1. UK: Muslim Labour Party candidate in Bradford West to attend a campaign event that allegedly excludes non-Muslims
UPDATE: Labour’s Naz Shah walked out of the event on Wednesday night. The Tory candidate was in the audience, and when Ms. Shah’s request for him to join in was denied, she left the room to a mixture and applause and boos, The Telegraph and Argus reports.
“As I stand on a platform of fairness and equality as a proud Labour party candidate, these are our values which I refuse to comprise”, Ms. Shah insisted. After she departed, the Tory candidate was invited to fill her place.
2. Michigan Senate votes to outlaw female genital mutilation
The Michigan Senate approved legislation on Wednesday making genital mutilation of girls a state felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, both for doctors who perform the procedure and parents who transport a child to undergo the surgery.
The legislation, which now goes to the state House of Representatives, was spurred by the case of an emergency room physician charged last month under federal law with performing genital mutilation on two 7-year-old girls at a suburban Detroit medical clinic.
Another doctor and his wife who ran the clinic also have been charged in that case, believed to mark the first U.S. criminal prosecution of its kind. The three defendants could face prison terms of up to five years if convicted.
Genital mutilation of girls, typically involving removal of all or part of the clitoris, is banned by several international treaties but remains a common cultural or religious practice in some African countries, including Somalia, Sudan and Egypt.
3. Saudi Arabia launches national company for arms manufacturing
“The state-owned Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced on Wednesday the launch of a national state company for arms manufacturing that will also create thousands of jobs in the Kingdom.
The new company, the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), is part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the sovereign wealth fund PIF said in a statement.
The Vision 2030 is a plan to reduce Saudi Arabia’s reliance on oil and to diversify its income.
4. UNICEF: Number of unaccompanied refugee children reaches 'record high’
After releasing a report on the latest totals of unaccompanied minor refugees on Wednesday, UNICEF called on world leaders to do more to protect children who are crossing borders alone.
In 2015 and 2016, the United Nations Children's Fund said there were 300,000 unaccompanied and separated migrant children worldwide. The figure is almost five times higher than the 66,000 children counted in 2010 and 2011. […] "The number is just the tip of the iceberg," UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth said in a statement.
5. Muslim campaign groups publish key demands ahead of UK election
In its manifesto published on Tuesday, the anti-Islamophobia advocacy group Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) called on the UK’s leading political parties to focus on “key areas of concern to Britain’s Muslim community” which include the rise of Islamophobic hate crime post-Brexit, anti-Muslim discrimination in the workplace and preserving access to halal meat and the freedom to wear religious dress. […] According to MEND, “The UK’s Muslim community could potentially have a decisive outcome in over 80 seats” in the general election.
List of demands here.