The International Monetary Fund appointed Christine Lagarde as its managing director in succession to Dominique Strauss-Kahn who resigned after being accused of assaulting a maid at his New York hotel. Most recently Ms Lagarde has been the French finance minister and her appointment had the support of the U.S., China, Russia and Brazil although some emerging-market countries questioned the continuation of the convention that IMF chiefs should come from Europe.

In Britain the first significant strikes against the coalition government's economic policies were held by public sector employees including teachers. There were conflicting accounts of the effect of the strikes, although many schools had to close for the day, but they were also seen as the forerunner of more serious demonstrations by large trade unions in the autumn.

America's Supreme Court struck down a Californian law banning the sale of violent video games to children. The Court's judgement was seen as a victory for the videogame industry and as the latest indication that the current Court is the most right-wing and business-friendly for several decades.

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