NATION IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C. : First Lady Backs Salvation Army

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

First Lady Barbara Bush urged shopping malls not to bar holiday Salvation Army solicitors, as she dropped $10 into the kettle at a Washington, D.C., mall where she was Christmas shopping. Mrs. Bush cited the group’s work to help the needy and victims of natural disasters and said: “It just wouldn’t be Christmas without that bell ringing.” A comparatively high number of Washington malls are excluding the annual solicitation on the grounds that they do not allow any other groups to solicit. A Salvation Army officer said that the bans will cost the group about $100,000 this year.