CAR_Public/040105.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
             Monday, January 5, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 2

                         Headlines                            

AMERICAN INDIANS: Agriculture Dept Fighting Farmers' Lawsuit
ANTHRAX: Federal Authorities Assert Vaccine Is Safe, Effective
BOILER ROOM: SEC Begins Administrative Proceedings V. Traders
CANADA: Court Approves Sex Abuse Suit Pact V. Private School  
FIELDSTONE COMMUNITIES: Faces Suit For Working Without License

JAPAN: Patient Receives AIDS-Infected Blood Through Transfusion
MAD COW DISEASE: DA Officials Track Meat From Infected Animal
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Faces More Mutual Fund "Market Timing" Suits
MR. CHRISTMAS: Recalls Christmas Candleholders For Fire Hazard
NISSAN: Starting Recall of 276T Sentras for Faulty Engine Part

OK TEDI: Reaches Out-of-Court Pact for Breach Of Claims Lawsuit
OPULENTICA LLC: Accused of Selling Unregistered Securities
PARMALAT: Lawyers Seek Arrest of Founder Amid Fraud Allegations
PARMALAT: Italian Official Says New Detentions Made in Scandal
PARMALAT: SEC Commences Securities Fraud Complaint in S.D. NY

PENNSYLVANIA: Court Rules in Favor of Chronic Beryllium Patients
PRESIDENTS TRUST: SEC Launches Injunctive Suit For Stock Fraud
RECORDING INDUSTRY: DC Court Rules For ISPs Over File-Sharing
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Court Decertifies "Light Cigarettes" Lawsuit
WORLDCOM INC.: Opt-Out Deadline For Suit Set For Feb. 20, 2004

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

BIOPURE CORPORATION: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Suit in MA
BIOPURE CORPORATION: Fruchter & Twersky Files Stock Suit in MA
DYNACQ HEALTHCARE: Barrack Rodos Lodges Stock Fraud Suit in TX
EXCELSIOR FUNDS: Much Shelist Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Suit in NY

PORTAL SOFTWARE: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in CA
PRICESMART INC.: Finkelstein & Krinsk Lodges CA Securities Suit
REDBACK NETWORKS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files CA Securities Suit
REDBACK NETWORKS: Green & Jigarjian Launches CA Securities Suit
REDBACK NETWORKS: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA

SILICON IMAGE: Green & Jigarjian Lodges N.D. CA Securities Suit
SILICON IMAGE: Abbey Gardy Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
TOPAZ GROUP: Keller Rohrback Launches Securities Suit in W.D. WA

                         *********


AMERICAN INDIANS: Agriculture Dept Fighting Farmers' Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been
accused of turning up the heat on plaintiffs in the class action
filed by American Indian farmers, styled "Keepseagle v. Veneman
No. 99-03119 D.D.C.)," by forcing accelerated payments and
foreclosures on the farms and ranches of American Indians,
Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News reports.

"This year we started to hear that Indians were being notified
that the USDA is unwilling to renegotiate terms of loans and
wanted payment promptly, accelerated payment or it would
foreclose or seize other support such as tax refunds and farm
subsidies," Joseph M. Sellers, a partner at Washington's Cohen,
Milstein, Hausfeld and Toll, told the Tribune Business News.  
"This is effectively a death warrant on these farmers and
ranchers.  It would result in bankruptcy."

The suit alleges that the USDA has denied loans that they were
qualified to receive or gave loans on less favorable terms than
their white male counterparts.  Others said they were subjected
to delays or refused applications.  "We've had farmers and
ranchers who have lost their farms, others left because they
couldn't make money, giving up land that has been in the family
for decades," said Mr. Sellers.  "Every day that passes without
movement these people risk loss."

The case was filed in October 1999 following the release of a
Feb. 1997 study conducted by the department's Civil Rights Act
Team (CRAT) revealing that minorities had less access to loans
and at higher rates than their white male counterparts.  At the
same time, an ongoing series of studies by the department's
Office of Inspector General concluded there was widespread
discrimination in the department resulting from the dismantling
of its Civil Rights Office in 1984 when the USDA lost funding
and abandoned thousands of complaints.

In 1998 Congress enacted legislation to allow minority farmers
and ranchers to bring claims against the department with a
statute of limitations extending back to January 1, 1981 to July
1, 1997.  More than 19,000 American Indians from North Dakota,
South Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma and other states are alleging
unfair treatment by agricultural officials during the past 20
years.

"The case began with 838 clients who came forward," Anu Varma,
associate attorney at the firm told the Tribune Business News.  
"It keeps growing and we're not certain how large it will get.
There's never been an accurate report on the number of American
Indian farmers."

A mission of the USDA is to financially aid farmers whose
profits are often at the whim of frost, storms and droughts that
cause economic uncertainty.  These loans, used by most farmers
in the country, are done through the department's Farm Service
Agency.  A farmer seeking the loan must show that he or she was
unable to get a loan from a private lender.  He must apply to a
county board comprised of neighbors who consider intangibles
such as good character.

The attorneys, relying with elegant simplicity on the CRAT
report, asked the courts to certify their clients as a class
action in December 2001.  That same month, USDA invoked a
provision that let it ask the Court of Appeal to review the case
and asked for a stay of the case until reviewed.

In October 2002, the Court of Appeals dismissed the request for
an appeal and vacated the stay on proceedings.  At the end of
last year, the plaintiff's attorneys approached USDA to schedule
a trial but USDA wanted to have the case briefed and sent back
to the Court of Appeals, which would delay the day of reckoning.
In January 2003, Sellers filed for a status conference.  The
judge denied this, but asked for proposals from both sides to be
submitted by early March.

"We filed for trial as fast as we could," said Mr. Sellers.  
"But the last action was when the judge asked for proposals.
These have not yet been acted on."

Months later, Mr. Sellers discovered the USDA was pressuring
Indian farmers for payments in what he said is a hope the
Natives will abandon their suit against USDA.  He filed briefs
with the judge in June requesting an end to USDA's acceleration
and seizing of payments.  "We filed to impress on the judge the
effect of allowing more time to pass," he added.  "It's an
injustice on our clients."

USDA responded to the briefs by saying that negotiating loans is
up to the department's discretion.  The firm learned that in a
previous case when black farmers sued the USDA for the same
indiscretions as the Indians alleged, the government had
suspended foreclosure proceedings because it recognized the
terms of the loans were being contested as inequitable.  The
attorneys also learned that in the 1990s a group of white
farmers filed a claim against the USDA saying they were
discriminated against.  The case was dismissed, but not before
the government again agreed to forbear on loans to everyone
involved until the case was over.

USDA refused to do the same for us, Mr. Sellers said.  The
attorneys have filed a new motion for a status conference again,
a year after asking for the conference a first time.  "The
combination of a government agency operation and a judiciary
system overburdened has delayed this," said Mr. Sellers.

Last April, the agency hired its first assistant secretary of
civil rights, attorney Vernon B. Parker.  However, despite the
changes implemented under Secretary Dan Glickman, the attorneys
say the USDA has not rectified the findings of its 1997 CRAT
report.


ANTHRAX: Federal Authorities Assert Vaccine Is Safe, Effective
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made it official again
Tuesday: The anthrax vaccine is safe and effective, no matter
how the infection is spread, the Associated Press reports.

The ruling comes a week after a federal judge halted the
military's anthrax inoculations, saying he thought the vaccine
was experimental if used to prevent inhaled anthrax instead of
the through-the-skin form.

The Justice Department, citing the FDA order, asked U.S.
District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to set aside his preliminary
ban, except for the six plaintiffs who filed a class action
against the Defense Department to stop the vaccinations.  As an
alternative, the department asked that the court set aside its
ruling pending an appeal.

"The longer such an injunction remains in place, the greater is
the danger to the men and women of our armed forces and to our
military preparedness," the department said, AP reports.  
"Prolonged cessation of the inoculation program would gravely
threaten the safety of more and more service members."

Mark Zaid, one of the lawyers representing the service members
who sued the government, said the FDA rule "is nothing more than
after-the-fact gamesmanship to overrule the court's findings.  
It appears reflective of policy duress than independent
analysis."

The vaccine actually has been government-approved for sale since
1970 and its label says it protects regardless of the route of
anthrax exposure, something FDA officials have repeatedly
stressed.  The agency published a formal regulation Tuesday
restating the approval - a bureaucratic step decades in the
making that doesn't change the vaccine's sales status.

The FDA in 1972 gained jurisdiction over vaccines and related
products from the National Institutes of Health and began
double-checking that they met the agency's requirements.  In
1985, FDA proposed the rule codified today, re-certifying the
safety of the anthrax vaccine and some other vaccines against
bacterial infections.  That proposal had never been finalized as
the FDA moved on to jobs it considered more important.

The anthrax attacks of 2001 reminded the FDA that it needed to
formally finish the job, and the rule was moving through final
review by the Bush administration when the judge ruled last
week.  It wasn't clear if the FDA rule would have any effect on
suspended military vaccinations.


BOILER ROOM: SEC Begins Administrative Proceedings V. Traders
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued orders instituting
separate administrative proceedings against Edward Becker, Gregg
Becker and Eric Stuerken pursuant to Section 15(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
     
The respondents were associated with the Melville, New York
branch of Investors Associates, Inc., formerly a registered
broker-dealer.  Each of the Respondents pleaded guilty or was
found guilty by a jury in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York of securities fraud and of
conspiracy to commit securities fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud
arising from his participation in selling penny stocks promoted
by Investors Associates, Inc.  


CANADA: Court Approves Sex Abuse Suit Pact V. Private School  
------------------------------------------------------------
An Ontario court approved a settlement agreement Tuesday between
a private boys' school and former students who claim they were
sexually abused by a man who taught there for 20 years, the
Associated Press reports.

The settlement, reached in early December, allows former
students to receive counseling and to make claims for financial
compensation from Upper Canada College.  While only two students
have so far made claims against the tony Toronto school, the
lawyer for the lead plaintiff said one student estimated as many
as 200 men may come forward.

Claimants could be awarded as much as $5 million, according to
lawyer David Merner, if, like his client, they are "chronically
unemployed" and can attribute that to the alleged abuse suffered
at the school.  Family members are also entitled to
compensation.

"Some of these are extremely sad situations," Mr. Merner told AP
after the settlement was approved by Justice Colin Campbell in
Superior Court of Ontario.  He said the alleged sexual assault
against his client "has destroyed the relationship with (his)
family horribly for 20 years with much feeling of angst and
guilt."

The resolution process will be confidential, with the names of
the plaintiffs withheld from the public.  Former students can
make their claims in the next 90 days.  Their cases will then be
heard by the school and, if necessary, will go to a mediator and
arbitrator after that, John Laskin, Upper Canada College's
lawyer, told AP.  He said the legal woes at the school - which
charges almost $20,000 for a year's tuition and counts many
elite businessmen among its alumni - shouldn't affect its social
status.  "The events that we're concerned with here are events
that occurred years and years ago," Mr. Laskin said.  "There
have been a whole succession of changes undertaken at the school
as society's approach to these matters has evolved."

The settlement resolved a class action launched by a former
student against the school.  In the suit, the former student
alleged that a litany of crimes was committed against him and
other boys.  It sought $62 million in damages from Upper Canada
College and former teacher Douglas Brown, who taught there from
1973 to 1993.  The student alleged that Mr. Brown committed a
series of sexual, physical and emotional assaults against him
when he was 11 and 12 years old.  The suit also charged that
college administrators knew, or should have known, about the
alleged abuse, yet failed to take suitable action.

Former students can choose to opt out of the settlement process
and pursue their own legal actions against the school and Mr.
Brown.  School principal Doug Blakey, who was not named in the
suit, was in court Tuesday but did not speak to the media.

Lawyers for both sides were in court Tuesday on an application
for approval of the settlement, which was said to contain no
admission of liability by the college or Mr. Brown.  Mr. Brown
faces charges of sexually touching nine students at the school.
The criminal charges are expected to be addressed in court in
the new year.


FIELDSTONE COMMUNITIES: Faces Suit For Working Without License
--------------------------------------------------------------
A group of homeowners filed a class action, in Orange County
Superior Court, against Fieldstone Communities, a private
homebuilder based in Newport Beach, charging it with setting up
two shell companies that did construction and repair work
without proper licenses, Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News
reports.

The lawsuit, filed by the Kasdan, Simonds, Riley & Vaughan law
firm, based in Irvine, alleges that parent company Fieldstone
Communities has been using two subsidiaries, Fieldstone River
Ranch North LLC and Fieldstone Home Services, to build and
repair homes without a state contractor's license and failed to
disclose this to consumers.

The suit alleges that River Ranch North and Home Services do not
have sufficient assets to cover damages for defective
construction at homes they built or repaired.  River Ranch North
built the Somerton community in Oceanside and Home Services is
the customer-service arm for the properties in the state,
according to the lawsuit.  

The Company disputes the charges and insists that its companies
had all necessary licenses, the Tribune Business News states.  
"The Kasdan, Simonds, Riley & Vaughan law firm has been
aggressively contacting homeowners in communities built by
companies within The Fieldstone Group of Companies and other
residential builders for years," according to a company
statement.  "In fact, the law firm circulated letters to River
Ranch homeowners - and even held a community meeting - to
recruit residents for this legal action . Fieldstone Communities
will fight all false allegations in this lawsuit."

The suit was filed on behalf of a couple who in early 2002
purchased an Oceanside home built by River Ranch North.  Shortly
thereafter, the couple discovered construction defects that
include an incorrectly assembled bathroom tub that results in
wet wood inside the walls and water seeping through windows when
it rains. Home Services made several attempts to fix the
problems, but failed to do so, the homeowners say.

If the lawsuit is approved as a class action, plaintiffs could
total more than 2,200 people.  The lawsuit asks that Fieldstone
and its subsidiaries return all profits made from home
construction and repairs, which could amount to tens of millions
of dollars, said Ken Kasdan, an attorney for the homeowners.

"We allege in the lawsuit that Fieldstone Communities organized
Fieldstone River Ranch North LLC and Fieldstone Home Services
with the intention of evading potential lawsuits that might
result from shoddy materials or workmanship," said Michael
Turner, another plaintiffs' lawyer.

Homebuilders often create separate companies, typically limited
liability corporations, or LLCs, every time they build a new
project, said Tom Miller, a Newport Beach real estate lawyer who
specializes in construction-defect cases but is not involved in
the Fieldstone lawsuit.  The LLCs "are there to limit the
liability of the parent company to lawsuits," Mr. Miller said.

That legal strategy became popular five years ago when
construction companies felt the need to protect themselves
because insurance was harder to get and coverage was less than
it used to be, Mr. Miller said, also an author of the 1996
"Construction Defects in the Western States."

The strategy, which is used by O.C. companies such as William
Lyon Homes and the Irvine Co., is legal, he told the Tribune
Business News.  The LLCs, which carry their own insurance,
typically last about three years, the length of time it takes to
build out a community.


JAPAN: Patient Receives AIDS-Infected Blood Through Transfusion
---------------------------------------------------------------
A Japanese Health Ministry official on Monday said that a
patient has been infected with HIV after virus-tainted blood
slipped through the detection system of the Japan Red Cross and
was used in a transfusion, the Associated Press reports.

It was the first time that anyone in Japan had been infected
with HIV by a blood transfusion since a new screening system was
established in 1999, said ministry spokesman Kazunari Tanaka,
who added that the patient was the only one to receive the
tainted blood.

The discovery of the infection came after Red Cross officials
found the virus in the blood of a donor. Subsequent checks
showed that the same donor had given contaminated blood before,
but the blood had gone undetected and had been used in
transfusion.

Tanaka said the first donation came in May, at a time in the
donor's infection when it was particularly difficult to detect
the virus in the blood. The donor, a man in his 20s, made his
second donation on Nov. 16.

The donor's blood was in three samples. One of them was used in
the transfusion, and the other two were not used, meaning that
no further infections can result from the donation, Tanaka said.

It was the second time that HIV-tainted blood has passed through
a new Red Cross testing system since it was introduced in 1999,
but Tanaka said that no HIV infections had resulted from the
earlier case.

In that case, Red Cross officials said in July that the
organization had shipped about 6,400 blood products possibly
tainted with diseases - HIV, hepatitis or syphilis - to patients
across the country, and advised recent transfusion recipients to
seek follow-up testing.

An earlier blood scandal brought down a Japanese pharmaceutical
company, the now defunct Green Cross Corp. The company was
accused of failing to heat-treat imported blood products used to
make fibrogen, a blood-clotting drug, in the 1980s - despite
widespread knowledge at the time that untreated blood could
transmit HIV. The resulting scandal shook Japan's government and
pharmaceutical industry. About 1,800 hemophiliacs were infected,
and an estimated 500 have died.


MAD COW DISEASE: DA Officials Track Meat From Infected Animal
-------------------------------------------------------------
Despite U.S. Agriculture Department officials claims that there
is no health risk to consumers, investigators and retailers in
eight states and a territory are scrambling to recover meat that
may have come from a Holstein stricken with deadly mad cow
disease, the Associated Press reports.

Dr. Kenneth Petersen, a department veterinarian, said Sunday
that an investigation revealed that meat from the infected dairy
cow could have reached retail markets in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho
and Montana and the territory of Guam - more locations than
originally thought.  Officials had said earlier that most of the
meat went to Washington and Oregon, with lesser amounts to
California and Nevada, for retail sale.

"The recalled meat represents essentially zero risk to
consumers," said Dr. Petersen, of USDA's food safety agency.  He
told AP parts most likely to carry infection - the brain, spinal
cord and lower intestine - were removed before the meat from the
infected cow was cut and processed for human consumption.

Despite their assurances of food safety, federal officials have
taken the precaution of recalling 10,000 pounds of meat from the
infected cow and from 19 other cows slaughtered December 9 at
Vern's Moses Lake Meat Co., in Moses Lake, Washington.  Because
it is not known exactly what portions of the meat cut that day
came from the diseased cow, health authorities must assume that
some could have reached any location where any part of the
10,000-pound supply was distributed.  Officials still are
recovering meat and won't know how much was found for days, Dr.
Petersen said.

Mad cow disease, known formally as bovine spongiform
encephalopathy, or BSE, is a concern because humans who eat
brain or spinal matter from an infected cow can develop a brain-
wasting illness, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.  During a
mad cow outbreak in the 1980s, 143 people died of it in Britain.

Dr. Petersen said the slaughtered cow was deboned at Midway
Meats in Centralia, Washington, and sent on December 12 to two
other plants, Willamette Valley Meat and Interstate Meat, both
near Portland, Oregon.  Willamette also received beef trimmings,
which were sold to some three dozen small, mom-and-pop Asian and
Mexican facilities in Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada,
officials said.

Several Western supermarket chains - Albertsons, Fred Meyer,
Safeway and WinCo Foods - have voluntarily removed ground beef
products from the affected distributors. Safeway has said it
will look for another supplier.

As the investigation continues, the list of countries banning
U.S. beef imports is growing.  Jordan and Lebanon joined the
list Sunday.  U.S. beef industry officials estimated earlier
they lost 90 percent of their export market because of the bans
by more than two dozen nations.  U.S. agriculture officials met
Monday with Japanese officials in Tokyo to try to persuade that
country to maintain imports of American beef, but Japan is
unlikely to ease its restrictions.  Officials with the World
Organization for Animal Health recommend countries shut down
beef trade with any nation that has mad cow.

Dr. Ron DeHaven, USDA's chief veterinarian, said research shows
that certain meats, such as beef steaks and roast, are safe from
infection.  He told AP this suggests the trade restrictions "are
not well-founded in science."

Investigators have tentatively traced the first U.S. animal with
mad cow disease to Canada.  This could help determine the scope
of the outbreak and might limit the economic damage to the
American beef industry.  The findings indicate the cow came from
Alberta, the same Canadian province where scientists found a
single cow infected with the illness in May.  DeHaven and
Canadian officials have stressed that this still hasn't been
confirmed because U.S. records outlining the animal's history do
not match those in Canada. DNA tests will help resolve the
matter.

Canadian documents show the cow had two calves in Canada,
contrary to U.S. records that said it had never produced calves
before it was shipped. Also, Canadian documents said the
diseased cow was 6 1/2 years old, but U.S. records said it was
younger, around 4 to 4 1/2. The cow's age is significant because
it may have been born before the United States and Canada in
1997 banned certain feed that is considered the most likely
source of infection.


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Faces More Mutual Fund "Market Timing" Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Three more lawsuits have been filed against insurance broker
Marsh & McLennan Cos. alleging "market timing" trading by Marsh
mutual-fund subsidiary Putnam Investments LLC, Bestwire Servivce
reports.  At least four complaints are vying for class-action
status and the right to represent all of Marsh's shareholders
from January 3, 2000 through November 3, 2003.

The new suits, each filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan,
come from Scott + Scott LLC of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; Charles J.
Piven, P.A. of Baltimore; and New York-based firm Weiss &
Yourman.  They join a previous suit filed the week of December
22 by Connecticut-based firm Schatz & Nobel.

Each of the suits accuses Marsh of violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 by making "false and misleading statements"
that could be construed as defrauding purchasers of Marsh
securities.

"Marsh represented that Putnam's mutual funds were designed to
be long-term investments for 'buy and hold' investors and were a
favored investment for Americans' retirement plans or annuities
for a child's education," Scott + Scott said in a statement,
adding that allegations of extensive market timing trading by
Putnam managers would seem to contradict that representation.

A Marsh representative said the company couldn't comment on
pending litigation, Bestwire reports.

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 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 morning on December 30, Marsh's stock was trading at
$48.10 a share, down 0.4% from the previous close.


MR. CHRISTMAS: Recalls Christmas Candleholders For Fire Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Christmas Inc., of New York, N.Y., in cooperation with the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is recalling
2,300 CROWNZZT Candleholders since they do not allow for the
safe burning of a candle, which poses a fire hazard to
consumers. There have been no reports of incidents or injuries
relating to the product.

The Christmas-themed candleholders were sold in various shapes
and sizes, and include the following model names and numbers:
Snowman (79911), Scarecrow (79914), Santa (79917), Swan (79912),
Angel (79913), Rose (79915), Girl (79918) and Kneeling Angel
(79916). The model number is located on UPC label on the outside
of the packaging.

The candleholders, manufactured in China, were sold at gift
stores nationwide between November 2003 and December 2003 for
about $12.50.

Consumers are urged to return the candleholders to the store
where purchased for a refund. For more information, contact:  
Mr. Christmas Inc. at (800) 467-9627 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
ET Monday through Friday.


NISSAN: Starting Recall of 276T Sentras for Faulty Engine Part
--------------------------------------------------------------
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., in cooperation with the U.S. National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will recall
276,000 Sentra cars to replace a faulty engine part, Reuters
reports.

The Nissan recall covers Sentras built between January 2000 and
March 2003.  A piece of foam insulation in a box housing the
engine computer can emit sulfur, possibly causing corrosion in
the computer that can lead to rough running or stalling engines,
according to NHTSA.

Nissan will also recall 24,300 Infiniti FX sport utility
vehicles to fix a brake caliper bolt that can come loose,
leading to brake failure or even a flat tire.  The recall covers
FX35 and FX45 models built between November 2002 and July 2003.

NHTSA also said General Motors Corporation will recall 95,690
Buick Park Avenue sedans built between October 2001 and June
2002 to fix a fuel regulator that can leak, potentially causing
an engine fire.  Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo unit will also recall
36,000 S40 and V40 cars built between May 1999 and May 2000 to
fix a brake vacuum pump that could fail and lead to a crash.


OK TEDI: Reaches Out-of-Court Pact for Breach Of Claims Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
An out of court settlement has been reached to resolve a class
action, filed in 2000, against Papua New Guinea's Ok Tedi Mining
Ltd and BHP-Billiton, alleging breach of a 1996 settlement of
claims for damages arising from environmental impacts of the Ok
Tedi Mine operations, PAC News reports.

A special edition of OK Tedi Mines Komuniti Nius for December
said the out-of-court agreement said all villages where a
community mine continuation agreement (CMCA) has not been
signed, it will be entitled to enter into and receive benefits
under a CMCA should they decide to request OTML to enter into an
agreement. Also, OTML will use its best endeavours to ensure
that group members residing in villages where a CMCA has already
been signed will be treated equally with those persons who
elected to opt out of the proceedings.

The proceedings against BHP and OTML will be dismissed with no
order made as to costs.  OK Tedi has informed all parties
involved in the class action of the latest development, after
the Supreme Court of Victoria ordered a notice on December 18 to
be posted in nine villages, including Kawok in the Lower Ok Tedi
area and Madame in South Fly before December 31, 2003.  

The notice aims to inform the villages that the class action
would be resolved subject to approval of the Supreme Court of
Victoria on January 16, 2004.  Between October 2001 and January
2002, group members residing in the affected areas of Western
Province had the opportunity to opt out of the class action.

"A large number of group members opted out of class action,"
said the OKTedi Komuniti Nius.  "And upon review of all
documents provided by BHP and OTML during the court proceedings
the representative plaintiff has been advised and has now
concluded that at all times BHP and OTML have been in compliance
with the 1996 Settlement," the report said.


OPULENTICA LLC: Accused of Selling Unregistered Securities
----------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil fraud charges
against Opulentica, LLC of New York and its principals Zarrar
Sheikh and Nasser A. Dawoud for the offer and sale of
unregistered securities.

The action alleges that, between March 2002 and the present,
Opulentica, Mr. Zarrar and Mr. Dawoud fraudulently raised over
$500,000 by making material misrepresentations to actual and
prospective investors concerning monthly and annual returns on
investments, investment risks, and the existence of "insurance"
to protect against investment losses.

Based on the SEC's application, which was filed simultaneously
with the complaints filing, United States District Judge Richard
J. Holwell of the Southern District of New York issued a
temporary restraining order, freezing the assets of the
defendants, directing the repatriation of investors funds wired
to offshore accounts, prohibiting the destruction of documents,
and granting expedited discovery.  The Court scheduled a hearing
for December 30, 2003, on the SEC's application for a
preliminary injunction.
     
The SEC's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in
Manhattan, names the following defendants and relief defendant:

     (1) Opulentica, a New York limited liability corporation
         that was formed on or about May 21, 2002, and whose
         purported office is located at 44 Wall Street, New
         York, New York.  Opulentica has operated a website,
         through which it has offered, and continues to offer,
         to investors and potential investors a purported
         guaranteed return of 6% (which it claims would yield an
         annual return of 72%) on short-term investments;          
         
     (2) Mr. Sheikh, age 33, is a registered agent of Opulentica
         and is identified as the contact person in Opulentica's
         advertisements in the "Weekly Pakistan News" and the
         "Pakistan Post" and as the media relations contact in
         other offering materials;

     (3) Mr. Dawoud, age 31, resides in Brooklyn, New York.  In
         a bank account opening statement, he held himself out
         to be the president of Opulentica.
     
     (4) Relief Defendant, Saima Shahzadi, is Mr. Sheikh's wife
         and has received at least $56,200 in investor funds
         from Opulentica's bank accounts.
     
The SEC's complaint alleges that as of December 9, the
defendants raised approximately $538,000 from about twenty
investors in Opulentica.  The defendants solicited investors to
open accounts with Opulentica for periods of 3, 6, 9, and 12
months.  Opulentica promised investors returns of 6% monthly or,
as described in the offering, 72% returns annually.  
Opulentica's website boasted that it offered investors "the
maximum gain with the minimum of risk exposure" and "extensive
insurance coverage" over all its accounts.  In its offering
materials, Opulentica listed fifteen individuals, including Mr.
Sheikh, who it claimed constitute a "staff of dedicated,
professional, and licensed financial analysts, (and) traders."
     
In truth, Opulentica was an ongoing fraud.  Opulentica never
produced profits of 6% per month.  In fact, of the $538,000
raised, the defendants actually invested only $289,000 in
reckless day trading through which the defendants lost over
$117,000.  Opulentica's trading accounts were not protected by
insurance and investments in Opulentica were most definitely not
"risk-free."

The defendants failed to disclose that they had diverted
$249,000 of investor funds for their personal use and that of
Ms. Shahzadi.  The defendants misrepresented the credentials of
Opulentica's purported management.

The defendants are charged with violating Sections 5(a), 5(c),
and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  In
addition to the emergency relief granted by the court, the SEC
is seeking a judgment of permanent injunction, disgorgement of
ill-gotten gains, and monetary penalties.
    
The suit is styled, "SEC v. Opulentica, LLC, Nasser Dawoud,
Zarrar Sheikh, and Saimia Shahzadi, Relief Defendant, 03 Civ.  
10165."


PARMALAT: Lawyers Seek Arrest of Founder Amid Fraud Allegations
---------------------------------------------------------------
Prosecutors asked a judge Monday to confirm the arrest of
Parmalat's founder and former CEO after accusing him of market
rigging, fraudulent bankruptcy and making false statements to
auditors to hide a multi-billion dollar hole in the dairy
company's balance sheet, the Associated Press reports.

A judge in Milan was expected to rule on the request later
Monday. A ruling in the prosecutors' favor would convert the
detention of Calisto Tanzi into a formal arrest, and allow
charges to be officially leveled against him.  Mr. Tanzi was
picked up late Saturday in Milan as the criminal investigation
intensified into the near-collapse of the company he founded in
1961 and turned into one of the models of Italian industry.  He
was questioned Sunday in Milan's San Vittore prison by
prosecutors from Milan and Parma, where the company is based,
who are each conducting probes into the case that has been
dubbed by some as "Europe's Enron."

Parmalat's shares, which have plummeted 90 percent since the
company acknowledged it had misrepresented its financial
position earlier this month, were suspended indefinitely by the
Italian Stock Exchange late Sunday.  Parmalat shares last traded
at $0.13.

Parmalat's problems exploded into public on December 19, when it
revealed that Bank of America Corporation wasn't holding about
$4.9 billion of its funds, as the Italian company had reported
in September. Since then, the estimated amount of money missing
from its balance sheet has ballooned, with Italian reports
saying as much as $12 billion could be missing from what may
have been 15 years of false accounting.

Italian news reports said Monday that prosecutors believe Mr.
Tanzi himself misappropriated some $990 million.  They quoted
Mr. Tanzi as telling investigators during his closed
interrogation Sunday that at most he had taken the equivalent of
$500,000 for personal use.

When Mr. Tanzi's attorney, Michele Ributti, was asked Sunday
about missing money from Parmalat's coffers, he told reporters
outside the jail that there was no missing money but, at most,
there were "nonexistent assets" listed on Parmalat's balance
sheet.

Parma prosecutors have accused Mr. Tanzi of fraudulent
bankruptcy - committing a fraud that resulted in the bankruptcy
of a company, as well as false accounting.  Prosecutors in Milan
added to those accusations Sunday with a charge of market
manipulation and making false statements to auditors.

The market-rigging charge can bring up to five years in prison
and the fraudulent bankruptcy charge from three to 20 years.
The false accounting charge was recently reduced to a
misdemeanor by lawmaker-allies of billionaire media mogul
Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who himself has been accused but
never convicted of the charge.

The case has raised questions about one of Parmalat's auditors,
Grant Thornton.  The company denied Sunday that its president
and a partner were under investigation, but the Italian daily Il
Giornale said it stood by its reporting and that the names of
the two officials were included in the prosecutors' registry of
those under investigation in the case.  At least 20 people,
including the company's former financial officers, have been
placed under investigation for alleged fraud and other charges
concerning the suspected falsification of company documents.

Parmalat entered into insolvency status Saturday - which allows
it to pay any new debts rather than having to deal with
outstanding creditors, thereby allowing it to keep operating.
The company filed for bankruptcy protection last week. Parmalat,
which has annual sales of around $9.2 billion, produces and
sells milk, yogurt, juice and other food products in Europe, the
United States and around the world. It employs 36,000 people in
29 countries.



PARMALAT: Italian Official Says New Detentions Made in Scandal
--------------------------------------------------------------
An Italian Police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity,
said that a new round of detentions were carried out Wednesday
in the Parmalat scandal, acting on seven new arrest warrants
accusing top former Parmalat officials and outside auditors with
fraudulent bankruptcy, the Associated Press reports.

The official said he believed all seven people were in custody.
Another official with the financial police in Bologna, which was
coordinating the detentions, confirmed that "activity is under
way," but declined to elaborate.

Among those named in the new arrest warrants is Parmalat's
former chief financial officer Fausto Tonna, as well as another
top former financial official, Luciano Del Soldato, the Milan
financial police official said.

In addition, two officials with Grant Thornton, Parmalat's
auditor from 1990 to 1990, were also named in the warrant, the
official said. Grant Thornton has denied that its branch
president, Lorenzo Penca, and partner Maurizio Bianchi had
anything to do with any illegal behavior.


PARMALAT: SEC Commences Securities Fraud Complaint in S.D. NY
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Parmalat
Finanziaria S.p.A. (Parmalat) with securities fraud.  The
Commission's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in the
Southern District of New York, alleges that Parmalat engaged in
one of the largest and most brazen corporate financial frauds in
history.
     
As alleged in the complaint, from August through November 2003,
Parmalat fraudulently offered $100 million of unsecured Senior
Guaranteed Notes to U.S. investors by materially overstating the
company's assets and materially understating its liabilities.  
As Parmalat acknowledged in a press release dated December 19,
2003, the assets in its 2002 audited financial statements were
overstated by at least $3.95 billion (approximately $4.9
billion).  

In addition, Parmalat falsely stated to U.S. investors that it
used its "excess cash balances" - which actually did not exist -
to repurchase corporate debt securities worth approximately  
$3.6 billion, when in fact it had not repurchased those debt
obligations and they remained outstanding.   The $100 million
note offering failed after Parmalat's auditors raised questions
about certain Parmalat accounts.

The complaint further alleges that as of the end of 2002,
Parmalat purportedly held the $3.95 billion worth of cash and
marketable securities in an account at Bank of America in New
York City in the name of Bonlat Financing Corporation (Bonlat),
a wholly owned subsidiary incorporated in the Cayman Islands.  
Bonlat's auditors certified its 2002 financial statements based
upon a false confirmation that Bonlat held these assets at Bank
of America.  The bank account and the assets did not exist and
the purported confirmation had been forged.  These non-existent
assets are reflected on Bonlat's 2002 books and records and, in
turn, in Parmalat's 2002 consolidated financial statements, as
well as in its consolidated financial statements as at June 30,
2003, which were provided to U.S. investors to whom Parmalat
offered notes from August through November 2003.  

The complaint further alleges that a private placement
memorandum Parmalat provided to U.S. investors in August 2003
contained numerous material misstatements about the company's
financial condition.  For example, the memorandum falsely
states, "Liquidity is high with significant cash and marketable
securities balances."
     
The complaint further alleges that on December 9, Parmalat's
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and his son, a senior
Parmalat executive, met with representatives from a New York
City-based private equity and financial advisory firm regarding
a possible leveraged buyout of Parmalat.  During that meeting,
one of the New York firm's representatives noted that Parmalat's
financial statements showed that the company had a large amount
of cash.  

In response, the son stated that the cash was not there, and
that Parmalat really had only $500 million in cash.  Later,
Parmalat's Chief Financial Officer joined the meeting.  During a
discussion of Parmalat's outstanding debt, the CFO stated that
Parmalat's debt was actually _10 billion, much higher than the
balance sheet showed.  The CFO indicated that the balance sheet
was incorrect because the company had not repurchased $2.9
billion of Parmalat bonds.  The balance sheet falsely reflected
that the bonds had been repurchased.
     
The complaint further alleges that based on these revelations,
the New York firm's representatives offered to send members of
the firm's restructuring group to meet with Parmalat
representatives.  The following day, representatives of the
firm's restructuring group met with the Parmalat
representatives, and informed them that Parmalat needed to
publicly disclose the facts disclosed to the New York firm if
that firm were to continue to have any involvement.  When it
became clear that the Parmalat representatives were unwilling to
do so, the New York firm's representatives terminated their
discussions with Parmalat.

The complaint further alleges that from 1998 through 2002,
Parmalat and certain of its top managers and directors,
including its then Chairman and CEO and its CFO, actively
marketed and sold nearly $1.5 billion in notes and bonds to U.S.
investors.  Parmalat also sponsored an American Depositary
Receipts (ADR) program.  Parmalat's ADRs were originally
privately placed in the U.S. on August 9, 1996.  Before December
19, 2003, the price of Parmalat ADRs had been artificially
inflated by the materially false and misleading statements
described above.

Parmalat is charged with violating Section 17(a) of the
Securities Act of 1933.  The Commission seeks against Parmalat a
permanent injunction from future securities fraud violations and
a substantial civil penalty.  The Commission's investigation
into these events is continuing.  

The suit is styled "SEC v. Parmalat Finanziaria S.p.A., Case No.
03 CV 10266."

     
PENNSYLVANIA: Court Rules in Favor of Chronic Beryllium Patients
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor
of the families of three Berks County women who died of chronic
beryllium disease, two of whom never set foot in the Tuckerton
plant in Pennsylvania that had spewed beryllium dust around its
neighborhoods for years, the Associated Press reports.  The
court essentially provided some extra time for local doctors to
catch up to beryllium's dangers.

The three women and a fourth person sued current and previous
owners of the plant (most recently owned by NGK Metals) in
federal court, claiming its dust was killing them.  They died
while the suit was being heard.

The defendants alleged that the plaintiffs had waited too long
to sue.  Under Pennsylvania law, people are required to sue
within two years of when they discover or should have discovered
that something made them sick.  

However, new findings have revealed researchers are just finding
out how widespread a problem beryllium dust has been in the
neighborhoods around the plants.  Despite new findings (many
reported in the Reading Eagle) the three women's doctors had
told them in the mid and late 1990s that plant neighbors
couldn't get chronic beryllium disease, and the federal court
agreed.  The appeals court, however, said that patients have an
established right to rely on their doctors, and getting bad
advice from a doctor should not cause the second injury of
costing them in court.

"What the (appeals court) judges did was to soften the effects
of the statute of limitation in latent disease cases," Ruben
Honik, the women's attorney, told AP.  "They said, let a jury
decide it, not a judge . The law should not work so harshly so
as to put them out of court."

In a fourth case, a man who was told by his doctor he likely had
chronic beryllium disease but refused to be tested, the appeals
court agreed he waited too long.

A lightweight but stiff metal, beryllium has many uses. The U.S.
government demanded lots of it since the 1930s for use in bomb-
making. As a result, the beryllium industry grew faster than its
safeguards.  

At first, nobody realized some people are so sensitive to the
dust that even a little of it will kill them, often years later,
by destroying their lungs.  There were no dust controlling
precautions, and it was everywhere, even blowing around
Tuckerton from the outdoor pile of ore.

Now workers across the country are suing the plants.  To protect
the plants, a federal program offers a $150,000 lump sum payment
and lifetime medical benefits for sick workers who don't sue.
But not to neighbors. Honik said about a dozen of NGK's
neighbors have sued, and about half of them have settled,
although he could not disclose the settlement terms.

One case still going through state courts, however, seeks
testing and treatment for all NGK "neighbors" within a 6-mile
radius of a plant, a 113-square-mile area that includes a huge
chunk of Berks County. That suit was filed in Philadelphia
Municipal Court. Honik said the judge refused to give it class-
action status, a ruling that has been appealed to state Superior
Court.


PRESIDENTS TRUST: SEC Launches Injunctive Suit For Stock Fraud
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil injunctive
case against Presidents Trust Company, LLC, a South Dakota-
chartered trust company based in Omaha, Nebraska.  The complaint
also names Jon Patrick Pierce, president of a holding company
that controls Presidents Trust, and David D. Klasna, formerly
president of Presidents Trust.  

The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the antifraud
provisions of the federal securities laws.  The complaint arises
out of an offering of financial instruments called "Fixed Income
Trust-Secured" (Trusts) that Presidents Trust, through Mr.
Pierce and Mr. Klasna, conducted during August and September
2003.   

The defendants raised approximately $14 million from at least
150 investors nationwide, claiming that the Trusts were a safe,
secure investment that would pay a higher rate of return than
traditional conservative investments, such as bank certificates
of deposits.  The offering was terminated when regulators from
the South Dakota Division of Securities entered a cease-and-
desist order against the offering.

According to the complaint, the Trusts were not a safe or secure
investment, but were essentially unsecured promissory notes
issued by Presidents Trust.  The defendants allegedly misled
investors by calling the instruments Trusts, when in fact
Presidents Trust did not follow the fiduciary duties required
for trustees.  Some of the proceeds were reinvested in
Presidents Trust itself, and while the defendants told investors
that they could reinvest proceeds in Presidents Trust, they did
not disclose financial statements or other information about the
financial condition of Presidents Trust.  In fact, Presidents
Trust was strapped for cash at the time of the offering, and
after the offeringceased, Presidents Trust submitted documents
to the South Dakota Division of Banking showing that it was
insolvent.

Concurrently with the filing of the Commission's complaint,
Presidents Trust and Mr. Pierce, without admitting or denying
liability, consented to entry of permanent injunctions
prohibiting future violations of the antifraud provisions of the
federal securities laws.  Presidents Trust also consented to an
asset freeze and to the appointment of a receiver with respect
to the proceeds of the Trusts offering.  Litigation against Mr.
Klasna and with respect to the Commission's claims of
disgorgement and penalties against Mr. Pierce is continuing.

The suit is styled "SEC v. Presidents Trust Company LLC, Jon
Patrick Pierce and David D. Klasna, Civil Action No. 8:03 CV
545."


RECORDING INDUSTRY: DC Court Rules For ISPs Over File-Sharing
-------------------------------------------------------------
A federal appeals court has ruled that Internet account
providers do not have to give record companies the names of
computer users who share songs online, dealing a sharp blow to
the industry's efforts to crack down on illegal copying of
digital music, Newsbytes reports.

The ruling throws out two lower-court decisions that gave the
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) the right to
subpoena the names of thousands of suspected users of file-
sharing software programs without first filing lawsuits.  The
association sued 382 people and warned 398 others in a widely
publicized campaign to scare the estimated 60 million U.S. music
swappers, and the parents of those who are teens, into giving up
the practice and buying songs instead.  RIAA settled with 220
defendants - some for thousands of dollars - while 1,054
swappers signed "amnesty letters" vowing to erase their song
files and promising never to steal music again.

Consumer advocates and Internet providers hailed the ruling as
an affirmation of privacy rights for Internet users in the face
of a mass attack by a single industry, Newsbytes states.  The
recording association said it would not be deterred from
protecting the business of its members and promised additional
lawsuits, saying it would seek the names in a more time-
consuming way.

The RIAA contended that it was entitled to expedited subpoenas
issued by court clerks, rather than judges, under a 1998 law
designed to protect copyrighted works in the digital age.
Although industry sleuths could track down the numerical
Internet address of someone using file-sharing software, they
could not take legal action without getting names and physical
addresses of the swappers from their Internet access providers.

The music industry has suffered at the hands of services such as
Kazaa, Morpheus, Grokster and LimeWire, which by some estimates
have cost it more than $5 billion a year worldwide.  However,
the subpoenas were fought by Verizon Communications Inc.'s
online division, which provides Internet access to 2.1 million
consumers.  The company was forced to begin turning over names
in April after a lower-court judge ruled against it.

Verizon argued that the privacy and safety of its customers
would be compromised if the subpoenas were not issued by judges,
who first review their validity.  The company also argued that
the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits Internet
providers from being held responsible for what moves across
their networks.  The law, the company said, only requires
network owners to remove illegal material from their central
computers.  When consumers use file-sharing, or peer-to-peer,
services, the songs they trade reside on their personal
computers, Newsbytes reports.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.
Circuit agreed unanimously.  "Verizon cannot remove or disable
one user's access to infringing material resident on another
user's computer because Verizon does not control the content on
its subscribers' computers," said the ruling, written by Chief
Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg.

Perhaps more damaging for the recording industry, and for the
movie and software industries, whose works also are traded
online, the court declared firmly that the law was not designed
to account for file-sharing technology.  It is up to Congress to
fix that if it chooses, the court ruled.

"We are not unsympathetic either to the RIAA's concern regarding
the widespread infringement of its members' copyrights, or to
the need for legal tools to protect those rights," Judge
Ginsburg wrote.  "It is not the province of the courts, however,
to rewrite the DMCA in order to make it fit a new and unforeseen
internet architecture, no matter how damaging that development
has been to the music industry or threatens . the motion picture
and software industries."

Cary Sherman, president of the RIAA and a former Verizon lawyer,
said his organization has not decided if it will appeal the
ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court or ask Congress to change the
DMCA. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate
Judiciary Committee and a musician, said he would push Congress
to streamline the subpoena process.

Mr. Sherman said his group will file a first wave of "John Doe"
lawsuits in January. Suits like these are filed when the
identity of the defendant is unknown. If a judge deems the suits
valid, subpoenas to get the names and addresses of those using
file-sharing software would be issued to Internet service
providers, which have vowed to honor them.

"We think they can have the same deterrent by following the
standard legal process," Sarah B. Deutsch, Verizon's associate
general counsel told Newsbytes.  "They wanted to have an
expedited process, even if it trampled on user privacy and
safety."

Less certain is the fate of an unknown number of people whose
names already have been turned over to the RIAA by Internet
service providers. The RIAA has declined to say how many
subpoenas it served; Verizon estimates it at about 4,000.
The RIAA could use the names as the basis for lawsuits, but the
defendants might be able to argue that their names were obtained
through subpoenas now ruled unlawful.

"That one could keep lawyers happy for a long time," said Peter
P. Swire, an Ohio State University law professor who helped
Verizon with its case.

Legal experts said that those who had already settled were
unlikely to be able to recoup any payments to the RIAA. And
Sherman warned against anyone trying.  "If anybody tried to
claim that somehow a settlement or pending litigation is somehow
tainted by the process by which their name was provided, it
would simply encourage us to file a new lawsuit and get exactly
the same information in another way," Mr. Sherman said.  "At
that point, the settlement figure would be that much higher
because of additional legal expenses."

Still, Tim Davis, a New York artist and a lecturer at Yale
University, said he intends to try.  Mr. Davis was one of the
first song swappers targeted by the RIAA, and settled for $7,000
on the advice of his lawyers.  "I would do anything it takes to
get the money back," Mr. Davis, who said he downloaded only 300
songs, told Newsbytes.  "My hope is there could be a class-
action suit of the people who did settle."

The ruling comes as legal alternatives to file sharing are
gaining ground. Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes, the top-selling
legal online music store, announced this week it had sold 25
million songs since its rollout in April.  Similar services have
sprung up in iTunes's wake, while use of file sharing appears to
be dropping.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Court Decertifies "Light Cigarettes" Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The 4th District Court of Appeals decertified a class action
against Philip Morris USA Inc. over light cigarettes, ruling
Wednesday that the potential plaintiffs did not have enough in
common to proceed, the Associated Press reports.

In its ruling, the court said that Philip Morris was correct in
arguing that there may be too many differences among plaintiffs
to certify the lawsuit as class action.  A lower court had
certified the case as class action because the smokers involved
used light cigarettes.

The appeal concerned a lawsuit filed by John Hines and Delores
Howell that alleged Philip Morris deceived consumers and
violated Florida law by labeling its Marlboro Lights and Ultra
Lights cigarettes as having less tar and nicotine, even though
Philip Morris allegedly used an unreliable method to measure the
content of those additives.  They asked for class action status
among all current and former smokers of those brands in Florida
from 1971 to the present.  A trial court agreed, but on
"unsuitable" grounds, the appeals court ruled Wednesday.

"This decision in the Hines case is consistent with those of
many other state and federal courts over the past several years
that have decided tobacco cases simply involve too many
individual issues to be tried as class actions," William S.
Ohlemeyer, a vice president for Altria Group Inc.'s Philip
Morris, the top U.S. cigarette maker, told AP.

Stephen Sheller, a lawyer for plaintiffs John Hines and Delores
Howell, called the ruling "disturbing."  He said the ruling
discusses light cigarettes but failed to specifically consider
Marlboro Lights.  "We've tried to do the right thing for public
health and the courts seem to be more interested in protecting
the tobacco industry than public health," Mr. Sheller told AP.


WORLDCOM INC.: Opt-Out Deadline For Suit Set For Feb. 20, 2004
---------------------------------------------------------------
The judge presiding over the WorldCom class action recently
issued a February 20, 2004 deadline for current and former MCI
and WorldCom shareholders to opt out of the WorldCom shareholder
class action.

Parker & Waichman and associated counsel believe that
shareholders that have been financially harmed as a result of
their WorldCom and MCI investments may benefit from filing an
individual claim against the defendants rather than
participating in the class action lawsuit.  

Parker & Waichman is encouraging current and former shareholders
to explore their legal options before the February 20, 2004
deadline.  Current and former WorldCom and MCI shareholders who
do not specifically opt out of the class action are
automatically included in the class action.

Parker & Waichman and associated counsel are currently
representing hundreds of current and former WorldCom and MCI
shareholders and employees.  The complaints already filed by
Parker & Waichman and associated counsel charge Salomon Smith
Barney with violations of Section 15(c) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as well as various state statutes, for
issuing fraudulent research reports and for violating NYSE Rules
401, 472 and 476(a)(6), and NASD Rules 2110 and 2210, for
issuing research reports that were not based on principles of
fair dealing and good faith, did not provide a sound basis for
evaluating facts, contained exaggerated or unwarranted claims
about the covered companies, and/or contained opinions for which
there were no reasonable basis.  The misconduct of Salomon Smith
Barney was detailed in the settlement announced earlier this
year by Securities Regulators and state securities officials.

For more information, contact David Krangle, by Phone:
1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636), by E-mail:
dkrangle@yourlawyer.com, or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.yourlawyer.com.


                    New Securities Fraud Cases


BIOPURE CORPORATION: Cauley Geller Lodges Securities Suit in MA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, on behalf of purchasers of Biopure Corporation
publicly traded securities during the period between March 17,
2003 and December 24, 2003, inclusive, against the Company and:

     (1) Thomas A. Moore,

     (2) Carl W. Rausch, and

     (3) Ronald F. Richards

The lawsuit charges the Defendants with violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  The Complaint alleges that,
throughout the Class Period, defendants issued numerous positive
statements concerning the progress of its application to the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking regulatory approval to
market Hemopure in the United States for patients undergoing
orthopedic surgery.

In truth and in fact, however, by the beginning of the Class
Period, the FDA had informed defendants of flaws in the Hemopure
application, citing "safety concerns" arising from adverse
clinical data submitted as part of the Company's application,
making FDA approval highly unlikely.  Prior to the disclosure of
these adverse facts, defendants conducted at least two offerings
of Biopure common stock generating millions of dollars in
proceeds and certain high-level Biopure insiders sold hundreds
of thousands of Biopure common shares to the unsuspecting
investing public at artificially inflated prices.

Then, on December 24, 2003, under the threat of civil litigation
by the SEC, defendants stunned the market by announcing that, in
fact, the FDA had halted further clinical trials of Hemopure due
to safety concerns.  Defendants also disclosed that the
commercial release of Hemopure in the United States would be
delayed beyond mid-2004.

Market reaction to defendants' belated disclosures was swift and
severe. On December 26, 2003, Biopure common shares lost over
16% of their value to close at $2.43 per share, representing a
decline of more than 239% from a Class Period high of $8.25 per
share, reached on or about August 21, 2003.

For more information, contact Samuel H. Rudman, or David A.
Rosenfeld, or the Client Relations Department c/o Jackie
Addison, Heather Gann or Chandra West, by Mail: P.O. Box 25438
Little Rock, AR 72221-5438, by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 (toll
free), Fax: 1-501-312-8505, or E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com


BIOPURE CORPORATION: Fruchter & Twersky Files Stock Suit in MA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fruchter & Twersky, LLP initiated a class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on
behalf of purchasers of Biopure Corporation publicly traded
securities during the period between March 17, 2003 and December
24, 2003, inclusive, against the Company and:

     (1) Thomas A. Moore,

     (2) Carl W. Rausch, and

     (3) Ronald F. Richards

The lawsuit charges the Defendants with violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  The complaint alleges that,
throughout the Class Period, defendants issued numerous positive
statements concerning the progress of its application to the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking regulatory approval to
market Hemopure in the United States for patients undergoing
orthopedic surgery.

In truth and in fact, however, by the beginning of the Class
Period, the FDA had informed defendants of flaws in the Hemopure
application, citing "safety concerns" arising from adverse
clinical data submitted as part of the Company's application,
making FDA approval highly unlikely.  Prior to the disclosure of
these adverse facts, defendants conducted at least two offerings
of Biopure common stock generating millions of dollars in
proceeds and certain high-level Biopure insiders sold hundreds
of thousands of Biopure common shares to the unsuspecting
investing public at artificially inflated prices.

Then, on December 24, 2003, under the threat of civil litigation
by the SEC, defendants stunned the market by announcing that, in
fact, the FDA had halted further clinical trials of Hemopure due
to safety concerns. Defendants also disclosed that the
commercial release of Hemopure in the United States would be
delayed beyond mid-2004.

Market reaction to defendants' belated disclosures was swift and
severe.  On December 26, 2003, Biopure common shares lost over
16% of their value to close at $2.43 per share, representing a
decline of more than 239% from a Class Period high of $8.25 per
share, reached on or about August 21, 2003.

For more information, contact Jack Fruchter, by Mail: One
Pennsylvania Plaza, Suite 1910, New York, NY 10119, by Phone:
(212) 279-5050, (800) 440-8986, Fax: (212) 279-3655, or by E-
mail: JFruchter@FruchterTwersky.com.


DYNACQ HEALTHCARE: Barrack Rodos Lodges Stock Fraud Suit in TX
--------------------------------------------------------------
Barrack, Rodos & Bacine initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas,
on behalf of all persons who purchased the securities of Dynacq
Healthcare, Inc. between January 14, 2003, and December 18,
2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges Dynacq, which develops and operates
surgical hospitals focusing on certain surgical specialties, and
certain of its officers and directors with violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

On December 2, 2003, the company announced that, as part of the
Securities and Exchange Commission's routine review of filings
of public companies, the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance
had "commented upon" the company's public filings and, as a
result, the company had requested an automatic 15-day extension
to file its 10-K for its fiscal year ended August 31, 2003. Two
weeks later, the company announced it would further postpone the
filing. Two days later, the company announced that its auditor,
Ernst & Young, had resigned and that the SEC had begun an
informal probe of the company's accounting.

According to news reports, the resignation was due to the
company's lack of internal controls necessary to develop
reliable financial statements. On the same day, the company also
revealed that it had received a NASDAQ determination that,
because it had not filed a timely 10-K, the stock would be
delisted. The news caused Dynacq's stock price to tumble from a
close of $8.95 on December 18, 2003, to $4.09 the following day.

For more information, contact Maxine S. Goldman, Shareholder
Relations Manager, by Mail: 3300 Two Commerce Square, 2001
Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, by Phone: 215- 963-0600,
Fax: 215-963-0838, or by E-mail: mgoldman@barrack.com.


EXCELSIOR FUNDS: Much Shelist Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein,
P.C. initiated a class action lawsuit in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California, on
behalf of purchasers, redeemers and holders of shares of the
Excelsior Mutual Funds set forth below, between November 23,
1998 and November 14, 2003, inclusive.

The Funds that are the subject of this suit and their symbols
are:

     (1) Excelsior California Tax Exempt Income Fund
         (Nasdaq:UMCAX)

     (2) Excelsior Early Life Cycle Fund (Nasdaq:UMLCX)

     (3) Excelsior Funds Equity Income Fund (Nasdaq:UMEIX)

     (4) Excelsior Funds Inc. Biotechnology Fund (Nasdaq:UMBTX)

     (5) Excelsior Funds Inc. Blended Equity Fund (Nasdaq:UMEQX)

     (6) Excelsior Funds Inc. Emerging Markets Fund
         (Nasdaq:UMEMX)

     (7) Excelsior Funds Inc. Energy & Natural Resource Fund
        (Nasdaq:UMESX)

     (8) Excelsior Funds Inc. High Yield Fund (Nasdaq:EXHYX,
         UMHYX)

     (9) Excelsior Funds Inc. Large Capital Growth Fund                
         (Nasdaq:UMLGX)

    (10) Excelsior Funds Inc. Real Estate Fund (Nasdaq:UMREX)

    (11) Excelsior Funds Inc. Value & Restructuring Fund
         (Nasdaq:EXBIX, UMBIX)

    (12) Excelsior Funds Mid Cap Value Shares Fund
         (Nasdaq:EXVAX, UMVEX)

    (13) Excelsior Government Money Fund (Nasdaq:UTGXX)

    (14) Excelsior Institutional Equity Fund (Nasdaq:EXEQX)

    (15) Excelsior Institutional Funds International Equity Fund
         (Nasdaq:EXIIX)

    (16) Excelsior Institutional Money Fund (Nasdaq:EXINX,
         EXIXX)

    (17) Excelsior Institutional Total Return Fund
         (Nasdaq:EXTBX)

    (18) Excelsior Intermediate-Term Managed Income Fund
         (Nasdaq:UIMIX)

    (19) Excelsior Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund
         (Nasdaq:UMITX)

    (20) Excelsior International Fund (Nasdaq:UMINX)

    (21) Excelsior Long Term Tax Exempt Fund (Nasdaq:UMLTX)

    (22) Excelsior Managed Income Fund (Nasdaq:UMMGX)

    (23) Excelsior Money Fund (Nasdaq:UTMXX)

    (24) Excelsior Optimum Growth Fund (Nasdaq:EXOAX, UMGRX)

    (25) Excelsior Pacific/Asia Fund (Nasdaq:USPAX)

    (26) Excelsior Pan European Fund (Nasdaq:UMPNX)

    (27) Excelsior Short-Term Government Securities Fund
         (Nasdaq:UMGVX)

    (28) Excelsior Short-Term Tax-Exempt Securities Fund
         (Nasdaq:USSSX)

    (29) Excelsior Tax-Exempt Fund (Nasdaq:USSXX)

    (30) Excelsior Tax-Exempt Funds Inc. New York Intermediate
         Term Tax Exempt Fund (Nasdaq:UMNYX, UTNXX)

    (31) Excelsior Treasury Money Fund (Nasdaq:UTTXX)

The Complaint charges The Charles Schwab Corporation, Charles
Schwab & Co., Inc., U.S. Trust Corporation, United States Trust
Company of New York, Excelsior Funds, Inc., Excelsior Funds
Trust, the Excelsior Mutual Funds, and John Doe Defendants with
violating the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, and with common
law breach of fiduciary duties.

Specifically, the Complaint alleges that during the Class Period
Charles Schwab and U.S. Trust Corporation allowed the Doe
defendants and others to engage in illegal and improper trading
practices, in concert with certain institutional traders, which
caused financial injury to the shareholders of the Excelsior
Mutual Funds.

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

For more information, contact Carol V. Gilden, by Phone: (800)
470-6824, or by E-mail: investorhelp@muchshelist.com.


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Suit in NY
------------------------------------------------------------
Scott + Scott, LLC initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York against Marsh and certain of its officers and directors, on
behalf of purchasers or those who acquired Marsh & McLennan
Companies, Inc. common stock during the period between January
3, 2000 and November 3, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that Marsh represented that Putnam's
mutual funds were designed to be long-term investments for "buy
and hold" investors and were a favored investment for Americans'
retirement plans or annuities for a child's education. Certain
investors, however, have attempted to use mutual funds to
generate quick profits by rapidly trading in and out of mutual
funds which have been the topic of business news as of late
(examples include the Mutual Fund's of Excelsior, Invesco, MFS,
PBHG,SNWL, Van Kampen and more).

Typically, these investors, who are able to time the market,
seek to capitalize on low fund prices. They then focus on price
discrepancies involving international funds (examples other than
Putnam include those by Templeton, T Rowe Price, Scudder, Credit
Suisse, Morgan Stanley and more). Market timers take advantage
of price inequities and thereby damage long-term shareholders
who own such annuities.

The complaint alleges that Marsh had a duty to treat all
shareholders equally. This duty would not permit granting one
group of shareholders (i.e., market timers) privileges and
rights not granted to all shareholders (i.e., long-term
investors). In addition, when a fund's prospectus discloses that
the fund management will act to limit timing the market, it
cannot knowingly permit such activities. The complaint further
alleges that Marsh knowingly permitted this behavior.

As a result of the defendants' false statements and/or failure
to disclose adverse facts regarding Marsh's Putnam subsidiary,
Plaintiff alleges Marsh's stock price traded at inflated levels
during the Class Period, increasing to as high as $67.43 on
October 5, 2000, whereby the Company's top officers and
directors sold more than $31 million worth of their own shares.

For more information, contact Neil Rothstein, by Phone:
(619) 251-0887, or by E-mail: nrothstein@scott-scott.com.


PORTAL SOFTWARE: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein, Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP initiated a securities class
action lawsuit in the Northern District of California on behalf
of all persons who acquired securities of Portal Software
Corporation between May 20, 2003 and November 13, 2003,
inclusive, against the Company and:

     (1) John E. Little,

     (2) Howard A. Bain III,

     (3) David Labuda,

     (4) Marc Aronson and

     (5) Arthur Patterson

Plaintiff alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated under Section 10(b), when they issued numerous
public statements concerning Portal Software's revenue growth,
product and marketing initiatives, and increasing revenues and
profits while failing to disclose that demand for the Company's
products was materially declining.

Prior to the disclosure of this adverse information to the
market, the Company completed a public offering of Portal
Software common stock, raising over $56 million in net proceeds
and the Individual Defendants, as well as other high-level
executives of Portal Software, sold their personally-held Portal
Software common stock to the unsuspecting public reaping
proceeds of more than $4.8 million.

On November 13, 2003, Portal Software issued a press release
announcing that it expected net losses of $0.36 - 0.40 per share
for the third quarter fiscal 2004 versus prior earnings guidance
of net profits of $0.04 per share, citing contract delays and
revenue recognition deferrals. In after-hours trading on
November 13, 2003, the price of Portal common shares fell more
than 42.5% to open at $8.77 per share on November 14, 2003, and
have decreased more than 51% from a Class Period high of $17.93
per share reached less than a month before on October 15, 2003.

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


PRICESMART INC.: Finkelstein & Krinsk Lodges CA Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Finkelstein & Krinsk initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
California on behalf of investors who bought securities of
PriceSmart, Inc. between November 1, 2001 and November 7, 2003,
inclusive.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period the Company
along with certain of its officers and directors violated the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by overstating revenues, net
warehouse sales and net earnings in violation of Generally
Accepted Accounting Principles. The complaint further alleges
that defendants violated Section 12(2) of the Securities Act of
1933 in connection with a private placement of preferred stock
and that PriceSmart's officers and directors breached their
fiduciary duties to the Company by allowing these misstatements
and not correcting them in a timely fashion.

On November 10, 2003, prior to the market's open, PriceSmart
announced that it would restate its financial reports for FY2002
and the first three quarters of FY2003. Thereafter, on December
16, 2003, PriceSmart filed its restated financials with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, and disclosed that the
Company's auditors had found that the Company suffered from
material weaknesses in the Company's internal controls,
resulting in dramatic declines in PriceSmart's share price.

For more information, contact Jeffrey R. Krinsk, by Phone:toll
free 877/493-5366 or at 619/238-1333, Fax: 619/238-5425, or E-
mail: jrk@class-action-law.com.


REDBACK NETWORKS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files CA Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of purchasers of Redback Networks, Inc.
publicly traded securities during the period between April 12,
2000 and October 10, 2003, inclusive, against:

     (1) Joel M. Arnold,

     (2) Thomas L. Cronan III,

     (3) Kevin A. DeNuccio,

     (4) Peter Lamond,

     (5) Vinod Khosla,

     (6) Vivek Ragavan, and

     (7) Dennis P. Wolf

The lawsuit charges the Defendants with violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The Complaint alleges that,
throughout the Class Period, defendants failed to disclose the
following adverse facts which ultimately lead to Redback's
bankruptcy:

     (i) that the Company's financial results were materially
         inflated because Redback entered into a sales pact with
         Qwest Communications, Inc.;

    (ii) that this sales pact with Qwest called for Qwest to
         purchase large quantities of Redback merchandise in
         exchange for shares of Redback stock;

   (iii) that under this sales pact Qwest had no obligation to
         purchase more merchandise from Redback in the future;
         and

    (iv) as a result of this sales, Redback materially
         overstated and artificially inflated its earnings and
         net income.

On October 10, 2003, Redback announced, after the close of the
market, that the Securities and Exchange Commission was
investigating various transactions between the Company and
Qwest.  News of this shocked the market, with shares of Redback
falling 7.1% to close at $0.51 per share on October 13, 2003.
The death knoll for the Company was finally sounded when on
November 3, 2003, Redback filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection.  On news of this, shares of Redback fell 18.18% to
close at $0.36 per share and are now worthless.

For more information, contact Marc A. Topaz, or Stuart L.
Berman, by Mail: Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd,
PA  19004, by Phone: 1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or
1-610-667-7706, or by E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com.


REDBACK NETWORKS: Green & Jigarjian Launches CA Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Green & Jigarjian LLP, initiated a Class Action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, on behalf of a class of all persons who purchased or
acquired securities of Redback Networks, Inc. between April 12,
2000, and October 10, 2003, inclusive, against:

     (1) Joel M. Arnold,

     (2) Thomas L. Cronan III,

     (3) Kevin A. DeNuccio,

     (4) Pierre R. Lamond,

     (5) Vinod Khosla,

     (6) Vivek Ragavan, and

     (7) Dennis P. Wolf

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

The Complaint alleges that Defendants made a series of false and
misleading statements, beginning on April 12, 2000. The
Complaint alleges that the press releases issued on April 12,
2000; July 12, 2000; October 13, 2000; January 17, 2001; April
11, 2001; July 11, 2001; October 10, 2001; January 16, 2002;
April 10, 2002; July 10, 2002; October 9, 2002 and January 15,
2002 were materially false and misleading.

In addition, the Complaint alleges that the Company's Form 10-Qs
and Form 10-K filed with the SEC on May 15, 2000; August 10,
2000; November 13, 2000; April 2, 2001; May 15, 2001; August 14,
2001; March 27, 2002; April 22, 2002; August 14, 2002; November
14, 2002 and March 31, 2003 were materially false and
misleading.

The Complaint alleges that each of these above referenced press
releases and SEC filings were materially false and misleading
because, during the Class Period Defendants failed to disclose
that shares of Redback stock were being given to Qwest insiders
in exchange for sales contracts from Qwest.

The Complaint alleges that Qwest did not need or want the large
quantities of product it had ordered and, in fact, had no strong
obligation to purchase the products. On November 3, 2003,
Redback filed a petition in bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the
bankruptcy code. After trading as high as $179.12 during the
Class Period, Redback's shares are now worthless.

For more information, contact Robert A. Jigarjian, by Mail: 235
Pine Street, 15th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104, by Phone:
(415) 477-6700, Fax: (415) 477-6710, or E-mail:
rbakq@classcounsel.com.


REDBACK NETWORKS: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Stull, Stull & Brody, LLP, initiated a class action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, on behalf of purchasers of Redback Networks, Inc.
common stock between April 12, 2000 and October 10, 2003,
inclusive, against:

     (1) Joel M. Arnold,

     (2) Thomas L. Cronan III,

     (3) Kevin A. DeNuccio,

     (4) Pierre R. Lamond,

     (5) Vinod Khosla,

     (6) Vivek Ragavan, and

     (7) Dennis P. Wolf  

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. The Company purports to be a provider of
telecommunications networking equipment.

During the Class Period, Defendants allegedly issued a series of
false and misleading statements resulting in Redback's stock
price trading at artificially inflated levels. The Company's
stock traded as high as $179.02 during the Class Period before
announcing bankruptcy. During the Class Period, Defendants
allegedly issued, or caused to be issued, a series of materially
false and misleading statements to the marketplace concerning
the Company's relationship with Qwest Communications
International, Inc.

Defendants allegedly knew, but failed to disclose, that the only
reason Redback was able to report increasing revenues and
earnings was through a scheme in which Defendants gave shares of
Redback stock to Qwest insiders in exchange for Qwest purchasing
large quantities of Redback products.

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


SILICON IMAGE: Green & Jigarjian Lodges N.D. CA Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Green & Jigarjian LLP, initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, on behalf of a class of all persons who purchased or
acquired securities of Silicon Image, Inc. between April 15,
2002, and November 15, 2003, inclusive, against the Company and:

     (1) David Lee,

     (2) Steve Tirado, and

     (3) Robert Gargus

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

The Complaint alleges that Defendants made a series of false and
misleading statements, beginning on April 15, 2002. The
Complaint alleges that the press releases issued on April 15,
2002, June 13, 2002, July 23, 2002, October 15, 2002, January
15, 2003, April 15, 2003, July 22, 2003, September 30, 2003 and
October 19, 2003 were materially false and misleading.

In addition, the Complaint alleges that the Company's Form 10-
Q's and Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on May 12, 2002, July 30, 2002, November 8, 2002,
March 27, 2003, May 8, 2003, and August 14, 2003 were materially
false and misleading.  

The Complaint alleges that each of these above referenced press
releases and SEC filings were materially false and misleading
because, during the Class Period Defendants overstated Silicon's
license revenue by improperly recognizing revenue that did not
satisfy revenue recognition criteria.

The Complaint also alleges that, as a result of the improper
revenue recognition, the Company's net income and earnings were
overstated and its financial statements were prepared in
violation of General Accepted Accounting Principles. In
addition, the Complaint alleges that while in possession of
material non public information that defendants Lee, Gargus and
Tirado sold thousands of shares of their personally held Silicon
stock. On November 14, 2003, Silicon announced that its Form 10-
Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2003 would not be timely
filed because an investigation into the Company revenue
recognition practices associated with its licensing transaction.
On this news, Silicon's shares fell more than 27.7% to close at
$6.40.

For more information, contact Robert A. Jigarjian, by Mail: 235
Pine Street, 15th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104, by Phone:
(415) 477-6700, Fax: (415) 477-6710, or E-mail:
simge@classcounsel.com.


SILICON IMAGE: Abbey Gardy Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a Class Action lawsuit in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California,
on behalf of a class of all persons who purchased or acquired
securities of Silicon Image, Inc. between April 15, 2002, and
November 15, 2003, inclusive, against the Company and:

     (1) David Lee,

     (2) Steve Tirado, and

     (3) Robert Gargus

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

The Complaint alleges that Defendants made a series of false and
misleading statements starting on April 15, 2002. The Complaint
alleges that the press releases issued on April 15, 2002, June
13, 2002, July 23, 2002, October 15, 2002, January 15, 2003,
April 15, 2003, July 22, 2003, September 30, 2003 and October
19, 2003 were materially false and misleading.

In addition, the Complaint alleges that the Company's Form 10-
Q's and Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on May 12, 2002, July 30, 2002, November 8, 2002,
March 27, 2003, May 8, 2003, and August 14, 2003 were materially
false and misleading.

The Complaint alleges that each of these above referenced press
releases and SEC filings were materially false and misleading
because, during the Class Period defendants, had overstated
Silicon's license revenue by improperly recognizing revenue that
did not satisfy revenue recognition criteria.  The Complaint
also alleges that, as a result of the improper revenue
recognition, the Company's net income and earnings were
overstated and its financial statements were prepared in
violation of General Accepted Accounting Principles.

In addition, the Complaint alleges that while in possession of
material non public information that defendants Lee, Gargus and
Tirado sold thousands of shares of their personally held Silicon
stock. On November 14, 2003, Silicon announced that its Form 10-
Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2003 would not be timely
filed because an investigation into the Company revenue
recognition practices associated with its licensing transaction.
On this news, Silicon's shares fell more than 27.7% to close at
$6.40.

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


TOPAZ GROUP: Keller Rohrback Launches Securities Suit in W.D. WA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Keller Rohrback L.L.P., initiated a class action lawsuit, in the
United States District Court for the Western District of
Washington, against certain of the Company's officers and
directors, on behalf of purchasers of Topaz Group, Inc.
securities between March 21, 2002 and August 20, 2003,
inclusive.

The lawsuit alleges that the Defendants issued a series of false
and misleading statements concerning the Company's financial
results which did not comply with generally accepted accounting
principles.

For more information, contact Jen Veitengruber, or Juli Desper,
by Phone: 800-776-6044, by E-mail: investor@kellerrohrback.com,
Or visit the firm's Website: http://www.SeattleClassAction.com.


                           *********

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

Each Friday's edition of the CAR includes a section featuring
news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent researches,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.  The Asbestos Defendant Profiles is backed by an
online database created to respond to custom searches. Go to
http://litigationdatasource.com/asbestos_defendant_profiles.html

                        *********


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Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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