Health professionals tell committee that 'cutters' are flown into Britain for events at which up to a dozen girls may be mutilated
Fahma Mohamed (C) and fellow anti-FGM campaigners deliver a petition to parliament. Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian
The cutting of girls at female genital mutilation "parties" is still going on in Britain and not just taking place abroad, healthcare experts have told MPs.
The Commons home affairs select committee has heard that "cutters" – often older women – are flown into Britain for the events, at which as many as a dozen girls may be operated on.
Janet Fyle, of the Royal College of Midwives, said that by the time the authorities could be alerted, the cutter would have left. "By the time the girls are cut, the woman 'cutter' is on her flight back to the country she came from. We can't go after the cutter. We don't know who she or he is. The parents have to be held responsible," she said.
The Vatican revealed for the first time the extent of the child abuse issues that have plagued the Catholic church over the last decade during an interrogation by the UN Committee against Torture (CAT).
The Holy See’s permanent observer to the UN in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told the committee that the Vatican had defrocked 848 priests who were believed to have raped or molested children, and sanctioned a further 2,572 priests for lesser offences since 2004.
According to the AP, Tomasi also admitted that the Vatican only explicitly ordered bishops to report credible accusations of child abuse to the police as well as forward the cases to Rome for review, after finding that bishops would shuffle ‘problem’ priests between dioceses rather than imposing a church trial. However, he said that now there was a total commitment by the Vatican to clean house and prevent future abuse.
- All chicken used in chain's food is prepared according to Islamic traditions
- No mention of issue on menu and only appears in small print on website
- Critics have accused the 434-restaurant chain of 'duping' its customers
- Or is move because 'non-Islamic customers are less likely to complain'?
- Firm insists birds are stunned before slaughter and food meets standards
Pizza Express is serving halal chicken to its unwitting customers on the quiet, with staff only telling customers about the meat if asked.
Only meat from birds that have had their throats slit while still alive, in accordance with Islamic traditions, is used in dishes.
The menu makes no mention of the issue and customers can find out only by checking the small print on the Pizza Express website – or by asking staff explicitly.
The firm, which has 434 restaurants across the UK, states on its website: ‘All our chicken is halal approved but it is important to note that all birds are stunned before being slaughtered.
GENEVA (AP) - A U.N. committee compared the Vatican's handling of the global priest sex abuse scandal with torture Monday, raising the possibility that its failure to investigate clergy and their superiors could have broader legal implications.
But the Vatican's top envoy in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, claimed that the Holy See was getting its house in order after a decade-long effort to deal with a global priest sex abuse scandal.
"There has been, in several documentable areas, stabilization and even a decline of cases in pedophilia," he told a committee of experts in charge of the U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the Vatican ratified in 2002.
At the Holy See's first appearance before the committee, experts mainly peppered the Vatican with tough questions to be answered Tuesday. For instance, they asked why the report on its implementation of the treaty was almost a decade late, and why the Vatican believes its responsibility for protecting against torture only applies within tiny Vatican City, a nation of less than 1,000 inhabitants.