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Christian pastor faces execution in Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration said Thursday it's deeply worried that Iran may execute a Christian pastor.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani, faces a death sentence for charges of apostasy and refusing to recant his Christian faith. He cited reports that a provincial court is renewing the execution order for Nadarkhani.

Toner said Thursday the United States was standing with religious and political leaders from around the world in condemning Nadarkhani's conviction. The United States is demanding his immediate release.

Toner said government persecution for following one's faith is common in Iran and warned about a dramatic increase in the arrest of Baha'i followers in Iran.


Dad who let daughter, 9, drive, is sentenced

DETROIT (AP) -- A Detroit-area man who allowed his 9-year-old daughter to drive him around because he had been drinking was sentenced to two years of probation Thursday.

Shawn Weimer pleaded guilty in December to second-degree child abuse and allowing an unlicensed minor to operate a motor vehicle. Weimer was arrested Oct. 8 when police pulled over his van and found the girl behind the wheel. Surveillance video from a Brownstown Township gas station shows the 39-year-old bragging about his daughter's driving skills.

"Take care of your child," Judge Margie R. Braxton told the Romulus resident during sentencing at Wayne County Court. She ordered him to pay court costs and fees.

Weimer apologized but did not offer additional comment beyond saying that he made a mistake. Weimer also must submit to alcohol testing, complete out-patient substance abuse treatment and perform 100 hours of community service.

The girl testified in November that her father had consumed half a bottle of whiskey that night and that she had agreed to drive but felt a "little scared."


3-year-old walks mile in middle of night

BAILEYVILLE, Maine (AP) -- A 3-year-old Maine girl, possibly confused by a dream, walked a mile to a grocery store in the middle of the night through freshly fallen snow, thinking her mother was inside buying pizza.

Hope Trott woke up in the middle of the night, put on little ruby red shoes, threw a jacket on over her nightdress and walked to the store with the temperature at 29 degrees, police said. An employee found the girl crying outside the store at 4 a.m. Wednesday and called police.

Officers followed the child's footprints to her Baileyville home, found the front door open, and thinking a home invasion was in progress, entered with guns drawn, police told the Bangor Daily News.

They found Hope's parents, Laura and Jesse Trott, and her older siblings, Hunter and Ann, fast asleep.

Laura Trott said it was a frightening experience and she was shocked to find out why police were there.

The family has since installed a chain and deadbolt to their door.