/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/030721.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
             Monday, July 21, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 142


ALPHACOM INC.: SEC Lodges Cease-and-Desist Proceeding V. Broker
AOL TIME: Agrees To Settle Long Distance Call Suit For $10M
AUSTRALIA: Court Says Suit Over Vitamin Price Fixing Can Proceed
BOEING COMPANY: Seattle Firm Appointed Lead Counsel In Race Suit
CALIFORNIA: Judge Deals Setback To Gov. Davis' Allies in Recall

CANADA: War Veterans' Relatives Criticize Supreme Court Ruling
CHEMINS COMPANY: Reaches Settlement in CO Protein Powder Lawsuit
DE BON SALES: Recalls 8T Novelty Lighters For Fire, Burn Hazard
DESIGNPAC: Recalls Oil Lamp Boxed Sets For Child Safety Hazard
ENRON CORPORATION: Lawyers Label Refusal of Defendants An Error

ENRON CORPORATION: October 2005 Trial Date Set For Massive Suits
ESTEE LAUDER: Agrees To Settle CA Cosmetics Antitrust Lawsuit
FLORIDA: Lawyers Work To Expand Suit Over Perdido Bay Pollution
HAMILTON BEACH: Recalls 2.7 Million Slow Cookers For Burn Hazard
IDAHO: New Law Looks For Alternatives To Bluegrass Field Burning

KANSAS: Topeka Library Allegedly Restricts Talk About Gay Rights
KISSINGER ADVISORY: SEC Institutes Cease-and-Desist Proceedings
METROPOLITAN LIFE: Canadian Minorities May Participate in Pact
MIDWEST: Recalls 4T Toad Lawn Ball Sprinklers For Injury Hazard
MINNESOTA: Granted Federal Approval For Cuts in Welfare Program

MISSOURI: Lawsuit Over Tuition Fees Moved To State Supreme Court
NEW MEXICO: Female Prisoners' Lawsuit Wins Them Shower Privacy
OBESITY LITIGATION: Senator Forges Law To Protect Food Industry
OHIO: Illegally Retains Interest On Unclaimed Funds, Suit Claims
PORTFOLIO ADVISERS: Found By SEC To Have Violated Securities Act

SERVICE CORPORATION: Unit Inks Pact In Consumer Lending Lawsuit
TOBACCO LITIGATION: FL Smokers Ask Review $145B Award Reversal
UWATEC AG: Recalls 6000 Smart Dive Computers For Safety Hazard

                    New Securities Fraud Cases

CORNERSTONE PROPANE: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Stock Suit in CA
CREE INC.: Stull Stull Launches Securities Fraud Suit in M.D. NC
INTERMUNE INC.: Wolf Haldensein Files Securities Fraud Suit


ALPHACOM INC.: SEC Lodges Cease-and-Desist Proceeding V. Broker
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission entered an
administrative and cease-and-desist order against Arthur Ritchie
of North Royalton, Ohio, for making misrepresentations to
investors in the offer and sale of securities of AlphaCom, Inc.  
Mr. Ritchie consented to the entry of the order without
admitting or denying the Commission's findings.

The order finds that from at least September 1997 until at least
October 2000, AlphaCom raised $8.9 million through the
unregistered offer and sale of securities and registered offer
and sale of common stock.  The order also finds that from at
least June 1999 to September 2000, Mr. Ritchie raised
approximately $200,000 in AlphaCom's public offering of stock.  

The order further finds that in offering AlphaCom's securities
to investors, Mr. Ritchie misrepresented that AlphaCom owned the
exclusive rights to Internet-related technologies called Network
Utilities (NU) software and Very Minimal Shift Keying (VMSK).  
In fact, AlphaCom never owned the exclusive rights to either NU
or VMSK.  The order also finds that Mr. Ritchie made these
statements recklessly.  The order finds that although Mr.
Ritchie knew the technology was invented by others, he did not
seek to confirm AlphaCom's ownership from inventors or seek
documentation from AlphaCom.

The order bars Mr. Ritchie from association with any broker or
dealer and orders him to cease and desist from committing or
causing any violation and any future violation of Sections 5(a),
5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b),
15(a)(1) and 15(c) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and
Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

On July 10, 2003, the Commission filed a complaint in the
Northern District of Ohio in a related matter, SEC v. Snyder, et
al., against Robert Snyder, AlphaCom, and James Stamp, based on
their alleged fraudulent sale of AlphaCom securities, seeking
orders imposing permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-
gotten gains and civil penalties against defendants and an
officer and director bar against defendants and an officer and
director bar against Mr. Snyder.  The civil injunctive action
also seeks disgorgement against Gary Kendron, named as a relief

AOL TIME: Agrees To Settle Long Distance Call Suit For $10M
AOL Time Warner Inc.'s America Online unit agreed to settle for
$10 million a class action filed by its California subscribers
in the California Superior Court in Alameda County, the Wall
Street Journal reports.  

The suit alleges the Company's AOL Long Distance telephone
calling service advertised a certain phone-calling rate per
minute without revealing that monthly fees for that service
ranged from 97 cents to 2.098.

Under the settlement, the Company will reimburse consumers who
paid such fees from January 1,1998 to September 30, 2000.  An
estimated 500,000 customers are eligible for the award, attorney
for the plaintiffs Farley J. Neuman told the Wall Street

Spokesman Nicholas Graham told WSJ AOL's advertising wasn't
misleading and that consumers weren't harmed.  "AOL has settled
the case solely to avoid the cost and burden of litigation," he
said.  The settlement's approval by the court is expected

AUSTRALIA: Court Says Suit Over Vitamin Price Fixing Can Proceed
The Federal Court in Melbourne ruled that the class action,
brought on behalf of about a dozen Australian businesses
claiming several international companies colluded to operate as
a cartel by illegally fixing vitamin prices, may proceed,
according to a report by the Australian Financial Review.

The Melbourne-based plaintiff law firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman
lodged the class action against the Australian, Asian and
European divisions of international conglomerates such as Roche,
Aventis and BASF, contending these firms and others colluded to
illegally fix vitamin prices in the 1990s.

The companies allegedly colluded to fix prices across the world
market for vitamins A, C, E, B2, B5 and beta-carotene in
everything from drinks and foodstuffs to pharmaceutical
products, cosmetics and animal feed.

This past week, the Full Court of the Federal Court in Melbourne
upheld the earlier ruling of Judge Ron Merkel that the Federal
Court had jurisdiction over the international companies.  The
decision was handed down by Judges Christopher Carr, Catherine
Branson and Raymond Finkelstein.  Roche, Aventis and BASF
manufacture and distribute most of the world's vitamin products.  
The companies have yet to comment on whether they will seek
leave to appeal the matter to the High Court.

The price-fixing allegations already have made news around the
world, and in Australia.  The European Union Commission fined
eight companies a total of $1.5 billion in 2001, for their part
in the price fixing.

Roche and BASF also were heavily penalized in the United States,
where they agreed to pay more than $1.52 billion in fines and
damages.  Aventis was granted immunity from prosecution after
agreeing to give evidence of the collusion.

BOEING COMPANY: Seattle Firm Appointed Lead Counsel In Race Suit
The US District Court in Washington appointed the Seattle law
firm of Hagens Berman, a foremost class action firm, as lead
counsel in a major proposed class action, Associated Press
Newswires has reported.

The racial discrimination lawsuit, originally filed in 1997,
alleges that Boeing allows widespread racial discrimination
throughout its operations.  Boeing reached a $15 million
settlement with the original plaintiffs in 1999.  However, a
group of African-American employees in the class thought the
settlement grossly inadequate and appealed in the US Court of

The Court of Appeals agreed that the settlement was flawed, and
rejected it, sending the class action back to the District
Court.  After reviewing several competing applications for lead
counsel for the plaintiffs, the court appointed Hagens Berman as
lead counsel.

The two firms have faced each other before.  In 1997, Hagens
Berman led a shareholder suit against Boeing, claiming Boeing
executives knowingly made misleading statements to the public
about Boeing's production problems in order to gain approval for
a merger with McDonnell Douglas Corp.  In 1999, Boeing settled
the case for $93 million while admitting no wrongdoing.  This
settlement is the second largest of its kind in Washington state

The firm also represents women in five separate state class
actions in which the company is accused of gender bias.  Those
cases are currently awaiting trial dates.

"We are keenly aware of the responsibility the court has placed
on our firm in taking the lead in this case," said Steve Berman,
managing partner of Hagens Berman.  "We have been very involved
in reviewing the evidence in the case, talking with the
plaintiffs and working alongside the original counsel.  We are
confident that we represent the plaintiffs' interests."

US District Court Judge Coughenour approved the original
settlement on September 30, 1999, and will be the judge hearing
the new case.  The original lawsuit accused Boeing of failing to
give minority employees equal opportunity for advancement and
for harassing them when they complained of the practice.  Boeing
had agreed in the original settlement to use a portion of the
$15 million to create programs to address employee concerns.

"We believe the evidence paints a compelling picture that people
of color are treated very differently when it comes to
opportunity and promotions at Boeing," said Mr. Berman.  "Aside
from whether the earlier settlement is fair, our job now is to
vigorously represent our clients' interests."

Hagen Bermans is a law firm with offices in Seattle, Boston, Los
Angeles and Phoenix.  The firm has developed a nationally
recognized practice in class-action litigation.  The firm is co-
lead counsel in litigation to recover losses from Enron
employees' retirement funds and represented Washington and 12
other states in lawsuits against the tobacco industry that
resulted in the largest settlement in the history of litigation.

The firm also served as counsel in several other high-profile
cases including the Washington Public Power Supply litigation,
which resulted in a settlement of more than $850 million, and
the $92.5 million settlement of the Boeing Company litigation.  
Another notable Hagens Berman litigation involved the Exxon
Valdez oil spill.

CALIFORNIA: Judge Deals Setback To Gov. Davis' Allies in Recall
Judge Carl J. West dealt a setback to the Taxpayers Against the
Governor's Recall (Taxpayers Committee) when he declined to hold
a hearing on their lawsuit before the earliest possible deadline
for scheduling a recall vote, reported Associated Press

"I am not convinced the sky is falling," Superior Court Judge
West said in denying a request from the governor's allies to
hold the hearing July 23.  The judge set the hearing for August
8 instead.

On July 23, county officials must report to Secretary of State
Kevin Shelley the number of recall petition signatures they have
received and also the number of signatures they have verified as
those of California voters.

The Taxpayers Committee, in their lawsuit recently filed in Los
Angeles Superior Court, has alleged that the recall proponents
obtained many of their petition signatures illegally, including
the use of petition gatherers who were not properly registered
to vote in California.  They wanted to schedule a hearing before
Judge West on July 23, in order to get a preliminary injunction
to get counties to stop verifying signatures until the
qualifications of signature gatherers are checked.  

As indicated above, the date the action begins, when county
officials will begin filing numbers with the Secretary of State,
is July 23.  Now the earliest the injunction can be obtained is
August 8.  If the election is certified before then, before the
Taxpayers Committee has had the opportunity to present its
evidence and obtain an injunction to force the county election
officers to confirm that the qualifications of the signature
gatherers checked out as legally qualified, the lawsuit would
face far greater barriers to success, attorneys for the
Taxpayers Committee said.

The committee, Taxpayers Against the Governor's Recall, is
seeking class action status for its lawsuit.  The lawsuit's
plaintiffs are several California residents. The named
defendants are Secretary of State Kevin Shelley and elections
officials in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.

"We believe there is fraud rampant in those petitions and would
like to prevent them from being verified on July 23, by the
secretary of state," Paul Kiesel, one of plaintiffs' attorneys,
said recently outside the court.

With a preliminary injunction out of reach for now, Mr. Kiesel
said he would consider seeking a temporary restraining order,
which also would seek to prevent county officials from verifying
signatures until they could ensure that they were gathered

Attorneys for the Taxpayers Committee also sought to begin
immediately the process of subpoenaing witnesses and collecting
evidence for the lawsuit.  Judge West also denied that request.

CANADA: War Veterans' Relatives Criticize Supreme Court Ruling
Relatives of mentally disabled Canadian war veterans expressed
dismay at the Supreme Court of Canada's decision refusing the
class action filed against the Province of Ottawa on behalf of
veterans whose funds they managed for decades, the Canada Press

The class action was filed on behalf of Pte. Joseph Authorson,
who fought in the Second World War and came home shell-shocked
and schizophrenic.  Mr. Authorson then spent most of the next 50
years in a psychiatric ward. During his stay, Mr. Authorson
received more than $200,000 in allowances and pension money,
which the Department of Veterans Affairs administered for him
until 1991.  However, his lawyers have said the interest on that
money, if the government had managed it wisely and paid out,
would have totalled $500,000 or more, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story states.  Mr. Authorson died last year.

The Ontario Superior Court earlier ruled that the province
breached its fiduciary duty by failing to invest or pay interest
on the money it managed for the veterans.  The appellate court
upheld this ruling.  However, the High Court ruled that the
government was not legally bound to pay them billions of dollars
in interest on benefits.

"I feel very unhappy for all of the families that have endured,"
Roger Langen, whose father George spent 24 years in hospital
after succumbing to post-traumatic stress and alcohol-induced
brain damage told the Canada Press.  "It's not just money they
have taken.  For us, they stole his honor."

"It's a hard day and a bitter pill for the veterans and their
families that we represent," lawyer David Greenaway told Canada
Press.  "We hope that Canadians will press their MPs to find out
why the Crown and Parliament have decided to deprive these
people, whom the Supreme Court says are lawfully owed this money
. Why don't they stand up and do the right thing?"

The five judges who heard the suit, however, suggested Ottawa
had a moral debt to the veterans whose finances they managed for
decades.  "The respondent and the class of disabled veterans it
represents are owed decades of interest on their pension and
benefit funds," Justice John Major wrote on behalf of the
unanimous high court.

"The Crown does not dispute these findings.  But Parliament has
chosen for undisclosed reasons to lawfully deny the veterans, to
whom the Crown owed a fiduciary (financial) duty, these benefits
whether legal, equitable or fiduciary," he continued.

CHEMINS COMPANY: Reaches Settlement in CO Protein Powder Lawsuit
The Chemins Company reached a settlement for the class action
filed in the United States District Court of the District of
Colorado on behalf of protein powder consumers nationwide (Terry
A. Campbell and David Afshar v. James R. Cameron and The Chemins
Company, Inc.).

Plaintiffs contend that protein powder manufactured by The
Chemins Company, Inc., contained approximately half the protein
content and twice the carbohydrate content than indicated on the
label.  This difference obviously would impact the effectiveness
of the products.

The parties recently reached a settlement in which consumers
could receive up to a 100% reimbursement of their purchases of
the following protein powder products manufactured by The
Chemins Company, Inc.:

     (1) Baywood Protein,

     (2) Body Designer,

     (3) Colgan Protein Shake,

     (4) Neogen Protein Shake,

     (5) Nurish Protein,

     (6) Parvenu Protein,

     (7) Protein Plus,

     (8) Pure-Gro,

     (9) Pure-Lean,

    (10) Ultrim, and

    (11) Vitameal

Participants in the settlement must have purchased the protein
product between January 1, 1993 and January 31, 2002.  

All individuals who purchased for their consumption one or more
of these products during the dates specified should contact
Class Action Administration, the court-appointed class
administrator for the Chemins Settlement, by Phone: 1-866-540-
4439, by Mail: Chemins Claims Administration, P.O. Box 741168,
Arvada, CO 80006-1168 by E-mail:
CheminsSettlement@ClassActionAmin.com or or visit the Website:

DE BON SALES: Recalls 8T Novelty Lighters For Fire, Burn Hazard
De Bon Sales, Inc. is cooperating with the United States
Consumer Product Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling
8,000 Novelty Cigarette Lighters.  The novelty lighters are not
equipped with child-resistant mechanisms.  They pose fire and
burn hazards to young children.

There are two styles of lighters included in this recall.  The
first is a chrome and silver lighter, in the shape of a rearing
horse.  It is about 2.3 inches long and is labeled "DE-L-36."  
The second lighter is silver-colored, in the shape of a bird
head holding a snake.  It is about 2.5 inches long and is
labeled "DE-L-23."

Dollar stores in Texas from November 2002 through December 2002
sold these items for about $1.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (713) 541-2100
between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday.

DESIGNPAC: Recalls Oil Lamp Boxed Sets For Child Safety Hazard
DesignPac is cooperating with the United States Consumer Product
Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling 4,000 Oil Lamp Boxed
Sets.  The bottles of paraffin oil in these sets do not have
child-resistant closures as required by federal law.

The boxed sets contain a clear vase with pink or purple floral
designs, and a 16-ounce bottle of paraffin oil.  The packaging
is labeled "Handpainted Oil Lamp Set" and "Floral Garden."  Item
number 054 11 0229 is printed on the packaging.

Target stores nationwide from February 2003 through March 2003
sold these items for about $10.

For more information, contact the Company by Phone:
(800) 440-0680 between 7 am and 6 pm CT Monday through Friday or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.target.com.

ENRON CORPORATION: Lawyers Label Refusal of Defendants An Error
Attorneys for accounting firm Arthur Andersen argued recently
before a Texas appeals court that a Washington County judge
overstepped his authority in repeatedly rejecting their efforts
to bring more defendants into an Enron-related case, the Houston
Chronicle reports.  The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a handful
of Washington County, Texas, residents who bought Enron stock
after former Enron Chairman Ken Lay spoke at a chamber of
commerce forum in the county.  The trial is presently scheduled
for November 10.

Attorneys Rusty Hardin and Andrew Ramzel asked the Texas 14th
Court of Appeals to find that state District Judge Terry
Flenniken abused his discretion by denying the accounting firm's
request that several banks, mentioned in a civil complaint
against Andersen, as well as several former Enron executives, be
added as co-defendants.

Mr. Hardin said it was unfair for Andersen to remain in the case
while the banks, which worked with Enron on many of its
questionable financing deals, remain off the hook.   Mr. Hardin
said the criminal indictments against former Enron executives
say that Andersen officials were lied to repeatedly about many

Houston lawyer Sean Jez, represent the Washington County
investors who bought the stock, argued that Judge Flenniken was
well within his powers in denying the addition of the defendants
requested.  However, Mr. Hardin said it appeared Judge Flenniken
was denying the request to add the banks because it would slow
down the case, and the judge was anxious to be "first out of the
box" with an Enron civil case reaching trial.

Adding the banks would also make it more likely the case could
be consolidated with a pending class action in federal court in
Houston, in which the banks are defendants; an occurrence
counter to Judge Flenniken's wishes to preside over the
Washington county investors' case in his court.

Attorneys for Andersen, Messrs. Hardy and Ramzel, also asked the
appellate court to issue a writ of mandamus forcing Judge
Flenniken to add the banks, which are:  Barclay, J.P. Morgan
Chase & Co., Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Lehman Bros., CIBC
and CFSB.

ENRON CORPORATION: October 2005 Trial Date Set For Massive Suits
United States District Court Judge Melinda Harmon, in Houston,
Texas set the trial date for the immense class actions filed
against former Enron executives and banks and law firms the
company worked with, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The completion of arguments, both for and against the class
action status certification, is expected by November 17, 2003.  
Depositions are not to begin until after January 10, 2004, and
all discovery is expected to be completed by December 17, 2004.

Judge Harmon has two major cases, both yet to be certified as
class actions.  One gathers in Enron shareholders suing under
the federal securities laws.  These include plaintiffs who are
big investors such as the University of California.

The second major lawsuit, waiting to be certified as a class
action, represents Enron employees or ex-employees suing under
both federal securities laws and pension fund laws, claiming
losses caused by fraud.

It remains to be seen whether these two cases actually will make
it to trial.  Such large civil cases are often settled out of
court.  Judge Harmon and US Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez
forced the parties to meet with a mediator in June in an effort
to settle the cases.  The parties met with the mediator once and
are expected to file briefs with him in August.

ESTEE LAUDER: Agrees To Settle CA Cosmetics Antitrust Lawsuit
New York-based cosmetic giant The Estee Lauder Cos. Inc. reached
a settlement for a California class action charging it, other
cosmetic makers and department stores with price fixing, Newsday

The suit was filed in the California Superior Court in Marin
County, alleging that the retail price of the "prestige"
cosmetics sold in department and specialty stores was
collusively controlled by the retailer and manufacturer
defendants in violation of the Cartwright Act and the California
Unfair Competition Act, an earlier Class Action Reporter story

Plaintiffs sought treble damages and restitution in an
unspecified amount, attorneys' fees and prejudgment interest, on
behalf of a class of all California residents who purchased
cosmetics and fragrances for personal use from any of the
defendants during the period four years prior to the filing of
the amended complaint.

In a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the
Company said it will provide consumers with free products, and
will take a pre-tax charge of $22 million, or $13.5 million in
the fourth quarter its 2003 fiscal year, equal to six cents a
share, to cover the settlement.

Under the settlement, reached Wednesday, Estee Lauder did not
admit wrongdoing, the company said in its filing.  It said it
entered into the agreement "solely to avoid protracted and
costly litigation."

FLORIDA: Lawyers Work To Expand Suit Over Perdido Bay Pollution
Attorneys are trying to expand one resident's lawsuit, accusing
a papermill in nearby Cantonment, Florida, of polluting Perdido
Bay, to include other waterfront owners in Florida and Alabama,
the Associated Press Newswires reports.  The bay forms part of
the boundary between the two states at the western end of the
Florida Panhandle.

Property owners in both states, in 1966, obtained a $5 million
settlement from Champion International Corporation, which then
owned the mill, after a similar suit was filed in Alabama.  The
money was to compensate the property owners for lost property
values blamed on the mill's pollution.

Florida resident Esther Johnson filed the new suit three years
ago, in a Florida court, against the mill's present owner,
International Paper Co., alleging more damages since the
settlement with Champion.

Ms. Johnson's lawyers have asked Circuit Court Judge Michael
Jones to certify the lawsuit as a class action, but he has not
yet ruled.  The lawyers, meanwhile, are planning a July 24
meeting with property owners to inform them about the case and
determine how many may have legitimate claims.

The mill remains in violation of state water quality standards
although it has spent more than $100 million on plant
improvements to limit pollution.  The company, however, is
working on a plan with the Escambia County Utilities Authority
to stop all wastewater discharge into the bay by 2005.

"The lawsuit's allegations ignore the effects of agricultural
and urban runoff and other factors that also impact the bay and
are beyond the mill's control," said International's spokeswoman
JoAnn McKeithan.

Ms. Johnson is represented by the law firm of Levin Papantonio
Thomas Mitchell Echsner & Proctor, which has hired its own
experts to pinpoint pollution sources in the bay.  Their study
is expected to be completed by the end of the year, said Steve
Medina, one of Ms. Johnson's lawyers.

HAMILTON BEACH: Recalls 2.7 Million Slow Cookers For Burn Hazard
Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex is cooperating with the United
States Consumer Product Safety Commission by voluntarily
recalling 2.7 million slow cookers.  The handles on the base of
the slow cookers can break, posing a risk of burns from hot food
spilling onto consumers.  The Company has received approximately
4,700 reports of handles breaking, including two reports of
consumers who required medical attention for burns.

The recalled slow cookers were sold under the Hamilton Beach and
Proctor-Silex brand names, which are printed on the front of the
base of the unit.  The slow cookers are either round or oval,
and were sold in solid white and various print designs.  They
have a capacity of 3.5 to 6.5 quarts.  The slow cookers have
series codes A through D which are printed on the bottom along
with the model number.

Hamilton Beach: 33390, 33475, 33575, 33590, 33675, 33690, 33725,
33850, 33860

Hamilton Beach/ Portfolio: 33680

Proctor-Silex: 33320, 33320FD, 33325, 33375, 33380, 33625A

Discount department stores nationwide from January 1999 through
December 2002 sold these items for between $15 and $45.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (800) 429-6363
anytime or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.hamiltonbeach.comor http://www.proctor-silex.com.  

IDAHO: New Law Looks For Alternatives To Bluegrass Field Burning
A new Idaho law requires that the state's Department of
Agriculture must conduct a study of alternatives to the burning
by farmers of their blue grass fields and then certify whether
or not an economically viable alternative exists to the burning,
the Associated Press Newswires reports.   

The farmers contend that the stubble left on fields after
harvest must be burned off to prepare the soil for production of
a profitable crop the next year.  The bluegrass fields produce
the seed for lawns, golf course and other outdoor uses.

The law requiring a look at alternatives was widely perceived as
an effort to blunt the impact of a class action against the
Idaho growers which has been filed by Seattle attorney Steve
Berman.  The lawsuit seeks damages for trespass and injury from
field smoke for thousands of people in North Idaho and Spokane

Into this sensitive setting came the recent report by The
Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, that the Department of
Agriculture will announce shortly that it is set to certify that
there is no viable alternative to grass-field burning.  That
announcement, added the newspaper report, will clear the way for
thousands of acres to be burned this year, sending plumes of
smoke into the air in the Inland Northwest.

However, the Agriculture Department denied that a decision had
been made.  Agency spokeswoman Julie Pipal said that the
department is reviewing the materials and that a decision was
expected soon.

Clean-air activists were alarmed by the report and charged the
agency was moving too quickly on a complicated issue.  "It is
terrible news because it means that the state has not undergone
a meaningful process," said Patti Gora of Sandpoint, Idaho,
director of Safe Air For Everyone, a group that opposes field

Ms. Pipal, the agency's spokeswoman, said further, "We did not
really actively seek any input from public health groups because
the mandate from the Legislature was clear."

Yet, the new law does require a study of alternatives to
burning.  The Spokesman Review reported that the agency, in its
move to certify field burning, did not consult the US
Environmental Protection Agency, which has a responsibility for
public health under the Clean Air Act.  Still, the EPA continues
to fund Idaho's research into field burning alternatives, the
newspaper said.

A controversial section of the new Idaho law, of which the
provision requiring the Agriculture Department to conduct a
study into viable alternatives to field burning is but a part,
shields the grass farmers from lawsuits so long as they burn
legally.  The new law states that farmers are required to
conduct their burning in accordance with certain wind current

This year, the burning season is expected to start July 21 in
southern Idaho, if the Agriculture Department certifies yea to
burning, and sometime in early August on the Rathdrum Prairie,
Ms. Pipal said.

KANSAS: Topeka Library Allegedly Restricts Talk About Gay Rights
An employee of the Topeka Shawnee County Library alleged two
administrators reprimanded her for talking openly at work about
gay rights, following the Supreme Court ruling striking down
anti-sodomy laws, the Associated Press reports.

Bonnie Cuevas, a board member of the Kansas Unity and Pride
Alliance and mother of a gay man, added that the administrators
told her she was prohibited from discussing gay rights at work,
and that a co-worker had earlier said she felt it would create a
hostile work environment.

After the landmark ruling, Ms. Cuevas spoke openly to friends
and reporters about the decision and how it affected her family.  
USA Today interviewed her and where she related how her son
nearly died after being beaten in a gay bar.  The interview
lasted for a few minutes, but Ms. Cuevas already received
telephone calls from supporters.  Ms. Cueves also talked about
the decision to a co-worker who approached her for information
about the decision, she said.

David Leamom, director of the library denied that there was a
"gag order" on Ms. Cuevas.  If anything, he told AP, Ms. Cuevas
would have been told not to use the telephone for personal
matters and that the library doesn't take sides on issues.  He
added that the staff complained more on the fact that Ms. Cuevas
was being disruptive because of frequent, impassioned telephone

"The subject is not an issue at all," Mr. Leamon said.  "The
library is on neutral ground and we don't take positions on

The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the library
Wednesday, asking officials to reconsider their prohibition on
Ms. Cuevas' ability to discuss the case, without the group
resorting to legal action, the Associated Press reports.

Ken Choe, staff attorney for the ACLU in New York, said he was
optimistic the library would remove the restriction.  "If there
was a concern about spending too much time on the phone for
personal reasons, that's one thing," Mr. Choe told AP.  "All
Mrs. Cuevas is seeking to do is talk about this landmark Supreme
Court decision as any employee has the right to talk about
matters of public concern."

KISSINGER ADVISORY: SEC Institutes Cease-and-Desist Proceedings
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission instituted
public administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings alleging
that William I. Kissinger, Kissinger Advisory, Inc., Bert E.
Miller, and Glenn F. Wilkinson defrauded twenty-nine of their
customers and clients by omitting material facts in connection
with the sale of Class B shares of mutual funds.  

The SEC Division of Enforcement alleges that between 1998 and
2001, Kissinger Advisory, Mr. Kissinger, Mr. Miller, and Mr.
Wilkinson repeatedly recommended that their customers invest
$250,000 or more in Class B shares of a single family of mutual
funds, which paid higher commissions than Class A shares of the
same mutual funds, without disclosing, among other things, that
Class A shares of those mutual funds would outperform Class B
shares for investments of $250,000 or more.  

The Division also alleges that IFG Network Securities, Inc., the
broker-dealer with whom Mr. Kissinger, Mr. Miller, and Mr.
Wilkinson were formerly associated, and its former president,
David Ledbetter, failed to supervise them reasonably.  The
division alleges that:

     (1) the defendants and Kissinger Advisory violated Section
         17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b)
         of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934;

     (2) Kissinger Advisory violated Sections 206(1) and 206(2)
         of the Investment Advisers Act; and

     (3) Mr. Kissinger aided and abetted Kissinger
         Advisory's violations of the Advisers Act.  

The Division further alleges that IFG and Mr. Ledbetter violated
the supervisory provisions of the Exchange Act, Sections
15(b)(4)(E) and 15(b)(6)(A).  A hearing will be scheduled before
an administrative law judge to determine whether the Division's
allegations are true, to provide the respondents an opportunity
to dispute these allegations, and to determine what sanctions,
if any, are in the public interest.  

METROPOLITAN LIFE: Canadian Minorities May Participate in Pact
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.'s settlement of a class action
charging it with targeting minorities for the sale of
substandard insurance policies may affect African Canadians and
other minorities who bought insurance policies before 1973, the
Toronto Star reports.

More than 80 racial discrimination suits have been launched
against American insurance companies, charging that these
policies, which were sold door-to-door before the 1970s, cost
more in premiums than policyholders and their descendants
received in benefits.  The suit further alleges that blacks were
charged higher premiums than whites.

Metropolitan Life reached a settlement in August, and agreed to
pay policyholders and their beneficiaries up to $90 million.  
This week, the company announced that it would include policies
issued in Canada from 1901 to 1972 in the settlement.  Any non-
white Canadian who owned, was insured under, or received
benefits from a Metropolitan Life insurance policy before 1973
may be eligible to receive cash or other benefits.  

Three other major US insurers - Unitrin, American General and
the ING Group - have reached settlements, but Metropolitan Life
is the first to extend the benefits to Canada.  "We're
voluntarily doing this because we're committed to eliminating
any effect of these past practices," Holly Sheffer, a
spokesperson for Metropolitan Life in New York City told the
Toronto Star.  "It's a goodwill gesture."

Ms. Sheffer said she did not know how many Canadians are
eligible.  The deadline for submitting Canadian claims is
September 21, 2003.  For more information, contact Metropolitan
Life by Phone: 1-877-210-2212.

MIDWEST: Recalls 4T Toad Lawn Ball Sprinklers For Injury Hazard
Midwest is cooperating with the United States Consumer Product
Safety Commission by recalling 4,000 Toad Lawn Ball Sprinklers.  
A small hose inside the toad can fail, allowing water to fill
the toad's cavity.  The increased water pressure can cause the
toad to explode, posing the risk of injury to anyone nearby.  
There have been eight incidents involving the lawn balls
exploding, though no injuries or property damage have been

The green, frog-shaped sprinkler is 6 1/2 inches long, 6 1/2
inches wide and 7 inches tall.  The recalled lawn balls have a
label on the bottom that includes the model number 738449 508893
and the words, "Made in China."

Drug, flower, garden, and gift stores nationwide sold the
sprinklers from August 2002 through June 2003 for between $25
and $30.  The sprinklers should be returned to the place of
purchase for a full refund.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (800) 776-2075
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.midwestofcannonfalls.com.

MINNESOTA: Granted Federal Approval For Cuts in Welfare Program
The state of Minnesota received approval from the United States
Department of Agriculture to implement cuts on its welfare
program, the Star Tribune reports.  State officials say this
will put an end to the class action filed on behalf of 21,000
poor families whose welfare payments will be reduced upon the
implementation of the changes.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced the approval of the cuts, which
include the Food Stamp program the USDA oversees.  State
officials also revealed that the approval will allow the state
to integrate food stamps and cash benefits for welfare
recipients, creating a more efficient system to support families
in their transition from welfare to work.  Families would also
lose $125 a month for each person who receives Social Security
payments for disabilities.

Attorneys for the group that filed the suit, however, said they
weren't giving up easily.   "I don't know that everything is
fully resolved," Ralonda Mason, an attorney with St. Cloud Area
Legal Services told the Star Tribune.  "The reason we filed the
lawsuit is that we believed it was very important that the state
follow the law and get a waiver (permission for the welfare
changes), because we're talking about changes that will mean
very deep cuts that will be very painful."

"If the state has (received a waiver), and it appears that they
may have, then that's a good thing," Ms. Mason continued, adding
that federal approval for the cuts doesn't necessarily mean the
suit will end.  

Last month, Ramsey County District Judge Judith Tilsen issued a
temporary restraining order on the cuts before the state could
implement them.  Judge Tilsen primarily issued the order because
she was concerned whether the cuts were legal without a federal

Legal Aid attorneys are now eager to know whether the state will
require about 7,000 welfare recipients to repay nearly $1
million in welfare payments, that they received after the
temporary restraining order.  

State Human Services Commissioner Kevin Goodno told the Tribune
that state officials have not yet decided whether to ask for the
money back.  It likely will be one of the issues discussed
during a scheduled hearing Monday in Ramsey District Court, he

MISSOURI: Lawsuit Over Tuition Fees Moved To State Supreme Court
The Missouri Court of Appeals moved a class action filed against
the University of Missouri system to the Missouri Supreme Court,
the Associated Press reports.  The appellate court said the high
court should the arbiter of the suit, which charged the school
with illegally charging in-state tuition.

The suit started from a 1998 class action, which charged the
University with charging in-state students "fees" that amounted
to tuition, violating an 1872 state law mandating free education
for Missouri's homegrown at any of the four campuses.  

Last year, St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Romines
ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.  However, he has yet to decide
possible remedies, including how far back the university's
refunds, if any, should go.  Such refunds to some 200,000
students, past and present, potentially could cost as much as
$400 million.

The appellate court moved the suit to the High Court because it
involved a challenge to the constitutionality of a Missouri law,
and only the state's high court "has exclusive appellate
jurisdiction over all issues in the case."

Bob Herman, the attorney who has pressed the lawsuit, told the
Associated Press he doesn't think the system will be ordered to
offer hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds.  He has said
remedies could include vouchers students may use for tuition or
could be donated to the university for a tax credit.

Mr. Herman, of St. Louis, said Tuesday's ruling "doesn't change
the case any; I expected it to get to the Supreme Court

"This only resolves one issue, which is where it should be
heard," he added, adding that he hoped the Supreme Court sends
the matter back to Judge Romines' court "for completion."  "I
still don't think it's time (for the Supreme Court) to hear the

The university welcomed the decision, saying that it believed
the suit should be decided either by the appellate or the high
court.  The school's legal staff "looks forward to arguing the
merits of the university's position" before the Missouri Supreme
Court, the statement said.

NEW MEXICO: Female Prisoners' Lawsuit Wins Them Shower Privacy
It took a class action, but now female prisoners at the new
Metropolitan Detention Center have more privacy when they
shower, the Albuquerque Journal reports.  

The city of Albuquerque and the Bernalillo County Board of
Commissioners recently settled a lawsuit brought by Shauna
Bateman, who was a prisoner at the time, and claimed people
working in the new jail near one of the women's pods were able
to see into the shower area.  

Ms. Bateman was released from jail on July 2, but the class
action lawsuit was filed on her behalf in federal court in
January, by attorney Samuel Bregman.  In the lawsuit, Ms.
Bateman was listed as the plaintiff "on behalf of herself and
all other similarly situated females in the Bernalillo County
Detention Center."

OBESITY LITIGATION: Senator Forges Law To Protect Food Industry
A United States senator has drafted a new law, aimed at
protecting the food industry from plaintiffs who might charge
the food the firms serve as the main cause of their obesity,
crosswalk.com reports.  This proposal came as lawyers are
looking at the food industry as the next big litigation target.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced the Commonsense
Consumption Act, while Rep. Ric Keller of Florida filed a
companion bill in the House.  The McConnell law covers all food,
including ingredients and beverages, and only prohibits suits
related to obesity or weight gain.

In a privilege speech, Sen. McConnell decried personal injury
lawyers for "trying to convince Americans with expanding
waistlines that someone else is to blame for the weight

"America is blessed with an abundant food supply and an
overwhelming number of food choices. With so many choices, some
of us overdo it," Sen. McConnell said on the Senate floor,
crosswalk.com reports.  "But most of us take responsibility for
the amount - and the type - of food we put in our mouth, and we
accept the consequences of our decisions."

He added, ".So, the latest targets of predatory lawyers are the
people producing and selling food. That's right. This money-
hungry gang is going after 'Big Food.' If it weren't so
frightening, it would be funny."  Sen. McConnell further said
that the food related class actions are part of a disturbing
trend that indicates the erosion of personal responsibility in

The proposed law will allow suits such as:

     (1) knowing and willful violations of federal or state laws
         relating to the manufacture or sale of food;

     (2) breach of contract or express warranty in connection
         with the purchases of food; and

     (3) injury resulting from consumption of adulterated food

Lawyers supporting obesity suits were not dissuaded, however.  
John Banzhaf, a public-interest attorney and law professor at
George Washington University, said recently the industry has
been irresponsible in serving high-fat content meals with larger
portions, and that lawsuits were the only effective way of
addressing the problem, crosswalk.com reports.

"I think what these lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits will do,
and what we hope they will do, is force companies to do what
they should have been doing all along," Mr. Banzhaf was quoted
as saying in Thursday's Ventura County Star in California.

Meanwhile, a new report published by the American Institute for
Cancer Research stated that obesity is a "significant" risk
factor for cancer.  According to AICR President Jeff Prince,
"there is an alarming tendency to overlook the sheer amount of
food we're eating," both at home and in restaurants.

"AICR gave the nation a test on serving sizes," Mr. Prince told
crosswalk.com.  ". and it flunked."

Some other experts criticized the study as "ridiculous."  Steven
Milloy, adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute, accused the
authors of the AICR study of "just trying to take advantage over
the current furor over obesity," crosswalk.com states.  

"There is no scientifically credible association between obesity
per se and cancer," Mr. Milloy added.

OHIO: Illegally Retains Interest On Unclaimed Funds, Suit Claims
Ohio's Department of Commerce publishes an annual list of names
of people who have failed to collect money from dormant bank
accounts and uncashed stock dividends and insurance proceeds.  
Attorney Lawrence Landskroner has filed a lawsuit in the Ohio
Court of Claims, seeking release of the accrued interest to the
fund's claimants, The Plain Dealer reports.  Mr. Landskroner is
asking that the court grant the lawsuit class action status.

The lawsuit names as defendant Jeanette Bradley, Ohio's
lieutenant governor and director of the Ohio Department of
Commerce as well.  The fund earns $5 million to $7 million each
year, said William Teets, a spokesman for the Commerce
Department.  The fund has earned $120.8 million in interest
since its inception, Mr. Teets said.

"The director of commerce's refusal to pay the owner that
interest is an unconstitutional taking of property without just
compensation," contends the class action.  The single plaintiff
named in the lawsuit is Craig Fleming of Port Clinton, who has
$20.50 in unclaimed funds that has been held since 1997.

Mr. Landskroner said he had no idea how much interest is
involved for potential claimants or for those who already have
claimed their money.  "They are taking money away from people
who have a right to their money," he said.  "It's like if you
had money in the bank and they wouldn't give you the interest."

The Commerce Department has paid out $337.8 million in claims
since 1968.  Money from the fund is invested, and the
legislature in the past two years has taken $115.8 million from
the invested fund to plug holes in the leaky state budget, Mr.
Teets said.  The department publishes an annual list of names of
people who have failed to collect money from dormant bank
accounts and uncased stock dividends and insurance proceeds.  

Mr. Landskroner is a member of a national organization of
lawyers known as the Inner Circle of Advocates, whose members
often represent victims of negligent or intentional conduct.
Lawyers in 12 other states connected with this group are filing
class actions similar to the one Mr. Landskroner filed.

PORTFOLIO ADVISERS: Found By SEC To Have Violated Securities Act
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission found that
Fundamental Portfolio Advisors, Inc.(FPA), formerly a registered
investment adviser, violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act
and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 by making
material misrepresentations and omissions in a 1993 and a 1994
prospectus and marketing materials of The Fundamental US
Government Strategic Income Fund (the Fund).  

The SEC also found that FPA violated Section 34(b) of the
Investment Company Act by filing a registration statement that
incorporated material misrepresentations included in one of the
1994 prospectus.  Additionally, the Commission found that
Fundamental Service Corporation (FSC), a registered broker-
dealer affiliated with FPA, violated Section 17(a) of the
Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rules 10b-
3, and 10b-5 thereunder, Section 15(c) of the Exchange Act and
Rule 15c1-2 thereunder by disseminating the Fund's prospectuses
and sales literature that contained material misrepresentations.  

The Commission further found that Lance M. Brofman of New York
City, a person associated with FPA and FSC, aided and abetted,
and was a cause of FPA's violations.  The Commission further
found that FPA wilfully violated Sections 206(1) and (2) of the
Advisers Act by failing to disclose FPA's soft dollar
arrangements to its Board of Directors, and that Mr. Brofman
aided and abetted and was a cause of FPA's misconduct.

The Commission has ordered that it is in the public interest to
impose a civil money penalty of $250,000 on Mr. Brofman, and
$500,000 each on FPA and FSC, to revoke FPA's and FSC's
registrations, to bar Mr. Brofman from association with any
broker, dealer, investment adviser, or investment company and to
order all three Respondents to cease and desist from committing
or causing violations or future violations of the provisions
that they were found to have violated.  

SERVICE CORPORATION: Unit Inks Pact In Consumer Lending Lawsuit
The Miami subsidiary of Service Corporation International (SCI),
the world's largest funeral industry firm, reached a $3 million
settlement in a consumer lending lawsuit, the Associated Press
Newswires reports.  Unopposed settlement packages usually are
approved by the judge as written.

US District Judge Donald Graham questioned attorneys on both
sides at a final hearing on the lawsuit and said he would issue
an order later on the class action.

SCI acknowledged no wrongdoing but still accepted an injunction
barring a contract that consumers had complained about.   
Company attorney Ted Craig characterized the complained-about
feature of the contract as "a pure technical violation" of
federal law by the company, which had failed to highlight two
boxes for checkmarks in its credit contracts.

Further, under the agreement, the Miami subsidiary would pay
$50,000 in 10 payments to customers with claims under the
federal lending law and mail $175 coupons to an estimated 16,000
customers with installment sales contracts.  SCI also agreed to
limit contract processing fees to $10.  They had been $50.

Consumers were interested in settling now, in part, because of a
potentially more costly lawsuit against SCI by customers of
Jewish cemeteries in Broward and Palm Beach counties, said the
consumers' attorney Robert Murphy in the instant case.

In the cemeteries' case, a Fort Lauderdale judge must decide
whether Menorah Gardens' (as the cemeteries are designated)
clients can be covered by a single class-action lawsuit seeking
damages for alleged grave desecrations.

TOBACCO LITIGATION: FL Smokers Ask Review $145B Award Reversal
Thousands of sick Florida smokers asked Florida's full appeals
court to reinstate a record $145 billion award against Big
Tobacco, arguing that the three-judge appeals panel's decision
ignored legal precedent and a two-year jury trial, Associated
Press Newswires reports.

The appeals court's three-judge panel, said the smokers'
attorneys, reversed the trial court in spite of previous binding
decisions, and, said the attorneys, 86 percent of the ruling
"largely photocopied" the cigarette industry's court filings
against the largest punitive damage award in US history.

A six-member Miami jury had set punitive damages for the smokers
three years ago, after deciding that cigarettes are deadly,
addictive and defective because they make people sick when used
as directed.

However, the 3rd District Court of Appeal wiped out the jury
award in May, as well as the class action status of the lawsuit
unifying the 300,000 to 700,000 sick Florida smokers under a
single lawsuit against the nation's five biggest cigarette
makers:  Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson,
Lorillard and the Liggett Group.

The appeals panel decided the class group was unmanageable;
found that the award would have violated state law by
bankrupting the companies; called the trial plan
unconstitutional; and chided smokers' attorney Stanley
Rosenblatt for making racially charged appeals to four black

The panel abdicated its role as a neutral searcher for truth,"
Mr. Rosenblatt and his wife Susan Rosenblatt wrote in their
request for review.  "Decertification is a disaster for
Floridians and the Florida judiciary, but it constitutes
judicial immunity for the tobacco industry."

Spokesmen for industry leader Philip Morris said they would have
comment after reading the 161-page request by plaintiffs and a
three-inch stack of supporting papers.

Without seeing the plaintiffs' filing, attorney Alvin Davis, who
argued the appeal for the tobacco industry, said the three-judge
appeals panel laid the groundwork for wiping out the class
action status in its decision.  Attorney Elliot Scherker, who
also argued for the industry, said the three-judge panel went on
"at some length" to explain its reasons for criticizing the
class certification by the trial court.

However, Susan and Steven Rosenblatt argued the three-judge
panel lacked the authority to reverse its two earlier decisions
in tobacco cases: namely, a 1996 opinion shrinking the smokers'
lawsuit from a national to a statewide class and a 1994 order
approving a national class action for nonsmoking flight

The smokers asked the full appeals court, which rehears the
appeals panel's decisions infrequently, to review 36 legal
questions "of exceptional importance" or pass them along to the
state Supreme Court.

Six judges on the 11-member appeals court must agree first to
reconsider the case, in order that there might be any chance to
resurrect the Florida case.  A decision to review by the full
court would not guarantee a different outcome.

The Rosenblatts have said, however, that they will seek a stay
until all appeals are resolved, up to the US Supreme Court if
necessary, to protect the smokers' rights to sue.

UWATEC AG: Recalls 6000 Smart Dive Computers For Safety Hazard
UWATEC AG is cooperating with the United States Consumer Product
Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling 6000 units of UWATEC
Smart Dive Computers.  The computer's alert signal system may
not work properly and the computer screen may freeze.  This may
cause inaccurate information to be displayed, such as water
depth, tank pressure, and ascent rate, posing a risk to the
safety of a diver.  The firm has received two reports of the
dive computers not working properly, though no injuries have
been reported.

The recalled units are the UWATEC Smart PRO and the Smart COM
dive computers.  The Smart PRO is offered as a console and as a
wrist unit.  The Smart COM only comes in a console model.  The
names of each unit appear on the computer case, along with the
name "UWATEC."

Authorized UWATEC dealers nationwide from February 2002 sold the
items through June 2003 for between $638 and $910.

For more details, contact UWATEC American representatives by
Phone: (800) 808-3948 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or visit the
Website: http://www.uwatec.com.   

                    New Securities Fraud Cases

CORNERSTONE PROPANE: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Stock Suit in CA
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class
action lawsuit was commenced on behalf of all persons who
acquired securities of CornerStone Propane Partners LP (OTC
BB:CNPP.OB) between November 2, 1999 and February 11, 2003,
inclusive.  The case is pending in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California against the
Company and:

     (1) Keith B. Baxter,

     (2) Richard D. Nye,

     (3) Ronald J. Goedde, and

     (4) Curtis G. Solsvig, III

The Complaint charges that Cornerstone and certain of its
officers and directors violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations
to the market during the Class Period, thereby artificially
inflating the price of Cornerstone securities.

Specifically, the Complaint alleges that in order to maintain
and acquire certain financing arrangements, Defendants announced
increased earnings and reported favorable financial results.  
However, the statements disseminated by Defendants were actually
materially false and misleading because they failed to disclose
and/or misrepresented that Cornerstone had misstated its EBITDA,
net income, and earnings per unit and that Cornerstone lacked
adequate internal controls and was unable to ascertain its true
financial condition.

Finally on February 11, 2003, Defendants admitted that
Cornerstone's financial statements for the years ended June 30,
2000 and June 30, 2001, and the interim periods therein required
restatement in accordance with the requirements of the
Securities and Exchange Commission's rules and regulations.  As
a result, units in the Partnership fell to a Class Period low of
$.40 per unit.

For more details, contact Ms. Linda Flood, Director of
Shareholder Relations by Mail: 10 East 40th Street, New York,
New York 10016, by Phone: (800) 217-1522 or 212-779-1414 or by
E-mail: CNPP@bernlieb.com.

CREE INC.: Stull Stull Launches Securities Fraud Suit in M.D. NC
Stull Stull & Brody initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Middle District of North
Carolina, on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of
Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE) between August 19, 1998 and June 13,
2003, inclusive against Cree and certain of its senior officers.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market between August 19, 1998 and
June 13, 2003, thereby artificially inflating the price of Cree

During the Class Period, the Company issued statements that
failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse
facts, among others:

     (1) that the Company had materially overstated its net
         income and earnings per share;

     (2) that the defendants artificially boosted Cree's
         operating income through an undisclosed agreement with
         defendant Neal Hunter's brother, Jeff Hunter, the then
         chairman of C3, that required C3 to accept shipment of
         silicon carbide (SiC) crystals for the manufacture of
         moissanite gemstones far in excess of market demand;

     (3) that the defendants failed to properly disclose how
         officers and directors' compensation was determined;

     (4) that the defendants failed to disclose in its
         registration statements and its prospectuses the proper
         use of the proceeds from those offerings.  For example,
         in its January 14, 2000 prospectus, Cree failed to
         disclose that it would invest $5 million of the
         offering proceeds in World Theatre, Inc.;

     (5) that the defendants were actively concealing these
         facts in order to manipulate the Company's earnings
         outlooks in order to maintain its favorable stock

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

     (7) that the Company's earnings projections were lacking in
         any reasonable basis when made.

On June 13, 2003, Eric Hunter, the former chief executive of
Cree filed a $3 billion lawsuit against Cree and defendant Neal
Hunter, his brother.  Among the allegations contained in the
lawsuit, Eric Hunter alleged that since as early as August 1995
and continuing until at least May 2003, Cree and the Individual
Defendants engaged in a series of undisclosed corporate
activities, which included, among other things, the filing of
false and misleading statements to the public and the SEC with
respect to the Company's secondary stock offerings, anticipated
earnings and revenue, reported income and operating income.

Market reaction to the news was swift.  Shares of Cree fell
18.5% or $4.11 per share to close at $18.10 per share on heavy
trading volume on June 13, 2003.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody by Mail: 6 East 45
Street, New York, NY 10017, Esq by Phone: 1-800-337-4983 by Fax:
212-490-2002 or by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.ssbny.com.   

INTERMUNE INC.: Wolf Haldensein Files Securities Fraud Suit
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California, on behalf of all persons who
purchased the securities of Intermune, Inc. [Nasdaq: ITMN]
between October 24, 2002 and June 11, 2003, inclusive, against
Intermune and certain officers of the Company.

The complaint alleges that defendants made false and misleading
statements concerning Actimmune, a leading product of the
Company.  In particular, the complaint alleges that defendants
were aware that:

     (1) the number of patients anticipated by Intermune treated
         with Actimmune, related throughout the Class Period as
         a precise and valid means by which to record the level
         of strength of the demand for Actimmune, was
         "inherently" unreliable, inconsistent, and lacking in
         any accountable basis for presentation;

     (2) the Company's sales and marketing efforts had
         experienced disruptions and problems, including a great
         amount of turnover and lack of suitable training;

     (3) beginning with at least the fourth quarter of fiscal
         2002, the Company was materially understating the
         inventory level its distributors held, of which
         millions of dollars worth was held in excess, and
         materially overstating its revenues;

     (4) InterMune's internal controls and systems were
         inadequate and insufficient; and

     (5) based on the foregoing, InterMune lacked reasonable
         basis to issue its financial and operational

On June 11, 2003, the Company announced that it was lowering its
2003 revenue guidance figures and decreasing projected earnings
from Actimmune.  The Company also announced it had overstated
the number of patients using Actimmune and that, contrary to its
earlier representations, demand for Actimmune from doctors was
flat.  Following these disclosures the Intermune's stock price
dropped to $16.74, a 33% one-day decline.

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


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.  The Asbestos Defendant Profiles is backed by an
online database created to respond to custom searches. Go to


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., Trenton, New Jersey, and
Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.  Enid Sterling, Aurora
Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.

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