Hints that OPEC may announce a "severe" cut in production sent oil prices rebounding Monday on world markets. Crude futures were trading near $44 a barrel after sinking to a four-year low of $40.50 on Friday. The cartel is scheduled to meet again Dec. 17, and in an interview last weekend its president did not dispute predictions that a 2-million-barrel-a-day decrease may be forthcoming to help push prices up again.
Authorities in Greece worried that rioting over the shooting death of a student could worsen if it becomes linked to a nationwide strike against the government's pension-reform plans. The strike is planned for Wednesday. Meanwhile, rioting extended into a third straight day in Thessaloniki Volos, Komotini, Chania, and the islands of Corfu and Crete.
In a quick rebuke to President-elect Obama, Iran's foreign ministry spurned his idea of offering new incentives in exchange for a halt in nuclear development. Obama discussed the proposal on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday. But a ministry spokesman said the "carrot-and-stick policy has no benefit ... [and is] unacceptable." The exchange came as International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei told the Los Angeles Times that efforts to stop Iran's nuclear activity "haven't really moved one inch."