IN Syria the government continued to say that widespread street protests for reform were provoked by outside activists and would be suppressed by the security services. No foreign journalists were allowed to enter Syria and estimates of civilian deaths varied widely.

The feuding Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, announced that they had reconciled their differences with the help of the provisional Egyptian government and would establish a national government uniting the West Bank and Gaza

France and Italy agreed to press for “reform” of the European Union's Schengen treaty which guarantees freedom of movement within the EU in order to control the growing influx of immigrants from North Africa.

In Britain Prince William, the second heir to the throne, married Kate Middleton at a spectacular ceremony in Westminster Abbey; the couple were later cheered by huge crowds outside Buckingham Palace.