1. North America
Canada's Conservative Party won a majority in the country's fourth elections in seven years, held on 2 May. The result will enable the prime minister, Stephen Harper, to form a majority government. The Liberal Party was pushed into third place for the first time in its history, behind the New Democratic Party.
Protests calling for a quicker transition to democracy took place across Morocco on 1 May, after a bomb exploded in a crowded café in Marrakesh on 28 April, killing 16 and wounding over 20. Morocco is expected to unveil a new constitution next month; in March, King Mohammed agreed to cede some of his powers and create an independent judiciary.
3. Middle East
Syrian forces killed ten people in the southern city of Deraa on 1 May. Witnesses claim that more than 500 men aged between 15 and 40 were arrested. Some 560 people have been killed in the crackdown on anti-government protesters so far, according to human rights groups.
China introduced an indoor smoking ban on 1 May, infuriating the country's 300 million smokers. It makes almost 10 per cent of its tax revenues from the state-owned tobacco industry but smoking-related diseases kill 1.2 million each year - a figure that may rise to 3.5 million by 2030.
Black boxes from an Air France plane that crashed in the Atlantic two years ago have been found. The Airbus A330 went down on 1 June 2009, killing all 228 people on-board, including five Britons. Experts say that the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder are the only hope of explaining why the plane crashed.
6. Latin America
In Argentina, passengers tired of severe delays set fire to three commuter trains on 2 May. Ticket offices at a station were also vandalised and a train driver and ticket inspector were forcibly ejected from a train.
A week after admitting that 77 million PlayStation users may have had their personal details stolen by hackers, Sony revealed that a further 25 million have had their details stolen after security breaches. Sony claims that the latest breach will not affect customers, as credit card details are securely encrypted.
UK households face a drop in disposable income equivalent to £760 per year, according to a new report from Deloitte. Tax rises, increasing commodity prices and high inflation are behind the drop.
E-books sales grossed £180m in 2010, with sales of novels and consumer titles increasing 400 per cent to £16m. E-books are still a small part of the book market, which hit £3.1bn last year.
IQ tests measure motivation as much as they do mental ability, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania claim. The team analysed previous studies of how material incentives affected the performance of more than 2,000 people in intelligence tests - and found that they improved scores, particularly among those with lower baseline IQs.