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Japan Leasing Corp. filed for bankruptcy on Sunday in the country's biggest financial failure -- involving 2.2 trillion yen ($16.1 billion) in debt -- since World War II, authoritative sources said.

Japan Leasing Corp. was one of three non-bank affiliates of troubled Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan Ltd., whose future had held up agreement between Prime Minister Keizo Obiuchi's government and opposition parties about legislation to get Japan out of its economic recession.

Opposition parties had opposed a government plan to use public funds to keep Long-Term Credit Bank afloat.

The sources said the company filed for bankruptcy with a Tokyo court late on Sunday.

Japanese media reports said major lenders to Japan Leasing Corp. were Sumitomo Trust, Mitsubishi Trust and LTCB.

FedEx pilots considering slowdown
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The leaders of the FedEx pilots' union want authority to launch job actions during the pre-Christmas peak delivery season.

Leaders of the FedEx Pilots Association want the ability to have the Memphis company's 3,500 pilots refuse to work overtime during the busiest weeks of the year -- when FedEx must transport more than 4 million packages a day.

Union officials sent ballots to members this month seeking the authority to use such a strategy if negotiations aren't progressing quickly enough.

Gasoline prices jump 1 cent a gallon
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Gasoline prices rose more than a penny per gallon at the pump over the past two weeks, reversing a yearlong trend that has seen the price fall 25 cents per gallon.

The average retail price of gasoline, including all grades and taxes, was $1.0895 per gallon on Friday. That was up 1.12 cents per gallon from two weeks earlier, according to the Lundberg Survey of 10,000 stations nationwide.

At self-service pumps, the average price for regular gasoline was $1.0311 per gallon, mid-grade was $1.1384 and premium was $1.2226. At full-service pumps, regular was $1.4676, mid-grade was $1.5554 and premium was $1.6282.

Southern Air halts flights
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Southern Air Transport, the cargo airline that was once owned by the CIA, has grounded itself because of financial problems.

The company fired 450 employees nationwide, including flight crews, maintenance workers and support personnel. It kept 30 workers, mostly at its Columbus headquarters.

AMP takeover battle heads to court
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- On the eve of a federal court hearing on its bid to buy AMP Inc., Allied Signal of Morristown, N.J., stepped up the pressure with a promise not to fire Pennsylvania AMP employees earning $50,000 or less for at least a year if the takeover succeeds.

AlliedSignal announced the offer to maintain those workers' employment in a news release and a full-page ad in the Sunday Patriot-News in Harrisburg, where AMP, a maker of electrical connectors, is based.

The two companies will try to settle their fight today before a federal judge in Philadelphia.

AlliedSignal is attempting to buy AMP for $10 billion. AMP has rejected the offer as inadequate.

This week in business
Here are the major business and economic events scheduled for this week:

Tuesday -- The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee will meet to decide the future direction of interest rates, and the Conference Board will release results of its monthly survey on consumer confidence.

Wednesday -- The Conference Board will release its report on leading economic indicators for August, and the Commerce Department will report on new home sales for August.

Thursday -- The National Association of Purchasing Management will release its business survey for September; the Labor Department will report weekly jobless claims figures; the Commerce Department will release data on construction spending for August, and Chrysler Corp. will report its September auto sales figures.

Friday -- The Labor Department will release its monthly unemployment report; the Commerce Department will release factory orders for August, and the Federal Reserve will release data on consumer credit for August.

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