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Peacefulness at Jerusalem's Western Wall

Your photo spread "A Monitor Year-End Album," Dec. 26, contained some beautiful and compelling pictures, including the one of a child at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. I was curious as to why the caption referred to the area as "hostile."

The Western Wall area has always been a tranquil and serene area. Visitors from all over the world visit and pray at the wall in complete freedom and openness. The tragic incident of violence on the Temple Mount last year was the exception to the prevailing atmosphere in Jerusalem, not the norm. Bluma Zuckerbrot, New York, Director, Middle Eastern Affairs, Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith Advice for Brazil

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Regarding the Opinion page article "The Brazilians Deserve Better," Dec. 27: I lived in Brazil for five years, and I believe that it was not by chance that Brazil chose "Progress and Order" as a national motto.

Like any emerging nation, there is the inevitable chaos of youth. The United States went through this and endured a Civil War. I hope Brazil will read our history and avoid the same trap. William L. Adams, Bay Minette, Ala. No praise for Gorbachev

The Opinion page column "An Appreciation of Gorbachev," Dec. 19, suggests that Mikhail Gorbachev may have been a visionary.

Mr. Gorbachev was forced to any vision he had by the stark reality that there was no other possible solution to the mess in which he and his three predecessors placed the USSR.

Gorbachev was given the Nobel Peace Prize, while at the same time he continued the cold war. The Peace Prize should have gone to former President Ronald Reagan, the one person who had the foresight to build our military, offensively as well as defensively, to the point that Gorbachev could not match us and still feed his people. John M. Jeffery, Chatham, Mass. Child-care takes many forms

The editorial about declining standards for day-care centers, "Quality of Child Care," Dec. 30, is a timely warning.

However, might I correct one thing: The author points out that "9 out of 10 parents ... are satisfied with their child-care arrangements," and then continues as if the phrase "child-care arrangements" is the same as "day-care centers." It is not.

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Child-care arrangements include nannies, baby sitters, and, for older children, schools.

Most parents with small children would choose to stay home full time or work part time if it were economically feasible. Alternatives such as parental leave, and tax incentives for companies to provide flexible and fewer hours for their employees, might not cost more than professional day care, and might be better in the long run for the stability of the family. N.K. O'Connor, Nanty Glo, Pa. Reindeer on Finnish highways

Regarding the article "Moose Make Wrong Move - Into Suburbs," Oct. 30: I live here in the far north where we have many encounters with moose. Another problem is the reindeer that are raised by the Lappish people. Both of these animals are free to graze the open range and are continuously on the highways. Douglas King Lehto, Oulu, Finland

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