» François Hollande’s Socialist Party won an absolute majority in the second round of parliamentary elections in France, taking 314 seats, well above the 289 needed to secure a majority. The Socialists now control almost all France’s political institutions. See article»
» Doctors in Britain took industrial action for the first time in almost 40 years by refusing to carry out non-urgent care in a dispute over pensions.
» Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, sought political asylum at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, days after Britain’s Supreme Court rejected his final appeal against extradition to Sweden to face sex-crime charges. See article»
» Muhammad Morsi, a Muslim Brother, was thought to have wonEgypt’s run-off for the presidency against Ahmed Shafiq, a general who was the ousted Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister. But the army council that was supposed to oversee a transition to democracy had yet to announce the result. And having got the constitutional court to dissolve the recently elected parliament dominated by the Brothers, a power struggle between the army and those seeking untrammelled democracy looked likely to persist. See article»
» The mood of uncertainty in Egypt was heightened by total confusion about whether Hosni Mubarak had died. An official report said he was clinically dead; his lawyer said he had a blood clot on his neck and was being treated. See article»
» After the death of Saudi Arabia‘s Crown Prince Nayef, his 76-year-old brother, Prince Salman, was appointed as the next heir to King Abdullah, who is thought to be 89. See article»
» Protests against spending cuts and food-price rises under the government of President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, persisted for several days. In Tunisia disturbances by fundamentalist Salafists in Tunis, the capital, were dealt with by riot police. See article»
» Talks in Moscow aimed at ending the crisis over the alleged military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme broke down. The gap between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, remains wide. Iran insists on recognition of its right to enrich uranium “for peaceful purposes” and a lifting of sanctions, but the six powers will not make concessions until Iran agrees to a broad range of “confidence-building” measures. The lack of progress will increase speculation about a possible Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.