The week was dominated by the third week of the revolution in Egypt in which the determination of the hundreds of thousands of protestors was matched against the failing regime of President Mubarak who confined his public appearances to two back-to-the-wall TV appearances. As the drama evolved the police disappeared from central Cairo and the Army played a low-key but effective monitoring role. Eventually, on February 11, Mubarak yielded, handing power to the Army and the protestors and their supporters began celebrating their victory.

China announced that it was facing one of the worst droughts for 60 years and that in its principal wheat growing province the shortage of water was the most serious for 200 years. There were predictions of a huge rise in global wheat prices if China found it necessary to import wheat.

In France President Sarkozy told his ministers to take their holidays at home. The instruction followed revelations that the prime minister, Francois Fillon and his family had enjoyed the hospitality of President Mubarak in Egypt and the foreign minister Michele Alliot-Marie had accepted air travel from a friend of the former president of Tunis. The French press pointed out that there was no need for ministers to stay at home -- all they had to do was pay their own way.