North Korean President Kim Jong Un

North Korea’s UN Mission has said the government will react to “a total war” with the United States with a nuclear strike.

The mission said North Korea will “surely win a victory in the death-defying struggle against the US imperialists”.

The statement said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – the country’s official name – “can never be frightened” by the Trump administration’s effort to bring the country “into submission” by deploying a nuclear aircraft carrier strike group to waters off the Korean Peninsula.

The mission said: “It is an unshakable will of the DPRK to go to the end if the US wants to remain unchanged in its confrontational stance.”

It said the DPRK’s “heaviest counteractions” in response to “provocations of any forms and levels from the US” will include a sudden pre-emptive attack involving manoeuvres on the ground, in the seas, underwater and in the air “and various other methods.”

Meanwhile, US senators have arrived in Washington for an extraordinary briefing on the threat posed by North Korea.

All 100 senators were invited to the classified briefing at a building next to the White House.

President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, defence secretary, top general and national intelligence director will brief them. The team was due to speak later to House members in the Capitol.

Earlier, South Korea announced the installation of key parts of a contentious US missile defence system meant to counter the North.

South Korea’s trumpeting of progress in setting up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence system, or THAAD, came as high-powered US military vessels converged on the Peninsula.

North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills on Tuesday, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its million-person Korean People’s Army.

On the same day, a US guided-missile submarine docked in South Korea.

And the USS Carl Vinson aircraft super-carrier is also headed toward the peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea.

The moves to set up THAAD within this year have angered not only North Korea, but also China, the country that the Trump administration hopes to work with to rid the North of nuclear weapons.

China, which has grown increasingly frustrated with North Korea, its ally, and Russia see the system’s powerful radars as a security threat.

South Korea said that unspecified parts of THAAD were installed. It said that Seoul and Washington have been pushing to get THAAD quickly working to cope with North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missile threats.

According to the Yonhap news agency, the parts include two or three launchers, intercept missiles and a radar.


North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is an urgent national security threat and the US will exert pressure through diplomatic measures and tighter economic sanctions, the Trump administration has said.

The US State Department, defence and intelligence chiefs issued a statement on Wednesday after briefing senators on Washington’s policy on North Korea – a policy some observers said sounds similar to that of the Obama administration.

The statement said President Donald Trump aims to press North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile and proliferation programmes, and is engaging the international community to achieve that and persuade Kim Jong Un’s government “to de-escalate and return to the path of dialogue”.

The US “remains open to negotiations” to achieve denuclearisation in the Korean Peninsula, but the statement adds: “We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies.”

US President Donald Trump

White House administration officials said that action on other key tax code elements would ensure the plan would largely help the middle class instead of the affluent.

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said that he hopes to get the legislation required to introduce these changes passed “this year”.

The outlined changes to the tax code are the most concrete guidance so far on Mr Trump’s vision for spurring job growth.

“The president owns this plan; don’t be mistaken,” said Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council.

Mr Cohn said Mr Trump and his administration recognise they have to be “good stewards” of the federal budget.

But the plan as it currently stands could cause the federal deficit to climb, unless it sparks a massive and lasting wave of growth that most economists say is unlikely.

The threat of a rising budget deficit could erode support for the plan among politicians in Mr Trump’s own Republican Party.

Administration officials intend to agree additional details with members of the House and Senate in the coming weeks for what would be the first massive rewrite of the US tax code since 1986.

“We know this is difficult,” Mr Cohn said. “We know what we’re asking for is a big bite.”

The administration plans to provide tax relief for families with child care expenses, too, although the specifics have yet to be included.

The proposal would also trim other deductions utilised by wealthier Americans. This would include deductions for state and local tax payments, a change that could alienate support from politicians in states such as California and New York with higher state taxes.

“It’s not the federal government’s job to be subsidising the states,” Mr Mnuchin said.

The administration has emphasised that the plan was focused on simplifying the tax code and helping middle class Americans. The median US household income is slightly above $50,000 annually.


Turkey’s main opposition party is to challenge the outcome of the country’s April 16 referendum on expanding presidential powers at the European Court of Human Rights.

The pro-secular Republican People’s Party is contesting the referendum over a number of irregularities, including a controversial electoral board decision to count ballot papers that lacked official stamps.

The decision to take the issue to the Strasbourg-based court came a day after Turkey’s high administrative court rejected its bid to have the decision overturned. The vote to greatly increase the president’s powers was narrowly won by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “Yes” side.


French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has upstaged opponent Emmanuel Macron by making a surprise campaign stop to a home appliance factory. As Mr Macron was meeting with union leaders from the Whirlpool plant in northern France, Ms Le Pen popped up outside the factory itself, amid its workers in bright-yellow hazard vests, and declared herself the candidate of France’s workers.

The wily campaign move, which French television news channel BFM broadcast live, had the immediate effect of stealing Mr Macron’s thunder. As Ms Le Pen took selfies with people outside the threatened plant, he was shown in a closed-door meeting with union leaders in the town of Amiens, dressed in a suit and tie.

Ms Le Pen, 48, is fighting her second presidential campaign after coming in third in 2012 while Mr Macron, a 39-year-old former investment banker and economy minister, is fighting his first, having never held elected office.

Even before Ms Le Pen’s impromptu appearance, Mr Macron’s intervention in the Whirlpool factory’s future, in a region where Ms Le Pen got the most votes, was fraught with risk. The pro-EU centrist had to tread a fine line between defending his programme to tackle France’s chronic unemployment without falling into the trap of making campaign promises that, if he wins, he could struggle to keep.

The factory in Amiens, where the production of dryers is due to stop this year and shift to Poland, joins a list of threatened plants that have become symbolic of job losses in French presidential campaigns. In the 2012 presidential race, Socialist Francois Hollande travelled to a closure-threatened steel plant in eastern France’s rust belt in a similar pursuit of blue-collar votes.

Union leaders later felt betrayed when the Hayange plant’s blast furnaces were mothballed in a deal that President Hollande’s government struck with steel giant ArcelorMittal. Ms Le Pen has vowed to keep the Amiens plant open if elected, come what may.

Needing millions more votes to beat Mr Macron in France’s May 7 presidential run-off, she has been hammering hard her claims that more French jobs would be lost overseas under Mr Macron’s more economically liberal programme.


China and the European Space Agency are discussing a potential collaboration for a human outpost on The Moon, according to reports. The secretary general for China’s space agency, Tian Yulong, first disclosed the talks about the envisioned lunar base in Chinese state media.

They were confirmed today by Pal Hvistendahl, a spokesman for the European Space Agency, or ESA.
“The Chinese have a very ambitious moon program already in place,” Mr Hvistendahl said.
“Space has changed since the space race of the 60s. We recognise that to explore space for peaceful purposes, we do international cooperation.”

The director general of the 22-member ESA, Johann-Dietrich Woerner, has described its proposed “Moon Village” as a potential international launching pad for future missions to Mars and a chance to develop space tourism or even lunar mining.

China arrived relatively late to space travel, but has ramped up its programme since its first manned spaceflight in 2003, more than 42 years after a Soviet cosmonaut became the first to reach orbit.
Last week, the China National Space Administration launched an unmanned spacecraft on a mission to dock with its currently unoccupied space station.

It plans to launch a mission to collect samples from The Moon by the end of this year and next year conduct the first mission to the moon’s far side and bring back mineral samples. The ESA hopes to conduct a mission analysis on samples brought back by this year’s Chinese mission, known as Chang’e 5, and also have a European flying on the Chinese space station at some future date, Mr Hvistendahl said.

China was excluded from the International Space Station mainly due to US legislation barring such cooperation and concerns over the Chinese space programme’s strong military connections.


Aren’t we all familiar with the rich and creamy coconut milk, we often use to enhance the flavour of our favourite curries? Interestingly it is also highly nourishing for a beauty boost; especially for the skin and hair. Beauty geeks are raving about the benefits of coconut milk as the high in healthy fatty acids, proteins and vitamin E, C, B6 with excellent moisturising and repairing properties is also rich in copper. Coconut Milk prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, acne and age spots while for the hair it keeps issues of dandruff, white hair, baldness and brittle locks at bay. In short, coconut milk could just be your top go-to beauty kitchen ingredient for amazing hair and skin. Here’s how it benefits us and the multiple uses of coconut milk, to add to your summer skin and hair care rituals.

1. Moisturises the Skin – 
Coconut milk is highly hydrating and can combat dry skin problems. You can extract fresh coconut milk and apply all over your face with the help of cotton pads and may reapply the milk a couple of times after it dries off, and then rinse it with water. And if you have ultra -dry skin then simply add a few drops of almond oil. All these concoctions help you moisturize and lighten the skin.

2. Coconut Milk Bath
 – What better way to indulge in luxury than having a moisturising coconut milk bath to renew the body? Take a cup of coconut milk, add half a cup of rose water and add this mix to your bath water and voila simply soak in. Talk about weekend beauty indulgences?

3. Soothing Sunburn 
Coconut milk is a great alternative to soothe or repair sunburnt skin. It is cooling and gentle. Simply dip a cotton pad in fresh coconut milk and dab on the sunburnt or tanned area to reduce redness and irritation. You may even add aloe vera and cucumber juice to it. 

4. Makeup Remover – 
Looking for a non-drying makeup remover option suited for all skin types? Hunt no further, simply dip a cotton ball into fresh coconut milk and remove your makeup gently. The fatty acids present in the milk melts all the stubborn makeup leaving a nourished skin.
You can mix olive oil or creamy yogurt with coconut milk in a 2:1 ratio to mildly clean your skin.

5. Prevent premature aging
 – With high dose of vitamin C and E it can help maintain your skin’s elasticity. Moisturise, hydrate, nourish the skin with coconut milk to get supple, smoothing skin and bid goodbye to fine lines and wrinkles.

6. Treating Skin Conditions
 – If you have sensitive and oily skin, coconut milk is ideal for you, and due to its antibacterial properties, it also helps keep acne at bay. Besides its soothing and moisturising properties, it can be used to treat super dry and irritated skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

7. Restores Dry, Damaged Hair
 – With nourishing benefits, if you regularly apply coconut milk to damaged hair, expect hydrated, shiny and happy hair in a few days. 

8. Hair Conditioner
 – High in fatty acids and vitamin E, coconut milk is ideal for conditioning the hair deeply. You may use coconut milk as a leave-in conditioner and wash it off after about thirty minutes for soft and silky crowning glory.

9. Encouraging Hair Growth
 – With tons of proteins and essential nutrients that boost hair growth, regular application of coconut milk will result in strong, smooth and thicker tresses.

10. Boosting Hair Masks
 – If you are looking for an effective and organic hair mask, coconut milk is it! Add a few drops of coconut milk to your hair mask mix to make it more nourishing.

Making Coconut Milk
Start by heating the water and before it starts boiling, pour it into the blender over the shredded coconut.

Blend for two minutes and strain the mix.

And there you have your coconut milk.

DIY Coconut Milk Packs

1. You can soak 6-7 almonds overnight, and peel their skins off in the morning, grind into a smooth paste and add 5-6 drops of coconut milk. Mix well and apply this paste on your face for 15 minutes, and wash it off with cold water.

2. We all love a glow on the face and coconut milk can bring the glow back to your face. Mix coconut milk with sandalwood powder, a few saffron strands and honey. Apply it on skin and leave it to dry, and wash off. There’s brighter skin for you!

3. Exfoliate skin by mixing coconut milk with powdered oats and scrub your skin. Leave it on for two to five minutes and wash with lukewarm water. Another way to use coconut milk as an exfoliator is to mix it with some coconut oil and roughly grounded sugar. Your skin will look super smooth and glow after you use this scrub and wash off, learn to be gentle here.

4. For dry skin, you can add some honey to coconut milk, and leave on the skin as a face pack for 15 minutes.

5. Skin Whitening Mask – When mixed with milk powder, coconut milk works as a skin whitener. The same goes with a turmeric and coconut milk paste that can be used up to three times a week.

6. De-tangle knots in hair by using three parts coconut milk, one part avocado oil, and 12 drops of rosemary and sage essential oils to keep damage and breakage out of hair. Heat the coconut milk and avocado oil together over a low-flame and then add your essential oils. Section and apply on damp hair and work from the edges to the root of the hair.

Beauty Expert Shraddha Singh says, ‘ Drinking and wearing coconut milk can keep you feeling and looking great. If you are inclined to, instead of using coconut oil to massage your skin, you can heat coconut milk until it turns to oil and add a pinch of turmeric to this. It can be used to massage your skin. If you want to reverse ageing, simply take 6-8 soaked and grinded almonds, extract oil from 2-3 vitamin E capsules and add it to few drops of thick coconut milk. Your magical wrinkle cure cream is ready!’


Uber has unveiled plans to create electric flying taxis that can be used to navigate cities and avoid congested streets. The controversial ride-hailing app says it plans to create vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) crafts that can be summoned at the push of a button in the same manner as their current car service.

The car-hailing company has announced it will work with a range of aviation firms to launch its Elevate scheme in two cities, Dallas and Dubai, and says it hopes to have the first demonstration of the new urban air network ready by 2020.


The firm’s chief product officer Jeff Holden said: “What started as a simple question – ‘why can’t I push a button and get a ride?’ – has turned, for Uber, into a passionate pursuit of the pinnacle of urban mobility – the reduction of congestion and pollution from transportation, giving people their time back, freeing up real estate dedicated to parking and providing access to mobility in all corners of a city.

“Urban Aviation is a natural next step for Uber in this pursuit, which is why we are working to make ‘push a button, get a flight’ a reality. “This is Uber Elevate, and we are excited to announce the first group of Elevate partners, a group of visionary industry and government leaders with whom we will work closely to take that idea off of paper and into reality.

“Starting today, Dallas and Dubai are racing to the future and we can’t wait to see how on-demand VTOL flight accelerates these great cities.” Among the firms Uber announced it would work with are aerospace firm Aurora Flight Sciences and Bell Helicopter, as well as electric car charger firm ChargePoint, who will develop the charging stations to be used with the vehicles.

The technology firm also said it believes Elevate can help cut emissions by reducing traffic on roads. Holden said the firm is targeting long-term pricing that is competitive with its current fees for hailing an Uber car.