addresses published in the newspaper inthe hope of making friends through the mail."We've never had this kind of response," saidKathy Chlpman Wicker, who heads the Letters to theEditor section.During an average week, 10 pen pat letters arereceived, Wicker said. The most mall received on asingle topic in recent memory was 50 letters in Jan-uary and February when Congress wanted to give It-self a 51 percent raise.But why would so many pen pal requests suddenlyshow up? All from England? The answer providedpotentially staggering news.Several of the letters referred to an ad In the May29 Dally Mirror, a nationwide British tabloid. The adIn the "White-Hot Club" pop-showbiz column invitedpeople to write to American servicemembers stationedin Europe and offered The Stars and Stripes addressas a way to reach pen pals.The Air Force Times received more than 300 lettersfollowing a similar ad in the Daily Mirror, eventhough the Times doesn't have a pen pals sen Ice.A phone call to the Daily Mirror by The Stars andStripes confirmed that the ad had been published, butyielded no clues as to why It ran or where it originated.The other news learned from the call was frightening:daily circulation at the Mirror is 3.9 million.But the staff dutifully sorted through the letters andwill publish about 200 of the names and addresses onthe center two advertising pages tomorrow.Letter writers covered a wide span of ages and emo-tions. Some were lonely, divorced or had recently ex-perienced deaths In their families. One man waswheelchairbound. Others were hearty party peoplewanting to make new friends via the mail.Many of the letters were laced with dry British wit.One woman described herself as having "a wackysense of humour," which she said is understandablesince she lives near Liverpool.Another sought "nice American chaps" as pen pals.She added, "Anyone connected with the States (whereyou have faucets and diapers instead of taps and nap-pies!) fascinates me."One woman boasted of being a Son Diego ChargersSee PALS on back page
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