Morning top 5: White House dismisses war declaration claim; Taoiseach working to avoid sudden rise in property tax

The top stories this morning on

North Korea has insisted the US President's tweets amount to a declaration of war.

Donald Trump triggered an angry reaction by saying leader Kim Jong Un "won't be around much longer."

North Korea's foreign minister is warning it could shoot down American military planes - even if they're not in its airspace.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says no-one's calling for military action, with suggestions of a declaration of war dismissed as absurd.


The Taoiseach has come out against a dramatic rise in property tax.

Prices are expected to go up in line with soaring house prices.

But Leo Varadkar says he'll work 'might and main to avoid' a big increase.

Yesterday it was revealed that an average semi-detached house is becoming €500 more expensive to buy each week.

While the cost of renting in some Dublin suburbs is now double the cost of a mortgage.


The Taoiseach will brief Cabinet today on the possibility of holding up to 10 referendums over the next two years.

One poll will be on the issue of abortion and could be held in May or June of next year.

Others include polls on divorce, giving voting rights in presidential elections to Irish citizens living abroad and reducing the voting age.


A post mortem is due to be carried out today on the body of a 51-year-old man who died in suspicious circumstances in West Cork.

The remains of the man, named locally as John Ustic, were found in a house in Skibbereen by his partner yesterday morning.

Gardaí says they've carried out door to door enquiries in the town to try and trace his movements before he arrived home on Sunday night.

They say the direction of the investigation will be dictated by the results of the post mortem.


Jennifer Lopez has pledged €1m US dollars towards hurricane relief efforts in her family's native Puerto Rico.

The singer made the announcement alongside New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The 48-year-old was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents.

She said it has been very difficult for her and her relatives.