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Free Choice Keeps Nancy Reagan Out of the Shadows

--First Lady Nancy Reagan says feminists who criticize her for living in her husband’s shadow are wrong. “Feminism is the ability to choose what you want to do,” the former actress said in an interview published in McCall’s magazine. “And actually when you look at my life, I’ve really enjoyed the best of two worlds. I chose to have a career, and I enjoyed it while I had it. . . . But then I met my husband, and I chose to give it up. . . . I’m doing what I want to do.” Mrs. Reagan said she involves herself in White House matters only when it looks to her as if President Reagan is being ill-served. “If I think that somebody isn’t playing it straight with him, then I get involved,” she said.

--Denis Thatcher, husband of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, has been invited to attend the First Ladies’ Conference on Drug Abuse, which will take place at the United Nations in New York on Monday, hosted by Nancy Reagan. “The invitation was extended to spouses of heads of state or prime ministers,” a spokesman for the U.N. secretary general said. The British mission to the United Nations declined to comment on the response of the prime minister’s husband to the invitation. But a spokesman for the British mission said: “Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher are not going to be in New York on the 21st as the Commonwealth summit will still be taking place in the Bahamas.”

--Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, arrived in Katmandu, Nepal, for a 13-day stay and, weather permitting, a trip to the base of Mt. Everest, the world’s tallest peak.

--Vice President George Bush, in China to promote Sino-U.S. commerce, showed his skill in bargaining during a boat tour along the scenic Li River. At the handicraft stalls in the city of Yangshuo, journalists watched Barbara Bush buy a blue-and-white porcelain vase for 50 yuan (about $17). “How about two for 50 yuan?” the vice president offered through an interpreter. The woman merchant at first declined but later agreed to the sale at the quiet urging of Chinese officials. Later Bush flew to the major southern city of Canton where he will visit the Canton Trade Fair and meet U.S. businessmen before leaving for Hong Kong. He returns home Sunday.

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