* High opiate prices may lead to a surge in poppy cultivation in Afghanistan this year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a report.
* The late Hugo Chavez’s protégé, socialist candidate Nicolas Maduro, has narrowly won Sunday’s presidential election in Venezuela, the country’s electoral authority said.
* Several people were injured in explosions in Boston that occurred near the finish line as the famous Boston Marathon was in progress, US media reported.
* An employee of a Belarusian music TV channel has been detained for allegedly airing pornographic footage on the channel during the daytime after quarreling with his girlfriend, Belarusian investigators said.
* President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov accused the US administration of demonstrating “conflicting behavior,” but said Moscow was ready to develop and deepen its ties with the US.
* The Russian Interior Ministry has announced a tender worth up to 39.4 million rubles ($1.3 mln) on the development of a security system designed to thwart potential cyber attacks on its computer networks.
* A Moscow court sanctioned the arrest of a nationalist movement leader and two of its members for allegedly assaulting and robbing a fellow right-wing activist, the Interior Ministry reported.
* Moscow police have shut down an illegal casino operating on the premises of a state university, the Interior Ministry reported.
* A Russian cargo spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) to perform a series of scientific experiments in space before splashing in the Pacific on April 21, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said.
* Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket carrying a Canadian telecommunications satellite Anik-G1 blasted off on Monday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos reported.
* Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel's 2012 IFRS net profit fell 41 percent on the previous year to $2.143 billion, the company said, citing unfavorable market conditions.
* Russian steel and coking coal producer Mechel posted a $1.114 billion US GAAP net loss for October-December 2012, down from a $54.911 million net profit in the third quarter of last year, the company said.