See, we needed a diversion

Wouldn't it be a good idea, the principal of Kinyui Boys High School in eastern Kenya thought, if we banned video games and compact discs? That way, the students would have more time to study for their forthcoming exams and would earn higher grades. After all, that's what school is supposed to be all about. He probably expected the decree would not be popular with some of his charges - but undoubtedly didn't anticipate the way they'd choose to register their displeasure. Anyway, the whole issue is now - ahem - academic. In fact, you could even say the problem no longer exists. Because last Saturday night, the disgruntled students went on a rampage and burned the place to the ground.

Feeling charitable? Which nonprofits led in collections

Contributions to large charities last year fell 1.2 percent, adjusted for inflation, according to results of the latest annual survey by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. It attributed the first such decline in a dozen years to the troubled economy. A surge in giving related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks propelled the American Red Cross to the top of the journal's ranking of beneficiaries, edging out the Salvation Army, the perennial leader. The 10 groups with the highest private donations last year (in millions unless otherwise noted), and where each is based:

1. American Red Cross (Washington) $1.7 billion
2. Salvation Army (Alexandria, Va.) 1.4 billion
3. Gifts in Kind International (Alexandria, Va.) 793.2
4. American Cancer Society (Atlanta) 765.0
5. Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund (Boston) 735.5
6. Lutheran Services in America (Baltimore) 723.3
7. YMCA of the USA (Chicago) 713.9
8. Nature Conservancy (Arlington, Va.) 628.3
9. University of Southern California (Los Angeles) 585.2
10. Feed the Children (Oklahoma City) 546.9 - Associated Press

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