Cheney in good condition after aneurysm surgery

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney had successful surgery on Saturday to repair aneurysms on the back of both knees. He was alert and comfortable after the six-hour operation, his spokesman said. Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, was under local anesthesia during the surgery at George Washington University Hospital. After the operation, Cheney was "awake, alert, comfortable," Schmidt said. Cheney had been scheduled to have only the right knee operated on Saturday but his doctors decided to do both at once, Schmidt said. There were no complications.

Alan Rosenberg elected president of SAG

LOS ANGELES -- Alan Rosenberg was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild on Friday, replacing former "Little House on the Prairie" star Melissa Gilbert, who decided not to run for a third two-year term. Rosenberg will lead a famously fractious union of 100,000 actors that has been split in recent years on such issues as merging with the other major actors union and taking an aggressive stance in negotiations with producers. He beat out fellow candidates Morgan Fairchild and Robert Conrad. Rosenberg received 40 percent of the total 27,053 votes cast, according to the guild. Fairchild received 35 percent and Conrad 25 percent. The 54-year-old actor has appeared on such television shows as "ER," "L.A. Law" and "The Guardian" as well as in TV movies.

Judge waives speedy trial in Md. sniper killings

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- A judge has granted a delay for the trial of John Allen Muhammad in the six Maryland deaths linked to the 2002 Washington-area sniper spree. Defendants are usually entitled to a trial within 180 days of arrest in Maryland or within 120 days of transfer to the state, but attorneys can ask for delays in complicated cases. After fighting extradition from Virginia, Muhammad arrived in Maryland on Aug. 22 and his trial had been set for May 1. Muhammad and his alleged accomplice, John Lee Malvo, are charged with six counts of first-degree murder in the October 2002 deaths in Montgomery County. Both already have been convicted of shootings in Virginia.

Northwest flight to Tokyo leaves 43 hours late

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Northwest Airlines flight to Tokyo finally took off Saturday morning -- 43 hours late. Mechanical problems and a lack of a crew had kept the Boeing 747-400 on the ground since its scheduled departure time of 3 p.m. Thursday. The delay was not caused by the airline's mechanics' strike, which began Aug. 20, Northwest spokeswoman Jennifer Bagdade said. Passengers were kept on the plane for a total of nine hours over a 24-hour period, said airline spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch. Bagdade said Northwest tried to rebook all the passengers on other flights, but many of those flights were full. When the plane finally left on the more than 12-hour-long flight, it carried about 100 fewer passengers than its original 365. Northwest apologized to the passengers and will pay for two nights' worth of food and lodging and plans to give them $700 in travel certificates.

-- From wire reports

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