News Police have arrested two people in connection to the alleged genital mutilation of a five-week-old baby girl

Case could result in landmark first ever prosecution for ‘cutting’ in Britain

Getting ahead without a hat

Michelle Wright, the latest Canadian to follow in the footsteps of k d lang, knows that it takes more than talent to make it these days. Pantihose can come in handy, too; She is prepared to hunker down and get her hands dirty. This ain't rock 'n' roll;

The bias is no longer on sewing

Needlework has disappeared from the curriculum. Margaret Leeson reports


To the enthusiasts who flock to her eccentric shop, designer Angel is hailed as the last word in taste. But, as Dinah Hall finds, she is content to be seen as the large lady creating small objects of desire

Curator's Choice: The Abingdon Museum

My first choice is a fragment of a lyre, dated between 450 and 550 AD, which consists of a very small piece of slightly bowed bone with six peg holes for holding the strings. It was part of the grave goods of an Anglo-Saxon warrior uncovered in 1935 in Abingdon.

Sewer walk for charity

Fund-raisers are preparing for a four-mile charity trek along one of Europe's largest sewers. More than 120 volunteers will make the two-hour sponsored walk on Saturday through Wessex Water's newest and biggest foul-water sewer beneath Bristol, two days before the pounds 27m construction opens for business.

Letter: Blight at the ends of the Channel tunnel

Sir: Sure, the Channel tunnel is an engineering project of which both Gustave Eiffel and Isambard Kingdom Brunel would have been proud.

Letter: Water bills did not overcharge

ROSIE WATERHOUSE accuses the privatised water companies of 'secretly overcharging customers by pounds 280m' (17 April). This is not true on a number of counts.

Captain Moonlight: Social trends

MY TRADE, as you know, is trivia. Not for me the seminal, the epochal, or even the vitally significant. No, what we go for here is the wavering, flickering, eponymous beam which provides tiny illuminations of the human condition, etc. Take, for example, Social Trends, the annual statistical digest, or 'snapshot of the nation', produced by the Central Statistical Office, published last week. Look elsewhere for analysis. What struck me was the catchily titled Table 10.2: Time use in a typical week: by employment status and sex, 1992-93, which shows that all workers, full or part-time, spend more time asleep than doing anything else. Makes you think, as does the fact that 3 per cent of men questioned had participated in dressmaking, needlework or knitting in the previous four weeks. Moving quickly on, the dove is the most numerous bird on farmland, and a woman in the UK can be expected to have 1.8 children. Finally, perhaps you can help me: why, last year, did 50,000 people leave the South-west for the South-east while 65,000 moved in the other direction? We should be told.

Sewer opens to public

A workman in Bristol puts finishing touches to a pounds 25m sewage tunnel, at 6km (3.75 miles) one of Europe's longest, which opens to the public for three days tomorrow. Visitors can walk a section under the river Frome and M32 motorway.

Running repairs limit damage: Grant Dalton, the leading maxi skipper in the Round the World Race, who is writing for the Independent, weathers misfortune

THIS IS a week we could have done without, but not all the best efforts of the gods have been directed against us. Five days after losing the top 10 metres of our mizzen mast we are still, incredibly, leading the maxi fleet and there are signs that the weather will also continue to co-operate.

Children can bunk off for good reasons

THIS WEEK's outcry over truancy makes me uneasy. The nationally available figures do show that in some city areas missing school has reached epidemic proportions. But what concerns me is the way in which truants - simply school-age children - seem to be being labelled as quasi-criminals: marginalised youngsters moping around the fringes of society, looking for shops to pilfer, houses to break into and small children to brutalise. This creates a climate that fosters a call for punitive sanctions, rather than more child-centred and humane solutions. Already John Patten, the Education Secretary, is talking grimly about a crackdown.

Animals stitched in two by two as children's hospice waits for flood of giving

Royal School of Needlework's Noah's Ark tapestry

Edinburgh festival Day 16: Reviews: It takes forever if you go by inertia

The word 'gangling' was invented for Ben Moor; his body seems to consist be made entirely of elbows. His mind, too, lurches at odd tangents; this scripted, sketch-based solo outing encompasses a tour through hell, time-paradoxes, the worldwide breakdown of logic and causality, and a short film about toast. Moor apparently seems to take a while to get into his stride (or rather, his lope); in fact, he is sewing a series of running gags which noodle back ever more daftly at unexpected intervals. (I thought I'd never laugh at 'Bohemian Rhapsody' again before this show). Clever (though not clever-clever) and frenetically loopy, Moor is a comedy natural.

Sewer search

A man being chased by police in Wigan over a suspected credit card fraud was feared drowned after he gave them the slip by running into a maze of sewer tunnels with fast-flowing, waist-high water.

Letter: Pens and needles

LYNN BARBER's piece 'Why tatting gives me the needle', (18 July) reflects badly on her, not on the 'good ladies' and 'dummies' who enjoy quilting.
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Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

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Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

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Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

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