General Motors made an impressive comeback from bankruptcy when its share offer was over-subscribed and the price set at $33 after an opening range of $26-29. The US Treasury which bailed-out GM in 2008 will be the principal beneficiary.

The Singapore High Court sentenced a 76-year-old British journalist, Alan Shadrake, to six weeks in jail and a fine of US$15'000 for impugning the impartiality of the city-state's judiciary. Mr Shadrake had refused to apologise. President Sarkozy shuffled his Cabinet but against expectations retained the prime minister Francois Fillion. However, he dismissed his sometimes outspoken but popular Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner. In the course of the week and under intense external pressure the Irish government moved from rejecting any EU/IMF bail-out of its economy to reluctant acceptance of the need for help of some sort.

Following defeat in the mid-term elections, the minority Democrats in the US House of Representatives voted to keep Nancy Pelosi as their leader.

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