OPEC ministers are meeting in Vienna Thursday for a pivotal decision on whether to slash production, faced with a glut that has sent prices plunging by over 30 percent in five months. The 12-nation cartel is under pressure from its poorer members like Venezuela and Ecuador to cut output as collapsing prices have slashed their precious revenues. The price of US benchmark oil fell to a new four-year low Thursday on growing expectations that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will not take significant action in Vienna, home to the cartel that pumps out about a third of the world's crude. Crude prices have been depressed also by a strong dollar and worries about stalling energy demand in a weak global economy.
IERAPETRA, Greece (AP) — A smuggling ship carrying more than 700 men, women and children that broke down in gale-force winds while trying to reach Europe was towed Thursday to the Greek island of Crete.