Monday, October 6, 2014

Now You Can Make Cronuts at Home With This Official Recipe

Now You Can Make Cronuts at Home With This Official Recipe

Now You Can Make Cronuts at Home With This Official Recipe

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:38 AM PDT

It is notoriously difficult to get your hands on a Cronut, the croissant-doughnut hybrid crafted by chef Dominique Ansel in New York City, unless you’re willing to wake up super early and wait in a super long line. But now you can just cut out the middleman and make one for yourself at home with Dominique Ansel’s official recipe.

Note: this recipe will take you three days, as Good Morning America points out. It has also earned an “extreme” difficulty rating, which is not at all surprising. If you’re still willing to take on the task, basic ingredients for the dough include:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (84% butterfat), softened
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

While basic ingredients for the “butter block”, an important part of croissant-baking, include:

  • 18 tablespoons unsalted butter (84% butterfat), softened
  • Grapeseed oil as needed
  • Glaze of your choice as needed
  • Decorating sugar of your choice as needed

You’ll also need some special equipment like a stand mixer with dough hook and whisk attachments, a deep-frying thermometer and uncut piping bags. Then, you’ll need three days to complete various prep work. Let us assure you: there are SO. MANY. STEPS. So, so many.

See the full Cronut recipe here. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be so intimidated just glancing at it that waking up at 5 a.m. to get a Cronut made by Ansel won’t seem so bad after all.

Indian and Pakistan Clash Over Kashmir After Peace Talks Falter

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:25 AM PDT

Tens of thousands of villagers have fled their homes in Kashmir amid some of the worst violence between India and Pakistan since a 2003 ceasefire agreement.

Shelling from both sides that began on Friday has killed at least nine civilians, Reuters reports. Both sides have accused each other of starting the clashes, which coincide with the Eid al-Adha festival for Muslims in both countries.

Newly-elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised expectations for a warming of ties between the two countries when he invited Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his inauguration in May. But Modi called off peace talks last month because Pakistan planned to meet with Kashmiri separatists.

The two countries have fought three wars over the disputed region, and Muslim separatists have targeted Indian forces since 1989.

Thousands of people from Indian villages along the border have been evacuated to government shelters and underground bunkers, the Associated Press reports. Authorities in Pakistan say four civilians, including two children and a woman, have been killed in the clashes. An Indian official said five people were killed by Pakistani shelling.


Every Time I Take My Baby Outside Somebody Yells at Me

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:18 AM PDT


This story originally appeared on

Have you ever wanted strangers to come up to you, unannounced, on the streets of New York City and strike up a conversation? As a native New Yorker I have to admit that apart from the occasional exchange about delayed trains with another passenger or being asked for directions, total strangers don’t often come over to talk to me. That all changed after I got pregnant and then had a baby.

While I was pregnant I heard a lot of unsolicited scary pregnancy and birth stories that my forgetful “pregnancy brain” was very unaccommodating about deleting from my mind. These days, pushing a baby stroller around apparently gives people the impression that they can walk up to me and just say anything they want. When was the last time someone walked up to you on the sidewalk and judged you? Try having a kid — it’ll happen to you on a daily basis.

When my baby was two weeks old, my husband and I had to take her to a checkup visit with her pediatrician. We were living with his parents because we had only closed on our apartment the week before I gave birth. Our trip entailed taking the subway from Murray Hill to Washington Heights…where we would have been already living if our co-op board hadn’t taken four months to schedule our board approval meeting.

Standing on the platform a pleasant looking woman in her late twenties smiled down at our little baby girl in her car seat stroller said: “I have a six month old…how old is yours?” When I answered “Two weeks,” the woman’s smile dissolved into a gasp of horror. She half-shrieked: “OH MY GOD you can’t have such a little one on the subway it’s so dangerous all the germs and their tiny immune systems I wouldn’t let MY nanny out with her until after three months and then I got the germ net for the stroller. It’s a mesh net that keeps out the germs. You shouldn’t be on the train with her yet or ever! You could take cabs or a car service. That’s what my nanny does.”

My heart started pounding. Was Clara in danger from subway germs? Though I immediately questioned the efficacy of mesh netting in keeping microscopic airborne germs off my baby…did this woman have a point? Why hadn’t my What to Expect book detailed the dangers of public transportation? I certainly didn’t have a nanny or a car service or even own a car, so my options were limited.

Mentally shaken, I smiled and thanked this apparently well-meaning stranger while silently vowing to ask a doctor for advice. Frazzled and already sleep-deprived, we rode the train uptown. I eyeballed the subway atmosphere looking for free-floating germs that might attach themselves to Clara’s tiny face.

When we finally made it to the pediatrician, I unloaded my worries onto her in a garbled stream that ended with: “Is she allowed to ride the subway?!” The doctor’s advice was simple: “As long as your baby isn’t holding onto the handrail in the subway, she should be fine.”

One day after we finally moved uptown to Washington Heights, I decided to try taking a bus downtown to visit my mother. I have a lot of fond memories of riding the bus around with the various kids I babysat in New York City from the time I was 13 until I was about 23. I got a seat on the bus, with car-seated Clara in my lap. I relaxed a little — enjoying the air conditioning and the view as the bus meandered down Broadway. A few stops later, a middle-aged woman gets on and sits next to me. Without preamble, and without acknowledging my presence, she starts talking to Clara in a baby voice:

“Hewooo wittle one…what is your Mommy doing taking you out on a hot day like this? Is she cawazy? She should be inside with such a wittle baby on a hot day. It’s too hot for wittle babies.”

Another round of unasked for advice — this time directed at my baby daughter who hadn’t even learned to focus her eyes yet.

I turned to the woman and said: “She’s on her way to visit her grandmother. And she’s fine.”

The woman said: “I guess New Yorkers do things differently.”

I said: “Yeah — they do.”

The conversation ended there.

Clara was five months old and I decided to try her stroller out for a spin in the neighborhood. It was a brisk but mild day in late November. I planned to walk 10 blocks to my sister’s apartment, take her dog for a brief walk and then head back home. Clara seemed happy in her coat and blanket. Six blocks into my walk, I saw a middle-aged woman walking down the sidewalk.

As she approached me, she started yelling a blue streak. It took a minute for me to realize she was talking to me. She was, in fact, cursing me out for not having a wind/rain protector on my stroller. You know — those clear plastic shields they put over strollers to keep the rain out? As she kept getting closer, her yelling rose in decibels: “WHAT ARE YOU CRAAAAAZY, LADY! YOUR BABY IS GONNA FREEEEEEZE OUT HERE — YOU DON’T HAVE A WINDSHIELD PROTECTOR WHAT’SA MATTER WITH YOU, YOU BITCH!”

The amazing thing was that she didn’t even slow down — she just marched past me, still screaming — her voice fading with the Doppler effect. I was shaken to the core and promptly began crying. Here I was, a new mom trying out a new stroller and I had apparently made a serious, baby-killing mistake. I spun the stroller around, sniffling, and headed home.

As I walked, I called my husband and found some solace in his outrage on my behalf. He assured me Clara would be fine. By the time I got home, Clara had fallen asleep in the stroller. I left her their to nap and started doing some paperwork at my desk.

Not fifteen minutes later the seeds of doubt planted by that crazy woman began to sprout. What if Clara had in fact been freezing? What if…she wasn’t asleep in her stroller but was in fact suffering from extreme hypothermia? What if she wasn’t sleeping but was in fact, in a cold-weather induced coma? I tiptoed over to the stroller and watched Clara breathing…or was she breathing? I gave her a tentative poke. No response. I blew air on her face and her eyelids quivered then stilled.

I tried to convince myself to no avail that Clara was just sleeping. I ended up taking her out of the stroller, trying to say in a happy voice: “Wake up, wake up, wake up.” She did wake up — she was fine, if unhappy and grumpy from being woken from her peaceful baby nap. She was not frozen.

Did that cursing woman on the street or the germ-a-phobe mother on the subway or the middle-aged tourist on the bus envision the ripple effects their yelling and criticism had on me? That it would affect me for hours? That it would make me cry? Did they think for an instant that perhaps I was an inexperienced, sleep-deprived, emotionally fragile first time mom? That maybe a piece of calmly delivered advice would be more effective than harsh criticism? Or that maybe they shouldn’t say anything at all?

Clara is two years old now and I have become largely immune to the slings and arrows of drive-by advice. (No, it hasn’t stopped.) I have become an expert at being a mother to my little girl. Next time, before you roll your eyes and start to say something critical to a parent trying to soothe a crying baby on a crowded subway, try to put yourself in their position for a minute.

Maybe in that instant the harsh words you were going to say will fade from your lips and instead you’ll try making a silly face at the baby, who just might stop crying. Let’s help each other more. Life (with and without children) is hard enough to navigate without random people telling you you’re doing it all wrong.

Jeannine Jones is a writer living in Upper Manhattan.

This Innovative Flower Pot Moves To Follow the Sun

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:16 AM PDT


This article originally appeared on Lost at E Minor.

It only took us a few thousand years to create the efficient flower pot design. Inspired by how sunflowers follow the sunlight, Barcelona-based industrial design company, Studio BAG Disseny, created a flower pot that can roll to face the direction of the sun, giving plants a more efficient way to grow.

Handmade in La Bisbal d’Emporda, Spain, the terracotta pots can whirl by simply moving the base. According to its designers, by adding movement to traditional static pots, it allows the plants to “follow the path of the sun, to sway in a breeze or grow at will.”

(via Design Taxi)

Bill Clinton Tries to Save Democrats in Arkansas

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:15 AM PDT

Three months into his bid to represent Arkansas’s Fourth District in Congress, James Lee Witt got a call from former President Bill Clinton. Witt was outside a town called Magnolia, and Clinton proceeded to rattle off like baseball stats how much he’d won Magnolia by and who would be good to connect with there.

“He then told me every county he’d won and every county he’d lost and all the percentages,” recalls Witt, who served as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for all eight years of Clinton’s presidency. “He still remembers the people who supported him and those that didn’t. But if you supported him, you have no truer friend.”

Witt should know. He’s banking on Clinton’s help to win in November. Clinton’s calls to Witt happened every few months in the beginning of the campaign. Now that the election is just a month away, the calls are more frequent, as are the former President’s visits.

And Witt isn’t the only candidate Clinton has a personal tie to running in Arkansas these days. His former driver during his 1982 gubernatorial campaign, Rep. Mike Ross, is running for governor. Sen. Mark Pryor, whose father was a mentor to Clinton, is in the reelection battle of his career. And Patrick Henry Hays, who was an Arkansas traveler for Clinton’s 1992 presidential bid, is running for Congress in Arkansas’ Second District. All of which is why Clinton is kicking off his midterm sprint in his home state Monday and Tuesday with five events across Arkansas.

For embattled Democrats, Clinton is worth his weight in political gold. “When he was elected President, he never left,” says Patrick Burgwinkle, chair of the Arkansas Democratic Party. “He’s got some wonderful coattails in Arkansas. He’s a giant energizer of the base and he’s able to bring a lot of money out.”

His four candidates will need it in an election trending away from Democrats and President Barack Obama, who is deeply unpopular in Arkansas. The state, largely due to Clinton’s efforts, hasn’t tacked as far in the GOP’s direction as the rest of the south.

Still, Clinton might be Sisyphus this cycle with the races leaning decidedly Republican in recent weeks. Witt’s coveted seat is rated “likely Republican” and the seat Hays is seeking is ranked “lean Republican” by Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election forecaster. The same group ranks Arkansas’ gubernatorial and Senate races “toss ups,” but GOP Rep. Tom cotton leads Pryor by 3.7 percentage points and former Rep. Asa Hutchinson leads Ross by 5.6 percentage points, according to averages of Arkansas polls by Real Clear Politics.

Republicans downplayed the importance of Clinton’s influence in Arkansas. “I’m not worried about Bill Clinton’s support for Mark Pryor,” Cotton told ABC News on Sunday. “I’m worried about Mark Pryor’s support for Barack Obama.” And banker French Hill, who is running against Witt for the seat Cotton is vacating, told Roll Call this summer that, “President Clinton has a lot of friends in Arkansas. … But I don’t believe it will have a major impact in this race because I believe the electorate is looking for somebody who’s got a business background, that’s a conservative person to help represent the district.”

For Clinton, this isn’t just about politics. Not only is he personally invested in the four Democrats, but Hutchinson served as one of the Republican floor managers of Clinton’s 1998 impeachment trial in the House. Which is why his involvement goes beyond rallies and fundraisers: He calls all four candidates on a regular basis to strategize with them on how to win in a state he prides himself on still knowing intimately. After all, the airport, his Presidential library and a fair number of roads across the state are named for Arkansas’ only son to be elected to the nation’s highest office. “He’s a terrific campaigner, excellent fundraiser and premier strategist,” says Skip Rutherford, dean of the University of Arkansas’s School of Public Affairs. “He is very valuable to Democrats, their biggest and best asset on the trail.”

Tips for Stopping Identity Theft

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:00 AM PDT

This has been a good year for hackers. To date, businesses, medical centers, banks and schools have suffered some 578 data breaches, exposing over 76 million records of personal and financial information (Identity Theft Resource Center PDF).

Home Depot recently announced its database had been breached, with hackers making off with around 56 million payment card numbers. Earlier in the year, Neiman Marcus and Michaels revealed similar hacks, exposing 1.1 million and 2.6 million records respectively (PDF).

While some fraudsters might take advantage of stolen information to clear out your bank account or make claims on your insurance policies, a more insidious form of identity fraud has emerged based on scammers who create whole new accounts — bank accounts, store accounts, credit card accounts — in your name.

Identity thieves can use your personal information to open and max out multiple credit cards, apply for loans and place deposits on big-ticket items. This activity all goes onto your credit profile, eventually sinking your credit rating. Yet you might never find out about the unauthorized activity until the debt collectors come calling or you find yourself summarily rejected for a loan or mortgage application.

Many folks have turned to credit monitoring services that will notify you about unusual activity. But that’s the equivalent of closing the door after the horse has already left the barn. At that point, thieves have already opened accounts and compromised your credit.

So what can you do to thwart identity thieves? The major credit bureaus let you freeze your credit or add a fraud alert. Both are free, but each has its limitations.

Is it time for a freeze?

Closing any compromised credit and bank accounts can stem your financial losses, true. But thieves can continue opening false accounts and piling up debt on your credit profile, making it impossible to successfully apply for credit.

To stop thieves in their tracks, put a security freeze on your credit profile, which prohibits lenders and companies that are trying to check your credit from accessing your profile. This prevents thieves from opening new accounts under your name, because creditors are unable to check your credit history.

“The security freeze is a good tool for someone with recurring fraud issues,” says Rod Griffin, director of public education for credit reporting agency Experian. “That’s the insidious nature of fraud. Once an identity has been stolen, more false accounts may pop up again six months or two years later, and we wouldn’t necessarily recognize it as fraud.”

A fraud alert may be more helpful

If you’re planning on getting a mortgage, a car or even a new telephone service, a security freeze can hold up the process by preventing the service providers from checking your credit. “For most people, if you plan to apply for credit or services that need credit checking, a security freeze tends to be more intrusive than it is beneficial,” Griffin says.

Instead, if you believe you’re the victim of fraud, Griffin recommends first requesting a copy of your credit report. At the same time, alert a credit reporting agency that you suspect you may be at risk for fraud. The credit reporting agency will place an initial fraud alert on your profile so that any companies requesting a copy of the profile are told to ask for additional proof of identity. This makes it more difficult for identity thieves to prove they are you. The credit agency you alert will let the other two agencies know to do the same.

Next, comb your credit report for activity that wasn’t generated by you. Common signs of fraud include social security number and address changes or names and accounts you don’t recognize. “If you discover you have been the victim of fraud, file a police report, send it to Experian, and we extend the fraud alert so that it stays on your profile for seven years,” Griffin says.

Set fraud alerts and security freezes

Follow these steps to set a security freeze or a security alert.

1. If you suspect you have been the victim of identity theft, set an initial fraud alert at any of the three credit agencies. You can do this online, and the agency you contact will alert the others to add a fraud message to the profile they hold on you. We also recommend alerting Innovis, a smaller credit agency. Here are the links to their fraud alert pages for quick access:

An initial fraud alert on your profile advises potential creditors to request additional verification of your identity if an account is opened in your name. This alert lasts for 90 days. If you apply for anything requiring a credit check during this period, you should be prepared to provide greater proof of your identity than usual.

2. If you find that you are the victim of identity theft — for example, if your credit profile shows suspicious activity or a debt collector turns up demanding payments for something you know nothing about — you can request an extended fraud alert that lasts for seven years. File a police report and mail a copy to the credit agency along with your request for an extended fraud alert. The credit agency will verify the fraudulent accounts and clear them out of your profile. Potential creditors will continue to receive alerts that your profile is associated with fraud, with instructions to request additional ID verification.

3. If fraudulent activity continues to appear on your credit profile, you may want to consider a security freeze. With a credit freeze, no one can access your credit profile except lenders you specify during a time period you set. You need to set up a freeze individually with each credit agency, either by phone or via each agency’s online form.

When you freeze your credit profile, you’ll receive a PIN to use for temporarily lifting the freeze to allow specific credit checks. Security freezes are free for victims of identity theft, and will run anywhere from $0 to $10 for other applicants, depending on age and state of residence. Fees for lifting and restoring freezes vary by state from free to $5.

How to stay safe

“Knowing when your personal data has been compromised is very difficult, as it could happen from any number of places which hold that data,” says Thomas Labarthe, managing director (Europe) for security firm Lookout. When a security breach occurs at a point-of-sale terminal, as it did in the recent Home Depot breach, consumers are especially powerless and may never find out about the breach until the retailer itself uncovers it. “It’s best to only use credit cards, as there’s an added layer of protection which makes it easier to claim money back in cases of fraud,” Labarthe says.

When you’re shopping online, use encrypted sites with “https” in the URL, and only use credit cards even when using secure online payment services. Offline, make sure your mailbox is secure; fraudsters can get plenty of identifying information from stolen mail.

Most importantly, check your credit profile once a year. You can request an annual free copy from each credit agency at

This article was written by Natasha Stokes and originally appeared on Techlicious.

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Hear Cornel West on Obama: ‘A Drone Presidency’

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 09:49 AM PDT

In an interview with Time for 10 Questions, Cornel West says he didn’t even vote in 2012. “I couldn’t vote for a war criminal,” he said, calling President Obama’s administration “a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national surveillance presidency, that violates rights and liberties.”

Meet the New Boss of the President’s Protectors

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 09:47 AM PDT

Joe Clancy, the newly appointed interim director of the U.S. Secret Service, has protected three Presidents in his career, but now faces his toughest challenge yet: restoring the public’s—and the commander in chief’s—trust in the agency responsible with his life.

Even before Secret Service Director Julia Pierson submitted her resignation Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson had reached out to Clancy, 58, most recently the director of corporate security at telecom-giant Comcast, about taking the job. He retired from the Secret Service in 2011 as head of the Presidential Protective Division (PDD), the corps of presidential bodyguards responsible for the president’s security around the clock.

After several high-profile security incidents, Clancy will be under intense pressure to keep the agency out of the news, as multiple congressional and Department of Homeland Security probes examine where the agency went wrong and where it must go from here. Obama is not expected to select a permanent replacement for Pierson until those reviews are completed later this year.

Clancy will be a familiar face to President Barack Obama and his family, having led the presidential detail during his first years in office.

Go Ahead, Get Excited for the New Twin Peaks. Even If It Turns Out Awful.

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 09:47 AM PDT

Sometimes, as it turns out, the owls are exactly what they seem. Rumors had been percolating (like damn fine coffee) that Twin Peaks might be returning in some form, and they went into overdrive last Friday when the show’s creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, tweeted the same quote from the show: “That gum you like is going to come back in style.” But it couldn’t mean… They weren’t going to… No one would actually… Would they?

Turns out they would, and they are. Showtime today announced that Twin Peaks is returning, as a nine-episode limited-run series, in 2016, with Frost writing and Lynch directing.

Getting excited? Getting excited? Great! Now it’s time to get disappointed!

Because that’s the way of these things, isn’t it? Someone announces a revival, or a reboot, or in this case a continuation, and the commentary-industrial complex begins imagining reasons why this new Star Trek, or Star Wars, or surreal Northwest mystery cannot possibly turn out well. Remember The Phantom Menace? Remember Fire Walk With Me? That one guy is going to be that one superhero? That guy from Swingers is going to be in True Detective? We’re doomed! (I have done this plenty of times myself, trust me.)

I have no idea, of course, what the new Twin Peaks will be like. It will be good, or it will be bad. But I beg you: let yourself get excited. Be happy about a thing without needing to coat it in prophylactic pessimism. Don’t give in to the defensive reflex to pre-disappoint yourself.

I don’t know, none of us do, what Lynch and Frost will give us in two years, but I know this:

* Two very talented people are returning to TV. This, really, is the bottom line. Frost and Lynch don’t need to make more Twin Peaks. That they are doing so anyway tells me they have ideas they’re excited about, and that’s reason enough for hope.

* TV doesn’t need Twin Peaks anymore. When Twin Peaks premired in 1990, it blew up our notions of what TV could and could not do: it established that TV could be idiosyncratic, could be ambitious, could be art, even, and–at least for a while–could be wildly, commercially successful. Today, the TV business is much different from what it was then. There are far more outlets, a show can survive with a far smaller audience, and it’s much easier (which is not to say easy) to find a place to take a chance wth a risky concept. For years after Twin Peaks went off the air, its dramatic drop in ratings was cited as proof of what you couldn’t do on TV–that it was dangerous to be too weird, or establish mysteries with a tricky payoff, and so on. Now, there’s less riding on a new Twin Peaks: it can succeed or fail on its own, and TV as an art form will carry on.

* We all have an excuse to go back and watch a fantastic work of TV art. Even the second season. If the revival does nothing else but introduce new viewers to the original, evocative, entrancing work, that will be a plus.

* You can’t ruin a good thing retroactively. This, really, is the most important point to me. We’ve developed this sour mindset among some series and franchise fans that an ending, or a continuation, that disappoints them negates everything that came before it. A serial needs to “stick the landing” or else I’ve “wasted” all the time I put into it. This, I’d argue, is such a crabbed and limiting view of art and entertainment. The pleasure you derive from a thing is always worth it, no matter what comes afterward.

There’s no prize for making the right judgment on a work of fiction two years before it exists. If you loved Twin Peaks–or even if you’re just curious–you now have an excuse to go back and look again at one of the greatest things TV ever did.

And in 2016, its creators will do something great again. Or they won’t. In which case there will be plenty of time to hate it then. Why waste two years pre-hating something?

Jihadist Bullets Are Often Made in the USA

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 09:30 AM PDT

Not only are the militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) tooling around their new “state” in U.S.-built vehicles recently plundered from the Iraqi army, but many of the bullets they’re firing come from the U.S. as well.

The news suggests just how fluid the battlefield straddling Iraq and Syria has become—and how efforts by other nations to help both beleaguered states can boomerang as their ammo often falls into enemy hands.

A private arms-tracing group vacuumed up more than 1,700 ISIS rounds in the Kurdish regions of northern Iraq and Syria from July 22 to Aug. 15. Nearly one of every five examined by experts from the independent Conflict Armament Research was manufactured in the U.S., according to a report released Monday by the group.

ISIS “forces appear to have acquired a large part of their current arsenal from stocks seized from, or abandoned by, Iraqi defence and security forces,” said the London-based CAR, a nonprofit research organization funded by the European Union. “The U.S. gifted much of this materiel to Iraq.”

CAR used stampings on the bottom of the cartridges—almost like fingerprints—to track their source.

Here’s where the cartridges collected by researchers were manufactured. CAR

The variety and age of the ammo used by ISIS fighters shows they have multiple means of supply. “China, the Soviet Union/Russian Federation, and the United States (US) are the top three manufacturing states represented in the sample,” CAR reported. “Ammunition in service with Iraqi and Syrian defence forces is also significant in the sample.”

CAR documented more than 300 U.S.-manufactured cartridges used by ISIS, mostly made between 2000 and 2010. Russian ammo was much newer—“as little as seven months from manufacture in Russia to capture from [ISIS] forces in Syria,” the group says. “Syrian defence forces are a plausible source of this ammunition.” At the other end of the timetable, CAR found a single Soviet cartridge dating back to 1945, the last year of World War II.

Most of the cartridges recovered in Syria were 30 years old and of Chinese and Soviet manufacture. “By contrast, the sample of ammunition recovered in Iraq is mainly U.S.-manufactured and comprises 5.56 x 45 mm cartridges,” CAR’s 16-page field report said. That’s the type “used in U.S.-supplied M16 and M4 assault rifles of the Iraqi defence and security forces.”


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