* The day of the bank credit card is not far off. West German banks have been resisting mightily for a decade. But thousands of West Germans have already gotten Visa cards directly from the Bank of America. And the BMW auto firm is about to distribute more Visa cards itself. With the action going ahead anyway, the German banks don't want to be cut out. So they have let it be known that they will upgrade their Eurocard (the European version of the Master Card, but not a bank card) to a full-fledged bank credit card.
* It's official: Women must now get equal pay to men's for equal work. The Federal Labor Court says so. Twenty-eight women photo lab workers have won their suit. The trade union organization has welcomed the decision. Now comes the long struggle to prove what "equal" work means in practice.
* Butterflies are in danger in West Germany. Four species are already believed to have died out, the North Rhine-Westphalia Agency for Ecology, Rural Development, and Forest Planning reported. Some 36 percent of all West German butterflies -- and even 50 percent in industrial North Rhine-Westphalia -- are endangered. The destruction of wetlands and the use of insecticides are blamed. The agency has appealed to the public to reduce the use of chemicals, not to encroach on the remaining heaths -- and also to stop making (dead) butterfly collections.
* West Berlin has long been a bicycle racer's paradise, with almost weekly tours organized throughout the abundant woods and along the lakes. Now it is becoming a footracer's paradise as well. The first Berlin marathon was inaugurated Sept. 27. The route started at the Reichstag, went past the aquarium, down the posh Kurfurstendamm shopping street, past Checkpoint Charlie, around to the opera house, and back to the "Ku-Damm." The 3,000-plus participants included one 10-year-old, a number of over-60s, one Austrian in a wheelchair, and the 1972 Munich Olympics marathon winner, Frank Shorter.