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Oct. 2, 2011 at 12:12 PM
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Ron Paul chides Obama on al-Qaida hit

NEW YORK, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul took issue Sunday with the U.S. airstrike that killed a reputed American-born high-ranking al-Qaida official.

In an op-ed piece published in the New York Daily News, Paul said the slaying of a U.S. citizen without due process is a violation of the Constitution and sets a dangerous precedent.

"The precedent set by the killing of (Anwar) al-Awlaki establishes the frightening legal premise that any suspected enemy of the United States -- even if they are a citizen -- can be taken out on the president's say-so alone," said Paul, a Texas congressman seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

Paul, who enjoys support from libertarians and Tea Party activists, is considered a dark horse for the nomination. He warned that allowing President Obama to act as "judge, jury and executioner by presidential decree" would open the door to other politicians circumventing the law for selfish reasons.

"I don't trust Obama with determining what protections I should be allowed as a citizen any more than I trust him with our general defense, the economy, healthcare, job growth -- or anything else," Paul said.

Netanyahu accepts Quartet's call for talks

JERUSALEM, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday he accepts a proposal from the Quartet on the Middle East to resume peace talks with Palestinian leaders.

On Sept. 23 the Quartet -- the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia -- urged the two sides to come to an agreement over territories by the end of 2012.

A statement released by the Prime Minister's Office said despite some "reservations," Israel welcomes negotiations and encourages Palestinian leaders to do the same.

"Immediately after the Quartet's announcement, the prime minister declared that Israel accepts the concept primarily because it concerns direct talks with the Palestinians, which has been the prime minister's aim since his election," Netanyahu spokesman Roni Sofer told Ynetnews.com.

Japan finds plutonium far from Fukushima

TOKYO, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Japanese officials said they have found, for the first time, small amounts of plutonium from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant as far as 28 miles away.

Extensive testing has been under way since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan's east coast and badly damaged reactors at the plant, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.

At a Tokyo news conference, federal officials announced the first discovery of leaked plutonium outside the immediate vicinity of the power plant, as well as radioactive strontium in 45 spots as far as 50 miles from the reactors, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Yomiuri Shimbun said plutonium was found in six locations, all within the evacuation zone.

It can take as long as 24,000 years for plutonium isotopes to degrade and lose half their radiation, the Journal said.

The government report said both elements were found at "extremely low" levels and recommended officials concentrate more on cleaning up high concentrations of radioactive cesium in the area.

The cleanup cost at the nuclear site alone is estimated at $5 billion for the coming year, the Journal said.

Red Cross: Aid needed in Libya

SIRTE, Libya, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Humanitarians say aid is still needed in Sirte, Libya, where Moammar Gadhafi loyalists are exchanging fire with members of the National Transitional Council.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says a team was able to enter the town to deliver urgently needed medical supplies, but had to leave for security reasons before assessing further humanitarian needs.

"The conditions under which medical personnel have had to work over the past weeks have been extremely difficult," said Hichem Khadraoui, who headed the operation. "The hospital is facing a huge influx of patients, medical supplies are running out and there is a desperate need for oxygen. On top of that, the water reservoir has been damaged."

NTC fighters hold positions about 3 miles outside of Sirte and have seized the town's port, military base and airport, The Tripoli Post reported. Gunfire has caused casualties to both sides of the dispute as well as civilians.

Meanwhile, Gadhafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said reports of his capture are false during a phone interview with Syria-based Arrai television. An NTC source confirmed Ibrahim's claim Saturday, telling China's Xinhua News Agency the man is still at large.

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