After a fractious week or two over appointments to the European Commission, Britain and France found full agreement over the UK's 50 per cent super-tax on bankers' bonuses and worked together to find EU funding for developing countries in the early years of climate change legislation.

Mr Brown and M.Sarkozy also jointly signed an article on reform of the global financial system in the Wall Street Journal.

Dubai World, with US$25bn of debt said it might have to sell assets abroad which include the QE2 and Cirque de Soleil.

Italy's centre-right government was stunned by allegations made in court by a former Mafia hit-man that prime minister Silvio Berlusconi had close links to Sicily's Cosa Nostra.

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