After weeks of protests against France's controversial new labour laws, Fran?ois Hollande, the president, forced through the reforms without a parliamentary vote.
The Italian parliament voted in favour of civil unions for gay couples. Italy was the last big Western democracy not to have any legal recognition of same-sex partnerships.
Sadiq Khan, a British-born Muslim of Pakistani descent, won London's mayoral election with over 50% of the vote. The battle between the Labour man and his Conservative rival was marred by a pernicious attempt to link Mr Khan to Islamic extremism. Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, said he would make an “exception” for the mayor to his proposed ban on Muslims entering America. Mr Khan dismissed the offer.
In other elections in Britain, the Conservatives surged to replace Labour as the second party in Scotland behind the nationalist SNP, which lost its majority rule. In Wales the right-wing anti-Europe UK Independence Party claimed seven seats, their first ever in the Welsh Assembly. In England Labour avoided the drubbing that was expected in council elections. It still lost seats, though not as many as the ruling Tories.
After making a gaffe by naming two “fantastically corrupt” countries before an open microphone (and the queen), David Cameron, Britain's prime minister, used the ensuing publicity to promote an anti-corruption summit being held in London. One of his proposals is a crackdown on foreign ownership of British property held by shell companies using illegally acquired money.
At least 90 people were killed in three separate car-bomb attacks in Baghdad. The worst hit a crowded market-place in Sadr City, a strongly Shia area of the Iraqi capital.