Washington sees war protesters

WASHINGTON - Opponents of the war in Iraq marched Saturday in a clamorous day of protest, song and remembrance of the dead, some showing surprisingly diverse political views even as they spoke with one loud voice in wanting U.S. troops home.

The surging crowd, shouting "Bush out now" and "Peace now," marched in front of the White House and then to the Washington Monument in an 11-hour marathon of dissent.

They were young people with green hair, nuns whose anti-war activism dates to Vietnam, parents mourning their children in uniform lost in Iraq, and uncountable families motivated for the first time to protest.

President Bush himself was out of town, monitoring hurricane recovery efforts from Colorado and Texas. The protesters shouted for his impeachment.

Cheney surgery was successful

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.

"He will remain in the hospital for up to 48 hours to monitor his recovery. He is expected to resume a regular schedule when he is released to home," said Steve Schmidt, counselor to the vice president.

Puerto Rican nationalist dies during stakeout

HORMIGUEROS, Puerto Rico - A Puerto Rican nationalist leader wanted in the 1983 robbery of a Connecticut armored truck died during an FBI stakeout of the farmhouse where he was hiding, the island's police chief said Saturday.

The FBI found the body of Filiberto Ojeda Rios in the house in the western town of Hormigueros, police chief Pedro Toledo said. The FBI called the office of Puerto Rico Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila to inform him of Ojeda Rios' death, he said.

"Filiberto Ojeda Rios is definitely dead," Toledo told WAPA radio.

A gun battle erupted Friday as FBI agents closed in to arrest Ojeda Rios, but Toledo said he did not know how the nationalist leader died.

Md. sniper suspect granted trial delay

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.

Despite objections from Muhammad, Montgomery County Judge John W. Debelius III on Friday granted the delay requested by his attorneys.'

Documents: Navy secretly moved terror suspects to torture sites

SAN DIEGO - A branch of the U.S. Navy secretly contracted a 33-plane fleet that included two Gulfstream jets reportedly used to fly terror suspects to countries known to practice torture, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

At least 10 U.S. aviation companies were issued classified contracts in 2001 and 2002 by the obscure Navy Engineering Logistics Office for the "occasional airlift of USN (Navy) cargo worldwide," according to Defense Department documents the AP obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Two of the companies chartered luxury Gulfstreams that flew terror suspects captured in Europe to Egypt, according to U.S. and European media reports. Once there, the men told family members, they were tortured. Authorities in Italy and Sweden have expressed outrage over flights they say were illegal and orchestrated by the U.S. government.

While the Gulfstreams came under scrutiny in 2001, what hasn't been disclosed is the Navy's role in contracting planes involved in operations the CIA terms "rendition" and what Italian prosecutors call kidnapping.

- From wire reports