1. North America
The US government narrowly avoided shutdown after Congress passed a new budget on 9 April, following a stand-off between Republicans and Democrats over proposed spending cuts. Both sides claimed victory, after agreeing to $38bn net reductions.
Laurent Gbagbo, ex-leader of Côte d'Ivoire, was arrested by forces loyal to his presidential rival, Alassane Ouattara, on 11 April, ending a four-month power struggle. The arrest followed UN and French air strikes.
3. Central America
Mexican authorities announced the discovery of 116 bodies in mass graves in the northern state of Tamaulipas on 12 April. They are thought to belong to victims of the country's drugs war, which has killed more than 35,000 people since 2006.
Legislation banning Islamic veils in all public places in France came into force on 11 April. Two women were arrested for flouting the ban on its first day and 61 people were arrested at a protest outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris two days earlier. Anyone wearing a niqab or burqa in France faces a fine of €150 or lessons in citizenship.
5. Middle East
An Egyptian blogger was sentenced to three years in jail on 11 April after criticising the country's interim military regime for carrying on the policies of the ousted president Hosni Mubarak. Maikel Nabil, 25, had accused the government of corruption and anti-democratic practices.
The Japanese nuclear regulatory agency has increased the "nuclear crisis" level at Fukushima to seven, the maximum level. This places it on a par with the Chernobyl disaster, although the amount of radiation released by Fukushima is just 10 per cent of that given off in the 1986 disaster.
The twins who sued the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, after claiming he stole their idea have lost their appeal over the level of compensation they received in 2008. A court ruled that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss must accept the $65m settlement.
UK inflation fell unexpectedly to 4 per cent in March from 4.4 per cent the previous month. The decline - the first since July 2010 - was largely due to cheaper food and drink, which offset increases in housing and energy costs. The drop is likely to delay any future interest-rate increases.
Southampton, Sheffield and the School of Oriental and African Studies are the latest universities to announce that they will charge £9,000 in tuition fees from 2012. At the time of writing, 35 out of 46 universities had declared that they will charge the maximum.
Ian Anderson, founder of Jethro Tull, took part in an extraterrestrial gig with Catherine Coleman, US astronaut, on 12 April. They performed Jethro Tull's "Bourée" via video-link as Coleman orbited the earth in the International Space Station and Anderson played in Perm, Russia. A previous space gig involving the composer Jean Michel Jarre and the astronaut Ron McNair did not go ahead after McNair's shuttle, Challenger, exploded after take-off in 1986.