CAR_Public/031107.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
           Friday, November 7, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 221

                        Headlines                            

ABBYLAND BEEF: Recalls Beef For Possible E. coli Contamination
ABORTION LITIGATION: Pres. Bush Signs Partial-Birth Abortion Ban
ABORTION LITIGATION: Judge Blocks Ban On Partial-Birth Abortion
AMERICREDIT CORPORATION: SEC Files Insider Trading Suit in Texas
APARTHEID LITIGATION: Ed Fagan Removed From NY Apartheid Suits

BOC: 80 U.S. Lawsuits Launched Over Welding Fumes-Related Injury
BREAST IMPLANTS: Advisory Panel Chair Concerned Over Re-Sale
CATALINA MARKETING: Chairman Resigns Over Accounting Questions
DEUTSCHE BANK: NY Finds New Target in Mutual Funds Investigation
FOCUS MENTORS: Court Enters Permanent Injunction For Stock Fraud

GRUPO MEXICANO: NY Court Enters Judgment Against Former Chairman
HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Indicted Former-Exec Free on $10M Bond
HMO LITIGATION: High Court to Hear Appeal on Negligence Lawsuit
IBM CORPORATION: Intel CEO: Chip Industry Monitoring Cancer Suit
INDEPENDENT FUNDING: SEC Launches Securities Fraud Lawsuit in TX

INSURANCE FIRMS: CT AG To Appeal Ruling to Dismiss HMO Lawsuit
KRAFT FOODS: African-American Employee Launches Race Bias Suit
LAKERIDGE HEALTH: Patients Treated With Unsterilized Scopes Sue
NEW YORK: Electrical Subway Fire Injures 9, Stalls Train Service
PEREGRINE SYSTEMS: DE Court To Approve Bankruptcy Settlement

PILKINGTON NORTH AMERICA: IL Court Certifies Contamination Suit
PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES: SEC Files Civil Fraud Suit V. Employees
REMMINGTON ADVISERS: SEC Accepts Securities Fraud Settlement
SEAN JOHN: Labor Officials Inspect Factory, Find No Violations
SECOND CHANCE: Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuits in Georgia Court

TOBACCO LITIGATION: Plaintiffs in WV Smokers Suit Seek New Trial
TOBACOO LITIGATION: Court Denies Class Status in MI Smokers Suit
UNITED STATES: Settles Asian, Pacific Islanders' Race Bias Suit
WAL-MART STORES: MN Court Grants Certification To Overtime Suit
WYOMING: Judge Orders Release of Information on Inmate Assaults

                      Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACandS Sues Insurer for Asbestos Coverage
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AWI Creditors May Not Back Chapter 11 Plan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Starts Chapter 11 Plan Approval
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Faces 66,152 Pending Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DuPont To Pay $23,000 for Asbestos Removal

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal Mogul, Parties OK on Amended Plan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lawyers Say Hardie Liable for Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NL Continues to Face Asbestos-Related Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Noland Continues to Battle Asbestos Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PPG Battles 116,000 Asbestos Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Union Carbide Fails to Stop Asbestos Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Victim Dies in SA
ASBESTOS ALERT: eircom Faces Asbestos-Related Suits

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

ALGER MANAGEMENT: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
ALLIANCE CAPITAL: Rabin Murray Commences Stock Suit in S.D. NY
ALLIANCE CAPITAL: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
DDI CORPORATION: Rabin Murray Lodges Securities Suit in C.D. CA
FEDERATED INVESTORS: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in PA

FEDERATED INVESTORS: Alfred G. Yates Files Securities Suit in PA
GOODYEAR TIRE: Schatz & Nobel Commences Securities Suit in OH
MUTUAL FUNDS: Milberg Weiss Launches Lead Plaintiff Motions
PUTNAM FUNDS: Schiffrin & Barroway Launches NY Securities Suit
PUTNAM FUNDS: Abbey Gardy Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY

                          *********

ABBYLAND BEEF: Recalls Beef For Possible E. coli Contamination
----------------------------------------------------------------
Abbyland Beef, an Abbotsford, Wisconsin establishment, in
cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food
Safety and Inspection Service, is voluntarily recalling an
additional 11,800 pounds of fresh boneless beef that may be
contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The expanded recall includes products produced on October 21 and
distributed to wholesale establishments in Delaware, Illinois
and Wisconsin.  On October 31, Abbyland Beef originally recalled
approximately 78,600 pounds of fresh boneless beef that may have
been contaminated with E.coli O157:H7.

The beef products associated with the original recall were
produced on October 20 and were distributed to wholesale
establishments in Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and
Wisconsin.  The products being recalled are various cuts of
boneless beef shipped in containers of various weights and
intended for further processing (grinding).  Each container
bears the words "BONELESS BEEF" and USDA establishment number
"EST. 1633" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The recall is being expanded because of the possibility that
additional product from October 21 may have become contaminated.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause
bloody diarrhea and dehydration.  The very young, seniors and
persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible
to foodborne illness.

FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with
consumption of this product.  Anyone concerned about an illness
should contact a physician.

For more information, contact Julie Jacobsen, company director
of human resources, by Phone: 715-223-6386, ext. 7254 (media) or
contact: Tiffiny Pierce, company microbiologist, by Phone:
715-223-6386, ext. 7228 (consumers).


ABORTION LITIGATION: Pres. Bush Signs Partial-Birth Abortion Ban
----------------------------------------------------------------
President George W. Bush signed legislation banning a certain
type of abortion, handing abortion opponents a long-sought
victory even as a federal judge sharply questioned the
constitutionality of the new law, AP Newswire reports.

"For years, a terrible form of violence has been directed
against children who are inches from birth while the law looked
the other way," Pres. Bush said as he signed the ban on a
procedure called partial-birth abortion by its critics.

The White House staged the ceremony, before about 400 lawmakers
and abortion opponents, at a federal building named for former
President Ronald Reagan, a strong supporter of anti-abortion
groups, thus effectively ending a legislative crusade that began
after Republicans captured the House in 1995.  Former President
Clinton twice vetoed similar bills, arguing that they lacked an
exception to protect the health of the mother.

"Today at last the American people and our government have
confronted the violence and come to the defense of the innocent
child," he said, AP reports.

However, even before Pres. Bush put his pen to the bill passed
by Congress, a Nebraska Federal Judge Richard Kopf sharply
questioned its constitutionality.  "It's probably likely I'm
going to issue an injunction.  I doubt it will be nationwide,"
Judge Kopf said at a hearing on a suit challenging the new law.

Besides Nebraska, hearings were also being held in San Francisco
and New York City Wednesday on similar challenges.  Fully aware
of the impending legal obstacles, Pres. Bush said, to the
longest round of applause during his remarks, "The executive
branch will vigorously defend this law against any who would try
to overturn it in the courts."

The law, approved by the House and Senate late last month,
prohibits doctors from committing an "overt act" designed to
kill a partially delivered fetus and allows no exception if the
woman's health is at risk, or if the child would be born with
ailments.  The procedure, which usually involves puncturing the
fetus' skull, is generally performed in the second or third
trimester.

Aware of its backing among the religious conservatives that make
up a key portion of his base of political support, the president
declared himself pleased to sign what he called legislation that
offers America's children "a different and better welcome."  
"Today, we welcome vulnerable children into the care and
protection of Americans," he said.

Pres. Bush is also mindful of the more moderate voters he cannot
afford to alienate, and last week repeated a position he offered
during his 2000 campaign.  He said he would not seek a total ban
on abortion because public opinion had not yet shifted to
support such a move.

The new law is similar to a Nebraska statute struck down by the
Supreme Court three years ago and imposes the most far-reaching
limits on abortion since the high court in 1973 established a
woman's right to end a pregnancy.  Supporters argue the law
applies only to a procedure done late in pregnancy - and
relatively rarely - and that the procedure is never necessary to
protect the health of the mother.

"As Congress has found, the practice is widely regarded within
the medical profession as unnecessary - not only cruel to the
child, but harmful to the mother and a violation of medical
ethics," Pres. Bush said.

However, abortion-rights groups say the law has overly broad
language that could criminalize several safe and common
procedures, and fear it represents the first step in a larger
campaign to eventually bar all abortions.

The National Organization for Women organized a protest outside
the signing ceremony, while Capitol Hill critics urged the
courts to declare the ban unconstitutional at a news conference
outside the Supreme Court.

"President Bush and Congress have no business inserting
themselves between American women and their doctors," Rep.
Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y, told AP.


ABORTION LITIGATION: Judge Blocks Ban On Partial-Birth Abortion
---------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf blocked implementation of a
federal ban on certain late-term abortions Wednesday less than
an hour after President Bush signed the ban into law, AP
Newswire reports.

Judge Kopf issued a temporary restraining order citing concerns
that the law did not contain an exception for preserving the
health of the woman seeking the abortion, and said that the rule
would apply only to the four doctors who filed the lawsuit in
Nebraska.  They are:

     (1) Dr. LeRoy Carhart of Bellevue, Nebraska;

     (2) Dr. William Fitzhugh, who is licensed to practice in
         Virginia;

     (3) Dr. William Knorr, licensed in Georgia, Alabama, South
         Carolina and New York; and

     (4) Dr. Jill Vibhakar, who is licensed in Iowa

"While it is also true that Congress found that a health
exception is not needed, it is, at the very least, problematic
whether I should defer to such a conclusion when the Supreme
Court has found otherwise," Judge Kopf said.  He stopped short
of prohibiting the new law from being enforced nationwide.

Judge Kopf did not immediately schedule the next hearing in the
case, at which time he could decide whether to issue a
restraining order against implementation of the law.


AMERICREDIT CORPORATION: SEC Files Insider Trading Suit in Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed an insider trading
case, in the US District Court for the Northern District of
Texas, against five present or former officials of Fort Worth-
based AmeriCredit Corporation.  

The SEC simultaneously filed an action seeking a civil money
penalty against AmeriCredit as a "control person," on the
grounds that AmeriCredit failed to take appropriate steps to
prevent an illegal trade by one of its employees, when the
company had information showing that the employee had previously
traded in the company's stock based on inside information.  
Named in the first action are:

     (1) Senior Vice President John R. Gentry, III, of Stanley,
         North Carolina;

     (2) former senior vice president James M. Adelt, of
         Grapevine, Texas;

     (3) former vice president Michael W. Morris, of Fort Worth,
         Texas; and

     (4) former assistant vice presidents Keith A. Cyr, of
         Mansfield, Texas, and

    (5) Thomas M. Laker, of Fort Worth, Texas

In its complaint against the individual defendants, the SEC
alleges that, in the ordinary course of their duties at
AmeriCredit, the individual defendants obtained material
nonpublic information about AmeriCredit's financial performance
for the quarter ending December 31, 2001, and based on that
information, and in breach of a duty of trust and confidence
that they owed to AmeriCredit's shareholders, each of them sold
AmeriCredit stock between January 2 and January 10, 2002, prior
to publication of the information in a January 10, 2002,
AmeriCredit earnings announcement.  The SEC alleges that the
AmeriCredit employees who sold shares before publication of the
information fraudulently avoided losses that they would have
experienced if they had sold the stock after the market reacted
to the January 10 announcement; and one employee who sold the
stock short before the announcement earned illegal trading
profits.   The SEC's complaint alleges that the individual
AmeriCredit employees thereby violated Section 17(a) of the
Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

In its complaint against AmeriCredit, the SEC alleges that:

     (i) the company directly or indirectly controlled Keith
         Cyr, one of the employees who engaged in insider
         trading;

    (ii) the company knew or recklessly disregarded the fact
         that Mr. Cyr was likely to trade in the company's stock
         while he was in possession of material nonpublic
         information; and  

   (iii) that the company failed to take appropriate steps to
         prevent Mr. Cyr from trading in the company's stock
         while he had material nonpublic information on January
         4, 2002.  

Based on those facts, the SEC claims that the company is liable
for a civil money penalty under the "control person" provision
of Section 21A of the Exchange Act.

Without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint,
each of the individual defendants has made, and the Commission
has accepted, an offer of settlement in which each defendant
consents: to the entry of a permanent injunction enjoining them
from further violations of the above provisions of the federal
securities laws; to disgorgement of their illicit profits or
losses avoided, plus prejudgment interest; and to payment of a
civil money penalty equal to the amount of their illicit profits
or losses avoided.  

Pursuant to those settlement offers, the individual defendants
will pay, in the aggregate, over $400,000.  Without admitting or
denying the allegations in the complaint, AmeriCredit has made,
and the Commission has accepted, an offer of settlement pursuant
to which AmeriCredit will pay a civil money penalty of $100,000.  

The suits are styled, "SEC v. James M. Adelt, Keith A. Cyr, John
R. Gentry III, Thomas M. Laker and Michael W. Morris, Civil
Action No. 3:03-CV-2675-P," and "SEC v. AmeriCredit Corp., Civil
Action No. 3:03-CV-2674-L."


APARTHEID LITIGATION: Ed Fagan Removed From NY Apartheid Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Flamboyant American attorney Ed Fagan has been withdrawn from
the lawsuits seeking reparation for victims of South African
apartheid pending in New York, The Sunday Times reports.

South African attorney for the plaintiffs John Ngcebetsha said,
"There is no further involvement by Ed Fagan in the apartheid
cases . The mandate that he had has been withdrawn from him in
the best interest of our clients."

New York City District Judge John Sprizzo is set to rule whether
the four class actions against multinational banks and companies
that allegedly supported the apartheid state during the 1980s
can proceed.  Mr. Fagan filed the first suit in June last year,
seeking billions of dollars in compensation.

Mr. Fagan told the Times that although he was aware of the move
to get him off the cases, he was still the representative
attorney in charge.  "I am going nowhere.  I am continuing with
the reparations and all other cases," he said via email.



BOC: 80 U.S. Lawsuits Launched Over Welding Fumes-Related Injury
--------------------------------------------------------------
BOC, the British chemicals and gases group, is the latest
company to fall foul of America's enthusiasm for illness-related
litigation after a jury in Madison County, Illinois, awarded
Larry Elam, a former welder, $1 million in damages after finding
that his Parkinson's disease was caused by inhaling manganese
fumes while welding, Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News
reports.

The company is facing 80 such lawsuits in the US, representing
6,000 plaintiffs.  This has hit its shares hard and wiped more
than GBP300 million (EUR438 million, US$528 million) from BOC's
market capitalization. The company - and the other defendants in
the case - will appeal.

BOC makes industrial gases but between 1979 and 1986 it was also
a significant producer of manganese rods used by welders.
Manganese is a neurotoxin.

BOC Chief Executive Tony Isaac argues that the verdict goes
against scientific, medical and toxicological evidence.  Notably
too, the Madison County judgment is the ninth such case to be
brought and the only one to be successful.

According to critics, the award opens the floodgates to big
class action lawsuits in the US, a liability estimated by some
analysts at up to $70 billion for the welding products industry
as a whole.  The news is certainly not good -- nor should the
threat be taken lightly, but as with ICI and Bayer before it,
the drop in BOC's share price looks overdone.

Bayer's shares lost about 50 percent of their value at one stage
earlier this year as investors overreacted to the threat of
lawsuits over its drug Baycol and although more than 11,000
suits are still pending, the meltdown scenario has so far not
materialized.

The German company won an important victory in the summer when a
plaintiff's motion to certify a nationwide class-action suit was
denied by the US District Court in Minneapolis.

ICI, whose shares had always suffered from the threat of paint
litigation in the US, was eventually found not to be liable.
Similarly, there is little BOC can do to get its shares re-rated
until the issue is resolved. It must live with the discount for
now.


BREAST IMPLANTS: Advisory Panel Chair Concerned Over Re-Sale
------------------------------------------------------------
In a highly unusual move, Dr. Thomas Whalen, the chairman of a
government advisory panel that reluctantly backed resuming sales
of silicone gel breast implants now is urging federal health
officials and lawmakers to disregard that advice, AP newswire
reports.

"I really have a lot of angst" about the panel's vote," Dr.
Whalen, from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New
Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, told AP.  "I felt
morally compelled - it sounds corny, but morally compelled - to
do something about it."

Silicone gel implants were highly popular until 1992, when fears
that leaking silicone caused serious diseases prompted the Food
and Drug Administration to end routine sales.  Now one
manufacturer is seeking an end to the ban, arguing that silicone
implants have been exonerated of causing serious diseases like
cancer or lupus.

Last month, the FDA asked outside scientists for advice.  In a
two-day meeting, dozens of women blamed silicone implants for
permanent disfigurement and dozens more begged for access to
them.  The advisers recommended, on a 9-6 vote, the sale again
of implants but only under very strict conditions which included
additional safety tests and warnings to recipients about
lingering safety questions, and the frequent need for repeated
operations because of painful scar tissue and other problems.

As the panel's chairman, Dr. Whalen could not vote unless there
was a tie.  However, in a letter obtained Tuesday by The
Associated Press, he wrote FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan and
five members of Congress about his "very strong reservations
concerning this vote."  "Long-term safety, the concern that
prompted the removal from the market 11 years ago, was clearly
not demonstrated," Dr. Whalen wrote.

Also "extraordinarily troubling," he added, is the enormous
costs that women face for additional surgeries and removal of
broken or painful implants.  "This is a public health issue of
no small import that must be addressed should the FDA second
this misguided panel decision," Dr. Whalen said.

The FDA told AP it had received and would consider Whalen's
comments.


CATALINA MARKETING: Chairman Resigns Over Accounting Questions
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dan Granger, Catalina Marketing Corporation's chairman and chief
executive officer, resigned from the Company under pressure as
questions abound about the Company's financial reporting and
long-term strategy, the St. Petersburg reports.

The 54-year-old Granger tendered his resignation last week, with
an undisclosed severance package, after staying at the Company
for 14 years.  Michael O'Brien, one of the Company's five co-
founders, will replace him.  The Company's board coaxed Mr.
O'Brien, 60, to come out of retirement to run the Company until
a permanent replacement is found.

The Company's troubles started with the advertising recession in
2002.  Recently, the Company was questioned about how it
accounted for certain revenues.  Investment firm Ernst & Young
cited several accounting issues after it took over Arthur
Andersen LLP as auditors for the Company.  Ernst & Young later
resigned after it refused to issue the Company a clean audit for
the 2003 fiscal year that ended March 31.  

PricewaterhouseCoopers replaced the firm.  However, the Company
has yet to file any audited financial statements with the
Securities and Exchange Commission this year.

As a result of the accounting scandal, several class actions
were filed against the Company in the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Florida on behalf of all
persons who purchased or acquired Catalina Marketing Corporation
(NYSE:POS) securities between April 18, 2002 and October 1,
2002, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing numerous positive statements
concerning the Company's ability to grow its revenues and
earnings at a rapid pace and the strong demand that existed for
the Company's products, especially at its Health Resource
division, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (November
3,2003) states.

"The board felt it was time for some new perspective," Susan
Gear, spokeswoman for the company, told the St. Petersburg
Times.  Mr. Granger could not be reached for comment at his
Tarpon Springs home.  Neither could Frederick Beinecke, a board
member who took over as chairman.

Friends of Mr. O'Brien said that he was the right fit for the
job.  "He's a great entrepreneur who runs a very tight ship,"
Patrick Collins, a former Catalina board member and retired
chief operating officer of Ralph's, a California supermarket
chain told the St. Petersburg Times.  "If anybody can fix this
company, Mike's the one. Catalina lost focus and just had too
many experiments that did not pan out."

Some analysts think the worst of the company's accounting
troubles are coming to an end because Catalina recently
indicated it had continued strong cash flow growth during the
quarter that ended September 30.  That suggested the accounting
issues in question were about timing of when revenues were
recorded, not whether they should count as revenues, Larry Lee,
a CIBC World Markets analyst who upgraded Catalina stock, told
the Times.

"Most of the bad news has already been absorbed in the stock
price, which has been trading close to historic all-time lows,"
Mr. Lee asserted.  Catalina shares closed Monday at $17.95, up
30 cents.

Company officials told the Times Mr. Granger's resignation was
not linked directly to the company's accounting problems.  "It
was really in response to the current environment in the
investment community and what's in the best interest of the
company," said Ms. Gear.


DEUTSCHE BANK: NY Finds New Target in Mutual Funds Investigation
----------------------------------------------------------------
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer held the spotlight for a
second day of hearings on mutual fund scandals when he announced
that he's now going after the world's biggest bank - Deutsche
Bank, and its American arm in his widening probe of improper
trading in the $7 trillion mutual funds industry, Reuters quoted
sources as saying.

The development came shortly after Mr. Spitzer concluded his
second session of testimony before Congress.  Mr. Spitzer told a
House panel the mutual fund industry was "rotten" a day after
calling it a "cesspool" following his Senate appearance.

"What begins to emerge, unfortunately, is an image of two
distinct sets of rules, one for insiders and one for everybody
else," Mr. Spitzer told the House panel.

Rep. Michael Oxley, chairman of the House Financial Services
Committee, said he wants to toughen mutual fund rules to require
better disclosure and have independent chiefs running funds.  
Mr. Spitzer called the new legislation a "very good start" for
cleaning up mutual funds.

Meanwhile, Mr. Spitzer intends to broaden targets in his ongoing
funds probe to include Security Trust Co., which provides
custody and settlement services to retirement plans, sources
said.  Mr. Spitzer's office may also take action against
Security Trust's former CEO, Grant Seeger - a move that could
include either civil or criminal charges, a source said.

Security Trust and Deutsche Bank had no comment, Reuters stated.


FOCUS MENTORS: Court Enters Permanent Injunction For Stock Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Margaret B. Seymour, U.S. District Judge for the
District of South Carolina, entered an Order of Permanent
Injunction and Other Relief Against Mohamad Wael Ibrahim Elzein,
individually and d/b/a Focus Mentors Elzein Management,
restraining him from further violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c)
and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.   

Mr. Elzein was ordered to pay disgorgement, prejudgment interest
and a civil penalty in amounts to be resolved upon motion of the
Commission at a later date.  Mr. Elzein consented to the entry
of the order without admitting or denying any of the allegations
of the Securities and Exchange Commission's complaint.

The Commission's complaint alleged that Mr. Elzein, Hussein El
Zein and Darin Knee, from approximately July through October
2001, raised approximately $541,000 from investors in a
fraudulent, unregistered offering of securities in the form of
investment contracts.  The defendants made materially false and
misleading statements and omissions in connection with the
offers and sales of the investment contracts including, among
other things, false historical returns, and promised returns
without a reasonable basis therefore.  Also, the complaint
alleged that the private placement memorandum utilized by the
defendants inaccurately stated that Focus Mentors was fully
insured by Allstate Insurance Company, such that the assets of
Focus Mentors were protected in the unlikely case that Focus
Mentors or its executives were to declare bankruptcy and falsely
stated that each client's principal investment was protected in
the case of acts of dishonesty.  These statements were false
because Focus Mentors did not have such insurance.  

The complaint further alleged that Mr. Knee promoted Focus
Mentors on his MoneyJoe.com website and in his related
electronic newsletter called "Insiders Club."  Among other
things, the complaint alleged that Mr. Knee's website described
Focus Mentors as a "secure opportunity" with "107% plus
principal guaranteed" even though Mr. Knee had no reasonable
basis for such statements.

The suit is styled "SEC v. Mohamad Wael Ibrahim Elzein,
individually and d/b/a Focus Mentors Elzein Management; Hussein
Hassan El Zein; and Darin Raymond Knee, Civil Action File No.
3:03-2843-10." (LR-18440)


GRUPO MEXICANO: NY Court Enters Judgment Against Former Chairman
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York entered a final judgment against Jorge Eduardo
Ballesteros Franco, the former chairman of Grupo Mexicano de
Desarrollo, S.A., a major Mexican construction company, based
upon charges of insider trading.  

The Securities and Exchange Commission's complaint alleges that
Mr. Ballesteros received a tip from his brother, the late Jose
Luis Ballesteros, who was then a director of Nalco Chemical
Company (Nalco).  The complaint alleges that Jorge Ballesteros
was tipped about a possible acquisition of Nalco prior to the
June 28, 1999 public announcement that Nalco would be acquired
by Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, S.A., (Suez).  Following the tip,
Mr. Ballesteros placed orders to purchase over $5.7 million in
Nalco stock through Swiss accounts controlled by offshore trusts
and nominee companies, resulting in illegal profits of over $2
million.
     
The Commission's complaint specifically alleges that Mr. Luis
Ballesteros attended a June 17, 1999 Nalco board meeting at
which he learned that Nalco had received a conditional takeover
offer from Suez.  The complaint alleges that by June 21, 1999,
Jose Luis Ballesteros tipped his brother, Jorge Ballesteros,
regarding the offer from Suez.  Between June 22 and June 25,
1999, Jorge Ballesteros then directed the purchase of 153,300
Nalco shares through two offshore companies, Gianni Enterprises
Limited and Sagitton Limited.  Those companies, in turn, were
owned by two family trusts, Gianni Trust, whose settlor is Jorge
Ballesteros' mother, and Cardinal Trust, whose settlor is his
wife.  After the June 28, 1999 public announcement, Jorge
Ballesteros directed that the Nalco stock be sold, resulting in
illegal profits of $2,271,108.55.
     
Without admitting or denying the allegations of the Commission's
complaint, Jorge Ballesteros consented to the entry of the
Court's final judgment.  The judgment orders him to pay a
penalty of $2,573,875.  This amount represents a one-time
penalty on the illegal profits made in the Gianni Enterprises
Limited account and a two-time penalty on the illegal profits
made in the Sagitton Limited account.  The Commission intends to
have these funds paid into a court account pursuant to the Fair
Fund provisions of Section 308(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of
2002 for ultimate distribution to victims of the fraud.   

In addition, the judgment permanently enjoins Jorge Ballesteros
from violating Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rules 10b-5 and 14e-3 thereunder.  All
of the profits, along with prejudgment interest, were previously
paid as part of a settlement with other parties announced on May
8, 2001.  

In light of this current settlement with Jorge Ballesteros, and
the prior settlement with the estate of Jose Luis Ballesteros in
2001, the Commission has filed a notice voluntarily dismissing
its claims against the corporate and trust vehicles through
which Jorge Ballesteros traded.  

All told, the Commission has now obtained over $10 million in
settlements from the 20 defendants charged with insider trading
in Nalco stock.  In addition to the Commission's May 8, 2001
complaint, the Commission filed two additional settled actions
arising out of trading in the securities of Nalco.  

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York has
obtained an indictment against Jorge Ballesteros based on the
same conduct alleged in the Commission's Complaint.  On February
27, 2002, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New
York obtained a criminal conviction against Juan Pablo
Ballesteros, one of Jose Luis Ballesteros' sons.   On June 4,
2002, Juan Pablo Ballesteros was sentenced to 15 months
imprisonment, a $40,000 fine and two years of supervised
release.

The suit is styled, "SEC v. Jorge Eduardo Ballesteros Franco, et
al., Civil Action No. 01 CV 3872 (JGK)." (LR-18441)
     

HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Indicted Former-Exec Free on $10M Bond
---------------------------------------------------------------
HealthSouth founder Richard M. Scrushy was freed on $10 million
bond on Tuesday after becoming the first CEO charged under a new
federal law meant to crack down on corporate corruption. He is
set to stand trial starting January 5, AP Newswire reports.

"The fraud indictment of (Mr.) Scrushy supports the picture of
his reign painted by former employees who described intimidation
and abuse," a House lawmaker said Tuesday.  

At a hearing, members of a House investigative panel asked why
the company's directors and outside accountants failed to detect
the conspiracy, allegedly led by former chairman Mr. Scrushy, to
overstate earnings at the health care giant by $2.7 billion
since 1996.

"The overarching themes of Mr. Scrushy's indictment are greed
and more greed - with a good dose of intimidation," Rep. Jim
Greenwood, R-Pa., chairman of a House investigative
subcommittee, told AP.

Mr. Scrushy, 51, pleaded innocent after surrendering to federal
authorities.  In a message posted on his personal Web site, Mr.
Scrushy said he was glad to have a chance to clear his name.  
"The truth will emerge as I am able to confront my accusers and
prove my innocence before a jury of my peers and the watchful
eyes of our public," the statement said.

Prosecutors said that because Mr. Scrushy's compensation was
tied in part to HealthSouth's performance, he pocketed $267
million in salary, bonuses and stock options and bought yachts,
luxury cars, fine art and jewels.  His bond was secured by his
three homes, 360 acres of plantation property and nearly 300,000
shares in HealthSouth stock.

The indictment, naming Mr. Scrushy on 85 counts including fraud,
conspiracy and money laundering, bears out the testimony of
former employees before the panel last month, "including the
intimidating atmosphere fostered by Mr. Scrushy that included
hidden cameras and armed security guards," Mr. Greenwood said.

The employees also countered Mr. Scrushy's assertion that he was
unaware of financial manipulations at the company.

Sage Givens, a director and member of the board's audit
committee for more than 13 years, testified Wednesday that the
auditors at Ernst & Young never raised concerns to the panel
during that time.  "We had numerous controls and systems in
place that should have helped to detect this fraud," Mr. Givens
told the panel.  "Unfortunately, when high-level management
conspires to commit a criminal act, I do not know of any
corporate governance policy that would prevent such criminal
behavior."

Fourteen former HealthSouth employees, including all five of the
conglomerate's former chief financial officers, already have
pleaded guilty to fraud charges since the Justice Department
began investigating the coast-to-coast chain of surgery and
rehabilitation clinics in March.  Another person has agreed to
plead guilty.

The indictment, returned October 29 and released Tuesday, had
been sealed amid government claims that Mr. Scrushy's bodyguards
had weapons and spy equipment that intimidated witnesses.  The
charges against Mr. Scrushy carry a total of 650 years in prison
and $36 million in fines, though if convicted he would get far
less under federal sentencing guidelines.  

Mr. Scrushy has blamed the fraud on others within the company.  
The charges include falsely attesting to the accuracy of
corporate statements.  Mr. Scrushy became the first CEO charged
under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in reaction to the wave of
scandals that engulfed Enron, WorldCom and other giant
corporations.  That law requires chief executives and chief
financial officers to certify their company's financial
statements as accurate and holds them criminally liable for
falsehoods.

The indictment seeks more than $278 million in Mr. Scrushy's
allegedly ill-gotten gains, including a 92-foot yacht, a 40-foot
racing boat, beach and lake homes, antique rugs and a 2003
Lamborghini.  

HealthSouth, founded by Mr. Scrushy in 1984, is the largest US
chain of outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging and
rehabilitation centers.


HMO LITIGATION: High Court to Hear Appeal on Negligence Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it would decide whether
managed health care companies can be sued for negligence by
patients over the failure to pay for medical care recommended by
a doctor, Reuters reports.

The justices agreed to hear an appeal by a unit of Aetna Inc.
arguing that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a
federal law adopted in 1974, would pre-empt such lawsuits
brought under state law.  The high court also said it would hear
a second related case involving an appeal by a Cigna Corporation
unit.

One case involved a lawsuit in Texas by Juan Davila, who was
covered by an Aetna health maintenance organization through a
plan provided by his employer.  In 2000, he visited his primary
care physician, who prescribed the pain-killer "Vioxx" for
arthritis.  Before filling the prescription, Aetna required him
to try two other less-expensive medications.  

After three weeks on the cheaper pain reliever, Mr. Davila was
rushed to the emergency room, suffering from bleeding ulcers.  
Mr. Davila sued, claiming Aetna had acted negligently in its
decision not to cover Vioxx from the beginning.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, but a U.S. appeals court
reversed the decision and ruled Mr. Davila's claims were not
completely pre-empted under federal law.  Aetna appealed to the
high court.  It called the issue one of "considerable national
significance" and said millions of Americans received medical
insurance through employer-provided health plans governed by the
1974 federal law.  The company said many employer health plans
relied on HMOs to provide cost-effective care, and business
groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and the National
Association of Manufacturers supported Aetna's appeal.

The other case, also from Texas, involved Ruby Calad, who was
discharged from the hospital after a hysterectomy.  The Cigna
hospital discharge nurse decided the standard one-day hospital
stay would be sufficient, although Ms. Calad's doctor had
recommended a longer stay.  Several days after her release, Ms.
Calad suffered complications.  She sued, claiming Cigna acted
negligently in deciding more time in the hospital could not be
authorized because it was not medically necessary.  The appeals
court that decided Mr. Davila's case also ruled at the same time
that 1974 federal law did not pre-empt Ms. Calad's claims.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in both cases next year,
with a decision due by the end of June.  The Supreme Court has
issued several rulings affecting HMOs in recent years.  In June
2002, the high court ruled states may provide independent review
by a doctor when a HMO refuses to pay for a patient's medical
treatment.  In April 2003, the justices upheld state laws that
require HMOs to open up their networks and give patients more
choices of doctors or other medical providers.


IBM CORPORATION: Intel CEO: Chip Industry Monitoring Cancer Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Intel Corporation Chief Executive Craig Barrett said the chip
industry is closely monitoring the cancer lawsuits filed against
IBM Corporation to get a better idea of the threat by aggressive
lawyers looking to take on wealthy businesses, Reuters reports.

The suits were filed on behalf of more than 200 former and
current IBM employees, who allege that exposure to chemicals in
chip and hard drive plants caused cancer and birth defects for
their children.  The suit has raised fear of litigation among
other participants in the electronics industry.

"Since Dow Corning and breast implants, and asbestos, I mean,
it's on everybody's mind," Mr. Barrett told reporters.  "It's
really what could potentially happen when you start to take the
plaintiff's bar and give them some ammunition, real or not."

While declining to give his views on the validity of the cases
against IBM, Mr. Barrett said such suits showed the risks to
business from a lawsuit-hungry US society, Reuters states.  
"From a general standpoint, it's just the litigious nature of
the US - class action lawsuits, and the plaintiffs bar go after
everybody," he said.  "They're interested in not wealth creation
but wealth redistribution."

He continued that he did not believe Intel, the world's largest
chip maker, was a party to any litigation similar to the IBM
cases.  "We're watching it to see what happens," he said.  
"Right now it's an issue between IBM and their former
employees."


INDEPENDENT FUNDING: SEC Launches Securities Fraud Lawsuit in TX
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed an action in the
U.S. District Court in Dallas, Texas charging David B.
Henderson, 64, of Salt Lake City, Utah; two of his companies,
Independent Funding, Inc. and Independent Funding Ltd./Nevada;
and one of his sales agents, Jess L. Mercer, 58, of Dallas,
Texas, with securities fraud in connection with an unregistered
interstate offering of notes.   

According to the Commission's complaint, the scheme began in
2001 and raised at least $2 million from at least 22 investors,
most of whom are elderly.  United States District Judge Ed
Kinkeade granted a temporary restraining order halting the
offering and entered orders freezing assets and requiring
accountings, and an order preserving documents and expediting
discovery.

The Commission has also named Mr. Henderson's son and two
companies he controls as relief defendants, seeking asset
freezes, accountings, disgorgement of assets acquired with
investor funds, and document preservation.  

The suit is styled "SEC v. David B. Henderson, et al., Civil
Action No. 3-03-CV-2661-K." (LR-18443)


INSURANCE FIRMS: CT AG To Appeal Ruling to Dismiss HMO Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in a
statement he plans to appeal a ruling by U.S. District Judge
Federico Moreno, which dismissed a lawsuit seeking class status
filed by patients against four health insurance companies, less
than two months after it was made.

Judge Moreno dismissed the lawsuit September 19, saying Attorney
General Blumenthal lacked legal standing to bring the litigation
because the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
allows patients to sue on their own, according to a
representative of the attorney general's office.  The suit,
which was brought on behalf of patients in Connecticut, was
filed against Anthem, Health Net, Cigna, and Oxford and
consolidated in Miami.  The Employee Retirement Income Security
Act is a 1974 federal law that gives the federal government
exclusive power to regulate employee benefit plans.

On November 4, AG Blumenthal said he would appeal the ruling
once the judge's decision has been officially recorded, she
said.

The lawsuit is not related to the class-action litigation filed
by more than 800,000 physicians from 27 medical societies
against a group of insurers, which has also been consolidated in
Miami under Judge Moreno.  According to the suit Aetna Inc.,
UnitedHealthcare, Cigna, Coventry, WellPoint, Humana Health Plan
Inc., PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. and Anthem Blue Cross/Blue
Shield conspired to break contracts and defraud doctors in
violation of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organization Act (RICO).  Aetna and Cigna have both struck a
deal with the physicians that ended their involvement in that
litigation.

Under Aetna's $470 million settlement, the company said it would
pay $100 million to settle claims with physicians who have been
denied reimbursement for services, pay $50 million to cover
legal costs of the medical societies that brought the suit,
donate $20 million to a nonprofit foundation and make procedural
changes estimated to save about $300 million in administrative
costs.  Cigna agreed to pay $540 million for physician claims,
legal fees and a donation to a charitable foundation


KRAFT FOODS: African-American Employee Launches Race Bias Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kraft Foods North America, Inc. faces a racial discrimination
class action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania, the plaintiff's lawyer told Reuters.  
Former employee Debra Davis, an African-American, filed the suit
on behalf of present and former African American employees at
the company's Philadelphia Bakery facility.

The suit alleges that the Company denied opportunities for quick
advancement to African American employees, while providing them
for Caucasian employees.  The suit also alleged that the Company
disciplines African American employees more harshly than white
counterparts, and does not provide equal compensation to African
American workers.  Ms. Davis also charged that she was unjustly
fired by Kraft.   The suit seeks an end to the practices
outlined in the complaint, compensation for the class, and
punitive damages.

"While we can't comment on specifics of pending litigation and
have not had an opportunity to review the complaint, Kraft Foods
North America is an equal opportunity employer committed to
maintaining a diverse and fair workplace," Kraft said in a
statement, Reuters reports.

"We believe there was no discrimination in this case against any
individual or purported class of individuals," the statement
added.


LAKERIDGE HEALTH: Patients Treated With Unsterilized Scopes Sue
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lakeridge Health, a hospital in Oshawa, Canada, faces a $70
million class action filed by patients who were allegedly
treated with unsterilized medical equipment, The Toronto Sun
reports.

The suit alleges that the patients endured "anxiety, depression
and emotional and mental suffering" after learning scopes used
in throat and colon exams from October 27 to 30 at the
hospital's day surgery unit were cleaned, but not disinfected.  
146 patients are now undergoing medical tests for Hepatitis A, B
and C.

Officials stress the risk of infection is low, The Sun stated.  
Janice Dusek, Lakeridge's COO, was not aware of the lawsuit but
said the hospital is investigating.


NEW YORK: Electrical Subway Fire Injures 9, Stalls Train Service
----------------------------------------------------------------
An electrical fire started in New York's subway, sending nine
people to the hospital for smoke inhalation, and halting train
service for thousands of commuters late last week, the
Associated Press reports.

Charles Seaton, a spokesman for NYC Transit, told AP the fire
started after 8 a.m. at a station in Harlem on the rail that
provides power to the train.  In addition to the nine people
hospitalized, six were being evaluated for smoke inhalation,
Fire Department spokesman Mike Loughlan told AP.  Train service
was suspended on a stretch of two subway lines and service on
another line was rerouted.


PEREGRINE SYSTEMS: DE Court To Approve Bankruptcy Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
In the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Wilmington, Delaware Judge
Judith K. Fitzgerald intends to approve the settlement proposed
by the reorganized Peregrine Systems, Inc., dividing a 33% stake
among the company's stockholders and securities litigants, The
Deal reports.

Judge Delaware said she is favoring the settlement, which states
that 85% of the stake would go to shareholders, while the rest
will be compensation for buyers of Peregrine securities who
filed lawsuits alleging that the company engaged in accounting
fraud.  Judge Fitzgerald also approved the formation of a
litigation trust to distribute funds from current and future
lawsuits filed against the company.  If future lawsuits are
filed, they would be prosecuted by a litigation trustee chosen
by lawsuit filers.

In addition to their lion's share of the 33% stake, shareholders
could pick up another 4% of Peregrine based on the amount of
claims the company eventually pays out, The Deal reports.  If
Peregrine pays less than $49 million in claims, shareholders
would receive the entire 4%.

The Company filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2002.  
Before emerging from Chapter 11 in August, the company settled
charges raised by the Securities and Exchange Commission over
its accounting practices.  Peregrine has since restated its
financials as far back as early 1999, reducing previously
reported revenue of $1.34 billion by $509 million.

The suits, filed in the United States District Court in San
Diego, California, name as defendants the company's former
directors, officers and its former auditing firm, Arthur
Andersen, Solomon B. Cera, counsel to the securities litigants
at Gold Bennett Cera & Sidener LLP in San Francisco, told The
Deal.  "We are aggressively pursuing those claims," Mr. Cera
said.

Attorneys in the bankruptcy case expect an order next week.  
Eric J. Haber, counsel for Peregrine's post-emergency equity
committee at Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman LLP in New York, told
The Deal, "This is a fabulous result for shareholders . In other
(bankruptcy) cases involving accounting restatement, there's no
distribution."


PILKINGTON NORTH AMERICA: IL Court Certifies Contamination Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Illinois Federal Judge James B. Zagel granted class
certification to the lawsuit filed against Pilkington North
America, Inc., styled "Vicki Ludwig, et al. v. Pilkington North
America Inc., No. 03 C 1086," charging the Company with
contaminating Naplate County, Illinois' drinking water, the
lawbulletin.com reports.

The suit alleges that the county's residents and landowners
suffered injuries as a result of the disposal of arsenic-
containing waste generated at the Company's glass-making
facility in nearby Ottawa.

Plaintiffs Vicki and Lloyd Ludwig and Kim and Joseph Nanouski
alleged that the disposal caused the soil and groundwater in
Naplate to become contaminated, threatening the health of
residents and reducing the value of residential and business
property.  The Company allegedly also failed for at least 15
years to investigate or remedy the contamination.

The suit seeks multi-million dollar compensatory damages,
punitive damages and costs incur by the class members in
responding to the alleged arsenic contamination.  The suit also
seeks to enjoin the Company from causing further contamination
and to seek remedies for the contamination.

The Company asserted that it has worked with government agencies
since the mid-1980s to study the Ottawa Township Flat Glass Site
and the surrounding area, including Naplate, and has spent
millions in dealing with the allegations raised in the suit.  
The Company also asserted that it was already taking remedial
action under an Administrative Order on Consent entered with US
Environmental Protection Agency in September 2001.

Judge Zagel said the allegedly negligent or reckless disposal of
the waste - he did not discuss the merits of that accusation -
form "a common nucleus of operative facts" on which the class
members' cases are based.  He acknowledged that there were
differences among the members when it came to such matters as
the level and source of the alleged arsenic contamination,
lawbulletin.com reports.

"None of these alleged differences, however, are so great as to
overshadow the common questions presented by the plaintiffs,
such as whether PNA mishandled arsenic-containing waste and
whether that waste migrated from PNA's property to other
properties in Naplate," Judge Zagel said in a written opinion.

He added that "trying these claims separately would result in a
large amount of repetition" in light of these common questions
of law and fact.  "Thus, I find proceeding as a class action is
the superior form of adjudication for this case," Judge Zagel
wrote.  "The proof regarding the history of PNA's operation,
PNA's use of arsenic, PNA's disposal of arsenic-containing waste
and the possible pattern of the waste's migration will be almost
identical."

He certified a class of plaintiffs who live or own property in
Naplate.  The named plaintiffs estimate that more than 600
members belong to that class.  


PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES: SEC Files Civil Fraud Suit V. Employees
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission initiated a civil fraud
action against five brokers and one branch manager formerly
employed by Prudential Securities, Inc., in connection with
their market timing trades in numerous mutual funds.

The Commission alleges in its complaint that, from at least 2001
through September 2003, former brokers Martin J. Druffner,
Justin F. Ficken, Skifter Ajro, John S. Peffer, and Marc J.
Bilotti defrauded mutual funds and their shareholders by
misrepresenting their identities or the identities of their
customers in connection with thousands of market timing trades
after the mutual funds had restricted or blocked the defendants
or their customers from further trading.  

According to the Commission's complaint, former branch manager
Robert Shannon substantially assisted the brokers in their
violations by, among other things, approving their market timing
trades.  Until September 2003, the defendants worked at a
Prudential Securities branch in Boston, Massachusetts.

According to the Commission's complaint, filed in Federal
District Court in Boston, from at least 2001 through September
2003, numerous mutual fund companies blocked the defendants or
their brokerage customers from further trading in their funds
after the mutual fund companies detected market timing activity
by the defendants.  The complaint alleges that, to evade these
blocks, the defendants concealed their own identities by using
multiple broker identification numbers or concealed the
identities of their brokerage customers by establishing
additional brokerage accounts at Prudential Securities on behalf
of the customers.
     
Stephen M. Cutler, Director of the SEC Division of Enforcement,
said, "Our complaint alleges that by concealing or
misrepresenting their own identities or the identities of their
clients, the defendants were able to circumvent restrictions
intended to protect mutual fund shareholders against excessive
market timing.  That's fraud, plain and simple."
     
The Commission's complaint alleges that Mr. Druffner, Mr.
Ficken, Mr. Ajro, Mr. Peffer, and Mr. Bilotti violated Section
17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and violated or aided and
abetted violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.   The complaint alleges
that Mr. Shannon aided and abetted his co-defendants' violations
of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.   
The Commission is seeking injunctive relief, disgorgement,
penalties, and other equitable relief.
     
The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the Secretary of
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, NASD, and the New York Stock
Exchange in its investigation.  The Commission's investigation
is continuing.


REMMINGTON ADVISERS: SEC Accepts Securities Fraud Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission accepted
the settlement offers of Kenneth Randall Ward (Ward) and
Remmington Advisors, Inc. (Remmington), an investment adviser
registered with the Commission, and issued an Order Making
Findings and Imposing Remedial Sanctions Pursuant to Sections
203(e) and 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

The Order finds that remedial sanctions against Mr. Ward and
Remmington are appropriate and in the public interest in light
of Mr. Ward's past violations of the anti-fraud provisions of
the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.

According to the Order, Mr. Ward willfully violated Section
17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Exchange
Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder while associated as a register
representative with Government Securities Corporation of Texas,
a broker-dealer registered with the Commission, in connection
with the fraudulent offer and sale, and in connection with the
purchase and sale, of inverse floater mortgage derivative
securities to two Texas municipalities.  

The Order further finds that the Commission, in In the Matter of
Ward, Admin. Proc. File No. 3-9327, Release No. 34-47535 (March
19, 2003), found that Mr. Ward violated the antifraud provisions
of the Securities Act and Exchange Act and ordered remedial
sanctions against Ward, including barring him from association
with any broker or dealer.
     
Based on Mr. Ward's prior violations of the antifraud provisions
of the Securities Act and Exchange Act, the Order orders
revocation of the investment adviser registration of Remmington,
an entity owned and controlled by Mr. Ward, pursuant to Section
203(e) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act).  
The Order further orders that Mr. Ward is barred from
association with any investment adviser pursuant to Section
203(f) of the Advisers Act.  


SEAN JOHN: Labor Officials Inspect Factory, Find No Violations
--------------------------------------------------------------
Honduran labor officials inspected the factory that produced a
clothing line for rap music mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, after a
report released by National Labor Committee director Charles
Kernaghan alleged several labor abuses being practiced in the
factory, the Associated Press reports.

Workers in the Southeast Textiles factory in Choloma, Honduras
were allegedly subjected to daily body searches, contaminated
drinking water and 11- to 12-hour daily shifts.  They were also
paid only 24 cents for each $50 Sean John sweat shirt they sew.  
Women were given mandatory pregnancy tests, and that those who
tested positive were fired, Mr. Kernaghan told AP, according to
an earlier Class Action Reporter story (October 30,2003).  Mr,
Kernaghan alleged the abuses are violations of Honduran labor
laws.

Labor Minister German Leitzelar led a group of inspectors on a
six-hour visit, but said that they did not uncover the kinds of
labor abuses alleged by activists.  "I think things have been
overblown," Mr. Leitzelar told reporters afterward.  "If there
are any irregularities, they are not like what was contained in
the accusations . We visited the place to find out the truth.  
On Monday, we'll present a formal report on the situation."

The factory's owner and the head of Honduras' assembly plant
industry have said that claims of sweatshop conditions there
were false, AP reports.  Mr. Combs has promised to investigate
the allegations.


SECOND CHANCE: Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuits in Georgia Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
Second Chance Body Armor, Inc. faces a class action filed in the
Superior Court of Fulton County Georgia on behalf of purchasers
of Ultima and Ultimax bullet proof vests the Company
manufactured during the past five years.  The suit also names
Richard C. Davis, President and CEO, as defendant.

According to the complaint, as early as 2000, the defendants
discovered that the Zylon material used in the vests was
degrading after exposure to heat, humidity, light, wear, care
and in-service flex, resulting in the vests losing their
protective qualities.

The Complaint alleges that the defendants failed to take prompt
and adequate steps to notify purchasers of the defects and
continued to sell the vests with knowledge that their
representations and warranties concerning the performance
characteristics were false.

The Complaint further alleges that the defective vests are
unsuitable for the intended uses and thus, purchasers are
entitled to a refund of the purchase price or replacement, at no
cost, with non-Zylon vests that meet or exceed the warranted
performance specifications for the Ultima and Ultimax vests, and
that are proven, tested and certified by the National Institute
of Justice.

For more information, contact W. Pitts Carr of Carr, Tabb, Pope
& Freeman LLP, by Mail: at 10 North Parkway Square, 4200
Northside Parkway, N.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30327, by Phone:
1-888-755-1649 (toll-free), or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.ctpflaw.com.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Plaintiffs in WV Smokers Suit Seek New Trial
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the West Virginia medical
monitoring lawsuit asked the state's Supreme Court for a new
trial, alleging the tobacco industry "hijacked" the landmark
suit by blaming smokers who failed to quit, the Associated Press
reports.

The landmark suit was filed on behalf of 250,000 West Virginia
smokers who smoked the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes a day
for five years, but had no symptoms of tobacco-related diseases.  
The suit aimed to force the big tobacco firms to pay for tests
that could earlier detect serious smoking-related diseases like
lung cancer and emphysema.  The suit named as defendants four
major tobacco companies:

     (1) RJ Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc.,

     (2) Philip Morris Companies, Inc.,

     (3) Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation, and

     (4) Lorillard Tobacco Company

The Companies used as their main defense the fact that they
exerted much effort and research to find a safer product, and
asserted that the best way to avoid disease was to simply quit
smoking, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (November
16,2001) reports.

The jury of three men and three women later denied the
plaintiff's claim that cigarettes should be viewed as defective
products and found that tobacco firms were not obliged to pay
for medical monitoring.

In arguments before the court, Charleston lawyer Scott Segal
asserted, "The focus is on the product . They didn't care about
safety.  They cared about delivering a specific amount of tar
and a specific amount of nicotine in their product."

Mr. Segal and co-counsel Deborah McHenry told the Court the four
tobacco companies named in the lawsuit admitted that the risks
of smoking outweigh any benefit and that cigarettes have no
practical use, AP reports.  

"The defendants said, 'We make it, we put it out there, but
don't use it, just quit,'" Ms. McHenry argued.  "That makes a
mockery of product defect law."

R.J. Reynolds attorney Jeffrey Furr urged the high court not to
second-guess the Ohio County jury that heard weeks worth of
evidence before reaching its verdict in November 2001.  

"What the plaintiffs are really complaining of is, despite their
best efforts, they were unable to gather up a panel of West
Virginia jurors who had absolutely no sense of responsibility
and common sense about smoking," he said.

Mr. Furr noted that the jury believes the plaintiffs proved only
four of the six elements.  That mixed finding reflects the
ongoing dispute among doctors over the specific tests requested
in the lawsuit, he told AP.  "The jury was able to appropriately
weigh the medical and scientific evidence as to whether medical
monitoring is reasonably necessary," he said.

Mr. Segal and Ms. McHenry believes that the jury was misled.  
"Quitting may be an excellent thing. Half of the class had
quit," Mr. Segal told the court.  "But we all know that if you
have a latent disease, quitting is not going to help you
diagnose it."



TOBACOO LITIGATION: Court Denies Class Status in MI Smokers Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Michigan Circuit Court Judge William J. Giovan denied the
petition for class certification in the lawsuit filed against US
Tobacco companies by Wayne County residents over allegations
they developed lung cancer and other tobacco related illnesses
as a direct result of using one or more of the defendants'
products.
   
The lawsuit alleges that plaintiffs were deceived about the
risks of smoking, which resulted in some of its members
developing lung cancer and other smoking-related illnesses, in
addition to their becoming addicted to nicotine.

The defendants deny the claims, and contend that plaintiffs'
injuries were caused, in whole or in part, by their own
voluntary choices.  Among the defendants in the case are R.J.
Reynolds, Brown & Williamson, and Lorillard Tobacco.  

In his ruling, Judge Giovan concluded that common issues in a
class action would not predominate over individual issues, and
that a class action would not be a superior means to resolve the
asserted claims.

Michael B. Serling, and Philip J. Goodman of Birmingham, IL, and
Kennath B. McClain, of Independence, MO, served as plaintiff's
attorneys in the case.


UNITED STATES: Settles Asian, Pacific Islanders' Race Bias Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Department of Agriculture reached a settlement
for a race discrimination class action filed on behalf of 2,100
Asian and Pacific Islander workers, who alleged they were passed
over, demoted or fired after they filed bias suits, the
Associated Press reports.

The settlement could amount to about $1.5 million, excluding
plaintiffs' attorneys, which the department agreed to cover,
Farook Sait, president of the workers' group Organization of
South Asian Americans in Agriculture, told AP.  He added that
some workers will also be given retroactive promotions and back
pay.  People who were moved to dead-end jobs in the department
will be paid damages.

"Our case was most certainly going to have merit," Mr. Sait, who
also is an attorney in the department's civil rights office,
told AP.  The settlement "is a pittance compared to what could
have happened."

Under the settlement, the Department also agreed to try to hire
more Asian and Pacific Islander workers through job fairs and
notices to South Asian American's groups.  The department also
agreed to sponsor 36 scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander
graduates.

Vernon Parker, head of the department's office of civil rights,
told AP a settlement was the best way for the agency to resolve
the 4-year-old case.  "We are saving money on court costs, and
we're promoting a healthier workplace," he said.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission still has to approve
the settlement.


WAL-MART STORES: MN Court Grants Certification To Overtime Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Dakota County (Minnesota) District Court granted class
certification to a lawsuit filed against retail giant Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc. on behalf of more than 65,000 current and former
employees in the state, The Star Tribune reports.  

Four Minnesota women - Nancy Braun, Pamela Reinert, Cindy
Severson and Debbie Simonson - filed the suit alleging the store
routinely forced workers to skip meals and rest breaks.  The
suit also asserts that Company managers regularly forced
employees to work extra hours without pay.

The court order will allow workers at 58 Wal-Mart discount
stores, Supercenters and Sam's Club stores in Minnesota to join
the suit.  The Company has 30 days to seek permission to appeal
the ruling.

"This is an important ruling which can bring fair pay to
thousands of the working poor in Minnesota," Jonathan Parritz,
an attorney with Maslon, Edelman, Borman & Brand, the
Minneapolis law firm representing the plaintiffs, told The Star
Tribune.

In his ruling, Judge Thomas R. Lacy noted evidence that Wal-Mart
systematically short-changed its employees.  The Company's own
internal auditing indicated that employees were routinely denied
meal and rest breaks, he wrote, The Star Tribune reports.  In
addition, Judge Lacy wrote, Wal-Mart witnesses testified that
company managers were not punished for making employees miss
breaks and work off the clock.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sarah Clark told The Star Tribune the
Bentonville, Ark.-based company strongly denies the allegations
and is considering whether to appeal the decision.  "Wal-Mart's
policy is to pay associates for every minute they work," she
said.  "Certifying this as a class does not mean the company has
done anything wrong or improper . We have no reason to believe
that these isolated situations . represent a widespread problem
with off-the-clock work."


WYOMING: Judge Orders Release of Information on Inmate Assaults
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wyoming's Corrections Department agreed to comply with US
District Judge Clarence Brimmer's order, asking them to provide
more information about inmate assaults at the Wyoming State
Penitentiary, Attorney General Pat Crank told the Associated
Press.

The order was the effect of a settlement of a lawsuit filed by
inmate Brad Skinner, who was allegedly beaten by other inmates
in 1999.  The suit was filed against former Corrections Director
Judy Uphoff and three other current and past prison officials.

The department faces another class action, asking for new
policies to help ensure that inmates are protected from assault.  
The state attorney general's office and ACLU spent much of this
year hammering out a remedial plan that was adopted by the court
October 7.  However, the negotiations have been hampered by
disagreement on whether information on assaults at the Rawlins
prison between November and March should be released.

Judge Brimmer's order states, "The investigation of assaults at
the WSP is a part of the Remedial Plan, and therefore the Court
deems information on these assaults and the investigations of
them to be highly relevant."

The order also stated that if the "Remedial Plan that is now
operative is to be effective, and not merely intellectually
pleasing, then the Court can think of no better means of
assurance than for Defendants to comply with the Court's clear
orders related to the Plan."

The order granted the plaintiff's motion to hold defendants in
contempt of court, and gave the defendants 20 days to hold
"outstanding discovery regarding recent inmate-on-inmate
assaults and retaliation against inmate Craig Blumhagen."

Attorneys for the Corrections Department had asserted that only
information related to Mr. Skinner's individual claim is
relevant and that the department has provided all relevant
information.

"Judge Brimmer obviously reached a different conclusion," Mr.
Crank told AP.  "We respect Judge Brimmer and we will comply
with his order."

He asserted however, that the defendants were not held in
contempt of court.  "If you're going to find someone in contempt
of court, people get fined or they go to jail and they
specifically get named in a court order," Mr. Crank told AP.

Attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Stephen
Pevar told AP he was "satisfied" with the order regardless of
what it is called.  "It doesn't matter to me if the attorney
general would prefer to characterize it the way he does," he
said.  "That's fine . I didn't file the motion to find them in
contempt.  I filed the motion to get questions answered."


                      Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACandS Sues Insurer for Asbestos Coverage
--------------------------------------------------------------
ACandS, Inc., filed a case on October 30 challenging an
arbitration award issued on July 31 limiting the Company right
to future insurance coverage for asbestos-related bodily injury
claims.

The former insulation contractor, forced into bankruptcy by
asbestos-related bodily injury claims, filed the case in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
against Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, a subsidiary of
Travelers Property Casualty Corp.

The ACandS lawsuit alleges that the arbitrators had no authority
under the parties' contract and federal bankruptcy law to
discharge Travelers from its future obligations to provide
coverage for asbestos claims.

According to ACandS, the arbitration decision did not relieve
Travelers of its obligation to pay 45% of the approximately
$2,800,000,000 in claims incurred prior to ACandS' bankruptcy
filing. But, if permitted to stand, the decision would relieve
Travelers of substantially all of its future coverage
obligations to ACandS.

James E. Hipolit, ACandS's President and General Counsel
declared, "As insurers' asbestos-related liabilities grew in the
late 1990s, Travelers developed new theories to try to deny
coverage to ACandS and our claimants."

Hipolit further said, "Although these new theories were
completely at odds with the way Travelers has handled claims for
fifteen years, Travelers convinced the arbitration panel to
accept one of its new theories and discharge it from its future
obligations. The arbitrators had no power to do this, and we are
asking the court to set aside the award."

ACandS is optimistic about the outcome of the current lawsuit,
especially since the arbitration panel issued a split 2-to-1
decision and the dissenting arbitrator issued a strong opinion
in favor of ACandS. The arbitration decisions are confidential,
but have been filed with the court under seal.

ACandS estimates that Travelers already owes $1,260,000,000 for
the pre-bankruptcy claims not affected by the arbitration award.
If ACandS prevails in its action to vacate the arbitration
award, ACandS would once again be entitled to coverage not only
for 45% of the $2,800,000,000 in existing settlements, but also
for 45% of the over 100,000 claims still pending against ACandS
and of virtually all claims filed against ACandS in the future.
  
For more details, contact Carrie Conko of AcandS by Phone:
202-973-1308


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AWI Creditors May Not Back Chapter 11 Plan
---------------------------------------------------------------
An attorney for the official committee of Armstrong World's
unsecured creditors recently declared that the company's
creditors may not vote for the company's plan to reorganize.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Randall J. Newsome said that the last day
for voting on the reorganization plan for Armstrong World, a
subsidiary of Armstrong Holdings Inc. (ACKHQ) was on Oct. 31 and
most creditors have already voted on the plan.

Stephen Shimshak, attorney for the official committee of
unsecured creditors, told Newsome that several "significant"
creditors with large claims haven't cast their votes yet and are
likely to vote to defeat the plan.

Confirmation is scheduled for Nov. 17, and Newsome took time at
a hearing Friday in the case to screen potential trouble spots.
Armstrong World has filed papers with the court saying most
objections had been resolved.

The official committee of unsecured creditors has backed the
company's plan so far, Shimshak said, adding that those
creditors "may have to reconsider our support."

The dollar amount of claims in the hands of voters who waited
until the last day to vote may be enough to constitute a
"blocking position," Shimshak said, meaning enough votes were
still on the sidelines Friday to defeat Armstrong World's
Chapter 11 exit plan.

Large creditors are unhappy with Armstrong World's refusal to
extend the confirmation hearing another month. They had asked
the company for an extension to await the outcome of proposed
federal legislation on asbestos liabilities that would create a
$115,000,000,000 trust fund, with a $10,000,000,000 contingency
fund. Trade vendors say the bill could relieve the company of
billions in claims, Shimshak said.

Proposed by Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), the measure replaces a
bill, S. 1125, that cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee in
July but ran aground on objections from insurers.

Shimshak said large creditors want to await the outcome of
legislation - which they believe is accelerating in Congress -
that could relieve Armstrong World of $3,000,000,000 in
liabilities.

"Yes, but maybe accelerating at 90 miles per hour sideways,"
Newsome said.

Armstrong World is nearing its third year in Chapter 11, the
judge said, and the asbestos liability legislation has been in
the works - and a subject of controversy - for about a year.

If the company doesn't get out of Chapter 11 before the close of
2003, the judge said, it could lose significant tax advantages.

"This company is hell-bound to get out of Chapter 11 by the end
of this year for tax reasons," Newsome said.

Shimshak said creditors don't have share Newsome's "dismal" view
of the Frist measure's chances of becoming law, and think the
dollars that would be freed up for them if it does are worth
waiting for.

Newsome asked whether the last-minute threat by some large
creditors put the committee in a "tight spot," since many small
trade creditors are likely to have already voted for the plan,
only to have their votes blocked by large institutional
creditors.

Shimshak didn't identify the creditors threatening the "no"
vote, but said some were on the official committee of unsecured
creditors.

The committee appointed by the U.S. Trustee in the Armstrong
World case in December 2000 included Wachovia Bank, Deutsche
Bank, Barclays Bank, Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota, Bank One, OCM
Opportunities Fund III L.P., Third Avenue Value Fund, Oxy Vinyls
L.P. and Exxon Mobil Chemical.

Armstrong World, based in Lancaster, Pa., and two affiliates
filed for Chapter 11 protection December 6, 2000, in an effort
to resolve thousands of claims for asbestos damages. The floor
coverings company filed its fourth plan of reorganization May
23, and is pushing for a December 30 exit from Chapter 11.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Starts Chapter 11 Plan Approval
--------------------------------------------------------------
Congoleum Corporation recently announced that it has begun
soliciting final approval for a Chapter 11 plan of
reorganization and settlement of asbestos claims.

The terms of the plan of reorganization were negotiated at
length with representatives of a large number of current
asbestos personal injury claimants and a representative for
future asbestos personal injury claimants, all of whom approved
the final documents. Asbestos personal injury claimants,
Congoleum's secured lender and its majority shareholder will
receive ballots to vote on the plan, and Congoleum anticipates
that it will receive the votes necessary to obtain the plan's
approval. The deadline for submitting votes is Dec. 19.

The flooring product maker said the terms call for it to
contribute certain insurance rights and a note for around
$2,700,000 to a trust to be formed for asbestos personal injury
claimants, and all current and future asbestos claims against
Congoleum will be channeled to the trust.

Under the terms of the plan, Congoleum's other creditors will be
paid in full and its shareholders will maintain their equity
holdings in Congoleum. To comply with statutory disclosure
requirements, Congoleum's trade creditors, bondholders and
minority shareholders will also receive documents describing the
plan of reorganization, but will not be entitled to vote on the
plan as it does not impair their interests.

"We are extremely pleased to have reached this point in the
process of resolving our asbestos liabilities," said Roger S.
Marcus, Chairman of the Board. "There have been a myriad of
details and issues to be dealt with in finalizing negotiations
and documentation of our reorganization plan and the trust that
will provide funds for asbestos claimants."

Marcus adds that the company's legal team has continued to fine
tune its approach based, in part, upon the experience of other
companies in asbestos bankruptcy proceedings.

He said, "A seven person pre-petition asbestos claimants'
committee was recently formed to participate in final
negotiation, review, and approval of the plan documents. We
believe it is very positive to have addressed all these
complexities appropriately before soliciting approval of the
plan, and that having done so will result in the broadest
possible support for the plan and a reduced potential for delays
once our proceedings commence."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Faces 66,152 Pending Asbestos Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Crane Co. reports that there are 66,152 pending asbestos-related
claims against the company as of Sept. 30, according to its
latest regulatory filing.

The Company is a defendant, among a number of defendants,
typically over 50 and frequently in the hundreds, in cases filed
in various state and federal courts alleging injury or death as
a result of exposure to asbestos.

Of the 66,152 pending claims as of Sept. 30, around 22,000 were
filed in New York by one firm and about 30,000 were filed by
several firms in Mississippi.

These filings typically do not identify any of the Company's
products as a source of asbestos exposure. Based on the
Company's past experience, it is expected that a substantial
majority of such New York claims will be dismissed against the
Company for lack of product identification.

The gross settlement and defense costs (before insurance
recoveries and tax effects) for the Company in the nine months
ended September 30, 2003 totaled $7,800,000 and $7,100,000,
respectively.

The Company's total pre-tax cash payments for settlement and
defense costs net of the Company's cost sharing arrangements
with insurers amounted to $3.5 million for the nine months ended
September 30, 2003 and reflect the timing and terms of payments
in accordance with the aforementioned arrangements.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DuPont To Pay $23,000 for Asbestos Removal
---------------------------------------------------------------
E-I duPont de Nemours Company gets to pay $23,000 as penalty for
improperly removing asbestos from its Circleville plant during
renovation.

The state Environmental Protection Agency says it settled with
the chemical company for violations during the six-month project
starting in May 2002.

The EPA says DuPont failed to douse bags of asbestos it removed
from the facility, which is a violation of state regulations,
according to an Ohio News Network article.

Wetting the asbestos ensures that particles don't escape into
the air.

The agency says the company also failed to tell it how long the
renovation project would take.

The penalty money will be equally divided between an educational
fund and air pollution control programs.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal Mogul, Parties OK on Amended Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
Federal-Mogul Corporation reports that it has reached an
agreement with various parties on the amended plan of
reorganization that will be filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
in Delaware in its Chapter 11 reorganization case.

Unsecured Creditors Committee, the Asbestos Claimants Committee,
the Future Asbestos Claimants Representative, the Agent for the
Prepetition Bank Lenders and the Equity Committee (with Federal-
Mogul Corporation, collectively, the 'Co-Proponents') on an
amended plan that is consistent with the principal terms of the
plan filed with the Bankruptcy Court in March 2003.  

The next steps for the Co-Proponents will be completion of the
documentation of the amended plan and related disclosure
statement and the joint filing of those documents with the
Bankruptcy Court. The Bankruptcy Court has scheduled a hearing
to approve the disclosure statement prior to year-end.

Chip McClure, chief executive officer and president of Federal-
Mogul stated, "We will continue to work collaboratively with the
other Co-Proponents to emerge from Chapter 11 in mid-2004. Under
the amended plan, Federal-Mogul will emerge with an appropriate
capital structure and protected from asbestos liability by a
permanent channeling injunction, and will continue to be a
leading original equipment and aftermarket global automotive
supplier."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lawyers Say Hardie Liable for Claims
---------------------------------------------------------
A group of attorneys recently joins critics of James Hardie
Industries in saying the company should be held liable for
asbestos-related death and disease.

The building materials company last week denied it was
responsible for topping up a dwindling fund it established to
cover asbestos-related compensation claims, reports Dial
Infolink Manufacturing.

Australian Plaintiff Lawyers' Association (APLA) President John
Gordon, many of whose members represent victims of asbestos
disease, described James Hardie's behavior as "morally
disgraceful", according to the article.

"If James Hardie is able to avoid its responsibilities to the
thousands of Australians it injured by ignoring clear warnings
of the lethal nature of the asbestos products it manufactured,
it will go down in history as Australia's worst example of
morally disgraceful corporate governance," Gordon told Dial
Infolink Manufacturing.

"Hardies became Australia's biggest building products company by
ignoring information about asbestos dangers and failing to warn
its product users.

"Now it pockets its millions and runs off to the Netherlands in
what it thinks is a clever corporate ploy to avoid paying for
the harm, pain and misery it has caused."

The Medical Research and Compensation Foundation, set up as an
independent entity by James Hardie in 2001 to handle any claims
arising from its asbestos products, has warned it could run out
of money within five years.

The Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia and unions called
for all the company's asbestos profits to be immediately placed
in the fund.

However James Hardie Chief Executive Peter Macdonald said the
company had discharged its liability by setting up the
foundation.

APLA on Friday called for a review of the circumstances in which
companies could use such protection to avoid providing for its
future liabilities.

"The corporations law should be overhauled so that in
circumstances like this, liability follows the controlling
entity," Gordon told Dial Infolink Manufacturing.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NL Continues to Face Asbestos-Related Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
NL Industries reports that in June 2003, it was served with a
complaint in a case brought on behalf of around 3,593
plaintiffs, alleging injury as a result of exposure to asbestos.

According to the company's latest regulatory filing, the case,
Rhines, et al. v. A.O. Smith, et al. (Civil Action No. 2002-
191C), was filed in the Circuit Court of Covington County,
Mississippi, against around 265 defendants.

The Company has been named, as a defendant in various lawsuits
in a variety of jurisdictions, alleging personal injuries as a
result of occupational exposure to asbestos, silica and/or mixed
dust in connection with formerly owned operations.  

Around 380 of the cases with about 30,825 plaintiffs and their
spouses remain pending, including the Rhines case. The Company
has not accrued any amounts for this litigation, according to
the filing.

NL gets notices on asbestos or silica claims from time to time
purporting to be brought against former subsidiaries of the
Company, including notices provided to insurers with which the
Company has inked settlements with extinguishing certain
insurance policies.  These insurers may seek indemnification
from the Company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Noland Continues to Battle Asbestos Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Noland Company reports that it continues to face personal injury
claims based on alleged past exposure to asbestos-containing
products or materials produced by others and allegedly
distributed by the Company years ago.  

Since the early 1990s, the Company has been sued many times,
along with a large number of other companies, by one law firm in
cases that allege asbestos-related injuries to persons in the
maritime industry.  In none of these suits has a link to the
Company been substantiated, and most of them already have been
dismissed.

The Company also has been named as one of the defendants in
various other asbestos-related suits within its operating
footprint in which a connection to the Company was alleged.  
Some of these suits have been dismissed with prejudice and
several have been settled through the Company's insurance
carrier and some are still pending and are being defended.  
Management does not consider the foregoing suits, individually
or in the aggregate, to be material to the Company.

The Company has also been named as one of the defendants in
around 1,900 asbestos-related suits filed by one law firm in the
Circuit Court for Newport News, Virginia or in the Circuit Court
for Portsmouth, Virginia.  As of presstime, the company
maintains that it is still not possible to fully evaluate the
merits of these new suits.  

Noland is not aware of any link to any of the plaintiffs; nor
does it have any information as to the extent of any injury that
may have been suffered by any of them.  All of these cases will
be defended vigorously.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PPG Battles 116,000 Asbestos Claims
--------------------------------------------------------
PPG Industries Inc. reports that it has asbestos-related
lawsuits involving 116,000 claims as of Sept. 30, according to
its regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

Most of its potential exposure relates to allegations by
plaintiffs that it should be liable for injuries involving
asbestos-containing thermal insulation products manufactured and
distributed by Pittsburgh Corning Corp, according to the filing.

PPG and Corning Inc. are each 50% shareholders of Pittsburgh
Corning. PPG has denied responsibility for, and has defended,
all claims for any injuries caused by Pittsburgh Corning
products.

For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, PPG recorded a pretax
charge of $8,000,000 related to changes in the current value of
its asbestos settlement obligation. The charge includes an
increase in the net present value of the payments to be made to
the trust.

The company said it doesn't expect the outcome of the asbestos-
related lawsuits to have a material effect on its consolidated
financial position or liquidity.

PPG makes chemicals, coatings, resins, glass and fiberglass
products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Union Carbide Fails to Stop Asbestos Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Union Carbide, a unit of Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) recently failed
to sway the U.S. Supreme Court into intervening in asbestos
litigation proceedings the company faces in the West Virginia
court system.

Union Carbide is defending itself from asbestos claims in a two
part trial series. The first phase of the trial concluded in
November 2002, when a jury determined Union Carbide was liable
for asbestos exposure at several plants and for products it
sold.

The second phase of the trial will consider the claims of
several groups of plaintiffs who have brought asbestos claims
and determine whether compensatory and punitive damages should
be awarded.

Union Carbide moved to stop the second phase proceedings, but
the West Virginia Supreme Court denied the companies appeal
earlier this year. In 2002, Union Carbide and a number of other
large companies appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the
trial before it started. That petition was also rejected. Later,
all of the companies but Union Carbide settled out of court.

Dow Chemical, of Midland, Mich., has taken an $828,000,000
charge related to its asbestos liabilities, which the company
has said could eclipse $2,100,000,000.

The case is Union Carbide v. Recht, et. al., 03-319.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Victim Dies in SA
-----------------------------------------------
Isaac Manchonyane, 39, an asbestos claimant succumbed to
mesothelioma recently, according to Richard Spoor, an
occupational health specialist attorney.

Spoor has been representing Manchonyane in a ZAR1,200,000 claim
for damages against Duiker Mining, a subsidiary of Swiss mining
resources company, Xstrata.

According to Cape Times, Africa, on Oct. 30, with bottled oxygen
at his side to assist his breathing, he gave evidence to form
the basis of his claim against Duiker Mining before a senior
magistrate at Mothibastad, near Kuruman.

Manchonyane was 18 years old when he worked for Wandrag Asbestos
as a mineworker for six months during 1982 and 1983.

Wandrag Asbestos owned a blue asbestos mine, known as the
Wandrag Asbestos Mine, near Kuruman in the Northern Cape.

Manchonyane lived in the mine hostel. At the hostel and during
his employment on the mine he was exposed to and breathed in
harmful quantities of blue asbestos fiber.  

After leaving the asbestos mine, he worked as a miner at Impala
Platinum's Wildebeest North Mine for 15 years.

A routine lung x-ray in May 1998 showed abnormalities. A
pathologist found the presence of malignant mesothelioma.

The following month Manchonyane was dismissed on grounds of
medical incapacity and sent home to die.
Last year he had a course of chemotherapy, Cape Times reported.

During his last days he was continuously breathless and had
occasional bouts of coughing. Standing or walking 10 meters left
him gasping for breath.

Pain and discomfort prevented him from traveling to and from
Tshepong Hospital in a hospital taxi, an eight-hour round trip,
to obtain morphine syrup.

His doctor had told him to make his peace with God.

Manchonyane's damages suit will continue. The ZAR1,200,000 claim
is for pain and suffering, loss of amenities of life, past and
future loss of earnings, and medical costs.

In March this year, Gencor, in a bid to avert multimillion-rand
claims for damages caused by asbestos-related diseases, paid
ZAR460,500,000 to the Asbestos Relief Trust as an out-of-court
settlement. The company denied any liability, Cape Times
reported.

British multinational Cape plc also made an out-of-court payment
to the trust.


ASBESTOS ALERT: eircom Faces Asbestos-Related Suits
---------------------------------------------------
eircom ltd reports that it settled four out of 113 asbestos-
related claims by Mar. 31, according to its latest regulatory
filing.

eircom further reports that there are around 120 premises
currently or previously occupied by the company that contain or
have contained asbestos. In 1987, the company began a program of
removing asbestos from some of its premises and introduced
safety measures and a warning procedure.

As of June 3, around 38 premises contained asbestos, and these
are identified, controlled and monitored.

Proceedings have been commenced by around 113 employees arising
out of alleged injuries caused by the presence of friable
asbestos.

Of these claims, around 98 are related to incidents at one
particular premises which allegedly occurred in 1985. The
employees seek damages both for alleged clinical disease and/or
for related mental trauma.


COMPANY PROFILE
eircom ltd.
114 St. Stephen's Green West
Dublin, 2, Ireland
Phone: +353-1-67-14444
Fax: +353-1-67-16916
http://www.eircom.ie

Employees     : 13,121
Revenues      : $3,003.6
Net Income    : $70.0
(As of March 31, 2003)

Description: eircom ltd. is Ireland's #1 telecommunications
company. Formerly known as Telecom Eireann, the erstwhile
monopoly maintains more than 1.6 million fixed phone lines on
the Emerald Isle. Eircom's traditional fixed-line business
provides domestic and international voice and data
communications for both the retail and wholesale carrier's
markets. These services include operator assistance, public
payphones, and home security and monitoring. Its other lucky
charms include carrier services, data communications and
Internet access, and home security and monitoring.


                 New Securities Fraud Cases


ALGER MANAGEMENT: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all purchasers of
shares of the Alger Funds family of funds during the period
between November 1, 1998 and September 3, 2003, inclusive,
seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, the Securities Act of 1933 and the Investment Advisers Act
of 1940.

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

     (1) Alger SmallCap Portfolio (Sym: ALSAX, ALSCX, AGSCX)

     (2) Alger SmallCap and MidCap Portfolio (Sym: ALMAX, ALMBX,
         ALMCX)

    (3) Alger MidCap Growth Portfolio (Sym: AMGAX, AMCGX, AMGCX)

    (4) Alger LargeCap Growth Portfolio (Sym: ALGAX, AFGPX,
        ALGCX)

    (5) Alger Capital Appreciation Portfolio (Sym: ACAAX, ACAPX,
        ALCCX)

    (6) Alger Health Sciences Portfolio (Sym: AHSAX, AHSBX,
        AHSCX)

    (7) Alger Balanced Portfolio (Sym: ALBAX, ALGBX, ALBCX)

    (8) Alger Small Cap Institutional Fund (Sym: ALSRX, ASIRX)

    (9) Alger MidCap Institutional Fund (Sym: ALMRX, ALGRX)

   (10) Alger LargeCap Growth Institutional Fund (Sym: ALGRX,
        ALGIX)

   (11) Alger Capital Appreciation Institutional Fund (Sym:
        ALARX, ACARX)

   (12) Alger Balanced Institutional Fund (Sym: ABLRX, ABIRX)

    (13) Alger Socially Responsible Growth Institutional Fund
         (Sym: ASRGX, ASRRX)

    (14) Spectra Fund (Sym: SPEAX, SPECX)

The lawsuit alleges that defendants violated Sections 11 and 15
of the Securities Act of 1933; Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder; and Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act of
1940.

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

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


ALLIANCE CAPITAL: Rabin Murray Commences Stock Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Rabin, Murray & Frank, LLP initiated a securities class action
in United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased or
otherwise acquired AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series
Biotechnology Portfolio (Nasdaq: AIBBX) (Nasdaq: ASBCX),
AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Technology Portfolio
(Nasdaq: AITBX) (Nasdaq: AITCX), AllianceBernstein Select
Investor Series Premier Portfolio (Nasdaq: ASPBX) (Nasdaq:
ASPCX), AllianceBernstein High Yield Fund (Nasdaq: AHHBX)
(Nasdaq: AHHCX) and other AllianceBernstein family of funds
owned and operated by Alliance Capital Management Holding L.P.  
and its subsidiaries and other affiliates, between October 2,
1998 and September 29, 2003.

The complaint names Alliance Capital Management Holding L.P.,  
Alliance Capital Management Corporation, Alliance Capital
Management, L.P., AXA Financial, Inc., each of the registrants
for the Funds: Gerald Malone, Charles Schaffran, Edward J.
Stern, Canary Capital Partners, LLC, Canary Investment
Management, LLC, Canary Capital Partners, Ltd, each of the
Funds, and John Does 1-100.

The Funds, and the symbols for the respective Funds named below,
are as follows:


     (1) AllianceBernstein Growth & Income Fund (Sym: CABDX,
         CBBDX, CBBCX)

     (2) AllianceBernstein Health Care Fund (Sym: AHLAX, AHLBX,
         AHLCX)

     (3) AllianceBernstein Disciplined Value Fund (Sym: ADGAX,
         ADGBX, ADGCX)

     (4) AllianceBernstein Mid-Cap Growth (Sym: CHCAX, CHCBX,
         CHCCX)

     (5) AllianceBernstein Real Estate Investment Fund (Sym:
         AREAX, AREBX, ARECX)

     (6) AllianceBernstein Growth Fund  (Sym: AGRFX, AGBBX,
         AGRCX)

     (7) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Biotechnology
         Portfolio (Sym: ASBAX, AIBBX, ASBCX)

     (8) AllianceBernstein Small CapValue Fund (Sym: ABASX,
         ABBSX, ABCSX)

     (9) AllianceBernstein Premier Growth Fund (Sym: APGAX,
         APGBX APGCX)

    (10) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Technology
         Portfolio (Sym AITAX, AITBX, AITCX)

    (11) AllianceBernstein Value Fund (Sym: ABVAX, ABVBX,
         ABVCX)

    (12) AllianceBernstein Quasar Fund (Sym: QUASX, QUABX,
         QUACX)

    (13) AllianceBernstein Technology Fund (Sym: ALTFX, ATEBX,
         ATECX)

    (14) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Premier
         Portfolio (Sym: ASPAX, ASPBX, ASPCX)

    (15) AllianceBernstein Utility Income Fund (Sym: AUIAX,
         AUIBX, AUICX)

    (16) AllianceBernstein Balanced Shares (Sym: CABNX, CABBX,
         CBACX)

    (17) AllianceBernstein Disciplined Value Fund (Sym: ADGAX,
         ADGBX, ADGCX)

    (18) AllianceBernstein Global Value Fund (Sym: ABAGX, ABBGX,
         ABCGX)

    (19) AllianceBernstein International Value Fund (Sym: ABIAX,
         ABIBX, ABICX)

    (20) AllianceBernstein Real Estate Investment Fund (Sym:
         AREAX, AREBX, ARECX)

    (21) AllianceBernstein Small Cap Value Fund  (Sym: ABASX,
         ABBSX, ABCSX)

    (22) AllianceBernstein Utility Income Fund (Sym: AUIAX,
         AUIBX, AUICX)

    (23) AllianceBernstein Value Fund (Sym: ABVAX, ABVBX, AVBCX)

    (24) AllianceBernstein Blended Style Series - U.S. Large Cap
         Portfolio (Sym: ABBAX, ABBAX, ABBCX)

    (25) AllianceBernstein All-Asia Investment Fund (Sym: AALAX,
         AAABX, AAACX)

    (26) AllianceBernstein Global Value Fund (Sym: ABAGX, ABBGX,
         ABCGX)

    (27) AllianceBernstein Greater China '97 Fund (Sym: GCHAX,
         GCHBX, GCHCX)

    (28) AllianceBernstein International Premier Growth Fund
        (Sym: AIPAX, AIPBX, AIPCX)

    (29) AllianceBernstein International Value Fund (Sym: ABIAX,
         ABIBX, ABICX)

    (30) AllianceBernstein Global Small Cap Fund (Sym: GSCAX,
         AGCBX, GSCCX)

    (31) AllianceBernstein New Europe Fund (Sym: ANEAX, ANEBX,
         ANECX)

    (32) AllianceBernstein Worldwide Privatization Fund (Sym:
         AWPAX, AWPBX, AWPCX)

    (33) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Biotechnology
         Portfolio (Sym: ASBAX, AIBBX, ASBCX)

    (34) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Premier
         Portfolio (Sym: ASPAX, ASPBX, ASPCX)

    (35) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Technology
         Portfolio (Sym: AITAX, AITBX, AITCX)

    (36) AllianceBernstein Americas Government Income Trust
         (Sym: ANAGX, ANABX, ANACX)

    (37) AllianceBernstein Bond Fund Corporate Bond Portfolio
         (Sym: CBFAX, CBFBX, CBFCX)

    (38) AllianceBernstein Bond Fund Quality Bond Portfolio
         (Sym: ABQUX, ABQBX, ABQCX)

    (39) AllianceBernstein Bond Fund U.S. Government Portfolio
         (Sym: ABUSX, ABUBX ABUCX)

    (40) AllianceBernstein Emerging Market Debt Fund (Sym:
         AGDAX, AGDBX, AGDCX)

    (41) AllianceBernstein Global Strategic Income Trust
         (Sym: AGSAX, AGSBX, AGCCX)

    (42) AllianceBernstein High Yield Fund (Sym: AHYAX, AHHBX,
         AHHCX)

    (43) AllianceBernstein Multi-Market Strategy Trust (Sym:
         AMMSX, AMMBX, AMMCX)

    (44) AllianceBernstein Short Duration (Sym: ADPAX, ADPBX,
         ADPCX)

    (45) AllianceBernstein Intermediate California Muni
         Portfolio (Sym: AICBX, ACLBX, ACMCX)

    (46) AllianceBernstein Intermediate Diversified Muni
         Portfolio (Sym: AIDAX, AIDBX, AIMCX)

    (47) AllianceBernstein Intermediate New York Muni Portfolio:
         (Sym: ANIAX, ANYBX, ANMCX)

    (48) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund National Portfolio
         (Sym: ALTHX, ALTBX, ALNCX)

    (49) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Arizona Portfolio
         (Sym: AAZAX, AAZBX, AAZCX)

    (50) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund California Portfolio
         (Sym: ALCAX, ALCBX, ACACX)

    (51) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Insured California
         Portfolio (Sym: BUICX, BUIBX, BUCCX)

    (52) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Insured National
         Portfolio (Sym: CABTX, CBBBX, CACCX)

    (53) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Florida Portfolio
         (Sym: AFLAX, AFLBX, AFLCX)

    (54) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Massachusetts
         Portfolio (Sym: AMAAX, AMABX)

    (55) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Michigan Portfolio
         (Sym: AMIAX, AMIBX, AMICX)

    (56) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Minnesota Portfolio
         (Sym: AMNAX, AMNBX, AMNCX)

    (57) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund New Jersey Portfolio
         (Sym: ANJAX, ANJBX, ANJCX)

    (58) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund New York Portfolio
         (Sym: ALNYX, ALNBX, ANYCX)

    (59) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Ohio Portfolio
        (Sym: AOHAX, AOHBX, AOHCX)

    (60) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Pennsylvania
         Portfolio (Sym: APAAX, APABX, APACX)

    (61) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Virginia Portfolio
         (Sym: AVAAX, AVABX, AVACX)

Investors in the State of Rhode Island 529 Plan, known as the
CollegeBoundfund(SM), may have invested in one or more of the
funds listed below:

     (i) AllianceBernstein Growth & Income Fund

    (ii) AllianceBernstein Mid-Cap Growth Fund

   (iii) AllianceBernstein Premier Growth Fund

    (iv) AllianceBernstein Quasar Fund

     (v) AllianceBernstein Technology Fund

    (vi) AllianceBernstein Quality Bond Portfolio

   (vii) AllianceBernstein International Value Fund

  (viii) AllianceBernstein Small Cap Value Fund

    (ix) AllianceBernstein Value Fund

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 11 and
15 of the Securities Act of 1933; Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder; and Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act of
1940.

The Complaint charges that, throughout the Class Period,
certain of the defendants failed to disclose that they
improperly allowed certain hedge funds, including Canary and
certain Alliance hedge funds, to engage in "late trading" and
"timing" of the Funds' securities.

In return for receiving extra fees from Canary and other favored
investors, Alliance Capital Management Holding and its
subsidiaries allowed and facilitated Canary's timing and late
trading activities, to the detriment of class members, who paid,
dollar for dollar, for Canary's improper profits. These
practices were undisclosed in the prospectuses of the Funds,
which falsely represented that the Funds actively police against
timing and represented that post-4 P.M. EST trades will be
priced based on the next day's net asset value and that
premature redemptions will be assessed a charge.

For more information, contact Eric J. Belfi, or Gregory Linkh,
by Phone: (800) 497-8076 or (212) 682-1818, by Fax:
(212) 682-1892, or by E-mail: email@rabinlaw.com.


ALLIANCE CAPITAL: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of all purchasers of shares of the
AllianceBernstein Funds managed by Alliance Capital Management
Holdings, LP during the period between October 2, 1998 and
September 29, 2003, inclusive, seeking to pursue remedies under
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Securities Act of 1933
and the Investment Company Act of 1940.

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

     (1) AllianceBernstein Growth & Income Fund (Sym: CABDX,
         CBBDX, CBBCX)

     (2) AllianceBernstein Health Care Fund (Sym: AHLAX, AHLBX,
         AHLCX)

     (3) AllianceBernstein Disciplined Value Fund (Sym: ADGAX,
         ADGBX, ADGCX)

     (4) AllianceBernstein Mid-Cap Growth (Sym: CHCAX, CHCBX,
         CHCCX)

     (5) AllianceBernstein Real Estate Investment Fund (Sym:
         AREAX, AREBX, ARECX)

     (6) AllianceBernstein Growth Fund  (Sym: AGRFX, AGBBX,
         AGRCX)

     (7) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Biotechnology
         Portfolio (Sym: ASBAX, AIBBX, ASBCX)

     (8) AllianceBernstein Small CapValue Fund (Sym: ABASX,
         ABBSX, ABCSX)

     (9) AllianceBernstein Premier Growth Fund (Sym: APGAX,
         APGBX APGCX)

    (10) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Technology
         Portfolio (Sym AITAX, AITBX, AITCX)

    (11) AllianceBernstein Value Fund (Sym: ABVAX, ABVBX,
         ABVCX)

    (12) AllianceBernstein Quasar Fund (Sym: QUASX, QUABX,
         QUACX)

    (13) AllianceBernstein Technology Fund (Sym: ALTFX, ATEBX,
         ATECX)

    (14) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Premier
         Portfolio (Sym: ASPAX, ASPBX, ASPCX)

    (15) AllianceBernstein Utility Income Fund (Sym: AUIAX,
         AUIBX, AUICX)

    (16) AllianceBernstein Balanced Shares (Sym: CABNX, CABBX,
         CBACX)

    (17) AllianceBernstein Disciplined Value Fund (Sym: ADGAX,
         ADGBX, ADGCX)

    (18) AllianceBernstein Global Value Fund (Sym: ABAGX, ABBGX,
         ABCGX)

    (19) AllianceBernstein International Value Fund (Sym: ABIAX,
         ABIBX, ABICX)

    (20) AllianceBernstein Real Estate Investment Fund (Sym:
         AREAX, AREBX, ARECX)

    (21) AllianceBernstein Small Cap Value Fund  (Sym: ABASX,
         ABBSX, ABCSX)

    (22) AllianceBernstein Utility Income Fund (Sym: AUIAX,
         AUIBX, AUICX)

    (23) AllianceBernstein Value Fund (Sym: ABVAX, ABVBX, AVBCX)

    (24) AllianceBernstein Blended Style Series - U.S. Large Cap
         Portfolio (Sym: ABBAX, ABBAX, ABBCX)

    (25) AllianceBernstein All-Asia Investment Fund (Sym: AALAX,
         AAABX, AAACX)

    (26) AllianceBernstein Global Value Fund (Sym: ABAGX, ABBGX,
         ABCGX)

    (27) AllianceBernstein Greater China '97 Fund (Sym: GCHAX,
         GCHBX, GCHCX)

    (28) AllianceBernstein International Premier Growth Fund
        (Sym: AIPAX, AIPBX, AIPCX)

    (29) AllianceBernstein International Value Fund (Sym: ABIAX,
         ABIBX, ABICX)

    (30) AllianceBernstein Global Small Cap Fund (Sym: GSCAX,
         AGCBX, GSCCX)

    (31) AllianceBernstein New Europe Fund (Sym: ANEAX, ANEBX,
         ANECX)

    (32) AllianceBernstein Worldwide Privatization Fund (Sym:
         AWPAX, AWPBX, AWPCX)

    (33) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Biotechnology
         Portfolio (Sym: ASBAX, AIBBX, ASBCX)

    (34) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Premier
         Portfolio (Sym: ASPAX, ASPBX, ASPCX)

    (35) AllianceBernstein Select Investor Series Technology
         Portfolio (Sym: AITAX, AITBX, AITCX)

    (36) AllianceBernstein Americas Government Income Trust
         (Sym: ANAGX, ANABX, ANACX)

    (37) AllianceBernstein Bond Fund Corporate Bond Portfolio
         (Sym: CBFAX, CBFBX, CBFCX)

    (38) AllianceBernstein Bond Fund Quality Bond Portfolio
         (Sym: ABQUX, ABQBX, ABQCX)

    (39) AllianceBernstein Bond Fund U.S. Government Portfolio
         (Sym: ABUSX, ABUBX ABUCX)

    (40) AllianceBernstein Emerging Market Debt Fund (Sym:
         AGDAX, AGDBX, AGDCX)

    (41) AllianceBernstein Global Strategic Income Trust
         (Sym: AGSAX, AGSBX, AGCCX)

    (42) AllianceBernstein High Yield Fund (Sym: AHYAX, AHHBX,
         AHHCX)

    (43) AllianceBernstein Multi-Market Strategy Trust (Sym:
         AMMSX, AMMBX, AMMCX)

    (44) AllianceBernstein Short Duration (Sym: ADPAX, ADPBX,
         ADPCX)

    (45) AllianceBernstein Intermediate California Muni
         Portfolio (Sym: AICBX, ACLBX, ACMCX)

    (46) AllianceBernstein Intermediate Diversified Muni
         Portfolio (Sym: AIDAX, AIDBX, AIMCX)

    (47) AllianceBernstein Intermediate New York Muni Portfolio:
         (Sym: ANIAX, ANYBX, ANMCX)

    (48) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund National Portfolio
         (Sym: ALTHX, ALTBX, ALNCX)

    (49) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Arizona Portfolio
         (Sym: AAZAX, AAZBX, AAZCX)

    (50) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund California Portfolio
         (Sym: ALCAX, ALCBX, ACACX)

    (51) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Insured California
         Portfolio (Sym: BUICX, BUIBX, BUCCX)

    (52) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Insured National
         Portfolio (Sym: CABTX, CBBBX, CACCX)

    (53) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Florida Portfolio
         (Sym: AFLAX, AFLBX, AFLCX)

    (54) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Massachusetts
         Portfolio (Sym: AMAAX, AMABX)

    (55) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Michigan Portfolio
         (Sym: AMIAX, AMIBX, AMICX)

    (56) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Minnesota Portfolio
         (Sym: AMNAX, AMNBX, AMNCX)

    (57) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund New Jersey Portfolio
         (Sym: ANJAX, ANJBX, ANJCX)

    (58) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund New York Portfolio
         (Sym: ALNYX, ALNBX, ANYCX)

    (59) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Ohio Portfolio
        (Sym: AOHAX, AOHBX, AOHCX)

    (60) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Pennsylvania
         Portfolio (Sym: APAAX, APABX, APACX)

    (61) AllianceBernstein Muni Income Fund Virginia Portfolio
         (Sym: AVAAX, AVABX, AVACX)

Investors in the State of Rhode Island 529 Plan, known as the
CollegeBoundfund(SM), may have invested in one or more of the
funds listed below:

     (i) AllianceBernstein Growth & Income Fund

    (ii) AllianceBernstein Mid-Cap Growth Fund

   (iii) AllianceBernstein Premier Growth Fund

    (iv) AllianceBernstein Quasar Fund

     (v) AllianceBernstein Technology Fund

    (vi) AllianceBernstein Quality Bond Portfolio

   (vii) AllianceBernstein International Value Fund

  (viii) AllianceBernstein Small Cap Value Fund

    (ix) AllianceBernstein Value Fund

The lawsuit alleges that defendants violated Sections 11 and 15
of the Securities Act of 1933; Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder; and Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act of
1940.

The wrongful conduct alleged in, and which is the subject of the
lawsuit, relates to "late trading" of mutual fund shares by
certain customers of the fund.  Specifically, the conduct
complained of relates to allegations that certain of those who
invested in certain of the various defendants' mutual funds
improperly arranged to place orders after 4 p.m. Eastern Time on
a given day at that day's price (instead of the next day's
price, which the order would have received had it been processed
lawfully).  This allowed mutual fund investors who engaged in
the same wrongful course of conduct to capitalize on information
available only after 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time while others who
bought shares in the subject mutual funds could not so benefit.

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

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


DDI CORPORATION: Rabin Murray Lodges Securities Suit in C.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rabin, Murray & Frank LLP initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Central District of
California, on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased
or otherwise acquired DDi Corporation securities during the
period between December 19, 2000 and April 29, 2002, both dates
inclusive against:

     (1) James Joseph P. Gisch,

     (2) Bruce D. McMaster,

     (3) Charles Dimick,

     (4) Gregory Halvorson and,

     (5) John Peters  

The complaint alleges that defendants violated section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder by the Securities and Exchange Commission.  In
particular, the complaint alleges that defendants failed to
disclose and/or misrepresented that the Company's financial
results were overstated.  Specifically, the Company failed to
properly conduct its impairment test of the Company's assets,
including goodwill.

Moreover, the Company had overstated the value of its inventory.  
The Company's receivables and projections were grossly
overstated as the Company's clients were delaying payment and/or
defaulting on their debts to DDi as the technology market
continued to deteriorate.  The Company's results, which
defendants claimed "out performed (their) expectations," were
the result of improper accounting, and not as claimed.  

The complaint alleges that the true facts which were known by
each of the defendants, but concealed from the investing public
during the Class Period, specifically that:

     (i) the Company's clients were not, as defendants
         suggested, converting their prototypes into pre-
         production orders;

    (ii) the Company's Anaheim plant was in disarray, requiring
         massive restructuring of the facilities and causing the
         Company to incur massive costs;

   (iii) the Company's Tokyo offices were hemorrhaging cash and
         were draining the Company's resources;

    (iv) the Company's United Kingdom design centers were
         essentially creating redundant expenses and were
         inefficient, causing the Company's valuation of these
         centers to be overvalued;

     (v) the Company was in violation of its financial covenants
         and had delayed the breakdown of its assets for
         multiple quarters in order to avoid lenders' and
         shareholders' knowledge of the Company's violation;

    (vi) the Company's Moorpark, California operations and Texas
         operations were hemorrhaging millions of dollars
         quarterly and required that the defendants write down
         their value by the end of the first quarter 2001 by
         approximately $10 million; and

  (vii) the Company's post acquisition valuation of its Sanmina
        acquisition was grossly overvalued.

The complaint charges certain of DDi's officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. DDi
provides technologically advanced, time-critical electronics
engineering, development and manufacturing services to original
equipment manufacturers and other providers of electronics
manufacturing services.

As a result of the defendants' alleged false statements, DDi's
stock price traded at inflated levels during the Class Period,
increasing to as high as $35.50 on January 30, 2001, whereby the
Company's top officers and directors sold more than $20 million
worth of their own shares.

For more information, contact: Eric J. Belfi or Gregory Linkh by
Phone: (800) 497-8076 or (212) 682-1818, by Fax: (212) 682-1892,
or by E-mail: info@rabinlaw.com


FEDERATED INVESTORS: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in PA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Pennsylvania on behalf of all purchasers, redeemers
and holders of shares of the Federated Family of Funds which are
managed by Federated Investors, Inc. during the period between
November 1, 1998 and September 3, 2003, inclusive, seeking to
pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the
Securities Act of 1933 and the Investment Company Act of 1940.

The following funds are subject to the above class action
lawsuit:

     (1) Federated Adjustable Rate Securities Fund (Sym: FEUGX,
         FASSX)

     (2) Federated American Leaders Fund, Inc. (Sym: FALDX,
         FALBX, FALCX, FALFX)

     (3) Federated Bond Fund (Sym: FDBAX, FDBBX, FDBCX, ISHIX)

     (4) Federated California Municipal Income Fund (Sym: FCMIX,
         CMUIX)

     (5) Federated Capital Appreciation Fund (Sym: FEDEX, CPABX,
         CPACX, CPAKX)

     (6) Federated Capital Income Fund (Sym: CAPAX, CAPBX,
         CAPCX, CAPFX)

     (7) Federated Capital Preservation Fund

     (8) Federated Communications Technology Fund (Sym: FCTAX,
         FCTEX, FCTYX)

     (9) Federated Conservative Allocation Fund (Sym: FMCGX,
         FCGSX)

    (10) Federated Equity Income Fund, Inc. (Sym: LEIFX, LEIBX,
         LEICX, LFEIX)

    (11) Federated European Equity Fund (Sym: EURAX, EURBA,
         EURCX)

    (12) Federated Fund for U.S. Government Securities (Sym:
         FUSGX, FUSBX, FUSCX)

    (13) Federated GNMA Trust (Sym: FGMAX, FGSSX)

    (14) Federated Global Equity Fund (Sym: FGEIX, FGEFX, FGEDX)

    (15) Federated Global Value Fund (Sym: WUFAX, WUFBX, WUFCX)

    (16) Federated Government Income Securities, Inc. (Sym:
         FGOAX, FGOBX, FGOCX, FGOIX)

    (17) Federated Government Ultrashort Duration Fund (Sym:
         FGUAX, FGUSX, FEUSX)

    (18) Federated Growth Allocation Fund (Sym: FMGPX, FMGSX)

    (19) Federated Growth Strategies Fund (Sym: FGSAX, FGSBX,
         FGSCX)

    (20) Federated High Income Bond Fund, Inc. (Sym: FHIIX,
         FHBBX, FHICX)

    (21) Federated High Yield Trust, Federated Income Trust
         (Sym: FHYTX)

    (22) Federated Income Trust (Sym: FICMX, FITSX)

    (23) Federated Institutional High Yield Bond Fund (Sym:
         FIHBX)

    (24) Federated Intermediate Income Fund (Sym: FIIFX, INISX)

    (25) Federated Intermediate Municipal Trust (Sym: FIMTX,
         FIMYX)

    (26) Federated International Bond Fund (Sym: FTIIX, FTBBX,
         FTIBX)

    (27) Federated International Capital Appreciation Fund
         (Sym: IGFAX, IGFBX, IGFCX)

    (28) Federated International Equity Fund (Sym: FTITX, FIEBX,
         FIECX)

    (29) Federated International High Income Fund (Sym: IHIAX,
         IHIBX, IHICX)

    (30) Federated International Small Company Fund (Sym: ISCAX,
         ISCBX, ISCCX)

    (31) Federated International Value Fund (Sym: FGFAX, FGFBX,
         FGFCX)

    (32) Federated Kaufmann Fund (Sym: KAUAX, KAUBX, KAUCX,
         KAUFX)

    (33) Federated Kaufmann Small Cap Fund (Sym: FKASX, FKBSX,
         FKCSX)

    (34) Federated Large Cap Growth Fund (Sym: FLGAX, FLGBX,
         FLGCX)

    (35) Federated Limited Duration Fund (Sym: FTRLX, FTRDX)

    (36) Federated Limited Duration Government Fund, Inc. (Sym:
         FLDIX, FLDSX)

    (37) Federated Limited Term Fund (Sym: LTDFX, LTFSX)

    (38) Federated Limited Term Municipal Fund (Sym: LMINX,
         LMFSX)

    (39) Federated Managed Income Portfolio (Sym: FMIPX, FIPSX)

    (40) Federated Market Opportunity Fund (Sym: FMAAX, FMBBX,
         FMRCX)

    (41) Federated Max-Cap Index Fund (Sym: MXCCX, FISPX, FMXKX,
         FMXSX)

    (42) Federated Michigan Intermediate Municipal Trust (Sym:
         MMIFX)

    (43) Federated Mid-Cap Index Fund (Sym: FMDCX)

    (44) Federated Mini-Cap Index Fund (Sym: MNCCX, FMCPX)

    (45) Federated Moderate Allocation Fund (Sym: FMMGX, FMMSX)

    (46) Federated Mortgage Fund (Sym: FGFIX, FGFSX)

    (47) Federated Muni and Stock Advantage Fund (Sym: FMUAX,
         FMNBX, FMUCX)

    (48) Federated Municipal Opportunities Fund, Inc. (Sym:
         FMOAX, FMOBX, FMNCX, FHTFX)

    (49) Federated Municipal Securities Fund, Inc. (Sym: LMSFX,
         LMSBX, LMSCX)

    (50) Federated Municipal Ultrashort Fund (Sym: FMUUX, FMUSX)

    (51) Federated New York Municipal Income Fund (Sym: NYIFX,
         NYIBX)

    (52) Federated North Carolina Municipal Income Fund (Sym:
         NCIFX)

    (53) Federated Ohio Municipal Income Fund (Sym: OMIFX)

    (54) Federated Pennsylvania Municipal Income Fund (Sym:
         PAMFX, FPABX)

    (55) Federated Short-Term Income Fund (Sym: FSTIX, FSISX)

    (53) Federated Short-Term Municipal Trust (Sym: FSHIX,
         FSHSX)

    (54) Federated Stock Trust (Sym: FSTKX)

    (55) Federated Stock and Bond Fund, Inc. (Sym: FSTBX, FSBBX,
         FSBCX, FSBKX)

    (56) Federated Strategic Income Fund (Sym: STIAX, SINBX,
         SINCX, STFSX)

    (57) Federated Total Return Bond Fund (Sym: TLRAX, TLRBX,
         TLRCX, FTRBX, FTRKX, FTRFX)

    (58) Federated Total Return Government Bond Fund (Sym:
         FTRGX, FTGSX)

    (59) Federated U.S. Government Bond Fund (Sym: FEDBX)

    (60) Federated U.S. Government Securities Fund: 1-3 Years
         (Sym: FSGVX, FSGIX, FSGTX)

    (61) Federated U.S. Government Securities Fund: 2-5 Years
         (Sym: FIGTX, FIGKX, FIGIX)

    (62) Federated Ultrashort Bond Fund (Sym: FULAX, FULIX,
         FULBX)

The wrongful conduct alleged in, and which is the subject of one
or more of these complaints, relates to "late trading" of mutual
fund shares by certain customers of the fund (including one or
more hedge funds).

Specifically, the conduct complained of relates to allegations
that certain of those who invested in certain of the various
defendants' mutual funds improperly arranged to place orders
after 4 p.m. Eastern Time on a given day at that day's price
(instead of the next day's price, which the order would have
received had it been processed lawfully). This allowed mutual
fund investors who engaged in the same wrongful course of
conduct to capitalize on information available only after 4:00
p.m. Eastern Time while others who bought shares in the subject
mutual funds could not so benefit.

The wrongful conduct alleged in and which is the subject of one
or more of these complaints relates to "timing." As used,
"timing" is an investment technique involving short-term, "in
and out" trading of mutual fund shares designed to take
advantage of inefficiencies in the way mutual fund companies
price their shares, particularly shares of international funds.
It is alleged, further, that while the mutual fund companies
purported to guard against timing, they allowed select investors
to time their trades to the detriment of other mutual fund
investors and for the benefit of the mutual fund companies.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven by Mail: The
World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/332-0030, or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


FEDERATED INVESTORS: Alfred G. Yates Files Securities Suit in PA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Firm of Alfred G. Yates Jr, P.C. initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Pennsylvania on behalf of purchasers of the
securities of the Federated Investors, Inc, family of funds
owned and operated by Federated Investors, Inc., and its
subsidiaries and affiliates, between November 1, 1998 and
October 21, 2003, inclusive, seeking to pursue remedies under
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Securities Act of 1933
and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 11 and
15 of the Securities Act of 1933; Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder; and Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act of
1940.

The Complaint charges that, throughout the Class Period,
defendants failed to disclose that they improperly allowed the
John Doe defendants to engage in "late trading" and "timing" of
the Funds' securities. Late trades are trades received after
4:00 p.m. EST that are filled based on that day's net asset
value, as opposed to being filled based on the next day's net
asset value, which is the proper procedure under SEC
regulations. Late trading allows favored investors to make use
of market-moving information that only becomes available after
4:00 p.m. and has been compared to betting on a horse race that
already has been run.

In return for receiving extra fees from the John Doe defendants,
Federated Investors, Inc. and its subsidiaries allowed and
facilitated the John Doe defendants' timing and late trading
activities, to the detriment of class members, who paid, dollar
for dollar, for the John Doe defendants' improper profits. These
practices were undisclosed in the prospectuses of the Funds,
which falsely represented that the Funds actively police against
timing and represented that post-4:00 p.m. EST trades will be
priced based on the next day's net asset value and that
premature redemptions will be assessed a charge.


For more information, contact: The Law Firm of Alfred G. Yates,
Jr., by Phone: 1-800-391-5164 or 412-391-5164, or by E-mail:  
yateslaw@aol.com.


GOODYEAR TIRE: Schatz & Nobel Commences Securities Suit in OH
-------------------------------------------------------------
Schatz & Nobel, PC initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
on behalf of all persons who purchased the publicly traded
securities of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE:GT) from
October 23, 1998 through October 22, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that Goodyear and certain of its officers
and directors issued materially false and misleading statements
during the class period.  According to the Complaint, between
1998 and 2002, while the Company's securities were trading at
artificially inflated levels, Goodyear issued $1.5 billion worth
of public debt in offerings.

On October 22, 2003, Goodyear announced that it would restate
its financial results for the years 1998-2002 and for the first
two quarters of 2003 to eliminate revenue which had been
improperly recorded.  Goodyear said it had detected errors while
reviewing "various accounts, including ERP-impacted balance
sheet accounts."  ERP is the computerized accounting system
adopted by Goodyear in 1999.  On this news, shares of Goodyear
fell 9%.

For more information, contact Andrew M. Schatz, or Nancy A.
Kulesa, by Phone: (800) 797-5499, by E-mail: sn06106@aol.com, or
visit the firm's Website: www.snlaw.net.


MUTUAL FUNDS: Milberg Weiss Launches Lead Plaintiff Motions
-----------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP filed motions on behalf
of its clients for their appointment as lead plaintiff in class
action lawsuits pending against the following families of mutual
funds: Janus Funds; Nations Funds (Bank of America); One Group
Funds (Bank One); and Strong Funds.

The motions were filed pursuant to the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as appropriate, in the following
judicial districts: the Central District of California, the
District of Colorado; the Northern District of Illinois; the
Southern District of New York; the Eastern District of
Wisconsin; and the District of New Jersey.

The lawsuits allege that each of the fund families defendants
along with certain hedge funds and other favored investors,
violated Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933;
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder; Section 206 of the
Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and other federal statutes and
state common laws by failing to disclose that they improperly
allowed defendants to engage in "late trading" and/or "timing"
of the Funds' securities.

Other actions alleging wrongful and deceitful mutual fund
trading at the expense of ordinary investors are pending.  The
deadlines for the filing of motions for appointment as lead
plaintiff with respect these actions are as follows:

     (1) If you purchased Alliance Bernstein Funds between
         October 2, 1998 and September 29, 2003 you may, not
         later than December 1, 2003, request that the Court
         appoint you as lead plaintiff.

     (2) If you purchased Morgan Stanley Funds between October
         1, 1999 and December 31, 2002 you may, not later than
         December 19, 2003, request that the Court appoint you
         as lead plaintiff.

     (2) If you purchased Putnam Funds between November 1, 1998
         and September 3, 2003, you may, not later than December
         22, 2003, request that the Court appoint you as lead
         plaintiff.

     (3) If you purchased Federated Investor Funds between
         November 1, 1998 and October 21, 2003, you may, not
         later than December 23, 2003, request that the Court
         appoint you as lead plaintiff.

     (4) If you purchased Alger Mutual Funds between November 1,
         1998 and September 3, 2003 you may, not later than
         January 5, 2004, request that the Court appoint you as
         lead plaintiff.

For more information, contact: Steven G. Schulman, Esq.,
Peter E. Seidman, Esq., or Andrei V. Rado, Esq., of Milberg
Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, by Mail: One Pennsylvania
Plaza, 49th fl., New York, NY, 10119-0165, by Phone:
(800) 320-5081, by E-mail: endfraud@mwbhlny.com, or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.milberg.com.


PUTNAM FUNDS: Schiffrin & Barroway Launches NY Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of all purchasers, redeemers and holders of
shares of the Putnam Family of Funds from November 1, 1998
through September 3, 2003, inclusive.

The following funds are subject to the above class action
lawsuit:

     (1) Putnam American Government Income Fund

     (2) Putnam Arizona Tax Exempt Income Fund

     (3) Putnam Asset Allocation: Balanced Portfolio

     (4) Putnam Asset Allocation: Conservative Portfolio

     (5) Putnam Asset Allocation: Growth Portfolio (Sym: PAEAX)

     (6) Putnam California Tax Exempt Income Fund

     (7) Putnam Capital Appreciation Fund

     (8) Putnam Capital Opportunities Fund

     (9) Putnam Classic Equity Fund

    (10) Putnam Convertible Income-Growth Trust

    (11) Putnam Discovery Growth Fund

    (12) Putnam Diversified Income Trust

    (13) Putnam Equity Income Fund

    (14) Putnam Europe Equity Fund

    (15) Putnam Florida Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (16) Putnam Fund for Growth and Income (Sym: PGRWX)

    (17) George Putnam Fund of Boston

    (18) Putnam Global Equity Fund (Sym: PEQUX)

    (19) Putnam Global Income Trust

    (20) Putnam Global Natural Resources Fund

    (21) Putnam Growth Opportunities Fund (Sym: POGAX, POGBX,
         POGCX, PGOMX)

    (22) Putnam Health Sciences Trust

    (23) Putnam High Yield Advantage Fund

    (24) Putnam High Yield Trust

    (25) Putnam Income Fund

    (26) Putnam Intermediate U.S. Government Income Fund

    (27) Putnam International Capital Opportunities Fund

    (28) Putnam International Equity Fund

    (29) Putnam International Growth and Income Fund

    (30) Putnam International New Opportunities Fund (Sym:
         PINOX)

    (31) Putnam Investors Fund

    (32) Putnam Massachusetts Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (33) Putnam Michigan Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (34) Putnam Mid Cap Value Fund

    (35) Putnam Minnesota Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (36) Putnam Money Market Fund

    (37) Putnam Municipal Income Fund

    (38) Putnam New Jersey Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (39) Putnam New Opportunities Fund

    (40) Putnam New Value Fund (Sym: PANVX)

    (41) Putnam New York Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (42) Putnam New York Tax Exempt Opportunities Fund

    (43) Putnam OTC & Emerging Growth Fund

    (44) Putnam Ohio Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (45) Putnam Pennsylvania Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (46) Putnam Research Fund

    (47) Putnam Small Cap Growth Fund

    (48) Putnam Small Cap Value Fund

    (49) Putnam Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (50) Putnam Tax Exempt Money Market Fund

    (51) Putnam Tax Smart Equity Fund

    (52) Putnam Tax-Free High Yield Fund

    (53) Putnam Tax-Free Insured Fund

    (54) Putnam U.S. Government Income Trust

    (55) Putnam Utilities Growth and Income Fund

    (56) Putnam Vista Fund

    (57) Putnam Voyager Fund (Sym: PVOYX)

The complaint charges Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., Putnam
Investment Management LLC, Putnam Investments Trust, Putnam
Investment Funds, and the Putnam Funds with with violations of
the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
the Investment Company Act of 1940, and for common law breach of
fiduciary duties.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period the Putnam
Funds and the other defendants engaged in illegal and improper
trading practices, in concert with certain institutional
traders, which caused financial injury to the shareholders of
the Putnam Funds.

According to the Complaint, the Defendants surreptitiously
permitted certain favored investors to illegally engage in
"timing" of the Putnam Funds whereby these favored investors
were permitted to conduct short-term, "in and out" trading of
mutual fund shares, despite explicit restrictions on such
activity in the Putnam Funds' prospectuses.

For more information, contact: Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman
by Phone: (888) 299-7706 (toll free) or (610) 667-7706, or by E-
mail: info@sbclasslaw.com.


PUTNAM FUNDS: Abbey Gardy Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a class action lawsuit in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of a class of all purchasers of the securities of the
Putnam Funds during the period between November 1, 1998 and
September 3, 2003, inclusive.

The Complaint names as defendants Marsh & McLennan Companies,
Inc., Putnam Investments Trust, Putnam Investment Management
LLC, Putnam Investment Funds, all the Funds named below and Does
1 through 100 with violations of the Securities Act of 1933, the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of
1940 and for common law breach of fiduciary duties.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period the
defendants violated their fiduciary duties to their customers in
return for substantial fees and other income for themselves and
their affiliates.

The Complaint alleges that the defendants failed to disclose
that they improperly allowed certain investors to engage in the
"timing" of their transactions in the Funds. The mutual fund
prospectus for the Putnam Funds created the misleading
impression that the Putnam Funds were vigilantly protecting
investors against the negative effects of timing.

The following Funds are included in the suit:

      (1) Putnam American Government Income Fund

     (2) Putnam Arizona Tax Exempt Income Fund

     (3) Putnam Asset Allocation: Balanced Portfolio

     (4) Putnam Asset Allocation: Conservative Portfolio

     (5) Putnam Asset Allocation: Growth Portfolio (Sym: PAEAX)

     (6) Putnam California Tax Exempt Income Fund

     (7) Putnam Capital Appreciation Fund

     (8) Putnam Capital Opportunities Fund

     (9) Putnam Classic Equity Fund

    (10) Putnam Convertible Income-Growth Trust

    (11) Putnam Discovery Growth Fund

    (12) Putnam Diversified Income Trust

    (13) Putnam Equity Income Fund

    (14) Putnam Europe Equity Fund

    (15) Putnam Florida Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (16) Putnam Fund for Growth and Income (Sym: PGRWX)

    (17) George Putnam Fund of Boston

    (18) Putnam Global Equity Fund (Sym: PEQUX)

    (19) Putnam Global Income Trust

    (20) Putnam Global Natural Resources Fund

    (21) Putnam Growth Opportunities Fund (Sym: POGAX, POGBX,
         POGCX, PGOMX)

    (22) Putnam Health Sciences Trust

    (23) Putnam High Yield Advantage Fund

    (24) Putnam High Yield Trust

    (25) Putnam Income Fund

    (26) Putnam Intermediate U.S. Government Income Fund

    (27) Putnam International Capital Opportunities Fund

    (28) Putnam International Equity Fund

    (29) Putnam International Growth and Income Fund

    (30) Putnam International New Opportunities Fund (Sym:
         PINOX)

    (31) Putnam Investors Fund

    (32) Putnam Massachusetts Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (33) Putnam Michigan Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (34) Putnam Mid Cap Value Fund

    (35) Putnam Minnesota Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (36) Putnam Money Market Fund

    (37) Putnam Municipal Income Fund

    (38) Putnam New Jersey Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (39) Putnam New Opportunities Fund

    (40) Putnam New Value Fund (Sym: PANVX)

    (41) Putnam New York Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (42) Putnam New York Tax Exempt Opportunities Fund

    (43) Putnam OTC & Emerging Growth Fund

    (44) Putnam Ohio Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (45) Putnam Pennsylvania Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (46) Putnam Research Fund

    (47) Putnam Small Cap Growth Fund

    (48) Putnam Small Cap Value Fund

    (49) Putnam Tax Exempt Income Fund

    (50) Putnam Tax Exempt Money Market Fund

    (51) Putnam Tax Smart Equity Fund

    (52) Putnam Tax-Free High Yield Fund

    (53) Putnam Tax-Free Insured Fund

    (54) Putnam U.S. Government Income Trust

    (55) Putnam Utilities Growth and Income Fund

    (56) Putnam Vista Fund

    (57) Putnam Voyager Fund (Sym: PVOYX)

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

                        *********

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
http://litigationdatasource.com/asbestos_defendant_profiles.html

                        *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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USA.  Enid Sterling, Roberto Amor, Aurora Fatima Antonio and
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Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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