Steps toward peace in Sudan

Thanks for highlighting the dreadful abduction of women and children as slaves in Sudan ("In Sudan, childhoods of slavery," Aug. 22). To stop Khartoum's tolerance of slavery, air attacks on civilian and relief-agency targets, use of food as a weapon, and other genocidal actions, the outside world must support the peace process and take steps to end the war. My commission has recommended actions the US government should take toward that goal, including:

1. Begin a 12-month plan to pressure Sudan's government to improve human rights. If there is not measurable improvement in religious freedom at the end of that period, the US should be prepared to provide nonlethal and humanitarian aid to appropriate opposition groups.

2. Earmark more humanitarian aid for public works in southern Sudan.

3. Work toward a "military no-fly zone" over Sudan using peaceful means.

4. Prohibit any foreign corporation from seeking to obtain capital in the US market as long as it is participating in Sudanese oil-field development.

Elliott Abrams Washington Chairman, US Commission on International Religious Freedom

Linking Clinton to Lieberman? Nice try

I do not get the point of Godfrey Sperling's Sept. 12 column ("A calculated risk?"), regarding the Democratic presidential and vice-presidential candidates, other than to possibly influence voters away from Al Gore.

The column appears to be an attempt to cast a shadow on Gore's highly popular selection of Senator Lieberman, by speculatively linking it (and Lieberman!) to President Clinton - as though taking some advice from a two-time presidential winner implies a "sleaze factor." Taking good advice would be a positive quality in a president. In view of Governor Bush's not-so-popular selection of Dick Cheney, Mr. Sperling may be feeling a bit sour over Gore's strength in the polls.

By the way, this letter came from someone who's planning to vote for Bush!

John J. Noffo Newport, R.I.

Junior tennis is strong

Thanks for your Sept. 8 article "Williams sisters are expanding the racket set." The Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, certainly have inspired inner-city kids to take up tennis at any public court.

Six years before Arthur Ashe, the first black man to win Wimbledon, and Charlie Pasarell, a top-ranked player from Puerto Rico, founded the National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) in 1969, the Kansas City Junior Tennis League was founded. I was the second president of that organization. At first we had only five clubs join. Our second year we put on a tournament in which only 74 players participated. Now there are more than 3,000 junior players as a result of our modest start. Best wishes for junior tennis in America.

Mary V. Lucas New Canaan, Conn.

Convenience is a matter of perspective

In your Sept. 11 "Hot Links" column (Work&Money), "Priceline: Saving cash can cost you convenience," James Turner sounds simply like a disgruntled customer.

Let me say that with Priceline gasoline, I save $165 a year and don't even drive much. When the pump charges $1.69 per gallon, I pay only $1.16. To Mr. Turner that may not seem like much, but to other Americans, it makes a big difference in the wallet. I pay online at my leisure any time in advance, then go to the pump whenever the need arises, even at the spur of the moment.

Everyone that I know who uses this service find its savings worthwhile.

Tim Thorndike Cleveland, Ohio

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