How were we to know?

Remember when you were a teenager and owned your first car? Then perhaps you can empathize with a youth in Hennef, Germany, who left the chariot he'd just bought next to a scrap yard and returned later to find it - well - just so much scrap. Reports say members of the fire department spotted the vehicle, considered its location and assumed it was abandoned, and decided to use it for practice in rescuing trapped motorists from wrecks. So they applied the Jaws of Life and their axes, prying open its roof and knocking the doors off their hinges. In the end, the young man will still have a car. But it will be one that's paid for by the city's insurers.

Charities and online giving: profitable for nonprofits

Since the 21st century began, annual online giving to Doctors Without Borders has increased by more than 3,000 percent. The group, an independent medical relief organization that was awarded the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize, tops the sixth annual survey conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy of online fundraising by nonprofit organizations. The survey ranks 211 of the largest US nonprofits that provide online-giving data. The charities that received the most money in 2004, the amount (in millions), and where each is based:

1. Doctors Without Borders, New York $16.9
2. National Multiple Sclerosis Society, New York 16.5
3. World Vision, Federal Way, Wash. 8.5
4. Campus Crusade for Christ International, Orlando, Fla. 6.7
5. Samaritan's Purse, Boone, N.C. 6.5
6. United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta 4.5
7. American National Red Cross, Washington 3.3
8. Habitat for Humanity International, Americus, Ga. 2.3
9. Christian Children's Fund, Richmond, Va. 1.6
10. Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa. 1.5

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