You wouldn't know it from Newser's coverage, but apparently the world has become a more peaceful place in 2012. Reuters reports that the Global Peace Index registered its first boost in two years, after surveying everything from civil unrest to military spending in 158 countries. The Middle East was largely the exception to the rule: It, along with North Africa, grabbed the "least peaceful region" title from sub-Saharan African for the first time, and was the only area to not show some kind of improvement.
You can thank the awful economy for some of the gains, which have brought us to peace levels similar to those observed six years ago: Global military spending is starting to inch down. But diplomacy between countries is also winning out over violence. (The report specifically noted stronger relations between Venezuela and Colombia .) Topping the list as the most peaceful country is Iceland, with Somalia bringing up the rear. It was, no big surprise, a rough year for Syria and Greece. Turns out America is becoming a little less violent, too.