News In Brief

Another 500,000 barrel-a-day increase in crude oil supplies is expected to be announced by OPEC on Monday, provided the unit price on futures markets remains above $28 until then. But with the benchmark Brent crude at $32.09 a barrel on the London market, that appeared to be a certainty. The price rose 73 cents after Wednesday's trading amid threats by Iraq to suspend its 2.3 million barrel-a-day output, 5 percent of the world's exports. The Baghdad government has asked to be paid in euros instead of dollars for its oil, effective Nov. 1. The proposal is opposed by the US, and a UN meeting on it isn't scheduled until Monday, two days before the Iraqi deadline. An OPEC source said the Iraqi shortfall would be made up by Saudi Arabia, the world's No. 1 exporter. But analysts questioned whether the Saudis, who already pump more than 9 million barrels a day, could add more than 1 million to their production.

Pilots for United Airlines overwhelmingly approved a new contract making them the best-paid fliers in the industry, officials said. Under the pact, which was tentatively agreed to Aug. 26, United's 10,500 pilots get immediate raises of between 21.5 percent and 28.5 percent, with 4 percent annual increases thereafter. Starting pay for a Boeing 737 captain will be about $175,000. The new deal has prompted pilots at Delta and American airlines, as well as other United employees, to seek similar contract terms.

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