United States: If jurors in a federal trial in Florida believe government prosecutors, the wife of the man who carried out one of the US's biggest mass shootings gave a "green light" to her husband when he wanted to execute his terrorist-inspired attack. But if they accept Noor Salman's attorney's account that she was a "devoted mother" with an IQ of 84 and was the victim of Omar Mateen's repeated lies throughout their marriage, they could decide she had no prior knowledge of the attack. Salman went on trial today in Orlando. The 31-year-old is accused of aiding and abetting her husband in his attack on the Pulse nightclub in June of 2016. She's also charged with obstruction of justice. If convicted, she faces life in prison.

Panama: Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal, says it is shutting down due to the economic and reputational damage inflicted by its role in the global tax evasion debacle. The so-called Panama Papers, which consist of millions of documents stolen from Mossack Fonseca and leaked to the media in April 2016, provoked a global scandal after showing how the rich and powerful used offshore corporations to evade taxes.

United States: A blimp towed skier Kari McCollum for 11.1km at Lake Elsinore yesterday — a new record, according to Philip Robertson, an adjudicator with Guinness World Records. The old mark for a water skier being towed by a blimp or airship was nearly 8km.

Kenya: The Kenya Red Cross says more than 8500 Ethiopians have crossed the border into Kenyan territory seeking asylum from conflict after government troops mistakenly killed civilians. The civilians fled after Ethiopian security forces mistakenly killed nine civilians in Moyale, located on the country's southern border with Kenya.


United States: Navy officials say a US Navy fighter jet crashed off the coast of Key West, Florida, and its two crew members have been recovered, but their conditions are not known. According to officials, the F/A-18 Super Hornet was on approach to land at the naval air station and crashed into the water about 1.5km east of the runway. The pilot and weapons system officer ejected. The aircraft crew is based out of Naval Air Station Oceana, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

China: Chinese health authorities have told a Vatican trafficking conference that Beijing's efforts to crack down on illegal "underground" organ transplants have resulted in 220 arrests and 100 victims being rescued over the past 10 years. Dr Haibo Wang, deputy chief of China's organ donation and transplant foundation, provided the data as part of China's years-long effort to convince the international medical community that it no longer harvests organs from executed prisoners. He said the practice officially stopped in 2015 and that China is now working to prevent illegal transplant activity.

United States: Two experienced mountain climbers trying to tackle a new route in Alaska were presumed dead after climbing ropes that matched their gear were found in a crevasse. George "Ryan" Johnson, 34, of Juneau, and Marc-Andre Leclerc, 25, of Squamish, British Columbia, were reported missing after they failed to return from a climb March 7 on a seven-peaked mountain not far from Alaska's capital city. Rescuers had to wait until yesterday for the weather to clear to fly to Mendenhall Towers, a mountain that rises nearly 2134m over the Juneau Ice Field.

Italy: The leader of Italy's eurosceptic League has said a government deal with the anti-system 5-Star Movement was possible after an inconclusive election, raising the prospect of two radical groups running the country. The March 4 vote ended in gridlock, with 5-Star and the League emerging as the top two parties in parliament, but no bloc or group securing a majority to govern alone. "Barring the PD, everything is possible," League leader Matteo Salvini told reporters, referring to the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which was defeated after a difficult five years in office.

Germany: Angela Merkel was sworn in for a fourth term as German Chancellor, almost six months after she suffered damaging federal election losses. Merkel won a vote of confidence in Parliament just over a week after securing a coalition deal, ending a period of almost six months in which Germany was left without a government. For the first time, Merkel's notoriously publicity-shy husband, Professor Joachim Sauer, a quantum chemist, attended the vote in Parliament although he brought along a laptop computer so he could continue working. Herlind Kasner, Merkel's 89-year-old mother, was also among the well wishers. The Chancellor will travel to Paris for talks with Emmanuel Macron, the French President, as the two leaders seek to restore the Franco-German axis as the main driving force in the European Union.

Slovenia: The Prime Minister announced he is resigning after the country's top court annulled last year's referendum on a key railway project and ordered a new vote. Miro Cerar said that he has sent his resignation to Parliament and will formally notify the President tomorrow. The move means that Slovenia's parliamentary elections — which were due in early June — would be held a few weeks earlier.

Britain: Facebook says it has banned Britain First from its platform for breaking rules against inciting hatred, blacklisting a far-right group brought to global attention when US President Donald Trump retweeted its anti-Islamic posts. Facebook said it had taken down Britain First's Facebook page and those of its leaders, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, for repeatedly violating rules designed to stop the incitement of hatred against minority groups.

Pakistan: A suspected suicide bombing near a police checkpoint killed five police and four bystanders and wounded 27 others near the city of Lahore in eastern Pakistan, police said. Investigators and explosives experts were working to ascertain whether the bomb was planted near the checkpoint.

United States: Actor Robert De Niro ripped into President Donald Trump at an event for the Fulfillment Fund, an LA-based organisation promoting higher education. In his speech celebrating Cherna and Dr Gary Gitnick, who co-founded the fund, De Niro said, "A college education is important, but education without humanity is ignorance. Look at our president. He made it through [the] University of Pennsylvania, so he was exposed to a quality education, but he's still an idiot." De Niro continued: "He lacks any sense of humanity or compassion. Of course, he did have to overcome the curse of growing up rich and spoiled and endure the heartbreak of bone spurs, maybe that had an affect .th.th. To be silent in the face of such villainy is to be complicit, and it's especially appropriate tonight because Trump treats education as a con, a way to make a profit at the expense of the suckers."

- agencies