CAR_Public/040302.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Tuesday, March 2, 2004, Vol. 5, No. 43


                        Headlines


ACCUTANE: Regulators Seek Major Safeguards In Drug Prescription
AVENTIS: Crawfish Farmers Against Pesticide Proceed to Trial
BLOOMINGDALE'S BY MAIL: Recalls Candleholders For Fire Hazard
CALIFORNIA: Court Declines Request To Stop Same-Sex Marriages
CARNIVAL CORP: FL Court Approves $3.4M Stock Suit Settlement

CATHOLIC CHURCH: Catholic Panel Rebukes Bishops For Abuse Cases
CATHOLIC CHURCH: Study Reveals Priests Abused 10,600 Children
CIBC: Investors File Suit in Quebec Over U.S. Retirement Fund
ENRON CORPORATION: Prosecutors Go After Former Executives' Homes
EXPRESS SCRIPTS INC: Discovery Begins In Health Benefits Lawsuit

EXPRESS SCRIPTS INC: Benefit Plan Suit Seeks Certification In NJ
FIFTH THIRD BANCORP: Faces Several Securities Suits In S.D. Ohio
GENENTECH INC: Regulator Approves New Drug For Colon Cancer
GOLD KIST: Member-Growers Commence Antitrust Lawsuit in N.D. AL
H&R BLOCK: PA Court Allows Tax Return Class Lawsuit To Proceed

HOMELAND SECURITY: Bias Lawsuit Granted Partial Summary Judgment
HONEYWELL VIDEO: Recalls 689 Security Cameras For Injury Hazard
IBM CORPORATION: Defending Against $100MM Birth Defect Lawsuit
INDIANA: Neighbors Launch Lawsuit Against Pet Wildcats Owner
ITT EDUCATIONAL: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuit In Indianapolis

JAPAN: Cult Guru Sentenced To Death For Sarin Nerve Gas Attack
LADISH CO.: Shareholders Launch Securities Lawsuit In E.D. WI
MACY'S: Guam Outlet Faces Suit Over GRT Inclusion In Purchases
MARTHA STEWART: Judge Throws Out Securities Fraud Charge In Case
MELLON FINANCIAL: Mutual Fund Arm Faces Suit Over Marketing Fees

MARVIN LUMBER: Appeals Court Affirms 'PILT' Lawsuit Dismissal
NEW YORK LIFE: S.D. Florida Court Dismisses Statute Breach Suit
NESTLE HOLDINGS: Appeals Court Upholds Ruling on Suit Amendment
NYSE: Former Chief Refuses To Return $188M Compensation Package
PENNSYLVANIA: Court Grants Discovery In Pennex Securities Suit

QUALITY FRESH CIGARS: Recalls Novelty Lighters for Fire Hazard
RHODE ISLAND: Club Owners Not Liable For Fire Insurance Claims
SAN RAFAEL: Appeals Court Upholds CA Suit Certification Denial
SUGGS & ASSOCIATES: AC Reverses Telecopy Suit Certification
SUPERMARKET CHAINS: Grocers Ink Labor Deal In California Strike

TEXAS: Report Says Air Base Handles Assault Cases Effectively
I2 TECHNOLOGIES: TX Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Suit
UNITED STATES: NTSB Suggests Weighing Passengers For Air Travel
UNITED STATES: Senate Approves Handgun Locks Legislation
WEST VIRGINIA: Court Grants Summary Judgment In Inmate Lawsuit

WORLD AIRWAYS: Court Issues Show Cause Order on Nigeria Flights

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

aaiPHARMA INC.: Brian Felgoise Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. NC
AGCO CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in N.D. GA
EATON VANCE: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
EL PASO: Shepherd Finkelman Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in TX
FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in MA

FRANKLIN FUNDS: Much Shelist Lodges Securities Suit in Nevada
ITT EDUCATIONAL: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Lawsuit in IN
MICROMUSE INC.: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CA
MOBILITY ELECTRONICS: Federman & Sherwood Files Stock Suit in AZ
QUALITY DISTRIBUTION: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in FL

QUALITY DISTRIBUTION: Brian Felgoise Lodges Stock Lawsuit in FL
QUALITY DISTRIBUTION: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Stock Lawsuit in FL
QUALITY DISTRIBUTION: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Stock Lawsuit in FL
RYLAND GROUP: Wechsler Harwood Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. TX
SCUDDER FUNDS: Much Shelist Lodges Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY

SONUS NETWORKS: Wechsler Harwood Lodges Securities Suit in MA
SONUS NETWORKS: Paskowitz & Associates Lodges Stock Suit in MA
WHITEHALL JEWELLERS: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in IL


    *********


ACCUTANE: Regulators Seek Major Safeguards In Drug Prescription
---------------------------------------------------------------
Critics are calling for major new curbs on who can get a
prescription for the acne drug Accutane, after voluntary
restrictions failed to reduce the number of pregnancies among
women using the birth defect-causing medicine, the Associated
Press reports.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking its scientific
advisers what additional safeguards are needed to battle the
birth-defect problem that Accutane has posed since it first hit
the market in 1982.

One of those advisers charged the FDA missed a crucial
opportunity for better safeguards three years ago - by ignoring
this same panel's recommendation that Accutane be sold only to
female patients enrolled in a national registry, with mandatory
pregnancy testing. Instead, the FDA opted for essentially
voluntary restrictions, partly because of legal questions about
patient privacy.

Failure of those restrictions means it's now time to make
Accutane one of the nation's most restricted drugs by replacing
routine sales with a special controlled-access program, said FDA
panelist Dr. Curt Furberg of Wake Forest University.

Acknowledging that more protection is needed, Accutane maker
Hoffman-La Roche Inc. and three generic manufacturers are
proposing a somewhat stricter system that would allow the drug's
use and distribution only by patients, doctors and pharmacists
who are tracked on a national registry. The full advisory panel
will issue recommendations Friday.

If a woman becomes pregnant while taking Accutane, her baby can
suffer severe brain and heart defects, mental retardation and
other abnormalities, even if the mother took only a small dose
for a short period.

The FDA has well over 2,000 reports of women on Accutane
becoming pregnant since 1982, when the drug began selling. The
vast majority opted for abortion. While some healthy babies were
born, the FDA counts more than 160 babies born with Accutane-
caused birth defects in that time.


AVENTIS: Crawfish Farmers Against Pesticide Proceed to Trial
------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit, filed by crawfish farmers against the makers of a
pesticide that they allege destroyed their crawfish crops in
2000 and 2001, went to trial on Monday, the Associated Press
reports.

Crawfish farmers are seeking millions of dollars in the class-
action lawsuit against Aventis, the manufacturer of a pesticide
called ICON.

The pesticide was designed to kill water weevils in rice fields,
which double as crawfish ponds in south Louisiana.

The farmers said they were told the pesticide would not affect
crawfish and that the company was required to test the
pesticide's effect on aquatic life.


BLOOMINGDALE'S BY MAIL: Recalls Candleholders For Fire Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------
Bloomingdale's By Mail, of New York, N.Y., in cooperation with
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is
voluntarily recalling 300 Tree shaped Candleholders since these
can tip over, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

The firm has received two reports involving concerns with the
candleholder's stability, though no injuries have been reported.

The recalled candleholders are shaped like a tree, made of
metal, and gold in color. The tree is about 24 inches tall and
15 inches wide and contains six metal hooks and glass cups for
placing votive candles. The candleholders have a style number of
3562745.

The candleholders, manufactured in the Philippines, were sold on
Bloomingdale's By Mail exclusively between September 2003 and
December 2003 for about $40.

Consumers are urged to stop using the candleholders immediately
and return them to the firm for a full refund. Consumers were
sent letters by mail with a pre-paid label for return of item.

For more information, contact all Bloomingdale's By Mail at
(800) 472-0788 between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET Monday through
Friday and between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday.


CALIFORNIA: Court Declines Request To Stop Same-Sex Marriages
-------------------------------------------------------------
The California Supreme Court declined a request by the state
attorney general Friday to immediately shut down San Francisco's
gay weddings and to nullify the nearly 3,500 marriages already
performed, the Associated Press reports.

At the prodding of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Attorney General
Bill Lockyer asked the court to intervene in the emotionally
charged debate while justices consider the legality of the
marriages. But the justices declined, and told the city and a
conservative group that opposes gay marriages to file new legal
briefs by March 5.

Lockyer has been under fire from every side since San Francisco,
under the directive of Mayor Gavin Newsom, began issuing
marriage licenses to gay couples two weeks ago. More than 3,400
couples have tied the knot since then.

"It's a matter of statewide concern and voters want to know,
Californians want to know and couples that participated in
ceremonies need to know the status of their relationship,"
Lockyer told the Associated Press.


CARNIVAL CORP: FL Court Approves $3.4M Stock Suit Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court for the Southern District of Florida
approved a $3.4 million settlement of a consolidated action
filed in said Court, against the Company and four of its
executive officers, on behalf of a purported class of persons
who purchased Company stock, alleging that statements Carnival
made in public filings violated federal securities laws and
sought unspecified compensatory damages and attorney and expert
fees and costs.

Defendant's motion to dismiss the consolidated complaint was
granted by the Court, and Plaintiff's amended complaint was
dismissed without prejudice on the magistrate judge's
recommendation.


CATHOLIC CHURCH: Catholic Panel Rebukes Bishops For Abuse Cases
---------------------------------------------------------------
A panel of prominent Roman Catholics rebuked U.S. bishops Friday
for failing to stop widespread clerical sex abuse over the last
half-century, calling the leaders' performance "shameful to the
church", the Associated Press reports.

The comments came as the National Review Board, a lay watchdog
panel formed by the bishops, issued two highly anticipated
studies documenting the molestation problem from 1950 to 2002.

One report is the first church-sanctioned tally of abuse cases:
It found there have been 10,667 abuse claims over those 52
years. More than 80 percent of the alleged victims were male and
over half said they were between ages 11 and 14 when they were
assaulted. About 4 percent of all American clerics who served
during the years studied - 4,392 of the 109,694 priests and
others under vows to the church - were accused of abuse.

The second report examines the causes of the molestation crisis
and puts much of the blame on American bishops for not cracking
down on errant priests.

"This is a failing not simply on the part of the priests who
sexually abused minors but also on the part of those bishops and
other church leaders who did not act effectively to preclude
that abuse in the first instance or respond appropriately when
it occurred," the review board said in a summary of its
findings. "These leadership failings have been shameful to the
church."


CATHOLIC CHURCH: Study Reveals Priests Abused 10,600 Children
-------------------------------------------------------------
According to two studies reported Friday, more than 10,600
children said they were molested by priests since 1950 in an
epidemic of child sexual abuse involving at least 4 percent of
U.S. Roman Catholic clergy, Reuters News reports.

The reports' release brought an apology from Bishop Wilton
Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,
and complaints from victims that the reports focus on the actual
abusers but not on the bishops who failed to stop them.

One of the reports, written by researchers at the John Jay
College of Criminal Justice in New York, revealed that 10,667
children were allegedly abused by 4,392 priests from 1950 to
2002. But the report said the figures depend on self-reporting
by American bishops and were probably an undercount.

Some $572 million has been paid in damages to abuse victims, the
report said, but noted this did not include $85 million paid by
the Archdiocese of Boston, where the sex abuse scandal first
grabbed headlines two years ago, and that 14 percent of dioceses
who were not able to provide figures.

The finding that at least 4 percent of American Roman Catholic
priests were involved in child sexual abuse differs markedly
from the figure of "less than 1 percent" offered in 2002 by
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith.

The second report, a 145-page examination of the causes and
context of the priestly sexual abuse crisis, was crafted by a
panel of prominent Catholics who found systemic problems in the
way candidates for the priesthood are chosen and guided. This
report did not dispute the hard numbers of abusive priests and
their victims reached by the John Jay researchers.

"It's always bad when a child is abused, but when the abuser
wears a collar, it's worse," attorney Robert Bennett, a member
of a panel, told Reuters.


CIBC: Investors File Suit in Quebec Over U.S. Retirement Fund
-------------------------------------------------------------
Investors whose retirement mutual fund didn't perform the way
they expected are suing the fund's owner, Toronto-based CIBC,
the Associated Press reports.

A Montreal law firm said Friday a Quebec Superior Court judge
has authorized a suit against CIBC Asset Management Inc. on
behalf of everyone who held units in the Renaissance U.S. RSP
Index Fund after March 28, 2002. This comes a day after CIBC
announced it has taken a $50-million charge to fund a possible
settlement over its alleged role in a U.S. mutual fund trading
scandal.

The Quebec class action argues that since CIBC became
administrator of the fund, it has produced returns 18 per cent
below the indexes it is intended to track.

That paper loss amounts to an estimated $22 million, said Robert
Kugler, a lawyer at the firm. Kugler said he doesn't know
exactly how many people invested in the retirement fund, but he
estimates the number at 10,000. He said the fund was expected to
track a mix of indexes - the Standard & Poor's 500 and midcap
400 and the Nasdaq 100 - regardless of currency changes.

"It was currency-neutral for six or seven years before CIBC took
over administration of the fund," Kugler said. "Since then, they
have added that risk of currency without telling anyone and
getting anybody's consent."

The portfolio was formerly known as the Atlas American RSP Index
Fund and the Merrill Lynch U.S. RSP Index Fund.


ENRON CORPORATION: Prosecutors Go After Former Executives' Homes
----------------------------------------------------------------
Federal prosecutors are going after the lavish homes of two
former top Enron Corp. executives accused of duping investors,
the Associated Press reports.

The $4.7 million home of former CEO Jeffrey Skilling and the
$950,000 residence of ex-top accountant Richard Causey are among
many forfeiture actions pending against defendants in Enron-
related criminal cases. The property not only includes mansions
but cars, vacation property and even a necklace and bracelet set
dripping with diamonds and sapphires.

In the case against Skilling and Causey, the government also
wants cash - more than $50 million for Skilling and about $3
million for Causey. Prosecutors also want to seize a Dallas
townhouse Skilling bought two years ago that is occupied by his
daughter.

Skilling and Causey have pleaded innocent to fraud, conspiracy
and insider trading charges. The forfeiture cases will be
considered after the criminal charges are resolved.

Several former executives of Enron's defunct broadband unit also
face forfeiture actions, mostly targeting cash that has been
frozen in bank and brokerage accounts. Former Enron Broadband
CEO Kenneth Rice also has been barred from selling four targeted
vehicles - including a Ferrari - and property in Telluride,
Colo.

Last year U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore, who is presiding
over the broadband case, allowed prosecutors to seize a
platinum, diamond and sapphire necklace and bracelet set Rice
bought in 2000. But she issued a restraining order on the other
Rice property, as well as cash held in the names of other
broadband defendants. Their trial is slated for Oct. 4.


EXPRESS SCRIPTS INC: Discovery Begins In Health Benefits Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri has began discovery proceedings in a putative class
action lawsuit brought against the Company, originally filed in
the United States District Court for the District of Arizona,
alleging violations of ERISA laws.

The lawsuit, styled: Minshew v. Express Scripts (Case No.
Civ.4:02-CV-1503), asserts that certain of the company's
business practices, including those relating to contracts with
pharmaceutical manufacturers for retrospective discounts on
pharmaceuticals and those related to retail pharmacy network
contracts, violate fiduciary duties under the Federal Employee
Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The putative class consists of health benefit plans that are
self-funded by an employer client. The complaint seeks money
damages and injunctive relief on behalf of this class of health
plans.

    
EXPRESS SCRIPTS INC: Benefit Plan Suit Seeks Certification In NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Certification of a lawsuit
commenced in the United States Superior Court of New Jersey, Law
Division, Camden County, against the Company and its subsidiary,
National Prescription Administrators (NPA), alleging that it had
breached agreements with two benefit plans to whom NPA had
provided services under an umbrella agreement with a labor
coalition client. The plaintiffs purport to bring the action on
behalf of a class of similarly situated plans.

The lawsuit, Styled: International Association of Firefighters,
Local No.22, et al. v. National Prescription Administrators and
Express Scripts, Inc. (Case No. L03216-02, Superior Court of New
Jersey, Law Division, Camden County), alleges that NPA had not
paid the plans the rebates to which they were entitled under the
agreement.

Claims for unspecified money damages are asserted under the New
Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, and for breach of contract and unjust
enrichment.  


FIFTH THIRD BANCORP: Faces Several Securities Suits In S.D. Ohio
----------------------------------------------------------------
Several putative class action complaints were filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio,
against the Company and certain of its officers, alleging
violations of federal securities laws related to disclosures
made by Bancorp regarding its integration of Old Kent and its
effect on the company's infrastructure, including internal
controls, and prospects and related matters.

The complaints seek unquantified damages on behalf of putative
classes of persons who purchased Bancorp's common stock,
attorneys fees and other expenses. The company has issued a
statement denying liability.


GENENTECH INC: Regulator Approves New Drug For Colon Cancer
-----------------------------------------------------------
Genentech Inc. on Thursday won U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) approval to sell its eagerly anticipated colon cancer
drug, a new kind of cancer treatment that works by starving the
tumor of blood, Reuters News reports.

Avastin was approved for use in combination with chemotherapy as
a first-line treatment for colon cancer in patients whose
disease has spread to other parts of the body. The approval,
which came a month earlier than the FDA decision deadline, marks
the first for a drug that works via the tumor-starving mechanism
known as anti-angiogenesis.

"It is a big step forward for patients, and it's a huge step
forward for Genentech," Jason Kantor, an analyst of WR Hambrecht
told Reuters.

Genentech officials said late on Thursday that they had already
begun shipping Avastin, and that it could be available to
patients as early as next week.

"To see the first shipment go out today is the end of a long
effort, it's just terrific. This is what we live for," Susan
Hellman, Genentech's chief medical officer, told analysts on a
conference call.

"What is most remarkable is its potential for use in many other
tumor types -- other diseases such as renal cancer, pancreatic
cancer, even breast cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, prostate
cancer," said Sanford Bernstein analyst Geoff Porges.

The company said it expects to complete patient enrollment this
year for clinical trials of Avastin for non-small cell lung
cancer and first line breast cancer. Studies in a broad range of
other tumor types also are planned, Genentech said.

The drug's approval has been highly anticipated since an 800-
patient trial showed that previously untreated patients given a
combination of the biotech drug and chemotherapy lived an
average of 20.3 months, compared with 15.6 months for patients
treated with chemotherapy alone.

"Seeing a survival advantage of this magnitude is unusual. This
is actually very exciting," said Dr. Patricia Keegan, an FDA
official who oversaw the Avastin review.

The company said Avastin, which is administered every two weeks,
will cost $2,200 per dose, or $4,400 per patient per month.
Genentech shares rose 45 percent last May 19 when it first said
the drug extended life longer than expected.


GOLD KIST: Member-Growers Commence Antitrust Lawsuit in N.D. AL
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gold Kist Inc. faces a class action filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Alabama alleging that the
Company's production contracts with its member-growers
constitute unfair practices or arrangements that have permitted
the Company to manipulate the prices of live poultry and have
damaged independent live poultry producers in violation of the
Federal Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921.

The Company believes that the substantive and class claims
alleged in this lawsuit are without merit, it said in a
statement. The plaintiff's claims are premised on the existence
of a significant market for live poultry that does not exist
within the vertically integrated structure of the U.S. poultry
industry.

The Company further asserted that it is a farmers' cooperative,
and it believes that the plaintiff, who is a member of the
cooperative, is obligated to arbitrate any disputes with the
Company on an individual basis and also otherwise lacks standing
to bring the claims in question.  For these and other reasons,
the Company intends to defend the suit vigorously and believes
that this lawsuit will not have a material adverse effect on the
Company.


H&R BLOCK: PA Court Allows Tax Return Class Lawsuit To Proceed
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled that a lawsuit
charging H&R Block with deception related to fees it charged for
electronic filing of tax returns can proceed as a class-action
case, Knight-Ridder/ Tribune Business News reports.

In upholding a lower court's decision, Superior Court let stand
a class-action suit that could potentially affect any
Pennsylvania resident who used Block's e-filing service.

Two Scranton-area residents who sued Block were charged e-filing
fees ranging from $34 to $37 between 2000 and 2002.

H&R Block argued that the complaints should be handled through
arbitration on a case-by-case basis. Block's arbitration clause
requires an initial fee of $50.

Block spokesman Tom Linafelt said the company was disappointed
by the ruling and reiterated that the matter should be handled
through arbitration. "We believe the court's decision runs
counter to the weight of state and federal law and are
considering an appeal of the decision to the Pennsylvania
Supreme Court," he said.

Superior Court said Block was entitled to nominal e-filing fees,
but noted that in order to proceed through arbitration,
consumers would have to spend $50 "for a return of something
around $30." The court said that while goals favoring
arbitration of civil disputes were laudable, they should not be
used "as a sword to strike down access to justice."

The case was sent back to Lackawanna County Court, which ruled
last April in favor of class-action status. Block has the option
of proceeding with the case or appealing the Superior Court
ruling to Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The court's decision was praised by Scranton lawyer Joseph E.
Mariotti, who represents the two e-filers, Erin M. McNulty of
Scranton and Brian J. Erzar of Old Forge.

In addition to the e-filing fees, McNulty and Erzar were charged
tax-preparation fees ranging from $59 to $112.

If Block's e-filing fees are found to be deceptive and
excessive, any Pennsylvania resident who used the service would
be eligible to join the legal action, Mariotti said.


HOMELAND SECURITY: Bias Lawsuit Granted Partial Summary Judgment
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia
granted in part, denied in part Defendants Motion for Summary
Judgment of a lawsuit brought against Tom Ridge, Secretary,
Department of Homeland Security, on behalf of Plaintiffs Miguel
A. Contreras, et al., over allegations of pattern and practice
discrimination on the basis of national origin in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Civil Rights
Act of 1991.

The named plaintiffs are:

      (1) Miguel A. Contreras, a GS-13 Senior Special Agent in   
    the Office of Investigations in Yuma Arizona;

(2) Ruben E. Gonzalez, a GS-15 Associate Special Agent in
    Charge in the Office of Investigations in Houston,      
    Texas;

(3) E. William Velasco, a retired GS-15 Special Agent;

(4) John Yera, a GS-14 Special Agent with the
    Cybersmuggling Center in Fairfax, Virginia;

(5) Ricardo Sandavol, a GS-14 Special Agent and Resident
    Agent in Charge in the Office of Investigations in El  
    Centro, California;

(6) Stephan Mercado-Cruz, a GS-14 Special Agent and Group
    Supervisor in the Office of Investigations in El
    Centro, California;

(7) Frank Almonte, a GS-13 Special Agent in the Office of
    the Special Agent in Charge at John F. Kennedy
    Airport; and

(8) Ramon Martinez, a GS-13 Special Agent in the
    Baltimore-Washington Office of Investigations.
       
Of the plaintiffs named, only Miguel Contreras pursued a class
action complaint at the administrative level. He first contacted
an EEOC counselor about class claims on January 9, 1995, and   
subsequently filed a formal class action administrative charge
raising claims "on behalf of himself and all similarly situated
past, present and future Hispanic special agents at the Customs
Service, and seeking to represent "254 employees of Hispanic   
national origin assigned to the position of GS-1811 Special
Agent, Grades 12-15, in the Customs Service's Office of Internal
Affairs and the Office of Investigation."  

Contreras alleged that the Department discriminated against
Hispanic special agents on the basis of national origin. The
Department asked the EEOC to assign an administrative judge to
handle Contreras' complaint on April 12, 1995. On November 20,
1995, the administrative judge issued an opinion finding that
the complaint was not subject to dismissal under any of
the provisions of 29 C.F.R. 1614.107 and that it met the
prerequisites of 29 C.F.R. 1614.204(a)(2), which governs class
complaints. On December 21, 1995, the Department issued a final
agency decision rejecting the administrative judge's   
recommendation to process Contreras's administrative complaint
on behalf of a class, determining that the class complaint was
untimely and that it did not meet the prerequisites of a class
complaint.
       
On May 11, 1998, the EEOC vacated the agency decision and
certified the class complaint. On October 22, 1999, the EEOC
denied the Department of Homeland Security's request for
reconsideration and ordered the Department to process
the complaint as a class action. On June 22, 2000, the
administrative judge issued an order defining the class as: "All
Special Agents (Criminal Investigators), job series 1811, grades
12 through 15, of Hispanic national origin, employed in the
Office of Investigations and the Office of Internal Affairs of
the United States Customs Service." The parties then proceeded
with the case until Contreras withdrew his administrative
complaint and filed the instant class action complaint on May
10, 2002.

In this Court, plaintiffs seek class relief for eight
allegations of national origin discrimination, including
discrimination in connection with:

   (i) competitive positions and promotions;

  (ii) transfers, assignments and other career-enhancing
       opportunities;

(iii) undercover and other undesirable work;

  (iv) discipline;

   (v) awards and bonuses;

  (vi) foreign language proficiency awards;

(vii) training; and

(viii) harassment and hostile work environment.

Class relief is also sought for allegations of retaliation,
allegedly arising from plaintiffs' reporting of discrimination.


HONEYWELL VIDEO: Recalls 689 Security Cameras For Injury Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Video Controls Ltd., of Cheshire, United Kingdom, and Honeywell
Video Systems of Lewisville, Texas, in cooperation with the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), are voluntarily
recalling 689 ADEMCO Rapid/Dome security camera since the
security camera's plastic mounting assembly can crack, allowing
the dome and the camera to fall from the wall or ceiling,
possibly injuring someone.

Honeywell received one report of the camera assembly falling
from the ceiling. No injuries have been reported.

The recalled security camera is an indoor video camera mounted
on the wall or ceiling. The camera is covered with a smoked
plastic dome measuring about 6 inches in diameter. A mechanism
to move the camera and a mounting assembly are also part of the
product. The recalled security cameras have these part numbers:

                     AD5RCPP16
                     AD5GCMPP18
                     AD5GCPP18
                     AD5GCPP22

The cameras also have serial numbers within these ranges:

              G01 (January 2002) to G12 (December 2002)
              H01 (January 2002) to H08 (August 2003).

The serial numbers are located inside the product, on a white
label attached to the side of the camera mounting.

The recalled security cameras, manufactured in the U.K., were
not sold directly to consumers. They were sold from January 1,
2002, to October 17, 2003, to independent dealers who installed
them in commercial buildings. The security cameras sold for
approximately $1000 to $1700.

For more information, contact Honeywell at (800) 573-0154
between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET (Monday through Friday), to arrange
for free repair of the security camera's mounting assembly.


IBM CORPORATION: Defending Against $100MM Birth Defect Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys for IBM Corporation are set to defend the technology
giant in a $100 million birth defect lawsuit beginning this
week, the Associated Press reports.

The company recently won over two employees who said the
company's workplace toxins caused cancer. A jury in Santa Clara
County Superior Court deliberated for only 10 hours before
ruling unanimously Thursday that two retired workers, namely
Alida Hernandez (73), and James Moore (62), did not develop
systemic chemical poisoning at IBM, and the company did not lie
to the workers about the safety of their San Jose factory. The
plaintiffs, who were diagnosed with cancer in the 1990s, were
seeking millions of dollars in damages.

Jurors in White Plains, N.Y., are scheduled today to hear the
case of Heather Curtis, who began working in an IBM factory in
1980. The pregnant 22-year-old dipped silicon wafers into harsh
chemicals and inhaled noxious fumes that, her attorneys say,
caused her daughter Candace to be born without knees and a
deformed skull.

IBM officials expressed confidence that they would prevail in
the Curtis' case and more than 200 related lawsuits brought by
former employees, who say they developed cancer or chemical
poisoning while working at IBM plants.

About 40 of the upcoming IBM lawsuits involve birth defects in
children of workers or former workers. Experts say Big Blue
faces steep hurdles in those jurisdictions.

California requires most on-the-job injury claims to be settled
through the state's workers compensation system. Judge Robert
Baines allowed the plaintiffs to bypass the workers comp system
and enter the courtroom, based on what he considered compelling
pretrial evidence.

The judge's ruling exposed IBM to millions of dollars in
damages, but it increased the plaintiffs' burden of proof. To
win, the plaintiffs had to show that workplace conditions caused
their cancers and that IBM managers knew about the dangers and
lied to the workers even after they complained of bloody noses,
pink eye, blackouts and fatigue for several years.

Baines forbid the plaintiffs' attorneys from presenting to
jurors some of what they thought was their most compelling
evidence - including a study that showed IBM workers developed
cancer at higher rates than the general population, and a
"corporate mortality file" that IBM maintained for thousands of
workers.

"We had to try the case with our hands tied behind our back,"
said plaintiffs' attorney Richard Alexander, who hasn't decided
whether to appeal the case.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM settled another $40 million birth defect
lawsuit in 2001 by the parents of a deformed son born blind and
with severe respiratory abnormalities.


INDIANA: Neighbors Launch Lawsuit Against Pet Wildcats Owner
------------------------------------------------------------
Neighbors of a man who keeps a cougar and three African wild
cats as pets have filed a lawsuit demanding they be removed from
his home, the Associated Press reports.

In their lawsuit filed Monday, Gary Dutcher's neighbors allege
that his three African servals - each weighing about 50 pounds -
and a 7-year-old cougar violate neighborhood association rules
and are "inherently extremely dangerous." Dutcher, meanwhile,
faces criminal charges for a traffic accident in which another
pet cougar escaped.

In January, Dutcher crashed his car while taking home his 150-
pound cougar Samson from a veterinary clinic. The cat escaped
from the car, and police shot and killed it when it lunged at an
emergency worker. Dutcher was also charged with leaving the
scene of an accident, operating a vehicle while his license was
suspended and maintaining a public nuisance.

Members of the Still Water Place Community Association are
seeking the permanent removal of the wild animals from Dutcher's
property. Their lawsuit alleges that he has broken the
neighborhood's restrictive covenants.

The lawsuit notes that the January escape of Dutcher's cougar
shows the need for the immediate removal of the animals "before
another of the animals escapes from its enclosure to roam the
community or, worse, attacks humans and other animals."


ITT EDUCATIONAL: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuit In Indianapolis
---------------------------------------------------------------
Even as ITT Educational Services Inc. officials sought Thursday
to assure investors of the company's integrity, three law firms
filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the company's top officers
of misleading the public as they and company insiders sold more
than $12.7 million in company stock over the last eight months,
the Indianapolis Star reports.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in
Indianapolis, named ITT Chairman Rene R. Champagne, President
Omer E. Waddles and Chief Financial Officer Kevin M. Modany as
defendants. It accused them of failing to disclose that records
about the company's retention, placement, graduation and
placement rates had been falsified.

Records related to these same subjects were among the documents
that U.S. postal inspectors seized Wednesday at the company's
Carmel headquarters and 10 campuses in eight states, including
Indiana.

David Treier, an ITT spokesman, said the lawsuit took Champagne
and other company officers by surprise and appeared to be
prompted by Wednesday's searches. "It would have to be, because
there would be no other justification for it," Treier said. He
declined to comment on the allegations, saying company officials
need time to study the lawsuit.

According to company officials, a federal court in Houston
issued the search warrant and grand jury subpoenas that the
postal inspectors brought with them Wednesday.

In a conference call Thursday, Champagne refused to accept any
questions from reporters, stock analysts and investors. He said
investigators had given the company few details about what he
described as a U.S. Department of Education investigation.

Champagne said the purpose of the conference call was to assure
listeners that all of the schools were operating, that the
company was cooperating with the investigation and that school
officials and employees are held "to the highest ethical, legal
and regulatory standards."

The lawsuit, however, suggested that Champagne, Waddles and
Modany misled investors about the company's true operations so
that they "could sell their personal ITT Educational stock at
artificially inflated prices."

According to the lawsuit, public filings and other reports show
the three officers and other ITT insiders have sold 278,000
shares of company stock since July 24, 2003.

The lawsuit was filed by the Indianapolis firm of Cohen & Malad
and two New York firms on behalf of Richard Darquea, a Florida
investor who brought 300 shares of ITT Educational Services
stock in November. Michael Shelby, the U.S. attorney for the
Southern District of Texas, also has declined comment.


JAPAN: Cult Guru Sentenced To Death For Sarin Nerve Gas Attack
--------------------------------------------------------------
A former Japanese cult guru was sentenced to hang on Friday for
masterminding a sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo subway trains in
1995 that killed 12, sickened thousands and shattered Japan's
myth of public safety, the Associated Press reports.

Shoko Asahara, 48, who led the Aum Shinri Kyo (Supreme Truth
Sect), was found guilty at Tokyo District Court of 13 charges
including responsibility for the subway attack and a series of
other crimes that killed another 15 people.

"I sentence the defendant to death," Judge Shoji Ogawa said
after Asahara stood to hear the verdict that concluded the
eight-year trial. Eight guards had to help him rise at the
judge's order to stand.

The gassing, with its images of bodies lying across platforms
and soldiers in gas masks sealing off Tokyo subway stations,
stunned the Japanese public, accustomed to crime-free streets.

Aum's arsenal including sarin, first developed by the Nazis,
raised concern worldwide about the ease with which biological
and chemical weapons of mass destruction could be made.

"These actions plunged Japan and the world into deep fear," the
judge said, calling the crimes "merciless, vicious and brutal."

About 5,500 people were injured, some permanently, when members
of the doomsday cult released sarin in Tokyo rush-hour trains on
March 20, 1995.

Asahara, handcuffed and clad in a black sweatsuit, his once-
flowing black locks and beard now cut short and flecked with
grey, muttered and smiled as he was led into the court. He had
pleaded not guilty but never testified and made mostly
incoherent remarks in the court during the trial.

Tokyo police mobilized 400 officers throughout the capital for
the sentencing and even organized a fake motorcade to divert
media attention when Asahara was being transported to the court.

Lawyers for Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto,
immediately filed an appeal, starting a new legal process that
could take another decade to complete. The defense team then
resigned, Kyodo news agency said.

Asahara is the twelfth cult member to be sentenced to death, but
none has been executed yet.

The group's current leaders say it poses no threat now, but the
Japanese authorities disagree and keep its membership of about
1,600 under surveillance.


LADISH CO.: Shareholders Launch Securities Lawsuit In E.D. WI
-------------------------------------------------------------
A putative class action lawsuit was filed in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, against
the Company and two of its officers, on behalf stockholders who
purchased Ladish common stock between March 10, 1998 and
September 27, 2002, inclusive, alleging violations of federal
securities laws, and state common law.

The complaint, styled Dean v. Ladish Co., Inc., et. al., Case
No. 03-C-0165, purports allegations based primarily on
accounting issues relating to the Company's restatement in 2002.
The Company has notified its insurance carrier of the claim,
retained legal counsel and is vigorously defending the claim.

The Company has not made any provision for potential costs or
losses, if any, which may arise from this claim.


MACY'S: Guam Outlet Faces Suit Over GRT Inclusion In Purchases
--------------------------------------------------------------
One day after the attorney general's office released a legal
opinion on the visible Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) law, a class-
action lawsuit was filed against the corporation that does
business as Macy's on Guam, The Pacific Daily News reports.

Macy's Guam store manager Ryan Torres said the store has no
comment on the lawsuit or the AG's opinion, but a statement will
be issued later.

Attorney Thomas Tarpley filed the suit in the Superior Court of
Guam on behalf of consumer Dorothea Quichocho and other
customers who paid a 6-percent GRT on their purchases. Tarpley
said Quichocho is seeking to halt the practice of charging an
additional 6 percent on top of the purchase price of goods at
cash registers.

Quichocho has yet to be certified by the court as a
representative of the class. The number of plaintiffs covered by
the lawsuit is not known, but is estimated to be in the
thousands, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also asks the court to have Macy's and any retail
store that adds 6 percent GRT to put all the money obtained
through the practice into a fund for customers to tap for
refunds, as long as they can show the receipts. The lawsuit is a
result of the confusion island residents have over how
businesses apply the tax, which went up from 4 to 6 percent of
businesses' gross revenue almost a year ago.

The AG's office released an opinion Wednesday that it is a
violation of Guam law to treat the GRT as if it were a sales tax
by adding it on top of an item's price tag at the cash register.

As a result of the local law allowing retailers to make the GRT
tax "visible," Macy's began adding 6 percent at the point of
sale beginning Feb. 1, 2004, so the store would not have to
charge prices higher than stateside prices, the store has
stated. The store has signs posted at cash registers, and
customers are told of the tax.

The lawsuit, the AG's opinion and a letter to business leaders
from Speaker Ben Pangelinan, the author of the transparent GRT
law, all cite a law which states that it is unlawful to
advertise that the GRT is not included in the price tag.


MARTHA STEWART: Judge Throws Out Securities Fraud Charge In Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum on Friday threw out
the most serious charge against Martha Stewart, securities
fraud, just before her trial goes to a jury, the Associated
Press reports.

The charge accused Stewart of deceiving investors in her
company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, by lying about her
sale of ImClone Systems Inc. stock.

Judge Cedarbaum left intact four other charges against the
celebrity homemaker - conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and
two counts of lying to investigators.

The Judge declined to throw out any of the five charges against
Stewart's former stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic.


MELLON FINANCIAL: Mutual Fund Arm Faces Suit Over Marketing Fees
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Delaware investor is accusing Mellon Financial Corp.'s Dreyfus
mutual fund arm of harming hundreds of thousands of investors by
collecting marketing fees on funds closed to new investors and
directing brokerage business to firms that pushed Dreyfus funds,
Knight-Ridder/ Tribune Business News reports.

The lawsuit was filed this week in U.S. District Court,
Downtown, by Noah Wortman of New Castle, Del., who is seeking
unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Wortman wants to
make his complaint a class-action lawsuit covering investors who
purchased certain Dreyfus funds between January 30, 1999, and
Nov. 17, 2003. Mellon and Dreyfus said the allegations "are
totally without merit and unfounded."

A similar lawsuit was filed against Dreyfus in New York in
December. The lawsuit stems from Morgan Stanley's $50 million
settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in
November over charges mutual funds paid the investment firm to
push their mutual funds. Dreyfus was one of the fund operators
that made the payments. So was BlackRock, which is majority
owned by PNC Financial Services Group.

Wortman is challenging Dreyfus' use of so-called 12b-1 fees in
funds closed to new investors. The fees are regulated by the
SEC. They were conceived of as a way to compensate brokers for
selling funds and to cover advertising and other marketing
expenses. Theoretically, attracting new investors lowers a
fund's expense ratio, putting more money in investors' pockets.

Dreyfus defended the use of 12b-1 fees in closed funds when it
responded to the initial lawsuit.

Critics say it's outrageous to impose the fees if a fund isn't
trying to attract more investors, a claim Wortman makes in the
lawsuit.

"Even if a fund closes, the distributor is entitled to be
reimbursed for amounts it has advanced," the company said.


MARVIN LUMBER: Appeals Court Affirms 'PILT' Lawsuit Dismissal
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit affirmed a
decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, dismissing a lawsuit brought against Marvin
Lumber and Cedar Co., on behalf of Plaintiffs Sibley P. Reppert
and Christine Vezetinski, over allegations of consumer fraud.

Between 1985 and 1988, Marvin Lumber, a national manufacturer of
windows and doors, treated its products with a wood preservative
known as "PILT" which it acquired from PPG Industries, Inc. This
preservative was ineffective and defective, resulting in the  
premature deterioration of many of Marvin Lumber's windows. This
situation spawned the O'Hara class action in 1999, in which the
class was defined as all owners of defective windows and doors
manufactured by Marvin Lumber treated with PILT during the years
1985 to 1988. Damages were sought in excess of $70 million
dollars, including damages resulting from Marvin Lumber's
alleged failure to warn about the defective PILT treatment.
Recovery was sought based on the consumer protection statutes of
all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
       
Eventually, the O'Hara suit was settled, with the approval of
the judge presiding over said matter, in Minnesota's Fourth
Judicial District, that state's trial court of general
jurisdiction. Pursuant to Minnesota Rule of Civil Procedure 23,
which is substantially similar to its federal counterpart,
Fed.R.Civ.P. 23, a fund was established in the amount of
$300,000 to pay for the costs of notifying the class members.
Thereafter, direct mail notices were sent to all identifiable
class members, with similar notices being published in 33
newspapers throughout the United States. The notices included a
toll-free number and the address of a web-site, established to  
provide potential class members with information about the class
action and to make available appropriate forms for their active
participation in the proceedings or to allow them to opt out of
the suit.
       
Thereafter, and before the class settlement was approved, the
Minnesota court, as required by state law (in similar fashion to
its federal counterpart), held a fairness hearing to determine
whether the settlement was reasonable, adequate, and in the best  
interest of the class. At least one Massachusetts resident
appeared at the hearing to challenge the settlement, on the
grounds that under Massachusetts law the claims were not yet
time-barred, an objection that was overruled by the court.

On December 4, 2001, the O'Hara court determined that the
settlement was fair, adequate, and reasonable, and proceeded to
approve it. The court specifically concluded that the notice
provided to class members was the best notice practicable, and
thus entered final judgment.

Plaintiffs filed the present action in the Massachusetts state
courts seeking damages for negligence, failure to warn, and
violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A. The suit was removed to
the federal jurisdiction by Marvin Lumber, and as previously   
indicated, the district court upon motion dismissed the suit,
and this appeal followed.


NEW YORK LIFE: S.D. Florida Court Dismisses Statute Breach Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida granted Defendants Motion to Dismiss a lawsuit brought
against New York Life Insurance Co., on behalf of Plaintiff
Susan J. Barbie, et al.

Essentially, Plaintiff claims that because Defendant has
violated Fla. Stat. 627.6515, it has forfeited its out-of-state
exemption of Florida governance and therefore must comply with
all applicable Florida Statutes. Plaintiff alleges that as a
result of said breach, Plaintiff, and other members of the
class, suffered monetary loss. Count II of Plaintiff's
Complaint, seeks a declaratory judgment declaring that Defendant
is in violation of Fla. Stat. 627.6515 and thereby must comply
with all applicable portions of Part VII of the Florida
Insurance Code.

Plaintiff brought a class action claim in state court in
December 2002. Defendant subsequently removed the case to this
Court and shortly thereafter filed a Motion to Dismiss. On May
16, 2003, this Court granted Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
Without Prejudice allowing Plaintiff the opportunity to file
again should she choose to do so On June 4, 2003, Plaintiff
filed an Amended Class Action Complaint. Defendant again filed a
Motion to Dismiss on June 13, 2003. After the matter was fully
briefed, the Court once again granted in part Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss on August 11, 2003. Plaintiff filed a Second
Amended Complaint on August 29, 2003. Predictably, Defendant
filed a Motion to Dismiss, which is the Motion now before the
Court.
    

NESTLE HOLDINGS: Appeals Court Upholds Ruling on Suit Amendment
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit affirmed a
ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Ohio, granting Plaintiff leave to amend his complaint on the
condition that he pay a portion of the Defendants attorneys'
fees, in a lawsuit brought against Defendant Nestle Holdings,
Inc., on behalf of Plaintiff John Ruschel, et al., over
allegations of breach of merger in relation to the company's
December 2001 merger with Ralston Purina Company.

Ruschel initially filed suit in state court against Nestle
alleging that it breached a merger agreement related to its
December 2001 merger with Ralston Purina Company. After Nestle  
moved to dismiss the complaint, Ruschel sought and was granted
leave to file an amended complaint, which Nestle also moved to
dismiss. Rather than oppose Nestle's motion to dismiss the
complaint, Ruschel voluntarily dismissed the action from state
court. He next turned to federal court and filed a putative
class action complaint in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Ohio. Ruschel re-alleged the breach of
contract claim that he initially raised in state court and also
alleged a violation of the Securities and Exchange Act.
       
Prior to Nestle's submission of any responsive pleading, Ruschel
amended his complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 15(a). Nestle moved to dismiss that complaint. On  
September 5, 2002, Ruschel sought leave to file a second amended
complaint in order to add a claim alleging a violation of Rule
10b-5, 17 C.F.R. 240.10b-5. On that same day, and before the
district court ruled on his motion to file a second amended  
complaint, Ruschel moved for an unspecified extension of time to
respond to Nestle's motion to dismiss. Ruschel also asked the
district court to permit him to respond first to the federal
claim only, such that he would address the state law claim only
if the court denied Nestle's motion to dismiss the federal
claim.
       
On September 17, 2002, Ruschel moved to withdraw his motion for
leave to file a second amended complaint. But on September 18,
2002, instead of granting Ruschel's motion to withdraw, the
district court denied Ruschel's motion to file a second amended
complaint, finding the amendment futile because Ruschel failed
to allege critical elements of a 10(b)/Rule 10-b5 violation. The
district court also entered marginal orders denying Ruschel's
motion for a bifurcated briefing schedule but granting
Ruschel's motion for an extension of time to respond to Nestle's
motion to dismiss the first amended complaint.
       
Ruschel then launched another series of unconventional and
dilatory filings designed to terminate his action without
prejudice. On September 18, 2002, he filed a notice titled
"Dismissal of Securities Violation claim only." On that same
date, he moved for leave to amend his complaint to delete the
securities violation. Finally, on that date, Ruschel filed a
notice titled, "Suggestion of lack of jurisdiction," asking the
district court to dismiss the remaining state law contract claim
without prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1), in the event that the court dismissed the federal
securities claim.

Having already filed a motion to dismiss the first amended
complaint, Nestle opposed Ruschel's motion to amend his
complaint for a second time. Nestle asked the district court to
condition the grant of leave to amend.

Prior to the district court ruling on Ruschel's motion for leave
to amend his complaint to remove the federal cause of action,
Ruschel unilaterally filed an amended complaint asserting only
the state law contract claim. After the district court issued an
order four days later, on September 30, 2002, granting Ruschel
leave to amend but conditioning it upon his paying a portion of
Nestle's attorneys' fees, Ruschel again filed his amended
complaint pleading only the state law contract claim.
       
In its order of September 30, 2002, the district court granted
Ruschel leave to amend his complaint to remove the federal
claim, conditioning the leave upon Ruschel's paying a portion of
Nestle's attorneys' fees incurred in preparing its motion to
dismiss, which was rendered moot by Ruschel's amending his
complaint for a second time. The district court also dismissed
the remaining state law claim without prejudice. Cumulatively,
the effect of the September 30 order was the dismissal of
Ruschel's action from the district court.
       
As instructed by the district court, Nestle submitted
substantiation of the attorneys' fees that it incurred in filing
its motion to dismiss Ruschel's first amended complaint.
Although Nestle sought $11,065.61 in fees, in an order dated
October 22, 2002, the district court awarded it $5,000.
       
Ruschel now appeals: (1) the order of September 30, 2002,
granting him leave to amend his complaint on the condition that
he pay a portion of Nestle's attorneys' fees, and (2) the order
of October 22, 2002, awarding Nestle $5,000 in attorneys' fees.


NYSE: Former Chief Refuses To Return $188M Compensation Package
---------------------------------------------------------------
Former New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Chairman Richard Grasso
has flatly refused to return any part of the $188 million
compensation package that led to his ouster, Reuters News
reports.

In fact, Grasso argues that he is still owed $50 million by his
former employer, reports say. Accordingly, Grasso has dug in his
heels despite the public outcry over his compensation and has
retained veteran litigator Brendan Sullivan to represent his
interests.

In a sharply-worded letter dated Feb. 26, Sullivan told interim
NYSE Chairman John Reed that Grasso "has no intention of
returning any portion of his compensation to the exchange".

Sullivan said Grasso would be seeking $50 million still owed him
by the exchange, in addition to the roughly $140 million he has
already received. Sullivan also challenged the NYSE to bring
suit against Grasso "rather than conducting a campaign through
the press and intermediaries in an attempt to pressure" the
former chairman.

According to the reports, Sullivan's letter was in response to a
letter written to Grasso by Reed, which stated that Grasso's
compensation package was "excessive" and "unreasonable."

In an attempt to recoup the money, the NYSE in January requested
that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and New York
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer investigate how Grasso amassed
his pay. Spitzer has encouraged Grasso to settle but is reported
to be leaning toward charging the former NYSE chief with a
breach of his fiduciary duty.


PENNSYLVANIA: Court Grants Discovery In Pennex Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania granted in part, denied in part Plaintiffs "Motion
to Confirm Right to Proceed with Discovery Related to Breach of
Fiduciary Duty Claim and for Relief from Stay of Discovery
Related to Federal Securities Claims" in regards a putative
Class Action Complaint brought against Michael Queen, et al., by
the Winer Family Trust, on behalf of public investors who
purchased the securities of Pennexx Foods, Inc. during the
period from February 8, 2002 until June 12, 2003.

The Class Action Complaint alleged violations of sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, 15 U.S.C.
78j(b), 78t(a), and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, as well
as a breach of fiduciary duty claim, against Pennexx, Smithfield
Foods, Inc. and various officers and directors of those
corporations.

On December 5, 2003, Pennexx filed a Cross-Claim against
Defendants Smithfield, Joseph W. Luter IV, and Michael H. Cole,
alleging a number of state law claims. On December 22, 2003,
Lead Plaintiff filed an Amended Class Action Complaint that
reiterated the federal securities claims, and also asserted, on
behalf of public investors who currently own Pennexx securities,
state law claims for breach of fiduciary duty against Defendant
Michael Queen, breach of fiduciary duty against Smithfield,
aiding and abetting the breach of fiduciary duty against
Defendants Joseph W. Luter IV and Michael H. Cole, and successor
liability against Smithfield and Showcase Foods, Inc. On
December 30, 2003, Lead Plaintiff filed the instant Motion, to
which Smithfield, Showcase, Joseph W. Luter IV, and Michael H.
Cole filed a timely response. Pennexx, Michael Queen, Dennis
Bland, and Thomas McGreal have not timely responded to the
instant Motion. Subsequent to the filing of the instant Motion,
the Pennexx Defendants and the Smithfield Defendants each filed
Motions to Dismiss the Amended Complaint, the response to which
is due by February 20, 2004.

The individual Defendants in the case include:

(1) Joseph W. Luter IV, executive Vice President of
    Smithfield and Pennexx director;

(2) Michael H. Cole, associate general counsel of
    Smithfield and Pennexx director; Michael Queen, Chief
    Executive Officer of Pennexx;

(3) Dennis Bland, Chief Operating Officer of Pennexx; and

(4) Thomas McGreal, Vice President of Sales for Pennexx.
     
With respect to the Pennexx Defendants, the Court declines to
grant the instant Motion as uncontested pursuant to Local Rule
of Civil Procedure 7.1(c).
     

QUALITY FRESH CIGARS: Recalls Novelty Lighters for Fire Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
Quality Fresh Cigars of Troy, Mich., in cooperation with the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is recalling 313
Nibo Space 5 and Nibo Space 19 Novelty Lighters since these
novelty lighters were imported without first being tested to
show compliance with CPSC requirements that the lighters be
child-resistant, and may pose fire and burn hazards to young
children.

The Company has received no reports of incidents or injuries
related to this product.

There are two styles of lighters included in this recall. Nibo
Space 5, model 12679, is a silver-colored lighter. The lighter
is 2 7/8" tall and is in the shape of a spaceship. The word
"SPACE" appears on one side of the lighter and the word "NIBO"
appears on the other side. Nibo Space 19, model 13919, is a
metal lighter that resembles a toy. The lighter is 3" tall. The
word "NIBO" appears in a raised circle on one side of the
lighter.

The lighters, manufactured in China, were sold through the
firm's catalog from April 2003 to September 2003 for about $20.
The lighters were also given away as premiums in conjunction
with purchase.

Consumers are urged to stop using these lighters immediately.
Consumers should dispose of the lighter in a manner that is in
compliance with any state or local requirements. The lighters
should not be incinerated or punctured. Consumers can obtain a
gift certificate for $19.95 if purchased or $5.00 if received as
a gift by mailing a copy of the signed Disposal Notification
Form to Quality Fresh. Consumers should send correspondence to:
QFC-Nibo Recall, 1241 Chicago Road, Troy, MI 48083.

For more information, contact Quality Fresh at (800) 978-1908
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. The firm
has sent letters and the Disposal Notification Form to consumers
who purchased or received the lighters notifying them of this
recall.


RHODE ISLAND: Club Owners Not Liable For Fire Insurance Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
A state hearing officer ruled Friday the owners of a nightclub
where a fire killed 100 people can't be held personally liable
for failing to carry workers' compensation insurance, the
Associated Press reports.

Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, owners of The Station, were fined
more than $1 million for not having the required insurance for
four workers at the West Warwick club who were among those
killed as a result of the Feb. 20, 2003, blaze. The same fine
also was assessed against the Derderians' company, Derco LLC.

Workers' compensation insurance would have made an employee's
family eligible for $15,000 for burial and other expenses, plus
a portion of lost wages. It was not immediately clear if the
decision by a hearing officer for the Department of Labor and
Training could be appealed. The fine against Derco is under
appeal in the Supreme Court.

Jeff Pine, attorney for Jeffrey Derderian, said the decision is
"the position that we've been taking all along and we are
pleased." He and Kathleen Hagerty, an attorney for Michael
Derderian, said the brothers intended to compensate the
families, but would not elaborate. The Derderians face
involuntary manslaughter charges stemming from the fire, and are
named in several lawsuits.


SAN RAFAEL: Appeals Court Upholds CA Suit Certification Denial
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals, First District, Division 1,
California, affirmed a ruling by the Marin County Superior
Court, denying certification of a lawsuit brought against
Defendant San Rafael Rock Quarry, Inc., on behalf of Plaintiffs
Jonathan Frieman and Jan Brice, and others similarly situated,
alleging that since 1982, the Quarry has operated in violation
of multiple zoning, mining, environmental and health and safety
regulations, codes and statutes.

The original plaintiffs included Frieman, Brice, Mario DiPalma,
now deceased, and Point San Pedro Road Coalition, a nonprofit
corporation. Point San Pedro Road Coalition filed an abandonment
of its appeal and was dismissed on April 3, 2003. The remaining
plaintiffs, Frieman and Brice have confirmed that they remain
willing to serve as class representative if class certification
is ordered.
       
According to the complaint and attached documents, the Quarry
has been operating on the tip of the Point San Pedro peninsula,
adjacent to the City of San Rafael since approximately 1900. In
1982, the former owners of the Quarry submitted an amended    
reclamation plan pursuant to the Surface Mining and Reclamation
Act of 1975. In 1982, based on the amended plan, Marin County
adopted a zoning ordinance rezoning the property. Since that
time, according to the allegations of the complaint, the Quarry
has operated as a lawful nonconforming use that could not be
enlarged or increased.
       
In 1986, Dutra Construction Company bought the Quarry and
increased the scope of its operations. In 1996, the Bay Area Air
Quality Management District issued a violation letter to the
Quarry referencing a multi-million dollar expansion that was
accomplished without permits. In 2000, the Marin County
Department of Public Works issued a notice of noncompliance with
the 1982 amended reclamation plan, identifying multiple
violations, including increasing the depth of the mining pit,
ignoring the identified date for termination of mining, and a
significant increase in truck traffic. Subsequent investigations
by Marin County and the City of San Rafael revealed additional
municipal code violations by the Quarry including construction
without building permits of several structures and violation of
air quality standards.
       
In June of 2001, the Marin County Grand Jury issued its report
regarding the county government's handling of complaints about
the Quarry.
       
Plaintiffs filed their first amended complaint against the
Quarry for damages, injunction and restitution on January 17,
2002. The first cause of action of the complaint alleged that
the substantial expansion of the Quarry's activities in
violation of various state and local laws and regulations is an
unlawful business practice under the UCL. The second cause of
action alleged that the same activity constitutes a public  
nuisance within the meaning of Civil Code section 3479.        
       
The Quarry answered the complaint, denied the allegations and
alleged that it had operated as a grandfathered vested
nonconforming use since 1972, with no limits on its operations.
In April of 2002, the complaint was consolidated for purposes of
discovery and pre-trial determinations with actions brought by
the State of California, the County of Marin and an individual
plaintiff against the Quarry.
       
On July 2, 2002, plaintiffs in this case filed a motion for
class certification. A declaration filed in support of the
motion for certification stated that the Quarry profited from
its noncompliance with the law by increasing the depth of its
mine pit, increasing the amount of ore removed by truck rather
than barge, and by constructing office space without
permits.       

On November 18, 2002, following briefing and argument, the trial
court issued its order denying the motion. As to Class A, the
trial court's order stated several reasons for the denial of
class certification. First, the court found that plaintiffs
failed to show that the class approach would be beneficial. The
second reason was that the proposed class members did not have
claims for restitution. The court also ruled that plaintiffs had
not shown the need for a class action to pursue only injunctive
relief. As to Class B, the court found that common questions of
law or fact did not predominate. Plaintiffs appealed.
                                         

SUGGS & ASSOCIATES: AC Reverses Telecopy Suit Certification
-----------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals of Dallas, Texas reversed and
remanded a decision by the 162nd Judicial District Court Dallas
County, Texas, certifying a lawsuit brought against Suggs and
Associates, P.C., et al., on behalf of Apartment Investment
Management Co. (AIMCO), alleging violations of the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act.

This is an interlocutory appeal from an order granting class
certification.  This case arises from allegations that Suggs &
Associates, P.C. received unsolicited telecopy or fax
advertisements from American Blast Fax, Inc. advertising    
properties owned or managed by Apartment Investment and
Management Company (AIMCO), in violation of the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C.A. 227.  Suggs sought
statutory damages and requested that the trial court certify
the lawsuit as a class action. The trial court certified a class
under Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 42(b)(2) and (b)(4).  AIMCO
appeals that certification order in ten issues.

     
SUPERMARKET CHAINS: Grocers Ink Labor Deal In California Strike
---------------------------------------------------------------
The mediator in the five-month-old California grocery strike
confirmed Friday that three major supermarket chains and the
union representing some 60,000 striking workers have reached a
tentative deal, Reuters News reports.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services said the United
Food and Commercial Workers union had reached a deal with
supermarket chains Ralphs Grocery, owned by Kroger Co., Vons
Company Inc., owned by Safeway Inc. and Albertsons Inc. The
deal, which affects 10,000 supermarket employees in addition to
the 60,000 striking workers, needs to be ratified by votes from
union members, the FMCS said. The mediator did not release
details of the deal but said health care benefits were a main
point of contention.

The three supermarket chains said in a joint release that UFCW
members would have to vote on the deal on February 28 and 29
before it could be ratified. The companies said they expect the
agreement to be approved by the majority of employees.

The deal comes after 15 days of intense talks between officials
for the three chains and union leaders, facilitated by the
federal mediator. The resolution followed persistent calls from
major investors, including the largest U.S. public pension fund,
The California Public Employee's Retirement System, or Calpers.

Analysts said the impasse, which lasted through the Thanksgiving
and Christmas holiday seasons, is estimated to have cost more
than $1 billion in lost sales.

Almost 900 stores have been affected by the dispute since
workers went on strike at Safeway's Vons and Pavilions chains on
October 11, leading Kroger, which owns the Ralphs chain, and
Albertsons to lock out their union employees in solidarity.

The grocers argue that rising health care is among expenses that
make them less competitive with their non-union rivals such as
Wal-Mart, which plans to build some 40 of its food-selling
supercenters in California in the next four years. Grocery
employees will begin to return to work after the contract is
approved, the companies said.


TEXAS: Report Says Air Base Handles Assault Cases Effectively
-------------------------------------------------------------
A preliminary review of allegations made by two dozen women who
said they were raped at Sheppard Air force Base in the past
year, found that most students at the Base said they believe the
leadership handles assault allegations effectively, the
Associated Press reports.

The report also showed that 95 percent of female students at
Sheppard Air Force Base said they felt safe there.

The Air Force said in a news release Thursday that the review
found students might not report sexual assaults because of
concerns their training would be delayed or that they might be
disciplined for misconduct such as underage drinking. They also
worried about embarrassment, loss of confidentiality and peer
pressure.

But the review also said base agencies have good resources to
respond to reports of sexual assault and to assist victims. It
suggested expanding training for students and others to put more
emphasis on sexual assault awareness, deterrence and reporting.

The report was prompted by a civilian rape crisis center's
report that between 20 to 25 Sheppard women said they were raped
in the 12 months ending last August. The command's investigative
team interviewed more than 1,000 people at the base and surveyed
more than 5,000 students. The report said 90 percent of students
think leadership effectively handles sexual assault allegations
and encourages reporting.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who requested the investigation, said
the findings raise more questions. She also said she was
concerned that 10 percent of students lack confidence in base
leadership. "That number should be close to zero," she said.

The Air Education and Training Command at Randolph Air Force
Base in San Antonio, which conducted the review, said a review
of 45 sexual assault cases at Sheppard from 1993 to 2003 that
resulted in completed courts-martial or nonjudicial punishments
showed these cases were handled appropriately. The command is
reviewing 69 investigations since 1996 that did not result in
either courts-martial or nonjudicial punishment.

About 3,800 airmen and 6,100 students are stationed at
Sheppard's 82nd training wing, which does technical training.
Another 450 pilots from 13 nations train every year at the
base's 80th flying training wing. Those numbers include about
1,800 women.


I2 TECHNOLOGIES: TX Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Texas, Dallas Division, granted Defendants Motion to Dismiss a
lawsuit brought against Sanjiv S. Sidhu, et al., and Nominal
Defendant i2 Technologies, Inc., by Alan SPECTOR, derivatively
on behalf of i2 Technologies, Inc.

This is a shareholder derivative suit filed by Alan Spector and
Thomas C. Olson, Jr., on behalf of nominal defendant i2
Technologies, Inc. Plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Shareholder
Derivative Complaint on July 24, 2003, which alleges the Board
of Directors and certain executive officers breached their
fiduciary duties and violated common law from March 31, 1999 to
the present, and seeks remedies for these alleged breaches and
violations and for remedies pursuant to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
of 2002. Plaintiffs are, and were during the Relevant Period,
shareholders. Defendants are, or were at the time the complaint
was filed, directors and/or officers of i2.
     
Plaintiffs' complaint stems from a re-audit i2 performed in 2003
for financial years 1999, 2000, and 2001, which resulted in a
restatement of i2's financial statements for those years and a
loss in stock price. All Defendants, including nominal defendant
i2, move to dismiss Plaintiffs' complaint. Defendants argue:

(1) that Plaintiffs failed to establish demand futility
    pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.1 and
    Delaware law;

(2) that the complaint does not meet the particularity
    requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b);

(3) that Plaintiffs' action is barred by i2's Certificate
          of Incorporation;

(4) that Plaintiffs' product-related action is barred by     
    res judicata; and

(5) that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act claim fails as a matter of
    law.

The suit names the follwing defendants: Sanjiv S. SIDHU, Gregory
A. Brady, William M. Beecher, David C. Becker, Harvey B. Cash,
Robert L. Crandall, and Michael H. Jordan; and I2 TECHNOLOGIES,
INC., Nominal Defendant.


UNITED STATES: NTSB Suggests Weighing Passengers For Air Travel
---------------------------------------------------------------
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Thursday
that Air travel would be safer if airlines weighed their
passengers from time to time to make sure they know how much
weight their planes are carrying, the Associated Press reports.

Following its investigation into a commuter plane crash last
year in North Carolina, the NTSB said that airlines should at
least periodically make passengers step on a scale. The safety
board also recommended the Federal Aviation Administration
require improvements to training, oversight and procedures for
maintenance personnel.

The crash of US Airways Express Flight 5481 at Charlotte-Douglas
Airport killed 21 people, the deadliest U.S. aviation accident
in nearly 2 1/2 years. The Beech 1900, operated by Air Midwest,
was virtually uncontrollable because of two fatal mistakes, the
safety board concluded.

First, the airline's guidelines for estimating the weight of
passengers and baggage were inaccurate. The pilots, therefore,
didn't realize the plane's rear section was too heavy. Second,
mechanics had improperly rigged cables connected to the
elevator, the tail flap that controls the up-and-down direction
of the aircraft's nose. The errors meant the elevator's downward
motion was restricted to half its normal range, according to the
NTSB. Without a fully maneuverable elevator, the pilots couldn't
force the nose of the plane down to compensate for its heavy
tail, investigators said. As a result, the plane pitched sharply
upward just seconds after takeoff for Greer, S.C., then fell
from the sky.

Soon afterward, the FAA ordered airlines to weigh some of their
passengers to determine the accuracy of current guidelines - for
example, adults in winter were calculated to weigh 185 pounds on
average. The survey showed what many suspected: Passengers and
their bags had gotten heavier. The FAA issued temporary
guidelines adding up to 10 pounds to its estimate for passengers
and 5 pounds to checked luggage.

The NTSB said those guidelines don't go far enough. The board
recommended the FAA require airlines operating planes with 10 or
more seats to weigh passengers periodically to determine when
they might be heavier - for example, in December when they wear
heavy coats and carry presents.

The FAA is working on that. Since June, a committee has been
examining the average weights of passengers and baggage and how
they vary according to season or geography. The committee is
expected to make recommendations next month.


UNITED STATES: Senate Approves Handgun Locks Legislation
--------------------------------------------------------
Democrats who succeeded in adding a handgun safety lock measure
to a GOP-championed gunmaker lawsuit immunity bill are also
trying to drum up support for requiring background checks on gun
show sales and for renewing the assault weapons ban, the
Associated Press reports. They will determine this weekend
whether they have enough votes to add the amendments to the
legislation.

"We are so close," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who
started counting votes on the assault weapons ban after handily
winning the handgun safety lock vote. "We're within a hair's
breath," she told the AP.

But Republicans also will work to keep Democratic amendments off
the legislation protecting the gun industry from lawsuits when a
legally sold gun is subsequently used in a crime. Sen. Larry
Craig, R-Idaho, fought off several attempts to add exceptions to
the gunmaker immunity bill. He will try to fend off other
Democratic attempts Tuesday when the Senate votes on one
amendment to close a loophole that allows unlicensed dealers to
sell guns at gun shows without doing background checks on the
buyers, and on another that would extend the expiring assault
weapons ban for 10 years.

Senators also will vote on Republican measures to end the ban on
handguns in the District of Columbia and allow qualifed retired
and active duty policemen to carry concealed weapons.

Gun advocates say firearm manufacturers make legal products and
should not have to spend millions of dollars fighting lawsuits
stemming from a crime committed with a gun. A test vote earlier
this week garnered 75 votes for the measure, with several
Democrats voting for it after the GOP agreed that firearms
makers and distributors would not be immune to suits involving
defective products or illegal sales.

The GOP-controlled House already has passed the bill. However,
Senate changes will require that negotiators from both houses
agree to a compromise version. That could take months given the
strong feelings on both sides. Leaders in the GOP-controlled
House already have said they do not plan to approve an extension
of the assault weapons ban.

Although Democrats say they are close to having enough votes for
extended the ban, they may need to pull their two presidential
competitors, Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards
of North Carolina, off the campaign trail to put them over the
top. Democrats easily won their attempt to add to the bill a
measure requiring child safety locks on all handguns sold in the
United States.

Boxer and Herb Kohl of Wisconsin argued that requiring safety
locks on newly purchased handguns would help reduce the number
of children accidentally killed by handguns in the home. Every
48 hours, a child is killed through an accidental shooting,
Boxer said. The Senate in 1999 passed similar legislation, but
the House refused to approve the measure.

Craig argued it would be an intrusion of the federal government
into people's private homes. "For the first time, the long arm
of government will reach into the private place and suggest to
the average American how they will store an object in that
private place," he said told the AP.


WEST VIRGINIA: Court Grants Summary Judgment In Inmate Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
West Virginia granted defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment in
a lawsuit brought against Defendants Dan Ferguson, Donald Stepp
and Hercil Gartin, on behalf of Plaintiff Meredith Vanhoose, and
other inmates at the Cabel County Jail, complaining of
conditions of confinement at that facility.

In this action, filed under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 1983,
plaintiffs alleged that they were not permitted to attend church
services held for inmates at the jail, they were not permitted
to "go to a law library" and that conditions at the jail failed
to conform to the requirements of "Title 95."  

In dismissing the case, the Court concluded that plaintiffs have
failed to produce evidence establishing violation of their
federal constitutional or statutory rights.


WORLD AIRWAYS: Court Issues Show Cause Order on Nigeria Flights
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of New York issued an order to World
Airways, Inc. (Nasdaq: WLDA) to appear before the court on March
10, 2004 and show cause "why a preliminary injunction should not
be issued pursuant to Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure" compelling World Airways, Inc. to transport Plaintiff
Mabel Bassey Inim to Lagos, immediately.

The order was issued in connection with a class action filed on
February 26, 2004, by Mrs. Inim and other passengers stranded in
the United States when World Airways discontinued flight
operations to Nigeria in December 2003, through their lawyers,
Echeruo, Counsel, Attorneys at Law, LLP and Madu, Edozie & Madu
P.C.

This is the second class action filed by the attorneys against
World Airways in connection with the company's decision to halt
flight operations to Nigeria, a decision which left passengers
stranded on both sides of the Atlantic.  The first class action
was filed on January 27 on behalf of passengers who were
stranded in Nigeria.

"The Judge's decision to order a hearing is an important
development in the case.  For the first time since December,
World Airways will have to explain its conduct before a Federal
Judge," Ike O. Echeruo, an attorney for the plaintiffs said in a
statement.  "The courts set a high threshold for mandatory
injunctions. We believe we have made a strong showing and we
await the Court's decision."

A preliminary mandatory injunction would compel World Airways to
honor Mrs. Inim's ticket and return her to Nigeria, prior to
trial and disposition of the case.  The Judge issued the order
on the basis of legal papers filed by Mrs. Inim, a 63 year old
grandmother, through her lawyers, Echeruo, Counsel, Attorneys at
Law, LLP and Madu, Edozie & Madu P.C.

"We are pleased the Judge signed the order. Mrs. Inim, who is
anxious to return to Nigeria, finally has an opportunity to be
heard before a court of law," John Edozie, Esq., an attorney
representing the plaintiffs said in a statement.

For more details, contact Ike O. Echeruo, Esq. of Echeruo,
Counsel, Attorneys at Law, LLP by Mail: 20 Park Avenue, Suite
864 New York, NY 10169 by Phone: 212-295-2189 by Fax: 212-295-
2121 by E-mail: iecheruo@counsel-law.com or contact John Edozie,
Esq. of MADU, EDOZIE, MADU P.C. by Mail: 304 Park Avenue South,
11th Floor New York, NY 10010 by Telephone: (212) 590 2414 by
Facsimile: 212 590 2413 or by e-mail: john@maduedozie.com or
visit the Website: http://www.waclassaction.com

  
                 New Securities Fraud Cases


aaiPHARMA INC.: Brian Felgoise Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. NC
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Brian M. Felgoise, P.C. initiated a
securities class action on behalf of shareholders who acquired
aaiPharma, Inc. (NasdaqNM:AAII) securities between April 24,
2002 and February 4, 2004, inclusive.  The case is pending in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
North Carolina, against the Company and certain key officers and
directors.

The action charges 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.

For more details, contact Brian M. Felgoise by Mail: at 261 Old
York Road, Suite 423, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, 19046, by Phone:
(215) 886-1900 or by E-mail: FelgoiseLaw@aol.com


AGCO CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in N.D. GA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities
class action on behalf of an institutional investor in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia on behalf of purchasers of AGCO Corporation (NYSE:AG)
common stock during the period between February 6, 2003 and
February 4, 2004.  The class action lawsuit was assigned civil
action number 1:04-CV-0535.

The complaint charges AGCO and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. AGCO is primarily engaged in
the manufacture and distribution of agricultural equipment and
related replacement parts worldwide.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
caused AGCO's shares to trade at artificially inflated levels
through the issuance of false and misleading financial
statements. As a result of this inflation, AGCO was able to
complete a private offering, raising proceeds of $150 million on
or about December 15, 2003.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that the statements
defendants issued during the Class Period were each materially
false and misleading when made as they failed to disclose and
misrepresented the following material adverse facts which were
then known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) the Company had improperly recorded revenue on its
         "bill and hold" transactions where risk did not pass to
         the customer; and

     (2) as a result of the foregoing, the Company's revenue and
         income recognition deviated from Generally Accepted
         Accounting Principles and was therefore materially
         false and misleading.

On February 5, 2004, less than two months after the private
placement, the Company issued a press release which stated that
the Company's accounting practices were under investigation by
the SEC. The stock dropped below $17 per share on this news.

For more details, contact William S. Lerach by Mail: 401 B. St.,
Suite 1700, San Diego, CA 92101 by Phone: 800-449-4900 or by E-
mail: wsl@milberg.com


EATON VANCE: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Stull Stull & Brody initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, on behalf of all purchasers, redeemers and holders of
shares of Eaton Vance Funds, which are managed by Eaton Vance
Corp. and its affiliates, from January 30, 1999 through November
17, 2003, inclusive.

The following mutual funds are subject to this lawsuit:

     (1) Eaton Vance Advisers Senior Floating-Rate Fund   
         (Nasdaq: EVAASFL)

     (2) Eaton Vance Alabama Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETALX,
         EVALX)

     (3) Eaton Vance Arizona Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETAZX,
         EVAZX)

     (4) Eaton Vance Arkansas Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETARX,
         EVARX)

     (5) Eaton Vance Asian Small Companies Fund   (Nasdaq:
         EBASX, EVASX)

     (6) Eaton Vance Balanced Fund   (Nasdaq: ECIFX, EMIFX,
         EVIFX)

     (7) Eaton Vance California Limited Maturity Municipals Fund   
         (Nasdaq: ELCAX, EXCAX)

     (8) Eaton Vance California Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq:
         EVCAX, EACAX)

     (9) Eaton Vance Classic Senior Floating Rate Fund   
         (Nasdaq: EVACSFR)

    (10) Eaton Vance Colorado Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETCOX,
         EVCLX)

    (11) Eaton Vance Connecticut Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq:
         ETCTX, EVCTX)

    (12) Eaton Vance Emerging Markets Fund   (Nasdaq: EMEMX,
         ETEMX)

    (13) Eaton Vance Floating-Rate Fund   (Nasdaq: EABLX, EBBLX,
         EVAFLRI, ECBLX, EVBLX)

    (14) Eaton Vance Floating-Rate High Income Fund  (Nasdaq:
         EAFHX, EBFHX, ECFHX, EIFHX, EVFHX)

    (15) Eaton Vance Florida Insured Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq:
         EAFIX, EBFIX)

    (16) Eaton Vance Florida Limited Maturity Municipals Fund   
        (Nasdaq: ELFLX, EZFLX, EXFLX)

    (17) Eaton Vance Florida Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETFLX,
         EVFLX)

    (18) Eaton Vance Georgia Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETGAX,
         EVGAX)

    (19) Eaton Vance Global Growth Fund   (Nasdaq: ECIAX, EDIAX,
         EMIAX, ETIAX)

    (20) Eaton Vance Government Obligations Fund   (Nasdaq:
         ECGOX, EMGOX, EVGOX)

    (21) Eaton Vance Greater China Growth Fund   (Nasdaq: ECCGX,
         EMCGX, EVCGX)

    (22) Eaton Vance Greater India Fund   (Nasdaq: EMGIX, ETGIX)

    (23) Eaton Vance Growth Fund   (Nasdaq: ECGFX, EMGFX, EVGFX)

    (24) Eaton Vance Hawaii Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETHWX,
         EVHWX)

    (25) Eaton Vance High Income Fund   (Nasdaq: ECHIX, EVHIX)

    (26) Eaton Vance High Yield Municipals Fund    (Nasdaq:
         ETHYX, EVHYX, ECHYX)

    (27) Eaton Vance Income Fund of Boston   (Nasdaq: EVIBX,
         EIBIX, EBIBX, ECIBX)

    (28) Eaton Vance Institutional Senior Floating Rate-Fund   
         (Nasdaq: EVASFLR)

    (29) Eaton Vance Kansas Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETKSX,
         EVKSX)

    (30) Eaton Vance Kentucky Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETKYX,
         EVKYX)

    (31) Eaton Vance Large Cap Core Fund   (Nasdaq: EALCX,
         EBLCX, ECLCX)

    (32) Eaton Vance Large-Cap Value Fund   (Nasdaq: ECSTX,
         EHSTX, EMSTX)

    (33) Eaton Vance Louisiana Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETLAX,
         EVLAX)

    (34) Eaton Vance Low Duration Fund   (Nasdaq: EALDX, EBLDX,
         ECLDX)

    (35) Eaton Vance Maryland Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETMDX,
         EVMYX)

    (36) Eaton Vance Massachusetts Limited Maturity Municipals
         Fund  (Nasdaq: ELMAX, EXMAX, EZMAX)

    (37) Eaton Vance Massachusetts Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq:
         EVMAX, EVAMAMI, ETMAX)

    (38) Eaton Vance Michigan Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETMIX,
         EVMIX)

    (39) Eaton Vance Minnesota Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETMNX,
         EVMNX)

    (40) Eaton Vance Mississippi Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq:
         ETMSX, EVMSX)

    (41) Eaton Vance Missouri Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETMOX,
         EVMOX)

    (42) Eaton Vance Municipal Bond Fund   (Nasdaq: EVMBX,
         ETMBX, EBMBX)

    (43) Eaton Vance National Limited Maturity Municipals Fund   
         (Nasdaq: ELNAX, EZNAX, EXNAX)

    (44) Eaton Vance National Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: EVHMX,
         ECHMX, EANAX, EIHMX)

    (45) Eaton Vance New Jersey Limited Maturity Municipals Fund   
         (Nasdaq: ELNJX, EXNJX)

    (46) Eaton Vance New Jersey Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq:
         ETNJX, EVNJX)

    (47) Eaton Vance New York Limited Maturity Municipals Fund   
         (Nasdaq: ELNYX, EXNYX, EZNYX)

    (48) Eaton Vance New York Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETNYX,
         EVNYX)

    (49) Eaton Vance North Carolina Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq:
         ETNCX, EVNCX)

    (50) Eaton Vance Ohio Limited Maturity Municipals Fund   
         (Nasdaq: ELOHX, EXOHX)

    (51) Eaton Vance Ohio Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETOHX,
         EVOHX)

    (52) Eaton Vance Oregon Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETORX,
         EVORX)

    (53) Eaton Vance Pennsylvania Limited Maturity Municipals
         Fund   (Nasdaq: EZPNX, ELPNX, EXPNX)

    (54) Eaton Vance Pennsylvania Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq:
         ETPAX, EVPAX)

    (55) Eaton Vance Prime Rate Reserve   (Nasdaq: EVAPRAT)

    (56) Eaton Vance Rhode Island Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq:
         ETRIX, EVRIX)

    (57) Eaton Vance Small Cap Growth Fund   (Nasdaq: EBSMX,
         ECSMX, ETEGX)

    (58) Eaton Vance Small Cap Value Fund   (Nasdaq: EASCX,
         EAVSX, EBVSX, ECVSX)

    (59) Eaton Vance South Carolina Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq:
         EASCX, EVSCX)

    (60) Eaton Vance Special Equities Fund   (Nasdaq: ECSEX,
         EMSEX, EVSEX)

    (61) Eaton Vance Strategic Income Fund   (Nasdaq: EVSGX)

    (62) Eaton Vance Tax Managed Equity Asset Allocation Fund   
         (Nasdaq: EAEAX, EBEAX, ECEAX)

    (63) Eaton Vance Tax Managed Small Cap Growth Fund 1.2   
         (Nasdaq: EXMGX, EYMGX, EZMGX)

    (64) Eaton Vance Tax Managed Small Cap Value Fund   (Nasdaq:
         ESVAX, ESVBX, ESVCX)

    (65) Eaton Vance Tax Managed Small-Cap Growth Fund 1.1   
         (Nasdaq: ECMGX, EMMGX, ETMGX)

    (66) Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Dividend Income Fund   (Nasdaq:
         EADIX, EBDIX, ECDIX)

    (67) Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Growth Fund 1.0   (Nasdaq:
         CAPEX)

    (68) Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Growth Fund 1.1  (Nasdaq:
         EMTGX, ETTGX, ECTGX, EITMX, EVATMGS)

    (69) Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Growth Fund 1.2   (Nasdaq:
         EXTGX, EYTGX, EZTGX, EDTGX, EITGX)

    (70) Eaton Vance Tax-Managed International Growth Fund   
         (Nasdaq: ECIGX, EDIGX, EMIGX, ETIGX)

    (71) Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Mid-Cap Core Fund   (Nasdaq:
         EBMCX, ECMCX, EXMCX)

    (72) Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Multi-Cap Opportunity Fund   
         (Nasdaq: EACPX, EBCPX, ECCPX)

    (73) Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Value Fund   (Nasdaq: EATVX,
         EBTVX, ECTVX, EDTVX)

    (74) Eaton Vance Tennessee Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETTNX,
         EVTNX)

    (75) Eaton Vance Utilities Fund   (Nasdaq: ECTMX, EMTMX,
         EVTMX)

    (76) Eaton Vance Virginia Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq: ETVAX,
         EVVAX)

    (77) Eaton Vance West Virginia Municipals Fund   (Nasdaq:
         ETWVX)

    (78) Eaton Vance Worldwide Health Sciences Fund   (Nasdaq:
         ECHSX, EDHSX, EMHSX, ETHSX)

    (79) Eaton Vance-Atlanta Capital Intermediate Bond Fund   
         (Nasdaq: ATLINBR, EIINX)

    (80) Eaton Vance-Atlanta Capital Large-Cap Growth Fund   
         (Nasdaq: ATLLCGR, EILGX)

    (81) Eaton Vance-Atlanta Capital Small-Cap Fund   (Nasdaq:
         ATLSMCR, EISMX)

The complaint charges Eaton Vance Corp., the "Investment
Advisors Defendants," consisting of Eaton Vance Management,
Boston Management and Research, Lloyd George Investment
Management (B.V.I.) Limited, Lloyd George Investment Management
(Bermuda) Limited, and OrbiMed Advisors LLC, and certain
trustees of the Funds, with violations of the Investment Company
Act of 1940 (the "Investment Company Act"), the Investment
Advisers Act of 1940 (the "Investment Advisers Act"), and for
common law breach of fiduciary duties. The Complaint charges
that, throughout the Class Period, defendants issued false and
misleading statements in Eaton Vance Funds' registration
statements and prospectuses and, as a result, plaintiffs and the
Class were damaged.

The Complaint alleges that the Investment Adviser Defendants
drew upon the assets of the Eaton Vance Funds to pay brokers to
aggressively push Eaton Vance Funds over other funds, and that
the Investment Adviser Defendants concealed such payments from
investors by disguising them as brokerage commissions. Such
brokerage commissions, though payable from fund assets, are not
disclosed to investors in the Eaton Vance Funds public filings
or elsewhere.

Thus Eaton Vance Funds investors were induced to purchase Eaton
Vance Funds by brokers who received undisclosed payments from
the Investment Adviser Defendants to push Eaton Vance Funds over
other mutual funds and who therefore had an undisclosed conflict
of interest. Then, once invested in one or more of the Eaton
Vance Funds, Eaton Vance Funds investors were charged and paid
undisclosed fees that were improperly used to pay brokers to
aggressively push Eaton Vance Funds to yet other brokerage
clients.

The Investment Adviser Defendants were motivated to make these
secret payments to finance the improper marketing of Eaton Vance
Funds because their fees were calculated as a percentage of
funds under management and, therefore, tended to increase as the
number of Eaton Vance Funds investors grew. The Investment
Adviser Defendants attempted to justify this conduct on the
ground that by increasing the Eaton Vance Funds assets they were
creating economies of scale that inured to the benefit of
investors but, in truth and in fact, Eaton Vance Funds investors
received none of the benefits of these purported economies of
sale. Rather, fees and costs associated with the Eaton Vance
Funds steadily increased during the Class Period (as defined
herein), in large part because the Investment Adviser Defendants
continued to skim from the Eaton Vance Funds to finance their
ongoing marketing campaign. The Eaton Vance Funds trustees, who
purported to be Eaton Vance investor watchdogs, knowingly or
recklessly permitted this conduct to occur.

By engaging in this conduct, the Investment Adviser Defendants,
and the defendant entities that control them, breached their
statutorily-defined fiduciary duties under Sections 36(a) and
(b) of the Investment Company Act, and Sections 206 of the
Investment Advisers Act, breached their common law fiduciary
duties, and knowingly aided and abetted the brokers in the
breach of fiduciary duties to their clients.

The Investment Adviser Defendants also violated Section 34(b) of
the Investment Company Act because, to further their improper
campaign, they made untrue statements of material fact in fund
registration statements, and material omissions, with respect to
the procedure for determining the amount of fees payable to the
Investment Adviser Defendants and with respect to the improper
uses to which the fees were put.

Additionally, the Eaton Vance Funds trustees breached their
common law fiduciary duties to the Eaton Vance Funds investors
by knowingly or recklessly allowing the improper conduct alleged
herein to occur and harm Eaton Vance Funds investors.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody, Esq by Mail: 6 East 45th
Street, New York, NY 10017 by Phone: 1-800-337-4983 by Fax: 212-
490-2022 by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.ssbny.com


EL PASO: Shepherd Finkelman Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in TX
--------------------------------------------------------------
Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLC initiated a securities
class action on behalf of all purchasers of securities of El
Paso Corporation (NYSE: EP), between and including March 30,
2003 through and including February 17, 2004.  The suit is
brought against the Company and:

     (1) Ronald Kuehn, Jr.,

     (2) Douglas Forshee and

     (3) D. Dwight Scott.

The class action lawsuit is pending in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston
Division (Civil Action No. H-04-0635).  The Complaint alleges
that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period.

Specifically, the Complaint charges Defendants with issuing
materially false and misleading statements regarding El Paso's
financial results and reported reserves, as well as violating
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP") and industry
rules.  As a result of Defendants' conduct, the Complaint
alleges that El Paso was able to inflate its stock price,
maintain its credit rating, and maintain its status in the
energy industry as a leader.

On February 17, 2004, El Paso announced that the Company had cut
its proven natural gas reserves estimate by approximately 41
percent and would take a $1 billion pretax charge in the fourth
quarter of 2003.  In response to this devastating news, El
Paso's stock price plummeted by approximately 18% to close at
$7.26 on unusually heavy trading volume of 57 million shares on
February 18, 2004.  

The magnitude of this write-down of reserves shocked the market
and, quoting one analyst, "suggests to us that prior management
had significantly overstated the productive capacity of the
company's gas reserves."  Another analyst is quoted as alleging
that El Paso had "prematurely booked" certain reserves before
securing necessary permission to develop the assets.

There are now at least two class action lawsuits pending in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
alleging similar securities law violations relating to El Paso's
recent reserve reduction and $1 billion charge.  The proposed
class periods vary.  The first suit filed alleges claims on
behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the
securities of El Paso between March 30, 2003 and including
February 17, 2004.  The other suit alleges a class period of
February 22, 2000 through February 17, 2004.  The investigation
into El Paso's reporting of reserves continues.  

After April 19, 2004, the Court will appoint a lead plaintiff
and lead counsel who will thereafter file a detailed,
consolidated amended complaint which pleading will set the class
period that the lead plaintiff and lead counsel determine is
appropriate, based on a review of facts available by that time.
The consolidated amended complaint may also name additional or
different defendants, based on a continued review of available
evidence.

For more details, contact James E. Miller, Esquire by Phone:
866-540-5505 or by E-mail: jmiller@classactioncounsel.com or
James C. Shah, Esq. by Phone: 877-891-9880 or by E-mail:
jshah@classactioncounsel.com or contact the offices by Phone
(toll free): 866/540-5505 or 877/891- 9880.


FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in MA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts on behalf of all purchasers of the
securities of the Columbia family of funds operated by
FleetBoston Financial Corporation, Columbia Management Group,
Inc., Columbia Management Advisors, Inc. and Columbia Wanger
Asset Management, L.P. between February 13, 1999 and January 14,
2004, inclusive, seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities
Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the
Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

The Funds and the symbols for the respective Funds subject to
the lawsuit are as follows:

     (1) Columbia Acorn Fund  (Sym: LACAX, LACBX, LIACX, ACRNX)
    
     (2) Columbia Acorn Select  (Sym: LTFAX, LTFBX, LTFCX,
         ACTWX)
    
     (3) Columbia Acorn USA  (Sym: LAUAX, LAUBX, LAUCX, AUSAX)
    
     (4) Columbia Asset Allocation Fund  (Sym: LAAAX, LAABX,
         LAACX, GBAAX, GAAAX, GAATX)
    
     (5) Columbia Balanced Fund  (Sym: CBLAX, CBLBX, CBLCX,
         CBLDX, CBALX)
    
     (6) Columbia Common Stock Fund  (Sym: CMSAX, CMSBX, CCSCX,
         CMSDX, CMSTX)
   
     (7) Columbia Disciplined Value Fund  (Sym: LEVAX, LEVBX,
         LEVCX, GEVBX, GALEX, GEVTX)
    
     (8) Columbia Dividend Income Fund  (Sym: LBSAX, LBSBX,
         LBSCX, GEQBX, GEQAX, GSFTX)
    
     (9) Columbia Growth & Income Fund  (Sym: CFGAX, CFGBX,
         CFGDX, LGISX)
    
    (10) Columbia Growth Fund  (Sym: CGWAX, CGWBX, CGWCX, CGWDX,
         CGWGX, CLMBX)
    
    (11) Columbia Growth Stock Fund  (Sym: CGSAX, CGSBX, CGSCX,
         SRFSX)
    
    (12) Columbia Large Cap Core Fund  (Sym: LCCAX, LCCBX,
         LCCCX, GGRBX, SGIEX, SMGIX)
    
    (13) Columbia Large Cap Growth Fund  (Sym: LEGAX, LEGBX,
         LEGCX, GBEGX, GAEGX, GEGTX)
    
    (14) Columbia Large Company Index Fund  (Sym: LLIAX, LLIBX,
         LLICX, ILCIX)
    
    (15) Columbia Liberty Fund  (Sym: COLFX, CCFBX, CTCCX,
         CTCFX)
    
    (16) Columbia Mid Cap Growth Fund  (Sym: CBSAX, CBSBX,
         CMCCX, CBSDX, CBSGX, CBSTX, CLSPX)
    
    (17) Columbia Mid Cap Value Fund  (Sym: COLGX, COGBX, CSVCX,
         LSVSX)
    
    (18) Columbia Real Estate Equity Fund  (Sym: CREAX, CREBX,
         CRECX, CREDX, CREEX)
    
    (19) Columbia Small Cap Fund  (Sym: LSMAX, LSMBX, LSMCX,
         GBSMX, SSCEX, SMCEX)
    
    (20) Columbia Small Cap Growth Fund  (Sym: CMSCX)
    
    (21) Columbia Small Cap Value Fund  (Sym: CSMIX, CSSBX,
         CSSCX, CSCZX)
    
    (22) Columbia Small Company Equity Fund  (Sym: LSEAX, LSEBX,
         LSECX, GERBX, GASEX, GSETX)
    
    (23) Columbia Small Company Index Fund  (Sym: LBIAX, LBIBX,
         LBICX, ISCIX)
    
    (24) Columbia Strategic Investor Fund  (Sym: CSVAX, CSVBX,
         CSRCX, CSVDX, CSVFX)
    
    (25) Columbia Tax-Managed Aggressive Growth Fund  (Sym:
         LTMAX, LTAGX, LTACX, LTAZX)
    
    (26) Columbia Tax-Managed Growth Fund  (Sym: STMAX, CTMBX,
         CTMCX, LMGZX)
    
    (27) Columbia Tax-Managed Growth Fund II  (Sym: LTGAX,
         LTIIX, LTGCX, LTGZX)
    
    (28) Columbia Tax-Managed Value Fund  (Sym: SRVAX, CTMVX,
         LTVCX, LTMZX)
    
    (29) Columbia Technology Fund  (Sym: CTCAX, CTCBX, CTHCX,
         CTCDX, CMTFX)
    
    (30) Columbia Thermostat Fund  (Sym: CTFAX, CTFBX, CTFDX,
         COTZX)
    
    (31) Columbia Utilities Fund  (Sym: CUTLX, CUTBX, CUTFX,
         LUFZX)
    
    (32) Columbia Young Investor Fund  (Sym: LYIAX, LYIBX,
         LYICX, SRYIX)
    
    (33) Columbia Acorn International Fund  (Sym: LAIAX, LIABX,
         LAICX, ACINX)

    (34) Columbia Acorn International Select Fund (Sym: LAFAX,
         LFFBX, LFFCX, ACFFX)

    (35) Columbia Europe Fund  (Sym: NEUAX, LNEBX, LNECX, LNEZX)

    (36) Columbia European Thematic Equity Fund  (Sym: LSREX)

    (37) Columbia Global Equity Fund  (Sym: CGUAX, CGUBX, CGUCX)

    (38) Columbia Global Thematic Equity Fund  LSRGX
    
    (39) Columbia International Equity Fund  (Sym: LIEAX, LIEBX,
         LIECX, GBIEX, GAIEX, GIETX)
    
    (40) Columbia International Stock Fund  (Sym: CISAX, CISBX,
         CSKCX, CISDX, CMISX)
    
    (41) Columbia Newport Asia Pacific Fund  (Sym: NWAPX, LNABX,
         LNACX, LAPSX)
    
    (42) Columbia Newport Japan Opportunities Fund  (Sym: NJOAX,
         NJOBX, NJOCX, LNJZX)
    
    (43) Columbia Newport Greater China Fund  (Sym: NGCAX,
         NGCBX, NGCCX, LNGZX)
    
    (44) Columbia Newport Tiger Fund  (Sym: CNTAX, CNTBX, CNTDX,
         CNTTX, CNTZX)
    
    (45) Columbia Contrarian Income Fund  (Sym: CHINX, LCIBX,
         LCICX, LCIZX)
    
    (46) Columbia Corporate Bond Fund  (Sym: LBCAX, LBCBX,
         LBCCX, GCBTX)
    
    (47) Columbia Daily Income Company Fund  CDIXX
    
    (48) Columbia Federal Securities Fund  (Sym: CFSAX, CFSOX,
         CFSCX, LFSZX)
    
    (49) Columbia Fixed Income Securities Fund  (Sym: CFIAX,
         CFIBX, CISCX, CFIDX, CFISX)
    
    (50) Columbia Floating Rate Advantage Fund  (Sym: XSFRX,
         XSFBX, XLACX, XLAZX)
    
    (51) Columbia Floating Rate Fund  (Sym: XLFAX, XLSBX, XLFCX,
         XLFZX)
    
    (52) Columbia High Yield Fund  (Sym: CHGAX, CHGBX, CHDCX,
         CHGDX, CMHYX)

    (53) Columbia High Yield Opportunity Fund  (Sym: COLHX,
         COHBX, CHYCX, LHYZX)
    
    (54) Columbia Income Fund  (Sym: LIIAX, CIOBX, CIOCX, SRINX)

    (55) Columbia Intermediate Bond Fund  (Sym: LIBAX, LIBBX,
         LIBCX, SRBFX)
    
    (56) Columbia Intermediate Government Income Fund  (Sym:
         LIGAX, LIGBX, LIGCX, GGIBX, GALBX, GIBTX)
    
    (57) Columbia Money Market Fund  (Sym: CMMXX, CMBXX, CMCXX,
         LMZXX)
    
    (58) Columbia Quality Plus Bond Fund  (Sym: LQPAX, LQPBX,
         LQPCX, GBHQX, GAHQX, GHQTX)
    
    (59) Columbia Short Term Bond Fund  (Sym: CTBAX, CTBBX,
         CSHCX, CTBDX, CTBGX, CTBTX, CUGGX)
    
    (60) Columbia Strategic Income Fund  (Sym: COSIX, CLSBX,
         CLSCX, LSIZX)
    
    (61) Columbia US Treasury Index Fund  (Sym: LUTAX, LUTBX,
         LUTCX, IUTIX)
    
    (62) Columbia California Tax-Exempt Fund  (Sym: CLMPX,
         CCABX, CCAOX)
    
    (63) Columbia Connecticut Intermediate Municipal Bond (Sym:
         LCTAX, LCTBX, LCTCX, GCBBX, GCBAX, SCTEX )
    
    (64) Columbia Connecticut Tax-Exempt Fund  (Sym: COCTX,
         CCTBX, CCTCX)
    
    (65) Columbia Florida Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund  
         (Sym: LFIAX, LFIBX, LFICX, SFTEX )
    
    (66) Columbia High Yield Municipal Fund  (Sym: LHIAX, CHMBX,
         CHMCX, SRHMX )
    
    (67) Columbia Intermediate Tax-Exempt Bond Fund  (Sym:
         LITAX, LITBX, LITCX, GIMBX, GIMAX, SETMX)
    
    (68) Columbia Managed Municipals Fund  (Sym: LMMAX, LMMBX,
         LMMCX, SRMMX)
    
    (69) Columbia Massachusetts Intermediate Municipal Bond
         Fund (Sym: LMIAX, LMIBX, LMICX, GMBBX, GMBAX, SEMAX )
    
    (70) Columbia Massachusetts Tax-Exempt Fund  (Sym: COMAX,
         CMABX, COMCX )
    
    (71) Columbia Municipal Money Market Fund  (Sym: CXMXX,
         CMNXX, CMXXX, CMZXX)
    
    (72) Columbia National Municipal Bond Fund  (Sym: CNLAX,
         CNLBX, CNBCX, CNLDX, CLNMX)
    
    (73) Columbia New Jersey Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund  
         (Sym: LNIAX, LNIBX, LNICX, GNJBX, GNJAX, GNJTX )
    
    (74) Columbia New York Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund  
         (Sym: LNYAX, LNYBX, LNYCX, GBNYX, GANYX, GNYTX )
    
    (75) Columbia New York Tax-Exempt Fund  (Sym: COLNX, CNYBX,
         CNYCX)
    
    (76) Columbia Oregon Municipal Bond Fund  (Sym: COEAX,
         COEBX, CORCX, COEDX, CMBFX)
    
    (77) Columbia Pennsylvania Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund  
         (Sym: LPIAX, LPIBX, LPICX, GTPAX)
    
    (78) Columbia Rhode Island Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund  
         (Sym: LRIAX, LRIBX, LRICX, GRBBX, GRBAX, GRITX )
    
    (79) Columbia Tax-Exempt Fund  (Sym: COLTX, CTEBX, COLCX )
    
    (80) Columbia Tax-Exempt Insured Fund  (Sym: CEXIX, CEIBX,
         CEINX)

The wrongful conduct alleged in and which is the subject of the
lawsuit relates to "timing." As used, "timing" is an investment
technique involving short-term, "in and out" trading of mutual
fund shares to turn a quick profit. The lawsuit alleges that
timing injures ordinary mutual fund investors who are not
allowed to engage in such practices and benefits the mutual fund
companies.

For more details, contact Charles J. Piven, P.A. by Mail: The
World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410-986-0036 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


FRANKLIN FUNDS: Much Shelist Lodges Securities Suit in Nevada
-------------------------------------------------------------
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. 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


ITT EDUCATIONAL: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Lawsuit in IN
--------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities
class action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of ITT
Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE: ESI) between April 17, 2003
and February 24, 2004, inclusive, seeking to pursue remedies
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The action, numbered
1:04-CV-0380 DFH-TAB, is pending in the United States District
Court for the District of Indiana, against the Company and:

     (1) Rene R. Champagne (CEO, Chairman),

     (2) Omer E. Waddles (President, COO, Director) and

     (3) Kevin M. Modany (CFO)

According to the complaint, defendants violated sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder by the Securities and Exchange Commission, by issuing
a series of material misrepresentations to the market during the
Class Period.

The complaint alleges that the Company's Class Period
representations regarding its quarterly performance, made in
press releases and SEC filings, were each materially false and
misleading because they failed to disclose that:

     (1) ITT Educational had systematically falsified records,
         such as those relating to enrollment, graduation and
         job placement rates, in order to artificially inflate
         its reported operational and financial performance;

     (2) a material portion of the Company's reported revenues
         were derived through fraudulent business practices,
         such as federal grants and financial aid payments that
         were secured through falsified records;

     (3) the Company's reported results did not accurately
         portray the Company's operations because a material
         portion of those results were attributable to
         prohibited practices; and

     (4) that the Company's results were not prepared and
         reported in accordance with generally accepted
         accounting principles and did not fairly present its
         actual financial results or condition.

On February 25, 2004, before the opening of ordinary trading,
the Company issued a press release announcing that it had been
served with a search warrant and related grand jury subpoenas at
its corporate headquarters and several of its schools.

In reaction to this announcement, the price of ITT Educational
common stock plummeted, falling from $57.40 per share on
February 24, 2004 to close at $38.50 on February 25, 2004 -- a
one-day drop of 33% on unusually heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman, Peter E. Seidman,
and Andrei V. Rado by Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl.
New York, NY, 10119-0165 by Phone: (800) 320-5081 or by E-mail:
ITTEducational@milberg.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.milberg.com


MICROMUSE INC.: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP initiated a securities
class action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of
Micromuse, Inc. (Nasdaq: MUSEE) between January 20, 2000 and
December 30, 2003, inclusive, seeking to pursue remedies under
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The action, numbered 03-CV-770, is pending in the United Stated
District Court for the Northern District of California, against
defendants Micromuse and certain of its senior executive
officers.  According to the complaint, defendants violated
sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market during the Class
Period.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
knowingly or recklessly issued materially false and misleading
financial statements that misrepresented the Company's earnings
and shareholder equity. During this period, Company insiders
sold Micromuse stock for proceeds of approximately $174 million.

The Class period ends on December 30, 2003. On that date, the
Company announced that filing of its annual report on Form 10-K
would be delayed pending completion of an internal inquiry,
primarily regarding accounting for accrued expenses and expense
recognition, and that the Company expected the inquiry to lead
to a restatement of financial results for the fiscal years
ending September 20, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. In reaction to
this announcement, the price of Micromuse common stock dropped
by 12.4%, from a closing price of $6.90 on December 29, 2003,
and closed the day down 4% at $6.59 on volume ten times greater
than average.

For more details, contact Fred Taylor Isquith, Betsy C.
Manifold, George Peters or Derek Behnke by Mai: 270 Madison
Avenue, New York, New York 10016, by Phone: (800) 575-0735 by E-
mail: classmember@whafh.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.whafh.com. All e-mail correspondence should make  
reference to Micromuse.


MOBILITY ELECTRONICS: Federman & Sherwood Files Stock Suit in AZ
----------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood initiated a securities class action against
Mobility Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOBE) in the United States
District Court for the District of Arizona, alleging that
throughout the class period of September 02, 2003 through
January 5, 2004, the Company issued materially false and
misleading statements thereby artificially inflating the
securities of the Company.

The complaint alleges that Mobility Electronics, Inc. was not
meeting its sales forecasts, not generating revenues and
earnings and not disclosing this information to the investing
public, even while insiders were trading their shares to the
unsuspecting public.  The complaint further alleges violations
of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.

For more details, contact William B. Federman by Mail: 120 N.
Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 by Phone: (405)
235-1560 by Fax: (405) 239-2112 or by E-mail: wfederman@aol.com


QUALITY DISTRIBUTION: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Quality
Distribution, Inc. (NasdaqNM:QLTY) between November 7, 2003 (the
date of the Quality Distribution, Inc. initial public offering)
and February 2, 2004, inclusive.  The case is pending in the
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
against defendant Quality Distribution, Thomas L. Finkbiner and
S. M. Hensley.

The action charges that defendants violated 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.

For more details, contact Charles J. Piven by Mail: The World
Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410-986-0036 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


QUALITY DISTRIBUTION: Brian Felgoise Lodges Stock Lawsuit in FL
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Brian M. Felgoise, P.C. initiated a
securities class action on behalf of shareholders who acquired
Quality Distribution, Inc. (NasdaqNM:QLTY) securities between
November 7, 2003 and February 2, 2004, inclusive.  The case is
pending in the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Florida, against the company and certain key
officers and directors.

The action charges 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.

For more details, contact Brian M. Felgoise, Esquire by Mail:
261 Old York Road, Suite 423, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, 19046,
by Phone: 215-886-1900 or by E-mail:
securitiesfraud@comcast.net.


QUALITY DISTRIBUTION: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Stock Lawsuit in FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Brodsky & Smith, LLC initiated a securities class action on
behalf of shareholders who purchased the common stock and other
securities of Quality Distribution, Inc. (NasdaqNM:QLTY),
between November 7, 2003 and February 2, 2004 inclusive.  The
class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Florida.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period,
thereby artificially inflating the price of Quality Distribution
securities.  The Company has announced that it plans to restate
its results back to 2001 after discovering insurance law
violations at one of its subsidiaries.

For more details, contact Marc L. Ackerman, Esquire or Evan J.
Smith, Esquire by Mail: Two Bala Plaza, Suite 602, Bala Cynwyd,
PA 19004, by Phone: 877-LEGAL-90 or by E-mail: clients@brodsky-
smith.com.


QUALITY DISTRIBUTION: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Stock Lawsuit in FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd. initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida,
on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired
publicly traded securities of Quality Distribution Inc.
(NASDAQ:QLTY) between November 7, 2003 and February 2, 2004,
inclusive.  The lawsuit was filed against the Company and:

     (1) Thomas L. Finkbiner and

     (2) Samuel M. Hensley

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated Sections 11 and
15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1933. On or about November
7, 2003, Quality commenced an initial public offering of 7
million shares of its common stock at an offering price of $17
per share (the "IPO"), raising approximately $119.0 million. In
connection therewith, Quality filed a registration statement,
which incorporated a prospectus (the "Prospectus"), with the
SEC.

The complaint alleges that the Prospectus was materially false
and misleading because Quality materially overstated its
financial results and its financial statements were not prepared
in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
(GAAP).

On February 2, 2004, the Company announced that it expected to
take a fourth quarter charge and restate its results back to
2001 after discovering insurance law violations at Power
Purchasing Inc., one of its subsidiaries.  Quality announced
that it expects to take fourth-quarter 2003 charges of $3
million to $6 million and it forecast net income for the same
period would be negatively impacted by the problems at the
subsidiary.

For more details, contact Leigh Lasky, Esq. by Phone: 800-495-
1868


RYLAND GROUP: Wechsler Harwood Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. TX
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wechsler Harwood LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
on behalf of all purchasers of the publicly traded securities of
Ryland Group, Inc. (NYSE:RYL) from October 22, 2003 through
January 7, 2004, inclusive.  The complaint charges Ryland Group,
R. Chad Dreier, and Gordon Milne with violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

During the Class Period Defendants issued a series of material
misrepresentations to the market concerning the Company's
financial results and the status of its business and sales in
the Texas and, in particular, the Dallas market.

On January 8, 2004, Ryland Group shocked the market by
announcing that new orders for the fourth quarter had decreased
8.9%, largely due to a 33% decline in Texas orders. This
development stood in stark contrast to the positive statements
issued during the Class Period by Defendants. Ryland Group stock
fell $10.16, to $72.89 per share, after closing at $83.05 per
share on January 7, 2003 on heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact Wechsler Harwood LLP Shareholder
Relations Department by Mail: 488 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor, New
York, New York 10022 by Phone: (877) 935-7400, Ext. 283 or by E-
mail: vsoler@whesq.com.


SCUDDER FUNDS: Much Shelist Lodges Securities Lawsuit 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 as follows:

     (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 by E-mail: investorhelp@muchshelist.com.  Your e-mail
should refer to Scudder.


SONUS NETWORKS: Wechsler Harwood Lodges Securities Suit in MA
-------------------------------------------------------------
Wechsler Harwood LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased Sonus
Networks, Inc. securities (NasdaqNM:SONS) during the period
between April 9, 2003 and February 11, 2004, both dates
inclusive.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
caused Sonus Networks shares to trade at artificially inflated
levels through the issuance of false and misleading financial
statements. As a result of this inflation, Sonus Networks was
able to complete a public offering of 20 million shares, raising
proceeds of $61 million on April 22, 2003. On February 11, 2004,
the Company issued a press release which stated: ``Sonus
Networks today provided additional information regarding the
delay in reporting its fourth quarter and full fiscal year
financial results for the year ended December 31, 2003.

In connection with the year-end audit, Sonus Networks and its
independent auditors have identified certain issues, practices
and actions of certain employees relating to both the timing of
revenue recognized from certain customer transactions and to
certain other financial statement accounts, which may affect the
Company's 2003 financial statements and possibly financial
statements for prior periods.'' The stock dropped below $6 per
share on this news.

For more details, contact Craig Lowther by Mail: 488 Madison
Avenue, 8th Floor New York, New York 10022 by Phone: (877) 935-
7400 or by E-mail: clowther@whesq.com


SONUS NETWORKS: Paskowitz & Associates Lodges Stock Suit in MA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Paskowitz & Associates initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of
Sonus Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS) publicly traded securities
during the period between June 3, 2003 and February 11, 2004,
inclusive.

The complaint charges Sonus Networks, Inc. and two top
executives with violations of the federal securities laws. More
specifically, the complaint alleges that, throughout the Class
Period, defendants issued numerous statements to the market
concerning the Company's financial results, which failed to
disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse facts,
among others:

     (1) that defendants had improperly and untimely recognized
         revenue on certain of the Company's customer
         transactions;

     (2) that defendants violated Generally Accepted Accounting
         Principles and the Company's own internal policies
         regarding the timing of revenue recognition; and

     (3) as a result of the foregoing, the Company's revenues,
         net income and earnings per share published during the
         Class Period were materially false and misleading.

On February 11, 2004, after the close of regular trading, Sonus
announced that the Company had identified certain issues,
practices and actions of certain employees relating to both the
timing of revenue recognized from certain customer transactions
and to certain other financial statement accounts, which may
affect the Company's 2003 financial statements and possibly
financial statements for prior periods.

Prior to disclosing these adverse facts, Sonus completed a
$126.14 million public offering, and Sonus insiders sold
approximately $2 million of their personally-held shares to the
unsuspecting public. The next morning, when the market opened
for trading, shares of the Company's stock fell as low as $5.02
per share, a decline of $1.67 per share, or 24.9%, on extremely
high trading volume.

For more details, contact Laurence D. Paskowitz by Phone: 212-
685-0969 or 800-705-9529


WHITEHALL JEWELLERS: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood initiated a securities class action against
Whitehall Jewellers, Inc. (NYSE: JWL) in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-
5, in that, throughout the class period of November 19, 2001
through December 10, 2003, the Company issued materially false
and misleading statements, thereby artificially inflating the
price of the securities of the Company.

For more information, contact William B. Federman by Mail: 120
N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 by Phone: (405)
235-1560 by Fax: (405) 239-2112 or by E-mail: wfederman@aol.com


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A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Wednesday's edition of the Class Action Reporter. Submissions
via e-mail to carconf@beard.com are encouraged.

Each Friday's edition of the CAR includes a section featuring
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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