(The Boston Globe) Sweaty competition certainly comes to mind when we think of the Boston Marathon, but charitable giving is another side to the coin. About 1,350 runners out of 25,000 will be running to aid nonprofits today. Since 1989, the Boston Marathon charity program has raised nearly $100 million, and some think that number more accurately amounts to $150 million or even $200 million, considering the unofficial charities and qualified runners who run to benefit their own charities. In any case, this year’s run will add to that sum. Mark Van Dine, for example, is running for the Hingham Education Foundation, a charity that raises money for teachers and schools hoping to fund field trips, various programs, and equipment. Van Dine has raised $5,000. “It’s amazing,” he said. “People you don’t even know will stop you in a store and say, ‘I heard you were running, I want to donate.’” Runners are crossing the finish line to support other charitable groups as well, including The American Stroke Association, the Special Olympics Massachusetts, and Homes for Our Troops.
(The Associated Press) Three Italian Emergency medical workers, Matteo Pagani, Marco Garatti, and Matteo Dell’Aira, have been freed from jail in Afghanistan. Afghan and British forces discovered explosives and handguns in the Emergency hospital and took action, detaining the aid workers on April 10. Helmund officials suspected that the Italian aid workers were bribed by the Taliban and storing their weapons, which were meant for an assassination attempt on the governor of Helmund. All charges against the aid workers have been dropped, however. Garatti said they were treated well given the circumstances and expressed his relief: “We are happy to be released and to be released with a clean, clear name.”