ANKARA (AA) - Pope Francis carrying out the first-ever papal visit to Iraq, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, accusing the British Royal Family of instilling intense racism and the 400-meter ship Ever Given running aground in the Suez and blocking international trade marked the top news stories globally in March.
- A French court sentences former President Nicolas Sarkozy to three years in prison for corruption and influence-peddling in an infamous eavesdropping case, though he is unlikely to serve any time in prison.
- Protesters storm the government building in Yerevan, Armenia's capital.
- French forces “tortured and murdered” Algerian lawyer and freedom fighter Ali Boumendjel during his country’s war on independence, France's president admits, nearly six decades after his death was ruled as a suicide.
- At least 11 Turkish soldiers, including a senior officer, are killed and two others are injured as a military helicopter crashes in eastern Turkey.
- Pope Francis carries out the first-ever papal visit to Iraq from March 5 to 8, covering five cities, including Baghdad, Erbil, Mosul, Najaf, and Nasiriyah. The pontiff also holds a historic meeting with Al-Sistani, Iraq’s top Shia cleric.
- Russia extends a ban on entry to Crimea until 2034 for Mustafa Abdulcemil Kirimoglu, national leader of the Crimean Tatar people and Ukrainian lawmaker.
- NASA's Perseverance rover makes its first drive on Mars' surface, measuring 6.5 meters (21.3 feet).
- Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, accuses the British Royal Family of instilling such intense racism in her that she considered suicide while pregnant with her first child.
- Equatorial Guineans observe three-day national mourning to pay tribute to the victims of explosions that claimed at least 105 lives and injured over 600 people.
- US State Department spokesman Ned Price says his country's position on genocide against Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China's northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region has not changed.
- More than 131,000 people are displaced in 39 accessible areas of Ethiopia's Tigray region and neighboring Afar and Amhara.
- US President Joe Biden signs into law a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill.
- The family of George Floyd and the city of Minneapolis reach a $27 million settlement to end a lawsuit filed against the city administration and four former police officers involved in Floyd's fatal arrest. Floyd's last words, “I can't breathe,” became a rallying cry for worldwide protests.
- Singer Beyonce becomes the most Grammy-winning female artist in history, with more awards than any male or female performer.
- The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) reports that Iran and Russia are attempting to influence the outcome of the US presidential elections.
- US President Joe Biden calls Vladimir Putin a "killer" in a pre-recorded interview, saying his Russian counterpart would pay a price for interfering in US affairs.
- The Netherlands' conservative People's Party of Freedom and Democracy, or VVD, led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, claims its fourth term election victory, winning 35 seats in parliament.
- Samia Suluhu Hassan is sworn in as Tanzania's president, making history as the first female leader of the east African nation.
- China is sending children of exiled members of oppressed Uyghur minority to orphan camps, according to Amnesty International.
- EU foreign ministers agree to sanction China for human rights violations against Uyghur minority, followed by US announcement of new sanctions against Chinese government officials. Australia and New Zealand also welcome sanctions imposed on China by several western countries.
- The 400-meter ship Ever Given runs aground in the Suez, blocking international trade through the critical waterway and stranding more than 320 ships, including oil tankers, at its entrances.
- More than 347,000 people in Eswatini, including 180,000 children, face acute food shortages due to COVID-19-related job losses and high food prices, Save the Children warns in a statement.
- The European Council lifts sanctions against the former prime minister of Libya's unrecognized General National Congress.
- Iran and China sign a much-anticipated 25-year strategic cooperation agreement, as part of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
- Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny goes on a hunger strike to protest the conditions of his imprisonment.