CAR_Public/040308.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

               Monday, March 8, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 47


                            Headlines

ACACIA MEDIA: Wants 'Patent Case' Defendants Certified As Class
ACCESS VARIABLE: SEC Sets Hearing Date For Application Request  
ALGER FUNDS: State Regulators Seek Trade Data Amidst Probe
ANTI-CHOLESTEROL DRUGS: Group Links New Drug To Muscle Disease
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Study Warns Number of Deaths Growing

BOZENA BRZOSTEK: Recalls "Chalwa" Candy For Undeclared Peanuts
CATHOLIC CHURCH: Newly Retired MA Bishop Charged With Sex Abuse
CHANG WANG: Recalls "Yuexiang" Rice Cakes For Undeclared Peanuts
CINERGY CORPORATION: Named in Improper Pricing Suit
EL BURRITO: Recalls Guacamole Products For Possible Listeria

EL PASO CORPORATION: CA AG Expects Ruling On $1.6B Pact By April
FAO SCHWARZ: Recalls Fire Engine Toys For Choking Hazard
FIRST HORIZON: GA Court To Rule On Motion To Dismiss Stock Suit
FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal Of IPO Suit
FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Faces Consolidated Securities Suit In NJ

FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Subsidiaries Face SEC Civil Action In MA
FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Faces Putative Stock Suits In MA Court
GEMSTAR TV: Agrees To Settle Consolidated Stock Suit In CA
HECLA MINING: Complaint Pending In Idaho In Discovery Phase
HOUSEHOLD FINANCE: Reaches Settlement In ACORN Lending Suit

IBIS TECHNOLOGY: Faces 4 Separate Securities Suits In MA Court
IBIS TECHNOLOGY: Faces Shareholder Derivative Action In MA Court
IBM CORPORATION: Judge Puts Cases On Hold, Pending Arbitration
INTERWAVE COMMUNICATIONS: Pact Reached In Amended Stock Suit
J & Y MARKET CORP: Recalls "Trail Mix" For Undeclared Sulfites

JCP&L: SEC Sets March 26 Hearing Deadline On Exemption Proposal  
LASKO PRODUCTS: Recalls Space Heaters For Electrocution Hazard
MARTHA STEWART: Jury Hands Down Conviction On All Four Charges
MEDIACOPY: Ex-Employees File Suit Over Improper Layoff Notice
MEDICAL STAFFING: Faces Securities Complaint In Florida Court

MEDICARE: Cancer Patients, Doctors Mull Revised Payment Schemes
METRIS COMPANIES: Ex-CEO Files Whistleblower Complaint In MN
MIDAMERICAN ENERGY: Faces Price Manipulation Suit in S.D. NY
MIDAMERICAN ENERGY: S.D. NY District Court Consolidates Lawsuits
MINNESOTA: Bus Drivers Hit Picket Lines Over Retiree Benefits

PARMALAT FINANZIARIA: Secures Loan To Continue With Operations
QUADRAMED: Reports Settlement Of Shareholder Derivative Lawsuit
RHINO ECOSYSTEMS: Admin. Proceedings Entered In Stock Fraud Suit
RYAN BECK: Ex-Clients Want Gruntal's Liabilities Assumed by Firm
ST. PAUL: Settles Shareholders Lawsuit For Undisclosed Amount

ST. PAUL: Successfully Argues Dismissal of 11 Texas Cases
ST. PAUL: Appeals Court Sustains 'Single Occurrence' Argument
ST. PAUL: Traveler's Board Sued for Breach of Fiduciary Duties
SEAESCAPE ENTERTAINMENT: SEC Files Securities Charges V. Ex-Reps
SOUTH AFRICA: Government Inaction Blamed For AIDS/Rape Epidemic    

SMURFIT STONE: Settles Antitrust Lawsuit for $92.5 Million
TEXAS: Judge Rules Against Gay Meetings in School Premises

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

aaiPHARMA: Abbey Gardy Files Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. NC
ADECCO SA: Deadline To File Lead Plaintiff Motion Set March 16
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
EL PASO CORPORATION: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Suit in TX
ITT: Paskowitz & Associates Commences Securities Suit in S.D. IN

ROYAL DUTCH/SHELL: Kirby McInerney Files Securities Suit in NJ
WINN-DIXIE: Alfred G. Yates Lodges Securities Suit in M.D. FL
WORLDCOM/MCI: Parker & Waichman Launches Securities Fraud Suit

                            *********

ACACIA MEDIA: Wants 'Patent Case' Defendants Certified As Class
---------------------------------------------------------------
Acacia Media Technologies initiated in February 2003 a DMT
patent infringement litigation in the Federal District Court for
the Central District of California against approximately 39
defendants who provide adult-oriented digital content over the
Internet.

As of December 31, 2003, nine of the original 39 defendants
remain in the initial litigation. In December 2003, Acacia Media
Technologies added an additional eight defendants to its pending
patent infringement litigation described above. The new
complaints, filed with the Federal District Court for the
Central District of California, seek to create a defendant class
for all adult entertainment companies that infringe Acacia Media
Technologies' DMT patents by transmitting pre-recorded, digital
audio and audio/video adult content via any electronic
communication channel into or from the Central District of
California, or that operate at least one interactive Web site
where a user located in Central District of California can
exchange information with a host computer.

Defendant class action status, which must be approved by the
court, would permit the court's rulings on certain key issues to
legally bind all members of the class, whether or not they have
been specifically named as defendants in the litigation.

For more information, contact Acacia Media Technologies by Mail:
500 Newport Center Drive, 7th Floor, Newport Beach CA 92660 or
by Phone: (949) 480-8300


ACCESS VARIABLE: SEC Sets Hearing Date For Application Request  
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a notice
giving interested persons until March 25 to request a hearing on
an application filed by Access Variable Insurance Trust and
Access Fund Management, LLC, seeking an order pursuant to
Section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act, as amended,
exempting certain life insurance companies and their separate
accounts that currently invest or may hereafter invest in the
Trust and, to the extent necessary, any investment adviser,
principal underwriter and depositor of such an account from the
provisions of Sections 9(a), 13(a), 15(a) and 15(b) of the
Act, and Rules 6e-2(b)(15) and 6e-3(T)(b)(15) thereunder, to the
extent necessary to permit shares of the Trust and shares of any
other investment company or portfolio that is designed to fund
insurance products and for which AFM or any of its affiliates
may serve in the future as investment adviser, manager,
principal underwriter, sponsor, or administrator to be sold to
and held by:

     (i) separate accounts funding variable annuity and variable
         life insurance contracts issued by both affiliated and
         unaffiliated life insurance companies;

    (ii) qualified pension and retirement plans outside of the
         separate account context;

   (iii) separate accounts that are not registered as investment
         companies under the Act pursuant to exemptions from
         registration under Section 3(c) of the Act;

    (iv) AFM or its affiliates; and

     (v) any other person permitted to hold shares of the Trusts
         pursuant to Treasury Regulation 1.8175.  


ALGER FUNDS: State Regulators Seek Trade Data Amidst Probe
----------------------------------------------------------
Regulators in Massachusetts and West Virginia recently joined an
investigation into mutual fund trading practices at Fred Alger
Management at the same time the company's former vice chairman
went to prison for obstructing the probe, Reuters News reports.

The New York-based mutual fund firm said the regulators
requested information about market timing and late trading in
funds managed by Alger, according to a regulatory filing
released on Wednesday. The New York Attorney General's office
and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been
probing Alger's activities as part of a wide-ranging
investigation into market timing and late trading in the $7.4
trillion mutual fund industry for months.

Market timing, while not illegal, has long been prohibited by
many mutual funds firms because the fast-paced buying and
selling of shares may dilute long-term investors' returns.
However, Alger, which manages roughly $11 billion, did not have
rules against market timing and, therefore, the company contends
that no one broke any rules.

"To date, Alger has not been charged by any regulatory agency
with any improper or illegal conduct with respect to market
timing issues," said Ramon Marks, a partner at Dorsey & Whitney.
In the filing, Alger said it would make appropriate restitution
if the regulators were to find that Alger investors were harmed
by the trading practices.

In January, James Connelly, Alger's former vice chairman, went
to prison to serve a sentence of up to three years for
interfering with regulators' probes. A few months before that,
Connelly, credited with rebuilding Alger after two-thirds of the
company's investment staff was killed in the World Trade Center
attack in 2001, settled some charges with the SEC. Connelly had
admitted to concealing evidence showing that hedge fund Veras
Investment Partners traded Fred Alger funds illegally after the
market closed.


ANTI-CHOLESTEROL DRUGS: Group Links New Drug To Muscle Disease
--------------------------------------------------------------
A consumer advocate said on Thursday that a 39-year-old woman
has died of a muscle-destroying condition linked to the
controversial new anti-cholesterol drug Crestor, citing 16 cases
of serious side effects in urging a ban of the drug, the
Associated Press reports.

Crestor is in the popular family of cholesterol-lowering drugs
called statins. It won Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
approval in August, after a delay because of safety concerns:
Seven cases of the potentially fatal, muscle-destroying
condition called rhabdomyolysis occurred during studies
involving patients on an 80-milligram dose. For that rare
condition to pop up in clinical trials was unusual - and
particularly worrisome since another statin, Baycol, had been
pulled off the market in 2001, linked to dozens of
rhabdomyolysis-caused deaths worldwide.

In studies, Crestor also was linked to some cases of kidney
abnormalities not seen with other statins. Still, FDA ultimately
decided to approve Crestor, saying it appeared to be slightly
more potent than other statins and thus may be important for
some patients. To lower the risk of side effects, FDA
recommended starting doses of 5 mg. to 10 mg, and said patients
should never exceed 40 mg.

But records from the FDA and health agencies in Canada and
Britain show life-threatening side effects occur even at those
lower doses, said Dr. Sidney Wolfe of the consumer advocacy
group Public Citizen, in a petition filed with FDA Thursday
seeking a ban. Also, among six patients, Crestor interacted
dangerously with the blood-thinner Coumadin, commonly used by
heart-disease patients. One had a hemorrhage, Wolfe said.

Crestor maker AstraZeneca wouldn't comment on the deaths or
other serious side effects except to say "the safety profile is
totally comparable" to what pre-marketing studies had predicted,
said spokesman Gary Bruell. "We're very pleased with the
performance of the drug thus far," he said told the AP, noting
that 1 million patients worldwide have tried Crestor, including
600,000 in the United States. The company is about to begin
major television advertising for the drug.

But Wolfe contended that Crestor "has no unique advantage, but
some unique risks" over other statins. He told the FDA there is
growing concern about the drug, citing two major U.S. insurers
who refuse to pay for it because of the muscle risk and a recent
recommendation against use by Sweden's drug advisers. The FDA
will evaluate the petition, said spokeswoman Laura Bradbard.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Study Warns Number of Deaths Growing
---------------------------------------------------------
A report by an environmental research group said on Thursday,
said that ten thousand Americans die each year from asbestos-
related diseases and the number appears to be increasing in a
growing public health crisis, Reuters News reports.

The analysis by the Washington-based Environmental Working Group
projects that more than 100,000 people in the United States will
die of four asbestos-related diseases -- mesothelioma,
asbestosis, lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer -- over the
next 10 years. The EWG report called for an immediate ban on
asbestos, federal asbestos health screening and a "fair measure
of assistance" for victims of asbestos exposure.

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah called on Wednesday for a
two- or three-day marathon session later this month to finish
legislation that would replace asbestos lawsuits with a victims'
fund supported by asbestos companies and insurers. But report
author Richard Wiles criticized the U.S. Senate proposal as
"grossly insufficient." "This is not an issue of bankruptcy (for
asbestos firms). This is a public health issue," Wiles told
Reuters news.

The nonprofit research organization said it based its analysis
on 25 years worth of U.S. government data on asbestos mortality
and examined the toll from just two causes of asbestos deaths --
mesothelioma and asbestosis. The report said that while most of
the deaths were among workers who were exposed to the fire-
proofing mineral decades ago, more than 1 million people are
currently exposed to asbestos on the job and millions more are
exposed to asbestos in the environment.

Asbestos was widely used for fireproofing and insulation until
the 1970s. Scientists have concluded that inhaled asbestos
fibers are linked to cancer and other diseases. A bill sponsored
by Hatch to create an asbestos victims fund was passed last
summer by the Senate Judiciary Committee he chairs but was not
voted on by the full Senate. Senate Republican leader Bill Frist
said last week he intended to bring asbestos legislation to a
vote by the end of March or the first week of April.

Dr. Richard Lemen, an occupational and environmental health
consultant and former assistant U.S. Surgeon General, said
public health agencies need to work to dispel the misconception
that the fibrous mineral is no longer a threat.

Asbestos companies and insurers proposed a $114 billion fund to
pay victims' claims in talks last year. Labor representatives
said the sum was too low.


BOZENA BRZOSTEK: Recalls "Chalwa" Candy For Undeclared Peanuts
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bozena Brzostek, d/b/a Eden Delicatessen, 114-20 Rockaway Beach
Blvd., Rockaway Park, New York 11694, in cooperation with the
U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), is recalling
packages of "Chalwa" candy because it contains undeclared
peanuts. People who have allergies to peanuts run the risk of
serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume
this product. No illnesses have been reported to date in
connection with this product.

The recalled "Chalwa" candy is packaged in a 250-gram cardboard
box bearing code 07.10.2004 Bb1. It was sold in the Rockaway
Park area of Queens.

Routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets food inspectors revealed the product contained peanuts
not declared on the label. Consumers who have purchased this
product are urged to return it to the place of purchase.


CATHOLIC CHURCH: Newly Retired MA Bishop Charged With Sex Abuse
---------------------------------------------------------------
A country prosecutor said Thursday he will present to a grand
jury sex-abuse allegations against retired Springfield Bishop
Thomas Dupre, the Associated Press reports.

Dupre, 70, stepped down Feb. 11, citing health reasons. His
retirement came a day after The Republican newspaper of
Springfield confronted Dupre with allegations that decades
earlier he had abused two boys while he was a parish priest.


CHANG WANG: Recalls "Yuexiang" Rice Cakes For Undeclared Peanuts
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chang Wang Food Market, Inc., 6710 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, New
York 11204, in cooperation with the U.S. Food Safety and
Inspection Service (FSIS), is recalling packages of "Yuexiang
Egg Mung Bean Rice Fried Cake" because they contain undeclared
peanuts. People who have allergies to peanuts run the risk of
serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume
this product. No illnesses have been reported to date in
connection with this product.

The recalled "Yuexiang Egg Mung Bean Rice Fried Cake" is
packaged in a plastic jar with a yellow cap. It is a product of
China. It was sold in the Brooklyn, New York area.

Routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets food inspectors revealed the product contained peanuts
not declared on the label. Consumers who have purchased this
product are urged to return it to the place of purchase.


CINERGY CORPORATION: Named in Improper Pricing Suit
---------------------------------------------------
Cornerstone Propane Partners L.P. sued Cinergy Corporation and
38 other companies in August 2003 in the Southern District of
New York.

The suit is a purported class action on behalf of all persons
who purchased and/or sold New York Mercantile Exchange natural
gas futures and options contracts between January 1, 2000 and
December 31, 2002.  The complaint alleges that improper price
reporting caused damages to the class. The plaintiffs are
seeking unspecified damages.

Two similar lawsuits have subsequently been filed, one naming
Cinergy and one not.  These three lawsuits have been
consolidated for pretrial purposes as In Re: Natural Gas
Commodity Litigation.  Plaintiffs filed a consolidated class
action complaint in January 2004.

"We believe this action is without merit and intend to defend
this lawsuit vigorously; however, we cannot predict the outcome
of this matter at this time," the company said in a recent SEC
filing.

For more information, contact Cinergy Corporation by Mail: 139 E
Fourth St, C/O Treasurer Dept, P.O. Box 960, Cincinnati OH 45201
or by Phone: (513) 381-2000


EL BURRITO: Recalls Guacamole Products For Possible Listeria
------------------------------------------------------------
El Burrito Mexican Food Products, Inc., in cooperation with the
U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), is recalling
Springfield Brand 8 oz plastic cups; and El Burrito Brand, 8 and
11 oz. cups of Guacamole, because they have the potential to be
contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can
cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children,
frail or elderly people, and others with a weakened immune
system. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term
symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea,
abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause
miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. No illnesses
have been reported to date in connection with this recall.

The affected products were distributed in independent and chain
supermarkets throughout Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and
Hawaii.

The 8-ounce cups of Springfield Guacamole have a Universal
Product Code (UPC) code of 41380 55230. "Sell by" date tags on
the container lids are between 4/3/04 and 4/24/04. The El
Burrito Guacamole in 8 oz. cups have a UPC code of 36998 08260.
The 11 ounce products have a UPC codes of 36998 00260, and 36998
12260. "Sell by" date tags on the container lids are between
4/3/04 and 4/24/04.

The recall was initiated after El Burrito Mexican Foods
Products, Inc. sampled raw material avocado pulp and found that
it contained Listeria monocytogenes. Production and distribution
of this product has been temporarily suspended.

Consumers who purchased the above mentioned, El Burrito and
Springfield Fresh Guacamole products are urged to return them to
the place of purchase for a full refund. For more information,
contact the company at 626-369-7828 between the hours of 8am --
5pm Monday through Friday PST.


EL PASO CORPORATION: CA AG Expects Ruling On $1.6B Pact By April
----------------------------------------------------------------
A spokesman for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said
Thursday that a federal judge is expected to rule by the end of
March on a $1.6 billion settlement between El Paso Corp. units
and California on charges of market manipulation, The Dow Jones
Business News reports.

The settlement resolves complaints that El Paso withheld
capacity on a natural gas pipeline into California, causing gas
and power prices to rise during the state's 2000-01 energy
crisis. It was approved in December by a San Diego Superior
Court judge, but must be approved by the U.S. District Court in
San Diego before it can take effect. "We hope to have the El
Paso settlement wrapped up by the end of the month," Lockyer
spokesman Tom Dresslar said.

El Paso admits no wrongdoing in the settlement, the largest
antitrust class action settlement in California's history. Terms
include an upfront cash and cash equivalent of $551 million,
semiannual payments totaling about $875.6 million and a
reduction in the price of power paid by ratepayers of about $125
million. The bulk of the settlement amount will go to California
electricity and natural gas consumers in the form of lower rates
over the next 15-20 years.

The rate reductions will affect electricity and natural gas
customers of PG&E Corp. (PCG) unit Pacific Gas & Electric,
electricity customers of Edison International (EIX) unit
Southern California Edison, electricity and core gas customers
of Sempra (SRE) unit San Diego Gas & Electric, core gas
customers of Sempra unit SoCal Gas, and core gas customers of
Southwest Gas Corp (SWX).

The settlement is the largest by far to emerge from California's
energy crisis, which was marked by high wholesale power prices,
utility insolvency and blackouts.


FAO SCHWARZ: Recalls Fire Engine Toys For Choking Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------
FAO Schwarz Inc., King of Prussia, Pa., in cooperation with the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is voluntarily
recalling 323 Fire Engine Pull-Along Toys since small parts can
detach from the toy, posing a choking hazard to small children.
The company has received no reports of incidents or injuries
relating to this product.

The fire engine pull-along toys are red with a yellow ladder,
and are made of wood. They are about 18-inches long and come
with six toy firemen. "Fire Dept." is written on the sides of
the toy.

The toys, manufactured by the Toy Workshop of Shrewsbury,
England, were sold at FAO Schwarz toy stores nationwide from
September 2002 through January 2004 for about $20.

Consumers are urged to take the product away from small children
immediately and mail the product to FAO Schwarz Inc., 2520
Renaissance Blvd., King of Prussia, PA 19406 for a full refund,
including postage. PLEASE NOTE: Returns to this address must be
received before March 31, 2004. The seller of this product has
declared bankruptcy and will be able to accept returns only
until March 31, 2004. For more information, contact FAO Schwarz
Inc at (888) 889-5437 anytime.


FIRST HORIZON: GA Court To Rule On Motion To Dismiss Stock Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Currently pending before the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Georgia is defendant's motion to
dismiss a consolidated lawsuit, initiated in August 2002,
brought against the Company, and certain of its former and
current officers and directors.

The consolidated lawsuit is seeking to be certified as a class
action lawsuit, but has not yet been granted that status.
Plaintiffs in the class action litigation have alleged in
general terms that First Horizon violated Sections 11 and
12(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.

In an amended complaint, Plaintiffs claim that Defendants issued
a series of materially false and misleading statements to the
market in connection with the company's public offering on April
24, 2002 and thereafter relating to alleged "channel stuffing"
activities. The amended complaint also alleges controlling
person liability on behalf of certain of the company's officers
under Section 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 20 of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Plaintiffs seek an
unspecified amount of compensatory damages in an amount to be
proven at trial.


FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal Of IPO Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
A New York federal district court dismissed class action
lawsuits brought against Robertson Stephens and other leading
underwriters of the Company, over allegations that they
conspired to manipulate the aftermarkets for the IPO securities
and to extract anticompetitive fees in connection with the IPOs.

Robertson Stephens believes that it acted lawfully in respect to
the foregoing allegations and is contesting these suits. The
decision has been appealed.


FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Faces Consolidated Securities Suit In NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------
Four class action lawsuits have been filed and consolidated in
the New Jersey federal district court against the Company and
certain of its current and former directors and officers, on
behalf of former shareholders of Summit Bancorp, alleging
violations of federal securities laws in connection with the
January 25, 2001 registration statement and merger proxy
statement/prospectus (and incorporated prior SEC filings) for
the acquisition of Summit.

In particular, the complaints allege that the Company made false
or misleading statements or omitted material facts regarding
operations in Argentina, and omitted material facts regarding  
alleged knowledge of improper practices at Robertson Stephens.

FleetBoston and the defendant directors and officers deny the
allegations of the complaint.  


FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Subsidiaries Face SEC Civil Action In MA
---------------------------------------------------------------
On February 24, 2004, the SEC filed a civil action in the
Massachusetts federal district court against two FleetBoston
subsidiaries, Columbia Management Advisors, Inc. and Columbia
Funds Distributor, Inc., alleging that these two entities
allowed certain customers to engage in short-term or excessive
trading without disclosing this fact in the relevant fund
prospectuses.

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws in
relation to at least nine trading arrangements pertaining to
these customers during the period 1998-2003, and requests
injunctive and monetary relief. A similar action was filed the
same day in New York state court by the New York Attorney
General, claiming relief under New York state statutes.

The subsidiaries are engaged in discussions with the SEC and the
New York Attorney General in an effort to reach a satisfactory
resolution of these matters.


FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Faces Putative Stock Suits In MA Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
Separately, putative class actions have been filed in
Massachusetts federal district court, on behalf of those persons
who acquired shares in the Columbia funds between February 13,
1999 and January 14, 2004, alleging violations of federal
securities laws in relation to unspecified market timing  
arrangements.   

Management of FleetBoston, based on its review with counsel of
all actions and proceedings pending against FleetBoston and its
subsidiaries, considers that the aggregate loss, if any,
resulting from the final outcome of these proceedings should not
be material to FleetBoston's financial condition or annual
results of operations.


GEMSTAR TV: Agrees To Settle Consolidated Stock Suit In CA
----------------------------------------------------------
In February 2004, the Company reached an agreement to settle  
consolidated shareholder class action lawsuits pending in the
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Charges in the suits relate to certain accounting practices and
financial reporting under former management. Under the proposed
agreement, the Company will pay a total settlement amount of
$67.5 million in cash and stock, and an aggregate of $42.5
million in cash to the class in a combination of direct payments
and payments made through the SEC. In addition, the Company
agreed to issue 4,105,090 shares of common stock, which was
valued at $6.09 per share on the date the agreement was reached,
or $25 million in the aggregate.

The number of shares will increase if the price per share at the
time of distribution to the class is less than $6.09 per share.
The agreement also provides the Company with the option to
substitute cash for up to 2,052,545 of the shares at $6.09 per
share prior to the final settlement being approved.

The settlement is subject to approval by the Court and notice to
the class. The settlement does not resolve the related
shareholder derivative suits or the non-consolidated securities
fraud cases still pending against the Company.  


HECLA MINING: Complaint Pending In Idaho In Discovery Phase
-----------------------------------------------------------
A class action complaint was filed on January 7, 2002 in the
Idaho District Court, County of Kootenai, against several
corporate defendants, including Hecla Mining Company.

"We were served with the complaint on January 29, 2002. The
complaint seeks certification of three plaintiff classes of
Coeur d'Alene Basin residents and current and former property
owners to pursue three types of relief: various medical
monitoring programs, real property remediation and restoration
programs, and damages for diminution in property value, plus
other damages and costs they allege resulted from historic
mining and transportation practices of the defendants in the
Coeur d'Alene Basin," Hecla's latest SEC disclosure partly
reads.

On April 23, 2002, Hecla filed a motion with the Court to
dismiss the claims for relief relating to any medical monitoring
programs and the remediation and restoration programs. At a
hearing before the Idaho District Court on October 16, 2002, the
Judge struck the complaint filed by the plaintiffs in January
2002 and instructed the plaintiffs to re-file the complaint
limiting the relief requested by the plaintiffs to wholly
private damages. The Court also dismissed the medical monitoring
claim as a separate cause of action and stated that any
requested remedy that encroached upon the EPA's clean-up in the
Silver Valley would be precluded by the pending Federal Court
case described above.

The plaintiffs re-filed their amended complaint on January 9,
2003. As ordered by the Court, the amended complaint omits any
cause of action for medical monitoring and no longer requests
relief in the form of real property remediation or restoration
programs. At a hearing on May 7, 2003, the Court vacated the
entire amended complaint, and gave plaintiffs' counsel until
June 30, 2003, to re-file an amended complaint that complies
with Idaho law. Plaintiffs submitted a second amended complaint
on June 9, 2003, which Hecla and the other defendants have
answered.

"Discovery on the issue of class certification is proceeding. We
believe the claims alleged against us are subject to challenge
on a number of bases and we intend to vigorously defend this
litigation," the SEC disclosure concludes.

For more information, contact Hecla Mining Company by Mail: 6500
N Mineral Drive Suite 200 Coeur d'Alene ID 83815-9408 or by
Phone: (208) 769-4100


HOUSEHOLD FINANCE: Reaches Settlement In ACORN Lending Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------
On November 25, 2003, the Company announced the proposed
settlement of nationwide class action litigation with the
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)
and certain borrowers relating to the mortgage lending practices
of HFC's retail branch consumer lending operations.

Pursuant to the ACORN Settlement Agreement, HFC will provide
monetary relief for certain class members who did not
participate in the settlement with the state attorneys
general and regulatory agencies, as described above, and
non-monetary relief for all class members, including those who
participated in the settlement, amongst other relief.

The ACORN Settlement Agreement is expected to become effective
upon approval by the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California, which is expected in the second
quarter of 2004.


IBIS TECHNOLOGY: Faces 4 Separate Securities Suits In MA Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
Four class action securities lawsuits have been filed in the
United States District Court in the District of Massachusetts
against the Company and its President and CEO, alleging, among
other things, that the Company violated the federal securities
laws by allegedly making misstatements to the investing public
relating to demand for certain Ibis products and intellectual
property issues relating to the sale of the i2000 oxygen
implanter. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages.

The lawsuits are styled: Martin Smolowitz v. Ibis Technology
Corp., et al., Civ. No. 03-12613 (RCL) (D. Mass.); Fred Den v.
Ibis Technology Corp., et al., Civ. No. 04-10060 (RCL) (D.
Mass.); Weinstein v. Ibis Technology Corp., et al., Civ. No. 04-
10088 (RCL) (D.Mass.); and George Harrison v. Ibis Technology
Corp., et al., Civ. No. 04-10286(RCL) (D. Mass.).


IBIS TECHNOLOGY: Faces Shareholder Derivative Action In MA Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ibis has been named as a nominal defendant in a shareholder
derivative action filed in February 2004 against certain of its
directors and officers, alleging, among other things, that the
alleged conduct challenged in the securities cases pending
against Ibis in Massachusetts constitutes a breach of the
defendants fiduciary duties to the Company.

The complaint seeks unspecified money damages and other relief
ostensibly on behalf of Ibis.


IBM CORPORATION: Judge Puts Cases On Hold, Pending Arbitration
--------------------------------------------------------------
More than 40 lawsuits against IBM Corp. are on hold after Santa
Clara County Superior Court Judge Robert Baines ordered the
parties to meet with an arbitrator to try settling the disputes,
the Associated Press reports.

Judge Baines made the written order just days after a jury ruled
the computer giant was not responsible for the cancers that
developed in two former employees at a disk drive plant in San
Jose.

"There was a clear response that these cases are meritless and
it's a waste of time to pursue them any further," IBM attorney
Mary Ellen Powers told the AP. Richard Alexander, the lead
attorney for all San Jose plaintiffs, conceded that Baines'
decision was in part influenced by last week's jury verdict in
favor of IBM. He said it was a good time for everyone to
reappraise the cases.

On Tuesday, IBM settled a lawsuit in New York that alleged a
woman's severe birth defects were caused by her mother's working
conditions.


INTERWAVE COMMUNICATIONS: Pact Reached In Amended Stock Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
A proposed settlement has been reached in a purported amended
securities class action brought against the Company and several
of its officers and directors, in the United States District
Court, Southern District of New York, styled: Middleton v.
interWAVE Communications International Ltd., et al., Case No.01-
CV-10598)

The amended complaint asserts that the prospectus from
interWAVE's January 28, 2000 initial public offering failed to
disclose certain alleged improper actions by various
underwriters for the offering in the allocation of IPO shares.
It further alleges claims against certain underwriters,
interWAVE and its officers and directors under the Securities
Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Similar complaints have been filed concerning more than
300 other IPOs and these cases have been coordinated as In re
Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, 21 MC92.

On July 15, 2002, the issuers filed an omnibus motion to dismiss
for failure to comply with applicable pleading standards. On
October 8, 2002, the Court entered an Order of Dismissal as
to all of the individual defendants in the IPO litigation,
without prejudice. On February19, 2003, the Court denied the
motion to dismiss against interWAVE.

The settlement is subject to a number of conditions, including
court approval.


J & Y MARKET CORP: Recalls "Trail Mix" For Undeclared Sulfites
--------------------------------------------------------------
J & Y Market Corp., of 3789 East Tremont Avenue, Bronx, New York
10465, in cooperation with the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection
Service (FSIS), is voluntarily recalling "Running Wolf Trail
Mix" for undeclared sulfites. Sulfites can cause deadly
reactions in asthmatics and others suffering sulfite allergies.
No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recalled product is packaged in a 10-ounce plastic container
with attached lid and bears code "Date: July 01 04". "Running
Wolf Trail Mix" was sold in the Bronx, New York area.

Routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets food inspectors revealed the product contained high
levels of sulfites, which were not declared on the label.
Consumers who have purchased "Running Wolf Trail Mix" should
return it to the place of purchase.


JCP&L: SEC Sets March 26 Hearing Deadline On Exemption Proposal  
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a notice  
giving interested persons until March 26 to request a hearing on
a proposal by Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L), a
direct, wholly-owned public utility subsidiary of FirstEnergy
Corp., a registered holding company, to seek an exemption from
the "at cost" requirements of the Public Utility Holding Company
Act in regard to a service agreement that JCP&L proposes to
enter into with a wholly-owned subsidiary in connection with the
subsidiary's proposed issuance of transition bonds.

The proceeds from the transition bonds will allow JCP&L to
recover certain costs associated with electric restructuring in
New Jersey.


LASKO PRODUCTS: Recalls Space Heaters For Electrocution Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lasko Products Inc., of West Chester, Pa., in cooperation with
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is
voluntarily recalling 186,000 space heaters since the power cord
connection can overheat and cause the cord to separate from the
space heater, posing a fire, burn and shock hazard.

The company has received four consumer reports of burned and
detached power cords. No injuries were reported.

There are two types of heaters involved in this recall. The
recalled model 5500 heater is an oscillating ceramic heater with
dark grey vents surrounded by a bronze trim. The model number is
located on a label under the round base. The Model 5700 heater
is an oil filled radiator-type heater. The model number is
located on a label on the side of the heater near the right
front wheel. The name "Lasko" is printed near the top of both
heaters.

The heaters (Model 5500, manufactured in China; Model 5700 in
Portugal) were sold by retailers such as Dollar General and
Sam's Club stores nationwide from July 2001 through December
2003 for between $40 and $50.

Consumers are urged to stop using the heaters, unplug them and
contact Lasko Products for instructions on returning the heater
to receive a free replacement heater or a product of similar
value. For more information, contact Lasko Products toll-free at
(800) 233-6373 anytime or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.laskoproducts.com/recall_heaters.htmlfor more  
information and to determine if their heater is involved in the
recall.


MARTHA STEWART: Jury Hands Down Conviction On All Four Charges
--------------------------------------------------------------
After three days of deliberation, a jury found Martha Stewart on
Friday guilty on all four counts of obstructing justice and
lying to investigators about a well-timed stock sale, CNN Money
reports.

Her ex-broker, Peter Bacanovic, was found guilty on four of the
five charges against him. Each of them faces up to five years in
prison and $250,000 in fines for each count. Sentencing is set
for June 17. Stewart's lead attorney said his client would
appeal. "It was a difficult process for all of us," Robert
Morvillo said outside the courthouse, adding that he was
disappointed in the verdict but confident about an appeal.

A lawyer for Bacanovic said he also will appeal. The ex-Merrill
Lynch broker made no comment as he left the courthouse not long
after Stewart. Neither Stewart, 62, nor Bacanovic testified at
the trial, which began Jan. 27 and ran for five weeks. Attorneys
for Bacanovic called just a handful of witnesses while Morvillo
called only one witness.

The panel of eight women and four men began deliberating
Wednesday on whether Stewart and Bacanovic, 41, obstructed
justice and lied to the government about her sale of ImClone
Systems Inc. stock in December 2001. The conviction came exactly
a week after U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum threw
out the most serious charge against Stewart -- securities fraud
-- which carried a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a
$1 million fine.

The charge -- which the judge had called "novel" during the
trial -- accused Stewart of using her own statements that she  
was innocent as a ploy to mislead investors in her company,
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Stewart avoided a loss of about
$51,000 by selling nearly 4,000 shares of ImClone stock on Dec.
27, 2001, rather than the next trading day, when the stock
tumbled after regulators rejected the company's application for
a key cancer drug.

The government's star witness in the case, Douglas Faneuil,
Bacanovic's former assistant, testified that his boss ordered
him to pass the inside tip about ImClone to Stewart.

In a statement posted on her Web site, Stewart said, "Dear
Friends: I am obviously distressed by the jury's verdict but I
take comfort in knowing that I have done nothing wrong and that
I have the enduring support of my family and friends. I believe
in the fairness of the judicial system and remain confident that
I will ultimately prevail."

Martha Stewart Living stock rallied early Friday on hopes for a
favorable verdict but then plunged 22.6 percent afterward on the
New York Stock Exchange, where Stewart once served as a
director. The company said it would survive but analysts said
the verdict was a serious threat. Stewart quit as chairman and
CEO of Martha Stewart Living after she was indicted last summer
but stayed on as chief creative officer.

Last December, Stewart told CNN's Larry King Live that she was
not prepared for the trial. "No one is ever prepared for such a
thing," she said. "And no one is ever strong enough for such a
thing. No one is -- you know, you have no idea how much worry
and sadness and grief it causes."  Neither defendant appeared to
show any emotion as the verdict was read.


MEDIACOPY: Ex-Employees File Suit Over Improper Layoff Notice
-------------------------------------------------------------
Eight former Mediacopy employees filed suit against the company
in federal court Tuesday, alleging that the company improperly
failed to provide employees 60 days' notice before their layoffs
in December, The El Paso Times reports.

The eight plaintiffs are seeking class action status on behalf
of 400 laid-off El Paso workers. Mediacopy's parent, CD and DVD
replicator Infodisc, said in December that the layoffs were
necessary because it lost a major contract with Metro-Goldwyn-
Mayer.


MEDICAL STAFFING: Faces Securities Complaint In Florida Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
A securities class action has been filed against Medical
Staffing Network Holdings (Boca Raton, Florida) in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the Medical
Device Daily reports.

The lawsuit alleges that throughout the class period beginning
April 17, 2002, the company issued materially false and
misleading statements, thereby artificially inflating the
securities of the company. Medical Staffing Network is a
provider of nurses and allied healthcare, pharmacy, anesthesia
and clinical research professionals.


MEDICARE: Cancer Patients, Doctors Mull Revised Payment Schemes
---------------------------------------------------------------
Patients and doctors are bracing for major changes in the way
the government pays for treating cancer, with concerns that
patients will have to wait in long hospital lines to receive
chemotherapy or will be denied expensive but effective new
drugs, the Associated Press reports.

Federal officials say they need not worry, that neither
physicians nor patients will be shortchanged by a revised
payment structure being established under the new Medicare law
President Bush signed in December. They also point to provisions
beginning in 2006 that will cover a wide range of previously
uncovered, expensive, oral cancer drugs. In the meantime, the
government will devote at least $200 million to pay for some
oral drugs this year and next.

Some advocates say cancer patients cannot wait. They want the
government to increase money for oral drugs now. Norm Scherzer
of Wayne, N.J., said his wife, Anita, was a few months from
death when she began taking Gleevec more than three years ago
for a rare stomach cancer. "She had a needle biopsy the day
before she started taking it," Scherzer told the AP. "Ten days
later, she had a biopsy in the exact same place. The tumor
wasn't there." The Scherzers did not have to pay tens of
thousands of dollars for the drug only because they were part of
a trial sponsored by its maker, Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Off-label uses of cancer drugs - i.e., therapies other than
those for which drugs have received approval from the Food and
Drug Administration - is an area in which possible changes could
have a significant effect on treatment. Medicare has been
considering whether to stop paying for off-label uses of some
expensive drugs, both to cut costs for the government health
care program and to address questions about the effectiveness of
some treatments.

Doctors can legally prescribe drugs for any use, and patient
advocates argue that restricting the use of some drugs could
eliminate patients' best hope for treatment. Medicare's Norwalk
said a decision on off-label uses of cancer drugs likely would
await the confirmation of Mark McClellan, the FDA commissioner
whom President Bush has nominated to oversee Medicare. McClellan
is both a physician and an economist.

The greatest fears of cancer physicians is over changes planned
for 2005 in payments to doctors for medicines administered in
their offices. Some are talking about cutting back their
practices and sending patients to hospitals to get treatment.

Reimbursement rates are set by the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services. The agency changed the payment structure this
year in an effort to cut the profits doctors were making on
medicines they administered to patients in their offices.
Medicare uses a drug's average wholesale price to set its
payment levels. But doctors pay far less than that benchmark
because of substantial discounts that drug companies give them.
Last year, the government reimbursed doctors, clinics, hospitals
and pharmacies at 95 percent of a drug's average wholesale
price. This year the rate is 85 percent. At the same time,
however, Medicare has increased the amount it reimburses doctors
to cover their practice expenses, generally believed to have
been underpaid in the past. The result is no change in the
overall payments to cancer doctors this year, according to the
government.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology disagrees, saying its
members will see a 1 percent or 2 percent cut in their total
Medicare reimbursements. While not happy about that, cancer
doctors say they can live with the 2004 levels. But next year,
the equation will change again and reimbursements for
chemotherapy drugs will be more closely tied to the actual price
that doctors pay rather than the listed wholesale price. They
are asking Congress to essentially freeze payments at the 2004
levels until various agencies complete studies of the new
pricing system. The prospects for such a freeze are dim.
Republican leaders say no changes will be made in Medicare law
this year.


METRIS COMPANIES: Ex-CEO Files Whistleblower Complaint In MN
------------------------------------------------------------
On January 23, 2004, a complaint was filed in Hennepin County
District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota, against the Company,
certain members of its board of directors and a number of other
entities, by Ronald N. Zebeck, MCI's former Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer, alleging breach of contract, intentional
interference with contract, breach of covenant of good faith,
defamation, and violation of Minnesota's whistleblower act.

On February 1, 2004, defendants filed an answer in which they
denied the allegations in the complaint, and MCI filed
counterclaims against Mr. Zebeck alleging breach of fiduciary
duty and duty of loyalty, unjust enrichment, breach of covenant
not to compete, requesting an accounting, and seeking
declaratory judgment against Mr. Zebeck for the principal amount
($5 million) of a loan made by MCI in 1999, plus interest.

The Company believes Mr. Zebeck's claims are without factual and
legal support.


MIDAMERICAN ENERGY: Faces Price Manipulation Suit in S.D. NY
------------------------------------------------------------
MidAmerican Energy and Funding LLC is one of dozens of companies
named as defendants in a January 20, 2004 consolidated class
action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York.  

The suit alleges that the defendants have engaged in unlawful
manipulation of the prices of natural gas futures and options
contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX)
during the period of January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2002.
MidAmerican Energy is mentioned as a company that has engaged in
wash trades on Enron Online (an electronic trading platform)
that had the effect of distorting prices for gas trades on the
NYMEX.  

The plaintiffs to the class action do not specify the amount of
alleged damages.  At this time MidAmerican Energy does not
believe that it has any material exposure in this lawsuit.

For more information, contact MidAmerican Energy and Funding LLC
by Mail: 666 Grand Avenue, P.O. Box 657 Des Moines IA 50303 or
by Phone: (515) 242-4300


MIDAMERICAN ENERGY: S.D. NY District Court Consolidates Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
MidAmerican Energy and Funding LLC faces a class action in the
U.S. District Court, Southern District Court of New York.  The
original complaint, Cornerstone Propane Partners, L.P. v.
Reliant, et al. (Cornerstone), was filed on August 18, 2003.  On
October 1, 2003, a second complaint, Roberto E. Calle Gracey, et
al. (Calle Gracey), was filed in the same court but did not name
MidAmerican Energy.  On November 14, 2003, a third complaint,
Dominick Viola (Viola), et al., was filed in the same court and
named MidAmerican Energy as a defendant.

On December 5, 2003, the court entered Pretrial Order No. 1,
which among other procedural matters, ordered the consolidation
of the Cornerstone, Calle Gracey and Viola complaints and
permitted plaintiffs to file an amended complaint in this
matter.  On January 20, 2004 plaintiffs filed In Re: Natural Gas
Commodity Litigation as the amended complaint reasserting their
previous allegations.  

Unless extended by agreement of the parties or by court order,
MidAmerican Energy's answer and/or responsive pleading in this
matter is due February 19, 2004.   

"MidAmerican Energy will coordinate with the other defendants
and vigorously defend the allegations against it," the company's
latest SEC disclosure states.

For more information, contact MidAmerican Energy and Funding LLC
by Mail: 666 Grand Avenue, P.O. Box 657 Des Moines IA 50303 or
by Phone: (515) 242-4300


MINNESOTA: Bus Drivers Hit Picket Lines Over Retiree Benefits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Twin Cities bus drivers hit the picket lines early Thursday
after 11th-hour talks aimed at averting a strike collapsed,
shutting down a transit system that normally serves 75,000
riders a day, the Associated Press reports.

No new talks were scheduled, and Metro Transit pulled its buses
off the roads at 10 p.m. Wednesday in anticipation of the
strike, which began at 2 a.m. Pickets went up at bus garages
across the Twin Cities area early Thursday. Both sides went back
to the bargaining table with a state mediator Wednesday evening,
and Gov. Tim Pawlenty joined them, but the talks broke down
shortly after midnight.

Ron Lloyd, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005,
said Metro Transit rejected the union's proposals for binding
arbitration and to extend the current contract. The biggest
sticking point was Metro Transit's demand to reduce what it pays
for health care coverage for retired employees. Some employees
can get retiree health benefits at age 55 with as little as 10
years of service.

Metro Transit also sought to cut its health care costs for
current employees represented by Local 1005, who include about
2,200 drivers, mechanics, bus cleaners and clerical workers.
Metro Transit raised fares and cut routes last year. Peter Bell,
chairman of the Metropolitan Council, which oversees Metro
Transit, said he can't ask riders or the Legislature for more
money. Taxpayers already pay two-thirds of the cost of running
the system, he said.

An estimated 75,000 people ride more than 700 buses operated by
Metro Transit in Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding suburbs.
The most recent Metro Transit strike in 1995 lasted 21 days.


PARMALAT FINANZIARIA: Secures Loan To Continue With Operations
--------------------------------------------------------------
Insolvent dairy company Parmalat Finanziaria S.p.A. said
Thursday it had secured a EUR$105.8 million (US$128 million)
loan, which should help keep production running at its main
operating unit Parmalat S.p.A., the Associated Press reports.

Separately, the company's court-appointed administrator Enrico
Bondi asked a Parma court to sequester the personal assets of
all those who served as board members and internal auditors
since the company listed in 1990, sources close to prosecutors
told Dow Jones newswires. Bondi is seeking to recover as many
assets as possible in order to keep the insolvent dairy company
running. A recent audit found its net debt exceeds EUR$14.3
billion (US$17.3 billion).

Parmalat filed for protection from creditors last December after
the company revealed that previous management had declared
EUR$3.95 billion (US$4.77 billion) in assets that never existed.
Prosecutors in Milan and Parma are now investigating alleged
corporate fraud. The EUR$105.8 million (US$128 million) loan
announced Thursday will help keep the company going for the next
year while Bondi and his aides implement a restructuring plan,
details of which are expected to be released next week.

Parmalat said the loan will be divided into two tranches:
EUR$52.4 million (US$63.4 million) in the form of a current
account overdraft while the other EUR$53.4 million (US$64.6
million) will be issued against advanced trade receivables,
Parmalat said in a statement. Unicredit Banca d'Impresa is
acting as the agent bank for the 21-bank syndicated loan.

In addition to the Italian probe, the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission is investigating Parmalat and has filed suit
against the company in New York. American officials are looking
into what role U.S. banks may have had in the scandal and what
part they played in helping Parmalat sell US$1.5 billion in
bonds and notes to U.S. investors.


QUADRAMED: Reports Settlement Of Shareholder Derivative Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
QuadraMed (Reston, Virginia) reported that it has agreed to
settle a shareholders' derivative litigation associated with a  
securities litigation filed against QuadraMed and certain of its
officers and directors in October 2002, Medical Device Daily
reports.

The company said that the derivative litigation involves a
settlement amount that will be principally covered by insurance.
The amount of the settlement was not disclosed. QuadraMed is a
provider of healthcare information technology and services
ranging from clinical and patient information management to
revenue cycle and health information management.


RHINO ECOSYSTEMS: Admin. Proceedings Entered In Stock Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) entered an Order
Instituting Public Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to
Section 12(j) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against
Rhino Ecosystems, Inc., to determine whether the Commission
should suspend or revoke the registration of all securities of
Rhino registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934.

The Order alleges that Rhino, a Florida corporation with a
principal executive office in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, has
failed to file its Form 10-KSB Annual report for the years ended
July 31, 2002, and July 31, 2003, and its Forms 10-QSB for the
quarters ended Oct. 31, 2002, Jan. 31, 2003, April 30, 2003, and
Oct. 31, 2003.  The Order further alleges that, as a result of
the foregoing, Rhino has failed to comply with Section 13(a) of
the Exchange Act and Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder.

A hearing will be scheduled before an administrative law judge
to determine whether the allegations contained in the Order are
true, to provide Rhino an opportunity to dispute these
allegations, and to determine whether it is necessary  and
appropriate for the protection of investors to suspend or revoke
the registration of Rhino's securities. The Order requires the
Administrative Law Judge to issue an initial decision no later
than 120 days from the date of service of this Order, pursuant
to Rule 60(a)(2) of the Commission's Rules of Practice.  
     

RYAN BECK: Ex-Clients Want Gruntal's Liabilities Assumed by Firm
----------------------------------------------------------------
A one-count purported class action complaint was filed on
January 30, 2003 in the Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial
Circuit in and for Palm Beach County, Florida by a former
employee of Gruntal & Co., seeking a declaratory judgment that
Ryan Beck & Co. is liable for all pre-April 26, 2002 claims
against Gruntal by former Gruntal retail customers and retail
brokers, whether pending or to be filed in the future, not
expressly assumed by Ryan Beck in its acquisition of certain of
the assets of Gruntal.

The complaint does not specify the amount of such claims. The
complaint seeks to impose liability under the theory that either
(1) Ryan Beck engaged in a de facto merger with Gruntal, or (2)
Ryan Beck's brokerage business is a mere continuation of
Gruntal's brokerage business, or (3) Ryan Beck is the
beneficiary of a fraudulent transfer.  

Ryan Beck removed the case to federal court and subsequently
filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on various grounds. The
court issued an order staying this action until the resolution
of the Gruntal bankruptcy proceedings.

In April 2002, Ryan Beck acquired certain of the assets and
assumed certain of the liabilities of Gruntal. Ryan Beck has
been named as a defendant in a number of arbitration claims
filed by former Gruntal clients whose claims arose prior to the
transaction date.  In these actions Ryan Beck is alleged to be
successor in interest to Gruntal, which allegations Ryan Beck
denies.  In some instances the former Gruntal brokers against
whom the claims relate are now employed by Ryan Beck and in
other instances the brokers are not employed by Ryan Beck. Ryan
Beck did not assume any of the liabilities associated with these
actions in the Gruntal transaction.

While Ryan Beck does not consider any individual action to be
material, an adverse result in a number of these actions in the
aggregate could adversely affect the Company's financial
statements. In October 2002, Gruntal filed for bankruptcy
protection under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Laws.

About Ryan Beck

Ryan Beck & Co. is a subsidiary of Florida-based BankAtlantic
Bancorp. A regional investment firm, it engages primarily in
underwriting, distributing, and trading fixed income and equity
securities.  It provides middle-market financial institutions
and consumer, health care, and technology firms with consulting,
research, and financial services, focusing on capital finance
and merger-related services.  It also offers securities
brokerage for high-net-worth individuals and institutional
clients.  

For more information contact Ryan Beck & Co. by Mail: 220 S.
Orange Ave., Livingston, NJ 07039 or by Phone: (973) 597-6000.  
You may also contact BankAtlantic Bancorp by Mail: 1750 E
Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale FL 33304 or by Phone: (954) 760-
5000.


ST. PAUL: Settles Shareholders Lawsuit For Undisclosed Amount
-------------------------------------------------------------
In the fourth quarter of 2002, several purported shareholders
class actions were filed against the chief executive officer,
chief financial officer of St. Paul Companies, Inc.

In the first quarter of 2003, the lawsuits were consolidated
into a single action, which makes various allegations relating
to the adequacy of previous public disclosures and reserves
relating to the Western MacArthur asbestos litigation, and seeks
unspecified damages and other relief.

"In the fourth quarter of 2003, we agreed in principle to a
settlement, which is subject to certain customary conditions and
subject to court approval," the company said in a latest SEC
disclosure. "If the settlement is consummated, it will result in
our payment of an amount that is not material to our results of
operations."

For more information, contact St. Paul Companies, Inc. by Mail:
385 Washington St., Saint Paul MN 55102 or by Phone:
(612) 310-7911


ST. PAUL: Successfully Argues Dismissal of 11 Texas Cases
---------------------------------------------------------
In 2003, lawsuits styled as Boson v. Union Carbide Corp., et al
and Abernathy v. Ace American Ins. Co. were filed in Texas and
Ohio against certain subsidiaries of St. Paul Companies, Inc.,
other insurers and non-insurer corporate defendants, asserting
liability for failing to warn of the dangers of asbestos.

"It is difficult to predict the outcome for financial exposure
represented by this type of litigation in light of the broad
nature of the relief requested and the novel theories asserted,"
St. Paul said in its 3rd quarter disclosure. "We believe,
however, that the cases are without merit and we intend to
contest them vigorously."

"In this regard, we filed special exceptions in all of the Texas
cases. In October 2003, a court ruled on the special exceptions
in 11 of those cases, dismissing the cases with prejudice.
Subsequently, the court dismissed another case on the same
grounds. We view these as significant rulings in our favor. The
special exceptions in the remaining 50 cases have not yet been
ruled upon. We intend to file similar motions to dismiss in the
Ohio cases," it said.

For more information, contact St. Paul Companies, Inc. by Mail:
385 Washington St., Saint Paul MN 55102 or by Phone:
(612) 310-7911


ST. PAUL: Appeals Court Sustains 'Single Occurrence' Argument
-------------------------------------------------------------
In 2002, St. Paul Companies, Inc. and certain other insurers
obtained a summary judgment ruling that the World Trade Center
(WTC) property loss on September 11, 2001 was a single
occurrence.  Certain insureds, including the WTC's leaseholder,
appealed that ruling, asking the court to determine that the
property loss constituted two separate occurrences rather than
one.

In September 2003, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit ruled that under terms of the policy form used to
underwrite property coverage for the WTC, the terrorist attack
constituted one occurrence.


ST. PAUL: Traveler's Board Sued for Breach of Fiduciary Duties
--------------------------------------------------------------
A purported class action, styled Farina v. Travelers Property
Casualty Corp., et al, was filed in Connecticut state court
against Travelers Property Casualty Corp. and its board of
directors, alleging that they breached their fiduciary duties to
Travelers' shareholders in connection with the adoption of the
merger and the merger agreement with St. Paul Companies, Inc.

The complaint seeks injunctive relief as well as unspecified
monetary damages. The complaint also names St. Paul and its
subsidiary, Adams Acquisition Corp., as defendants, alleging
that they aided and abetted the alleged breach of fiduciary
duty.

"We believe this suit is wholly without merit and intend to
vigorously defend against it," St. Paul's latest SEC disclosure
states.


SEAESCAPE ENTERTAINMENT: SEC Files Securities Charges V. Ex-Reps
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) entered an Order
Instituting Public Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to
Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Making
Findings and Imposing Remedial Sanctions against Greg Balk and
Dax Ross.  The Order finds that Balk pled guilty to one count of
conspiracy to commit securities fraud of a two-count indictment,
which alleges, among other things, that Balk conspired to pay
undisclosed kickbacks of approximately $3.2 million to an
undercover agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who was
posing as a corrupt securities trader employed by the United
States-based representative of a fictitious foreign mutual fund
and others in return for their inducing the Fund to purchase
approximately $8 million of overpriced SeaEscape Entertainment,
Inc. stock.  

The Order also finds that Ross pled guilty to a criminal
indictment charging that he participated in a conspiracy to
commit mail and securities fraud.  The indictment alleges that
Ross, a registered representative, while associated with a  
registered broker-dealer, participated in a fraudulent scheme to
artificially inflate the market price of Equity Technologies and
Resources, Inc.'s stock by recommending and selling shares of
the stock to his customers in exchange for bribes.

Balk was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and 36 months of
supervised release and Ross was sentenced to 15 months
imprisonment and 36 months of supervised release.  The Order
bars Balk and Ross from participating in any offering of a penny
stock and Ross is also barred from association with any broker
or dealer.  Balk and Ross both consented to the issuance of the
Order without admitting or denying any of the findings contained
therein.


SOUTH AFRICA: Government Inaction Blamed For AIDS/Rape Epidemic    
---------------------------------------------------------------
Human rights activists said Thursday that government inaction,
mixed messages and inadequate information are undermining South
Africa's pledge to provide rape victims with drugs that can
reduce their chances of contracting HIV, the Associated Press
reports.

The country's AIDS epidemic has turned sexual assault into a
possible death sentence, the New York-based Human Rights Watch
said in a report. But many rape victims find they still can't
get anti-retroviral drugs that could protect them from HIV, the
virus that causes AIDS. South Africa has more people living with
HIV than any other country in the world - an estimated 5.3
million of its 45 million people. About 600 people die every day
of AIDS-related complications.

Rebecca Schleifer, who researched the report, said pledges to
provide anti-HIV drugs to rape victims face crucial challenges:
"effective public education, clear political support and
guaranteed access for children." Without urgent government
action, Schleifer said, "the dual epidemics of HIV/AIDS and
sexual violence will continue to claim the lives of too many
South Africans."

Sexual violence has reached alarming levels in South Africa,
particularly against children under 18 who represent an
estimated 40 percent of rape victims. In 2002, 52,107 rapes and
attempted rapes were reported to police, the report said. The
actual figure is believed to be much higher. A 23-year-old
university student was grabbed by two men and raped at gunpoint
as she walked home from the library one night. The student, who
asked not to be identified, sought help at a local hospital. She
was given the course of drugs known as post-exposure
prophylaxis, or PEP, but was not counseled on its use. Less than
a year later, the same student was grabbed by four men as she
walked home and stuffed into the trunk of their car. They drove
her to an apartment, where eight men took turns raping her as
they ate dinner.

This time, she waited a week before seeking medical attention.
"I told myself I don't want anything. I just want to die," she
told the APd, not understanding that she only had 72 hours to
start on PEP. When her friends finally persuaded her to go to
hospital, it was too late. Three months later, she tested
positive for HIV.

In April 2002, South Africa became one of the first African
nations to pledge to provide PEP to rape victims. Since then,
however, the government has failed to provide adequate
information or training about the program to police, health
workers, counselors or victims, the 73-page report said. The
government's highly publicized resistance to providing anti-
retrovirals to AIDS patients also left some health professionals
confused about whether the drugs work and whether it is policy
to provide them, Human Rights Watch said. Even after approving
PEP for rape survivors, government officials argued the drugs
were too expensive to treat AIDS, and President Thabo Mbeki
suggested they may be too toxic to use.

In a major about-face, the government approved a plan in
November to provide free anti-retrovirals to all who need them
within five years. The plan confirmed authorities' commitment to
providing PEP to rape survivors, and major investments were
promised in upgrading the national health system. Human Rights
Watch praised these commitments, but said the country's shaky
implementation of PEP raised doubts.

A 28-day course of two drugs - AZT and 3TC - can greatly reduce
the likelihood of contracting HIV if administered within 72
hours of exposure. In recent years, PEP has become standard for
rape victims in many developed countries, including France,
Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Australia. In Africa, however,
the drugs are only available on a limited basis. The drugs are
sometimes available at major city hospitals in South Africa, but
they are not routinely stocked at most rural health facilities,
the report said.

The government also requires an HIV test before administering
PEP. But children under 14 cannot undergo the test without the
consent of a parent or guardian, who is not always available.
Some health professionals insist rape victims file a police
report to obtain the drugs, even though this is not government
policy, according to the report. Police also are too slow to
help rape victims obtain medical assistance, it said.

Charlene Smith, a journalist who campaigned for PEP access after
she was raped at knifepoint in her own home, said she was
initially heartened when Cabinet pledged to provide the drugs.
"It lied," she said. "That lie remains ... and people die
because of it."


SMURFIT STONE: Settles Antitrust Lawsuit for $92.5 Million
-----------------------------------------------------------
Seven putative class action complaints were filed in 1998 in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois and in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania.

These complaints alleged that Stone Container reached agreements
in restraint of trade that affected the manufacture, sale and
pricing of corrugated products in violation of antitrust laws.
The complaints were amended to name several other defendants,
including Jefferson Smurfit (U.S.) and Smurfit-Stone Container
Corporation. The suits sought an unspecified amount of damages
arising out of the sale of corrugated products for a period
during 1993-95. The complaints were transferred to and
consolidated in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania, which certified two plaintiff classes.

In November 2003, Smurfit-Stone reached an agreement to settle
the antitrust class action cases pending against the Company,
Stone Container and Jefferson Smurfit (U.S.). The companies will
make an aggregate settlement payment of $92.5 million, one-half
of which was paid in December 2003 and the remainder of which
will be paid in January 2005. The settlement is subject to final
court approval following a fairness hearing to be held on March
26, 2004.

All of the other defendants have also entered into agreements to
settle these class actions; however, all of the defendants in
the class actions continue to be defendants in 12 lawsuits
brought on behalf of numerous parties that have opted out of the
class actions to seek their own recovery. All but one of the
opt-out cases have been transferred to the same United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for
pretrial proceedings.

"We continue to vigorously defend these opt-out cases. We
believe our liability for these matters was adequately reserved
at December 31, 2003," the company said in a recent SEC filing.

For more information, contact Smurfit Stone Container
Corporation by Mail: 150 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL 60601
or by Mail: (312) 346-6600


TEXAS: Judge Rules Against Gay Meetings in School Premises
----------------------------------------------------------
A judge has ruled that a group of gay high school students
cannot meet on campus, saying parents and school officials
should determine what subject matter is allowed at school, the
Associated Press reports.

Judge Sam R. Cummings said his ruling is "an assertion of a
school's right not to surrender control of the public school
system to students and erode a community's standard of what
subject matter is considered obscene and inappropriate." He said
the district's policy banning discussion of sex or sex acts
differentiated it from six similar cases in Utah, California,
Indiana and Kentucky that sided with similar groups.

The Lubbock Gay Straight Alliance claimed in a July lawsuit that
the school district violated students' constitutional rights and
federal law by refusing the group's requests to meet at a high
school in 2002.

Brian Chase, an attorney with Lambda Legal, a national gay civil
rights organization that filed the lawsuit on behalf of the
group, disagreed and said no decision has been made on an
appeal. "I'm disappointed that the court didn't choose to follow
the six other federal decisions allowing the students to meet
and discuss issues of importance to gay and lesbian citizens,"
he told the AP. Lubbock school board president Mark Griffin said
the decision "accurately reflects the community perspective as a
whole."


                  New Securities Fraud Cases


aaiPHARMA: Abbey Gardy Files Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. NC
-------------------------------------------------------------
Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a Class Action lawsuit in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of North
Carolina, on behalf of a class of all persons who purchased or
acquired securities of aaiPharma, Inc. between April 24, 2002
and February 27, 2004 inclusive, against defendants aaiPharma,
and:

     (1) Frederick D. Sancilio,

     (2) William L. Gina, Jr., and

     (3) Philip S. Tabbiner

The Complaint, styled: entitled King v. aaiPharma, Inc., et al.,
alleges that 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 thereby artificially
inflating the price of aaiPharma securities.

Specifically, the complaint alleges throughout the Class Period,
defendants issued quarter after quarter of "record" financial
results. Defendants emphasized increased revenues throughout the
Class Period, fueled by strong sales of pharmaceutical products.
The complaint alleges that Defendants failed to disclose that
these stellar financial results were only made possible through
improper sales practices, such as "channel stuffing" or flooding
wholesalers with products in order to artificially boost sales,
and failing to properly reserve for product returns in violation
of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

On March 1, 2004, before the market opened, aaiPharma's Board of
Directors announced that it had become aware of unusual sales in
the Company's Brethine and Darvocet product lines during the
second half of 2003. The Company further reported that these
matters will materially affect its previously announced guidance
for the first quarter and full year of 2004 and is withdrawing
its guidance for these periods, and that, depending on the
results of the inquiry, an adjustment to the 2003 financial
results may be required. On this news, aaiPharma shares plunged
over 35% and traded as low as $9.90 per share.

For more information, contact Susan Lee, by Mail: 212 East 39th
Street, New York, New York 10016, by Phone: (212) 889-3700 or      
(800) 889-3701 (Toll Free), or by E-mail: slee@abbeygardy.com.


ADECCO SA: Deadline To File Lead Plaintiff Motion Set March 16
--------------------------------------------------------------
Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP announced that the deadline to file
for lead plaintiff in a shareholder lawsuit against Adecco S.A.,
on behalf of all persons and institutions who purchased the
Company's securities between April 19, 2000, and January 12,
2004, inclusive, is set March 16, 2004.

The Complaint charges Adecco and certain of the Company's
executive officers with violations of federal securities laws.
Among other things, plaintiff claims that defendants'
dissemination of materially false and misleading statements
concerning Adecco's financial performance caused the Company's
stock price to become artificially inflated, inflicting damages
on investors. The complaint alleges that during the Class Period
defendants caused Adecco to report in its public filings, press
releases and other public statements favorable financial results
by, among other things, artificially inflating the Company's
revenue and earnings by improper accounting practices.

On January 12, 2004, an Adecco press release announced a delay
in the completion of an audit of the Company's 2003 financial
results. Moreover, the press release disclosed that the delay
was the result of "material weaknesses in internal controls in
the Company's North American operations of Adecco Staffing" and
"possible accounting, control and compliance issues in the
Company's operations in certain countries." News of the
Company's accounting problems shocked the market, causing
Adecco's stock price to plummet more than 30% on the day the
press release was issued.

For more information, contact Michael Goldberg or Lionel Z.
Glancy, by Mail: (310) 201-9161 or (888) 773-9224, by E-mail:       
info@glancylaw.com, or visit the firm's Web site:    
http://www.glancylaw.com.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, on behalf of clients of American
Express Financial Advisors, Inc. who purchased mutual funds in
the American Express family of mutual funds between March 10,
1999 and February 9, 2004 seeking to pursue remedies under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of
1940 and common law, against defendants the American Express
Company, American Express Financial Corporation and AEFA.

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 the Securities and Exchange
Commission, and all amendments thereto, by issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to AEFA clients during the Class
Period. Specifically, the complaint alleges that AEFA, through
its financial advisors, purported to provide objective
investment and financial planning advice based on each client's
particular circumstances in life but, in fact, had an
undisclosed interest in pushing AEC Funds and certain other
preferred funds, which were among the poorest performing mutual
funds on the market. The Complaint further alleges that class
members were harmed by defendants' fraudulent conduct because
they paid AEFA a substantial fee and believed they were
receiving objective advice when, in fact, AEFA financial
advisors were strongly motivated to and did advise their clients
to purchase AEC Funds and certain other preferred funds. The
Complaint further alleges that because of such deception and
manipulation, AEFA clients were prevented from making fully
informed investment decisions and that their trust reposed in
their AEFA advisors was violated.

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


EL PASO CORPORATION: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Suit in TX
-------------------------------------------------------------
Stull, Stull & Brody, LLP initiated a class action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas, on behalf of a class of all persons who purchased or
acquired the common stock of El Paso Corp. between March 30,
2003 and February 17, 2004, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that 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,
thereby artificially inflating the price of El Paso securities.

More specifically, the Complaint alleges that, throughout the
Class Period, defendants caused El Paso to report in its public
filings, press releases and other public statements favorable
financial results by, among other things, artificially inflating
the Company's reported reserves as it relates to oil and natural
gas. The Complaint alleges, among other things, that defendants
failed to disclose that the Company's estimates were based on
improperly manipulated reported reserve estimates that deviated
from industry standards and resulted in a knowingly false high
estimate of reported reserves.

On February 17, 2004, El Paso announced that the Company had
overstated its reported reserves by 41% or 1.8 trillion cubic
feet and warned of a $1 billion pretax charge triggered by the
revision. On this news, El Paso shares fell 18% and traded as
low as $7.26 per share.

For more information, contact Tzivia Brody, by Mail: 6 East 45th
Street, New York, NY 10017, by Phone: 1-800-337-4983 (toll
free), by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com, or visit the firm's Web site:
http://www.ssbny.com.


ITT: Paskowitz & Associates Commences Securities Suit in S.D. IN
----------------------------------------------------------------
Paskowitz & Associates initiated a class action suit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
Indiana, on behalf of purchasers of ITT Educational Services,
Inc. publicly traded securities during the period between April
17, 2003 and February 25, 2004, inclusive, against defendants
ITT/ESI, and:

     (1) Rene R. Champagne, and

     (2) Kevin M. Modany

The lawsuit alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder. More specifically, the complaint alleges that
throughout the Class Period, ITT/ESI issued multiple press
releases highlighting the Company's increasing financial
performance and the continued robust demand for its educational
programs. The Company also disclosed in its filings with the
Securities & Exchange Commission during the Class Period that a
substantial portion of the tuition paid by its students comes
from federal education aid programs, which the Company's schools
are authorized to offer.

These statements, however, were materially false and misleading
because they failed to disclose:

     (i) that the statistics that the Company provided to the
         government in order to continue its eligibility in
         offering Title IV programs were inaccurate;

     (2) that defendants' actions would result in reputational  
         harm to the Company's schools and possible
         disqualification of the Company's students from future
         participation in federal education aid programs; and

     (3) that as a result, defendants' positive statements  
         concerning the Company's future prospects were lacking  
         in a reasonable basis when made.

As defendants continued to issue positive statements about the
Company and its future prospects, shares of the Company's stock
steadily increased. Throughout this period, ITT/ESI insiders
took advantage of the artificial inflation in the Company's
stock and sold approximately $8,455,385 of their personally held
shares to the unsuspecting public at artificially inflated
prices.

On February 25, 2004, ITT/ESI shocked the market when it
announced that federal agents had raided the Company's corporate
headquarters in Indianapolis. The agents carried search warrants
that were issued from a grand jury probe by the Southern
District of Texas. According to the Company, the investigation
involved grand jury subpoenas of records concerning student
placement, retention, graduation, attendance, recruitment,
grades, graduates' salaries and transfers of students' credits
to other colleges.

Trading was halted throughout the morning. When trading resumed,
shares of the Company's stock fell to $38.50 per share, a
decline of $18.90 per share, or approximately 33%, on extremely
high trading volume.

For more information, contact Paskowitz & Associates, by Phone:
1-800-705-9529 (toll free), or by E-mail: classattorney@aol.com.


ROYAL DUTCH/SHELL: Kirby McInerney Files Securities Suit in NJ
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP initiated a class action lawsuit
in the United States District Court for the District of New
Jersey, on behalf of a class of purchasers of Royal Dutch
Petroleum Company and/or The Shell Transport and Trading
Company, plc. securities during the period from April 8, 1999
through January 9, 2004, inclusive.

The action charges Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and The Shell
Transport and Trading Company, PLC and certain of their
subsidiaries and officers with violations of Sections 10(b) and
Rule 10b-5 and Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. The alleged violations stem from the dissemination of
false and misleading statements, which had the effect - during
the Class Period - of artificially inflating the price of Royal
Dutch/Shell's securities.

The action alleges that during the Class Period Royal
Dutch/Shell issued a series of material misrepresentations to
the market concerning Royal Dutch/Shell's financial standing
that failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the following
adverse facts, among others:

     (i) the defendants had overstated Royal Dutch/Shell's
         proved oil and gas reserve figures by 20%, amounting to
         3.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent;

    (ii) Royal Dutch/Shell's booking of proved reserves during
         the Class Period failed to meet SEC standards or even
         Royal Dutch/Shell's own publicly-stated policies on
         booking reserves;

   (iii) Royal Dutch/Shell overstated reserves by including in
         its proved oil and gas reserve figures estimates from
         the Gorgon project in Australia and fields in Nigeria
         when such projects did not meet industry and SEC
         standards for proved reserves;

    (iv) Royal Dutch/Shell booked as proved reserves from the
         Gorgon venture even though the oil companies it
         partnered with had not;

     (v) Royal Dutch/Shell booked proved reserves for many
         projects before a final investment decision had been
         made; and

    (vi) as a result, Royal Dutch/Shell's market value was
         materially overstated at all relevant times. When Royal
         Dutch/Shell announced, on January 9, 2004, that it
         would reduce its proved oil and gas reserves by 20%,
         the price of Royal Dutch's and Shell's American
         Depository Receipts and common stock fell sharply, and
         Standard & Poor's and Moody's placed Royal
         Dutch/Shell's credit ratings on review for a possible
         downgrade.

For more information, contact Peter S. Linden or Vivian Lee, by
Mail: 830 Third Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, New York  10022,
by Phone: (212) 317-2300 or (888) 529-4787 (toll free), or by E-
mail: vlee@kmslaw.com.


WINN-DIXIE: Alfred G. Yates Lodges Securities Suit in M.D. FL
-------------------------------------------------------------
Alfred G. Yates, Jr. P.C. initiated a class action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Middle District of
Florida, on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Winn-Dixie
Stores, Inc. during the period of May 6, 2002 through and
including January 29, 2004, seeking to pursue remedies under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, against the Company, and:

     (1) Allen Rowland,

     (2) Frank Lazaran, and

     (3) Richard P. McCook

The action, numbered 3:04-CV-154-J-99-MMH, charges the
defendants with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder. According to the lawsuit, throughout the Class
Period, defendants issued a series of material
misrepresentations to the market concerning the Company's
financial condition. Defendants assured investors that Winn-
Dixie was successfully executing its business plan to completely
restructure the Company and its stores and to restore
profitability. Defendants also regularly announced the issuance
of cash dividends as an additional sign of the Company's
purported financial health.

On January 30, 2004, Winn-Dixie announced a loss for the second
quarter of 2004 of nearly $80 million or $0.57 per share.
Shockingly, defendants announced that dividend payments would be
suspended indefinitely, after assuring investors only a few days
earlier, on January 20, 2004, that the dividend would be paid
and that the Company was moving forward in the execution of its
business plan. In response to the unexpected news, Winn-Dixie's
stock plunged nearly 28% on unusually high volume of nearly 25
million shares.

For more information, contact 1-800-391-5164 or 412-391-5164, or
by E-mail: yateslaw@aol.com.


WORLDCOM/MCI: Parker & Waichman Launches Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Parker & Waichman LLP and affiliated counsel initiated a new
round of claims on behalf of current and former WorldCom and MCI
shareholders. Many of these new claims have been filed on behalf
of current and former WorldCom employees and Salomon Smith
Barney clients who purchased shares of WorldCom or MCI based on
the inappropriate advice of Salomon Smith Barney analysts and
brokers.

WorldCom, now operating under the MCI name, is expected to
emerge from bankruptcy in the near future. Existing shares of
WorldCom and MCI are likely to be cancelled when the company
emerges from bankruptcy. The likely cancellation of these shares
will mean that shares trading under the ticker symbols WCOEQ and
MCWEQ will have no value. MCI WorldCom is expected to issue new
shares when it emerges from bankruptcy. These shares are trading
on a "when issued" basis under the symbol MCIAV. For more
information on specific WorldCom or MCI shares please visit:
http://www.worldcomstockfraud.com.

For more information , contact David Krangle, by Phone:          
(800) LAW-INFO (800-529-4636), by E-mail:
dkrangle@yourlawyer.com, or visit the firm's Web site:           
http://www.yourlawyer.com.


                            *********


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
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.  Enid Sterling, Roberto Amor, Aurora Fatima Antonio and
Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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