World sea piracy down 35 percent in first quarter
India inflation rate eases to 3-year low
UN: Afghan opium production increases
China and Iceland sign free trade agreement

World sea piracy down 35 percent in first quarter
The International Maritime Bureau says world sea piracy fell 35 percent in the first quarter of this year as international navies helped keep pirates away from Somalia.

India inflation rate eases to 3-year low
Inflation in India declined to a three-year low in March, possibly allowing the central bank to keep cutting interest rates to help revive a sputtering economy. Provisional figures from the Ministry of Commerce show that wholesale price inflation fell to 6 percent from 6.8 percent.

UN: Afghan opium production increases
The United Nation says opium poppy cultivation will increase for a third year in a row and is heading for a record high. The report says cultivation is also dramatically increasing in areas of the southern Taliban heartland.

China and Iceland sign free trade agreement
Iceland on Monday became the first European nation to strike a free trade deal with China, offering hope for its recession-battered economy while giving Beijing a leg up in its drive for expanded influence in the Arctic.

China joins disaster talks in US-Philippine drills
Two Chinese military officers have for the first time joined a closed-door discussion on disaster response which is part of major annual U.S.-Philippine military exercises that Beijing has protested in the past.

Quake hits Iran, Pakistan; dozens killed
An earthquake toppled homes and shops on both sides of the Iran-Pakistan border Tuesday, killing dozens of people and causing skyscrapers to sway in Dubai. It also forced Iranian officials to issue assurances that its main nuclear reactor wasn’t damaged.

US Internet ad revenue grows 15 percent in 2012

U.S. Internet advertising revenue grew 15 percent to a record $36.6 billion in 2012, with mobile ad revenue growing faster than other types, according to a new report Tuesday.

New Zealand lawmakers approve gay-marriage bill

Hundreds of jubilant gay-rights advocates celebrated at New Zealand’s Parliament on Wednesday as the country became the 13th in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage.

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