CAR_Public/040917.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, September 17, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 185

                            Headlines

9/11 LITIGATION: Insurers Launch Suits For Losses Due To Attack
ACCOUNTING FIRMS: Reach $20M Overbilling Suit Settlement
ANTIDEPRESSANTS: FDA Panel Recommends Placing Black Box Warning
ASHWORTH INC.: Reaches Settlement for CA Securities Fraud Suit
AUSTRALIA: Group To Sue Over Bushfires, To Prevent Future Blazes

BOTTOMLINE TECHNOLOGIES: Reaches Settlement For NY Stock Lawsuit
BRIDGEWAY CAPITAL: SEC Settles Cease-and-Desist Proceedings
CERES GROUP: Settles CA Suit V. Medical Policies of Subsidiaries
CHINA: Investors Plan Suit V. Shaanxi Government Over Oil Wells
ELAN PHARMACEUTICALS: Working To Settle SEC Probe, Stock Suits

FLEMING COMPANIES: Settles SEC Action, Investigation Continues
FORD MOTOR: Lawyer for IL Police Alleges Fraud, Deceptive Trade
INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES: DOJ Levies $160M Fine For Price Fixing
IRELAND: 800 Prisoners, Ex-Prisoners To Sue Over Jail Conditions
MUTUAL FUNDS: Pomerantz Firm Chosen As Lead Counsel in Lawsuit

NATIONAL AUTO: Conference on Objections To Pact Moved This Month
NCI BUILDING: TX Court Approves Securities Fraud Suit Settlement
NCR CORPORATION: Recalls 78T Refill Kits Due To Ingestion Hazard
NEW JERSEY: Assembly Passes Bill Banning Junk Food in Schools
NEW ZEALAND: 18 Ex-Inmates To Join Rights Lawsuit V. Corrections

NORTHWEST AIRLINES: Transportation Dept Drops Privacy Complaint
OPTIO SOFTWARE: Accepts NY Securities Fraud Lawsuit Settlement
PHILIP MORRIS: Judge Grants Class Status to "Lights" Suit in OH
PHILIP MORRIS: Marlboro Lights Suit Granted Class Status in MO
PHOSPHATE RESOURCE: DE Court Orders Investor Suits Consolidated

PIMCO FUNDS: Units Pay $11.6M To Settle SEC Mutual Funds Action
SOUTH CAROLINA: Patient Lodges Suit, Claims SRHS Overcharged Her
STRATOS LIGHTWAVE: Asks NY Court To Approve Securities Suit Pact
SYNOPSYS INC.: Shareholders Lodges Stock Fraud Suits in N.D. CA
TENNESSEE: Judge Issues Restraining Order V. Sex Offender Law

TEXAS: Houston Reaches $72M Settlement in Paramedic's Wage Suit
UNITED STATES: U.S. Senate Asked To Block New Overtime Rules

                        Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chamber of Commerce Raises Lobbying Budget
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congress Backs Fines for Frivolous Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Russian Govt Cancels Asbestos Export Duty
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: HSE Advises Contractors to Take Precautions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Eurobodalla Council Rejects Hardie Boycott

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WA Building Demolition Delayed By Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IL State Ban on Asbestos Fliers Challenged
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: HSE Study Reveals Alarming Asbestos Deaths
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 9/11 Health Report Urges Action, Study
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alert Put on Asbestos Dump in UK Hospital

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reinsurers Warned to Brace for More Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Council Alerted to Asbestos-based Tiles
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Alarms UK Primary School to Action
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: French Govt Sets Up Asbestos Association
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Unsafe Removal Causes Renovation Shutdown

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Fears Put Off Coventry Projects
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Builder Calls for Home-Demolition Control
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Army Casts Asbestos Removal Onto Authority
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Weston Council Split Over Asbestos Issue
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scientist Defends the Use of White Asbestos

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Police Issue Warning Over Bridgnorth Fire
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Companies Neglect Asbestos Obligation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CT Official Gets Probation on Asbestos Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Probe Started into the Asbestos Industry
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Insurers React To Rising Asbestos Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Shares Up on Breakthrough in Asbestos Fund
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Risk Forces AR Clubhouse to Close
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Software to Manage and Inspect Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AU Unions Take Hardie Protest to the U.S.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Expresses Regrets in Annual Meeting

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lend Lease to Fight WTC Asbestos Lawsuit
ASBESTOS ALERT: Kelly-Moore Blames Union Carbide for Illnesses
ASBESTOS ALERT: Arizona Companies Cited Due To Asbestos Dumping
ASBESTOS ALERT: Ground Zero Team Files Suit Over Health Effects
ASBESTOS ALERT: Sensus Metering Systems Faces Asbestos Lawsuit


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

BENNETT ENVIRONMENTAL: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Suit in NY
BIOLASE TECHNOLOGY: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CA
DECODE GENETICS: Berman DeValerio Lodges Securities Suit in NY
KONGZHONG CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in CA
KVH INDUSTRIES: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Sceurities Suit in RI

TARO PHARMACEUTICAL: Murray Frank Files Securities Lawsuit in NY
TECO ENERGY: Vianale & Vianale Files Securities Fraud Suit in FL
WIRELESS FACILITIES: Murray Frank Files CA Stock Fraud Lawsuit
WIRELESS FACILITIES: Spector Rosemna Files Securities Suit in CA


                            *********


9/11 LITIGATION: Insurers Launch Suits For Losses Due To Attack
---------------------------------------------------------------
More than a dozen insurers and reinsurers filed several lawsuits
against airline companies, airport security companies and Boeing
Co. in the United States District Court in New York, seeking to
recover losses due to the September 11,2001 terrorist attacks,
Business Insurance reports.

The plaintiffs filed the suits last Friday to meet a deadline
for September 11-related liability actions.  The suits allege
that the defendants' negligence contributed to the losses in
various ways.

Several of the suits filed Friday name virtually the same cast
of defendants, American, United, U.S. Airways Group Inc.,
several airport security companies and Chicago-based Boeing Co.,
which manufactured the hijacked planes.  Those filing suits last
week included:

     (1) Industrial Risk Insurers, a unit of GE Insurance
         Services - IRI filed two complaints - one to recover
         losses related to the destruction of most of the World
         Trade Center complex and a second for losses
         specifically related to 7 World Trade Center, which
         collapsed several hours after the attacks;

     (2) Assurance General de France and several units of
         Allianz A.G. Holding of Germany, including Fireman's
         Fund Insurance Co. Lloyd's of London underwriters;
         Munich Reinsurance Co. and affiliate Munich-American
         Risk Partners GmbH; and Greater New York Mutual
         Insurance Co. and affiliate Insurance Co. of Greater
         New York;

     (3) Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) P.L.C., American Re-
         Insurance Co., a Munich Re unit, which is suing to
         recover reinsurance payments to Verizon Communications
         Inc.'s Vermont captive insurer, Exchange Indemnity Co.

Separately, several plaintiffs filed actions naming scores of
Middle Eastern defendants allegedly responsible for September 11
losses, variously including the Saudi government, groups
identified by the U.S. government as terrorist organizations,
Islamic charities and various individuals and corporations.
Pacific Employers Insurance Co. and WTC leaseholder Silverstein
Properties Inc. filed two such complaints, while WTC owner The
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey joined an existing suit
filed by investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald L.P.  Similar suits
had been filed earlier by other insurers, including Chubb
Corp.'s Federal Insurance Co. last year and New York Marine &
General Insurance Co. last month.

The suits are expected to be consolidated with a mass of related
claims already pending in same court.  The consolidated action,
pitting dozens of individual and corporate plaintiffs against
multiple defendants, ultimately will sort out who is liable for
property and other losses stemming from the attacks.


ACCOUNTING FIRMS: Reach $20M Overbilling Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------
Ernst & Young and Cap Gemini agreed to pay a combined total of
$20 million to settle their part of a class action lawsuit
against major accounting firms suspected of over billing for
travel expenses, MSN Money reports.

The suit, whose lead plaintiff is shopping mall operator
Warmack-Muskogee accused both firms of receiving profound
discounts for their accountants who traveled on business and not
passing on those discounts when it came to billing their
clients.

Under the terms of the settlement Ernst & Young is required to
pay $18 million while formerly affiliated Cap Gemini will shell
out $2 million. Miller County Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson, in
Texarkana, Arkansas, gave preliminary approval to the
settlement.

Upon reaching the settlement, Ernst & Young spokesman Charles
Perkins stated that the company was pleased to have resolved
this issue in a practical and evenhanded manner. He further adds
that since the suit the company has been billing clients
directly at the discounted rates they receive from travel
companies, having changed their policy in January 2002.

Previously in the suit, PricewaterhouseCoopers settled for $54
million and KPMG and Bearingpoint settled for $34 million, which
brought the total amount to $108 million in payments.


ANTIDEPRESSANTS: FDA Panel Recommends Placing Black Box Warning
---------------------------------------------------------------
A panel of advisers to the United States Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) recommended placing a "black box" warning
on all drugs used to treat depressed children, over their link
to increased suicidal thoughts and actions, the Associated Press
reports.

The FDA advisory panel recommended the action after it heard
testimony early this week from doctors, researchers and
relatives of patients who killed themselves after taking such
medication.  On Tuesday, the panel deliberated on the
testimonies before issuing the recommendation.

A dozen psychiatrists who testified during the two-day hearing
will probably weigh in with more details of antidepressants'
benefits for children, Dr. David Fassler, trustee at large for
the American Psychiatric Association told AP.  Dr. Fassler
earlier testified before the panel that 3 percent to 5 percent
of children are depressed and that more than 500,000 depressed
children attempt suicide each year.

"It's important to note it was a split vote. I think that's
consistent with the fact the data is not entirely consistent or
clear," Dr. Fassler said.  "I don't think the discussion is
over."

During the deliberations, many members of the FDA panel said
they were still conflicted.  Grieving families of patient
clearly wanted the warning label, but mental health
professionals worried about the chilling effect of the warnings,
a note which comes at the top of the drug's label, whether it
arrives electronically or by paper.

Dr. Matthew Rudorfer, a mood disorder specialist at the National
Institute of Mental Health, voted against the black box warning.
The 2 percent to 3 percent increased risk of suicidal thoughts
that alarmed the panel was overshadowed by the 15 percent risk
of suicides by children with untreated depression, AP reported.
"I fear the black box would impede access to treatment," Dr.
Rudorfer said.

FDA advisory committee Chairman Dr. Wayne Goodman, psychiatry
chairman at the University of Florida, acknowledged
complications for prescribing physicians while still voting for
the proposal, AP stated.  "I anticipate there will be alarm from
parents and the child," Dr. Goodman said. "I think that's worth
that complication, because it will raise the threshold" for
prescribing the drugs to children.

Last March, the FDA advised that bold-letter warnings be placed
on anti-depressant labels.  Antidepressant prescription rates to
children, however, remained unchanged.

The new black box warning is among the most strident in the FDA
arsenal.  Unlike the earlier red flag, advisers said this new
warning should make clear that antidepressants have been linked
to two to three more children per 100 having heightened suicidal
thoughts and behaviors.  The warning should reach doctors no
matter how they get drug information and would extend to drug
advertising directed at patients.

The FDA will spend the next few weeks reviewing transcripts of
the committee's comments before it decides which actions to
take.  The FDA isn't required to follow the recommendations of
its advisory committees, but usually does so, AP reports.

The FDA advisory panel also endorsed a suggestion that the
agency create an antidepressant guide written in laymen's terms
appears to be a slam dunk, since three dozen drugs already
include them.

"When the decision is divided, it's less of a sure thing," Dr.
Robert Temple, director of the FDA's Office of Drug Evaluation,
told reporters later.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures the antidepressant
Effexor, will note that split decision when it discusses the
best warning option with FDA officials, Dr. Joseph Camarado,
senior vice president of medical affairs, told AP.

The black-box warning should be joined by data showing which
antidepressants work for depressed children, FDA advisers
suggested.  The recommendation, if endorsed by the drug agency,
would mean that Prozac, shown in three studies to effectively
treat depressed youth, would carry that notice. Paxil's
shortcomings in treating 700 depressed children in clinical
trials, meanwhile, could become more transparent.  The panel
stopped short of asking for an outright ban on antidepressants
for children.


ASHWORTH INC.: Reaches Settlement for CA Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ashworth, Inc. reached a settlement for the securities class
action filed against it in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of California on behalf of purchasers of
the Company's common stock during the period between September
4, 1997 and July 15, 1998.

Upon the Company's motion, the Court dismissed the Complaint
with leave to amend on July 18, 2000.  On September 18, 2000,
Plaintiffs served their Second Consolidated Amended Complaint.
On November 6, 2000, the Company filed its motion to dismiss the
Second Amended Complaint, which the court granted, in part, and
denied, in part.

The remaining portions of the Second Amended Complaint alleged
that, among other things, during the class period and in
violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Company's
financial statements, as reported, did not conform to generally
accepted accounting principles with respect to revenues and
inventory levels.  It further alleged that certain Company
executives made false or misleading statements or omissions
concerning product demand and that two former executives engaged
in insider trading.

The Company has reached a tentative settlement to conclude this
securities class action lawsuit.  Under the settlement, all
claims will be dismissed and the litigation will be terminated
in exchange for a payment of $15.25 million, approximately 82%
of which will be paid by Ashworth's insurance carriers.  As part
of the settlement, Ashworth also agreed to adopt modifications
to certain corporate governance policies.


AUSTRALIA: Group To Sue Over Bushfires, To Prevent Future Blazes
----------------------------------------------------------------
Members of the group planning to file a class action against
Australian government agencies over the 2003 bush fires say that
they have one thing in common - the desire to prevent such
devastating blazes occurring again, the Weekly Times reports.

The Stretton Group announced last week that it is considering a
class action over the firers, which burnt out 1.3 million
hectares of land in East Gippsland and Northeast Victoria.  The
magnitude of the fires was allegedly caused by inadequate fuel
reduction burning going back several years and a flawed response
by fire fighting authorities.

The Stretton Group takes its name from Judge Leonard Stretton,
the royal commissioner who presided over the inquiry into the
1939 fires.  The group believes legal action is the only means
left to force the Government to accept its agencies were to
blame, and to bring about changes in future forest management
and bushfire response, the Weekly Times reports.


BOTTOMLINE TECHNOLOGIES: Reaches Settlement For NY Stock Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bottomline Technologies, Inc. reached a settlement for the
securities class action filed against it in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, styled "In
re Bottomline Technologies Inc. Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation."

The amended complaint filed in the action asserts claims under
Sections 11, 12(2) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, as
amended, and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, as amended (Exchange Act).  The amended complaint
asserts, among other things, that the description in the
Company's prospectus for its initial public offering was
materially false and misleading in describing the compensation
to be earned by the underwriters of its offering, and in not
describing certain alleged arrangements among underwriters and
initial purchasers of its common stock from the underwriters.

The amended complaint seeks damages (or, in the alternative,
tender of the plaintiffs' and the class' Bottomline common stock
and rescission of their purchases of the Company's common stock
purchased in the initial public offering), costs, attorneys'
fees, experts' fees and other expenses.

In July 2002, Bottomline, Daniel M. McGurl and Robert A. Eberle
joined in an omnibus motion to dismiss, which challenged the
legal sufficiency of plaintiffs' claims.  The motion was filed
on behalf of hundreds of issuer and individual defendants named
in similar lawsuits.  Plaintiffs opposed the motion, and the
court heard oral argument on the motion in early November 2002.

On February 19, 2003, the court issued an order denying the
motion to dismiss as to Bottomline.  In addition, in early
October 2002, Daniel M. McGurl and Robert A. Eberle were
dismissed from this case without prejudice.  A special
litigation committee of the board of directors of Bottomline
authorized Bottomline to negotiate a settlement of the pending
claims substantially consistent with a memorandum of
understanding negotiated among class plaintiffs, all issuer
defendants and their insurers.  The settlement is subject to
approval by the court.


BRIDGEWAY CAPITAL: SEC Settles Cease-and-Desist Proceedings
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission instituted and
simultaneously settled administrative and cease-and-desist
proceedings against Houston-based investment adviser Bridgeway
Capital Management, Inc. (Bridgeway Capital) and its founder
John Noland Ryan Montgomery. The Commission found that Bridgeway
Capital received more than $4.4 million in excessive advisory
fees as a result of charging illegal performance-based fees to
three mutual funds at Bridgeway Funds, Inc. The Commission found
that Bridgeway Capital willfully violated, and Montgomery
willfully aided and abetted and caused Bridgeway Capital's
violations of Section 205(a) of the Investment Advisers Act of
1940. The law requires fund managers to calculate performance-
based fees-fees based on fund performance measured against an
external benchmark-using the average value of the fund's assets
over the same period that is used to measure the fund's
performance.

Pursuant to their offers of settlement, Bridgeway Capital and
Montgomery neither admitted nor denied the findings in the
Commission's Order. The settlement requires that Bridgeway
Capital reimburse the affected fund shareholders $4,407,700,
plus prejudgment interest of $458,764, and that Bridgeway
Capital and Montgomery pay penalties of $200,000 and $50,000,
respectively. The Commission ordered Bridgeway Capital and
Montgomery to cease and desist from committing or causing the
violations and required Bridgeway Capital to comply with certain
undertakings, including retaining experienced compliance
personnel to ensure that Bridgeway Capital applies its
performance-based fee in accordance with the federal securities
laws in the future.


CERES GROUP: Settles CA Suit V. Medical Policies of Subsidiaries
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Ceres Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERG) agreed to settle a
previously-disclosed California class action lawsuit pending
against it and its subsidiaries, United Benefit Life Insurance
Company ("UBL") and Central Reserve Life Insurance Company, as
well as a related action involving its subsidiary, Provident
American Life and Health Insurance Company ("PALHIC").

These suits relate primarily to challenges to premium increases
for California holders of major medical policies issued by UBL
and PALHIC. UBL terminated all of its policies nationwide as of
December 31, 2001, or in limited cases as of February 28, 2002.
PALHIC has only 400 active policyholders (none in California)
and discontinued new sales activities in 2001. The settlements
contemplate payments to class members and others, as well as
certain attorneys' fees and costs. The settlements are subject
to certain conditions (including court approval with respect to
the class action lawsuit) and do not involve any admission of
wrongdoing by the company or any subsidiary.

The company estimates that these settlements will result in a
charge in the third quarter ending September 30, 2004 of
approximately $2.1 million (after-tax), or $0.06 per diluted
share. Although the final amount of the settlement payout may
vary, the company believes that the ultimate payout will not
materially exceed this amount.

The company has previously stated that it expects to achieve net
operating income of $0.53 per diluted share for the full year
2004. Net operating income excludes certain items (such as net
realized investment gains and the reduction in the deferred tax
valuation allowance) that, in the opinion of management, are not
indicative of overall operating trends. The company believes
that, excluding such items and the charge from these
settlements, it will still achieve net operating income of $0.53
per diluted share for 2004.


CHINA: Investors Plan Suit V. Shaanxi Government Over Oil Wells
---------------------------------------------------------------
More than 500 plaintiffs are planning to lodge a massive class-
action lawsuit against the Shaanxi government and its officials
accusing them of illegally seizing their assets and paying
unfair compensation, South China Morning Post reports.

The planned lawsuit stems from a central government decision
ordering the local government to reclaim thousands of oil wells
in a 580 sq. km. area in northern Shaanxi's Yulin and Yanan
regions that had been opened for private investment.

According to Plaintiffs' attorney Zhu Jiuhu, who will file the
suit within the next two months at the Shaanxi Provincial
Supreme People's Court, the case would demand that officials pay
fair compensation for their oil wells as stipulated in their
contracts and that disputes over seized assets be settled in the
courts.

Attorney Zhu stated that his clients had suffered economic
losses of almost 7 billion yuan as a result of the government's
actions. His clients said such actions included the unfair
compensation for the wells by the local officials, who
underestimated the oil reserves. The investors also claimed that
officials have also been using illegal strong-arm tactics like
sending the police to seize the wells if the owners refuse to
surrender their assets.

In 1994, the State Council approved a plan giving the
exploration and development rights of the Shaanxi oil fields,
then held by the China National Petroleum Corporation, to the
local governments, whose officials encouraged private investors
to form joint oil exploration and drilling partnerships.

More than 100,000 mostly poor farmers who borrowed heavily and
sold all their farming assets rushed to invest. But due to the
absence of tight regulation, the oil projects by the end of 1998
led to mass waste, chaos and environmental destruction.

In order to restore the region's oil market, premier Zhu Rongji
in 2002 told local governments to reclaim the wells and settle
with the private investors. Backed by central government
authorization, the local authorities immediately began seizing
the oil wells, which eventually led to the present legal
predicament.


ELAN PHARMACEUTICALS: Working To Settle SEC Probe, Stock Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is engaging in active discussions
with the Securities and Exchange Commission, to resolve the
agency's regulatory investigation into its accounting practices,
chief executive officer Kelly Martin revealed in an investor
conference in New York this week, Business World reports.

Mr. Martin also hinted that an announcement on the issue should
be forthcoming by the end of the month.  The Company is also
discussing the resolution of a number of class action lawsuits
filed against the company in the wake of the announcement of the
SEC probe in 2002.

Analysts say a resolution of the inquiry into the firm's
accounting practices would remove uncertainty from the stock,
bringing relief to investors.  "Though very difficult to gauge,
we believe an SEC cash penalty below USD100m would be a
reasonably benign result for the company - at the very least,
final resolution would be greeted with relief," Jack Gorman of
Davy Stockbrokers told Business World.  He noted that two high-
profile U.S. cases have reached settlement with the SEC in the
last two months, suggesting that the agency is successfully
working through its investigations.


FLEMING COMPANIES: Settles SEC Action, Investigation Continues
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement
of enforcement proceedings against grocery wholesaler Fleming
Companies, Inc., of Lewisville, Texas, for securities fraud and
other violations arising from material earnings overstatements
during late 2001 and the first half of 2002. The Commission also
announced settled enforcement proceedings against three Fleming
suppliers, five of these suppliers' employees, and against
former employees of two other Fleming suppliers, for causing
certain of Fleming's violations.

To settle these charges, Fleming, the suppliers and the supplier
employees each consented to Commission administrative orders to
cease and desist from such violations. The suppliers and
supplier employees also agreed to pay civil penalties - ranging
from $100,000 to  $400,000 for the suppliers and from $25,000 to
$75,000 for the supplier employees - that the Commission will
obtain through related civil complaints it filed today in U.S.
District Court in Sherman, Texas. All parties settled without
admitting or denying the Commission's non-jurisdictional
findings.

The Commission's complaints in the civil actions allege that
Fleming obtained misleading side letters from the suppliers to
justify improperly accelerating accounting recognition of up-
front payments the suppliers made to secure forward-looking
contracts. The Commission alleges the following suppliers and
employees engaged in these types of improper transactions (the
numbers in parentheses are the civil penalties each agreed to
pay in the civil actions):

     (1) Dean Foods Company ($400,000), a publicly traded dairy
         product supplier based in Dallas, and John D. Robinson
         ($50,000), a senior executive in its dairy division;

     (2) Kemps LLC, f/k/a Marigold Foods LLC ($150,000), a
         privately held dairy product supplier headquartered in
         Minneapolis, and its CEO, James Green ($50,000), and
         vice president of financial services, Christopher
         Thorpe ($50,000);

     (3) Digital Exchange Systems, Inc. ($100,000), a privately
         held company based in Tampa, and its president, Steven
         Schmidt ($75,000), and principal owner, Rosario
         Coniglio ($75,000);

     (4) Bruce Keith Jensen ($25,000), a director of national
         accounts for Frito Lay, Inc. in Plano, Tex., during the
         relevant periods; and

     (5) John K. Adams ($25,000), a region manager for Kraft
         Foods, Inc. in Dallas during the relevant periods.


FORD MOTOR: Lawyer for IL Police Alleges Fraud, Deceptive Trade
---------------------------------------------------------------
A lawyer for the Illinois police departments alleged that Ford
Motor Co. continued to sell its controversial Crown Victoria
police cars, even after the deaths of several officers in fiery
rear-end crashes showed the vehicles were unsafe, the Associated
Press reports.

The Company is charged of fraud and deceptive trade practices
over the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, a specially built
police cruiser that accounts for the majority of police cars on
U.S. streets.  The suit, filed in St. Clair County Circuit
Court, 15 miles east of St. Louis, is the first to come to trial
over the widely-used cruisers' safety.

Suits are pending in 11 states.  Since 1983, fourteen officers
have died in fiery crashes after their Crown Victorias were
rear-ended.  None of those crashes occurred in Illinois, but the
St. Clair County Sheriff's Office and nearby Centreville Police
Departments sued anyway, seeking to force the company to
retrofit their Crown Victorias with special safety equipment.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of every law-enforcement agency
in the state and seeks to have Ford pay to install the safest
equipment available to protect the cruisers.

"That policy of minimizing safety to maximize profits is at the
heart of why we're here today," attorney David Perry told the
court, according to the Associated Press.  He also showed jurors
photos of the officers who had died.

However, Ford's lawyers asserted that the Crown Victoria is safe
and that the cruiser is more likely to be involved in police
crashes because officers are more likely than other motorists to
travel at high speeds and park at the sides of highways.

"I don't mean to minimize or trivialize police fatalities," Ford
lawyer James Feeney of Detroit told the jury during Ford's
opening statement, AP reports.  "But the question here is
whether this car is reasonably safe for police work, and it is."

Ford's attorney showed jurors videotape of a rear-end crash at
100 mph involving a Crown Victoria that did not erupt into
flames, in a bid to bolster his claim that the cars ignite only
in a small percentage of accidents that cannot be predicted.

The lawsuit does not specify a dollar amount, but Mr. Perry told
jurors that outfitting the 14,000 Crown Victoria squad cars in
use in Illinois with trunk and fuel-tank liners would cost $62
million.

A 2002 government investigation into the Crown Victoria found no
specific defect to blame for the fiery crashes.  Just before the
report's release, Ford offered to retrofit police cruisers with
special shields around the gas tanks.  It also sold $150 trunk
liners aimed at keeping sharp equipment from piercing the gas
tank in the event of a rear-end collision, said Douglass Lampe,
a Ford attorney supervising the litigation, the Associated Press
reports.


INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES: DOJ Levies $160M Fine For Price Fixing
-------------------------------------------------------------
According to the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust
Division, German memory chipmaker Infineon Technologies has
agreed to plead guilty and pay $160 million, the third-largest
antitrust fine in U.S. history for its role in a price-fixing
conspiracy that drove up prices of computers, E-Commerce Times
reports.

Infineon, whose North American operations are headquartered in
San Jose, California, conspired with other makers of dynamic
random access memory, or DRAM, from July 1, 1999, to June 15,
2002, to fix prices for memory chips sold to major U.S. computer
companies. The victims were Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, Apple, IBM,
Dell and Gateway.

In its criminal case, the Justice Department claims that the
scheme harmed not only the computer manufacturers but also the
consumers by driving up the cost of products with DRAM chips,
which are used in everything from personal computers to MP3
players and digital cameras. Furthermore the department alleges
that executives and employees of Infineon met with competitors,
shared sales data and then agreed to set prices for DRAM sales
to certain customers.

The German memory chipmaker, which has set aside $260 million to
cover all litigation costs, filed its plea agreement in federal
district court in San Francisco. The earmarked money could also
include payouts to computer buyers who have filed class-action
lawsuits.

Upon the Justice Department's announcement of the agreement,
Robert LeFort, president of Infineon Technologies North America
stated, "We are just happy to put it behind us and believe it is
in the best interest of our shareholders."

Infineon also issued the following statement on the matter of
price fixing: "Infineon strongly condemns any attempt to fix or
stabilize prices. Infineon is committed to vigorous and fair
competition based solely on superior products and services."


IRELAND: 800 Prisoners, Ex-Prisoners To Sue Over Jail Conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------
The state of Ireland faces a possible lawsuit to be filed on
behalf of up to 800 prisoners or former prisoners, over the
condition of Irish jails, BreakingNews.com reports.

Senior paramilitary and criminal figures are among the up to 800
prisoners and ex-prisoners who are suing the State.  The
claimants say they have been traumatized and damaged as a result
of being detained in cells that have no flush toilets.  Some of
the country's most notorious criminals, among them the Real IRA
director of operations, Liam Campbell and the drug dealer,
Patrick Holland, are seeking compensation.

The solicitor representing the group, John Devane, told RTE
News, he is taking on new clients at a rate of up to 40 per
week.  The Limerick solicitor says he has clients in every
prison in the country and still has to visit more prisoners who
want to hire him.

The State's Progressive Democrats condemned the action.  Senator
John Minihan told BreakingNews.com it was "ridiculous".  "We are
living in a society now which has embraced compensation culture
to a ridiculous level and we have to stand up and say that it is
wrong," he said.


MUTUAL FUNDS: Pomerantz Firm Chosen As Lead Counsel in Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Pomerantz Firm was recently appointed as lead counsel in
four nationwide mutual fund derivative litigations involving
allegations of "market timing" and "late trading." The Firm has
primary responsibility in those cases involving the Putnam,
Alliance, MFS and Federated families of funds.

The firm is seeking not only compensation for the damages
directly caused by the market timing, but also to recover the
hundreds of millions of dollars of fees the funds paid out to
their advisors, without being told of their advisors' complicity
in these activities. Consolidated complaints are due to be filed
in all four of these actions on September 29, 2004.

For more details, contact Andrew G. Tolan, Esq. of Pomerantz
Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP by Phone: (888) 476-6529 by E-
mail: agtolan@pomlaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.pomerantzlaw.com


NATIONAL AUTO: Conference on Objections To Pact Moved This Month
----------------------------------------------------------------
New York Appeals Court set a preliminary conference to review
the objections to the settlement of the consolidated securities
class action filed against National Auto Credit, Inc. (NAC) this
month.

On July 31, 2001, the Company received a derivative complaint
filed by Academy Capital Management, Inc., a shareholder of NAC,
with the Court of Chancery of Delaware, on July 31, 2001,
against James J. McNamara, John A. Gleason, William S. Marshall,
Henry Y.L. Toh, Donald Jasensky, Peter T. Zackaroff, Mallory
Factor, and Thomas F. Carney, Jr. (the "Director Defendants")
and names NAC as a nominal defendant.

The Academy Complaint principally seeks a declaration that the
Director Defendants breached their fiduciary duties to NAC, a
judgment voiding an employment agreement with James J. McNamara
and rescinding a stock exchange agreement in which NAC acquired
ZoomLot Corporation, a judgment voiding the grant of stock
options and the award of director fees allegedly related
thereto, an order directing the Director Defendants to account
for alleged damages sustained and profits obtained by the
Director Defendants as a result of the alleged various acts
complained of, the imposition of a constructive trust over
monies or other benefits received by the Director Defendants and
an award of costs and expenses.

On August 16, 2001, NAC received a complaint filed by Levy
Markovich, a shareholder of NAC, with the Delaware Chancery
Court against James J. McNamara, John A. Gleason, William S.
Marshall, Henry Y. L. Toh, Donald Jasensky, Peter T. Zackaroff,
Mallory Factor, and Thomas F. Carney, Jr. and NAC as a nominal
defendant.

The Markovich Complaint principally seeks a declaration that the
Director Defendants have breached their fiduciary duties to NAC,
a judgment voiding an employment agreement with James J.
McNamara and rescinding a stock exchange agreement in which NAC
acquired ZoomLot Corporation, a judgment voiding the grant of
options and the award of directors fees allegedly related
thereto, an order directing the Director Defendants to account
for alleged damages sustained and alleged profits obtained by
the Director Defendants as a result of the alleged various acts
complained of, the imposition of a constructive trust over
monies or other benefits received by the directors, and an award
of costs and expenses.

On August 31, 2001, NAC received a complaint filed by Harbor
Finance Partners ("Harbor"), a shareholder of NAC, with the
Delaware Chancery Court against Thomas F. Carney, Jr., Mallory
Factor, John A. Gleason, Donald Jasensky, William S. Marshall,
James J. McNamara, Henry Y. L. Toh, Peter T. Zackaroff, Ernest
C. Garcia, and ZoomLot Corporation as Defendants and NAC as a
nominal defendant.

The Harbor Complaint principally seeks a judgment requiring the
Director Defendants to promptly schedule an annual meeting of
shareholders within thirty (30) days of the date of the Harbor
Complaint; a judgment declaring that the Director Defendants
breached their fiduciary duties to NAC and wasted its assets; an
injunction preventing payment of monies and benefits to James J.
McNamara under his employment agreement with NAC and requiring
Mr. McNamara to repay the amounts already paid to him
thereunder; a judgment rescinding the agreement by NAC to
purchase ZoomLot and refunding the amounts it paid; a judgment
rescinding the award of monies and options to the directors on
December 15, 2000 and requiring the directors to repay the
amounts they received allegedly related thereto; a judgment
requiring the defendants to indemnify NAC for alleged losses
attributable to their alleged actions; and a judgment awarding
interest, attorney's fees, and other costs, in an amount to be
determined.

On October 12, 2001, the Company received a derivative complaint
filed by Robert Zadra, its shareholder, with the Supreme Court
of the State of New York.  The suit also names as defendants
James J. McNamara, John A. Gleason, William S. Marshall, Henry
Y. L. Toh, Donald Jasensky, Peter T. Zackaroff, Mallory Factor,
and Thomas F. Carney, Jr.

On May 29, 2002, the complaint was amended to include class
action allegations.  The Zadra Amended Complaint contains
allegations similar to those in previous Delaware actions
concerning the Board's approval of the employment agreement with
James McNamara, option grants and past and future compensation
to the Director Defendants, and the ZoomLot transaction.

The Amended Complaint seeks a declaration that as a result of
approving these transactions the Director Defendants breached
their fiduciary duties to NAC, a judgment enjoining defendants
from proceeding with or exercising the option agreements,
rescission of the option grants to defendants, if exercised, an
order directing the Director Defendants to account for alleged
profits and losses obtained by the Director Defendants as a
result of the alleged various acts complained of, awarding
compensatory damages to NAC and the class, together with
prejudgment interest, and an award of costs and expenses.

By order of the Delaware Chancery Court on November 12, 2001,
the Academy, Markovich and Harbor Complaints were consolidated
under the title "In re National Auto Credit, Inc.
Shareholders Litigation," Civil Action No. 19028 NC (Delaware
Chancery Court) ("Delaware Consolidated Action") and the Academy
Complaint was deemed the operative complaint.

The parties in the New York action thereafter engaged in
settlement negotiations and the parties entered into a
stipulation of settlement in December 2002, proposing to settle
all class and derivative claims.  In January 2003, the New York
Supreme Court entered an order which, among other things,
conditionally certified a class of shareholders for settlement
purposes, approved the form of notice of the proposed
settlement, and scheduled a hearing to approve the settlement.

Notice of the proposed settlement was given to the shareholders
of the Company and members of the class as per the court's order
in January and February 2003.  Hearings on the proposed
settlement were held on May 13, 2003 and October 15, 2003.
Subsequent to the October 15, 2003 hearing, the New York Supreme
Court approved the terms of the proposed settlement and issued
the court's written Order and Judgment in December 2003.
Certain Plaintiffs in the Delaware Consolidated Action have
objected to the terms of the settlement and have filed an appeal
with the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, First
Division (the "NY Appellate Court").

A motion to dismiss the Delaware Consolidated Action was also
filed in 2002 and was denied by the Delaware Chancery Court in
January 2003.  In January 2004, NAC re-filed a motion to dismiss
the Delaware Consolidated Action based upon the New York Supreme
Court's written Order and Judgment issued in December 2003. The
Delaware Chancery Court has previously stayed further
proceedings in the Consolidated Action pending issuance of the
New York Supreme Court's order.  In April 2004, oral arguments
were presented to the Delaware Court regarding NAC's motion to
dismiss. As of September 10, 2004, no decision has been made by
the Delaware Chancery Court.


NCI BUILDING: TX Court Approves Securities Fraud Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas granted approval to the settlement of the consolidated
securities class action filed against NCI Building Systems, Inc.
and certain of its officers, as a result of the Company's
restatement of its financial results for the last half of fiscal
1999, all of fiscal 2000 and the first quarter of fiscal 2001.

In the consolidated complaint, the plaintiffs allege, among
other things, that during the financial periods that were
restated, the Company made materially false and misleading
statements about the status and effectiveness of a management
information and accounting system used by the Company's
components division and costs associated with that system,
failed to assure the system maintained books and records
accurately reflecting inventory levels and costs of goods sold,
failed to maintain internal controls on manual accounting
entries made to certain inventory-related accounts in an effort
to correct the data in the system, otherwise engaged in improper
accounting practices that overstated earnings, and issued
materially false and misleading financial statements.

The plaintiffs further allege the individual defendants traded
in the Company's common stock while in possession of material,
non-public information regarding the foregoing.  The plaintiffs
in the consolidated complaint assert various claims under
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
and seek unspecified amounts of compensatory damages, interest
and costs, including legal fees.

On March 15, 2002, the Company filed a motion to dismiss
plaintiffs' consolidated complaint and a memorandum in support.
The Company and the individual defendants deny the material
allegations in the complaint.  In January 2004, the Company
entered into an agreement to settle the lawsuits, without
admitting to any of the allegations against the Company or its
officers, and agreed to pay $7.0 million for the dismissal of
all claims, which is within the Company's insurance coverage
limits and has been agreed to by the Company's insurance
carriers.


NCR CORPORATION: Recalls 78T Refill Kits Due To Ingestion Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
NCR Corporation, of Dayton, Ohio is cooperating with the United
States Consumer Product Safety Commission by voluntarily
recalling about 78,000 NCR Universal Inkjet Refill Kits.

The product does not have required child-resistant packaging or
required warning labels. The product contains ethylene glycol,
posing an ingestion hazard to young children.

The recalled kits were sold in a clear plastic package with
color or black ink. The black ink kits have model numbers 943264
and 999292 and the color ink kits have model number 999289
printed on the side panel above the UPC code. The two black
inkjet sets contain four plastic bottles of black ink, two
plastic bottles of cleaning fluid and one toolkit. The color
inkjet set contains six plastic bottles of colored ink, two
plastic bottles of cleaning solution and one toolkit.

Manufactured in China, the refill kits were sold at Big Lots and
Walgreens nationwide from April 2004 through June 2004 for about
$12.

Consumers should immediately remove the kits out of the reach of
young children and return to the store where purchased to
receive a refund or a free replacement kit.

Consumer Contact: Contact NCR Corporation at (800) 279-0203
between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, e-mail
the firm at systemedia.info@NCR.com or visit the firm's Web site
at http://www.ncr.com


NEW JERSEY: Assembly Passes Bill Banning Junk Food in Schools
-------------------------------------------------------------
New Jersey's Assembly committee approved legislating banning
"junk food" from all public elementary and middle schools in the
state, the Associated Press reports.

Under the bill, the sale of foods that are defined as having
minimal nutritional value by the United States Department of
Agriculture would be banned from being sold until 30 minutes
after the end of the school day.  These items include candy
bars, chewing gum and anything made up of 35 percent sugar or
contains more than 8 grams of fat.

Schools would only be allowed to have vending machines selling
whole grain foods, juice, water, milk and similar products
available during the school day.  Items that are home-baked and
sold for fund-raising purposes would be exempt.

"Public schools need to be a place where both healthy minds and
bodies are created," said Assemblyman Craig Stanley, D-Essex, a
co-sponsor of the bill, AP reports. "Sugary, fat-laden foods
have no place in our schools."

The sponsors of the bill state it will help stop obesity in
children.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said
the obesity rate for children and adolescents has more than
doubled in the last 30 years.  The bill passed by the Assembly
Education Committee now goes to the Assembly speaker for
consideration for a floor vote, AP reports.


NEW ZEALAND: 18 Ex-Inmates To Join Rights Lawsuit V. Corrections
----------------------------------------------------------------
18 more former inmates of New Zealand's Corrections Department
controversial Behavior Management Regime filed applications in
High Court, alleging violations of their human rights, the New
Zealand Herald reports.  The plaintiffs are seeking
compensation, which could amount to millions of dollars.

Wellington-based human rights lawyer Tony Ellis filed the
applications on behalf of the inmates who asked him to represent
them.  "I'm contemplating filing what colloquially would be
called a class action on behalf of the other number which in
total would be 200 (including the 18)," he told the Herald.

Earlier this month, Justice Ron Young of the High Court in
Wellington awarded about $130,000 to five former inmates who
endured months of solitary confinement under the regime.  In the
September 2 decision, Christopher Taunoa, who is serving a life
sentence for the 1996 murder of Sanson publican Keith Lynch, was
awarded $55,000, aggravated robber Alistair Robinson got
$40,000, Lesley Tofts $25,000, Mathew Kidman $8000 and Steven
Gunbie $2000.  Justice Young awarded the compensation on the
basis of $2500 for each month inmates had spent under the
regime.

Mr. Ellis said that it was not yet clear how he could get every
one of the 200 inmates' consent to represent them or whether he
could seek the leave of the court to represent them.  He told
the Herald it wouldn't be possible to get all the inmates'
consent before government legislation was introduced stopping
them seeking compensation so he had to seek leave.

The legislation was ordered by the Justice Department, after
victims of the inmates expressed outrage that the inmates were
getting compensation while they didn't get any.  Justice
Minister Phil Goff has instructed his department to urgently
draft laws stopping compensation claims but the legislation will
not be retrospective.

Mr. Ellis told the Herald that looking at the amounts given in
the previous ruling, the 18 applicants would be in line for
around $500,000.  In terms of all inmates who had been in the
regime, "some of them would have been there six months, some of
them would have been in there in the early days and not in there
for long at all. It still runs into what must be multiple
millions of dollars."

He added that it was important for the inmates to move quickly.
"No doubt my clients are concerned that if they don't make a
claim they might be caught by some new legislation that the
Government introduces," he told the Herald.

Mr. Ellis hoped not all claimants would have to go through the
court system.  "I would have thought the reality of it was that
once the Taunoa appeal is completed, whatever the result is it
would cry out for a settlement of the action on behalf of all
the others rather than processing it through the court system,"
he said.  "The court has made a ruling that BMR (behaviour
management regime) was an inhuman regime and (the inmates) are
asking for the compensation that was due to them because of
being held in that unlawful regime . I don't think that anybody
that was kept in that regime didn't feel their human rights were
being breached. It's just unfortunate that nobody listened to
them."


NORTHWEST AIRLINES: Transportation Dept Drops Privacy Complaint
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Department of Transportation (DOT) dismissed a privacy
complaint filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center
(EPIC) against Eagan-based Northwest Airlines Corporation, the
Associated Press reports.

The 16-page ruling, which offered a point-by-point justification
for Northwest's actions, stated that the Company breached no
one's privacy when it shared passenger data with federal
researchers weeks after the September 11 attacks.

According to Samuel Podberesky, assistant general counsel for
aviation enforcement, Northwest didn't violate its privacy
policy and even if it had, the policy was unenforceable because
he said Northwest is required to share passenger data with the
government upon request.

The Transportation Department's ruling further stated that
Northwest's disclosure hurt no one and that the only allegation
of injury "is that certain Northwest customers did not expect
that a small group of NASA researchers would have access to
their travel plans, and were disappointed when they learned they
had."

EPIC had pointed out that Northwest promised not to "sell"
passenger data to third parties. On this account, Mr. Podberesky
stated that "sell" means just that, and leaves open the
possibility of sharing data for research, or with the
government.

Aside from Northwest other carriers like JetBlue Airways
Corporation and AMR Corporation, the parent of American Airlines
also admitted disclosing passenger data.

However, Northwest passengers were taken by surprise by the
airline's announcement. In September 2003, Northwest Chief
Executive Richard Anderson and a spokesman had said separately
that Northwest had not shared data, apparently in response to
questions about the JetBlue incident.

Mr. Podberesky stated that the statements might have
unintentionally mischaracterized Northwest's past practice, but
that no one had been harmed because the passengers in question
had flown two years before the statements were made.

Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said the company didn't have
immediate comment on the ruling. EPIC officials on the other
hand said it would request a review of the decision.


OPTIO SOFTWARE: Accepts NY Securities Fraud Lawsuit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Optio Software, Inc. conditionally accepted the settlement for
the securities class action filed against it, certain of its
officers and directors and certain of the underwriters in the
Company's initial public offering.

The suit, styled "Kevin Dewey vs. Optio Software, Inc., et.
al.," was filed on behalf of persons purchasing Optio’s
common stock between December 14, 1999 and December 6, 2000 and
seeks class action status.  The complaint includes allegations
of violations of:

     (1) Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933 by all named
         defendants,

     (2) Section 12(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 by the
         underwriter defendants,

     (3) Section 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 by the
         individual defendants, and

     (4) Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
         and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by the
         underwriter defendants

The complaint alleges that Optio's prospectus was materially
false and misleading because it failed to disclose, among other
things, that:

     (i) the underwriters had solicited and received excessive
         and undisclosed commissions from certain investors in
         exchange for which the underwriters allocated to those
         investors material portions of a limited number of
         Optio shares issued in connection with the Optio
         initial public offering; and

    (ii) the underwriters had entered into agreements with
         customers whereby the underwriters agreed to allocate
         Optio shares to those customers in the Optio initial
         public offering in exchange for which the customers
         agreed to purchase additional Optio shares in the
         aftermarket at pre-determined prices.

The complaint seeks unspecified amounts as compensatory damages
as a result of Optio's alleged actions, as well as punitive
damages and reimbursement for the plaintiff's attorney's fees
and associated costs and expenses of the lawsuit.  A proposal to
settle the claims against Optio and other companies and
individual defendants in the litigation was conditionally
accepted by Optio.  The completion of the settlement is subject
to a number of conditions, including Court approval.

Under the settlement, the plaintiffs will dismiss and release
all claims against participating defendants in exchange for a
contingent payment guaranty by the insurance companies
collectively responsible for insuring the issuers in the action,
and the assignment or surrender to the plaintiffs of certain
claims the issuer defendants may have against the underwriters.

Under the guaranty, all the insurers for all the issuers will be
required to pay an amount equal to $1.0 billion less any amounts
ultimately collected by the plaintiffs from the underwriter
defendants in all the cases.  The disposition of this matter is
limited to Optio's $300,000 corporate insurance deductible.  The
Company has completed payment of the insurance deductible
through payment of legal fees.


PHILIP MORRIS: Judge Grants Class Status to "Lights" Suit in OH
---------------------------------------------------------------
The 9th District Court of Appeals Judge James Kimbler certified
a class action lawsuit against Phillip Morris Tobacco Company,
allowing residents in northeast Ohio to participate,
NewsNet5.com reports.

According to the judge, he certified that the case also involves
a violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practice Act. The alleged
violations are related to the company's advertising of certain
cigarettes as "light" or "low in tar," both of which are
inaccurate.

The certification of the suit means that residents in Medina,
Ashland, Cuyahoga, Lorain, Summit or Wayne counties can get
involved.  The class action lawsuit seeks recovery of the
purchase price of cigarettes by consumers as well as attorney
fees.


PHILIP MORRIS: Marlboro Lights Suit Granted Class Status in MO
--------------------------------------------------------------
Circuit Court Judge Michael David in St. Louis, Missouri allowed
a lawsuit against Philip Morris USA over the tar and nicotine
content of Marlboro Lights to proceed as a class action, the
Associated Press reports.   The lawsuit accuses Altria Group
Inc.'s Philip Morris USA of misrepresenting the amount of tar
and nicotine contained in Marlboro Lights.

However, the judge placed limitations on those who can
participate in the case.  Judge David limited those eligible to
join to Missouri residents who purchased and smoked Marlboro
Lights cigarettes from November 9, 1995, five years before the
original filing of the suit, through December 31, 2003.  The
judge also excluded Missouri residents who already have filed a
personal injury claim as a result of cigarette smoking.


PHOSPHATE RESOURCE: DE Court Orders Investor Suits Consolidated
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Delaware Chancery Court ordered consolidated the class
actions filed against Phosphate Resource Partners L.P. (PRP),
IMC Group, Inc., and certain directors of PRP and Phosphate
Resource Partners Limited Partnership Company (PLP), relating to
IMC's December 23, 2003 announcement that it was considering the
merger of an affiliate of IMC with PLP, with each publicly held
partnership unit in PLP being converted into the right to
receive 0.2 shares of IMC common stock (PLP unit exchange).

On December 30, 2003, a suit, styled "Martin Weber v. J. Reid
Porter, et. al.," was filed in Delaware Chancery Court claiming
that IMC, PRP, the directors of PRP and PLP breached their
fiduciary duties to PLP's public limited partners as a
consequence of the announcement on December 23, 2003 that IMC
had offered to acquire all of the Partnership units not held by
IMC and its affiliates.

The lawsuit also asserted "The proposed acquisition is an
attempt by (IMC) to unfairly aggrandize itself at the expense of
(PLP's) public limited partners" and that "The proposed
acquisition will, for inadequate consideration, deny plaintiff
and the other members of the class their right to share
proportionately in the future success of (PLP) and its valuable
assets, while permitting (IMC) to benefit wrongly from the
transaction."  The plaintiff, on behalf of the class of all
unitholders of PLP (except for the defendants and their
affiliates) is seeking, among other things, to enjoin the
transaction or, to the extent that the transaction is
consummated, to rescind the transaction, and monetary damages in
an unspecified amount.

On January 16, 2004, another suit, styled "M. A. Metropole v. J.
Reid Porter, et. al.," was filed in Delaware Chancery Court
against IMC, PRP and the directors of PRP, each individually as
a conspirator and aider and abettor and, in the case of the
directors, in their capacity as directors and/or officers of
PRP.  The complaint asserted that the defendants breached their
fiduciary duties to PLP's public limited partners as a
consequence of the announcement on January 15, 2004 by IMC's
Board of Directors that it had authorized IMC management to
communicate a proposal to PLP to acquire all PLP's publicly held
units at a price that, according to the plaintiff, is materially
inadequate giving due consideration to PLP's growth and
anticipated operating results, net asset value and future
profitability.

The lawsuit further asserts that:

     (1) the intrinsic value of the units of (PLP) is materially
         in excess of the $2.15 per unit being proposed, giving
         due consideration to the possibilities of growth and
         profitability of (PLP in) light of its business,
         earnings and earnings power, present and future;

     (2) the $2.15 per unit price is inadequate and is a
         discount to the present market value of (PLP's) units;
         and

     (3) the $2.15 per unit price is not the result of arm's-
         length negotiations, but was fixed arbitrarily by (PRP)
         to "cap" the market price of (PLP's) units, as part of
         a plan for the defendants to obtain complete ownership
         of (PLP's) assets and business at the lowest possible
         price.

The plaintiff, on behalf of the class of all unitholders in PLP
(except for the defendants and their affiliates) is seeking,
among other things, to enjoin the transaction or, to the extent
that the transaction is consummated, to rescind the transaction,
and monetary damages in an unspecified amount.

On January 22, 2004, another suit, styled "Sidney Resnick v.
Phosphate Resource Partners Limited Partnership, et. al.," was
filed in Delaware Chancery Court claiming that IMC, PRP, the
directors of PRP and PLP breached their fiduciary duties to
PLP's public limited unitholders as a consequence of the
announcement on January 15, 2004 that IMC had made a proposal to
acquire all of the outstanding units of PLP that IMC did not
already own.

The lawsuit also asserted "The Transaction will benefit
defendants at the expense and to the detriment of PLP's
unitholders, who will be deprived of their equity investment and
benefits including, among other things, the expected growth of
PLP," that "(PRP's) directors have clear and material conflicts
of interest and are acting to better the interests of IMC at the
expense of PLP's unitholders" and that "The Transaction
represents an effort by defendants to aggrandize their financial
position and interests at the expense, and to the detriment, of
the members of the Class."

The plaintiff, on behalf of the class of all unitholders of PLP
(except for the defendants and their affiliates) is seeking,
among other things, to enjoin the transaction or, to the extent
that the transaction is consummated, to rescind the transaction,
and monetary damages in an unspecified amount.

On February 9, 2004, the Delaware Chancery Court for the County
of Newcastle approved an Order of Consolidation consolidating
the Weber, M.A. Metropole and Resnick actions into a single
action, styled "In Re Phosphate Resource Partners Limited
Partnership Litigation (C.A. No. 145-N)" and ordering that the
plaintiffs in all three actions file a single consolidated
amended complaint.

On February 9, 2004, another suit, styled "Magnus E. Olsen and
Jean E. Olsen v. J. Reid Porter, et.al.," was filed in Delaware
Chancery Court claiming that IMC, PRP and PLP breached their
fiduciary duties to PLP's public limited unitholders as a
consequence of the announcement on January 15, 2004 that IMC had
made a proposal to acquire all of the outstanding units of PLP
that IMC did not already own.

The lawsuit also asserted that "Under IMC's proposal, public
unit holders would be forced out at a significant discount by
their disloyal fiduciaries (at a price) without arms-length
negotiation" and that since "Four of the seven members of the
PRP board of directors are employed in high-ranking positions at
IMC, the PRP-GP board suffers from debilitating conflict in
fairly considering the proposed Transaction."

The plaintiff, on behalf of the class of all unitholders of PLP
is seeking, among other things, to enjoin the transaction or, to
the extent that the transaction is consummated, to rescind the
transaction, and monetary damages in an unspecified amount.

It is anticipated that the Olsen action will be consolidated
into the "In Re Phosphate Resource Partners Limited Partnership
Litigation," the Company stated in a disclosure to the
Securities and Exchange Commission.


PIMCO FUNDS: Units Pay $11.6M To Settle SEC Mutual Funds Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission instituted a settled
enforcement action against PA Fund Management LLC (PAFM), PEA
Capital LLC (PEA) and PA Distributors LLC (PAD) for failing to
disclose to the PIMCO Funds Multi-Manager Series' (PIMCO MMS
Funds) Board of Trustees (Board) and the PIMCO MMS Funds'
shareholders material facts, including the conflict of interest
that arose from their use of mutual fund assets to pay for
"shelf space" arrangements. As part of the settlement, PAFM, the
adviser for the PIMCO MMS Funds, PEA, the sub-adviser for seven
of the PIMCO MMS Funds and PAD, the distributor for the PIMCO
MMS Funds and other funds in the PIMCO fund complex, agreed to
disgorge $6,602,000 of ill-gotten gains relating to their use of
fund brokerage commissions to pay for shelf space arrangements.
The disgorgement, which is to be paid jointly and severally by
the three entities, will be distributed to the affected PIMCO
MMS Funds. PAFM and PAD also agreed to pay, jointly and
severally, a civil money penalty of $4 million, and PEA agreed
to pay a civil money penalty of $1 million. PAFM, PEA and PAD
further agreed to undertakings designed to improve compliance
and disclosure, including monitoring the use of directed
brokerage and disclosing conflicts of interest.

The Commission's Order finds that between 2000 and 2003, PAD,
with the knowledge and approval of PAFM, entered into shelf
space arrangements with broker-dealers pursuant to which broker-
dealers promised PAD that the mutual funds it distributed would
receive heightened visibility within the broker-dealers'
distribution systems. PAD, in return, agreed to pay the broker-
dealers based upon individually negotiated formulas relating to
gross fund sales and/or the retention of fund assets. Although
most of the payments for shelf space arrangements were made in
cash out of the assets of PAD, some were paid, in whole or part,
by PEA directing brokerage commissions on the PIMCO MMS Funds'
portfolio transactions. When shelf space payments were made
through brokerage commissions, PAD was required to pay between
1.2 to 1.5 times the amounts that it would have paid in cash. By
using brokerage commissions to satisfy its shelf space
obligations, PAD was provided with a cost savings.

The use of fund assets to benefit and in fact defray the
expenses of PAD, a third party to the PIMCO MMS Funds, created a
conflict of interest that PAFM, PEA and PAD should have
disclosed to the Board and that PAFM should have disclosed to
shareholders. In addition, PAD's failure to provide the Board
with the necessary information regarding the use of brokerage
commissions to pay for shelf space arrangements resulted in the
PIMCO MMS Funds not describing in their Rule 12b-1 distribution
plans these financing arrangements. Moreover, in directing the
PIMCO MMS Funds' brokerage commissions to pay for shelf space
arrangements, PAFM, PEA and PAD did not ensure that these
commissions came from those funds that were promoted by the
broker-dealers in connection with the arrangements. In failing
to do so, the brokerage commissions paid by some PIMCO MMS Funds
were improperly used to subsidize the distribution of the shares
of other mutual funds in the PIMCO fund complex.

The Order further finds that this conduct resulted in violations
of the federal securities laws. In particular, PAFM and PEA
violated, and PAD aided and abetted and caused PAFM's and PEA's
violations of Section 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of
1940; PAFM violated Sections 15(c) and 34(b) of the Investment
Company Act of 1940; PAFM, PEA and PAD violated Section 17(d) of
the Investment Company Act and Rule 17d-1 thereunder; and PAD
aided and abetted and caused the PIMCO MMS Funds' violations of
Section 12(b) of the Investment Company Act and Rule 12b-1(b)
thereunder and violated Rule 12b-1(d) also thereunder.

PAFM, PEA and PAD have consented to the issuance of the Order,
without admitting or denying the findings contained therein.
They have also agreed to be censured and to cease-and-desist
from committing or causing any violations and any future
violations of the above-referenced provisions.

This enforcement action has been coordinated with the Attorney
General of the State of California.


SOUTH CAROLINA: Patient Lodges Suit, Claims SRHS Overcharged Her
----------------------------------------------------------------
After being sued by the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
for $10,000 in unpaid medical bills six months after giving
birth, Melissa Doiron initiated a class action countersuit
against the system, the Herald-Journal reports.

The suit, which was filed by attorney John Hawkins claims that
his client was overcharged for services and that hospital
representatives refused to give her an estimate of her expenses
until after she was discharged.

The suit comes on the heels of three lawsuits filed last week in
Columbia against three health-care systems, among them Health
Management Associates, the owner of Upstate Carolina Medical
Center, all claiming that the health-care systems routinely
overcharge uninsured patients.

According to Mrs. Doiron SRHS initially charged her $12,290.24,
which was decreased by $1,963.39 when she requested an audit of
her bill. Mrs. Doiron, whose insurance didn't cover maternity
expenses, also claims she and the hospital were negotiating her
charges when she received a letter in June stating the hospital
planned to turn over her account to their attorneys for legal
action, eventually leading to a lawsuit filed in August against
her.

Attorney Hawkins also claims that during his client's pregnancy
she had inquired what the birth would cost her, and the hospital
refused to give her the numbers. The Spartanburg attorney
further claims that the SRHS waited until Mrs. Doiron signed a
contract agreeing to pay her medical bill before they told her
how much she owed.

The SRHS for its part refused to comment about the countersuit
citing that they could not divulge information on pending
litigation.


STRATOS LIGHTWAVE: Asks NY Court To Approve Securities Suit Pact
----------------------------------------------------------------
Stratos Lightwave, Inc. asked the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York to grant preliminary
approval to the settlement of the consolidated securities class
action filed against it, certain of its directors and executive
officers, and the underwriters for the Company's initial
public offering.

The complaint is substantially identical to numerous other
complaints filed against other companies that went public over
the last several years.  The complaint generally alleges, among
other things, that the registration statement and prospectus
from the Company's June 26, 2000 initial public offering failed
to disclose certain alleged actions by the underwriters for the
offering.

The complaint charges the Company and two or three of its
directors and executive officers with violations of Sections 11
and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and/or Section
10(b) and Section 20(a) to the Security Exchange Act of 1934, as
amended.  The complaint also alleges claims solely against the
underwriting defendants under Section 12(a)(2) of the Securities
Act of 1933, as amended.

In 2003, the Company agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding,
which reflects a settlement of these class actions as between
the purported class action plaintiffs, the Company and the
defendant officers and directors, and the Company's liability
insurer.  Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding,
the Company's liability insurers will pay certain sums to the
plaintiffs, with the amount dependent upon the plaintiffs'
recovery from the underwriters in the IPO class actions as a
whole.  The plaintiffs will dismiss with prejudice their claims
against the Company and its officers and directors, and the
Company will assign to the plaintiffs certain claims that it may
have against the underwriters.

The plaintiffs have filed with the court a motion for
preliminary approval of the settlement, which, if granted, will
lead to the mailing of class-wide notices of the settlement and
a hearing date for approval of the settlement.


SYNOPSYS INC.: Shareholders Lodges Stock Fraud Suits in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Synopsys, Inc. faces a securities class action filed in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, styled "Kanekal v. Synopsys, Inc., et al., No. C-04-
3580."  The suit also names as defendants certain of the
Company's officers.

The suit alleges violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  The complaint purports to be a class action lawsuit
brought on behalf of persons who acquired the Company's stock
during the period of December 3, 2003 through August 18, 2004.
The complaint alleges that the individual defendants caused the
Company to make false and misleading statements about the
Company's business, forecasts, and financial performance, and
that certain Company officers or employees sold portions of
their stock holdings while in the possession of adverse, non-
public information.  The complaint does not specify the amount
of damages sought.


TENNESSEE: Judge Issues Restraining Order V. Sex Offender Law
-------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell issued a temporary restraining
order arising from a legal challenge to a new Tennessee law that
prohibits a Nashville sex offender from living and working
within 1,000 feet of a school or day-care center and makes him
liable for criminal prosecution if he violates the law, The
Tennessean reports.

According to court records, "John Doe," who was convicted of
sexual battery in 2000, filed a federal suit seeking class
action stats under a pseudonym because he believes that
identifying himself would leave him open to state prosecution
under a law that he contends is unconstitutional. Furthermore,
he fears retribution from his employer and the community if his
name were to become known.

For the purposes of the hearing, Judge Campbell allowed the
plaintiff to continue to be known publicly as "John Doe,"
however the federal judge does know the plaintiff's identity via
a sealed affidavit that only he is privy to.

Since the lawsuit has not been certified as a class action,
Judge Campbell issued a temporary restraining order that applies
only to the plaintiff in this case. He also made no findings on
the constitutionality of the state law.

In the hearing, the state had argued against the temporary
restraining order by claiming that the plaintiff had not shown
that he would probably suffer immediate or irreparable harm
without the order. The state further argues that the restraining
order was unnecessary at this time because if the plaintiff were
ever charged criminally, he could raise his constitutional
claims in state court at that time.

For the moment Brent Horst, the plaintiff's attorney and lawyers
from the state Attorney General's Office are preparing for a
hearing later this month to determine whether a preliminary
injunction preventing the state from enforcing the law is
necessary.


TEXAS: Houston Reaches $72M Settlement in Paramedic's Wage Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
According to the mayor of Houston, the city will pay $72 million
dollars to settle a 9-year-old overtime class action suit filed
by paramedics invalidating an earlier proclamation to appeal
unfavorable rulings in the case, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Mayor Bill White said he changed his mind because the city could
have been ordered to pay as much as $116 million if it lost
future appeals in the lawsuit, which was filed in 1995 and spans
overtime claims from 1986 to 1999.

Attorney Troy Blakeney, who represents the 2,600 paramedics in
the suit, said that the awarded sums could range from $500 to
tens of thousands of dollars depending on how much overtime they
worked without proper compensation. Mr. Blakeney also said that
he would recommend his clients accept the proposed settlement,
which appropriates between one-fourth to one-third of the amount
to legal fees.

Mayor White said the money would be paid within two years
through the issuance of $50 million in judgment obligation
bonds, with the remaining money possible coming from either
insurance settlements related to Tropical Storm Allison or real
estate sales. The mayor also said that to further accommodate
the settlement the city might have to postpone some capital
improvement projects.

The settlement is the largest payout for overtime violations to
a fire department in the country's history with the previous
high amount being $13.5 million in Chicago back in 1995.


UNITED STATES: U.S. Senate Asked To Block New Overtime Rules
------------------------------------------------------------
Labor allies are pushing the United States Senate to block new
overtime rules, pushed by the Bush administration, that they say
could prevent 6 million American workers from getting the bonus
pay, the Associated Press reports.

Last Thursday, the Republican-led House voted 223-193 to prevent
the Labor Department from implementing the new rules, which took
effect on August 23.  The vote underscored the sensitivity
Republicans from labor districts have on the issue.

The Democrats oppose the amendments saying they would hurt 6
million workers, including chefs, nurses, police officers,
journalists, athletic trainers, lower-level computer employees
and those who perform small amounts of supervisory work.  The
White House and the Labor Department disputed this, saying that
the new rules clarify who is entitled to overtime and would
reduce confusion that has led to expensive lawsuits.  The Bush
administration says about 107,000 white-collar workers making
$100,000 or more could lose eligibility.

The new regulations - the most dramatic overhaul of overtime
rules in five decades - also would require overtime pay for
workers earning up to $23,660, AP reports.  That is triple the
annual salary above which overtime was previously required, an
increase the Labor Department said would protect 1.3 million
workers.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told AP he would take the first step in
that direction Wednesday by forcing the Senate Appropriations
Committee to take a campaign-season vote on whether to block the
rules.  He thinks he has a good chance of prevailing at the
committee, which Republicans control by just one vote. Among its
members are Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who faces re-election in
November in a strong labor state and who voted against the
regulations in May, AP reports.



                        Asbestos Alert



ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chamber of Commerce Raises Lobbying Budget
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the country's top advocacy group
for business, has increased its lobbying budget, spending US$20
million in the first half of this year, almost US$4 million more
than it spent in all of 2003. The amount represents the largest
six-month sum spent by a lobbying organization since Congress
required lobbyists to disclose their expenditures in 1996.

The sudden increase in spending may have resulted from
congressional interest in two of the Chamber's foremost goals:
limiting class action suits and capping asbestos litigation.
These issues were intensely debated in the Senate earlier this
year. Ultimately, the class action bill did not pass while the
asbestos issue still is the subject of heated negotiations
between business and labor groups.

"Class action and asbestos were two monumentally important
issues to the Chamber. As those bills continue to be debated,
that would probably represent a significant expenditure," said
Bill Miller, the group's political director.

Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive
Politics, said that this could reflect an overall increase in
corporate lobbying spending but that it could also signify a
desire to enact some of the group's signature issues this year
before a new administration possibly assumes next year.

The Chamber expects that a Kerry administration would be hostile
to the group's agenda of legal reform, which includes the class
action and asbestos issues along with curbs on medical
malpractice suits.

If that is the case, the money spent may be futile because
neither the asbestos nor the class-action bill passed and it is
unlikely that much besides appropriations bills will receive
attention during Congress's abbreviated session this fall.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congress Backs Fines for Frivolous Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
A U.S. House of Representatives panel approved a bill imposing
fines on lawyers for filing frivolous lawsuits, acting on a
priority President Bush emphasized at a Republican Party
convention.

The House measure is the latest in a series of Republican
attempts at limiting the deluge of lawsuits that Bush says are
"threatening jobs across America."

"We all know it's about an election," said Rep. William
Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat, just before the vote.
Democrats are suggesting that the latest House bill was intended
to highlight lawsuit abuses on the current election campaign
that incidentally happens to feature a trial lawyer, Sen. John
Edwards of North Carolina, the Democratic vice presidential
candidate.

The measure by Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith would impose
fines for lawsuits considered by judges to be frivolous, in
violation of federal rules of civil procedure. The penalty would
often be the cost of defending the frivolous claim.

Opponents noted the Judicial Conference of the United States,
the federal judiciary's policymaking group, had written to the
committee pointing out that the same approach had been tried in
1983 and repealed in 1993.

Other critics said they agreed with making sanctions mandatory
for frivolous lawsuits, but objected to another part of the bill
limiting "forum-shopping" by plaintiffs looking for the best
court in which to file a case.

Senate leaders, meanwhile, said that they were still trying to
agree on a framework for an asbestos compensation fund, but had
not spanned differences on issues such as whether some claims
would be left in court while the fund is established.

"I'm still hopeful that before the end of this year, we can
complete our work," said Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Russian Govt Cancels Asbestos Export Duty
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Russian government has cancelled an export duty on asbestos,
said the government press service. Prime Minister Mikhail
Fradkov signed the corresponding resolution on September 6.

The export duty currently amounts to 3%.  The resolution will
come into effect one month after its official publication.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: HSE Advises Contractors to Take Precautions
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Health and Safety Executive has told maintenance contractors
and other employers to take proper precautions for work in
buildings where asbestos may be present.

The timely warning follows the prosecution of Asahi Glass
Fluoropolymers Ltd of Thornton Cleveleys. The company was fined
GBD3,000, with GBD1,490 costs, following an HSE investigation
into the removal of ceiling tiles containing asbestos during the
refurbishment of their Lancashire factory.

HSE inspector Peter Gray said: "This shows the need for a
precautionary approach to work on materials suspected of
containing asbestos. The work should be supervised and executed
by competent staff, with contingency measures in case asbestos
is inadvertently discovered."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Eurobodalla Council Rejects Hardie Boycott
---------------------------------------------------------------
Eurobodalla Shire Council rejected a move by Councilor Chris
Kowal seeking to gain support by asking contractors and shire
staff not to use Hardie products as an attempt to avoid funding
of legitimate claims of asbestos victims.

Councilor Kowal pointed out that the Bega Valley Shire Council
and other councils had implemented the consumer boycott a few
weeks ago. He said there was a significant likelihood the health
issues could affect Shire residents and there could even be ex-
employees of James Hardie Industries retired in the area.

"Simple home renovations involving banging a nail into old
asbestos particle board, or unwittingly sanding off asbestos
board before painting can result in airborne particles of
asbestos being ingested, causing the deadly cancer
mesothelioma," he said.

Councilor Kowal also cited the fibro water pipes used in
Council's reticulation systems.

Community Works director Guy Brantingham took up the water pipe
point, saying asbestos ingested was quite safe.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WA Building Demolition Delayed By Asbestos
---------------------------------------------------------------
The demolition work on a building in downtown Sunnyside may now
resume after it was halted this summer due to the discovery of
asbestos.

Several businesses were forced to move three years ago when the
outer wall of the building began to bulge. It has since been
declared dangerous.

Sunnyside city leaders have been monitoring the progress of the
demolition, and had placed a deadline. It does not pose a threat
to public health at this time.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IL State Ban on Asbestos Fliers Challenged
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Dunesland Preservation Society will be arguing its case in
Lake County Circuit Court that the state is violating members'
First Amendment rights by not permitting them to display a
warning pamphlet about asbestos at Illinois State Beach Park.

Judge David Hall will be holding the hearing on September 21.
The organization prepared its own pamphlet using information
from state and federal agencies after the more dangerous friable
pieces of asbestos was discovered on the beach last month.
Asbestos has been detected in the air as well.

Pamphlets were displayed at the beach years ago when a similar
incident occurred in 1988. The state eventually discontinued the
pamphlets but warning signs about asbestos still abound.
Joe Bauer, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural
Resources, said the signage at the park is sufficient and
officials have been assured by the state's public health and
environmental agencies that public health is not threatened.

Paul Kakuris, president of the Dunesland Society, said the state
is infringing on the group's "free speech" rights since there
are other health-related brochures and fact sheets available to
the public.

"It's not only a high-handed outrage and a threat to public
health, but is also another effort by state officials to cover-
up the role they played in the beaches' pollution," said Mr.
Kakuris.

"Information isn't dangerous. Let them find out and let them
debate it. People are going to make an informed decision,"
commented Charles Nyangiti, a beach visitor originally from
Kenya.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: HSE Study Reveals Alarming Asbestos Deaths
---------------------------------------------------------------
The latest Health and Safety Executive statistics show that UK
deaths linked to asbestos will be at their highest in the region
between 2011 and 2015.

The next decade may claim thousands of people as they succumb to
asbestos-related lung disease mesothelioma. Along with this,
claims for compensation are expected to rise as well.

The revelation has prompted a leading expert in industrial
disease cases in the region to demand that the Government
increase medical research into treatment for mesothelioma.
There were about 1,600 deaths from mesothelioma in the Northeast
and North Yorkshire between 1981 and 2000, which amounts to 10%
of all deaths from the disease in England and Wales. Particular
hotspots are all parts of Tyneside and Stockton, where there
were 107 deaths. There were also about 200 deaths of women in
the same area over the same period.

Experts say research is vital to enable victims of the condition
to recover proper compensation when companies or their insurers
responsible for exposing them to asbestos dust cannot be traced
or are insolvent.

Roger Maddocks, a partner at the Newcastle-based personal injury
law firm Irwin Mitchell, said last night, "Diagnosis of
mesothelioma is almost invariably followed by death within three
years."

According to HSE figures, more than two million people suffer
from work-related ill health. Of these, 6,000 people died of
cancer in 2002 due to past exposures at work. Of those cases,
1,800 were attributed to mesothelioma and 100 to asbestosis. The
annual number of deaths in the UK from mesothelioma has
increased from 153 in 1968 to 1,862 in 2002 and is not expected
to peak for another several years.

Mr. Maddocks said, "Because of the long time lag between
exposure to asbestos and development of mesothelioma, typically
anything between ten and 50 years, many victims or their
families will face difficulties in the future."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 9/11 Health Report Urges Action, Study
-----------------------------------------------------------
An official U.S. government study provides startling information
regarding the possible health affects from pollution after the
9/11 disaster, which doctors fear will cause more deaths than
the attacks themselves.

According to the report, up to 400,000 New Yorkers breathed in
the most toxic polluting cloud ever recorded in the U.S. that
fateful day, but the government has yet to make a comprehensive
effort to study the effects on their health.

The Bush administration allegedly suppressed evidence of
increasing danger and officially announced that the air around
the Twin Tower buildings was "safe to breathe." Another report
states that it has since failed "at least a dozen times to
retract its assurances, even when it became clear that people
were becoming sick."

The official report sent to Congress by the U.S. Government
Accountability Office says that between 250,000 and 400,000
people in lower Manhattan were exposed to the pollution.
Scientific studies have shown that the cloud of pulverized
debris from the skyscrapers was uniquely dangerous. The U.S.
government's own figures show that it contained the highest
levels of deadly dioxins ever recorded - about 1,500 times
normal levels. Unprecedented levels of acids, sulfur, fine
particles, heavy metals and other dangerous materials were also
measured.

Asbestos was found at 27 times acceptable levels, and scientists
found about 400 organic alkanes, phthalates and polyaromatic
hydrocarbons - many suspected of causing cancer and other long-
term diseases.

As the site at Ground Zero went on smoldering, it became what
scientists describe as a "chemical factory", allegedly creating
new dangerous substances.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alert Put on Asbestos Dump in UK Hospital
--------------------------------------------------------------
Construction of a chemotherapy unit and a 24-bed ward came to an
abrupt halt at the Antrim Area Hospital when it was discovered
that asbestos had been dumped in the site.

Apparently, three or four large sheets of asbestos-containing
board were hoisted over a fence causing these to shatter on
impact and release potentially dangerous fibers.

Site manager Chris Fletcher immediately recognized the substance
and cordoned the area. He then called in Eastwoods, the
specialist company behind the controversial proposal for an
asbestos storage facility in Crumlin, to make the area safe. A
team arrived a short time later and removed the sheeting, gently
bagging it and placing it in a sealed container.

Mr. Fletcher said that the disturbing development was far from
unique and it is getting more common on building sites as
asbestos is very expensive to get rid of.

"It was broken so it would have posed a hazard to anyone in the
direct vicinity. There's no doubt that it was reckless in the
extreme," Mr. Fletcher said.

SDLP councilor Donovan McClelland praised the company's swift
response, but launched a blistering attack on the people who
sparked the alert.

"This is straightforward criminal activity and I hope whoever is
responsible is apprehended and faces the full rigors of the
law," Mr. McClelland said.

A spokesperson for United Hospitals Trust stressed that the risk
to the public had been minimized.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reinsurers Warned to Brace for More Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Reinsurers will have to significantly increase their reserves
for claims covering asbestos-related illnesses, three leading
credit ratings agencies warned recently. They have lagged behind
insurers, which raised their asbestos provisions in 2002 and
2003.

The British Insurance Brokers' Association estimates that the
amount paid out could reach US$200billion (GBD110billion), with
insurers and reinsurers picking up about 60% of the bill.

Stephen Searby, credit analyst at Standard & Poor's, said, "Some
reinsurers will look to top up their asbestos provision as the
past few years have seen an acceleration in asbestos-related
claims."

Asbestos is the single biggest cause of claims to the insurance
and reinsurance industry. In comparison, the amount of money
paid out for September 11 was about US$21billion.

Michael Barry, managing director of Fitch Ratings Agency's US
office, said that over the past 12 months, insurers have set
aside about US$10billion more for asbestos claims but reinsurers
have increased their reserves by "nowhere near that figure."
He said one reason why insurers were more proactive about the
asbestos provisions was because they were dealing directly with
companies being sued and therefore had more information about
the extent of the claims.

"Reinsurers are on the hook here," he said. "At some point there
will be material reserve strengthening for asbestos as insurers
will be asking reinsurers for money. If they do not set up
reserves for that money, it will be a marked hit to surplus in
the future."

Stuart Shipperlee, AM Best managing director, added, "With
adverse development most commonly recognized in the third and
fourth quarters, it would be very optimistic to assume that no
further bad news will emerge from the reinsurance market over
the coming months."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Council Alerted to Asbestos-based Tiles
---------------------------------------------------------------
Contractors wearing protective clothing moved into a West Park
property to clear the asbestos-based floor tiles after they were
discovered during carpet-laying operations.

Council officials reassured its residents of their safety.
Meanwhile, the council is now carrying out a survey of its
housing stock across the district in a bid to establish the full
extent of the problem.

Sue Wherry, who lives in the affected house with husband Clive,
said she had nothing but praise for the way in which the council
had handled the situation.

"They bent over backwards to help us, but it did come as a bit
of a shock. They obviously realized what the problem was
straight away and made arrangements for us to move out while
they put things right," Mrs. Wherry said.

Apparently, the tiles had been in place since the house was
built some 50 years ago. This makes it highly likely that other
houses could be affected in the same way. A spokesman for North
Cornwall District Council said it was possible some types of
tiles found in council properties such as those at West Park
could contain small amounts of asbestos.

"There is no major problem or health risk when the tiles are
intact and you don't need a licensed contractor to deal with
them. However, if the tiles are being broken up and removed, as
in this case, it is good practice to wear protective clothing
and masks as our contractors did, just in case the tiles contain
any asbestos," said the spokesman.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Alarms UK Primary School to Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
An asbestos scare prevented the Crockerne Primary School from
opening promptly at the start of the term. The North Somerset
Council called in a specialist to deal with the contamination
while a temporary building was set up in Nailsea to accommodate
the 150 children.

These children, aged 8 to 11, are commuting by bus each day to
Four Oaks Infant School on Silver Street, Nailsea, seven miles
away. The company doing the asbestos-removal expects that the
school will be completely reopened by the start of the next term
on November 1.

Crockerne head teacher Lara Furmidge said, "Everything is going
as well as can be expected in this sort of situation. Things
seem to be very well organized and we have had a lot of support
from North Somerset Council which we are thankful for."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: French Govt Sets Up Asbestos Association
-------------------------------------------------------------
A work group has been set up in the French National Assembly to
improve treatment for those suffering from asbestos-caused
cancer.

The two UMP deputies behind the group, Yves Cousin and Jean
LemiŠre, are both from the Manche, where the naval industries in
Cherbourg are based.  The Cherbourg area claims about 12,000
people with this type of cancer.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Unsafe Removal Causes Renovation Shutdown
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Occupational, Health and Safety Department stopped
renovation work at Scott's Motor Sport, after it was confirmed
that workers were removing asbestos without taking proper safety
precautions.

Darlene McCurdy, manager of the inspections division for the
Western region, says the type of asbestos in the building is the
least dangerous because fibers aren't easily released from it.
However, a registered asbestos abatement contractor will have to
deal with any possible safety risk.

"They will go in and be properly attired to ensure that there
are no fibers breathed in by any of the workers. And they will
just remove the material and have it bagged and taken for
disposal," says Ms. McCurdy.

McCurdy says renovation work can continue in other sections of
the building where there is no asbestos.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Fears Put Off Coventry Projects
-------------------------------------------------------------
As the cost of asbestos removal is too high, city councilors
have decided to adopt new policies for future building projects.

Since a number of high-profile projects went over budget due to
this issue, the most notable being the revamp of Coventry Motor
Museum, a careful examination will have to be done before the
approval of any renovation. Only buildings put up after 2000 are
exempted from this inspection, as these are certain to be
asbestos-free.  An initial contract for GBD72,000 to remove
asbestos around some heaters ended up topping GBD500,000 and
taking months. Conservative leader Tim Sawdon later said in
hindsight it would have been better to knock the museum down
completely and start from scratch.

The new rules say the council has to do a visual inspection of
all the buildings and document all its findings. Dust samples
will be analyzed but no walls will be drilled in case asbestos,
which is safe, is disturbed and made unsafe.

Experts will assess the amount of asbestos and then make a
judgment about how much might be hidden in inaccessible parts of
the building. If they decide the risk is remote, they have to
log their reasons. If they think there is likely to be a lot,
they have to look carefully at the funds available before the
project is approved.

The new rules mean councilors will have to decide whether to
modify the project, or abandon it completely if they think the
potential cost of dealing with unseen asbestos will be too high.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Builder Calls for Home-Demolition Control
--------------------------------------------------------------
A one-man crusade, Mike Wilson, hopes to convince his neighbors
and eventually the whole county to impose control over home
demolitions, as he believes these expose the neighborhood to
potential health dangers.

DuPage County, unlike neighboring Cook County, has no laws
protecting neighborhoods from dust particles like asbestos that
can be released during teardowns.

Armed with a new home video, he claims the builder on it was
unaware of danger posed by the dust from a torn-down home. The
structure was next to a park where the toxic dust could likely
settle, making exposure to more people possible.

Wilson said, "It'll contain asbestos and lead and all sort of
bad materials for the kids . when they do abatement in the
school they're very careful about it and yet here, kids are
totally exposed to this material."

Wilson is a homebuilder who is about to tear down a house in
West Chicago. But in an effort to prove his point, he's going to
do it safely. He believes the solution lies in hiring a
demolition contractor who is trained and licensed in asbestos
abatement. Total cost of testing and disposing of asbestos in
the floor tiles and ceiling of one house was US$2,900, a small
price to pay for the safety of others.

Mr. Wilson is scheduled to show his home video to the Glen Ellyn
Village Trustees -- the first step in what he ultimately hopes
will instigate the implementation of a new law requiring
asbestos abatement before homes are torn down.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Army Casts Asbestos Removal Onto Authority
---------------------------------------------------------------
The authority charged with privatizing the Savanna Army Depot
faces the challenge of asbestos abatement. The authority had
asked the army to remove asbestos from the buildings but the
army's policy is to remove only asbestos that is a threat to
human health and the environment.

David Ylinen, authority executive director, says, "Because the
buildings contain asbestos, disposing of them will be very
expensive. We were wishing and hoping the Army would be more
supportive."

Asbestos becomes a health threat when it is being removed as
part of demolishing buildings, and the Army will not pay for
abating asbestos in buildings that are to be destroyed.
Using the authority's reinvestment funds to abate asbestos would
deplete the amounts available for making other improvements,
marketing the base and creating jobs. The funds come from
selling and leasing former depot property.

The Army and the authority had met for a series of discussions
this past couple of months. The authority has talked publicly
during committee meetings about allowing the aging barracks to
deteriorate rather than spend funds to remove them. The
authority apparently also discussed the buildings during a
closed meeting on September 1.

"It was part of the closed session today," authority board
chairman John W. Rapp Jr. said during the meeting, adding that
it could have an impact on title to the property.

The authority closed its board meeting to set the price for sale
or lease of property and to discuss pending, probable or
imminent litigation.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Weston Council Split Over Asbestos Issue
-------------------------------------------------------------
Weston Town Council is weeks away from sealing the deal to buy a
town center theater, but conservative councilors believe a full
investigation should take place before the purchase is
completed.

In a survey done last October, the investigators took nine
samples of material from various parts of the building. Five
came back as non-asbestos and should be no risk. Two came back
as chrysotile and that poses very low risk. The remaining two
turned up as amosite and was considerably high risk.

A town council spokesman said, "These last two were from a small
amount of debris left behind when asbestos was removed from the
building many years ago by the trust. It will cost GBD2,500 to
have that cleared, which will happen shortly."

The Blakehay in Wadham Street is currently owned by Weston
Trust, a building preservation organization, but the town
council is buying it for GBD195,000.

At a town council meeting, a decision was made on which
councilors would finalize the purchase agreement.

Councilor John Ley-Morgan said, "I think we are extremely unwise
to press ahead with the almost immediate exchange of contracts
when we are alerted to the threats of potential dangers and
likely costs, which could be huge. I would urge councilors to
reconsider this matter and delay the exchange of contracts until
we have got more information available."

Mayor Councilor Astra Brand said, "It had been agreed that we
were going to buy The Blakehay and still have to run with it."

Town council leader Councilor David Evans said, "We will be seen
in the same light as other authorities by delaying this. Any
ramifications will be seen in a true light at a future date."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scientist Defends the Use of White Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Jacques Dunnigan, a scientist and researcher in asbestos,
and a long-time former director for health and environment for
the Asbestos Institute, discusses the "myths" surrounding the
use of asbestos products.

Dr. Dunnigan considers chrysotile or white asbestos as the
safest variety of asbestos used commercially. He stresses that
asbestos fiber can be an occupational risk only when it becomes
airborne and its dust is inhaled in excessive amounts for a
prolonged period. For that matter, he insists excessive amount
and prolonged exposure make virtually all respirable materials
potential health risks.

He specifically indicates that chrysotile asbestos cement
products are safe since cement "locks in" asbestos fibers firmly
within the matrix in chrysotile asbestos cement products hence
these fibers cannot escape into the atmosphere under normal
conditions of use, posing no risk.

He elaborates, "All studies conducted among workers in
manufacturing plants of asbestos cement products using
exclusively chrysotile or white asbestos have not shown any
deaths due to exposure to asbestos, where proper controls are in
place."

Another issue for contention would be the Western studies that
point to asbestos as the culprit in a rare form of lung cancer,
mesothelioma. He believes that these studies were born out of
relative ignorance about asbestos health hazards.

To respond to the controversy, he rationalizes that occurrence
of these diseases today is due to heavy exposure in the past and
long latent periods to manifest. In India, only chrysotile fiber
is used and the exposure levels are less than 1 fiber/cc, which
is 50 to 100 times lower than that in the past in western
countries. He believes such low doses couldn't cause any
asbestos-related disease.

Dr. Dunnigan considers India's use of chrysotile in cement
sheets highly-commendable as these are cost-effective and have a
life of more than 60 years, have properties similar to hard
concrete-like material, need negligible maintenance and insulate
heat and noise.

"The low costs are unmatched by any available roofing product,"
he adds.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Police Issue Warning Over Bridgnorth Fire
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bridgnorth Police urged the residents to stay indoors after the
roof of a building believed to contain asbestos caught fire in
the town center. Police warned them not to venture outside
unless necessary and to secure all the openings of the house.

Richard Emery, a representative of the Bridgnorth Police, said
emergency services stayed at the scene until the evening.  The
building, believed to be a shed, is a 100m x 40m timber
property.

A spokesman for Shropshire Fire Service, said, "Because of the
risk of asbestos we are reiterating the police's plea for people
to stay indoors until the blaze is extinguished."

Health officials are still carrying out investigations at the
site of the fire.  While staff at Shropshire Country Council's
social services building were evacuated, many stood in the
streets watching the drama unfold.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Companies Neglect Asbestos Obligation
-------------------------------------------------------------
Risk management specialist, Line International, is strongly
advising companies that they must act upon the new asbestos
"Duty To Manage" legislation, which took effect last May. The
warning comes as Line International is discovering that
companies are still unaware they are exposing employees and the
public to asbestos.

As a result of past exposure to asbestos, as many as 3,500
people in Britain die each year from mesothelioma and asbestos-
related lung cancer.

The new Health and Safety Executive legislation means that all
UK businesses must take reasonable steps to identify materials
which contain asbestos and create a plan setting out how the
risks from the materials are being managed.

Brian Carpenter, managing director of Line International, said,
"We are concerned that many companies do not realize they even
have asbestos materials on their premises. But every company in
Britain is responsible for the asbestos material it may have on
the premises and has a legal duty to manage the risk from this
material."

Peter Corbett of the HSE explained, "Asbestos was used
extensively as a building material from the 1950s through to the
mid-1980s. Although some of this material has been removed over
the years, we estimate that over half-a-million non-domestic
premises currently have some form of asbestos in them."

The duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises requires
those in control to prepare and implement a risk assessment and
a management plan that should be properly documented and
reviewed every six months.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CT Official Gets Probation on Asbestos Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Saad, a former director of economic development in
Plainfield was sentenced to two years probation and fined
US$1,000 for violating federal asbestos regulations in the
demolition of a former factory building. He barely escaped the
maximum sentence for that offense which is five years in prison
and up to US$250,000 in fines.

U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor, reached by phone after the
sentencing, said that while he respects Dorsey's decision, he
was "very disappointed with the sentencing."

"The government asked for a term of imprisonment, which we feel
is the best deterrent for those who violate environmental law,"
Mr. O'Connor said.

Prosecutors said Michael Saad and Vermont contractor Edward
Carroll knew asbestos was present in the former InterRoyal Mill
when Mr. Carroll began demolishing a portion of the structure
four years ago. As part of an agreement with the government, Mr.
Carroll testified against Mr. Saad.

Mr. Carroll pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful demolition
before the removal of asbestos and was sentenced last year to
two years' probation and 100 hours of community service. He was
also fined US$200.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Probe Started into the Asbestos Industry
-------------------------------------------------------------
This documentary, broadcast in August, is about "corporate
murder, premeditated and on a massive scale." Joan Baird and
Pauline Bonney, both widows, lost their husbands to asbestos-
induced mesothelioma. The news organization ITN followed the
quest of these two courageous women as they investigate the
reasons why their loved ones had died-a journey that takes them
to asbestos factories, and all the way to the mines in the
Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

In the documentary, Pauline Bonney talks to UK cancer specialist
Dr. Ken O'Byrne. He tells her that while a low level of exposure
to asbestos is less likely to produce morbidity, there is no
such thing as a safe level of contamination.

In the UK, 50,000 people have died since 1968 after exposure to
asbestos. It is estimated that the total of asbestos-related
deaths will reach 150,000. In the United States, there are
10,000 asbestos-related deaths each year.

There has never been a prosecution or health and safety inquiry
into a single asbestos-related death of a worker in South
Africa. The link between asbestos and cancer is well known by
the companies and South African government. Cape Asbestos funded
a study into the effects asbestos has on health in 1960, the
results of which were suppressed by the government.

UK lawyer John Pickering indicates a criminal conspiracy of
silence when he explains that companies and governments have
known since the 1920s that asbestos causes serious illness, yet
the public and workforce were never made aware of this.

Though the supply and use of asbestos were almost entirely
banned in the UK in the 1980s, this did not end the danger of
new contamination. There are approximately 4.5 million premises
both industrial and domestic containing asbestos in the building
material. When these buildings begin to deteriorate, asbestos
fibers may be released.

Since the use of asbestos was banned in many western countries,
the trade in death has moved to the underdeveloped world. Canada
exports 300,000 tons of white chrysotile asbestos each year to
countries like India, Chile and Thailand, where it is processed
without safety controls or the use of respirators. The Canadian
government, with the support of Russia, the largest producer of
asbestos, and 13 other asbestos-producing countries, managed
last year to block the consideration of a worldwide ban on the
import of white chrysotile.



ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Insurers React To Rising Asbestos Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
While the United States Senate has expressed its willingness and
commitment to solving the asbestos litigation problem facing the
country, insurers remain under a siege of asbestos-related
claims.

Insurers have approached asbestos litigation with renewed vigor
by implementing new strategies. In an attempt to reduce the
expense of handling asbestos claims, some insurers have sought
to settle large groups of claims with both their insureds and
underlying plaintiffs' counsel while other insurers have decided
to pursue litigation against other insurers in an attempt to
share the costs associated with asbestos claims.

Many insurers have imposed proof requirements and established
guidelines in the asbestos context. This new effort by insurers
and reinsurers to require specific proof of "bodily injury"
before coverage will be provided has been the subject of
litigation and private arbitration around the country.

A recent Illinois state court's decision adds to the questions
raised concerning whether an insurer may impose documented proof
of loss requirements that may not otherwise be clearly required
by an insurance policy. In Everest Reinsurance Co. v. Maremont
Corp., No. 03CH10905, Ill.Civ., Cook Co., the court ruled that
an excess insurer could not question the exhaustion of
underlying insurance by examining asbestos-related claims under
newly-devised documentation requirements.

Although only a state district court opinion, insurers will pay
particular attention to this decision. The asbestos litigation
problem in the insurance coverage context is now, in some ways,
most problematic for umbrella and excess liability insurers.

Seeking to protect policy limits, umbrella and excess insurers
have become determined to investigate whether underlying
settlements include claims made by unimpaired claimants. This
Court's decision reinforces that an insured merely needs to show
that a settlement was made with reasonable anticipation of
liability.

Since the stakes are high, we can continue to expect both
insurers and reinsurers to question settlements involving large
groups of asbestos claims until there is a more significant set
of controlling cases addressing this issue.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Shares Up on Breakthrough in Asbestos Fund
---------------------------------------------------------------
Shares of companies facing asbestos claims rose last Wednesday
after a breakthrough was reported on the size of the asbestos
victims' fund.

U.S. Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle matched a proposal by
Republican leader Bill Frist and agreed to a US$140 billion
amount for an asbestos victims' compensation fund. This
agreement breaks a deadlock that has stalled the legislation in
Congress.

Shares of McDermott International Inc. rose more than 5% to
US$12 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange. W.R.
Grace and Co. shares climbed 4% to US$9.45, while the stock
price of Federal-Mogul Corp. rose more than 5% to 20 cents.

Sen. Frist and Sen. Daschle are working on the outlines of a
fund that would take asbestos claims out of the courts and could
be written into legislation this year.

Previously, Sen. Daschle indicated that the asbestos fund should
be set up with US$145 billion from business and industry and
existing asbestos trusts.

In a further compromise, Sen. Daschle held back his insistence
that existing asbestos claims be allowed to work their way
through court if the plaintiff does not want to turn to the new
fund for payment.

"We can't support something we think will fail the victims. At
the end of the day, it isn't about reaching agreement, it's
about putting in place a program that compensates victims with
asbestos disease," said Peg Seminario, the occupational health
official of American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial
Organizations.

Sen. Daschle said that if Congress cannot reach agreement this
year, the Senate should make a thorough review of new
information on asbestos, including data on projected claims.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Risk Forces AR Clubhouse to Close
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Bella Vista Country Club has been shut down until it can be
determined if friable asbestos-containing materials are present.
Employees were in the middle of one project, but had to stop
when it was determined that some ductwork in the area where
workers were working may contain ACMs.

"We have not heard anything from the Arkansas Department of
Environmental Quality," said Tommy Bailey, Property Owners
Association general manager.

"The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not
contacted us and I don't expect them to. OSHA deals with
employees," Mr. Bailey added.  "I'm not willing to open the
clubhouse until we've resolved all of the issues."

Until surveys of each facility can be conducted to determine the
presence of friable ACMs, maintenance functions at the other
facilities will remain halted.  As there is a need to determine
compliance issues, one of the POA's current employees has
volunteered to become a certified asbestos inspector and will
undergo training.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Software to Manage and Inspect Asbestos
------------------------------------------------------------
Hazmat Inspector is a software program that allows the
inspection and management of asbestos-containing materials for
an unlimited number of buildings and clients while
simultaneously forming the core of a client asbestos management
plan.

Every environmental service or property management firm
encounters the issue of high cost during the initial inspection
process, follow-up surveillances and day-to-day management of
ACMs for their clients.

Hazmat Inspector eliminates the need for redundant data entry
and paper forms. It provides central program and data access
allowing critical data to be securely shared in real time by
third party vendors or clients instantly using desktop PC,
Tablet PC, Palm or Pocket PC mobile wireless handheld devices.
Basebridge will actually brand the service so it looks like a
service offered by the environmental service or property
management firm.

Users can synchronize wirelessly in the field or via the
synchronization cradle connected to a PC. The software uses an
SQL database on the Pocket PC and Palm OS handheld devices
allowing users to carry the complete building history in the
field, simplifying follow-up surveillances.

With the upsurge of asbestos-related diseases, US and Canadian
government legislation requires building owners and managers to
develop and maintain a register of ACMs within their buildings.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AU Unions Take Hardie Protest to the U.S.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Australian labor unions will take their protest over James
Hardie Industries NV's funding shortfall for asbestos victims to
the U.S. seeking to extend their boycott of the company's
building products to its largest market.

Last June, KPMG estimated James Hardie's asbestos liabilities to
be AUD$1.57 billion (US$1.1 billion). The company allocated only
AUD$293 million in 2001 to a foundation to meet all compensation
claims.

Victims groups have rejected an offer by James Hardie to fully
compensate sufferers of asbestos-related diseases if the New
South Wales government changes laws to reduce the company's
legal costs. Unions and victims protested at a shareholders
meeting in Sydney and will march outside the company's U.S.
headquarters in Mission Viejo, California. James Hardie gets 80%
of its profit from the U.S.

``The U.S. is a critical market for James Hardie and it's
important that U.S. unions and consumers are made aware of the
appalling way this company has treated Australian asbestos
victims,'' Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Greg
Combet said.

``It has been the position of the company, and it remains its
position, that at the time, and contrary to what is now alleged
to be the company's motivation, the board believed there would
be sufficient funds to meet all future claims,'' Ms. Hellicar
said.

The move to the Netherlands ``was driven by the company's
increasing global focus,'' she said. ``It was not driven by a
desire to run away from asbestos liabilities.''

Shares of James Hardie have dropped 31% since October 29, the
day before the fund first said it didn't have enough money to
pay all victims' claims.

Australian building unions and some city councils in New South
Wales, the country's biggest state, are boycotting James Hardie
products.

Thousands of construction workers and asbestos victims marched
through Sydney to the shareholder meeting, carrying pictures of
friends and colleagues who have died from asbestos-related
diseases.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Expresses Regrets in Annual Meeting
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Board of James Hardie Industries should have offered extra
funding to asbestos victims years ago, its new chairman,
Meredith Hellicar, has told shareholders. The company had
consistently refused to meet a shortfall in compensation for
asbestos diseases, based on legal advice that it was not
obligated.

The annual meeting was a venue for apologies, admission of
mistakes and acknowledgement that the company had misjudged how
badly its reputation could be shattered by the NSW Government
inquiry into its handling of asbestos compensation.

But any remedial action will not come until the Government
releases the report. The barrister who headed the inquiry, David
Jackson, QC, is due to give it on September 21.

Ms. Hellicar refused to speculate on the future of the company's
chief executive, Peter Macdonald, who made an address on
operational matters but took no questions, or the chief
financial officer, Peter Shafron, who made no public appearance.

"Mr. Macdonald has our support and we are not going to act
precipitously because anyone can stand up in that commission and
say whatever they like," Ms. Hellicar said.

There would be board changes regardless of the contents of the
report, although she was unenthusiastic about a suggestion from
the NSW secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union,
Paul Bastian, that a representative of asbestos victims should
be appointed. However, she was keen on Mr. Bastian's suggestion
that the company fund a public education campaign around the
country.

Hardie, whose share price has slumped by about a third since
October, has said it will fund all claims, though it wants to
trim nearly AUD$800 million in legal and judicial costs
associated with insurance estimates.

"The share price is impacted by this issue," Ms Hellicar said.
"Even if the shareholders were not willing to accept the
proposal on moral grounds alone ... it will help the company go
forward and grow and be reflected in the share price."

The Australian Council Trade Union secretary, Greg Combet, said
the company should not lose its focus on profitability. "It's
obviously very important that the company is in a financial
position to be able to meet what we see as its obligations to
the victims."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lend Lease to Fight WTC Asbestos Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Lend Lease is confident insurance will cover any claims even if
it loses a multibillion-dollar US class-action lawsuit launched
by workers involved in the clean-up of the World Trade Centre
site after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for injured
workers, plus billions of dollars to fund a continuing medical
testing plan for 100,000 or more potential victims exposed to
toxic substances.

Lend Lease spokesman Roger Burrows said that while directors had
not yet received the claim, the board was confident of a
favorable resolution. Mr. Burrows said yesterday that the US
Government had set up a "captive insurance company" shortly
after the attacks to cover any future compensation claims by
workers employed on the site.

"Who that covered included us and a number of other companies
and authorities. We have no reason to believe that the insurance
put in place by the US Government for that purpose would not
cover any potential claim," said Mr. Burrows.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Kelly-Moore Blames Union Carbide for Illnesses
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kelly-Moore Paints, which has become a target in asbestos cases,
claims that Union Carbide committed fraud when it failed to
disclose the dangers of the asbestos it sold for use in several
of Kelly-Moore's interior finishing products.

"I think the evidence will show you that Union Carbide never did
a lick of homework to show that its products were safe,"
attorney Mark Lanier told the 23rd District Court jury.

This trial has gotten the attention of lawyers around the
country, and the largest courtroom in the Brazoria County
Courthouse was packed to watch one of Houston's top plaintiff
attorneys, representing a company he once sued, square off
against the giant chemical company.

As it is faced with 48,000 suits, the survival of Kelly-Moore
could rely on the outcome of this trial. In this US$1.4 billion
asbestos-related suit, Mr. Lanier has said the company would use
any proceeds from a favorable verdict to pay asbestos claimants
and legal costs.

Mr. Lanier told jurors Union Carbide denied information to the
public since it was aware of asbestos dangers as early as the
1930s.

Fast on the defense, attorneys for Union Carbide claim that
information about asbestos hazards had become common knowledge
by 1964, the first year the company sold any to Kelly-Moore.
They also insist product information for Calidria, the trade
name for its chrysotile asbestos, and supporting documentation
over the years contained significant medical disclaimers.

Finally, they said Union Carbide supplied only a small portion
of Kelly-Moore's asbestos needs.

"This case is about excuses," said attorney Peter Bicks. "This
lawsuit is Kelly-Moore's excuse."


COMPANY PROFILE

Kelly-Moore Paint Company, Inc
987 Commercial St.
San Carlos, CA 94070
Phone: 650-592-8337
Fax: 650-508-8563
http://www.kellymoore.com

Employees                :           2,300
Sales     :  $325,000,000.00 (est.)
Sales Growth    :        7.1% (est.)
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description:

Kelly-Moore produces nearly 20 million gallons of paint per year
at each of its four manufacturing facilities and has more than
160 stores in 10 states west of the Mississippi River. The
regional firm sells more than 100 types of paints, finishes, and
accessories to professional contractors and painters and to the
do-it-yourself market.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Arizona Companies Cited Due To Asbestos Dumping
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality filed notices of
violation against three companies and two people for allegedly
dumping asbestos material. Investigators found more than 1,000
bags of asbestos material at a site southwest of Yuma.

The violations were issued to International Environmental
Corporation, based in Tempe; Southwest Hazard Control, Inc.,
from Tucson; Environmental Management Consultants, from Phoenix;
San Pedro Martinez, from Yuma; and Pete Auza, from Yuma.

Two of the companies cited, International Environmental and
Southwest Hazard Control were contractors that removed asbestos
from buildings in Maricopa County.

According to ADEQ Director Steve Owens, the two companies worked
with National Environmental Services - which has since gone
bankrupt - to dispose of the material. Environmental Management
Consultants operated a laboratory at which materials containing
asbestos was generated.

"In this situation, there was never a risk posed to surrounding
residents because the ADEQ staff moved so quickly to contain and
secure the site," Mr. Owens said.

"Had the disposal not been addressed quickly, had our staff not
been on the scene quickly, a risk could have been posed to the
community."

The companies and individuals have 30 days to respond to the
notice and explain why they shouldn't be held in violation.


Company Profile:

International Environmental Corporation
316 S. 52nd Street, Suite 101
Tempe, AZ 85281
Phone: (602) 241-6600
Fax: (602) 967-2232
http://www.iecweb.com/

Description:
IEC's qualifications make it a prime candidate for consideration
to provide services on asbestos and lead abatement projects. The
company has full occurrence insurance with limits up to
$5,000,000 from an insurance company with an A+ rating. IEC has
Treasury listed bonding along with 100% payment and performance
bonds up to US$10,000,000.


Southwest Hazard Control Inc
2500 N Coyote Dr
Tucson, AZ 85745
Phone: (520) 622-3607

Description:
Southwest Hazard Control Inc. (SHC) is a financially sound,
growth-oriented environmental remediation company. It is the
oldest, continuously operating asbestos abatement company in
Arizona.  SHC established itself as a hazardous materials
remediation company in 1985 and began lead abatement services in
1991.


Environmental Management Consultants
9830 S 51st St
Phoenix, AZ 85044
Phone: (480) 940-5294

Description:
In July 2004 Environmental Resources Management (ERM) was ranked
as the largest "all-environmental" consultancy in the world. The
company is one of the world's leading providers of consulting
services and have 100 offices in 37 countries employing 2,500
staff. The company delivers innovative solutions for leading
business and government clients, assisting them in managing
their environmental and related risks.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Ground Zero Team Files Suit Over Health Effects
---------------------------------------------------------------
On the last day before the three-year statute of limitations
expired, 800 plaintiffs filed a class action case against
Silverstein Properties, the leaseholder of the towers, and the
four companies who led the site cleanup, for allegedly exposing
its workers unnecessarily to dangerous debris.

David Worby, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, says that the victims
are seeking billions of dollars in compensation as well as the
formation of a system that will track for the next 20 years all
those who were exposed.

The lawsuit claims they were not taught safety procedures and
that many of these cleanup and rescue workers did not have
access to protective gear making them vulnerable to the dust,
asbestos, and other toxins in the air.

While some of the plaintiffs suffer from afflictions ranging
from tumors to heartburn, many say they show no symptoms from
their work at the site, but have joined the suit because they
fear they risk developing cancer in the future.

"The tragic reality is that so many of the brave heroes who
worked so tirelessly and unselfishly are becoming a second wave
of casualties of this horrific attack, and we're only seeing the
tip of the iceberg," Mr. Worby said.

Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for trade center leaseholder
Larry Silverstein, said the cleanup was conducted by the city
and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"We had no control over that operation and no ability to
supervise what safety precautions were taken," he said. The
other defendants said they had not seen the complaint and had no
immediate comment.

Previously, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
released a study showing that many recovery workers suffered
from respiratory problems long after the cleanup concluded, and
that some still battle ailments. Proper respiratory gear would
have allowed the workers to block out smoke, dust, diesel
exhaust, pulverized cement, glass fibers, asbestos and other
chemicals and prevent throat and lung diseases, according to the
CDC study. It found that only about one in five of the workers
wore respirators while they worked at the site.

The four companies that led the cleanup were Turner
Construction, AMEC Construction, Tully Construction and Bovis
Lend Lease. According to AMEC's Web site, the company stationed
safety experts on site during the cleanup and provided
respirators, hard hats and safety goggles to workers.


COMPANY PROFILE

Silverstein Properties, Inc
530 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-490-0666
Fax: 212-687-0067
http://www.silversteinproperties.com

Silverstein plans to rebuild what was a landmark and will surely
become a national shrine regardless of its physical incarnation.
The major New York City commercial landlord built Seven World
Trade Center in 1987 and won, with Westfield America, a 99-year
right-to-lease of the World Trade Center from The Port Authority
of New York and New Jersey in summer 2001; Silverstein
controlling the office space, Westfield the retail. Silverstein
intends to rebuild all of the commercial space lost in the 2001
attacks. The centerpiece of the redeveloped site will be Freedom
Tower, slated to be open by 2009.


Turner Construction Company
375 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-229-6000
Fax: 212-229-6390
http://www.turnerconstruction.com

Description:
Turner Construction has turned heads for more than 100 years
with its projects. The company that built Madison Square Garden
has ranked among the leading general builders in the US since
WWI. Providing construction and project management services, it
works on commercial and multifamily buildings, airports,
stadiums, and correctional, entertainment, and manufacturing
facilities. Founded in 1902 by Henry C. Turner, the company is
the main operating unit of The Turner Corporation, which is a
subsidiary of German construction group HOCHTIEF.


AMEC plc
65 Carter Ln., London
EC4V 5HF, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-20-7634-0000
Fax: +44-20-7634-0001

Employees    :   45,901
Sales (2003)   :  7,863,300,000.00
Sales Growth   :   52.6%
Net Income    :  106,700,000.00

This engineering and construction giant proves that a wide
variety of services can coexist. AMEC keeps a balance of
operations in capital projects, investment, and services. Its
capital projects businesses provide design and engineering
services to the manufacturing, process, and services industries
worldwide. The firm is active in private finance initiative
projects for the infrastructure, health, and property
industries, as well as for governments. AMEC's services sector
provides facilities management, engineering, and environmental
and architectural consulting.


Tully Construction Co Inc
12750 Northern Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11368
Phone: 718-446-7000
Fax: 718-446-6072

Sales (2002)  $500,000,000.00

Tully Construction began as Tully & DiNapoli Inc., a one-truck
coal-hauler, in the 1920s. The contractor builds highways and
operates asphalt, trucking, and recycling segments, but entered
into the spotlight as the prime contractor for cleanup and
utility restoration work at the World Trade Center in New York
after the September 11 attacks. Tully also partnered with A.J.
Pegno Construction to rebuild subway tunnels below the WTC. The
company is broadening its scope, working with New York's MTA to
rebuild the transit line between the WTC site and New Jersey.
The family-owned and managed company is run by four brothers,
the grandsons of cofounder Edward Tully.


Bovis Lend Lease
York House, 23 Kingsway, London
WC2B 6UJ, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-20-7379-0222
Fax: +44-20-7395-7678
http://www.bovislendlease.com

Description:
Bovis Lend Lease is a key player in the global construction
market. A subsidiary of Australian real estate firm Lend Lease,
Bovis provides project management and construction services for
nearly every project phase, including consultation, design/build
services, and construction management. Bovis Lend Lease operates
in about 40 countries, offering management services for
commercial and residential, government, industrial,
infrastructure, and sports and entertainment projects.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Sensus Metering Systems Faces Asbestos Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sensus Metering Systems-North America Inc., a subsidiary of
Sensus Metering Systems, along with more than 200 other
companies, is a defendant in several lawsuits filed in various
state courts in Mississippi. Several groups of plaintiffs
claiming to suffer from asbestos-related illnesses are seeking
unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

It is unclear whether the alleged victims dealt with any of the
subsidiary's products or with an asbestos-containing component
of the product. It's yet to be determined also whether such a
component could have been a contributing factor to the illness.

So far, one proceeding has been dismissed. No other settlements,
verdicts, judgments, or dismissals of these claims have
transpired.

According to the stock purchase agreement for the acquisition of
Invensys Metering Systems, such indemnities, when aggregated
with all other claims, are limited to the purchase price paid in
connection with the acquisition.

The company stresses that these legal proceedings will not have
an adverse impact on their business, financial condition or
operations. However, it is not ruled out that unexpected
developments in the proceedings, an increase in the number of
new cases, or changes in the current insurance arrangements may
result in such liabilities.


Company Profile:

Sensus Metering Systems, Inc.
1501 Ardmore Blvd.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15221
UNITED STATES
Phone: 724-439-7850
Fax: 724-430-3959

Description:

The Sensus Metering Systems Inc. companies are world-class
providers of high-value metering and Automatic Meter Reading
(AMR) solutions for water, gas, electric, and heat utilities as
well as sub-metering entities worldwide. They are the leading
manufacturers of water and wastewater treatment products for the
municipal and industrial markets including computer software,
meters, turbines, encoders, and instrumentation.


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

BENNETT ENVIRONMENTAL: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank, & Sailer LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all purchasers of
Bennett Environmental Inc. ("Bennett" or the "Company")
(AMEX:BEL) common stock during the period from June 2, 2003
through July 22, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that Bennett and certain of its senior
officers with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder. 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 Bennett's shares.

More specifically, the complaint alleges that on June 2, 2003,
the Company announced that it had received the largest contract
in the Company's history. The press release stated that Bennett
had been awarded a contract to treat approximately 300,000 tons
of soil at the Federal Creosote Superfund Site in New Jersey.
The company reported that it valued the contract, slated to be
completed in 2005, at $200 million (Canadian). John Bennett,
Bennett's Chairman and CEO, said, "This (contract), together
with previously announced contracts, ensures that we will have a
very successful year in 2003 and beyond in terms of meeting our
financial and operation goals." In the seven months after the
announcement, Bennett shares doubled in value.

On July 22, 2004, Bennett announced that the contract
performance by Army Corps of Engineering, the entity who awarded
Bennett the contract, had been in question since August of 2003,
despite the eleven months of releases and announcements by the
company to the contrary. An unsuccessful bidder on the soil
treatment contract had disputed the award, and, in the
aftermath, the Company was clueless about the contract's status
and the Army's future performance. In fact, the Company had to
resort to Freedom of Information Act inquiries, among other
things, to ascertain the contract's status. On this news, the
stock price fell from $10.50 to $7.80, a 25% one-day drop and
64% off its Class Period high of $21.89.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Aaron D. Patton of
Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP by Phone: (800) 497-8076 or
(212) 682-1818 by Fax: (212) 682-1892 or by E-mail:
info@murrayfrank.com


BIOLASE TECHNOLOGY: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the Central District of California on behalf
of a class (the "Class") consisting of all persons who purchased
or otherwise acquired the securities of Biolase Technology, Inc.
("Biolase" or the "Company") (Nasadq:BLTI) between October 29,
2003 and July 16, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Biolase and certain of the Company's
executive officers with violations of federal securities laws.
Plaintiff claims that defendants' omissions and material
misrepresentations concerning Biolase's financial performance
artificially inflated the Company's stock price, inflicting
damages on investors. Biolase designs, manufactures and markets
proprietary dental laser systems to dentists, oral surgeons and
other specialists. On July 16, 2004, after the markets closed,
Biolase reported preliminary results, which were below analysts'
expectations for the second quarter of 2004, causing Biolase
shares to plummet 27 percent on July 19, 2004. Plaintiff alleges
the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented material
adverse facts during the Class Period, which defendants knew or
recklessly disregarded, including that:

     (1) Waterlase, the Company's best-selling laser system and
         primary product, was not gaining market share, and
         demand for the product was not increasing at the rates
         represented by defendants;

     (2) Biolase had introduced a lower-priced, entry level
         laser which was cannibalizing sales such that Biolase's
         reported earnings were false and misleading;

     (3) Defendants were concealing this decreasing demand by
         granting extended payment terms and price breaks; and

     (4) the Company would not achieve the earnings growth
         forecasted.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Aaron D. Patton of
Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP by Phone: (800) 497-8076 or
(212) 682-1818 by Fax: (212) 682-1892 or by E-mail:
info@murrayfrank.com


DECODE GENETICS: Berman DeValerio Lodges Securities Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo
initiated class action in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York against deCODE genetics, Inc.
("deCODE" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:DCGN) claiming the Company
and two top officers issued misleading financial statements to
the investing public on behalf of purchasers of deCODE common
stock from October 29, 2003 through and including August 26,
2004.

The lawsuit seeks damages for violations of federal securities
laws and claims that the defendants violated Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the rules and
regulations promulgated thereunder, including U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission ("SEC") Rule 10b-5.

The complaint names as defendants: deCODE; Kari Stefansson, the
Company's president and chief executive officer; and Lance
Thibault, deCODE's chief financial officer and treasurer.

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, deCODE
artificially inflated its stock price by issuing false and
misleading financial statements to the public. Specifically,
deCODE concealed from investors that its period-end financial
closing procedures were materially deficient and that the
Company lacked adequate internal controls, the lawsuit says. As
a result of these problems, deCODE improperly recognized revenue
in violation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

On August 26, 2004, deCODE announced that its outside auditor
had resigned because of the Company's failure to disclose the
deficiencies with financial closing procedures. On this news,
the price of deCODE stock fell 17% from a closing price of $6.58
per share on August 25, 2004 to $5.48 on August 30, 2004.

Due to the inflated stock price, deCODE was able to raise net
proceeds of $144 million from an April 2004 public offering of
$150 million worth of convertible notes.

For more details, contact Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt &
Pucillo by Phone: (800) 516-9926 or visit their Web site:
http://www.bermanesq.com/pdf/deCODEgenetics-Cplt.pdf


KONGZHONG CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP initiated a
classs action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the American
Depository Receipts ("ADSs") of KongZhong Corporation
("KongZhong" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: KONG) in or traceable to
the initial public offering ("IPO") of KongZhong American
Depository Receipts ("ADSs") conducted by KongZhong on or about
July 9, 2004 through August 17, 2004, seeking to pursue remedies
under the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act").

The action is pending in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York, against defendants KongZhong,
Yunfan Zhou (CEO and Chairman) and Nick Yang (President and
Chief Technology Officer).

The complaint alleges that the IPO prospectus (the "Prospectus")
was materially false and misleading because it failed to
disclose that KongZhong had violated the content rules in its
agreement with China Mobile, China's largest mobile services
provider, in June 2004 -- well before the Prospectus became
effective on July 9, 2004. The Prospectus, though warning of
potential risks relating to the breach of China Mobile's content
rules, failed to disclose that, in fact, the Company had been in
violation of China Mobile's content rules at the time of the
IPO. On August 18, 2004, KongZhong issued a press release
announcing that it had received a "notice of sanction" from
China Mobile as a result of the Company's breach of China
Mobile's content rules in June 2004. The penalty imposed was
dire: China Mobile suspended approval of the Company's new
product application until the end of 2004, and suspended
approval of the Company's applications to operate in new
platforms until June 30, 2005. In response to this announcement,
the price of KongZhong common stock fell 16.5% in one day, from
$6.39 per ADS on August 17, 2004, to $5.33 per ADS on August 18,
2004. The closing price of $5.33 per ADS represents a 46%
decrease from the Offering price of $10 per ADS. At the filing
of the complaint, the price of China mobile ADSs was
approximately $7 -- 30% below the IPO price.

For more details, 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:
sfeerick@milbergweiss.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.milbergweiss.com


KVH INDUSTRIES: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Sceurities Suit in RI
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP initiated a
securities class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the District of Rhode Island, on behalf of all persons
who purchased or acquired KVH Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: KVHI)
("KVH" or the "Company") securities (the "Class") between
October 1, 2003 and July 2, 2004, inclusive (the "Class
Period").

Plaintiff alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants
issued materially false and misleading statements regarding
KVH's increasing financial results and the strong demand for its
newly developed TracVision A5 and G8 satellite TV systems (the
"TracVision systems"). As alleged in the complaint, these
statements were materially false and misleading because they
failed to disclose, among other things:

     (1) that defendants had "stuffed" the retail channels with
         overpriced TracVision systems;

     (2) that the Company's revenues were not growing by
         millions of dollars per quarter and the purported
         growth trends in the Company's revenues could not be
         sustained; and

     (3) that KVH had not realized any material cost reduction
         in the manufacture of its TracVision systems and would
         be forced to write-down its inventory of manufactured
         goods by millions of dollars.

Plaintiff further alleges that defendants failed to disclose
these adverse facts in order to complete a public offering of
KVH common stock, raising more than $51.5 million in much needed
capital.

On or about July 6, 2004, before the market opened for trading,
KVH stunned the investing public by announcing that it was
slashing the retail price of its TracVision systems by more than
34% and taking a multi-million dollar write down of vendor
purchase commitments and on-hand inventories to reflect the true
value of KVH's TracVision systems sales. In pre-opening market
trading, KVH common stock declined more than 19%, to open at
$9.51 per share on July 6, 2004, a 49% decline from the public
offering price just 4 months prior.

For more details, contact Shareholder Relations Department of
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP by Mail: 10 East 40th Street,
New York, NY 10016 by Phone: (800) 217-1522 or (212) 779-1414 or
by E-mail: KVHI@bernlieb.com


TARO PHARMACEUTICAL: Murray Frank Files Securities Lawsuit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Taro
Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. ("Taro" or the "Company")
(Nasdaq:TARO) between February 20, 2003 and July 29, 2004,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The action is pending in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York against defendants Taro,
Barrie Levitt (Executive Chairman), Aaron Levitt (President),
Daniel Moros (Vice Chairman), Samuel Rubenstein (General
Manager) and Kevin Connelly (Chief Financial Officer). According
to the complaint, defendants violated sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5, by knowingly or recklessly
issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the market
during the Class Period.

The complaint alleges that Taro presented itself as a
pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets
generic drugs, and that the Company claimed throughout the Class
Period that it had successfully expanded its product line to
include proprietary drugs and novel drug delivery systems.
Unbeknownst to investors, the Company suffered from undisclosed
adverse factors that were having a negative impact on Taro's
financial performance and condition including but not limited to
the following:

     (1) defendants were unable to maintain profitability in
         Taro's generic drug division or generate free cash flow
         from the introduction of higher margin proprietary
         products sufficient to offset the expense of its new
         product launches;

     (2) defendants had failed to properly record the full
         expense of developing new proprietary drug products,
         such that it was materially false and misleading for
         defendants to state that the roll-out of Taro's new
         proprietary drugs was not and would not adversely
         affect the Company's near- or long-term profitability;

     (3) defendants understated the negative effects of
         increasing competition on the Company's financial
         performance; and

     (4) as a result of the foregoing, defendants lacked any
         reasonable basis to claim that Taro was operating
         according to plan or that Taro could maintain
         profitability in the near-term.

The truth emerged on July 29, 2004. On that date, the Company
announced a second-quarter loss of $0.31 per share, far below
the Company-guided analyst consensus estimate of $0.44 per share
earnings, and that drug sales had dropped to $49.1 million from
$74.8 million in the prior second quarter. On this news, Taro's
share price fell more than $11.50 per share to a new multi-year
low of $18.68 per share. Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP and its
predecessor firms have devoted its practice to shareholder class
actions and complex commercial litigation for more than thirty
years and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for
shareholders in class actions throughout the United States.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Aaron D. Patton of
Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP by Phone: (800) 497-8076 or
(212) 682-1818 by Fax: (212) 682-1892 or by E-mail:
info@murrayfrank.com


TECO ENERGY: Vianale & Vianale Files Securities Fraud Suit in FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Vianale & Vianale LLP commenced a securities
fraud class action lawsuit in Tampa, Florida federal court on
behalf of purchasers of the securities of Teco Energy, Inc.
("Teco") (NYSE: TE) between October 30, 2001 and February 4,
2003, inclusive.

According to the complaint, TECO concealed problems with
independent power plant construction ventures for which it would
ultimately be responsible, including exposure to the demise of
Enron Corporation and the vulnerability of its large cash
dividend, causing TECO securities to trade at artificially
inflated levels. The individual defendants sold over $4.2
million of their own stock and raised over $792 million selling
equity securities. In late 2002 and early 2003, several large
projects and their liabilities were "put" to TECO, moving
hundreds of millions of dollars of off-balance sheet debt onto
TECO's balance sheet. TECO took over a billion dollars in
impairment charges as a result, causing its stock to fall from a
Class Period high of over $28 per share, to below $13 per share
on February 4, 2003.

For more details, contact Vianale & Vianale by Phone:
888-657-9960 or visit their Web site: http://www.vianalelaw.com


WIRELESS FACILITIES: Murray Frank Files CA Stock Fraud Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of California on behalf of all purchasers of
the common stock of Wireless Facilities Inc. (Nasdaq:WFII)
("Wireless" or the "Company") from April 26, 2000 through August
4, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Wireless, Masood Tayebi, Terry Ashwill,
Daniel Stokely, Eric DeMarco, and Thomas Munro with violations
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. More specifically, the
Complaint alleges that the Company failed to disclose and
misrepresented the following material adverse facts known to
defendants or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the Company had materially underreported its
         burgeoning foreign tax burden;

     (2) that as a consequence of the foregoing, the Company
         materially inflated its net income or loss by 3-8
         percent or $10-12 million;

     (3) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls and
         was therefore unable to ascertain the true financial
         condition of the Company; and

     (4) that as result of the above, the Company's financial
         results were materially inflated at all relevant times.

On August 4, 2004, Wireless reported results for the second
quarter of fiscal year 2004. In addition, the Company announced
that it intends to restate its financial statements filed on
Form 10-K for the years 2001 through 2003 to accrue for certain
foreign tax contingencies. News of this shocked the market.
Shares of Wireless fell as much as, 30% and reached at one point
on August 5, 2004, its 52 week low of $4.61 per share on
unusually heavy trading volume. At the end of the trading day,
shares of Wireless fell $1.96 per share or 28.08 percent to
close at $5.02 per share.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Aaron D. Patton of
Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP by Phone: (800) 497-8076 or
(212) 682-1818 by Fax: (212) 682-1892 or by E-mail:
info@murrayfrank.com


WIRELESS FACILITIES: Spector Rosemna Files Securities Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. initiated a
securities class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of California, on behalf of
purchasers of the common stock of Wireless Facilities, Inc.
("Wireless" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: WFIIE) between April 26,
2000 through August 4, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

Included in the class are those persons who acquired shares of
Wireless through its acquisitions of Questus, Davis Bay, Defense
Systems, High Technology Solutions, Telia Academy and Telia
Contracting.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading
statements contained in press releases and filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission during the Class Period.
Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Wireless, an
independent provider of outsourced communications and security
for the wireless communications industry, and certain of its
officers and directors issued materially false statements
concerning the company's financial condition.  It further
alleges that Wireless failed to disclose and misrepresented the
following material adverse facts:

     (1) that Wireless had materially under-reported its
         burgeoning foreign tax burden;

     (2) that as a consequence of the foregoing, Wireless
         materially inflated its net income by 3% to 8% or $10-
         12 million; and

     (3) that Wireless lacked adequate internal controls and was
         therefore unable to ascertain its true financial
         condition.

On August 4, 2004, Wireless reported results for the second
quarter of fiscal 2004. It also announced that it intends to
restate its financial results filed on Form 10-K for the years
2001 through 2003 to accrue for certain foreign tax
contingencies. On this news, shares of Wireless plummeted to
$5.02 per share, representing a decline of approximately 28%.

For more details, contact Robert M. Roseman by Phone:
888-844-5862 by E-mail: classaction@srk-law.com or visit their
Web site: http://www.srk-law.com


                            *********


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

Each Friday's edition of the CAR includes a section featuring
news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent researches,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.

                            *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Glenn Ruel Se¤orin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
Resnick, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
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