North Korea tells UN aviation group no more ICBM tests — National Post

Military, News, Tech

TOKYO — North Korea has informed a United Nations aviation agency it will not conduct unannounced missile tests or further intercontinental ballistic missile launches because its nuclear arms program is now complete and it no longer needs to do such testing.

According to a statement released Friday, the pledge was made in meetings between North Korean officials and representatives of the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization who were in Pyongyang for talks this week.

The pledge could open the way for airlines that had been avoiding North Korean airspace to take faster, more direct routes that require less fuel.

via North Korea tells UN aviation group no more ICBM tests — National Post

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Kanye West suggests African-American slavery was ‘a choice’

Celebrity Gists, News
US rapper Kanye West,Image copyrightPA
Image captionKanye West recently recorded a song defending his support for Donald Trump

US rapper Kanye West has said the enslavement of African Americans over centuries may have been a “choice”.

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years … for 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” he said during an appearance on entertainment site TMZ.

“We’re mentally imprisoned,” the star added. He recently made headlines for his support for President Trump.

Black people were forcibly brought from Africa to the US during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and sold as slaves.

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West later tweeted that his comments on Tuesday had been misinterpreted and that he “brought up the 400 years point because we can’t be mentally imprisoned for another 400 years”.

To the interviewers at TMZ, West said that “right now we’re choosing to be enslaved”, which provoked an angry response from a black member of staff at the company, Van Lathan.

Mr Lathan said the rapper’s comments appeared to be made with “the absence of thought”.

“You’re entitled to believe whatever you want, but there is fact and real-world, real-life consequence behind everything that you just said,” he added as the star stood still stroking his chin.

“We have to deal with the marginalisation that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice,” Mr Lathan continued, adding: “I’m appalled, and brother I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something to me that isn’t real.”

In the TMZ footage, West refers to Mr Trump as “my boy” and says that the president is “one of rap’s favourite people”.

His comments sparked a backlash on social media with some Twitter users suggesting the rapper should revisit the history books.

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It comes just days after West released a song defending his support for Mr Trump, who he has insisted is “fighting for the people”.

The controversial track, Ye vs The People, caused a stir among rappers, including Snoop Dogg, who appeared offended by its lyrical content.

“Like a gang truce, the first Blood to shake the Crip’s hand,” West raps, referring to a peace agreement between two notorious Los Angeles street gangs.

West has courted controversy with his support for Mr Trump and conservative commentators like Scott Adams and Candace Owens, who has spoken out against the Black Lives Matter movement.

Media captionThe Kanye West moments that shocked us

Black Twitter reacts to Kanye West’s latest interviews with #IfSlaveryWasA By Tim Mulkerin

Entertainment, News
After going on a Twitter rampage April 25 — which included donning his red “Make America Great Again” hat and saying he loves Trump because they “are both dragon energy” — West spouted even more outrageous quotes in a Tuesday interview with TMZ, claiming slavery was a choice.

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” West said in the TMZ newsroom. “You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all?”

Source: TMZ/YouTube

Understandably, West’s assertion that slavery was “a choice” drew intense, immediate criticism from within the TMZ newsroom itself.

“While you are making music and being an artist and living a life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives,” TMZ staffer Van Lathan argued. “We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice. Frankly, I’m disappointed. I’m appalled. And brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me, that’s not real.”

Once West’s latest comments began making the rounds, Black Twitter started imagining how things would’ve been different if slavery actually was a choice. Thus, the hashtag #IfSlaveryWasAChoice was born.

Kim Kardashian West has talked to the White House about pardoning a nonviolent drug offender 

Celebrity Gists, Entertainment, News

 

Kim Kardashian West and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner have spoken over the phone about a possible presidential pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, a 62-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense.
The telephone calls, according to a source with knowledge of the conversations, have taken place over the course of the past several months and have picked up in intensity over the last several days. A representative for Kardashian West confirmed to Mic that she has been in communication with the White House and is working to bring Johnson’s case to the president’s desk.
Johnson, who has been in federal prison since October 1996, has captured international attention from criminal reform activists — and Kardashian West.
Kardashian West first learned about Johnson’s case from a Mic video published in October. Kardashian West shared it on Twitter, and the video has since been viewed more than 8 million times.
Still, it appears the only clear path for Johnson’s release would be a presidential pardon or clemency — which could come at odds with Trump’s recent proposal to impose the death penalty for certain drug dealers.
By Jake Horowitz and Kendall Ciesemier

Here’s What Paris Hilton Has To Say About Former Frenemy Kim Kardashian — Thought Catalog

Celebrity Gists, News, personality

I’m here for the Paris HIlton/Kim Kardashian reunion.

The Kardashians have been owning the limelight for over a decade now, so it’s easy to forget that once upon a time, they weren’t the aspirational figures they are today. In fact, once upon a time, some of them were just background characters in other people’s lives — like Kim Kardashian, who was a close friend and lackey to Paris Hilton.

Let’s just say that when they were younger, Paris wasn’t always so great to Kim. Their frenemy status is well-documented and their resulting feud was made public to the point that the two were insulting each other to the media. Some fans gave up on the idea that the stars would ever reconcile, which is probably why a lot of people totally forgot they were ever friends in the first place.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOitJhjA0iH/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=8&wp=468&rd=wordpress.com#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A969006.9999999997%7D

But it looks like the two have finally put behind the hard feelings for good. When reporters asked Hilton about the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star  the CASA of Los Angeles’ 2018 Evening to Foster Dreams Gala, she only had good things to say.

“We’ve known each other since we were basically born … and it’s amazing just to see us both grow into such incredible businesswomen,” Hilton said. “I know she has her family. I’m about to start my own family soon, I’m getting married, so it’s an exciting time in both of our lives. It’s just how life is meant to be. Just to be happy!”

Hilton praised Kardashian for her beauty and work ethic and told the press that she knew Kim would continue to rule over reality TV.

“She just has that star quality,” Hilton said. “She’s beautiful inside and out!”

I guess we shouldn’t be so surprised that the feud has finally (finally!) ended.  Back in January, Kardashian tweeted a picture of Hilton looking suspiciously similar to her old frenemy with the caption “The OG.”

I hope this means we’re going to see the two of them reunited at last in the near future. Because while it’s great to see the two hyping up each other, I need some photographic proof.

via Here’s What Paris Hilton Has To Say About Former Frenemy Kim Kardashian — Thought Catalog

Here’s one thing North Korea can do to show it’s serious about de-nuking

international News, News, Politics

Here’s one thing North Korea can do to show it’s serious about de-nuking – By Jamie Tarabay, CNN 

People watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's New Year's speech, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.© Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo People watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s speech, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.

North Korea is “livening up the mood” with regards to its talk on denuclearization, but doing very little beyond that, say experts who’ve long watched the isolated regime wrestle with its nuclear ambitions and international censure.

And further, they say, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is positioning himself as an amenable leader open to negotiation as he readies for Friday’s summit with South Korea and a forthcoming historic meeting with US President Donald Trump.

On Saturday Kim Jong Un asserted that his regime no longer needed to test its weapons capabilities and that it would be abandoning a test site in the north that had been the location of several nuclear tests.

“It’s just propaganda, the statements have ambiguous meanings,” said Chang-Hoon Shin, senior research fellow with the Korea Institute for Maritime Strategy. He said the test site at Punggye-ri in North Hamyong province would more likely be shut down because of the environmental impact sustained to the mountains there. When North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test last September deep underground, the explosion created a magnitude 6.3 tremor.

“We can say the Punggye-ri site was of no use anymore, so I think North Korea can make use of that situation by declaring they will shut down past sites, but it doesn’t have any meaning,” Shin told CNN.

“It can liven up the mood and make it favorable for the talks, but I don’t think it’s enough because it’s not technically a move towards denuclearization at all.”

If North Korea was really serious, Shin said, it would re-apply to the Non-Proliferation Treaty or accede to international norms under the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. And there’s been no indication it wants to do that.

No ‘popping champagne bottles’ yet

The announcement has done little more than solidify prospects the Trump-Kim summit will go ahead, said Catherine Dill, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

“I think that this certainly improves the odds for a Trump-Kim summit actually occurring, but it may complicate the longer term picture,” Dill told CNN.

“A careful reading of the announcement shows that North Korea is walking a fine line in exactly what they are conceding at this point: an end to testing does not automatically result in the verifiable dismantlement of the nuclear and missile programs. Verification of testing alone would be quite complex, and the verification of dismantlement would take years of careful negotiation and implementation,” she said.

“I think that while this particular concession by North Korea appeals to Trump’s vanity, it has improved dramatically the prospects for the summit,” she added.

Abraham Denmark, director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center, agreed.

“This is posturing, it’s still not committing North Korea to anything. They actually committed to no testing before — as recently as 2012 — and that lasted about a week. So it’s a good thing, but I’m not popping any champagne bottles at this point,” he told CNN.

In 2012, the North Korean regime agreed to halt its nuclear testing in exchange for food aid from the United States, the so-called Leap Day agreement. But the deal fell apart after North Korea launched a rocket into orbit several months after the deal was signed. The North Koreans said the rocket was sending a satellite into orbit, but the US, South Korea and Japan claimed that was a cover for a long-range ballistic missile test.

Lack of concrete measures

If North Korea is so confident in its weapons capacity and wants to join the nuclear club, then it should abide by conventions adhered to by other nuclear states, Shin notes.

“In order not to be deceived by North Korea again, concrete measures and gestures must be shown by Pyongyang,” he told CNN. “Talking of denuclearization gives a certain illusion, but there must be certain measures like returning to the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]. I argue that returning to those organizations are the minimum standard for verifying their real intention or will of denuclearizing.”

North Korea pulled out of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in January 2003, declaring at the time that it pledged to limit its nuclear activities to “peaceful purposes.” It had announced in 1993 that it would withdraw from the treaty then, but suspended decision to enter into talks with the US.

By choosing to focus on direct talks with the US, Shin says North Korea is bypassing the scrutiny and verification process it would have to accept under UN auspices.

“If you look at the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the resolutions always ask North Korea to return to the IAEA and the NPT, so North Korea knows very well, it’s trying to avoid such situations, it wants to discuss denuclearization directly with the US rather than in the context of international norms,” Shin said.

“If North Korea can lift US sanctions first, then the UN sanctions aren’t as significant.”

A deal for a deal’s sake

The announcement follows diplomatic outreach including a visit by Kim to Beijing, his first foreign visit as leader, to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. China has yet to comment on Saturday’s events.

Meanwhile, President Trump responded positively to the news out of Pyongyang, tweeting about it twice on Friday night. The news that North Korea was suspending its tests and closing down a site, he said, was “very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress! Look forward to our Summit.”

But at least one American ally in the region was circumspect.

“The only thing that is important is whether or not it will lead to the completely verified and irreversible abolition of nuclear and missiles,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters. “We would like to keep a close eye on it.”

His defense minister was even more direct, calling the announcement “insufficient.”

Speaking in Washington, DC, Itsunori Onodera told reporters that the move was “not satisfactory” for Japan “as the disposal of middle and short-range missile and of nuclear weapons was not mentioned.”

He added that Japan will continue its policy of “maximum pressure” until “North Korea gives up WMDs [weapons of mass destruction] and nuclear missiles completely.”

Japan’s fear is that in a bid to get a win, Trump will be satisfied with a commitment from North Korea that would abandon nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, but not press to include short and medium-range weapons that are able to target Japan.

“So far, White House officials have been saying that the US is not going to give anything until North Korea completely denuclearizes, it’s setting a very hard line on negotiations,” said Denmark.

“But as we’ve seen in the past the President doesn’t necessarily follow through on the advice of his people and so it’s impossible to know what’s going to happen when he gets in a room and sits down with Kim. Even if they come to an agreement, the president has demonstrated a penchant in his life of pulling out of agreements so sticking to an agreement is going to be very difficult,” he said.

MSN 

Justin Bieber’s Ex Chantel Jeffries Looks Just Like Kim Kardashian — With Kylie Jenner Lips

News

Chantel Jeffries gained notoriety when she dated Justin Bieber four years ago, but now she’s starting to look like a clone of Kim Kardashian, so she probably would have eventually been noticed all on her own. To be honest, the resemblance is uncanny! On Wednesday, April 18, Chantel, 24, took to Instagram a posted a portrait of herself, during which she looked like the twin of Mrs. Kanye West. Heck, she’s even sporting some Kylie Jenner-level lips. If we didn’t know any better, we’d think she was related to the Kardashians. Could Chantel be watching Kim’s makeup tutorials?

Not only is Chantel wearing her dark hair with soft waves and part down the middle — just as Kim has in the past (see the pics below) — but her makeup is also identical to the mom of three’s. Just take a look at her “heavily lined eyebrows, brown eye shadow, black eyeliner, very long lashes, heavy contouring and beige/nude lipstick,” as Daily Mail pointed out in their own comparison. And that black tank with spaghetti straps that she’s wearing? It’s super similar to one Kim has worn in the past as well. Again, take a look at the pics below!

Some people may accuse her of being a poser, but the look seems to be working for Chantel. In fact, she has been modeling for Khloe‘s clothing line Good American. She even revealed that Khloe is her denim goals. “She is the mother of our Good Squad,” Chantel said during an interview with the denim brand.

Kim Kardashian Shares Stunning Topless Photo

News, personality

Folami David 

 kim-kardashian-topless.jpg

Kim KardashianKim Kardashian has shared a photo of herself going topless while on vacation on her personal app.

Okurr! Kim Kardashian revealed a topless photo of herself sporting Calvin Klein undergarments while on vacation in Turks and Caicos.

The 37-year-old reality star shared the sensual snapshot in an app post on Tuesday, April 17, as she also dished on her favorite at-home spa treatments for keeping her skin vibrant and healthy.

“I love indulging in spa treatments, but they can be so time-consuming and pricey!” Kardashian explained. “There are a ton of at-home alternatives that are quick to use and less expensive.”

As for her go-tos? “I swear by Dr. Ourian’s laser treatments, but this tool is the next best thing,” the KKW Beauty founder said of the Tria Smoothbeauty Laser. “It helps rebuild collagen to make your skin look more youthful and radiant.”

The social media maven also takes care of her skin by undergoing microdermabrasion treatments. “Microdermabrasion is such a good treatment option for anyone with sun damage, discoloration, acne scars and other blemished,” noted Kardashian, who uses the PMD Personal Micoderm Pro to nurture her skin. “I love doing this type of treatment during the spring and summer, as the sun can be SO damaging to the skin. This at-home tool deeply exfoliates the top layer of your skin to reveal brighter and smoother skin.”

Kardashian has shared many glamorous photos from her Caribbean getaway with sister Kourtney Kardashian. She previously posted pics of herself via Instagram tanning beachside and taking a dip in the ocean.

US Mag,

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