After resisting the idea for several days, Ireland agreed to accept a bail-out from the EU and IMF and to take severe austerity measure in welfare and other benefits. However Ireland insisted on keeping its low 12.5 per cent Corporation Tax rate which it considerrs essential to growth.

The Russian president Dmitry Medvedev surprised many people by claiming in a video that Russia was facing stagnation because of the lack of opposition in the country. He said the government party United Russia was in danger of “bronzing over”.

Israel passed a law requiring a referendum if any land were to be ceded to the Palestinians in East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.
North Korea shelled a small nearby South Korean island, killing four people and destroying several buildings. America responded by sending an aircraft carrier to join an exercise with the South Korean navy.