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Martin Frankel, the American financier arrested in Germany on allegations that he swindled clients out of huge sums of money, has decided to fight his extradition to the United States, his lawyer said Sunday.

The move is likely to lead to weeks of extradition proceedings against Frankel, who has been held in a Hamburg jail since German police nabbed him Sept. 4 on a tip from the FBI, ending a four-month international manhunt.

Frankel rejected the option of a voluntary extradition, his lawyer Thomas Piplak said.

Motorola may buy General Instrument
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Motorola Inc. has begun talks to acquire General Instrument Corp. in an all-stock deal valued at about $9.5 billion.

A deal could be announced this week, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal reported today, citing unidentified sources close to the potential transaction. The Times said the deal was valued at $9.5 billion while the Journal said it was worth about $10 billion.

The partnership would bring together one of the best-known consumer-electronic makers with the cable industry's top leading provider of cable TV set-top boxes.

French oil companies agree to merge
PARIS (AP) -- French oil companies Total Fina and Elf Aquitaine have agreed to merge in a $54.3 billion deal that would create the world's fourth largest oil group, ending a fierce, two-month takeover battle.

Under the deal announced today, Total is offering 19 of its own shares for 13 Elf shares.

The friendly deal caps a summer of intense merger activity in France, where two of the country's largest banks have agreed to join forces and two retail powerhouses have also said they would ally.

Vencor files for Chapter 11
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Vencor Inc., one of the nation's largest nursing home chains, has filed for protection under federal bankruptcy laws, citing rising debts due to declining Medicare fees.

Vencor, which operates 300 nursing homes and 38 hospitals in 46 states, said today as it filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware that it is in negotiations with the U.S. Justice Department concerning the government's outstanding claims against the company.

NCR offers early retirement to 1,200
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- NCR Corp. is offering an early retirement plan to 1,200 of its technicians to save about 30 percent in labor costs.

The company, a leading manufacturer of checkout scanners and automated teller machines machines, plans to replace some of the retirees with lower-cost personnel, outsource the work or buy a company that does their jobs, spokesman John Hourigan said.

IBM unveils powerful new computer
NEW YORK (AP) -- IBM is selling a powerful new business computer that fills an important gap in its product line and steps up pressure on rival sellers of machines that use the Unix operating system, a competitor to Microsoft's Windows program.

IBM's move is a counterpoint to a recent flurry of publicity for Sun Microsystems Inc.'s popular line of Unix computers. Hewlett-Packard Corp. also is a major maker of Unix computers.

IBM today plans to unveil its new S80 computer, which it says outperforms rivals' comparable products, able to handle more than 40,000 computing operations a second. The new model in IBM's RS 6000 line costs $290,000 and uses up to 24 microprocessors made with copper, which performs better than the traditional aluminum used in chips.

This week in business . . .
These are the major business and economic events scheduled for this week.

Tuesday -- UAW national contracts with GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler expire. Commerce Department reports retail sales for August, and current account, second quarter.

Wednesday -- Commerce Department reports business inventories for July. Labor Department reports on consumer prices for August.

Thursday -- Labor Department reports weekly jobless claims. Federal Reserve reports industrial production for August.

Friday -- Commerce Department reports housing starts for August. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, other financial and market regulators participate in Y2K conference.

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