Strike Force

Reuters Wrap: Tuesday, March 31

In today’s Wrap, exclusives on Hungary, cheap media and a different kind of Pentagon papers.

Photo of the day 1: Fleeing the fighting

Residents, fearing air strikes by the forces of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, leave Idlib after rebel fighters took control of the area, March 28, 2015. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Special Report: Hungary’s unlikely lender

Its currency is wounded and its economy besieged by sanctions, yet Russia still has money to spare for potential allies overseas, according to a Reuters Special Report. Even as it scrabbles for foreign funds, Moscow is poised to make a 10 billion euro loan to Hungary.

Exclusive: The low cost of news

Cable T.V. operator Cablevision is planning to make an offer for the New York Daily News this week, Reuters is reporting. Cablevision’s valuation of the troubled tabloid: $1.

Exclusive: What the Pentagon really wants

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter sent Congress the military’s annual “wish list,” including 12 Boeing  F/A-18 fighter jets and 14 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, but said he would not back any of the requests unless lawmakers passed a larger overall defense budget.

Rollercoaster redux

Brent crude oil dropped towards $55 a barrel on Tuesday, as Iran and six world powers entered a final day of talks over a nuclear deal that could see the energy-rich country increase oil exports to world markets.

Dumb and dumber

The most common tax mistakes are dumb ones, like forgetting to sign the return or using a nickname instead of a legal name. Reuters personal finance columnist Liz Weston discusses the tax errors that even smart people make.

From Reuters Opinion

Eat at your own risk: The EU, China and Russia all ban ractopamine, a drug used to promote growth in pigs and other farm animals. In the U.S., though, you could still get a dash of this potentially harmful medication in your lunch, writes Wayne Pacelle, chief executive of The Humane Society of the United States.

It’s not over yet: The Kleiner Perkins discrimination case may have ended, but Silicon Valley’s trial is only beginning, writes Breakingviews columnist Reynolds Holding. Next up: sexism cases at Twitter and Facebook.

Photo of the day 2: Season to celebrate

A man takes a picture of cherry blossoms in full bloom in Tokyo, March 30. REUTERS/Toru Hanai


As Luke gets stronger in the Force, Obi-Wan becomes more material to him. [Return of the Jedi] is the clearest we’ve ever seen a Force ghost. In A New Hope, he was just a voice. In the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back, […] you could barely see him. At the end of The Empire Strikes Back, you saw him a lot more clearer. And [in Return of the Jedi], we see him clearer still. And that, I believe, is because Luke, his ability to perceive these things is increasing. He can now see these things. He can feel these things. He’s stronger in the Force. - Sam Witwer (Rebel Force Radio Film Commentary for Return of the Jedi)


Rapper/actor Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) released a video in conjunction with a human rights organization this morning via The Guardian that shows him undergoing what he says is the standard process for force-feeding Guantanamo detainees. Or attempting to, anyway — after an excruciating attempt to submit to a nasogastric tube (up the nostrils, down to the stomach) he convulses in tears and begs to stop the experiment.

More than half of the 166 prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo are participating in a hunger strike that has been going on for months, military officials have said. Lawyers for the prisoners have asked the federal courts to stop the force-feeding, saying it’s akin to torture and prevents them from observing the religious fasting of Ramadan, which begins tonight. Justice Department lawyers responded last week that the process is a humane way to keep detainees from starving to death.

Bey, 39, has a background in activism, railing against the government response to Hurricane Katrina and the conviction of Mumia Abu-Jamal. He made the film with the group Reprieve, which participated in the court filings.



Artist Ken Lashley, aka Ledkilla, used little more than Sharpie markers and his passion for Star Wars to completely cover this white Volkswagon with Star Wars-related drawings. It took Ken three days to complete the project, which he did live at the 2011 San Diego Comi-Con. What’s more, he did it all without using any references. That’s how strong The Force is with the Ledkilla.

Click here to view more photos of the car and then here to read an interview with Ken about this awesome project.

[via Reddit]


Richard Armitage’s chest

  1. John Porter - Strike Back
  2. Sir Guy of Gisborne - Robin Hood BBC
  3. Lucas North - Spooks/MI-5
  4. Paul Andrews - Between the Sheets
  5. Lee - Cold Feet
  6. Percy Courtney - Miss Marie Lloyd
  7. Ian Macalwain  - Ultimate Force