DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

Iranian actress sentenced for performing in movie

An Iranian opposition website says an Iranian actress has been sentenced to a year in prison and 90 lashes for appearing in a movie critical of the Islamic republic’s hard-line policies.

The site said Monday that Marzieh Vafamehr’s attorney has appealed the sentence. Lashing sentences are not uncommon in Iran, but many are not carried out.

Vafamehr appeared in the film “My Tehran for Sale,” shot in the Iranian capital. It tells the story of a young actress whose stage work is banned by authorities.


Free funerals could increase organ donations, group says

Offering free funerals to people who donate kidneys, livers and other organs could help boost donation rates, an influential British medical ethics group says.

The Nuffield Council on Monday listed ways to encourage people to donate more body parts, including organs, blood, eggs and sperm.

It suggested that Britain’s health system test the idea of paying for the funerals of people who sign up to the national organ donor register and then die after donating a body part. The free funerals would not be available to living donors, such as people who voluntarily give up a kidney, bone marrow, or liver.

Britain has among the lowest rates of organ donation in Europe and half the rate of the United States.


Handgun ban may prompt rifles in public, lawyer says

A new ban signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown prohibiting the open carry of handguns in public could lead to an unintended proliferation of rifles and other long guns in public if gun enthusiasts continue to fight for their Second Amendment rights.

Brown signed AB144 by state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena, on Monday. The bill will make it a misdemeanor to carry an exposed and unloaded handgun in public or in vehicles.

The ban may push gun activists into openly carrying rifles in protest of the handgun ban, National Rifle Association civil rights attorney C.D. Michel said. “You’re not going to stop people from having these demonstrations,” he said.


Woman accused of cutting fetus from pregnant mother

A Milwaukee woman accused of abducting a pregnant mother and cutting a full-term fetus out of her womb, killing both of them, is being held on $1 million bond.

Thirty-three-year-old Annette Morales-Rodriguez faces charges of first-degree homicide while armed and first-degree intentional homicide of an unborn child while armed. Both offenses are punishable by mandatory life sentences.

The bond was set Monday during a brief appearance in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

According to a criminal complaint, Morales-Rodriguez’s boyfriend wanted a son but she couldn’t get pregnant. Authorities say she told him she was pregnant and panicked as the supposed due date approached. The complaint says on Thursday she offered a ride to 23-year-old Maritza Ramirez-Cruz, beat her with a baseball bat and cut the fetus out of her uterus.


Joe the Plumber files to run for U.S. House district seat

Joe the Plumber is plunging into politics.

The Ohio man who man who became a household name after questioning Barack Obama about his economic policies during the 2008 presidential campaign has filed paperwork to run for Congress.

Samuel “Joe” Wurzelbacher’s statement of candidacy filed with the Federal Elections Commission last week says he plans to run as a Republican in Ohio’s 9th U.S. House district.

The seat is now held by Marcy Kaptur, the longest serving Democratic woman in the House.

Wurzelbacher rose out of obscurity after questioning then-candidate Obama about his economic policies, leading the Republican opponent, U.S. Sen. John McCain, to repeatedly cite “Joe the plumber” in a presidential debate.