The Eurosceptic True Finns party made its largest parliamentary gains in Finland on 18 April. Its share of the vote leapt from 4 to 19 per cent after a backlash against the EU bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
Armenia has made chess a mandatory subject in primary schools in an attempt to produce a new generation of champions. The government is spending $1.43m on the scheme, which it hopes will "foster schoolchildren's intellectual development".
Allegations of vote-rigging marred presidential elections in Nigeria on 16 April. Riots erupted in the northern states when the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, received overwhelming majorities in his native south - including 99.6 per cent of the vote in his home state, Bayelsa.
4. Latin America
The Cuban president, Raúl Castro, launched a raft of constitutional changes on 17 April at Cuba's first Communist Party congress in 14 years. The changes included limiting presidents - including himself - to two five-year terms and allowing Cubans to buy and sell their cars and homes for the first time. Castro's brother, Fidel, praised the moves.
5. Middle East
Two Palestinian teenagers have confessed to murdering five members of an Israeli family in the settlement of Itamar in March. Amjad Awad, 19, and Hakim Awad, 18, admitted killing Ehud and Ruth Fogel, as well as their three children.
6. North America
Tornadoes swept the south-eastern United States, killing more than 45 over three days. Some 241 tornadoes were spotted from North Carolina to Texas.
The Ministry of Defence accidentally published UK nuclear submarine secrets on the internet. Blacked-out parts of a report became visible when copied and pasted into another document. The supposedly redacted parts of the MoD report revealed what could cause a core meltdown on British nuclear submarines.
The long-term deposit ratings of Irish Life and Permanent, Allied Irish Banks and the Bank of Ireland were downgraded to junk status by the rating agency Moody's on 18 April - meaning investors are unlikely to get a return. The move came a week after Ireland's sovereign debt was downgraded to one notch above junk by the rating agency.
The pop singer George Michael has covered Stevie Wonder's "You and I (We Can Conquer the World)" as an early wedding present for Prince William and Kate Middleton. He will not, however, be attending the wedding: "They should be surrounded by people they love, not dodgy ex-con pop stars."
John Cleese has revealed that he turned down the chance to be a Lib Dem peer in 1999 because living in England through winter was "too much of a price to pay". The former Python was offered the peerage by Paddy Ashdown after donating generously to the Lib Dems. Cleese says he also turned down a CBE in 1996 because he thought it was "silly".