THE release of confidential British Cabinet papers under the 20-year rule did not challenge WikiLeaks' more topical revelations but provided an insight into Margaret Thatcher's prime ministerial style with many policy documents marked “No...No... Never.”

IN contrast to the buck-passing in Europe, New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg took full responsibility for the inadequate performance of the emergency services in dealing with the ice and snow storm that hit and paralysed the City.

IN Northern Ireland thousands of people were without running water for more than a week when a thaw following freezing conditions led to burst pipes. Medical experts expressed anxiety about the spread of disease since toilets could not be cleared.

THE Moscow trial of the former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky ended as anticipated in an additional prison sentence to the one he is already serving. Protests came from many countries about the severity of the sentence which was seen as a political punishment for the accused's open opposition to prime minister Vladimir Putin in the aftermath of the Soviet Union's collapse.

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