A British and a French submarine, each carrying missiles with nuclear weapons, had collided on the Atlantic sea bed earlier in the month, apparently unaware of each other's presence. There were no casualties, and no serious damage -- except to the two Navy's reputations.

A cruise ship carrying 64 passengers to Antarctica ran aground in high winds. The navies of Argentina and Chile expressed worries that the growth of tourist traffic in the area will lead to a serious accident.

David Mills, the separated husband of Britain's Olympics minister, Tessa Jowell, was sentenced to five years imprisonment by an Italian court for accepting a bribe from Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. Mr Mills insisted he was innocent and said he would appeal.

The Pakistan government signed a truce with Islamist insurgents operating in the Swat Valley of the North West Frontier Province. The truce provision that the insurgents will be able to implement sharia law in the area was widely criticised.