CAR_Public/031226.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
           Friday, December 26, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 254

                        Headlines                            

APPLE COMPUTER: Final Settlement Hearing Set January 2004 in CA
APPLE COMPUTER: Consumers Lodge Suit Over Hard Disk Drives in CA
APPLE COMPUTER INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal Stock Lawsuits' Dismissal
APPLE COMPUTER: Trial in Consumer Suit Set February 2004 in CA
APPLE COMPUTER: Plaintiffs File Amended Powerbook Lawsuit in CA

ARAMARK CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement For Illinois Fraud Suit
ARIZONA: Pre-trial Inmates 26-Year Old Lawsuit Termed Expensive
BERGEN BRUNSWICK: Expert Discovery Ongoing in NJ Consumer Suit
BREAST IMPLANTS: FDA Junks Petitions To Delay Application Review
CANADA: Two Hospitals Face Lawsuit Over Botched Medical Test

CANADIAN IMPERIAL: SEC Reveals Details of Securities Fraud Suit
CANADIAN IMPERIAL: Agrees to Pay $80M To Settle Enron Fraud Suit
CHILE: Codelco Workers Commence Lawsuit for Health Compensation
ENTERASYS NETWORKS: NH Court Approves Securities Suit Settlement
HAWAII: Public Workers Commence Lawsuit Over Healthcare Plan

ILLINOIS: Chicago To Pay Panhandlers $99,000 In Suit Settlement
MARSH & MCLEENAN: Shareholders Sue Over Market Timing At Putman
NIGERIA: Airline Faces $50 Million Lawsuit Over Missing Luggage
PHARMERICA: Discovery Commences in "Recycled" Medicines Lawsuit
PHOENIX WORLD WIDE: SEC Reveals Indictment of Securities Trader

TERRORIST ATTACK: 90% of 9/11 Victims' Families File Fund Claims
TIER TECHNOLOGIES: Shareholders File Securities Suit in N.D. CA
UNITED STATES: Judge Halts Mandatory Military Anthrax Shots
U.S. ARMY: Military Suit Over Stolen Health Records Rejected


                      Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Insurers Oppose Halliburton Settlement Plan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Judge Asked to Recuse Himself From Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Residents, Lawmakers Address Asbestos Woes
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Gets 6,000 New Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hartford Okays Asbestos Settlement Deal

ASBESTOS ALERT: Bolidem MKM Fined GBP10T For Asbestos Exposure
ASBESTOS ALERT: Court Awards $530,000 to Dead Asbestos Victim
ASBESTOS ALERT: Attorney Penalized for Improper Asbestos Removal

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

CARRER EDUCATION: Goodkind Labaton Files Securities Suit in IL
CAREER EDUCATION: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in N.D. IL
CERUS CORPORATION: Charles Piven Files Stock Lawsuit in N.D. CA
CLEAN HARBORS: Charles Piven Launches Securities Lawsuit in MA
FEDERATED FUNDS: Stull Stull Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY

INVESCO FUNDS: Weiss & Yourman Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
NETWORK ENGINES: Lasky & Rifkind Commences Securities Suit in MA
PRICESMART INC.: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in S.D. CA
VIRBAC CORPORATION: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in TX

VIRBAC CORPORATION: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Stock Suit in N.D. TX

                        *********


APPLE COMPUTER: Final Settlement Hearing Set January 2004 in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Final approval hearing for the settlement of the class action
filed against Apple Computer, Inc., styled "Bancroft v. Apple
Computer, Inc.," is set for January 26,2004 in Los Angeles
Superior court in California.

The suit was filed on behalf of a potentially nationwide class
of purchasers of certain Power Macintosh G3 computers.  
Plaintiff alleged violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act
(CLRA) arising from allegedly poor performance while running the
Company's Mac OS X operating system, specifically relating to 2D
hardware acceleration, QuickTime movie hardware acceleration, 3D
graphics performance and DVD movie playback.

The parties reached a settlement and the court granted
preliminary approval on September 2, 2003.  Settlement of the
matter will not have a material effect on the Company's
financial position or results of operations, the Company stated
in a disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


APPLE COMPUTER: Consumers Lodge Suit Over Hard Disk Drives in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Apple Computer, Inc. and other members of the industry faces a
class action filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court in
California, styled "Dan, et al. v. Apple Computer,Inc. et al.,"
on behalf of a nationwide class of purchasers of certain
computer hard drives.

The case alleges violations of Civil Code Section17200 (Unfair
Competition), the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and false
advertising related to the size of the drives.  Plaintiffs
allege that calculation of hard drive size using the decimal
method misrepresents the actual size of the drive.  The
complaint seeks unspecified damages and other relief.

The case is stayed pending resolution of whether the case will
be considered "complex" and potentially a new judge assigned.  
The Company is beginning its investigation of these allegations.


APPLE COMPUTER INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal Stock Lawsuits' Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California's dismissal of three class
actions filed against Apple Computer, Inc., styled:

     (1) Hawaii Structural Iron Workers and Pension Trust Fund
         v. Apple Computer, Inc. and Steven P. Jobs;

     (2) Young v. Apple Computer, Inc. et al; and

     (3) Hsu v. Apple Computer, Inc. et al  

The suits also name Chief Executive Officer Steven P. Jobs as
defendant.  These lawsuits are substantially identical, and
purport to bring suit on behalf of persons who purchased the
Company's publicly traded common stock between July 19, 2000,
and September 28, 2000.  The complaints allege violations of the
1934 Securities Exchange Act and seek unspecified compensatory
damages and other relief.

The Company believes these claims are without merit. The Company
filed a motion to dismiss on June 4, 2002, which was heard by
the Court on September 13, 2002.  On December 11, 2002, the
Court granted the Company's motion to dismiss for failure to
state a cause of action, with leave to Plaintiffs to amend their
complaint within thirty days.

Plaintiffs filed their amended complaint on January 31, 2003,
and on March 17, 2003, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the
amended complaint.  The Court heard the Company's motion on
July 11, 2003 and later dismissed Plaintiff's claims with
prejudice.


APPLE COMPUTER: Trial in Consumer Suit Set February 2004 in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action filed against Apple Computer, Inc.,
styled "John W. Davis v Apple Computer, Inc.," is set for
February 23,2004 in San Francisco County Superior Court in
California.

The suit alleges that the Company has engaged in unfair and
deceptive business practices relating to its AppleCare Extended
Service and Warranty Plan.  Plaintiff asserts causes of action
for violation of the California Business and Professions Code
17200 and 17500, breach of the Song-Beverly Warranty Act,
intentional misrepresentation and concealment.

The Company was served on December 11, 2002 and is continuing
its investigation of the allegations.  Plaintiff requests
unspecified damages and other relief.  The company filed a
motion on October 29, 2003 to disqualify Plaintiff's counsel,
which the Court approved.


APPLE COMPUTER: Plaintiffs File Amended Powerbook Lawsuit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the class action filed against Apple Computer,
Inc. in the Los Angeles Superior Court in California, styled
"Palmieri v. Apple Computer, Inc.," filed an amended suit to
allege and additional design defect in the Company's new 15"
PowerBook laptop computers.

The suit, filed on behalf of a nationwide class of purchasers of
certain PowerBooks, alleges violations of Civil Code Section
17200 (Unfair Competition) and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act
(CLRA) arising from an alleged design defect in the PowerBooks
which purportedly causes marks and dead pixels in the LCD
screens.

Plaintiffs amended their complaint to allege an additional
defect in the new 15" PowerBook, introduced in September 2003,
which purportedly causes "white spots" on the screen.  The
complaint seeks unspecified damages and other relief.


ARAMARK CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement For Illinois Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Aramark Corportion reached a settlement for the civil class
action filed against it on behalf of the East St. Louis School
District in Illinois, alleging breach of contract, common law
fraud and common law civil conspiracy.

The suit was dismissed on motion, but then refiled to seek the
certification of a class action for restitution to all Illinois
school districts served by the Company of the value of federally
donated commodities.

On November 20, 2003, a proposed settlement was reached in
principle with counsel for the lead plaintiff in this matter.  
The proposed settlement, which is subject to execution of a
written agreement, certification of a class and Court approval,
among other things, would contemplate a payment of $3.1 million
(plus legal fees awarded by the Court), which would be fully
covered by the Company's existing reserves, to be distributed to
Illinois school district class members.

The Company can give no assurance that the settlement will occur
upon the terms described, or that if it is not settled, the
outcome of any such claim would not have a material adverse
effect upon it.  The Company does not know whether any
settlement of the civil complaint will have an impact on the
government investigation.  


ARIZONA: Pre-trial Inmates 26-Year Old Lawsuit Termed Expensive
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is trying to persuade a
federal judge to throw out a consent decree protecting rights of
pretrial detainees in the jails, The Arizona Republic reports.

Sheriff's officials say the decree is a costly and unnecessary
burden, but attorneys representing the inmates argue that
removing the guidelines would leave the inmates without
protections.  The American Civil Liberties Union has joined the
legal battle to keep the requirements in place.

"We have been concerned for a number of years about this jail
and Sheriff Arpaio's boasts of cruel and humiliating treatment
he inflicts on prisoners in his custody," David Fathi, an
attorney with the ACLU's National Prison Project told the
Republic.  "We're looking forward to helping to make sure the
jail meets constitutional requirements and doesn't violate the
constitutional rights of the pre-trail detainees."

U.S. District Judge Earl Carroll is considering everything from
overcrowding to legal access to what the inmates eat.  The
guidelines stem from a class-action suit, now named "Hart vs.
Arpaio," filed 26 years ago, with the most recent settlement
terms occurring in 1995.  It's up to the attorneys to monitor
the decree, which mandates the county provide inmates items such
as two changes of underwear per week and uninterrupted
prescription medications.

However, Sherriff Arpaio said the case has wasted taxpayers'
money, and he insists the jails don't violate the constitutional
rights of inmates.  "It's costing a fortune," he said.  "In the
near future, this thing will be resolved one way or another.
It's been 25 years of lawyer fees and court time, and I think
it's about time for this to be resolved."

The legal maneuvering comes after President Clinton signed the
Prison Litigation Reform Act into law in 1996, making it more
difficult to sue on behalf of incarcerated people about jail and
prison conditions.  The Sheriff's Office is now using the act to
"wiggle out" of the court's previous rulings, meaning inmates
would have to file new lawsuits to obtain more protections, said
Ted Jarvi, the Tempe attorney representing the class.

The decree, which protects about 5,000 pretrial detainees,
requires the county to provide access to religious services,
improve medical care and provide suitable sanitation and safety
standards, the ACLU said.  

Mr. Jarvi said their biggest concern is overcrowding.  It's an
issue the department has addressed, sheriff's spokesman Jack
MacIntyre said. "There's no better indication of good faith than
the Sheriff's Office going to the public twice to ask them to
put their money where their mouth is," he told the Republic.

Last year, Maricopa County voters extended a one-fifth-cent jail
tax to build and operate new jails.  The tax is expected to
generate as much as $3.1 billion over the next two decades, with
the county spending more than $500 million on projects including
the new Fourth Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix, the Lower
Buckeye Jail and the Mesa Juvenile Facilities.

Mr. MacIntyre said the 1995 guidelines are outdated and
micromanage the department.  "The difference between what
somebody would like and constitutional minimums can be a huge
void at times," he said. "And we meet the minimums."

Inmate advocates argue that conditions at the jail are dangerous
and inhumane.  "We need to keep this issue alive. Sheriff Arpaio
is going to try to say to the courts, 'This can go away, and
we've taken care of everything,' " Eleanor Eisenberg, executive
director of the Arizona Civil Liberties Union told the Republic.

In October 2002, the Arizona Court of Appeals unanimously upheld
a $635,000 verdict against Arpaio for a case involving an inmate
beaten in Tent City.  The judges said the facts showed Arpaio
was "callously indifferent" to his constitutional requirements,
and there was abundant evidence the department "ignored grave
risks to life and limb at Tent City."

Court papers filed by the advocates say inmates deal with vermin
infestation, no outdoor exercise and many must sleep on the bare
concrete floor.


BERGEN BRUNSWICK: Expert Discovery Ongoing in NJ Consumer Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Expert discovery is still ongoing in the complaint filed against
Bergen Brunswig Drug Company (now known as AmerisourceBergen
Drug Corporation) in the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey by one of its manufacturer vendors,
Bracco Diagnostics Inc.  The complaint, which included claims
for fraud, breach of New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act, breach of
contract and unjust enrichment, involves disputes relating to
chargebacks and credits.  

The court granted the Company's motion to dismiss the fraud and
New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act counts.  Bracco also tried to
amend the complaint to include a federal racketeering claim.  
Bracco's motion to amend the complaint was denied by the Court.

The Company has answered the remaining counts of the complaint.
Fact discovery has been completed.


BREAST IMPLANTS: FDA Junks Petitions To Delay Application Review
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) denied two
petitions by interest groups, seeking to delay a review of
Inamed Corporation's application to reintroduce silicone-gel
breast implants, the Company revealed Monday, the Associated
Press reports.

In 1992, the government banned the implants after reports
connected them to chronic diseases such as breast cancer, and
alleged that the implants ruptured and harmed their owners.  
However, major studies have found no evidence the implants
caused diseases.

Both silicone and saline-filled implants frequently rupture and
cause complications such as pain and scarring, research has
shown.  Silicone implants, which many women said look and feel
more natural than saline ones, are now available only through
clinical trials.

In October 2003, the FDA panel voted 9-6 in favor of the
Company, allowing it to sell its silicone breast implants again,
11 years after it was banned because of safety concerns, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (October 24,2003) states.

However, on November 5,2003, advisory panel head Dr. Thomas
Whalen urged the agency to reject Inamed's marketing
application.  In a letter to FDA head Dr. Mark McClellan,
advisery board chairman Dr. Thomas Whalen expressed "very strong
reservations" concerning the mid-October 9-6 vote in favor of
re-approving the implants.

On November 6,2003, the the National Organization for Women,
Public Citizen's Health Research Group, and the National Women's
Health Network filed a petition.  The Chemically Associated
Neurological Disorders filed a similar petition on November 19.

The Company told AP the FDA denied both petitions on procedural
grounds and the decision has no bearing on the review.  The
Company continues to try to have its version of implants
approved, and said it expects the administration to complete the
current phase of its review in the next few weeks.


CANADA: Two Hospitals Face Lawsuit Over Botched Medical Test
------------------------------------------------------------
A class proceeding has been commenced against Sunnybrook &
Women's College Health Science Centre, in Toronto, for
negligence and breach of contract, claiming damages in the
amount of $200M plus $20M in punitive damages, Canada Newswire
reports.

The plaintiff is an individual who attended at Sunnybrook for a
transrectal ultrasound and biopsy of the prostate on November
26, 2002 at the Urology Clinic at Sunnybrook.  This procedure
involved the use of an ultrasound wand.  The action claims that
almost one year later, Sunnybrook informed the plaintiff, by
letter that as a result of improper serialization of equipment
used during his biopsy, he may have been exposed to Hepatitis B,
Hepatitis C and/or HIV.

The plaintiff will be requesting court certification to act on
behalf of a class comprised of various groups of persons who
underwent a medical procedure involving an ultrasound wand at
Sunnybrook between December 3, 1999 and August 5, 2003.  The
proposed class includes persons who received a letter from
Sunnybrook informing them that they may have contracted an
infectious disease.

The negligence claim alleges, in part, that Sunnybrook:

     (1) failed to meet the proper standards of practice for
         preventing the transmission of life-threatening
         viruses,

     (2) failed to observe the guidelines of the College of
         Physician and Surgeons of Ontario for the handling of
         invasive instruments,

     (3) failed to ensure the use of an appropriate method of
         sterilization,

     (4) failed to employ and properly train competent staff
         members and

     (5) failed to supervise the work of its employees who were
         entrusted with the task of sterilization and
         disinfection.

The claim also alleges that Sunnybrook breached its contract
with its patients, an implied term of which was that Sunnybrook
and its staff would carry out their duties with reasonable skill
and care and without exposing them to any infectious diseases.
Sunnybrook also is alleged to have endangered the safety of the
class and breached the duty owed to its patients of utmost good
faith.

Kirk M. Baert of the Toronto law firm Koskie Minsky is
representing the class.


CANADIAN IMPERIAL: SEC Reveals Details of Securities Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Canadian Imperial
Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and three of its executives with aiding
and abetting Enron Corporation's securities fraud.  

The Commission's complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in
Houston, Texas, alleges that CIBC and the three executives aided
and abetted Enron's manipulation of its reported financial
results through a series of complex structured finance
transactions over a period of several years preceding Enron's
bankruptcy.  

The 34 financings were structured as "asset sales" for
accounting and financial reporting purposes, allowing Enron to
hide from investors and rating agencies the true extent of its
borrowings.  Between June 1998 and October 2001, Enron used
these disguised loans to increase reported earnings by more than
$1 billion, to increase reported operating cash flows by almost  
$2 billion, and to avoid disclosure of more than $2.6 billion in
debt on its financial statements.  Enron's alternative,
borrowing money using the asset as collateral, would have given
Enron access to cash to meet its operating expenses, but carried
with it financial reporting consequences -- increased debt, no
positive effect on cash flow, and no positive effect on earnings
-- that would have had a detrimental impact on Enron's credit
rating and stock price.
     
Simultaneously with the filing of the complaint, CIBC consented
to entry of a final judgment settling the Commission's action
against it.  In the consent, CIBC has agreed, without admitting
or denying the allegations of the complaint, to the entry of a
final judgment permanently enjoining it from future violations
of the antifraud, books and records, and internal control
provisions of the federal securities laws, Sections 10(b),
13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and (B), and 13(b)(5) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Exchange Act Rules 10b-5, 12b-20, 13a-
1, 13a-13 and 13b2-1.  

CIBC also has agreed to pay $80 million: $37.5 million in
disgorgement, a $37.5 million civil penalty and $5 million in
prejudgment interest.  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  
(Fair Fund) for ultimate distribution to victims of the fraud.
     
Daniel Ferguson and Mark Wolf, without admitting or denying the
Commission's allegations, also consented to the entry of a final
judgment that permanently enjoins each from violating the same
antifraud, books and records, and internal control provisions of
the federal securities laws.  In addition, Mr. Ferguson has
agreed to pay a total of $563,000: disgorgement of $265,000, a
penalty of $265,000, and prejudgment interest of $33,000, and
has agreed to the entry of an order barring him from serving as
an officer or director of a publicly tradedcompany for a period
of five years.  Mr. Wolf, who is no longer employed by CIBC, has
agreed to pay a total of $60,000: $27,500 as disgorgement, a
penalty of $27,500, and prejudgment interest of $5,000.  The
Commission will likewise direct those monies to Enron fraud
victims pursuant to the Fair Fund provisions.  Ian
Schottlaender, a former managing director in CIBC's corporate
leveraged finance group in New York City, is contesting the
matter.
     
As alleged in the Commission's complaint, the financings
involved purported transfers of assets from Enron to Enron-
sponsored off-balance sheet qualified special purpose entities
(QSPEs) or special purpose entities (SPEs).  Enron treated these
transfers as accounting "sales" pursuant to Financial Accounting
Standards Board (FASB) Statements No. 125 and 140, in order to
book earnings and recognize operating cash flows, without
reporting the associated debt on its financial statements.  CIBC
organized a syndicate of banks to provide, in the form of debt,
the majority of the capitalization of the QSPEs and SPEs.

Applicable accounting rules also require that a portion of their
capitalization -- nominal in the case of a QSPE and at least
three percent in the case of an SPE -- be equity unrelated to
Enron and at risk of loss.  CIBC provided this outside "equity
at risk" to validate the financings.  The accounting rules also
require that the transferor, Enron, relinquish control over the
assets, transferring the risk and rewards of ownership of the
assets to the transferees.
     
The complaint further alleges that the transactions met neither
the requirement that the equity stake be at risk, nor the
requirement that the transferor relinquish control over the
asset.  With respect to the equity, the complaint alleges that a
senior CIBC official directed Mr. Schottlaender to obtain
commitments from Enron senior management that Enron would
support CIBC's equity contribution.   

In conversations between Andrew Fastow, Enron's CFO, and Mr.
Schottlaender, Fastow gave Mr. Schottlaender  "the strongest
possible assurances" that CIBC's equity would be repaid.  The
defendants knew that this  "undocumented understanding" could
not be disclosed in written deal documents between Enron and
CIBC because it would be fatal to the "sale" accounting
treatment that was the sole basis for the financings.  Within
CIBC, the guaranteed equity stake in the Enron transactions was
referred to as, among other things, "trust me" equity, a term
attributed to Mr. Schottlaender.  Up to the date Enron filed for
bankruptcy, consistent with the assurances, Enron fully repaid
CIBC for its equity stake and the promised 15 percent return in
each of the financings as they unwound or were settled, even
when the assets had lost value.
     
The complaint further alleges that Enron did not relinquish
control over the assets.  For example, the parties understood
that Enron, not CIBC, was responsible for the ultimate
disposition of each asset.  Consistent with this undocumented
understanding, Enron or an Enron affiliate reacquired or
refinanced each of the assets before the expiration date of the
financing.  Similarly, CIBC's return on its equity stake was -
like a loan - limited to its original investment and a stated
yield of generally 15 percent.  

In the event an asset appreciated beyond CIBC's limited
contractual return, Enron structured the financings to receive
any further increase in asset value, an increase generally
considered a return on equity.  

The complaint also points to the limited or no due diligence
performed in connection with the transfers.  According to the
complaint, the transactions were in fact a form of asset
parking.  Both CIBC and Enron described the largest transaction
structure as a "short term revolving warehouse facility."

The complaint alleges that although CIBC officials had concerns
over whether Enron had "financially engineered" a large portion
of its profits, CIBC was determined to achieve status as one of
Enron's elite "Tier I" of banks.  CIBC earned approximately $18
million in fees from the fraudulent financings.  The
disgorgement award of $37.5 million includes all the fees from
the fraudulent transactions, as well as all "relationship" fees
from any other transactions occurring at or after the date of
the first fraudulent transaction.  CIBC's civil penalty also is
based upon the total fees CIBC received from Enron from 1998
until Enron's demise.

The suit is styled "SEC v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce,
Daniel Ferguson, Ian Schottlaender, Mark Wolf, Case No. H-03-
5785," and is pending in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Texas.


CANADIAN IMPERIAL: Agrees to Pay $80M To Settle Enron Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) agreed to pay $80
million to settle the Securities and Exchange Commission's
charges that it helped fallen energy trader Enron Corporation to
"mislead its investors through a series of complex structured
finance transactions over a period of several years," Reuters
reports.

The energy Company was once the seventh largest in the nation
until in its bankruptcy in December 2001, which was the second
largest in history, after that of WorldCom, Inc.  The firm was
accused of implementing complex accounting schemes that hid its
debt, inflated cash flow and fooled the markets.  Investor
losses in the Enron disaster have been estimated at more than
$25 billion.

In its enforcement action, the SEC alleged that Toronto-based
CIBC and three of its former executives effectively loaned Enron
$2.66 billion through 34 separate transactions involving off-
balance sheet special purpose entities.  The Company reportedly
used CIBC's disguised loans to increase earnings by more than $1
billion" without reporting the debt.  CIBC also allegedly earned
about $18 million in fees from these fraudulent transactions
which went under names such as "Alchemy," "Specter," "Nimitz,"
"Ghost" and "Pilgrim," the SEC said in its complaint.

Two of the three CIBC executives involved, namely former CIBC
Executive Vice President Daniel Ferguson and former CIBC
Executive Director Mark Wolf, have settled with authorities and
will pay a total of more than $600,000.  Mr. Ferguson will pay
$563,000 in restitution, penalties and interest, while Mr. Wolf
will pay $60,000, the SEC told Reuters. Former managing director
in the bank's corporate leveraged finance group Ian
Schottlaender, however, was contesting the charges.

"Today's action demonstrates that neither financial institutions
nor their executives can hide behind the technical complexities
of structured transactions," SEC Enforcement Division Director
Stephen Cutler said at a news conference, Reuters reports.

Fellow investment firms Merrill Lynch & Co. , J.P. Morgan
Chase and Citigroup have agreed to pay more than
$380 million combined to settle cases involving Houston, Texas-
based Enron.


CHILE: Codelco Workers Commence Lawsuit for Health Compensation
---------------------------------------------------------------
According to local daily, El Mercurio, a group of 23 mine
workers from the Andina division of Chile's state copper
corporation Codelco filed a lawsuit against the company seeking
compensation for damaged health, BNamericas.com reports.

The workers suffer from silicosis, hearing loss, or in some
cases both, the report said.  Silicosis is a serious respiratory
illness caused by a buildup of silica dust in the lungs.  They
are seeking some 11.5 billion pesos (US$19.2mn) in a class
action, which would amount to some US$830,000 each.  The money
would be on top of the compensation that Codelco has already
paid each worker, which they say is insufficient.

The group's leader, Manuel Pinto, who worked in the mine's
crusher area for some 30 years, has lost a lung and 50% of the
use of the remaining lung to silicosis, and suffered partial
hearing loss.  Codelco awarded him some US$15,600, the report
said.   In addition, a group of 17 ex-workers have filed a
similar class action for health damage, which they say was
caused during their time with the company.

In August, Andina employees staged a protest outside the mine
which disrupted access to the site for five hours, to draw
attention to the silicosis problem.  The exact number of
silicosis cases diagnosed at Andina - and other Codelco
operations - is disputed because some of the technology used in
the diagnosis was not appropriate and may have inflated the
figures, Codelco's occupational health director Carolina Vargas
was quoted as saying in the paper.  Codelco also counters that
all its operations are now compliant with ISO 14001
environmental norms.

The lawsuits come when Codelco is resolving collective
bargaining issues with a number of its unions.  Workers are
seeking substantial pay raises in line with stronger copper
prices, and point out that they had agreed to wage freezes and
cutbacks when copper was in the doldrums.


ENTERASYS NETWORKS: NH Court Approves Securities Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of New
Hampshire approved the settlement of the outstanding shareholder
class action litigation filed in connection with Enterasys
Networks, Inc.'s restatement of financial results for the 2001
fiscal and transition years against the Company, its directors
and former officers.

In addition, on Thursday, December 18, 2003, the New Hampshire
Superior Court, Rockingham County, approved the settlement of
the outstanding state derivative actions filed on behalf of
Enterasys in connection with the Company's restatement of
financial results for the 2001 fiscal and transition years. The
settlements, which were announced on October 16, 2003, do not
reflect any admission of wrongdoing by Enterasys or its
directors or former officers.

As part of the settlement, Enterasys will issue approximately
8.7 million shares of its common stock to claimants represented
in the lawsuits. In its third quarter of fiscal 2003, Enterasys
recorded a net charge of $15.9 million or $.08 per share, in
connection with the various settlements.



HAWAII: Public Workers Commence Lawsuit Over Healthcare Plan
------------------------------------------------------------
Seven public workers filed a class action claiming that the new
Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund requires
thousands of workers to pay more than they need to for health
insurance, the Honolulu Advertiser reports.

The lawsuit, filed against the 10 trustees of the fund, says the
health plan adopted by the trustees offers only individual and
family coverage, forcing employees who want to insure only a
spouse or one dependent to pay the higher rate for employees
with more dependents.  As a result, about 9,000 public workers
have paid approximately $100 more per month for coverage than
they should have paid, the lawsuit says.

In adopting this plan, the trustees "consciously chose to
sacrifice the interests of the plaintiffs and members of the
class and to improperly prefer the interests of other
beneficiaries," the lawsuit said.

Deputy Attorney General Brian Aburano said he had not yet
reviewed the lawsuit and declined to comment, the Honolulu
Advertiser states.

The Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund was
established in 2001 to replace the health plans provided through
the public-worker unions.  Five trustees represent the state and
five trustees represent employee unions.  The new health benefit
plans began July 1.

The lawsuit is seeking remedies including monetary damages for
the class, as well as an order directing the trustees to solicit
proposals for healthcare plans with three or more tiers of
coverage and select the best one.


ILLINOIS: Chicago To Pay Panhandlers $99,000 In Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Illinois Federal Court Judge Nan R. Nolan approved a $99,000
settlement for people who have been arrested or ticketed for
panhandling in Chicago, the Associated Press reports.  Under its
terms, those arrested for panhandling in the past four years can
file a claim of $400, while those ticketed can receive $50.

The city also must pay $375,000 to cover attorneys' fees and the
cost of distributing the money, said plaintiffs' lawyer Mark
Weinberg, who filed suit over the matter in 2001.

A tentative settlement was reached in October, as part of a
battle over a 1991 ordinance that classified panhandling as
disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to
$500. The ordinance was repealed last year. City officials have
said such a blanket ban on panhandling is considered a limit on
commercial speech.

Because of a two-year statute of limitations on civil cases,
only those arrested or ticketed after September 6, 1999, are
eligible to receive money.  Claims can be made until February
10, 2004.


MARSH & MCLEENAN: Shareholders Sue Over Market Timing At Putman
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ongoing controversy over improper trading practices in the
mutual-fund industry has reached the litigation stage, as
attorneys from the Connecticut-based firm Schatz & Nobel filed
suit against insurance broker Marsh & McLennan Companies related
to allegations of so-called "market timing" trading by Marsh
subsidiary Putnam Investments LLC.

The suit, filed in the United States District Court in Manhattan
and seeking class action status for all Marsh shareholders from
January 3, 2000, through November 3, 2003, accuses Marsh of
failing to disclose that Putnam allegedly allowed some favored
customers, and its own fund managers, to take part in market
timing of Putnam mutual funds, and that as a result, "Marsh &
McLennan shares traded at artificially inflated levels,"
according to a statement released by the firm.

Marsh spokeswoman Barbara Perlmutter told BestWire the company
couldn't comment on pending litigation.

Investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
and state regulators in New York and Massachusetts into trading
at Putnam were made public in late October, and just a week
later, Putnam's long-time president and chief executive officer,
Lawrence J. Lasser, stepped down in favor of a new management
team. Charles E. "Ed" Haldeman, recently a senior managing
director and co-head of investments at Putnam, succeeded Mr.
Lasser.

Last month, Putnam reached an agreement with the SEC over the
allegations, neither confirming nor denying the SEC's findings
but agreeing not to contest them.  The SEC has yet to say what
penalties or other monetary relief it will demand of the firm.
Regulators in Massachusetts and New York have said they will
continue their investigation into the allegations.

Earlier this month, the California State Teachers' Retirement
System, the nation's third-largest pension fund, voted to
rescind Putnam's agreement to manage a $312 million large-cap
growth account within CalSTRS' overall $45 billion U.S. equity
portfolio.  The teachers' fund joined the California Public
Employees' Retirement System--the nation's largest pension fund-
-and state pension funds in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Massachusetts,
New York, Vermont and Rhode Island, as well as private companies
such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in withdrawing funds from Putnam.
The firm had been the fifth-largest mutual-fund manager in the
United States.

On the afternoon on December 22, Marsh's stock was trading at
$46.35 a share, down 0.75% from the previous close.


NIGERIA: Airline Faces $50 Million Lawsuit Over Missing Luggage
---------------------------------------------------------------
Not less than 400 passengers who departed JFK International
Airport, New York on November 30 last year and arrived in Lagos
December 1 same year without passenger's luggage have sued
Nigerian Airways Limited (NAL), claiming compensatory and
primitive damages of $50 million, African News Service reports.

According to the law firms of Fagbale & Stronse which is leading
the plaintiffs to the US District Court, New York, the class
action's failure of NAL to amicably resolve the controversy
surrounding the misleading of the luggages.

The leading counsel for the plaintiffs noted, "we have
essentially bent over backwards over the last 12 months, and
provided Nigeria Airways Limited, et al every opportunity to
resolve this matter amicably and without need for contentious
litigation, but it does not appear that there is anybody on the
other side."

The lead class representatives include Ndidi C. Azikiwe, Marie
Philips, Charles Mbamara all in New York, and Modupe Alagbaka of
Lagos, Nigeria.  Apart from NAL, other co-defenders are the
Federal Government of Nigeria, the Bureau of Public Enterprises,
Managing Director, Nigeria Airways, Minister of Aviation,
Nigerian Eagle Airlines Limited.

The plaintiffs' complaints are that their undelivered luggage
were carry-on bags which airline staff had forcibly taken from
passengers at the entrance to the plane.  It was alleged that
airline staff arbitrarily forced passengers to pay a random and
improper fee of $125 for each carry-on bag, or risk not being
permitted to board the flight."

"All the same, virtually, all luggage belonging to the
passengers were left in New York, for over two weeks," it was
alleged, adding that during this period, Nigeria Airways staff
continued to mislead passengers as to the status of their
luggage.


PHARMERICA: Discovery Commences in "Recycled" Medicines Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is ongoing in the class action filed against
PharMerica in Hawaii state court on behalf of consumers who
allegedly received "recycled" medications from a PharMerica
institutional pharmacy in Honolulu, Hawaii.  

The plaintiffs allege that it was a deceptive trade practice
under Hawaii law to sell "recycled" medications (i.e.,
medications that had previously been dispensed and then returned
to the pharmacy) without disclosing that the medications were
"recycled."

In September 2003, the Hawaii Circuit Court heard and granted
the plaintiffs' motion to certify the case as a class action.  
The class consists of consumers who purchased drugs in product
lines in which recycling occurred, but those product lines have
not yet been identified.  

It is the Company's position that the class members suffered no
harm and are not entitled to recover any damages.  The Company
stated in a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Commission
that it is not aware of any evidence, or any specific claim,
that any particular class member received medications that were
ineffective because they had been "recycled."


PHOENIX WORLD WIDE: SEC Reveals Indictment of Securities Trader
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Attorney for
the Southern District of Florida and the U.S. Postal Inspection
Service, Miami Division, announced the unsealing of a twenty-
five count Indictment yesterday against Philip R. Gratz, a
former stockbroker who conducted business as Phoenix World Wide
Enterprises, Inc.  

On December 16, a federal grand jury sitting in Miami, Florida,
returned an Indictment charging Mr. Gratz with nine counts of
mail fraud, five counts of wire fraud, four counts of securities
fraud, and seven counts of criminal contempt.  The maximum
penalty for mail, wire, and securities fraud charges is 20
years' imprisonment as to each count; and there is no statutory
maximum penalty for criminal contempt.  Mr. Gratz was arrested
at his residence in Marlton, New Jersey.

As background, on or about April 30, 1992, the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of Florida in the case of "SEC
v. Delta Rental Systems, Inc., et al., Case No. 91-2136-CIV-
DAVIS" entered a Final Judgment of Permanent Injunction and
Other Relief (the Permanent Injunction) against Mr. Gratz, which
prohibited him from committing future violations of, among
others, the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.  

In violation of the Permanent Injunction, from in or around
November 1998, to in or around March 2003, Mr. Gratz, while
doing business as Phoenix, conducted a scheme to defraud in
which he raised approximately $8.9 million from various
investors located in different states throughout the country,
including investors residing in the Southern District of
Florida.

On March 20, 2003, the Commission filed an emergency civil
contempt action against Mr. Gratz in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of Florida in order to put a halt to the
scheme.  In that action, the Commission charged Gratz with
disobeying the provisions in the Permanent Injunction that
enjoined him from future violations of the anti-fraud provisions
of the federal securities laws.   The following day, the Court
granted the SEC's request for emergency relief, entered a
temporary asset freeze, and appointed a Receiver to take over
Phoenix.

On May 20, 2003, with Mr. Gratz's consent, the Court entered an
order on civil contempt sanctions, ordering Mr. Gratz to
disgorge all ill-gotten gains, imposing an asset freeze, and
awarding attorney's fees.  On October 22, 2003, with Mr. Gratz's
consent, the Court entered a Final Judgment on Civil Contempt,
ordering Mr. Gratz to disgorge $7,236,417, together $60,303.48
as prejudgment interest, which amount represents the proceeds he
received.

The Commission's filing of its emergency civil contempt action
against Mr. Gratz in March 2003 was derived from the same
activity that led to the indictment.  The indictment charges
that to carry out his scheme, Mr. Gratz solicited individuals to
invest money with him in return for guaranteed annual "interest"
payments ranging from 25% to 50%.   

During investor solicitations, Mr. Gratz falsely represented to
investors, among other things, that he would invest all of their
funds in the stock market.  In truth, Mr. Gratz misappropriated
over $3 million in investor funds for his and his family's
personal use and benefit, including to purchase, among other
things, a luxury home, real estate properties, two Mercedes Benz
automobiles, artwork, jewelry and watches and home furnishings.

According to the indictment, Mr. Gratz induced investors to
invest money by making false statements and omissions of
material facts concerning, among others, the use of investor
funds, the profitability of Mr. Gratz's securities trading, and
Mr. Gratz's prior criminal and disciplinary history.  The
criminal contempt counts charged in the indictment stem from Mr.
Gratz's violation of the Permanent Injunction.  

The suit is styled "SEC v. Delta Rental Systems, Inc., et al.,
Case No. 91-2136-CIV-DAVIS," and is pending in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Florida.


TERRORIST ATTACK: 90% of 9/11 Victims' Families File Fund Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
More than 90% of families who lost loved ones during the
September 11, 2001 terrorist attack have filed claims in the
victims compensation fund as the deadline for applications
passed, the Associated Press reports.

Special master Kenneth Feinberg revealed that about 92% of the
eligible families have filed claims as of Monday, midnight this
week.  He added that he hoped to reach 90%.  He also revealed
that the fund also received more than 3,000 claims from those
injured in the attacks.

The United States Congress created the compensation fund to help
victims and shield the airline industry from possibly crippling
litigation.  When it was first launched, many families of the
victims criticized the fund as a "tightfisted" effort to protect
airlines from negligence claims and put dollar values on
individual lives.  

As of last week, however, the fund has paid out nearly $1.5
billion.  Claims to the fund increased from 50 to 60 a day in
recent weeks.

Mr. Feinberg told AP that 73 people were not filing claims, as
they opted to sue the airlines instead.  However, many said
grief prevented them from filing.  "I've met families,
individual families, who look at me and say, 'Mr. Feinberg,
thank you for coming, thank you for the application, I simply
cannot put pen to paper . I'm paralyzed,'" he said in an
interview on CBS' "The Early Show."

He said administering the fund had been "absolutely harrowing."  
"Day after day, meeting with these families, I think you
appreciate more than ever the value of life and how precious it
really is," he said.


TIER TECHNOLOGIES: Shareholders File Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tier Technologies, Inc., its chairman of the board (who was
formerly its chief executive officer, another executive officer
(formerly its chief financial officer) and a former executive
officer face a securities class action filed in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California,
styled "Sperling v. Tier Technologies, Inc. et al., case no.
C03-05509VRW."

The complaint has been brought as a purported shareholder class
action under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and seeks
unspecified monetary damages on behalf of the shareholder class.  
In general, the complaint alleges that the Company
misrepresented its financial performance during the fiscal years
2002 and 2003 to inflate the value of its stock.

Since the filing of the complaint in federal court, the Company
has been served with a complaint filed by a shareholder as a
putative derivative action in California Superior Court for
Contra Costa County, styled "Scala v. Bildner et al, case no.
C03-03077."

The derivative complaint names the same three officers, all of
the Company's current directors and a former director as
defendants and alleges:

     (1) breach of fiduciary duty,

     (2) abuse of control,

     (3) gross mismanagement,

     (4) waste of corporate assets,

     (5) unjust enrichment and

     (6) violations of the California Corporations Code

The company believes that the allegations in these complaints
are without merit and intends to defend these lawsuits
vigorously.  


UNITED STATES: Judge Halts Mandatory Military Anthrax Shots
------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered the Pentagon to
stop required anthrax vaccinations started in 1998, saying
American soldiers should not be used as "guinea pigs for
experimental drugs, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Sullivan said he was persuaded by plaintiffs in a class
action suit that the vaccine is experimental and being "used for
an unapproved purpose" - that is, for exposure to airborne
anthrax as well as exposure through the skin.  

Officials at the Defense Department and Food and Drug
Administration said they had not seen the ruling and had no
immediate comment, AP states.  Hoever, the federal government
has long maintained that the licensed vaccine is safe, is not
experimental and can be used for protection against anthrax
inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

More than 900,000 servicemen and women have received the shots,
among the millions of doses of various vaccines administered
annually to protect troops against disease and bioterror
threats.  Hundreds of service members have been punished or
discharged for refusing them, according to the Pentagon.

"The women and men of our armed forces put their lives on the
line every day to preserve and safeguard the freedoms that all
Americans cherish and enjoy," Judge Sullivan said in Monday's
34-page ruling.  "Absent an informed consent or presidential
waiver, the United States cannot demand that members of the
armed forces also serve as guinea pigs for experimental drugs."

In granting the preliminary injunction, Judge Sullivan ordered
the government to file responses by January 30.

Anthrax is a naturally occurring virus that typically affects
sheep and cattle.  When inhaled, dry anthrax spores can be
deadly to humans.  The federal government approved the vaccine
three decades ago.  However, plaintiffs - unidentified active
duty, National Guard and civilian defense employees - say the
license was only for exposure through the skin, and that it may
not be safe.  

Judge Sullivan's ruling said the label on the vaccine does not
specify which method of anthrax exposure it protects against.  
He cited a 1998 law prohibiting the use of new drugs or those
unapproved for their intended use unless people being given the
drug consent to its use or the president waives the consent
requirement.  Congress passed the law amid fears that the use of
such drugs may have led to unexplained illnesses - which have
come to be known as Gulf War Syndrome - among veterans of the
1991 Persian Gulf War.

The anthrax vaccine itself has been approved since the 1970s and
used regularly to protect veterinarians and scientists working
with anthrax.  Believing Iraq and other nations had produced
anthrax weapons, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen in
1997 ordered the armed forces immunized.

While the government does not recommend vaccinating the general
public, it says the vaccine overall is very safe, with rare
severe side effects such as dangerous allergic reactions.  
However, hundreds of military personnel have refused the shots,
worried they could be connected to complaints of chronic
fatigue, memory loss and other problems.

A leaflet inserted with the product, which originally stated
that adverse reaction occurred in 0.2 percent of cases, was
recently revised to reflect a rate between 5 percent and 35
percent, the ruling said.  It said there have been at least six
deaths linked to the vaccine.  The 0.2 percent rate came from an
earlier government report that there were only 105 serious
reactions in over 830,000 recipients, the ruling said without
giving details.

The program was started to vaccinate all 2.4 million members of
the active and reserve military, but was radically reduced after
factory violations by the nation's sole vaccine manufacturer
resulted in dwindling supplies.  The FDA cleared Lansing,
Michigan-based BioPort's manufacturing plant in January of 2002
to produce the vaccine and to resume shipments.

After a three-month study considering the new domestic need,
previous supply problems and other issues, the Pentagon decided
to give the shots only to troops, essential civilians and
contractors who are assigned for more than 15 days to "higher
threat" areas of the world.

Officials declined to identify those areas, nor would they say
how many troops would be given the vaccine.  It is likely that
these areas include the Persian Gulf and the Korean peninsula.


U.S. ARMY: Military Suit Over Stolen Health Records Rejected
------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton dismissed a class action
lawsuit filed on behalf of military personnel whose personal
information was stolen in a burglary at a health care
contractor, the Arizona Republic reports.  Judge Bolton said
there had been no actual damages. "Without damages, it doesn't
matter how negligent anyone was," she said.

The lawsuit stemmed from a December 14 burglary at the Phoenix
office of TriWest Healthcare Alliance, a private firm that runs
the Defense Department's TriCare HMO program.  It was filed on
behalf of Army Lt. Col. Michael Stollenwerk and other military
personnel who say their information was at risk of being misused
because of the break-in.  The thieves stole computer hard drives
containing medical histories and Social Security numbers for
about 562,000 military personnel.


                      Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Insurers Oppose Halliburton Settlement Plan
----------------------------------------------------------------
A few days after Halliburton's Dresser Industries, Kellogg Brown
& Root and six other units sought protection under Chapter 11 of
the Federal Bankruptcy Code, groups of insurance companies
launched various legal objections to the plan.

According to an AP report, more than 20 insurance companies want
a judge to dismiss a bankruptcy of several Halliburton Co.
subsidiaries that is a key to the company's $4,000,000,000
settlement of all current and future asbestos claims.

In a motion filed in Judge Judith Fitzgerald's Pittsburgh
bankruptcy court to dismiss the plan, the insurers say that, "A
financially healthy company which admittedly is able to pay all
of its existing and projected debts may not file bankruptcy to
boost its stock price or gain a tactical advantage in
litigation."

The insurers claim in a court filing the Houston-based oil
services and construction conglomerate bought approval from more
than 90 percent of the claimants before last week's bankruptcy
filing by agreeing to pay much more per claim than other
asbestos settlements, the AP report said.

The insurers said the historical per-claim average settlement in
asbestos cases is $920, while Halliburton's $2,775,000,000 cash
account for the deal would equate to an average of nearly $7,000
per claim.

"The out-of-pocket cost to Halliburton, while manageable, is not
nearly as large as it seems at first glance, given Halliburton's
stated belief that at least $2,100,000,000 of the $2,775,000,000
cash cost of the settlement will eventually be reimbursed by
insurers," the insurers said in their filing.

Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall called the insurers'
challenge a stalling tactic the company expects to overcome.  
"This is simply an attempt by the insurers to keep victims from
getting paid," she told AP.  The company said a hearing on the
issue is scheduled for January 13.

Halliburton followed the trend started by other companies hit by
mounting asbestos litigation.  The company recently filed a
long-awaited, pre-negotiated bankruptcy petition in Pittsburgh
for Kellogg, Brown & Root, DII Industries and six other
subsidiaries to settle about 400,000 asbestos and 21,000 silica
claims as part of a $4,170,000,000 settlement announced a year
ago.

The company seeks to work out its debts by creating a trust that
will absorb liability for all its current and future asbestos-
related lawsuits. By striking payment agreements with plaintiff
attorneys prior to the bankruptcy filing, Halliburton hopes to
speed through the proceedings and pull its units back out of
bankruptcy court, cleaned of asbestos liability, by next April,
according to a Wall Street Journal report.

If approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith Fitzgerald, the deal
would absolve the company of all current and future asbestos
claims.  The company has set aside $2,775,000,000 in cash to pay
claims, and the rest will be paid in stock once the plan is
approved.

Ms. Hall told AP that the company is confident it "will
ultimately recover our legitimate expenditures from the
insurers."

Halliburton inherited the asbestos claims when the company
bought Dresser Industries Inc., for $7,700,000,000.

The bankruptcy was filed in Pittsburgh because most of the
asbestos claims were filed against a former Dresser subsidiary,
Pittsburgh-based Harbison-Walker Refractories Co., which also is
in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Halliburton, and its government
operations business responsible for its controversial contracts
in Iraq are not included in the bankruptcy filing.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Judge Asked to Recuse Himself From Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
A federal appeals court has urged the judge overseeing five
multibillion-dollar asbestos-related Chapter 11 bankruptcies to
determine whether he should step down from cases and has set
January 31 as the deadline.

The ruling comes a few days after the United States Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit heard arguments on a request by
creditors that Judge Alfred M. Wolin of Federal District Court
in Newark be ordered to step down from the Chapter 11 cases of
Owens Corning, W.R. Grace & Co., USG Corporation, Armstrong
World Industries Inc. and Federal-Mogul Global Inc.

Judge Wolin was appointed to oversee the cases about two years
ago.  To help resolve the cases, he has held private discussions
with parties in the case, and brought on five advisers with
expertise in asbestos cases, according to an article by the
Newark Star-Ledger.  Two of his advisers, Newark attorney David
Gross and retired state Superior Court Judge C. Judson Hamlin,
have been criticized because they are advocates for asbestos
victims in a similar bankruptcy pending before another federal
judge in Newark.  

The lawyers who call for Judge Wolin's recusal say that the
advisers are not impartial and could influence Judge Wolin's
decisions.  There have also been allegations that private
conversations have been too extensive and frequent.

New York Times reports that in the appeals court's decision,
Judge Leonard I. Garth wrote that not enough evidence had yet
been gathered to support a decision on Judge Wolin.  Judge Garth
also noted that sending the matter back to Judge Wolin for
gathering of more evidence could delay the complex Chapter 11
proceedings of the five companies.

He added, however that "we nevertheless believe that a short
delay so that an evidentiary record may be developed is to be
preferred rather than making an ill-informed decision on
allegations alone."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Residents, Lawmakers Address Asbestos Woes
---------------------------------------------------------------
Homeowners and contractors in Libby, Montana are worried about
the status of the asbestos-contaminated Zonolite insulation,
according to a report from the Great Falls Tribune.  Some want
financial assistance with costs of removing contaminated
insulation, while others want better enforcement of laws
designed to prevent exposure to the asbestos, the report said.

Two Great Falls lawmakers recently told The Tribune that they
plan to track the issue.  John Podolinsky, air quality
specialist with the Montana DEQ Asbestos Control Program, urged
residents to voice their concerns.  "You can push for
legislative action," he said.

The state has drawn national attention for asbestos problems
since disclosure five years ago that much of the town of Libby
was contaminated with asbestos from a vermiculite mine that once
operated there.  Libby is now a federal Superfund site where
some $180,000,000 will be spent cleaning land and homes.

However, few programs exist to help the potentially thousands of
homeowners elsewhere in the state whose dwellings were built
more than 50 years ago, at a time when Zonolite insulation made
from contaminated Libby ore was commonly used.  Much of that
insulation was made in Great Falls at the now-defunct Robinson
Insulation Co.  Several were homeowners from across northcentral
Montana who wanted to know where to get more information or
financial help dealing with Zonolite insulation.

Left alone, the insulation is not a health risk, but it is easy
to disturb the insulation, which could free asbestos fibers into
the air. Inhaling the fibers creates risk for asbestos-related
lung diseases, although the risks vary by individual and
symptoms take as long as 30 years to develop.  Even homeowners
who don't go into their attics could face risks if the loose,
fluffy insulation begins to seep through cracks in ceilings or
walls of an aging home.

Zonolite was commonly used in homes built during the 1930s and
1940s.  That includes up to a third of homes in Great Falls, and
potentially thousands of dwellings in the region and state.  

Buck O'Brien, who put Zonolite insulation in his shop years ago,
said he doesn't want his grandchildren exposed to a potentially
harmful product.  "You don't want that to trickle out through
the light fixtures," he said.

Calling a consultant to test for asbestos and then removing the
insulation can cost $10,000 or more.  John Klinefelter with
Klinefelter's Insulation, said he often re-insulates homes to
help property owners reduce energy costs.  He said he is
surprised the Legislature hasn't done more to get the word out
about regulations surrounding asbestos-containing materials.

"I think somebody has missed the ballgame on this trying to
educate people," he told The Tribune.

Sen. Don Ryan, D-Great Falls, said he hopes to talk with the
Department of Environmental Quality about what their needs are
to keep up with the asbestos issue.  Rep. John Parker, D-Great
Falls, did not attend the forum but recently told The Tribune
that he, too, will track the issue.

Larry Alheim, environmental enforcement specialist with the DEQ,
said the department has issued numerous warning letters to
contractors who don't follow the rules.  Those who continue to
violate rules face fines, and enforcement actions are on the
rise, he said.

In 2002 the department took two actions against contractors,
leveling fines of $9,516.  This year, it handled four cases with
fines totaling $185,203.  The 2003 violations were more serious,
such as disregarding safe work practices, Mr. Alheim said.

The department also is working more closely with local
government officials to identify noncompliance for general
contractors, and Mr. Alheim said that, too, may lead to
increased action.

Craig Barnes of Great Falls said he has Zonolite in his attic
and there could be asbestos in his ceiling tiles.  He has done
electrical work that disturbed the insulation.  "My heart is
pounding right now," Mr. Barnes said after listening to
presentations from state health and environmental officials.  He
said he doesn't want to gamble with his family's safety, but
costs of testing for asbestos and having it removed are
daunting.  "Is there any financial assistance available?" he
said.

In most cases there isn't, Mr. Podolinsky, the DEQ asbestos
official told The Tribune.  Most insurance policies also don't
cover replacing the insulation, and some policies have
exclusions for asbestos-containing materials.

Many at the Tuesday forum were concerned about the health risks
associated with asbestos.  Howard Miller, who has been on oxygen
for the past four years, retired from Grogan Robinson Lumber Co.
in 1980.  He helped carry bags of Zonolite and other materials
made at Robinson Insulation, which was on River Drive on the
same property as the lumber company.  Mr. Miller has not been
diagnosed with asbestosis, but when he learned about the lung
problems experienced by Robinson Insulation employees, red flags
went up.

Phil Thompson, another former employee of Grogan Robinson Lumber
Co., also spent time in the insulation plant.  He has scarring
on his lungs and is concerned.  "I will get tested again," he
vowed.

Michael Spence, state medical officer with the Montana
Department of Public Health and Human Services, said Montana has
10 times the rate of mesothelioma that there is in other areas
based on population.  Mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the
lining of the chest or abdomen that most often is caused by
asbestos exposure.  "We think it is because of the amount of
asbestos in the state," Mr. Spence said.

Asbestosis is not cancer, but is a progressive disease of the
lungs that makes breathing difficult.  Mr. Spence also said that
a person who has asbestosis can lead a long and productive life.  
"The disease is many things to many people," he told the Great
Falls Tribune.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Gets 6,000 New Claims
---------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler Ltd reports in its latest regulatory filing with
the Securities and Exchange Commission that in the third quarter
of 2003, around 6,000 new claims were filed and around 3,200
were either settled or dismissed without payment.

The amount spent on asbestos litigation defense and case
resolution, substantially all of which was reimbursed or the
Company expects will be reimbursed from insurance coverage was
$20,500 in the third quarter of 2003.

Foster Wheeler has determined that as of Sept. 26, it is a named
defendant in active lawsuits involving around 77,700 plaintiffs.  
It also is a respondent in around 70,500 open administrative
claims.  The total number of open cases involves about 148,200
claimants.  This number of claims does not include 24,500 claims
on inactive, stayed, deferred or similar court dockets in
jurisdictions where such dockets have been established for
claimants who allege minimal or no impairment.

All of the open administrative claims have been filed under
blanket administrative agreements the Company has with various
law firms representing claimants and do not specify monetary
damages sought.  

In September, the Company's subsidiaries entered a settlement
and release agreement that resolves coverage litigation between
them and certain London Market and North River Insurers. This
agreement provides for cash payment of $5,925, which has been
received by the Company, and additional amounts that have been
deposited in a trust for use by the Company's subsidiaries for
defense and indemnity of asbestos claims. The pending litigation
and negotiations with other insurers is continuing.

Foster Wheeler has recorded a liability related to probable
costs on asbestos-related insurance claims of around $495,700,
as of Sept. 26, of which around $35,000 is considered short-
term. The Company had recorded an asset of approximately
$532,000 relating to probable insurance recoveries of which the
Company is awaiting reimbursement of around $64,600 as of
Sept.26. In addition to the $497,000 shown separately in the
balance sheet, approximately $35,000 is recorded in accounts and
notes receivable.  The asset is an estimate of recoveries from
insurers based upon assumptions relating to cost allocation and
resolution of pending proceedings with certain insurers.

The total liability recorded is comprised of an estimated
liability relating to outstanding claims of around $338,200 and
an estimated liability relating to future unasserted claims of
around $157,500.  These estimates are based upon the following
information and/or assumptions: number of open claims;
forecasted number of future claims; estimated average cost per
claim by disease type; and the breakdown of known and future
claims into disease type.  The total estimated liability
includes both the estimate of forecasted indemnity amounts and
forecasted defense expenses. The defense costs and indemnity
payments are expected to be incurred over the next 15 years
during which period new claims are expected to decline from year
to year, the filing said.

The Company believes that there will be a substantial reduction
in the number of new claims filed after 2018 although there are
no assurances this will be correct.  The Company periodically
updates its forecasts of estimated future costs and insurance
recoveries to take into consideration its experience and other
considerations such as legislation.  

A subsidiary of the Company in the United Kingdom has also
received a limited number of claims alleging personal injury
arising from exposure to asbestos. None of these claims have
resulted in material costs to the Company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hartford Okays Asbestos Settlement Deal
------------------------------------------------------------
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. has agreed to pay
$1,150,000,000 to settle asbestos-related litigation with its
former clients MacArthur Co. and its unit subsidiary Western
MacArthur Co.  The settlement is going to be the company's
largest single asbestos payout ever protecting the company from
a larger bill to the tune of $2,500,000,000 against MacArthur.

According to The Hartford Courant, the agreement is subject to
bankruptcy court approval because MacArthur is in bankruptcy
proceedings.  The settlement is also contingent on the court's
final approval of a plan of reorganization that grants The
Company protection from further liability for asbestos claims
against MacArthur.

The Company will pay the $1,150,000,000 during the first quarter
of 2004.  The money will be held in escrow until the conditions
are met, and then will be placed in a bankruptcy trust for
present and future MacArthur claimants.  The insurer boosted its
gross asbestos reserves by $3,900,000,000 earlier this year
after studying the potential ultimate cost of claims.

The company's spokeswoman told The Hartford Courant that a study
anticipated various outcomes of the MacArthur litigation, with
some estimates lower and some higher than the $1,150,000,000
settlement.  After reinsurance, the settlement will cost The
Company about $900 million.

According to The Hartford Courant, the insurance company had
$3.6 billion in net asbestos reserves (net of reinsurance) as of
September 30.  So the settlement would reduce the reserves that
to $2.7 billion excluding any other asbestos claim activity
after September 30.  The Company has gross asbestos reserves,
which include reinsurance, of $5.7 billion at September 30.

The St. Paul Companies agreed in 2002 to pay $975 million to
settle its asbestos claims from MacArthur.  The Company's
litigation with MacArthur, its biggest asbestos exposure, dates
to October 2000.  The Company, which insured MacArthur from 1967
to 1976 for general liability, contends it made payments under
those policies that exhausted the coverage limits by 1987.

In 2000, however, MacArthur alleged that the policies in
question still had coverage available for claims other than
product liability.  Ramani Ayer, The Hartford's chairman and
chief executive, called for reform of the way asbestos lawsuits
are handled.  "The injustice or our asbestos litigation system
cries out for real reform," and the Company will continue to
work for it, Mr. Ayer told The Hartford Courant.  "If anyone
needs proof that the system is broken, I can offer this case."


ASBESTOS ALERT: Bolidem MKM Fined GBP10T For Asbestos Exposure
--------------------------------------------------------------
A factory in West Midlands was fined GBP10,000 after many of its
workers were exposed to the white asbestos, believed linked to
asbestosis, a crippling lung disease.  A brass heat treatment
furnace was demolished without proper precautionary measures
releasing clouds of asbestos dust at the Boliden MKM factory in
Middlemore Lane, Walsall.

Boliden pleaded guilty to three offenses under the Control of
Asbestos at Work Act and one under the Management of Health and
Safety at Work regulations, according to an article in
expressandstar.com.  The company was fined GBP10,000 and was
ordered to pay costs of GBP2,518.90.

Jan Willetts, prosecuting for the Health and Safety Executive,
said in the course of demolition work, a substantial amount of
white asbestos was released from the internal lining of the
furnace.  She added the removal of the furnace was carried out
by three of the company's own workers over the weekend of
October 25 last year, when more than a dozen staff were on the
premises.

It was one of the worst single cases of failure to control
exposure to asbestos in her 16 years' experience, she said,
because it could have been prevented.  She added the HSE issued
a prohibition notice for the contaminated area in November 2002,
and it was finally lifted in May, following a full
investigation.

Alan Millband, defendant's attorney, told the expressandstar.com
the company wished to express its "sincere regret" to the
workforce.  He added counseling and advice had been offered
through the GMB union.

Mr. Millband said Boliden had used licensed asbestos removal
experts in the past, and consultants had examined the furnace
and advised asbestos could be inside.  It was always envisaged
that further sampling would be required at the appropriate stage
of the demolition process, but this never happened because of a
breakdown in communications.  Mr. Millband said it was not an
attempt to save money.  A new regime was now in place and a
full-time health and safety manager had been appointed.

Karl Soderberg, managing director of Swedish-owned Boliden MKM
was in court to hear the sentence, but afterwards declined to
comment further, the expressandstar.com reports.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Court Awards $530,000 to Dead Asbestos Victim
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Western Australia awards $530,000 in
damages posthumously to a man whose death is linked to an
asbestos-related disease.

Alfredo Misiani succumbed to mesothelioma last year, seven
months after he was diagnosed of the disease.  The WA Supreme
Court found his employer had been negligent and awarded Misiani
$530,000, ABC Online reported.

Mr. Misiani, a native of Perth worked as an apprentice at
Tomlinson Steel in the 1960s where he was exposed to the deadly
dust.  

Survivorship legislation introduced last year now allows claims
to continue beyond the death of the plaintiff.  Lawyer Tim
Hammond is warning employers that the result will set a
precedent for hundreds of other cases.  "They will be pursued
until the claim is resolved so the stalling tactic won't work,"
he told ABC Online.

Relatives of Mr. Misian told ABC Online they were happy with the
decision and are encouraging other victims and their families to
follow suit.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Attorney Penalized for Improper Asbestos Removal
----------------------------------------------------------------
An attorney will serve two years of probation and pay more than
$5,000 for hazardously removing asbestos from his New Orleans
office in 1999.

A state environmental inspector caught Curklin Atkins, 49,
sitting in a dust-filled room at 2601 Tulane Ave. while workers
jackhammered the floor around him.  Mr. Atkins was removing a
floor of marble tile that was installed over asbestos tile, but
he took no safety precautions in removing the flooring, federal
prosecutors told Times Picayune.

Acting on a complaint, the inspector observed workers tearing
out the tile and asbestos and dumping it in a pickup truck
outside.  No one wore protective gear, and the asbestos was
being released into the air.

Mr. Atkins pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of releasing
a hazardous pollutant into the air.  US District Court Chief
Judge Ginger Berrigan sentenced him to probation, including six
months of home confinement, plus a $2,000 fine and $3,400 in
restitution.

                 New Securities Fraud Cases


CARRER EDUCATION: Goodkind Labaton Files Securities Suit in IL
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP filed a
class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois, on behalf of persons who
purchased or otherwise acquired publicly traded securities of
Career Education Corporation between April 22, 2003 and December
2, 2003, inclusive, against the Company and:

     (1) John M. Larson, and

     (2) Patrick K. Pesch

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. Specifically the complaint alleges that
the defendants' statements were materially false and misleading
because they failed to disclose and or misrepresented that the
company's strong financial growth was a product of inflated
student records, that student records were falsified in order to
show a higher rate of enrollment, retention and graduation, and
that the Company forced its employees to falsify such records.

The true facts concerning the company's record growth began to
emerge on November 11, 2003, when the Record, a Bergen County
New Jersey newspaper, reported that a former director of Gibbs
College, a school owned by the defendants, had filed a lawsuit
against the company. The former director accused the defendants
of falsifying student records to show higher enrollment. On this
news shares of Career Education fell more than 13% or $7.10 to
$45.18.

Then on December 3, 2003, The Santa Barbara News-Press reported
that another former employee at a school owned by the defendants
had filed another lawsuit alleging that defendants falsified
student records. On news of this, shares of Career Education
fell nearly 28% or $15.28 per share to close at $39.48 on
December 3, 2003.

For more information, contact Christopher Keller, by Phone:
800-321-0476, or E-mail: investorrelations@glrslaw.com.


CAREER EDUCATION: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in N.D. IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division against
defendant Career Education Corporation and certain of its
officers and directors, on behalf of shareholders who purchased,
converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of
Career Education Corporation between April 22, 2003 and December
2, 2003, inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more 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.


CERUS CORPORATION: Charles Piven Files Stock Lawsuit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California against defendant Cerus and
certain of its officers and directors, on behalf of shareholders
who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the
common stock of Cerus Corporation between October 25, 2000 and
September 3, 2003, inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more 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.


CLEAN HARBORS: Charles Piven Launches Securities Lawsuit in MA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts against defendant Alamosa and certain
of its officers and directors, on behalf of shareholders who
purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common
stock of Clean Harbors, Inc. between November 19, 2002 and
August 14, 2003, inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more 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.


FEDERATED FUNDS: Stull Stull Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Stull, Stull & Brody, initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, on behalf of purchasers, redeemers and holders of shares
of the Federated Family of Funds, which are managed by Federated
Investors, Inc., 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 named below,
are as follows:

     (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)

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 issued false and misleading statements in Federated's
registration statements and prospectuses and, as a result,
plaintiffs and the Class were damaged.

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


INVESCO FUNDS: Weiss & Yourman Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Weiss & Yourman initiated a class action lawsuit in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of purchasers of securities of INVESCO Mutual Funds
managed by Invesco Funds Group, Inc., which is a subsidiary of
Amvescap PLC, during the period of December 5, 1998 to November
24, 2003, inclusive.

The following INVESCO Mutual Funds are subject to this class
action:

     (1) INVESCO Advantage Health Sciences Fund (Sym: IAGHX,
         IGHBX, IGHCX)

     (2) INVESCO Advantage Fund (Sym: IADAX, IADBX, IADCX)

     (3) INVESCO Latin American Growth Fund (Sym: IVSLX)

     (4) INVESCO Core Equity Fund (Sym: ICEAX, ICEBX, IINCX,
         FIIIX, IEIKX)

     (5) INVESCO Dynamics Fund (Sym: IDYAX, IDYBX, IFDCX, FIDYX,
         IDYKX)

     (6) INVESCO Energy Fund (Sym: IENAX, IENBX, IEFCX, FSTEX,
         IENKX)

     (7) INVESCO Financial Services Fund (Sym: IFSAX, IFSBX,
         IFSCX, FSFSX, FSFKX)

     (8) INVESCO Gold & Precious Metals Fund (Sym: IGDAX, IGDBX,
         IGDCX, FGLDX)

     (9) INVESCO Health Sciences Fund (Sym: IAHSX, IBHSX, IHSCX,
         FHLSX, IHSKX)

    (10) INVESCO International Core Equity Fund (formerly known
         as International Blue Chip Value Fund) (Sym: IBVAX,
         IBVBX, IBVCX, IIBCX)

    (11) INVESCO Leisure Fund (Sym: ILSAX, LSBX, IVLCX, FLISX,
         ILEKX)

    (12) INVESCO Mid-Cap Growth Fund (Sym: IMGAX, IMGBX, IMGCX,
         IVMIX)

    (13) INVESCO Multi-Sector Fund (Sym: IAMSX, IBMSX, ICMSX,
         ICMSX)

    (14) AIM INVESCO S&P Index Fund (Sym: ISPIX)

    (15) INVESCO Small Company Growth Fund (Sym: ISGAX, ISGBX,
         ISGCX FIEGX ISCKX)

    (16) INVESCO Technology Fund (Sym: ITYAX, ITYBX, ITHCX,
         FTCHX, ITHKX)

    (17) INVESCO Total Return Fund (Sym: IATRX, IBTRX, ITRCX,
         FSFLX)

    (18) INVESCO Utilities Fund (Sym: IAUTX, IBUTX, IUTCX,
         ISTUX)

    (19) AIM INVESCO Cash Reserves Fund (currently known as AIM
         Money Market Fund) (New symbol: AIMXX)

    (20) AIM INVESCO Tax-Free Money Fund (Sym: FFRXX)

    (21) AIM INVESCO Treasurers Money Market Reserve Fund (Sym:
         IMRXX)

    (22) AIM INVESCO Treasurers Tax-Exempt Reserve Fund (Sym:
         ITTXX)

    (23) AIM INVESCO US Government Money Fund (Sym: FUGXX)

    (24) INVESCO Advantage Fund (Sym: IADAX, IADBX, IADCX)

    (25) INVESCO Balanced Fund (Sym: IBLAX, IBLBX, IBNCX, IBFIX,
         IMABX, IBLKX)

    (26) INVESCO European Fund (Sym: IEUAX, IEUBX, FEURX, IEUKX)

    (27) INVESCO Growth Fund (Sym: IAGWX, IBGWX, IBGCX, FLRFX,
         IGWKX)

    (28) INVESCO High-Yield Fund (Sym: IAHYX, IBHYX, IHYCX
         FHYPX, IHYKX)

    (29) INVESCO Growth & Income Fund, (Sym: IGIAX, IGIBX,
         IGRCX, IVGIX, IGIKX)

    (30) INVESCO Real Estate Opportunity Fund (Sym: IAREX,
         IBREX, IRECX, IVSRX)

    (31) INVESCO Select Income Fund (Sym: IASIX, IBSIX, ISICX,
         FBDSX)

    (32) INVESCO Tax-Free Bond Fund (Sym: IXBAX, IXBBX, ITFCX,
         FTIFX)

    (33) INVESCO Telecommunications Fund (Sym: ITLAX, ITLBX,
         INTCX, ISWCX, ITEKX)

    (34) INVESCO U.S. Government Securities Fund (Sym :IGVAX,
         IGVBX, IUGCX, FBDGX)

    (35) INVESCO Value Fund (Sym: IAVEX, IBVEX, IVACX, FSEQX)

The complaint charges defendants with violations of the
Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and
the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. It alleges that defendants
issued false and misleading statements in their prospectuses
and, as a result, plaintiff and the Class were damaged.

For more information, contact David C. Katz or Richard A.
Acocelli, by Mail: 551 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10176,
by Phone: (888) 593-4771 or (212) 682-3025, or by E-mail:
info@wynyc.com.


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York against defendant Marsh & McLennan
and certain of its officers and directors, on behalf of
shareholders who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise
acquired the common stock of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
between January 3, 2000 and November 3, 2003, inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more 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.


NETWORK ENGINES: Lasky & Rifkind Commences Securities Suit in MA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd., initiated a lawsuit in the United States
District Court for the District of Massachusetts against Network
Engines and certain officers and directors, on behalf of persons
who purchased or otherwise acquired publicly traded securities
of Network Engines Inc. between November 6, 2003 and December
10, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that Defendants knew but failed to
disclose that Network Engines was in the process of
renegotiating its distribution contract with EMC, and that EMC
was calling for price reductions, which if agreed to, would
negatively impact the Company's financial results.

Nevertheless, throughout the class period, the Company continued
to issue positive statements, touting the company's financial
performance and the success of its relationship with its largest
customer EMC.

On December 10, 2003, the Company announced, along with other
items, that it had renegotiated its distribution contract with
EMC. The amendment to the contract would negatively impact the
company's results. Following this announcement, shares of
network Engines fell $3.92 per share, or 39% to close at $6.10
per share.

For more information, contact (800) 495-1868 to speak with an
advisor.


PRICESMART INC.: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in S.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of California, on behalf of shareholders who
purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common
stock of PriceSmart, Inc. between December 20, 2001 and November
7, 2003, inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more 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.


VIRBAC CORPORATION: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in TX
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Texas, Forth Worth Division, against
defendant Virbac and certain of its officers, on behalf of
shareholders who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise
acquired the common stock of Virbac Corporation between May 3,
2001 through November 12, 2003, inclusive.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more 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.


VIRBAC CORPORATION: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Stock Suit in N.D. TX
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd., initiated a lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Texas, Ft. Worth Division, on behalf of persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired publicly traded securities of Virbac
Corporation between May 3, 2001 and November 12, 2003,
inclusive, against the Company and:

     (1) Thomas L. Bell, and

     (2) Joseph A. Rougraff

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. During the class period, Defendants
issued a series of material misrepresentations to the market
concerning the Company's financial results.

Specifically, the Defendants' statements were materially false
and misleading because they failed to disclose and/or
misrepresented that Virbac had materially overstated its net
income and earnings per share, that Virbac had materially
overstated its inventory, and that the company lacked adequate
internal controls to ascertain its true financial condition.

On November 12, 2003 the Company announced that it would delay
the release of its financial results for the quarter and nine
months ended September 30, 2003, pending completion of an
internal inquiry being conducted by the Audit Committee of the
Company's Board of Directors. The Company went on to state that
its outside auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, raised questions
relating to the company's revenue recognition practices and
inventory accounting practices.

The market reacted negatively to this news, sending the
Company's shares 22%, or $11.85 lower, before it was halted by
NASDAQ. On November 24, 2003 Virbac announced it would restate
its results for 2001, 2002 and the first two quarters of 2003
due to questions raised by the Company's auditors.

For more information, contact (800) 495-1868 to speak with an
advisor.


                        *********

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

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

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