Runner who died has raised $1.1M

LONDON - An Englishwoman who died in last weekend's London Marathon has raised a record $1.13 million in donations for a British charity.

Claire Squires had set up the fund-raising website before the race. She collapsed and died less than a mile from the finish of the 26.2-mile race three days ago. The 30-year-old was running to raise money for Samaritans, a U.K. counseling service for people with depression.

The website has raised $1.13 million, most of which came after the race. The funds, pledged by more than 61,000 people, are a record by an individual fund-raiser for Samaritans, the charity said.

Squires, a hairdresser, was running for Samaritans because her mother, Cilla, has done volunteer work for the charity for 24 years. Investigations into the cause of her death are continuing, according to a family statement.

- Bloomberg News

Park fire closes schools in Mexico

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's largest big-city forest park has been devastated by a fire that officials say was set by squatters seeking to take over land and worsened by the presence of armed gangs trying to scare off firefighters.

The fire at the Bosque de la Primavera, "Forest of Springtime," on the edge of the western city of Guadalajara, has consumed 18,500 acres, or about one-quarter of the preserve, officials said Wednesday.

The fire, which began over the weekend, has sent plumes of smoke and ash into Mexico's second-largest city, forcing dozens of schools to close. It is the latest chapter in a larger battle in Mexico to save public forests from development, logging, pollution, and fires fueled by droughts.

Alvaro Garcia Chavez, the chief firefighting official for Jalisco state, where Guadalajara is located, said authorities had to extinguish 14 fires in the last year in the same area.

- AP

Students take to streets in Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile - Thousands of students are marching in Chile again, demanding free and better educations.

President Sebastian Pinera is offering his own solution to the country's education woes - a tax bill he plans to present to Congress on Thursday that should raise $700 million to make Chile's largely private system more accessible.

The government says about 30,000 students joined Wednesday's march in Santiago. Student leaders estimate more than 50,000 took part. A small group of protesters set a guard booth on fire, tried to vandalize a traffic light, and threw rocks at police, who responded with water cannons.

- AP

Elsewhere:

In a surprise move, Egypt's election commission has reinstated deposed leader Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister in the presidential race, a day after disqualifying him. Ahmed Shafiq is popular among Egyptians who fear the domination of Islamists.

A jailed Bahraini activist on a hunger strike since early February is in "good health" and receiving medical care, officials said Wednesday, responding to opposition groups saying his condition was deteriorating. The statement came after social-media postings raised alarms about the fate of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, 51, who has been on hunger strike since Feb. 8.