A bad week for US-China relations began with Washington's announcement of the sale of US$6 billions-worth of weapons to Taiwan, which Beijing said would lead to sanctions against the companies concerned, and continued with a warning to President Obama that his planned meeting with the Tibetan exiled leader, Dalai Lama, would not be helpful to future relations between the two countries.

The final piece of the 1998 Good Friday Accord on the governance of Northern Ireland was put in place when the power-sharing Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein reached agreement on a date for the transfer of policing and judicial powers from London to Belfast. The agreement was reached only after nearly three weeks of intensive day-and-night negotiations which at one stage involved the British and Irish prime ministers.

The victory of the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lank's presidential election was followed by the arrest of supporters of the defeated candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, and evidence of measures against journalists and the freedom of the press.