CAR_Public/040301.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Monday, March 1, 2004, Vol. 5, No. 42

                        Headlines


ADELPHIA COMMS: Jury Set to Hear Rigas' Stock Fraud Case Today
AMERICAN GOLD: SEC Launches Securities Fraud Complaint In Utah
AMERICAN PHYSICIANS: Vows To Oppose Securities Fraud Suits In MI
BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Faces Work Discrimination Lawsuit In AL
BELLSOUTH: Consolidated & Amended Securities Lawsuit Filed In GA

BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Securities Suit Remanded To State Court
BELLSOUTH: Plaintiffs File Consolidated ERISA Lawsuit In Georgia
BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Recalls Steeltex Tires Linked To Crashes
CARREKER CORPORATION: TX Jury Returns Indictment V. Ex-Executive
CATHOLIC CHURCH: Boston Archdiocese Releases Clergy Abuse Report

CNH GLOBAL: Lawsuit V. Planned Benefits Modification Filed In MI
COOPER MOUNTAIN: Awaits Ruling On Motion To Dismiss Stock Suit
CRAWFORD: Court Excludes Expert's Testimony In Overtime Suit
FIRST AMERICAN: AARP Backs Suit Over Inaccurate Tenant Screening
FLEET MORTGAGE: AC Reverses Pact Ruling In FCRA Violations Suit

HURRICANE ISABEL: Senate Bill Proposes Compensation For Outages
IBM CORPORATION: CA Jury Dismisses Former Workers' Injury Claims
IDT GROUP: SEC Files Securities Fraud Complaint Against Execs
JAPAN: Guilty Verdict Expected In Aum Shinrikyo Nerve Gas Case
JUST FOR FEET: SEC Lodges Securities Fraud Complaint In N.D. AL

KMART: Appeals Court Rules Against $327 Mil Payment To Vendors
LAWYERS TITLES: Appeals Court Denies Arbitration In Policy Suit
MCDONALD'S CORP: AC Upholds Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Dismissal
MELLON FINANCIAL: Investor Launches Mutual Fund Fraud Suit In PA
METROPOLITAN LIFE: Court OKs Specter's Discovery Fee Collection

MICROSOFT CORPORATION: MN Consumer Antitrust Suit Starts Trial
MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Fair Trade Officials Raid Japan Office
MISSOURI: Girl, Highway Worker Die In Bus, Dump Truck Collision
OHIO: Warren Township Residents Mull Legal Options V. Landfill
ONSPAN NETWORKING: Asks OK Court To Dismiss Securities Lawsuit

ONSPAN NETWORKING: Files Motion To Dismiss Amended Stock Lawsuit
PORSCHE: Recalls Cayenne SUV Due To Brake Defect, Fire Hazard
QUEST NET: SEC Sanctions Former Chief Executive For Stock Fraud
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Kentucky Withdraws Bill Banning Gay Marriages
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Comedian Rosie O'Donnell Weds Lesbian Partner

TELLABS INC.: IL Court Dismisses Second Amended Securities Suit
TYSON FOODS: Asks AL Court To Reverse Cattle Antitrust Verdict
UNITED STATES: Senate To Vote On New Fairness Act In April 2004
UNITED STATES: Health Dept. & FDA Face Suit Over Canadian Drugs
WASHINGTON: Clear Channel Head Apologizes For Program Content

WASHINGTON: House Passes Bill Giving Rights To Unborn Children

               New Securities Fraud Cases

DEUTSCHE BANK: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
FRANKLIN FUNDS: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NV
FRANKLIN FUNDS: Much Shelist Lodges Securities Suit in NV Court
SCUDDER FUNDS: Much Shelist Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY

                       *********


ADELPHIA COMMS: Jury Set to Hear Rigas' Stock Fraud Case Today
--------------------------------------------------------------
A jury of three men and nine women was chosen Thursday to hear
the fraud case against Adelphia Communications Corporation's
founder John Rigas and two sons, the Associated Press reports.
Opening statements are scheduled to begin this morning in the
trial that is expected to last three months. Eight alternate
jurors also were chosen.

Mr. Rigas and his sons Michael and Timothy, who served as top
executives of the Company are charged with looting millions of
dollars from the cable company John Rigas founded.  Also on
trial is Michael Mulcahey, former director of internal reporting
for the Company.

The Rigases allegedly used millions in company funds for
personal expenses such as a golf course, a professional hockey
team and personal travel on the company jet.  They also
allegedly used the funds to cover margin calls on company stock.
If convicted, each face a face a minimum of 15 to 20 years in
prison, prosecutors told Reuters, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (February 25,2004) states.

The Greenwood Village, Colo.-based, company once had 5.7 million
cable subscribers in more than 30 states.  The government
alleges the defendants boosted profits by hiding more than
$2 billion in debts from investors.

Mr. Rigas and his sons, Michael and Timothy Rigas, both former
company executives, and another former company executive,
Michael Mulcahey, have pleaded innocence to charges of
conspiracy, securities fraud and bank fraud.

Adelphia, which filed for bankruptcy protection two years ago,
submitted its reorganization plan Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Southern District of New York.  The company said
it has secured $8.8 billion in exit financing from four banks
and hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 by the end of the year.  The
Rigas family would get nothing under the reorganization plan,
which requires the approval of the bankruptcy court and certain
claimholders.


AMERICAN GOLD: SEC Launches Securities Fraud Complaint In Utah
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a
complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah,
seeking permanent injunctions against American Gold Mining
Corporation and Ronald V. Markham and seeking disgorgement,
civil money penalties and an officer/director bar against
Markham.

The complaint alleges that American Gold and Mr. Markham, its
president and CEO, fraudulently sold approximately $7 million of
American Gold's common stock to approximately 140 investors in
unregistered transactions.  Mr. Markham located and solicited
investors personally, through intermediaries, and by causing
favorable magazine articles to be published about American Gold
and having these articles appear on the magazine's Internet web
site.

It is further alleged that through both a private placement
memorandum and oral presentations, Mr. Markham made material
misrepresentations regarding, among other things:

     (1) the amounts of gold and platinum ore in mining claims
         leased by American Gold;

     (2) the viability of an extraction process developed by
         American Gold to recover precious metals; and

     (3) how investor funds would be used by American Gold to
         develop its mining property.

It is also alleged that Mr. Markham promised large returns on
investments in American Gold and that he misappropriated at
least $3.4 million of the invested funds for his personal living
expenses.  The complaint alleges that by engaging in such
conduct American Gold and Markham have violated Sections 5(a),
5(c) and 17 (a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
thereunder.

The suit is styled, "SEC v. American Gold Mining Corporation and
Ronald V. Markham, Docket No. 2:04 CV-0190 JTG, USDC, D Utah."


AMERICAN PHYSICIANS: Vows To Oppose Securities Fraud Suits In MI
----------------------------------------------------------------
American Physicians Capital, Inc. faces several securities class
actions filed in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Michigan, charging it with violating federal
securities laws by withholding information about its finances
last year, the Lansing State Journal reports.

Investors incurred heavy losses when, in early November, the
Company revealed that it would have to put $43 million, pretax,
into reserves to account for policy losses from volatile
markets, such as Florida.  The day after the announcement, the
Company also announced that it would delay its earnings report
by a week and that the company expected a "substantial net loss"
for the quarter, a result of the reserve charge.  The stock
price plummeted more than $10 that day.

The suits, filed on behalf of shareholders who acquired Company
securities between February 13, 2003 and November 6, 2003,
inclusive, name the company and certain key officers and
directors as defendants.

The suits charge that defendants violated the federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (February 26,2004) states.

American Physicians Capital called the lawsuits "non-
meritorious," the Lansing State Journal reports.  "We plan to
vigorously defend ourselves," said Ann Storberg, the company's
director of investor relations.

Iris Linder, an attorney with Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap
in Lansing, told the Journal these types of securities lawsuits
are common and many end up getting dismissed.  "I think it's
almost inevitable when you have a major adverse financial
setback that litigation follows," Ms. Linder, who teaches a
class in securities regulation at Thomas M. Cooley Law School
said.

"We are obviously disappointed in this development," former
Chief Executive Officer William Cheeseman said in a statement.
"We hope to be able to report the specific and significant
magnitude of our loss as soon as possible."

John Heine, spokesman for the Securities and Exchange
Commission, told the Journal the SEC has not filed a complaint
against American Physicians Capital.


BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Faces Work Discrimination Lawsuit In AL
--------------------------------------------------------------
A putative class action lawsuit was filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Alabama against
Bellsouth Corporation, over allegations that the Company
discriminated against current and former African-American
employees with respect to compensation and promotions, in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42USC
Section 1981. The lawsuit is captioned Gladys Jenkins et al. v.
BellSouth Corporation.

The complaint purports to bring the claims on behalf of two
Plaintiff classes:

     (1) a class of all African-American hourly workers employed
         by BellSouth at any time since April 29, 1998, and

     (2) a class of all African-American salaried workers
         employed by BellSouth at any time since April 29, 1998
         in management positions at or below Job Grade 59/Level
         C.

The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified amounts of back pay,
benefits, punitive damages and attorneys' fees and costs, as
well as injunctive relief.


BELLSOUTH: Consolidated & Amended Securities Lawsuit Filed In GA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Lead Plaintiff in a consolidated class action lawsuit
commenced in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia against Bellsouth Corporation and three of
its senior officers filed a Consolidated and Amended Class
Action Complaint on or about July 15, 2003 and named four
outside directors as additional defendants.

The Consolidated and Amended Complaint was brought on behalf
shareholders, alleging violations of the federal securities
laws. The Complaint alleges that during the period November 7,
2000 through February 19, 2003, the Company:

     (1) overstated the unbilled receivables balance of its
         advertising and publishing subsidiary;

     (2) failed to properly implement SAB 101 with regard to its
         recognition of advertising and publishing revenues;

     (3) improperly billed competitive local exchange carriers
         (CLEC) to inflate revenues;

     (4) failed to take a reserve for refunds that ultimately
         came due following litigation over late payment
         charges; and

     (5) failed to properly write down goodwill of its Latin
         American operations.

The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of damages, as
well as attorneys fees and costs.


BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Securities Suit Remanded To State Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Georgia remanded a lawsuit
originally filed in the United States Superior Court of Fulton
County, Georgia, against Bellsouth Corporation, on behalf of
participants in the company's Direct Investment Plan, alleging
violations of Section 11 of the Securities Act.

Defendants had removed this action to federal court pursuant to
the provisions of the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards
Act of 1998. Plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of
damages, as well as attorneys fees and costs. At this time, the
likely outcome of the case cannot be predicted, nor can a
reasonable estimate of loss, if any, be made.


BELLSOUTH: Plaintiffs File Consolidated ERISA Lawsuit In Georgia
----------------------------------------------------------------
BellSouth Corporation, its directors, three of its senior
officers, and other individuals, face a consolidated securities
class action filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Georgia, alleging violations of the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The suit was consolidated from three substantially identical
class action lawsuits filed in said Court.  The plaintiffs, who
seek to represent a putative class of participants and
beneficiaries of BellSouth's 401(k) plan, allege in the
Consolidated Complaint that the company and the individual
defendants breached their fiduciary duties in violation of
ERISA, by among other things:

     (1) failing to provide accurate information to the Plan
         participants and beneficiaries; and

     (2) failing to ensure that the Plantiffs' assets were
         invested properly.


BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Recalls Steeltex Tires Linked To Crashes
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bridgestone/Firestone and federal officials announced Thursday
that about 490,000 Steeltex tires linked to sport utility
vehicle (SUV) crashes that killed five people are being
recalled, the Associated Press reports.

The Steeltex LT265/75R16 Load Range D tires were made in Canada
for use on Ford Excursions made in 2000-2002 and some early 2003
models.

Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, a division of
Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc., said it
learned two months ago that there were 14 crashes involving SUVs
with Steeltex tires. It reported this information to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as required, and
announced the voluntary recall of the tires on Thursday. The
company said about 297,000 of the recalled tires are still on
the vehicles in the United States, and another 20,000
internationally.

The latest recall comes three-and-a-half years after
Bridgestone's U.S. subsidiary began a massive recall of 17
million ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires.

More than 200 people were reported killed and hundreds more
injured in rollover crashes after the tire tread separated. The
company has spent an estimated $1.5 billion on recall-related
costs, including the settlement of dozens of lawsuits.

About 41 million Steeltex tires have been produced and are
standard equipment on 71 types of vehicles, including pickup
trucks, SUVs, recreational and emergency vehicles.


CARREKER CORPORATION: TX Jury Returns Indictment V. Ex-Executive
----------------------------------------------------------------
A federal grand jury in Dallas, Texas returned a seven-count
indictment against George and Peter Matus charging the brothers
with illegal insider trading.  Specifically, the indictment
charges each defendant with:

     (1) one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud,
         make false statements and wire fraud;

     (2) one count of securities fraud;

     (3) four counts of wire fraud; and

     (4) one count of making false statements to the Securities
         and Exchange Commission

It is anticipated that both defendants will surrender to federal
authorities in Dallas within the week.  The defendants are:

     (i) George P Matus, age 34, a resident of Allen, Texas, at
         the time of the illegal trades, was Senior Vice
         President of Investor Relations at Carreker
         Corporation, a Dallas, Texas, based company traded on
         the Nasdaq stock market;

    (ii) Peter T. Matus, age 29, a resident of Salt Lake City,
         Utah, and brother of George Matus.  Peter Matus, at the
         time of the illegal trades, was a registered
         representative with a brokerage firm.

Previously, the Commission filed a civil suit against the
defendants and alleged that George Matus had advance knowledge
of Carreker's negative earnings news and participated in both
the drafting of the press release announcing the negative news
and the decision as to when to release the news.  Rather than
maintain the confidentiality of the news and abstain from
trading in Carreker stock, however, George Matus conveyed the
confidential negative information to his brother and transferred
$50,000 to him in order to trade in Carreker securities and
profit from the non-public information.

Pursuant to their plan, Peter Matus then used his brother's
funds to purchase 750 Carreker put options, effectively betting
that the price of Carreker shares would decline once the
negative news was made public.  Predictably, upon release of the
negative news, the price of Carreker stock declined.  When Peter
Matus sold the options a week later, the price had declined more
than 40%, netting the brothers a profit of $209,940.

On June 24, 2004, the Court entered a final judgment in the
Commission's case that permanently enjoined George and Peter
Matus from further violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities
Act of 1934, ordered George and Peter Matus jointly and
severally to disgorge $209,940 in illegal trading profits plus
$9,941 prejudgment interest on that amount and assessed the
maximum civil penalty of $629,820 against each defendant under
the Insider Trading Sanctions Act.

The Court also imposed an officer and director bar against
George Matus, finding that he acted with a high degree of
scienter in releasing material non-public information to Peter
Matus and that his conduct was egregious.

The federal suit is styled "U.S. v. George P. Matus and Peter T.
Matus, USDC, NDTX, Dallas Division, Criminal Action No. 3-04-CR-
060-N," while the SEC suit is styled "SEC v. George Matus and
Peter T. Matus, USDC ED/TX, Civ. 4:01CV359-PB."


CATHOLIC CHURCH: Boston Archdiocese Releases Clergy Abuse Report
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Boston Archdiocese released a report Thursday showing that
162 of its priests have been accused of molesting 815 minors
since 1950, the Associated Press relates.

The number of priests alleged to have molested people is
equivalent to about 7 percent of the 2324 ordained priests who
served in the archdiocese during that time, according to
statistics released by church officials.  The statistics were
compiled as part of a nationwide survey of clergy sex abuse
conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New
York.

The national report, scheduled to be released to the public on
Friday, was overseen by the National Review Board, a lay
watchdog panel formed by American bishops after the abuse
scandal exploded in Boston in January 2002.

The scandal began after internal church files revealed the Rev.
John Geoghan and many other priests were transferred from parish
to parish rather than removed from ministry after they were
accused of abusing children.  In December 2002, Cardinal Bernard
Law resigned as the archbishop of Boston - the nation's fourth-
largest diocese - amid a storm of criticism over his handling of
the crisis.  Rev. Geoghan was slain in prison last year.


CNH GLOBAL: Lawsuit V. Planned Benefits Modification Filed In MI
----------------------------------------------------------------
CNH Global, parent of Case Corporation, faces a class action
filed in the United States District Court in Detroit, Michigan
by six Case retirees, seeking to stop the Company from reducing
or ending their health benefits as part of a new labor contract,
the Quad-City Times reports.

The six Case retirees named as plaintiffs in the new suit
include:

     (1) Jack Reese, of Fenton, Michigan, who worked in
         Bettendorf and retired from Case in Burlington, Iowa;

     (2) Frances Elaine Pidde of Plainwell, Michigan, who
         retired from Case in East Moline;

     (3) James Cichanofsky of Crystal Falls, Michigan, who
         retired from Case in Racine, Wisconsin;

     (4) Roger Miller of Menominee, Michigan, who also retired
         from the Racine plant;

     (5) George Nowlin of Memphis, Tennessee, who worked in
         Southaven, Missouri, and grew into retirement under a
         plant closing agreement;

     (6) Ronald Hitt of Brownsville, Texas, and Mosinee,
         Wisconsin, who retired when Case's Wausau, Wisconsin,
         plant closed.

The suit was filed on behalf of anyone who retired on or after
July 1, 1994, from a Case facility represented by the
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and
Agricultural Workers of America, and under the 1990, 1995 or
1998 UAW Central Agreements.  It also includes some retirees who
grew into retirement after July 1, 1994, because of plant
closings.

The retirees accused Case of violating their contractual
obligations to the class, to whom they guaranteed premium-free,
lifetime, vested health care benefits.  The Company's plan to
modify the said benefits is a breach of its obligations under
the employee welfare benefit plan, the suit asserts.

Roger McClow, a Detroit attorney representing the retirees, told
the Quad-City Times the suit is "seeking a declaration that
these benefits are lifetime and can't be changed."  "(Contract)
negotiations are going to start pretty soon and people certainly
are concerned when they say they are going to modify their
benefits at the end of their contract," he said.  "With that
kind of a threat, the retirees feel they should be the ones
suing Case rather be left out of lawsuit."

The Company says its interpretation is that the benefits exist
only for the life of the contract, which is due to expire May 2.
It asked the court to affirm the company's interpretation of the
retirees' contract.

Officials with CNH Global could not be reached for comment, the
Quad-City Times reports.


COOPER MOUNTAIN: Awaits Ruling On Motion To Dismiss Stock Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cooper Mountain Networks awaits a ruling on its Motion to
Dismiss a consolidated securities class action lawsuit filed at
the United Stated District Court for the Northern District of
California, against it and two of its officers, alleging
violations of the federal securities laws arising out of recent
declines in the company's stock price.

The lawsuit, styled In re Copper Mountain Networks Securities
Litigation, case number C-00-3894-VRW, alleges claims in
connection with various alleged statements and omissions to the
public and to the securities markets.

The motion to dismiss was heard on November 29, 2001, and re-
argued on February 19, 2004. No discovery has been conducted.


CRAWFORD: Court Excludes Expert's Testimony In Overtime Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois, Eastern Division granted defendant's Motion to Exclude
the Report and Testimony of expert witness Brian H. Kleiner, in
a putative class action brought against Crawford & Co., on
behalf of Plaintiff Kimberly A. Marting, et al., for refusal to
pay overtime compensation for work done in excess of 40 hours/
week.

Plaintiff has retained Kleiner, Ph.D. as her expert in this
case. Kleiner, a tenured professor in the College of Business
and Economics at California State University, has published
hundreds of articles reflecting his work in the field of human
resource management. He has testified as an expert in numerous
matters, primarily in California. Two of his articles include
Determining Exempt Or Non-Exempt Status Under California Law for
Managers and California Minimum Wage and Overtime.

In the lawsuit, Plaintiff alleges that she was a non-exempt
employee, but Defendant refused to pay overtime compensation for
any work she performed in excess of 40 hours per week.
Plaintiff's duties included investigation of personal injury
accidents. She claims that the tasks she performed in
investigating accidents were conducted pursuant to rules and
regulations promulgated by Defendant and its clients and she
exercised no discretion with respect to her duties.


FIRST AMERICAN: AARP Backs Suit Over Inaccurate Tenant Screening
----------------------------------------------------------------
The AARP and its attorneys, along with co-counsel, are
representing tenants who have filed a class action against a
tenant screening company for allegedly providing inaccurate and
incomplete tenant screening reports to landlords.  In the suit
against First American Registry, Inc., the tenants are seeking
an injunction to stop these practices that deny people housing.

"Ensuring that screening reports are accurate and fair for all
potential tenants is critical," Lois Aronstein, New York State
director for AARP, said in a statement.  "The success of this
lawsuit will help to ensure that no one is turned away from
rental housing for the wrong reasons."

On behalf of tenants harmed by these practices, AARP attorneys,
with the New York law firms Fishman & Neil, LLP and the Locks
Law Firm, PLLC allege that First American Registry, Inc.
provides inaccurate and misleading information about residential
tenants to prospective landlords and real estate management
companies based on incomplete Housing Court records.  The suit
alleges that the defendant's practices often result in
"blacklisting" prospective tenants as high risk.  Typically,
these tenants are then unfairly denied rental housing when the
Housing Court case may have been actually decided in the
tenant's favor, dismissed, or filed in error.

Seth Lesser of the Locks Law Firm stated that it appears First
American Registry "simply turned a blind eye to the clear
requirements of both federal and state fair credit reporting
laws and that the lawsuit seeks to compel the company to live up
to its legal obligation to report accurately."

James B. Fishman of Fishman & Neil added that "this class action
demonstrates how violations of fair credit reporting laws are a
significant and rapidly growing problem that affects tenants
across the country."

"This practice is unfair to all, but has an especially negative
impact on seniors," Ms. Aronstein added.  "Seniors who are
turned down for rental housing often have a tougher time
maintaining their independence in the community."

AARP believes tenant screening practices such as these create
unfair and unnecessary barriers to consumer's housing choices
and tend to have a harsher impact on seniors.  Seniors denied
rental housing due to an inaccurate or incomplete screening
report are at a greater risk of being institutionalized and
losing their ability to live independently.  The impact of this
practice on older New Yorkers can also have unforeseen
consequences, as tenant screening reports can also impact
eligibility for insurance and employment.

The lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court Southern
District of New York.


FLEET MORTGAGE: AC Reverses Pact Ruling In FCRA Violations Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit reversed and
remanded a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, approving a proposed settlement of a
lawsuit brought against Fleet Mortgage Corporation, on behalf of
Mav Mirfasihi, et al., alleging transmission of their personal
financial information to telemarketers in violation of Fair
Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws.

The suit, brought on behalf of approximately 1.6 million persons
whose home mortgages were owned by Fleet Mortgage Corporation,
charges that without their permission Fleet transmitted
information about their financial needs that it had obtained
from their mortgage papers to telemarketing companies which
then, in conjunction with Fleet, used that information and
deceptive practices to sell those customers financial services
they didn't want.  The unauthorized transmission of
the information to the marketers is alleged to have violated the
federal Fair Credit Reporting Act along with state consumer
protection laws plus state common law protections against
invasion of privacy, while the use of the information to
trick people into buying from the telemarketers is alleged to
have violated both the federal Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud
and Abuse Prevention Act and state consumer protection laws.

A settlement was negotiated that the judge approved. Class
members appealed. The judge ordered the challengers to post a
$3.15 million appeal bond on the ground that if the settlement
were delayed Fleet would lose the ability to pay the amounts
that it had agreed to pay in the settlement.  There was no basis
for this concern, thus the Court vacated the bond.


HURRICANE ISABEL: Senate Bill Proposes Compensation For Outages
---------------------------------------------------------------
Several electric utility firms executives criticized a proposed
Senate Bill, requiring them to reimburse customers for power
outages, saying that such a provision would cost the industry
hundreds of millions of dollars that they will attempt to recoup
with higher fees, the Washington Times reports.

Sen. Leonard H. Teitelbaum, a Democrat from Montgomery, Alabama
created the bill in response to extensive power outages that
plagued the East Coast September last year after Hurricane
Isabel.  1.3 million Maryland residents lost power and thousands
remained in the dark for a week or more.

Some Maryland residents lived by candlelight or spent hundreds
on generators.  Many lived without showers and home-cooked meals
and had to throw away food stored in refrigerators and freezers.
The outages further annoyed customers who went without
electricity for days following a series of severe thunderstorms
in late August.

The bill requires Potomac Electric Power Co. and other Maryland
electric companies to reimburse customers, but also prohibits
the utilities from passing on the cost to customers.  The Senate
bill states that residential customers who lost power for more
than 24 hours would be eligible for a maximum $200 reimbursement
for spoiled food. Businesses would receive as much as $100 for
each day they did not have electricity.  The payouts would have
to be approved by the Public Service Commission, which regulates
the utilities.

In his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, Sen.
Teitelbaum said, "Isabel changed the focus from the utilities to
the people . a lot of people lost a lot."

Utility company executives and Public Service Commission
officials strongly opposed the bill, calling it
unconstitutional.  Their testimony went unchallenged by
committee members who seemed unlikely to vote in support of the
bill.

Baltimore Gas and Electric executives testified the utility
spent $69 million to restore power after Isabel and passed off
none of the cost to customers, The Washington Times reports.
They also said that mandatory reimbursement would cost them more
than $150 million.


IBM CORPORATION: CA Jury Dismisses Former Workers' Injury Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
A 12-person jury in the California Superior Court for Santa
Clara County declared IBM Corporation free from liability in a
class action filed by two former workers, alleging that their
exposure to chemicals in a computer disk drive factory made them
sick and ultimately gave them cancer, IBM spokesman Chris
Andrews announced, according to a Reuters report.

The California suit is the first one of several similar suits to
go to trial.  Former workers Alida Hernandez, 73, and James
Moore, 62, launched the suit, alleging that they were the
victims of "systemic chemical poisoning" over decades of work.
The Company's medical staff allegedly failed to warn them of the
risks of chemicals such as acetone, xylene and trichloroethylene
when they sought treatment.

Under California law, workers are generally barred from suing
their employers over unsafe workplace conditions, except when an
employer has concealed evidence of an injury caused on the job.

Judge Robert Baines instructed the jury of 11 women and one man
to answer six yes-or-no questions relating to the charges.  The
jury answered "no" to the first question - about whether the
workers sustained "systemic chemical poisoning" - the essential
claim of the case, Mr. Andrews told Reuters.

"Therefore, there's no need to determine anything else," Steven
Williams, an attorney with Cotchett Pitre Simon & McCarthy in
Burlingame, California, adding that plaintiffs had a high hurdle
to begin with - proving "systemic chemical poisoning," told
Reuters.  "It's a tough thing for a jury to find.

Richard Alexander, the attorney for the plaintiffs, had no
immediate comment, Reuters reports.  In his closing arguments,
Alexander had accused IBM of covering up the two workers' health
problems and "protecting profits over people."

The Company still faces around 200 other health-related lawsuits
from workers in its electronics and computer chip plants.  The
suits have challenged the reputation of the electronics sector
as a clean industry, instead portraying the conditions of IBM's
computer disk and microchip factories in decades past as loaded
with carcinogenic chemicals.

"We believe that the facts in evidence will prove that our
workplace did not cause the illnesses and injuries of the
plaintiffs," Mr. Andrews told Reuters, referring to the cases
that are pending.  "We also realize that the plaintiffs'
attorneys are determined to continue a crusade against IBM and
the electronics industry."


IDT GROUP: SEC Files Securities Fraud Complaint Against Execs
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint for
injunctive and other relief against Darren Silverman and Matthew
Brenner to enjoin them from violating the antifraud provisions
and the securities registration provisions of the federal
securities laws.  Mr. Silverman and Mr. Brenner both reside in
Boca Raton, Florida.

The SEC alleges that from August 1999 through May 2002, Mr.
Silverman and Mr. Brenner defrauded hundreds of investors out of
approximately $33 million through the offer and sale of
unregistered securities marketed as purported hedge funds.  The
hedge funds, IDT Fund A. Ltd., IDT Fund B Ltd., IDT Fund C Ltd.,
The Millennium IDT Fund Ltd., and IDT Venture (collectively, IDT
Funds) were later rolled into IDT Group, Inc. (IDT Group).
During the relevant time period, Mr. Silverman and/or Mr.
Brenner were instrumental in operating, managing and supervising
IDT Funds and IDT Group.

According to the SEC's complaint, Mr. Silverman and Mr. Brenner
used deceptive offering materials and fictitious statements,
among other things, to entice persons to invest in the hedge
funds.  The Complaint alleges that they then lulled investors
into keeping their funds invested - and making additional
investments - by sending account statements falsely stating the
IDT Funds were profitable and outperforming major market
indicators.

The complaint also alleges that Mr. Silverman and Mr. Brenner
misrepresented the safety of the investments and lied to
investors about the compensation paid to the hedge fund day
traders.  Further, the complaint alleges that Mr. Silverman and
Mr. Brenner also misled investors by paying investors what they
claimed were "dividends" but, in truth, were new investor funds
paid to earlier investors, in a Ponzi-like fashion.  Finally,
the Complaint alleges that Mr. Silverman and Mr. Brenner
directed both IDT Funds, and its successor IDT Group, to employ
unlicensed sales representatives who raised millions of dollars
from investors, including more than $3 million from religious
non-profit organizations.

As a result, the SEC alleges that Mr. Silverman and Mr. Brenner
violated Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of
1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
(Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5, thereunder; and violated Sections
206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  In
addition, the complaint alleges that Silverman and Brenner acted
as "control persons" of IDT Funds under section 20(a) of the
Exchange Act for its violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange
Act and Rule 10b-5, thereunder.  The SEC is also seeking in its
lawsuit, among other things, a permanent injunction,
disgorgement and civil penalties.

The suit is styled "SEC v. Darren Silverman and Matthew Brenner,
Case No. 04-80153-CIV-COHN, SD Fla."


JAPAN: Guilty Verdict Expected In Aum Shinrikyo Nerve Gas Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
The nation awaits a verdict in the trial of former cult guru
Shoko Asahara, accused of masterminding the 1995 nerve gas
attack on Tokyo's subways and amassing arsenals of chemical and
biological weapons. Allegedly, he ordered a string of crimes
that killed 27 people, panicked the country and alarmed the
world, the Associated Press reports.

Defense lawyers argued that Mr. Asahara, whose real name is
Chizuo Matsumoto, had lost control over his Aum Shinrikyo cult
by the time of the subway attack, in which sarin gas killed 12
people and sickened thousands.

With abundant testimony of his responsibility from former cult
members and Japan's 99 percent conviction rate, a guilty verdict
is widely expected.  Eleven of Mr. Asahara's followers have been
sentenced to hang, although none has been executed.

Security was expected to be tight Friday to guard against
attempts by Asahara's followers to disrupt the proceedings at
the Tokyo court where the verdict will be read.  On Thursday,
subway lines issued announcements urging riders to report any
"suspicious objects."

The verdict - which follows a trial that lasted nearly eight
years - will mark a heart-wrenching milestone for the families
of victims who have waited for justice for years, although they
say the trial's outcome will provide only limited solace.
Asahara has the right to appeal.

The subway attack shocked Japan, shattered its image as a secure
haven from crime and triggered a long bout of soul-searching
over its troubled youth. The gassing also was an early
indication of how independent groups could use money and
technology to build weapons of mass destruction.

At its height, Aum counted 10,000 members in Japan and 30,000 in
Russia. And after the subway attack, a crackdown on the group
opened a window on its bizarre rituals. Initiates paid hefty
sums to drink Asahara's dirty bathwater, sip his blood and wear
electric caps to keep their brain waves in sync with their
master's. Drug use was rampant and people who challenged the
group were attacked.


JUST FOR FEET: SEC Lodges Securities Fraud Complaint In N.D. AL
------------------------- -------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama against
Don-Allen Ruttenberg, a former Executive Vice-President of Just
for Feet, Inc., a large shoe and sports apparel retailer
formerly headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Complaint alleges that, in connection with the audit of Just
for Feet's fiscal 1998 financial statements in the spring of
1999, Mr. Ruttenberg was instrumental in the acquisition of
fraudulent confirmations used to confirm the validity of
unearned receivables Just for Feet had recognized from its
vendors.

The complaint also alleges that Mr. Ruttenberg played a role in
obtaining other confirmations that were fraudulently used to
confirm the validity of income Just for Feet had improperly
recognized through the acquisition of merchandise display booths
from its vendors.  The overstatement of income and assets
resulting from this misconduct was reflected on Just for Feet's
financial statements included in its Form 10-K filed for fiscal
year 1998, Forms 10-Q filed for the first and second quarters of
fiscal year 1999, and in its registration statements on Forms S-
8 and S-4 filed in May and June of 1999, respectively.

The complaint seeks a permanent injunction enjoining Mr.
Ruttenberg from further Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of
1933 and Sections 10(b) and 13(b)(5) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5, 13b2-1 and 13b2-2 thereunder and
his aiding and abetting violations by Just for Feet of Sections
13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act and Rules
12b-20, 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder.  In addition, the Complaint
seeks an award of disgorgement, prejudgment interest thereon and
a civil penalty.

Also on this date, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office
of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama
unsealed an information containing criminal charges against Mr.
Ruttenberg in this matter.  Mr. Ruttenberg has agreed to plead
guilty to the charges.

The suit is styled "SEC v. Don-Allen Ruttenberg, Civil Action
No. CV-04-P-0371-S."


KMART: Appeals Court Rules Against $327 Mil Payment To Vendors
--------------------------------------------------------------
In a decision likely to affect bankruptcy cases nationwide, a
federal appeals court in Chicago has ruled that retailer Kmart
should not have been allowed to pay some $327 million to some
key suppliers, Reuters News reports.

At issue in the February 24 decision were "critical vendor"
payments that courts in major Chapter 11 bankruptcy venues such
as Delaware, New York and -- until recently -- Chicago have
routinely approved. These payments go to suppliers that
companies consider so important that their pre-bankruptcy bills
must be paid right away, rather than after the bankruptcy
process, when other creditors get paid.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided that
Bankruptcy Judge Susan Pierson Sonderby should not have approved
Kmart's payment request because the company didn't justify it.

Bankruptcy experts said the sum that Kmart paid out to its
critical vendors was among the largest ever. The retailer filed
for bankruptcy in January 2002, after a poor holiday shopping
season compounded financial woes.

Jack Ferry, a spokesman for Troy, Michigan-based Kmart Holding
Corp., said Kmart does not intend to appeal the court's
decision. Ferry said the court made it clear that vendors should
return the payments to Kmart.

One Kmart creditor which did not receive a critical vendor
payment, Capital Factors Inc., appealed to the U.S. District
Court in Chicago and won. In that decision last April, District
Judge John Grady said the payments "simply are not authorized by
the Bankruptcy Code." Kmart appealed.

The appeals court, in an opinion written by influential Judge
Frank Easterbrook, stopped short of barring all critical vendor
programs, but said bankrupt companies must prove that the
payments are indeed critical.


LAWYERS TITLES: Appeals Court Denies Arbitration In Policy Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District
affirmed a decision of the Common Pleas Court denying a Motion
to Compel Arbitration in a lawsuit brought against Lawyers
Titles Insurance Corporation, on behalf of Miles R. Henderson,
et al.

In their complaint, plaintiffs claim that they purchased two
policies of title insurance from Lawyers Title in connection
with the sale of property located in Shaker Heights and the
purchase of property located in South Russell. Plaintiffs
alleged that they are qualified for and entitled to receive a 40
percent reissue credit against the premiums they paid for the
title insurance. Plaintiffs alleged that Lawyers Title failed to
inform them that they were qualified for the credits and failed
to give them the reissue credits.

On August 16, 2002, Lawyers Title moved the trial court for an
order compelling arbitration based upon the policies of title
insurance issued to plaintiffs from Lawyers Title. Plaintiffs
opposed the motion to compel arbitration on the grounds that
they did not receive a copy of the title insurance policy
containing the arbitration clause before the Purchase
Transaction closed and never received a copy of the title
insurance policy with respect to the Sale Transaction.

On February 24, 2003, the trial court denied Lawyers Title's
motion to compel arbitration. Defendant appealed.


MCDONALD'S CORP: AC Upholds Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Dismissal
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Appellate Court of Illinois, First District,
Fifth Division affirmed a ruling by the Circuit Court of Cook
County, dismissing a class action lawsuit brought against the
McDonald's Corporation, et al., on behalf of Plaintiff Mars S.
Cohen, et al., alleging consumer fraud and deceptive business
practices (Count I), and common law fraud (Count II).

On March 15, 2002, McDonald's filed a combined motion to dismiss
Cohen's complaint pursuant to section 2-619.1 of the Illinois
Code of Civil Procedure. In its section 2-619 motion to dismiss,
McDonald's argued that Cohen's claims are preempted by federal
law and regulations. In particular, McDonald's maintained that
Congress has made the express determination that only the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) may regulate nutrition labeling.
Additionally, McDonald's contended that the congressional grant
of authority and extensive FDA regulations regarding labeling
also impliedly preempt Cohen's claims.

Alternatively, McDonald's argued that Cohen's cause of action
should be dismissed under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction
because the "FDA has the required 'specialized expertise' in
branding and labeling of food and drinks." In its section 2-615
motion to dismiss, McDonald's argued that Cohen's complaint
failed to sufficiently state a cause of action. McDonald's
argued that the regulations that are the source of Cohen's
complaint apply only to foods "represented or purported to be
specifically for infants and children less than 4 years of age."
Consequently, McDonald's concluded that the regulations do not
apply to foods like hamburgers, french fries, and soft drinks
that are intended for adults and children over four years of
age, even if they are sometimes consumed by children under four
years of age.

On June 20, 2002, the trial court granted McDonald's motion to
dismiss in its entirety. Cohen filed his appeal on July 16,
2002.


MELLON FINANCIAL: Investor Launches Mutual Fund Fraud Suit In PA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mellon Financial Corporation and subsidiary Dreyfus Corporation
faces a securities class action filed in the United States
District Court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, alleging that the
two companies wrongly spent mutual fund assets on marketing
expenses, including payments that induced brokers to push
Dreyfus funds to their customers over other investments,
TimesLeader.com reports.

Dreyfus investor Noah Wortman filed the suit, which charges the
defendants with violating federal securities laws surrounding
what are known in the industry as "12B-1 fees," which are
generated by liquidating a small percentage of a fund's assets
to pay for marketing fees.  In theory, these fees help the fund
to grow even more.

The suit alleges that hundreds of investors incurred losses
because the marketing fees are paid to brokers, creating "an
undisclosed conflict of interest and caus(ing) brokers to push
clients to Dreyfus funds, regardless of the funds' investment
quality relative to other investment alternatives."  The suit
further asserts that the marketing fees were used to pay for
sales contests and other incentives for brokers to sell the
Dreyfus brand funds.

"But in practice, while funds have grown, there's been little
reduction of fees along with those economies of scale," Kerry
O'Boyle, a mutual fund analyst at Chicago-based Morningstar,
told the TimesLeader.

Mr. Wortman seeks unspecified damages, saying his investment
prospectus didn't disclose that Dreyfus would "improperly siphon
assets" from his fund to cover Dreyfus' marketing expenses.  The
lawsuit also says that 22 Dreyfus funds were closed to new
investors so a marketing fee "could not possibly have been used
to market and distribute them" to new investors.

A spokeswoman for New York-based Dreyfus declined comment
Thursday, saying the fund company hasn't seen the lawsuit, the
TimesLeader reports.


METROPOLITAN LIFE: Court OKs Specter's Discovery Fee Collection
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, affirmed a
ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania granting plaintiff counsel's Motion for Collection
of Discovery Fees in regards to the settlement of a Multi-
District Litigation class action brought against Metropolitan
Life Insurance Corporation, et al., on behalf of Speros Dreles,
et al.

In December 1999, Metropolitan Life settled the MDL federal
class action with plaintiffs who were represented by the firm of
Specter Specter Evans & Manogue. Following this settlement,
various litigants who had opted out of the class filed numerous
lawsuits in state courts. The opt-out litigants were represented
in the course of the class action and are represented in the
state court proceedings by the firm of Behrend and Ernsberger.
In connection with the state lawsuits, Behrend requested tens of
thousands of pages of documents from Metlife as well as from a
Document Depository established by the District Court pursuant
to Case Management Order #4.

Under CMO #4, Specter administered the Depository and was
authorized to charge a fee. The specific dispute here centers on
Specter's production of the discovery requested by Behrend and
Behrend's failure to pay the document production fee of $41,831.

Based on Behrend's refusal to pay, Specter filed a motion in the
District Court to enforce CMO #4 against Behrend. The District
Court, relying on CMO #4, granted Specter's motion for payment
of the fees. Behrend appeals from this Order.

The facts relevant to this appeal are fairly straightforward.
After the MDL settlement, Behrend began representing opt-out
plaintiffs in their individual suits filed in Pennsylvania state
courts against Metlife for allegedly improper sales practices.
In July 2000, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Wettick
granted a motion to compel discovery made by Behrend, but
explicitly gave Metlife the option of providing Behrend the
discovery directly or through the MDL case Document Depository.
Metlife produced some of the documents directly, but for the
remainder referred Behrend to the Document Depository, which was
being administered by Specter per CMO #4.

As part of discovery in the state court lawsuits, Behrend asked
Specter for thousands of pages of documents. Specter produced
them between August and December 2001 and then sent Behrend a
bill for $41,831, a figure arrived at by billing 557.75
paralegal hours worked in retrieving the documents at $75/hour.
Behrend believed that it should not have had to pay the
retrieval costs, and accordingly secured an order from Judge
Wettick that provided that Behrend should not bear the cost of
document retrieval from the Depository. Thereafter, Specter
moved (as Plaintiff) in the District Court to force Behrend (as
Defendant) to pay Specter the $41,831 pursuant to CMO #4.
Magistrate Judge Benson granted the motion, and the District
Court affirmed. Specifically, the Magistrate Judge held that CMO
#4 precluded Specter from bearing any of the cost of the
document retrieval, and that if Behrend wanted to be compensated
by Metlife, it should seek such compensation in the state court
venue of the opt- out litigation.


MICROSOFT CORPORATION: MN Consumer Antitrust Suit Starts Trial
--------------------------------------------------------------
The antitrust class action filed against Microsoft Corporation
by Minnesota consumers is set to go to trial today in Hennepin
County District Court in Minneapolis, Pioneer Press reports.

The suit charges the Company with overcharging Minnesotans for
its software and seeks damages ranging from $283 million to $425
million.  The suit charges the software giant with overcharging
customers by a minimum of $10 for each operating system license
and as much as $72 per application like Word or Excel, Richard
Hagstrom, the plaintiffs' main attorney, told the Pioneer Press.

Mr. Hagstrom, of the Minneapolis law firm of Zelle Hofmann
Voelbel & Gette, says Microsoft used its monopoly of the
personal computer software market to buy out, shove aside or
crush competitors, and to maintain the price of its software
while the cost of most other computer technology plummeted.
"Microsoft was able to maintain its prices because it had a
monopoly," he said.

Mr. Hagstrom added that the suit could affect as many as 9.7
million software licenses held by a million people or businesses
that bought Microsoft products over the past several years.  If
the suit goes forward as planned, it would mark the first time a
state suit brought by individuals, and not government officials,
has gone to court.

The Company has refuted Mr. Hagstroms estimations, saying it
cannot estimate the number of software licenses and applications
sold in Minnesota.  The Company also labeled the charges as
"nonsense."

"Microsoft products are high-quality products," the company's
lead attorney, David Tulchin, of the New York law office of
Sullivan & Cromwell told Pioneer Press.  "People love them, and
they're very low-cost."

An army of expert witnesses potentially will testify before a
12-person jury about Microsoft and the software industry.
Thousands of papers of expert testimony and legal papers stand
ready to be entered by both sides for the jury to peruse.  The
Company giant has settled similar lawsuits in nine states and
the District of Columbia for about $1.4 billion, with $1.1
billion of that in California alone.  District Judge Bruce
Peterson has set aside 60 days for the trial.


MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Fair Trade Officials Raid Japan Office
-------------------------------------------------------------
Authorities announced that officials from Japan's fair trade
watchdog raided the Japanese unit of Microsoft Corp. on Thursday
on suspicion of anti-monopoly law violations, the Associated
press reports.

A spokeswoman at Microsoft Japan confirmed that the Fair Trade
Commission inspected the Tokyo headquarters office but denied
any wrongdoing.

A commission official, speaking on customary condition of
anonymity, said Microsoft Japan is suspected of attaching
improper restrictive conditions - such as requiring that
Japanese computer and makers reveal proprietary information that
would infringe on patents - when signing software deals.

The official refused to elaborate. Japanese fair trade officials
generally do not comment on continuing investigations. The
commission frequently raids companies it suspects of illegal
business practices, but the investigations rarely lead to
criminal charges or fines.

In the United States, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft said it was
cooperating with Japanese authorities. In a statement, Microsoft
said its contracts with manufacturers had included a provision
that would force computer makers to give up their right to file
patent infringement lawsuits against the software maker. The
company said it had notified computer makers - including
companies in Japan - last week about plans to drop the patent-
related provision when new contracts are signed later this year.

The case offers a glimpse into the business practices that
Microsoft has used to keep its operating system the dominant
software for computers sold around the world. Under agreements
with such patent-related provisions, Japanese manufacturers like
Sony, Fujitsu and NEC would have to agree to provide secret
product information while signing away their right to sue if the
software maker used that information for its own profit.

The latest probe in Japan comes as Microsoft faces a growing
threat in Asia from the free Linux open-source operating system.
Japan and South Korea have been prodding China to join an effort
that boosts research in a Linux system that better handles Asian
languages. Japanese authorities have accused Microsoft of
violating anti-monopoly laws before.

In 1998, the Fair Trade Commission ordered Microsoft to stop
bundling software pre-installed in personal computers in a way
that put competitors at a disadvantage. But the company wasn't
fined or charged with a crime.


MISSOURI: Girl, Highway Worker Die In Bus, Dump Truck Collision
---------------------------------------------------------------
Authorities said that a school bus traveling at highway speed
rear-ended a stopped, asphalt-loaded dump truck, killing a
ninth-grade girl and a highway worker, the Associated Press
reports.

The crash Wednesday was so severe that the impact sent asphalt
flying into the pancaked front end of the bus, covering some of
the students, Missouri State Highway Patrol Corporal Al Nothum
said.

"Some of these kids were buried alive in asphalt," Mr. Nothum
said.  Other motorists stopped to help dig out the students,
using hands, shovels "and anything they could get their hands
on" after the crash about 3:30 p.m.," he added.

The patrol said Samantha Griffith, 15, died at the scene, and
the truck's driver, Keith Breshears, 48, died later at a
hospital.  Both were from the Bowling Green area, about 80 miles
northwest of St. Louis.

Two other children - an 11-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl -
were airlifted to Children's Hospital in St. Louis, where they
were in critical condition Wednesday night, a hospital
spokeswoman said.  The bus driver, Joseph Ross, 66, was believed
to be on life support, Mr. Nothum told AP.  At least two dozen
other students were taken to other hospitals, mostly with minor
injuries ranging from fractures to scrapes and cuts. Most of
those students were later released, he said.

He continued that the Bowling Green city dump truck was stopped
on the business loop of U.S. 54 near U.S. 61, where the truck's
two-man crew was filling potholes.  One of the workers looked
back, saw the fast-approaching bus and narrowly ran for safety
an instant before the bus hit.  It was not immediately clear how
fast the bus was traveling - along a straight, flat stretch of
road with excellent visibility - at the time of the crash.


OHIO: Warren Township Residents Mull Legal Options V. Landfill
--------------------------------------------------------------
Residents in Warren Township, Ohio are mulling their legal
options in their quest to stop a controversial landfill owned by
Warren Hills LLC, the Tribune Chronicle reports.

Residents living around the landfill have complained of a
hydrogen sulfide odor in the area of the facility for years.
Last July, landfill officials signed a consent agreement
spelling out 15 stipulations of what is needed for Warren Hills
to comply with federal and state environmental regulations.
Recently, the landfill was issued a notice of violation for
failing to meet an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency mandated
Jan. 17 deadline to provide financial assurance documents for
closure and post-closure care of the facility.

Activist group Our Lives Count was later organized to address
possible health issues the other might cause.  The group has
collected volumes of material and the number of odor complaints,
which could help establish the validity of a lawsuit.  The group
is now meeting with Detroit-based law firm Macuga and Liddle.
"They are not leaving us a choice at this point to ensure a safe
community to live in and that our kids will be OK," Our Lives
Count leader Debra Roth told the Tribune Chronicle.

Steven D. Liddle, partner in the law firm that specializes in
environmental class actions, did not say when a lawsuit would be
filed.  However, he revealed they would be seeking corrections
by the landfill regarding hydrogen sulfide odor and dust.  Mr.
Liddle told the Tribune Chronicle that the bad odor diminishes
market value of property around the Martin Luther King Boulevard
construction and demolition debris landfill.

The Warren Township trustees have also expressed their full
support for Our Lives Count.  In a letter dated Thursday,
trustee Chairwoman Kay Anderson said the township has worked for
several years to resolve problems at the landfill.

"We feel we have been more than patient trying to resolve this
issue," Ms. Anderson wrote, according to a Chronicle report.
"Now we feel the time has come to look at our options as to what
other recourse we have to hold this facility accountable and in
compliance."


ONSPAN NETWORKING: Asks OK Court To Dismiss Securities Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Onspan Networking, Inc. filed a Motion to Dismiss a lawsuit
brought against it in Oklahoma State Court, on behalf of
Plaintiffs Richard T. Clark and Joel C. Holt, asserting claims
for violations of Oklahoma securities law, fraud, breach of
contract, and breach of fiduciary duties.

The action seeks damages in the amount of $300,000, for each
plaintiff, the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and costs, and
certain other relief.  The lawsuit was filed in State court on
March 28, 2003, and was removed to federal court on May 1, 2003.


ONSPAN NETWORKING: Files Motion To Dismiss Amended Stock Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Onspan Networking filed a Motion to Dismiss an Amended Complaint
brought against it in the United States District Court, Tarrant
County, Texas, on behalf of Plaintiff D. Mark White, et al.,
asserting claims for violation of Texas securities law, fraud,
and breach of fiduciary duties.

The action seeks unspecified damages, restitution in the amount
of $300,000, punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, the
plaintiffs' attorney's fees and costs, and certain other relief.
The case was filed in Texas state court on May 2, 2002.


PORSCHE: Recalls Cayenne SUV Due To Brake Defect, Fire Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------
Federal safety officials said Thursday that Porsche is recalling
its Cayenne sport utility vehicle because the springs on its
parking brake can rub against other wires and cause a fire in
the vehicle's instrument panel, the Associated Press reports.

The recall affects 10,637 Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo vehicles
from the 2003 and 2004 model years, the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration said. Porsche didn't report any injuries
from the defect.

The company also is recalling 1,805 of its 911 sports cars from
the 2004 model year because oil isn't getting to the internal
gears due to a part defect, NHTSA said.


QUEST NET: SEC Sanctions Former Chief Executive For Stock Fraud
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued an Order
Instituting Proceedings Pursuant to Section 15(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Making Findings and Imposing
Remedial Sanctions (Order) against Respondent Camilo Pereira
a/k/a Camilo Agasim-Pereira, the Baron of Fulwood.

The Commission's Order finds that on February 13 a Final
Judgment of Permanent Injunction and Other Relief was entered
against Mr. Pereira, by his consent, permanently enjoining him
from further violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 hereunder, among other
relief.

The Final Judgment was entered against Mr. Pereira in a civil
injunctive action filed by the Commission on July 15, 2002,
where the Commission alleged that Mr. Pereira, Chief Executive
Officer of Quest Net Corporation, disseminated false and
misleading press releases and other information from July 1998
through April 1999 regarding the stock of Quest Net and that at
the time of dissemination of that information, Mr. Pereira
profited from the sale of Quest Net's stock through various
nominee accounts.

Mr. Pereira submitted, and the Commission accepted, an Offer of
Settlement whereby he consented to the entry of the Order,
without admitting or denying the findings contained therein
except as to jurisdiction and the entry of the permanent
injunction against him.  The Commission, based upon the findings
and the Offer of Settlement, barred Mr. Pereira from
participating in any offering of a penny stock.


SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Kentucky Withdraws Bill Banning Gay Marriages
----------------------------------------------------------------
Legislation to amend the Kentucky state constitution to ban
same-sex marriages was withdrawn abruptly amid a push to force a
vote by the full House, the Associated Press reports.  The
proposed amendment, if ratified by voters, would have defined
marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  It was
introduced in early January but had languished in committee.

A group of legislators Tuesday filed a "discharge petition" - a
device to sidestep a committee and bring a bill to the full
House.  Before the petition could be debated, Majority Leader
Rocky Adkins made a motion to withdraw the bill at the request
of its primary sponsor, Democratic Rep. J.R. Gray.  House
Speaker Jody Richards granted the motion over shouted
objections.

Rep. Gray said he asked to have it withdrawn "rather than the
thing become a political football" with a discharge petition, AP
reports.

Minority Leader Jeff Hoover then accused top Democrats of
abusing House rules.  Rep. Hoover, R-Jamestown, said Democrats
"pulled a trick" to prevent the petition from being debated.
Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark, D-Louisville, said the General
Assembly enacted a law in 1998 to ban same-sex marriages by
statute.  Rep. Clark then accused Republicans of a ploy to
"smear" Democrats in the November election by claiming Democrats
had refused to vote against gay marriages.

At least 38 states and the federal government have approved laws
or amendments barring the recognition of gay marriage, AP
reports.


SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Comedian Rosie O'Donnell Weds Lesbian Partner
----------------------------------------------------------------
Comedian Rosie O'Donnell wed her lesbian partner on Thursday and
declared that her wedding was inspired by outrage over President
Bush's call to bar gay marriage, Reuters News reports.

The former talk-show host rushed to San Francisco a day before
California's attorney general is set to file a lawsuit that may
end the controversial weddings.  She returned to New York almost
immediately.  "We were both inspired to come here after the
sitting president said the vile and vicious and hateful comments
he did," Ms. O'Donnell said after kissing her bride, Kelli
Carpenter, Reuters reports.

On Tuesday President Bush proposed a Constitutional amendment
banning same-sex weddings, citing the recent flood of gay
marriages in San Francisco in his remarks.

Ms. O'Donnell, who has appeared in movies including the 1992 "A
League of Their Own" and the 1994 "Flintstones," became
America's most famous same sex spouse since San Francisco
started issuing gay wedding certificates two weeks ago.

"Some people asked us where we will be going on our honeymoon.
With four kids under the age of eight, there will be no
honeymoon," Mr. O'Donnell said, adding that she was rushing back
to New York to attend parents' day at her children's school,
Reuters reports.  The former stand-up comic and actress ended a
six-year stint as host of "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" in 2002 to
spend more time with her adopted children.

The celebrity apparently jumped a line for marriage appointments
that now stretches into April.  However, other gay couples were
delighted to see Ms. O'Donnell, who announced her sexual
orientation in 2002 and has since embraced gay rights issues
including gay adoption.

"It means this view will be brought to a wider audience of
America in a positive light," Hans Hansen, 32, who had just wed
Mark Harris and watched in the audience, told Reuters.  "People
are going to identify with Rosie."


TELLABS INC.: IL Court Dismisses Second Amended Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois, Eastern Division granted a Motion to Dismiss the
Second Amended Complaint in a putative class action lawsuit,
alleging violations of securities laws, on behalf of Plaintiff
shareholder Thomas Johnson, et al., against defendants Tellabs,
Inc., and:

      (1) Michael J. Birck,

      (2) Richard C. Notebaert,

      (3) Robert W. Pullen,

      (4) Joan E. Ryan,

      (5) Brian Jackman, and

      (6) John C. Kolher.

This putative class action lawsuit is brought by various
plaintiffs individually and on behalf of persons who purchased
common stock of Defendant Tellabs between December 11, 2000 and
June 19, 2001, alleging that Defendants engaged in a scheme to
deceive and defraud investors as to the true value of Tellabs,
Inc.'s common stock during the Class Period. Plaintiffs contend
that Defendants carried out this scheme, in part, by falsely
assuring investors about Tellabs' performance and prospects,
engaging in fraudulent practices to artificially boost Tellabs'
revenues and conceal the rapidly falling demand for Tellabs'
products, selling shares of Tellabs' common stock at
artificially inflated prices, and making false and misleading
misrepresentations about Tellabs' current financial condition.

Plaintiffs allege that these deceptive actions resulted in the
artificial inflation of Tellabs' stock price which reached a
high of $67.125 per share on February 5, 2001. Plaintiffs claim
that they were injured when they purchased Tellabs' common stock
at these artificially inflated prices.  On September 27, 2002,
the Court appointed Makor Issues & Rights Lead Plaintiff
pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 78(u)- 4.

On May 19, 2003, the Court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss
Plaintiffs' Consolidated Amended Complaint in its entirely.
Plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Class Action Complaint on
July 11, 2003, identifying 27 confidential sources who support
various allegations.

Defendants now seek to dismiss the SAC in its entirety for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), for
failure to plead fraud with particularity pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b), and for failure to meet the
pleading standards set forth in the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995, 15 U.S.C. 78u-4(b).


TYSON FOODS: Asks AL Court To Reverse Cattle Antitrust Verdict
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tyson Foods Inc., the nation's largest meat company, filed a
motion seeking to reverse last week's $1.28 billion verdict
against the Company in a pricing antitrust lawsuit filed in the
United States District Court in Montgomery Alabama, Reuters News
reports.

A jury on February 17 found that Tyson manipulated cash cattle
prices downward between February 1, 1994 and October 31, 2002,
David Domina, the plaintiff's lead attorney, said in a statement
shortly after the verdict was announced.  The case dates back to
1996 when IBP Inc., now a Tyson unit, was sued by the six cattle
producers who accused the company of controlling large supplies
of cattle, via marketing agreements, to keep cattle prices low.

"There was no credible or reliable economic evidence to support
the theory that IBP's use of marketing agreements depressed cash
prices for fed cattle," Tyson said in Thursday's statement.
Tyson said the plaintiffs have 10 days to file a response.

The lawsuit was filed under the Packers and Stockyards Act, a
1921 law passed in response to the concentration of the U.S.
beef packing industry among a few dominant companies.  Cattle
producers have complained that the concentration in beef packing
is even more intense now with giants Tyson Foods, Cargill Inc's
Excel unit, and Swift & Co. leading the market.  Producers have
complained that the use of marketing agreements to buy cattle
gives beef plants greater leverage when negotiating prices on
the spot markets.


UNITED STATES: Senate To Vote On New Fairness Act In April 2004
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Senate is preparing to vote on the amended
Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), after they rejected it twice
last year, Legal Week reports.

The original CAFA sought to transfer class actions worth more
than US$5 million from the state court to the federal courts,
which are regarded as less friendly to class actions, in a bid
to curb speculative multi-million suits against American firms.

Under pressure from the Democrats in the Senate, the CAFA was
amended to include a "local controversy exception," which allows
a class action to be held in a state court if it can prove the
overriding local nature of the dispute and the plaintiffs.  The
new CAFA also put a limit the use of contingency fees, where
lawyers take a cut of the awarded settlement.  In cases where
contingency fees are allowed, the act aims to require lawyers to
take cuts of the compensation their clients actually receive.

Such a move would stop lawyers pocketing the bulk of settlements
divided up between large numbers of claimants, who fail to
redeem "coupons" for their award because individual amounts are
so small, Legal Week states.

O'Melveny & Myers class action group head John Beisner
commented, "There are now more than the 60 senators needed to
get this bill through.  It goes a long way to set the balance
right."

The new draft is expected to face a Senate vote in April, Legal
Week states.


UNITED STATES: Health Dept. & FDA Face Suit Over Canadian Drugs
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Department of Health and Human Services and
the Food and Drug Administration faces a class action filed in
the United States District Court in Washington, seeking to force
the two agencies to allow the re-importation of prescription
drugs from Canada.

Chicago couple Ray and Gaylee filed suit - with the support of
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office, challenging the U.S.
Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which makes it illegal for anyone
other than the original manufacturer to re-import prescription
drugs into the United States.

The suit alleges the law violated their 5th Amendment right to
privacy by denying them freedom to make personal medical
decisions.  The lawsuit also charges that the law improperly
gives legislative authority to the executive branch by letting
the Secretary of Health and Human Services decide if and when
reimportation should be legal.  The 2003 federal Medicare
prescription drug law allows the HHS secretary to issue waivers
to individuals for drug reimportation, but only if safety
standards are met.

The suit further charges that federal law is enforced in a way
that disproportionately affects individuals in nonborder states
who do not have the option of driving across the Canadian border
to legally buy medications.

"If this lawsuit succeeds, the state of Illinois can go ahead
and import prescription drugs from Canada," Gov. Blagojevich
said in a statement.  "It means Ray and Gaylee Andrews can buy
their prescription drugs from Canada and never have to worry
about being prosecuted by the FDA for it."


WASHINGTON: Clear Channel Head Apologizes For Program Content
-------------------------------------------------------------
The head of the nation's largest radio station chain apologized
Thursday for a raunchy morning show that brought the largest
indecency fine in history, the Associated Press reports.

John Hogan, president of 1,200-station Clear Channel Radio, told
members of the House Energy and Commerce telecommunications
subcommittee he was "ashamed" of the "Bubba the Love Sponge"
show.  The program, which aired on stations in Florida, recently
brought a $755,000 proposed fine from the Federal Communications
Commission for sexually explicit content and other alleged
indecency violations.

"We were wrong to air that material," Mr. Hogan said.  "I accept
responsibility for our mistake and my company will live with the
consequences of its actions."

Clear Channel fired the disc jockey Tuesday then announced the
next day it would suspend any personality accused of airing
indecent programming and would ask its DJs to share in any
financial penalties.  Also Wednesday, it suspended broadcasts of
the Howard Stern show on its six stations that carry it, citing
sexually graphic content from Tuesday's broadcast.

Clear Channel's moves are the latest examples of broadcasters
responding to pressure from federal regulators and lawmakers who
say too much of radio and TV programming has become unsuitable
for children.

TV networks also are making changes because of the government's
pressure.  In response to letters from FCC Chairman Michael
Powell, NBC, CBS and Fox outlined steps they were taking to curb
indecency.  Among them: Airing live programs on time delays,
displaying ratings for programs on their Web sites, reviewing
standards and practices, launching ad campaigns to let parents
know about the V-chip, and reminding affiliate stations they may
reject network programming viewed as unsuitable for their
communities.

Under FCC rules and federal law, radio stations and over-the-air
television channels cannot air material that refers to sexual
and excretory functions between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., when
children may be tuning in.  The rules do not apply to cable and
satellite channels and satellite radio.


WASHINGTON: House Passes Bill Giving Rights To Unborn Children
--------------------------------------------------------------
The House passed legislation Thursday subjecting assailants who
injure or kill a pregnant woman and her fetus to two separate
criminal penalties, the Associated Press reports.

The bill, which would -- for the first time under federal law --
give victim's rights to unborn children, drew opposition from
others concerned that conferring new rights on the fetus would
undermine abortion rights.

The Unborn Victims of Violence Act was approved 254-163 after
the House rejected a Democratic-led alternative that would have
increased penalties for those attacking a pregnant woman but
continue to regard the offense as perpetrated on one victim.

"That little unborn child is intrinsically precious and valuable
and deserving of standing in the law and protection," argued
Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill.

The legislation now must be taken up by the Senate, where
abortion rights forces are stronger and passage is uncertain.


                New Securities Fraud Cases


DEUTSCHE BANK: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of
New York on behalf of purchasers, redeemers and holders of
shares of the Scudder family of funds operated by Germany-based
financial services company, Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB), Scudder
Investments, and Deutsche Investment Management Americas Inc.
and Deutsche Asset Management, Inc. between January 22, 1999
through January 12, 2004, inclusive.

The following Scudder Mutual Funds are subject to this lawsuit:

      (1) Scudder 21st Century Growth Fund   (Sym: SCNAX, SCNBX,
         SCNCX)

     (2) Scudder Aggressive Growth Fund   (Sym: KGGAX, KGGBX,
         KGGCX)

     (3) Scudder Blue Chip Fund   (Sym: KBCAX, KBCBX, KBCCX)

     (4) Scudder Capital Growth Fund (Sym: SDGAX, SDGBX, SDGCX,
         SDGRX, SDGTX)

     (5) Scudder Dynamic Growth Fund   (Sym: KSCAX, KSCBX,
         KSCCX)

     (6) Scudder Flag Investors Communications Fund   (Sym:
         TISHX, FTEBX, FTICX, FLICX)

     (7) Scudder Global Biotechnology Fund   (Sym: DBBTX, DBBBX,
         DBBCX)

     (8) Scudder Gold & Precious Metals Fund   (Sym: SGDAX,
         SGDBX, SGDCX)

     (9) Scudder Growth Fund   (Sym: KGRAX, KGRBX, KGRCX)

    (10) Scudder Health Care Fund   Sym: SUHAX, SUHBX, SUHCX)

    (11) Scudder Large Company Growth Fund   (Sym: SGGAX, SGGBX,
         SGGCX, SCQRX)

    (12) Scudder Micro Cap Fund   (Sym: SMFAX, SMFBX, SMFCX,
         MGMCX, MMFSX)

    (13) Scudder Mid Cap Fund   (Sym: SMCAX, SMCBX, SMCCX,
         SMCRX, BTEAX, BTCAX)

    (14) Scudder Small Cap Fund   (Sym: SSDAX, SSDBX, SSDCX,
         SSDRX, BTSCX)

    (15) Scudder Strategic Growth Fund   (Sym: SCDAX, SCDBX,
         SCDCX, SCDIX)

    (16) Scudder Technology Fund   (Sym: KTCAX, KTCBX, KTCCX,
         KTCIX)

    (17) Scudder Technology Innovation Fund   (Sym: SRIAX,
         SRIBX, SRICX)

    (18) Scudder Top 50 US Fund   (Sym: FAUSX, FBUSX, FCUSX)

    (19) Scudder Contrarian Fund   (Sym: KDCAX, KDCBX, KDCCX,
         KDCRX)

    (20) Scudder-Dreman Financial Services Fund   (Sym: KDFAX,
         KDFBX, KDFCX)

    (21) Scudder-Dreman High Return Equity Fund   (Sym: KDHAX,
         KDHBX, KDHCX, KDHRX, KDHIX)

    (22) Scudder-Dreman Small Cap Value Fund (Sym: KDSAX, KDSBX,
         KDSCX, KDSRX, KDSIX)

    (23) Scudder Flag Investors Equity Partners Fund   (Sym:
         FLEPX, FEPBX, FEPCX, FLIPX)

    (24) Scudder Growth & Income Fund   (Sym: SUWAX, SUWBX,
         SUWCX, SUWRX, SUWIX)

    (25) Scudder Large Company Value Fund   (Sym: SDVAX, SDVBX,
         SDVCX)

    (26) Scudder-RREEF Real Estate Securities Fund (Sym: RRRAX,
         RRRBX, RRRCX, RRRSX, RRRRX)

    (27) Scudder Small Company Stock Fund   (Sym: SZCAX, SZCBX,
         SZCCX)

    (28) Scudder Small Company Value Fund   (Sym: SAAUX, SABUX,
         SACUX)

    (29) Scudder Tax Advantaged Dividend Fund   (Sym: SDDAX,
         SDDBX, SDDCX, SDDGX)

    (30) Scudder Flag Investors Value Builder Fund   (Sym:
         FLVBX, FVBBX, FVBCX, FLIVX)

    (31) Scudder Focus Value+Growth Fund   (Sym: KVGAX, KVGBX,
         KVGCX)

    (32) Scudder Lifecycle Mid Range Fund   (Sym: BTLRX)

    (33) Scudder Lifecycle Long Range Fund   (Sym: BTILX, BTAMX)

    (34) Scudder Lifecycle Short Range Fund   (Sym: BTSRX)

    (35) Scudder Pathway Conservative Portfolio (Sym: SUCAX,
         SUCBX, SUCCX)

    (36) Scudder Pathway Growth Portfolio (Sym: SUPAX, SUPBX,
         SUPCX)

    (37) Scudder Pathway Moderate Portfolio   (Sym: SPDAX,
         SPDBX, SPDCX)

    (38) Scudder Retirement Fund Series V  (Sym: KRFEX)

    (39) Scudder Retirement Fund Series VI   (Sym: KRFGX)

    (40) Scudder Retirement Fund Series VII   (Sym: KRFGX)

    (41) Scudder Target 2010 Fund   (Sym: KRFBX)

    (42) Scudder Target 2012 Fund   (Sym: KRFCX)

    (43) Scudder Target 2013 Fund   (Sym: KRFDX)

    (44) Scudder Total Return Fund   (Sym: KTRAX, KTRBX, KTRCX,
         KTRGX)

    (45) Scudder Emerging Markets Growth Fund   (Sym: SEKAX,
         SEKBX, SEKCX)

    (46) Scudder Emerging Markets Income Fund   (Sym: SZEAX,
         SZEBX, SZECX)

    (47) Scudder European Equity Fund (Sym: DBEAX, DBEBX, DBECX,
         MEUEX, MEUVX)

    (48) Scudder Global Fund   (Sym: SGQAX, SGQBX, SGQCX, SGQRX)

    (49) Scudder Global Bond Fund   (Sym: SZGAX, SZGBX, SZGCX)

    (50) Scudder Global Discovery Fund   (Sym: KGDAX, KGDBX,
         KGDCX)

    (51) Scudder Greater Europe Growth Fund   (Sym: SERAX,
         SERBX, SERCX)

    (52) Scudder International Fund   (Sym: SUIAX, SUIBX,
         SUICX)

    (53) Scudder International Equity Fund   (Sym: DBAIX, DBBIX,
         DBCIX, BEIIX, BEITX, BTEQX)

    (54) Scudder International Select Equity Fund (Sym: DBISX,
         DBIBX, DBICX, DBITX, MGINX, MGIVX, MGIPX)

    (55) Scudder Japanese Equity Fund   (Sym:  FJEAX, FJEBX,
         FJECX)

    (56) Scudder Latin America Fund   (Sym: SLANX, SLAOX, SLAPX)

    (57) Scudder New Europe Fund   (Sym: KNEAX, KNEBX, KNECX,
         KNEIX)

    (58) Scudder Pacific Opportunities Fund   (Sym: SPAOX,
         SBPOX, SPCCX)

    (59) Scudder Worldwide 2004 Fund   (Sym: KWIVX)

    (60) Scudder Fixed Income Fund   (Sym: SFXAX, SFXBX, SFXCX,
         SFXRF, MFINX, MFISX)

    (61) Scudder High Income Plus Fund (Sym: MGHYX, MGHVX,
         MGHPX)

    (62) Scudder High Income Fund   (Sym: KHYAX, KHYBX, KHYCX,
         KHYIX)

    (63) Scudder High Income Opportunity Fund   (Sym: SYOAX,
         SYOBX, SYOCX)

    (64) Scudder Income Fund   (Sym: SZIAX, SZIBX, SZICX)

    (65) Scudder PreservationPlus Fund   (Sym: BTPIX, BTPSX)

    (66) Scudder PreservationPlus Income Fund (Sym: PPIAX,
         PPLCX, DBPIX)

    (67) Scudder Short Term Bond Fund   (Sym: SZBAX, SZBBX,
         SZBCX

    (68) Scudder Short Duration Fund   (Sym: SDUAX, SDUBX,
         SDUCX, MGSFX)

    (69) Scudder Strategic Income Fund   (Sym: KSTAX, KSTBX,
         KSTCX)

    (70) Scudder US Government Securities Fund   (Sym: KUSAX,
         KUSBX, KUSCX)

    (71) Scudder California Tax-Free Income Fund   (Sym: KCTAX,
         KCTBX, KCTCX)

    (72) Scudder Florida Tax-Free Income Fund   (Sym: KFLAX,
         KFLBX, KFLCX)

    (73) Scudder High Yield Tax-Free Fund   (Sym: NOTAX,
         NOTBX, NOTCX, NOTIX)

    (74) Scudder Intermediate Tax/AMT Free Fund   (Sym: SZMAX,
         SZMBX, SZMCX)

    (75) Scudder Managed Municipal Bond Fund   (Sym: SMLAX,
         SMLBX, SMLCX, SMLIX)

    (76) Scudder Massachusetts Tax-Free Fund   (Sym: SQMAX,
         SQMBX, SQMCX)

    (77) Scudder Municipal Bond Fund   (Sym: MGMBX, MMBSX)

    (78) Scudder New York Tax-Free Income Fund   (Sym: KNTAX,
         KNTBX, KNTCX)

    (79) Scudder Short Term Municipal Bond Fund   (Sym: SRMAX,
         SRMBX, SRMCX, MGSMX, MSMSX)

    (80) Scudder EAFE r Equity Index Fund   (Sym: BTAEX, BTIEX)

    (81) Scudder Equity 500 Index Fund   (Sym: BTIIX)

    (82) Scudder S&P 500 Stock Fund   (Sym: KSAAX, KSABX, KSACX)

    (83) Scudder Select 500 Fund  (Sym: OUTDX, OUTBX, OUTBX,
         OUTRX

    (84) Scudder US Bond Index Fund (Sym: BTUSX )

    (85) Scudder Cash Reserves Fund

The Complaint charges Scudder Mutual Funds and others with
violating Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933;
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder; and Section 206 of the
Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

The Complaint charges that, throughout the Class Period, certain
of the defendants failed to disclose that they improperly
allowed certain favored investors "timing" of the Funds'
securities. Timing is excessive, arbitrage trading undertaken to
turn a quick profit and which ordinary investors are told that
the funds police. Timing injures ordinary mutual fund investors
-- who are not allowed to engage in such practices -- and are
acknowledged as improper practices by the Funds.

In return for receiving extra fees from favored investors,
Deutsche Bank AG, Scudder Investments, Deutsche Asset
Management, and Deutsche Investment Management allowed and
facilitated timing activities in the Funds, to the detriment of
class members, who paid, dollar for dollar, for improper profits
made by privileged investors. These practices were undisclosed
in the prospectuses of the Funds, which falsely represented that
the Funds actively police against timing and that premature
redemptions will be assessed a charge.

For more details, contact Robert M. Roseman, by Phone: 888-844-
5862, by E-mail: classaction@srk-law.com, or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.srk-law.com.


FRANKLIN FUNDS: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NV
---------------------------------------------------------------
Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of
Nevada, on behalf of purchasers, redeemers and holders of the
Franklin Family of Funds operated by Franklin Resources, Inc
(NYSE: BEN) and its subsidiaries between February 6, 1999 and
February 4, 2004, inclusive.

The following Franklin Mutual Funds are subject to this lawsuit:

     (1) Franklin AGE High Income Fund AGEFX, FAHAX,
         FHIBX, FRAIX, FAHRX

     (2) Franklin Adjustable U.S. Government Securities Fund
         FISAX, FCSCX

     (3) Franklin Aggressive Growth Fund FGRAX, FRAAX, FKABX,
         FKACX, FKARX

     (4) Franklin Alabama Tax-Free Income Fund FRALX, FALEX

     (5) Franklin Arizona Tax-Free Income Fund FTAZX, FBAZX,
         FAZIX

     (6) Franklin AGE High Income Fund AGEFX, FAHAX, FHIBX,
         FRAIX, FAHRX

     (7) Franklin Adjustable U.S. Government Securities Fund
         FISAX, FCSCX

     (8) Franklin Aggressive Growth Fund FGRAX, FRAAX, FKABX,
         FKACX, FKARX

     (9) Franklin Alabama Tax-Free Income Fund FRALX, FALEX

    (10) Franklin Arizona Tax-Free Income Fund FTAZX, FBAZX,
         FAZIX

    (11) Franklin Balance Sheet Investment Fund FRBSX, FBSAX,
         FBSBX, FCBSX, FBSRX

    (12) Franklin Biotechnology Discovery Fund FBDIX

    (13) Franklin Blue Chip Fund FKBCX, FKBBX, FBCCX,
         FBCRX

    (14) Franklin California High Yield Municipal Fund FCAMX,
         FBCAX, FCAHX

    (15) Franklin California Insured Tax-Free Income Fund FRCIX,
         FRCBX, FRCAX

    (16) Franklin California Intermediate-Term Tax-Free Income
         Fund FKCIX

    (17) Franklin California Limited Term Tax-Free Income Fund

    (18) Franklin California Tax-Exempt Money Fund FCLXX

    (19) Franklin California Tax-Free Income Fund FKTFX, FCAVX,
         FCABX, FRCTX

    (20) Franklin Capital Growth Fund FKREX, FEACX,
         FKEQX, FREQX, FKIRX
    (21) Franklin Colorado Tax-Free Income Fund FRCOX, FCOIX

    (22) Franklin Connecticut Tax-Free Income Fund FXCTX, FCTIX

    (23) Franklin Convertible Securities Fund FISCX, FROTX

    (24) Franklin Double Tax-Free Income Fund FPRTX, FPRIX

    (25) Franklin DynaTech Fund FKDNX, (Nasdaq: FDNBX, FDYNX

    (26) Franklin Equity Income Fund FISEX, FBEIX,
         FRETX, FREIX

    (27) Franklin Federal Intermediate-Term Tax-Free Income Fund
         FKITX

    (28) Franklin Federal Limited Term Tax-Free Income Fund
         FFTFX

    (29) Franklin Federal Money Fund FMNXX

    (30) Franklin Federal Tax-Free Income Fund FKTIX, FAFTX,
         FFTBX, FRFTX

    (31) Franklin Flex Cap Growth Fund FKCGX, FKCBX,
         FCIIX, FRCGX

    (32) Franklin Floating Rate Daily Access Fund FAFRX, FBFRX,
         FCFRX

    (33) Franklin Floating Rate Trust XFFLX

    (34) Franklin Florida Insured Tax-Free Income Fund FFLTX

    (35) Franklin Florida Tax-Free Income Fund FRFLX, FRFBX,
         FRFIX

    (36) Franklin Georgia Tax-Free Income Fund FTGAX, FGAIX

    (37) Franklin Global Aggressive Growth Fund

    (38) Franklin Global Communications Fund FRGUX

    (39) Franklin Global Growth Fund

    (40) Franklin Global Health Care Fund FKGHX, FGHBX,
         FGIIX

    (41) Franklin Gold and Precious Metals Fund FKRCX, FGADX,
         FAGPX, FRGOX

    (42) Franklin Growth Fund FKGRX, FCGAX, FKGBX,
         FRGSX, FGSRX

    (43) Franklin High Yield Tax-Free Income Fund FRHIX, FYIBX,
         FHYIX

    (44) Franklin Income Fund FKINX, FRIAX, FBICX,
         FICBX, FCISX, FISRX

    (45) Franklin Insured Tax-Free Income Fund FTFIX, FBITX,
         FRITX

    (46) Franklin Kentucky Tax-Free Income Fund FRKYX

    (47) Franklin Large Cap Growth Fund FKGAX, FRGAX,
         FKGCX, FRLGX

    (48) Franklin Large Cap Value Fund FLVAX, FBLCX,
         FLCVX, FLCRX

    (49) Franklin Louisiana Tax-Free Income Fund FKLAX, FLAIX

    (50) Franklin Maryland Tax-Free Income Fund FMDTX, FMDIX

    (51) Franklin Massachusetts Insured Tax-Free Income Fund
         FMISX, FMAIX

    (52) Franklin Michigan Insured Tax-Free Income Fund FTTMX,
         FBMIX, FRMTX

    (53) Franklin MicroCap Value Fund FRMCX

    (54) Franklin Minnesota Insured Tax-Free Income Fund FMINX,
         FMNIX

    (55) Franklin Missouri Tax-Free Income Fund FRMOX, FMOIX

    (56) Franklin Money Fund FMFXX

    (57) Franklin Natural Resources Fund  FRNRX, FNRAX

    (58) Franklin New Jersey Tax-Free Income Fund  FRNJX,
         FNJBX, FNIIX

    (59) Franklin New York Insured Tax-Free Income Fund  FRNYX,
         FNYKX

    (60) Franklin New York Intermediate-Term Tax-Free Income
         Fund FKNIX

    (61) Franklin New York Limited Term Tax-Free Income Fund

    (62) Franklin New York Tax-Exempt Money Fund  FRNXX

    (63) Franklin New York Tax-Free Income Fund  FNYTX, FNYAX,
         FTFBX, FNYIX

    (64) Franklin North Carolina Tax-Free Income Fund FXNCX,
         (Nasdaq: FNCIX)

    (65) Franklin Ohio Insured Tax-Free Income Fund  FTOIX,
         FBOIX, FOITX

    (66) Franklin Oregon Tax-Free Income Fund  FRORX, FORIX

    (67) Franklin Pennsylvania Tax-Free Income Fund  FRPAX,
         FBPTX, FRPTX

    (68) Franklin Real Estate Securities Fund  FREEX, FRLAX,
         FBREX, FRRSX

    (69) Franklin Rising Dividends Fund  FRDPX, FRDBX,
         FRDTX, FRDRX

    (70) Franklin Short-Intermediate U.S. Government Securities
         Fund FRGVX, FSUAX

    (71) Franklin Small Cap Growth Fund II  FSGRX, FSSAX,
         FBSGX, FCSGX, FSSRX

    (72) Franklin Small Cap Value Fund FRVLX, FVADX,
         FBVAX, FRVFX, FVFRX

    (73) Franklin Small-Mid Cap Growth Fund  FRSGX, FSGAX,
         FBSMX, FRSIX, FSMRX

    (74) Franklin Strategic Income Fund  FRSTX, FKSAX,
         FKSBX, FSGCX), FKSRX

    (75) Franklin Strategic Mortgage Portfolio  FSMIX

    (76) Franklin Tax-Exempt Money Fund  FTMXX

    (77) Franklin Technology Fund  FTCAX, FRTCX,
         FFTCX, FTERX

    (78) Franklin Templeton Conservative Target Fund  FTCIX,
         FTCCX, FTCRX

    (79) Franklin Templeton CoreFolio Allocation Fund  FTCOX

    (80) Franklin Templeton Founding Funds Allocation Fund
         FFALX, FFABX, FFACX

    (81) Franklin Templeton Growth Target Fund  FGTIX, FTGTX,
         FGTRX

    (82) Franklin Templeton Hard Currency Fund  ICPHX

    (83) Franklin Templeton Moderate Target Fund  FMTIX, FTMTX,
         FTMRX

    (84) Franklin Templeton Money Fund  FMBXX, FRIXX,
         FMRXX

    (85) Franklin Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund  FRTIX

    (86) Franklin Texas Tax-Free Income Fund  FTXTX, FTXIX

    (87) Franklin Total Return Fund FKBAX, FBDAX,
         FBTLX, FCTLX, FTRRX

    (88) Franklin U.S. Government Securities Fund FKUSX, FUSAX,
         FUGBX, FRUGX, FUSRX

    (89) Franklin U.S. Long-Short Fund FUSLX

    (90) Franklin Utilities Fund   FKUTX, FRUAX,
         FRUBX, FRUSX, FRURX

    (91) Franklin Virginia Tax-Free Income Fund  FRVAX, FVAIX

    (92) Templeton China World Fund  TCWAX, TACWX

    (93) Templeton Developing Markets Trust  TEDMX, TDADX,
         TDMBX, TDMTX, TDMRX

    (94) Templeton Foreign Fund  TEMFX, TFFAX, TFRBX,
         TEFTX, TEFRX

    (95) Templeton Foreign Smaller Companies Fund  FINEX,
         FTFAX, FCFSX

    (96) Templeton Global Bond Fund  TPINX, TGBAX,
         TEGBX

    (97) Templeton Global Long-Short Fund  TLSAX, TLSBX

    (98) Templeton Global Opportunities Trust   TEGOX, TEGPX

    (99) Templeton Global Smaller Companies Fund, Inc.  TEMGX,
         TGSAX, TESGX

   (100) Templeton Growth Fund, Inc.  TEPLX, TGADX,
         TMGBX, TEGTX, TEGRX

   (101) Templeton International (Ex EM) Fund   TEGEX, TGEFX

   (102) Templeton Latin America Fund  TELAX, TLAAX,
         TLAIX

   (103) Templeton Pacific Growth Fund  FKPGX, FPGCX

   (104) Templeton World Fund  TEMWX, TWDBX, TEWTX

   (105) Mutual Beacon Fund  TEBIX, TEBBX, TEMEX,
         BEGRX

   (106) Mutual Discovery Fund  TEDIX, TEDBX, TEDSX,
         TEDRX, MDISX

   (107) Mutual European Fund  TEMIX, TEUBX, TEURX,
         MEURX

   (108) Mutual Financial Services Fund  TFSIX, TBFSX,
         TMFSX, TEFAX

   (109) Mutual Qualified Fund TEQIX, TEBQX, TEMQX,
         MQIFX

   (110) Mutual Recovery Fund  FMRVX

   (111) Mutual Shares Fund  TESIX, FMUBX, TEMTX,
         TESRX, MUTHX

The Complaint charges Franklin Family of Funds and others with
violating the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, and with common
law breach of fiduciary duties.

Specifically, the Complaint alleges that during the Class Period
the defendants failed to disclose that they improperly allowed
certain favored investors, including Calugar, SBI, and DCIP, to
engage in "timing" of the Funds' securities. Timing is
excessive, arbitrage trading undertaken to turn a quick profit
and which ordinary investors are told that the funds police.
Timing injures ordinary fund investors -- who are not allowed to
engage in such practices -- and are acknowledged as improper
practices by the Funds.

In return for receiving extra fees from Calugar, SBI, and DCIP,
and other favored investors, Franklin Resources and its
affiliates allowed and facilitated timing activities in the
Funds, to the detriment of class members, who paid, dollar for
dollar, for improper profits made by Calugar, SBI, and DCIP.
These practices were undisclosed in the prospectuses of the
Funds, which falsely represented that the Funds actively police
against timing and that premature redemptions will be assessed a
charge.

For more details, contact Robert M. Roseman, by Phone: 888-844-
5862, by E-mail: classaction@srk-law.com, or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.srk-law.com.


FRANKLIN FUNDS: Much Shelist Lodges Securities Suit in NV Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, P.C. initiated
a securities class action in the United States District Court
for the District of Nevada on behalf of purchasers, redeemers
and holders of shares of the Franklin Mutual Funds set forth
below between February 6, 1999 and February 4, 2004 inclusive.

The Funds that are the subject of this suit and their symbols
are as follows:

     (1) Franklin AGE High Income Fund AGEFX, FAHAX,
         FHIBX, FRAIX, FAHRX

     (2) Franklin Adjustable U.S. Government Securities Fund
         FISAX, FCSCX

     (3) Franklin Aggressive Growth Fund FGRAX, FRAAX, FKABX,
         FKACX, FKARX

     (4) Franklin Alabama Tax-Free Income Fund FRALX, FALEX

     (5) Franklin Arizona Tax-Free Income Fund FTAZX, FBAZX,
         FAZIX

     (6) Franklin AGE High Income Fund AGEFX, FAHAX, FHIBX,
         FRAIX, FAHRX

     (7) Franklin Adjustable U.S. Government Securities Fund
         FISAX, FCSCX

     (8) Franklin Aggressive Growth Fund FGRAX, FRAAX, FKABX,
         FKACX, FKARX

     (9) Franklin Alabama Tax-Free Income Fund FRALX, FALEX

    (10) Franklin Arizona Tax-Free Income Fund FTAZX, FBAZX,
         FAZIX

    (11) Franklin Balance Sheet Investment Fund FRBSX, FBSAX,
         FBSBX, FCBSX, FBSRX

    (12) Franklin Biotechnology Discovery Fund FBDIX

    (13) Franklin Blue Chip Fund FKBCX, FKBBX, FBCCX,
         FBCRX

    (14) Franklin California High Yield Municipal Fund FCAMX,
         FBCAX, FCAHX

    (15) Franklin California Insured Tax-Free Income Fund FRCIX,
         FRCBX, FRCAX

    (16) Franklin California Intermediate-Term Tax-Free Income
         Fund FKCIX

    (17) Franklin California Limited Term Tax-Free Income Fund

    (18) Franklin California Tax-Exempt Money Fund FCLXX

    (19) Franklin California Tax-Free Income Fund FKTFX, FCAVX,
         FCABX, FRCTX

    (20) Franklin Capital Growth Fund FKREX, FEACX,
         FKEQX, FREQX, FKIRX
    (21) Franklin Colorado Tax-Free Income Fund FRCOX, FCOIX

    (22) Franklin Connecticut Tax-Free Income Fund FXCTX, FCTIX

    (23) Franklin Convertible Securities Fund FISCX, FROTX

    (24) Franklin Double Tax-Free Income Fund FPRTX, FPRIX

    (25) Franklin DynaTech Fund FKDNX, (Nasdaq: FDNBX, FDYNX

    (26) Franklin Equity Income Fund FISEX, FBEIX,
         FRETX, FREIX

    (27) Franklin Federal Intermediate-Term Tax-Free Income Fund
         FKITX

    (28) Franklin Federal Limited Term Tax-Free Income Fund
         FFTFX

    (29) Franklin Federal Money Fund FMNXX

    (30) Franklin Federal Tax-Free Income Fund FKTIX, FAFTX,
         FFTBX, FRFTX

    (31) Franklin Flex Cap Growth Fund FKCGX, FKCBX,
         FCIIX, FRCGX

    (32) Franklin Floating Rate Daily Access Fund FAFRX, FBFRX,
         FCFRX

    (33) Franklin Floating Rate Trust XFFLX

    (34) Franklin Florida Insured Tax-Free Income Fund FFLTX

    (35) Franklin Florida Tax-Free Income Fund FRFLX, FRFBX,
         FRFIX

    (36) Franklin Georgia Tax-Free Income Fund FTGAX, FGAIX

    (37) Franklin Global Aggressive Growth Fund

    (38) Franklin Global Communications Fund FRGUX

    (39) Franklin Global Growth Fund

    (40) Franklin Global Health Care Fund FKGHX, FGHBX,
         FGIIX

    (41) Franklin Gold and Precious Metals Fund FKRCX, FGADX,
         FAGPX, FRGOX

    (42) Franklin Growth Fund FKGRX, FCGAX, FKGBX,
         FRGSX, FGSRX

    (43) Franklin High Yield Tax-Free Income Fund FRHIX, FYIBX,
         FHYIX

    (44) Franklin Income Fund FKINX, FRIAX, FBICX,
         FICBX, FCISX, FISRX

    (45) Franklin Insured Tax-Free Income Fund FTFIX, FBITX,
         FRITX

    (46) Franklin Kentucky Tax-Free Income Fund FRKYX

    (47) Franklin Large Cap Growth Fund FKGAX, FRGAX,
         FKGCX, FRLGX

    (48) Franklin Large Cap Value Fund FLVAX, FBLCX,
         FLCVX, FLCRX

    (49) Franklin Louisiana Tax-Free Income Fund FKLAX, FLAIX

    (50) Franklin Maryland Tax-Free Income Fund FMDTX, FMDIX

    (51) Franklin Massachusetts Insured Tax-Free Income Fund
         FMISX, FMAIX

    (52) Franklin Michigan Insured Tax-Free Income Fund FTTMX,
         FBMIX, FRMTX

    (53) Franklin MicroCap Value Fund FRMCX

    (54) Franklin Minnesota Insured Tax-Free Income Fund FMINX,
         FMNIX

    (55) Franklin Missouri Tax-Free Income Fund FRMOX, FMOIX

    (56) Franklin Money Fund FMFXX

    (57) Franklin Natural Resources Fund  FRNRX, FNRAX

    (58) Franklin New Jersey Tax-Free Income Fund  FRNJX,
         FNJBX, FNIIX

    (59) Franklin New York Insured Tax-Free Income Fund  FRNYX,
         FNYKX

    (60) Franklin New York Intermediate-Term Tax-Free Income
         Fund FKNIX

    (61) Franklin New York Limited Term Tax-Free Income Fund

    (62) Franklin New York Tax-Exempt Money Fund  FRNXX

    (63) Franklin New York Tax-Free Income Fund  FNYTX, FNYAX,
         FTFBX, FNYIX

    (64) Franklin North Carolina Tax-Free Income Fund
         FXNCX, (Nasdaq: FNCIX)

    (65) Franklin Ohio Insured Tax-Free Income Fund  FTOIX,
         FBOIX, FOITX

    (66) Franklin Oregon Tax-Free Income Fund  FRORX, FORIX

    (67) Franklin Pennsylvania Tax-Free Income Fund  FRPAX,
         FBPTX, FRPTX

    (68) Franklin Real Estate Securities Fund  FREEX, FRLAX,
         FBREX, FRRSX

    (69) Franklin Rising Dividends Fund  FRDPX, FRDBX,
         FRDTX, FRDRX

    (70) Franklin Short-Intermediate U.S. Government Securities
         Fund FRGVX, FSUAX

    (71) Franklin Small Cap Growth Fund II  FSGRX, FSSAX,
         FBSGX, FCSGX, FSSRX

    (72) Franklin Small Cap Value Fund FRVLX, FVADX,
         FBVAX, FRVFX, FVFRX

    (73) Franklin Small-Mid Cap Growth Fund  FRSGX, FSGAX,
         FBSMX, FRSIX, FSMRX

    (74) Franklin Strategic Income Fund  FRSTX, FKSAX,
         FKSBX, FSGCX), FKSRX

    (75) Franklin Strategic Mortgage Portfolio  FSMIX

    (76) Franklin Tax-Exempt Money Fund  FTMXX

    (77) Franklin Technology Fund  FTCAX, FRTCX,
         FFTCX, FTERX

    (78) Franklin Templeton Conservative Target Fund  FTCIX,
         FTCCX, FTCRX

    (79) Franklin Templeton CoreFolio Allocation Fund  FTCOX

    (80) Franklin Templeton Founding Funds Allocation Fund
         FFALX, FFABX, FFACX

    (81) Franklin Templeton Growth Target Fund  FGTIX, FTGTX,
         FGTRX

    (82) Franklin Templeton Hard Currency Fund  ICPHX

    (83) Franklin Templeton Moderate Target Fund  FMTIX, FTMTX,
         FTMRX

    (84) Franklin Templeton Money Fund  FMBXX, FRIXX,
         FMRXX

    (85) Franklin Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund  FRTIX

    (86) Franklin Texas Tax-Free Income Fund  FTXTX, FTXIX

    (87) Franklin Total Return Fund FKBAX, FBDAX,
         FBTLX, FCTLX, FTRRX

    (88) Franklin U.S. Government Securities Fund FKUSX, FUSAX,
         FUGBX, FRUGX, FUSRX

    (89) Franklin U.S. Long-Short Fund FUSLX

    (90) Franklin Utilities Fund   FKUTX, FRUAX,
         FRUBX, FRUSX, FRURX

    (91) Franklin Virginia Tax-Free Income Fund  FRVAX, FVAIX

    (92) Templeton China World Fund  TCWAX, TACWX

    (93) Templeton Developing Markets Trust  TEDMX, TDADX,
         TDMBX, TDMTX, TDMRX

    (94) Templeton Foreign Fund  TEMFX, TFFAX, TFRBX,
         TEFTX, TEFRX

    (95) Templeton Foreign Smaller Companies Fund  FINEX,
         FTFAX, FCFSX

    (96) Templeton Global Bond Fund  TPINX, TGBAX,
         TEGBX

    (97) Templeton Global Long-Short Fund  TLSAX, TLSBX

    (98) Templeton Global Opportunities Trust   TEGOX, TEGPX

    (99) Templeton Global Smaller Companies Fund, Inc.  TEMGX,
         TGSAX, TESGX

   (100) Templeton Growth Fund, Inc.  TEPLX, TGADX,
         TMGBX, TEGTX, TEGRX

   (101) Templeton International (Ex EM) Fund   TEGEX, TGEFX

   (102) Templeton Latin America Fund  TELAX, TLAAX,
         TLAIX

   (103) Templeton Pacific Growth Fund  FKPGX, FPGCX

   (104) Templeton World Fund  TEMWX, TWDBX, TEWTX

   (105) Mutual Beacon Fund  TEBIX, TEBBX, TEMEX,
         BEGRX

   (106) Mutual Discovery Fund  TEDIX, TEDBX, TEDSX,
         TEDRX, MDISX

   (107) Mutual European Fund  TEMIX, TEUBX, TEURX,
         MEURX

   (108) Mutual Financial Services Fund  TFSIX, TBFSX,
         TMFSX, TEFAX

   (109) Mutual Qualified Fund TEQIX, TEBQX, TEMQX,
         MQIFX

   (110) Mutual Recovery Fund  FMRVX

   (111) Mutual Shares Fund  TESIX, FMUBX, TEMTX,
         TESRX, MUTHX

The Complaint charges Franklin Resources, Inc. and certain of
its affiliates, Daniel G. Calugar, Security Brokerage, Inc.
(SBI), and DCIP, L.P. (DCIP) with violations of the Securities
Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment
Company Act of 1940, and with common law breach of fiduciary
duties.

Specifically, the Complaint alleges that during the Class Period
the defendants failed to disclose that they improperly allowed
certain favored investors, including Calugar, SBI, and DCIP, to
engage in "timing" of the Funds' securities. Timing is
excessive, arbitrage trading undertaken to turn a quick profit
and which ordinary investors are told that the funds police.
Timing injures ordinary fund investors -- who are not allowed to
engage in such practices - and are acknowledged as improper
practices by the Funds. In return for receiving extra fees from
Calugar, SBI, and DCIP, and other favored investors, Franklin
Resources and its affiliates allowed and facilitated timing
activities in the Funds, to the detriment of class members, who
paid, dollar for dollar, for improper profits made by Calugar,
SBI, and DCIP. These practices were undisclosed in the
prospectuses of the Funds, which falsely represented that the
Funds actively police against timing and that premature
redemptions will be assessed a charge.

For more details, contact Carol V. Gilden, by Phone: (800) 470-
6824, or by E-mail: investorhelp@muchshelist.com.


SCUDDER FUNDS: Much Shelist Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, P.C. initiated
a securities class action in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers,
redeemers and holders of shares of the Scudder Mutual Funds set
forth below between January 22, 1999 and January 12, 2004
inclusive.

The Funds that are the subject of this suit and their symbols
are:

     (1) Scudder 21st Century Growth Fund   (Sym: SCNAX, SCNBX,
         SCNCX)

     (2) Scudder Aggressive Growth Fund   (Sym: KGGAX, KGGBX,
         KGGCX)

     (3) Scudder Blue Chip Fund   (Sym: KBCAX, KBCBX, KBCCX)

     (4) Scudder Capital Growth Fund (Sym: SDGAX, SDGBX, SDGCX,
         SDGRX, SDGTX)

     (5) Scudder Dynamic Growth Fund   (Sym: KSCAX, KSCBX,
         KSCCX)

     (6) Scudder Flag Investors Communications Fund   (Sym:
         TISHX, FTEBX, FTICX, FLICX)

     (7) Scudder Global Biotechnology Fund   (Sym: DBBTX, DBBBX,
         DBBCX)

     (8) Scudder Gold & Precious Metals Fund   (Sym: SGDAX,
         SGDBX, SGDCX)

     (9) Scudder Growth Fund   (Sym: KGRAX, KGRBX, KGRCX)

    (10) Scudder Health Care Fund   Sym: SUHAX, SUHBX, SUHCX)

    (11) Scudder Large Company Growth Fund   (Sym: SGGAX, SGGBX,
         SGGCX, SCQRX)

    (12) Scudder Micro Cap Fund   (Sym: SMFAX, SMFBX, SMFCX,
         MGMCX, MMFSX)

    (13) Scudder Mid Cap Fund   (Sym: SMCAX, SMCBX, SMCCX,
         SMCRX, BTEAX, BTCAX)

    (14) Scudder Small Cap Fund   (Sym: SSDAX, SSDBX, SSDCX,
         SSDRX, BTSCX)

    (15) Scudder Strategic Growth Fund   (Sym: SCDAX, SCDBX,
         SCDCX, SCDIX)

    (16) Scudder Technology Fund   (Sym: KTCAX, KTCBX, KTCCX,
         KTCIX)

    (17) Scudder Technology Innovation Fund   (Sym: SRIAX,
         SRIBX, SRICX)

    (18) Scudder Top 50 US Fund   (Sym: FAUSX, FBUSX, FCUSX)

    (19) Scudder Contrarian Fund   (Sym: KDCAX, KDCBX, KDCCX,
         KDCRX)

    (20) Scudder-Dreman Financial Services Fund   (Sym: KDFAX,
         KDFBX, KDFCX)

    (21) Scudder-Dreman High Return Equity Fund   (Sym: KDHAX,
         KDHBX, KDHCX, KDHRX, KDHIX)

    (22) Scudder-Dreman Small Cap Value Fund (Sym: KDSAX, KDSBX,
         KDSCX, KDSRX, KDSIX)

    (23) Scudder Flag Investors Equity Partners Fund   (Sym:
         FLEPX, FEPBX, FEPCX, FLIPX)

    (24) Scudder Growth & Income Fund   (Sym: SUWAX, SUWBX,
         SUWCX, SUWRX, SUWIX)

    (25) Scudder Large Company Value Fund   (Sym: SDVAX, SDVBX,
         SDVCX)

    (26) Scudder-RREEF Real Estate Securities Fund (Sym: RRRAX,
         RRRBX, RRRCX, RRRSX, RRRRX)

    (27) Scudder Small Company Stock Fund   (Sym: SZCAX, SZCBX,
         SZCCX)

    (28) Scudder Small Company Value Fund   (Sym: SAAUX, SABUX,
         SACUX)

    (29) Scudder Tax Advantaged Dividend Fund   (Sym: SDDAX,
         SDDBX, SDDCX, SDDGX)

    (30) Scudder Flag Investors Value Builder Fund   (Sym:
         FLVBX, FVBBX, FVBCX, FLIVX)

    (31) Scudder Focus Value+Growth Fund   (Sym: KVGAX, KVGBX,
         KVGCX)

    (32) Scudder Lifecycle Mid Range Fund   (Sym: BTLRX)

    (33) Scudder Lifecycle Long Range Fund   (Sym: BTILX, BTAMX)

    (34) Scudder Lifecycle Short Range Fund   (Sym: BTSRX)

    (35) Scudder Pathway Conservative Portfolio (Sym: SUCAX,
         SUCBX, SUCCX)

    (36) Scudder Pathway Growth Portfolio (Sym: SUPAX, SUPBX,
         SUPCX)

    (37) Scudder Pathway Moderate Portfolio   (Sym: SPDAX,
         SPDBX, SPDCX)

    (38) Scudder Retirement Fund Series V  (Sym: KRFEX)

    (39) Scudder Retirement Fund Series VI   (Sym: KRFGX)

    (40) Scudder Retirement Fund Series VII   (Sym: KRFGX)

    (41) Scudder Target 2010 Fund   (Sym: KRFBX)

    (42) Scudder Target 2012 Fund   (Sym: KRFCX)

    (43) Scudder Target 2013 Fund   (Sym: KRFDX)

    (44) Scudder Total Return Fund   (Sym: KTRAX, KTRBX, KTRCX,
         KTRGX)

    (45) Scudder Emerging Markets Growth Fund   (Sym: SEKAX,
         SEKBX, SEKCX)

    (46) Scudder Emerging Markets Income Fund   (Sym: SZEAX,
         SZEBX, SZECX)

    (47) Scudder European Equity Fund (Sym: DBEAX, DBEBX, DBECX,
         MEUEX, MEUVX)

    (48) Scudder Global Fund   (Sym: SGQAX, SGQBX, SGQCX, SGQRX)

    (49) Scudder Global Bond Fund   (Sym: SZGAX, SZGBX, SZGCX)

    (50) Scudder Global Discovery Fund   (Sym: KGDAX, KGDBX,
         KGDCX)

    (51) Scudder Greater Europe Growth Fund   (Sym: SERAX,
         SERBX, SERCX)

    (52) Scudder International Fund   (Sym: SUIAX, SUIBX,
         SUICX)

    (53) Scudder International Equity Fund   (Sym: DBAIX, DBBIX,
         DBCIX, BEIIX, BEITX, BTEQX)

    (54) Scudder International Select Equity Fund (Sym: DBISX,
         DBIBX, DBICX, DBITX, MGINX, MGIVX, MGIPX)

    (55) Scudder Japanese Equity Fund   (Sym:  FJEAX, FJEBX,
         FJECX)

    (56) Scudder Latin America Fund   (Sym: SLANX, SLAOX, SLAPX)

    (57) Scudder New Europe Fund   (Sym: KNEAX, KNEBX, KNECX,
         KNEIX)

    (58) Scudder Pacific Opportunities Fund   (Sym: SPAOX,
         SBPOX, SPCCX)

    (59) Scudder Worldwide 2004 Fund   (Sym: KWIVX)

    (60) Scudder Fixed Income Fund   (Sym: SFXAX, SFXBX, SFXCX,
         SFXRF, MFINX, MFISX)

    (61) Scudder High Income Plus Fund (Sym: MGHYX, MGHVX,
         MGHPX)

    (62) Scudder High Income Fund   (Sym: KHYAX, KHYBX, KHYCX,
         KHYIX)

    (63) Scudder High Income Opportunity Fund   (Sym: SYOAX,
         SYOBX, SYOCX)

    (64) Scudder Income Fund   (Sym: SZIAX, SZIBX, SZICX)

    (65) Scudder PreservationPlus Fund   (Sym: BTPIX, BTPSX)

    (66) Scudder PreservationPlus Income Fund (Sym: PPIAX,
         PPLCX, DBPIX)

    (67) Scudder Short Term Bond Fund   (Sym: SZBAX, SZBBX,
         SZBCX

    (68) Scudder Short Duration Fund   (Sym: SDUAX, SDUBX,
         SDUCX, MGSFX)

    (69) Scudder Strategic Income Fund   (Sym: KSTAX, KSTBX,
         KSTCX)

    (70) Scudder US Government Securities Fund   (Sym: KUSAX,
         KUSBX, KUSCX)

    (71) Scudder California Tax-Free Income Fund   (Sym: KCTAX,
         KCTBX, KCTCX)

    (72) Scudder Florida Tax-Free Income Fund   (Sym: KFLAX,
         KFLBX, KFLCX)

    (73) Scudder High Yield Tax-Free Fund   (Sym: NOTAX,
         NOTBX, NOTCX, NOTIX)

    (74) Scudder Intermediate Tax/AMT Free Fund   (Sym: SZMAX,
         SZMBX, SZMCX)

    (75) Scudder Managed Municipal Bond Fund   (Sym: SMLAX,
         SMLBX, SMLCX, SMLIX)

    (76) Scudder Massachusetts Tax-Free Fund   (Sym: SQMAX,
         SQMBX, SQMCX)

    (77) Scudder Municipal Bond Fund   (Sym: MGMBX, MMBSX)

    (78) Scudder New York Tax-Free Income Fund   (Sym: KNTAX,
         KNTBX, KNTCX)

    (79) Scudder Short Term Municipal Bond Fund   (Sym: SRMAX,
         SRMBX, SRMCX, MGSMX, MSMSX)

    (80) Scudder EAFE r Equity Index Fund   (Sym: BTAEX, BTIEX)

    (81) Scudder Equity 500 Index Fund   (Sym: BTIIX)

    (82) Scudder S&P 500 Stock Fund   (Sym: KSAAX, KSABX, KSACX)

    (83) Scudder Select 500 Fund  (Sym: OUTDX, OUTBX, OUTBX,
         OUTRX

    (84) Scudder US Bond Index Fund (Sym: BTUSX )

    (85) Scudder Cash Reserves Fund

The Complaint charges the Scudder Mutual Funds and others with
violations of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, and
with common law breach of fiduciary duties.

Specifically, the Complaint alleges that, throughout the Class
Period, certain of the defendants failed to disclose that they
improperly allowed certain favored investors "timing" of the
Funds' securities. Timing is excessive, arbitrage trading
undertaken to turn a quick profit and which ordinary investors
are told that the funds police. Timing injures ordinary mutual
fund investors -- who are not allowed to engage in such
practices -- and are acknowledged as improper practices by the
Funds.

In return for receiving extra fees from favored investors,
Deutsche Bank AG, Scudder Investments, Deutsche Asset
Management, and Deutsche Investment Management allowed and
facilitated timing activities in the Funds, to the detriment of
class members, who paid, dollar for dollar, for improper profits
made by privileged investors. These practices were undisclosed
in the prospectuses of the Funds, which falsely represented that
the Funds actively police against timing and that premature
redemptions will be assessed a charge.

For more details, contact Carol V. Gilden, by Phone: (800) 470-
6824, or by E-mail: investorhelp@muchshelist.com


                           *********

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news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent researches,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.


                       *********

S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.  Roberto Amor, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick,
Editors.

Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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