Credit card fraud shuts down bail option in Champaign County

URBANA — About 10 people have been released from the Champaign County Jail since the first of the year after having posted bail using stolen credit card information.

The discovery of the fraud prompted Sheriff Dustin Heuerman on Wednesday to suspend indefinitely the online payment method, which was intended to increase convenience for someone posting bail for an arrestee.

Drug suspect escapes arrest after group threatens officer

CHICAGO (AP) — A suspected Chicago drug dealer avoided arrest after a group of people threatened to harm a police officer attempting the arrest.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says two officers on Sunday observed a drug transaction involving a man inside a vehicle and moved to make an arrest.

Contract to raze 2 Cairo housing projects OK'd

CAIRO (AP) — Demolition of two complexes run by the troubled Alexander County Housing Authority in southern Illinois will begin next month.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports the housing authority board voted Tuesday to award a $1.9 million demolition contract. Benton-based RCRA Inc. will raze 280 apartments in the Elmwood and McBride complexes.

Finland tops global happiness index for 2nd straight year

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland has topped an index of the happiest nations for the second consecutive year, with researchers saying the small Nordic country of 5.5 million has succeeded in generating a happiness recipe for a balanced life not simply dependent on economic and material wealth.

Driver in Italy abducts schoolchildren, sets bus ablaze

MILAN (AP) — A bus driver in northern Italy abducted 51 schoolchildren and their chaperones Wednesday and took them on an hourlong drive, then set the vehicle on fire when he was stopped by a Carabinieri blockade, officials said.

Fatal crash in Douglas County

Update 12:55 p.m. Wednesday

Illinois State Police are investigating a fatal two vehicle crash in Douglas County earlier Wednesday.

State Police say the accident happened on Route 36 and Douglas County Road 1865 East, which is east of Route 130. It involved a van and a commercial vehicle. More details on the accident are not yet available.

Turkey's Erdogan sparks spat with Australia, New Zealand

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, campaigning for votes in local elections this month, has sparked a diplomatic spat with New Zealand and Australia by portraying the Christchurch mosque shooting and a World War I battle as targeting Islam.

Disney closes deal for Fox entertainment assets

Disney has closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox's entertainment business, putting "Cinderella," "The Simpsons," "Star Wars" and "Dr. Strange" under one corporate roof.

Rail service suspended, more evacuated amid flooding

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Passenger rail traffic along a popular Missouri route has been suspended and evacuations continue amid flooding along the Missouri River.

New Zealand police: Mosque gunman planned 3rd attack

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — A father and son who fled the civil war in Syria for "the safest country in the world" were buried before hundreds of mourners Wednesday, the first funerals for victims of shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that horrified a nation known for being welcoming and diverse.