The UN Security Council approved a fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme. China and Russia joined the other permanent members of the Council, Britain, France and the United States, in supporting the resolution which Iran immediately said would “make no difference”. The new sanctions are directed principally against heavy weapons and financial trransactions.

In a general election in Holland the liberal VVD party got the largest number of seats in the 150-strong parliament but will need to form a coalition government, probably with the Labour Party. The anti-immigration party led by Geert Wilders did well, increasing its representation to 24 seats.

Barack Obama continued his public criticism of BP's management for the oil slick which has developed into America's worst-ever environmental disaster. Although BP had some success in reducing the flow it also became apparent that the company had underestimated its volume from the start one month ago.

Twenty-six years after a Union Carbide Chemical plant in Bhopal, India, leaked gas that killed at least 15'000 people and sickened half-a-million others, seven Indian employees were found guilty of negligence and sentenced to two years imprisonment. The American parent company had denied responsibility for the disaster.