Against the wishes of other OPEC members, Saudi Arabia has begun pumping the extra oil it promised earlier this month to ease futures prices, reports said. A cartel source did not say how much more oil the Saudis were producing, but 500,000 barrels a day were promised July 3. OPEC fellow members Iran and Venezuela said "logistic problems in major consuming countries" would continue to keep prices high despite the Saudi gesture. The extra oil is expected to reach markets beginning next month. Among non-OPEC producer nations, only Mexico has pledged to increase its daily output.
Emboldened by last week's $145 billion punitive-damages verdict against US cigarettemakers, the Italian consumer federation Codacons proposed to Prime Minister Giuliano Amato that he sue the same companies for damage to the health of smokers in Italy because of their products. The federation said the aim of such litigation would be to win compensation the Italian government does not or cannot provide. Amato's agriculture minister, Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, told a Rome newspaper he already has had contacts with US law firms.
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