Stakeholders and government members including Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Sir Richard Branson at the launch of the climate change accelerator on Thursday.

A ground-breaking partnership to support the Caribbean’s ambition to become the world’s first ‘climate-smart zone’ launched in in Kingston on Thursday. The accelerator has created an unprecedented coalition including 26 countries and over 40 private and public sector partners which will implement climate solutions for resilience, renewable energy, development of sustainable cities, oceans and transportation. This climate-smart zone will not only protect the region but create jobs and a new economy in climate-smart infrastructure. Speaking at the launch, Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness said: “Being climate-smart means putting the people of the Caribbean at the centre of all we do – to protect them from the challenges of climate change. The Caribbean Accelerator will also encourage job creation, social inclusion and economic growth. Thesebenefits will only come when Governments, the international community and the private sector work together to overcome barriers and generate the investment that will benefit us all. That is why I am excited by the potential of the Accelerator to join the Caribbeanwith global partners who share our vision to see investment grow in the years ahead.” Sir Richard Branson said: “Our goal is ambitious and bold: we are creating the world’s first climate-smart zone. We have a vision of a Caribbean which is greener, stronger and more resilient than ever before – built on innovation, powered by clean, sustainable energy and accelerated by public and private investment.” (L - R) Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, and Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group at the Launch of the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator. Luis Alberton Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank has played a key role in bringing together a multinational coalition of public and private partners to fast track public and private investments over the next five years. Luis Alberto Moreno the President of the Inter-American Development Bank, stated: “The IDB Group reaffirms its continued and historical commitment to the Caribbean and will work with leaders of the region to improve lives by creating climate-smart and vibrant economies, where people are safe, productive, and happy. We hope that through this Climate Smart Coalition, in addition to offering new affordable financing, we will use the IDB’s extensive regional experience and presence on the ground to work closely with the people of the region to design their Caribbean of the future, today.” Caribbean institutions and agencies – including governments, CARICOM and the OECS – have already started to use the Accelerator’s unique platform of public and private stakeholders to make a difference. For the latestnews, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.

Former US President Bill Clinton via Associated Press.

Bill Clinton is a now a million-selling novelist. "The President is Missing," a thriller co-written with James Patterson, has more than 1 million combined hardcover, e-book and audio sales in North America alone since coming out June 4. The book is Clinton's first of work of fiction, but in Patterson he had one of the world's most prolific and successful novelists for a collaborator. Reviews were mixed, but Barnes & Noble fiction buyer Sessalee Hensley said in a statement released Wednesday by co-publishers Alfred A. Knopf and Little Brown and Co. that "The President is Missing" had benefited from "very strong" word of mouth. "In a summer marked by nonfiction successes, this novel has proven to have remarkable legs," Hensley said. The book's subject has also proved timely: a potentially devastating cyberattack, which intelligence experts have called a leading concern. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in mid-July that "the warning lights are blinking red" about a possible attack and called Russia the "most aggressive foreign actor, no question." The Clinton-Patterson novel has dominated fiction charts. According to NPD BookScan, which tracks around 85 percent of the hardcover and paperback market, "The President is Missing" is by far the year's biggest fiction seller and the only fiction work to crack the top 10 of the best-sellers overall for 2018. Nonfiction releases such as Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" and James Comey's "A Higher Loyalty" have been attracting the most sales. Clinton, whose previous books include the memoir "My Life," is now the rare author to have million sellers in fiction and nonfiction. For the latestnews, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.


Jamaican Dawna Munroe (right) along with her Italian husband Cristian Cecal (left) and daughter Crystal were killed when a  bridge they were driving across collapsed in Genoa, Italy.

The father of Jamaican Dawna Munroe, who was crushed along with her nine-year-old daughter Crystal, in a tragic accident in Italy last Friday, is devastated at the loss of his daughter. "Two sisters had gone to Italy to identify the body and take charge of the situation, however, there are communication issues because of the language barrier. And it turns out that the father is the closest next of kin, so he has to sign some important documents to send to the authorities in Italy to allow the sisters to get things done like get an international death certificate and so on," a source told Loop News. "The father lives in the USA and he is not taking the death too well. The family is tight-knit and really close." Two of Munroe's sisters, Kimona Reid and Nicolee Munroe, and an aunt are in Italy to identify the bodies. Under Italian law, it is not normally necessary for the deceased to be identified by the next of kin. Identification can be carried out by means of documentation such as a passport or driving licence or by fingerprints. However, when an inquest is opened, the relevant magistrate may request an identification in person by a family member or known associate. In the case ofdoubt as to the identification of the deceased, a Judge may order DNA testing and/or request information from Police channels from abroad. This process could take several months. "The family wants to bring Dawna and her daughter home," the source said. Over the weekend, Italian authorities confirmed they were among the 43 people killed when a bridge they were driving across collapsed in Genoa, Italy. [related node_id='365278dd-89d8-4788-8ed8-38681e6b726d'] Under Italian law, 24 hours must pass from the time of death before the body can be prepared for burial or repatriation. In certain circumstances immediate burial or repatriation may not always be possible, if for example an autopsy might be performed to ascertain the cause of death. A relative or a formally appointed representative must instruct a local funeral director in Italy or an international funeral director for a body to be repatriated to the person's country of origin or buried or cremated in Italy. Cristian Cecala, Munroe's Italian husband and the father of her daughter, was also killed in the incident which also left 16 persons nursing injuries. The three were among the last of the victims to be confirmed dead because of the time it took rescuers to uncover their vehicle from the rubble. They family had been en route to Livorno to take the ferry to the island of Elba, where they planned on vacationing, when the Morandi motorway collapsed. Munroe and her family were buried under concrete for three days. Born in Sheffield, Westmoreland, Munroe and her daughter, then seven months old, moved to Italy in 2009. She met her husband while working in Negril. The family had hopes of finding even one of the three alive, after reports surfaced that Cecala had sent a WhatsApp message advising his family that he was alive, but buried beneath the boulders. The collapse of the bridge has caused a firestorm in Italy, with many families blaming the Government for faulty infrastructure work. For the latestnews, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.

A raccoon

An elderly Jamaican man living in Florida has found himself in trouble with the law in the US for setting a racoon, an animal looking like a large rat, on fire after he caught it eating mangoes on his property. According to media reports, Ezra James, 88, who has lived on the property for over 20 years, was summarily jail after having caught the animal and usedgasoline as fuel to set it ablaze. His actions triggered widespread anger among his neighbours, who saw what he had done and called the police. James said the cops found the burnt raccoon still alive and took a decision to put it down and take it out of its misery. “Two shots and (they) killed the raccoon,” he was of the cops’ own action. James has been slapped with animal cruelty charges, but is out on a US$2,000 bond. He has since come out to criticise the neighbours for their action, describing one of them as being ‘a wicked woman’ to call the cops on him. He has also sought to defend his actions, saying he killed the animal because he was afraid it would spread rabies. James said it was his first time being arrested, and vowed that there will never be a repeat of his actions. “I done with that,” he said. In response, one of his neighbour’s commented that “God does not want us to do stuff like this,” and suggested that “what you need to do is call someone to come and get him (the raccoon), not do what he did.”


Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival will not make Juventus certain to win the Serie A title, Napoli midfielder Allan has warned. The 33-year-old made his debut for Juve in Saturday's 3-2 win over Chievo, having joined from Real Madrid in a €112million deal in July. Ronaldo failed to score in that match, but his appearancecaused a spike in televisionratings, with a reported 2.3million viewers making Juve's victory the fourth-highest total for a Serie A match on Sky Sport Italia. Allan, whose Napoli side won 2-1 at Lazio, is happy to see a player of Ronaldo's pedigree in Italy's top flight and thinks it will be a boost to the competition. However, the former Udinese man insists one player alone cannot guarantee success in the title race. "His arrival in Italy increases the competition's viewers and gives us one more reason to fight," he told Lance!. "Of course, it is important to have the player who has won the award for the best player in the world five times in Italy. Itshows the fact that clubs are going back to spending and want to fight for trophies. "The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo is very important, he adds a lot of quality to Juventus, but one player cannot win Serie A alone. "We believe in ourselves, we will do what we have always done and we will try to fight with Juventus."

England bowler Stuart Broad.

England bowler Stuart Broad has been fined for his send-off of India's Test debutant Rishabh Pant on day two at Trent Bridge. Broad took Pant's wicket in the first innings as the India batsman chopped into leg stump in Nottingham on Sunday, before shouting in the 20-year-old's direction. And the ICC has now sanctioned Broad for a breach of its code of conduct, the Nottinghamshire man admitting a charge of "using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batsman upon his/her dismissal during an international match". The 32-year-old has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee and handed one demerit point. The ICC announced the disciplinary action as India cruised towards victory on the fourth day ofthe third Test. England trailed by 209 runs at the close of play on Tuesday, with just one wicket remaining.


Michael Cohen, center, leaves Federal court, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in New York. Cohen, has pleaded guilty to charges including campaign finance fraud stemming from hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and "fixer," pleaded guilty Tuesday to campaign-finance violations and other charges, saying he and Trump arranged the payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election. The guilty plea came almost at the same moment former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted in Alexandria, Virginia, of eight financial crimes in the first trial to come out of special counsel Robert Mueller's sprawling Russia investigation. In a deal reached with federal prosecutors, Cohen, 51, pleaded guilty to eight counts in all, including tax evasion and making a false statement to a financial institution. He could get about four to five years in prison at sentencing Dec. 12. In entering the plea, Cohen did not name the two women or even Trump, recounting instead that he worked with an "unnamed candidate." But the amounts and the dates all lined up with the payments made to Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal. Cohen said the first payment was "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office," and the second was made "under direction of the same candidate." As cable networks were showing split-screen coverage of the dueling conviction and plea bargain by two former loyalists, Trump boarded Air Force One in the afternoon on the way to a rally in West Virginia. He ignored shouted questions to reporters about both former aides, retreating to his private stateroom on the airliner. Cohen's plea follows months of scrutiny from federal investigations and a falling-out with the president, whom he previously said he would "take a bullet" for. The FBI raided Cohen's hotel room, home and office in April and seized more than 4 million items. The search sought bank records, communications with Trump's campaign and information on a $130,000 payment to Daniels and a $150,000 one to McDougal. Both women claimed Trump had affairs with them, which he denies. Trump denied to reporters in April that he knew anything about Cohen's payments to Daniels, though the explanation from the president and his attorney Rudy Giuliani have shifted multiples times since. The president has fumed publicly about what he felt was government overreach, while privately worrying about what material Cohen may have after working for the Trump Organization for a decade. Trump branded the raid "a witch hunt," an assault on attorney-client privilege and a politically motivated attack by enemies in the FBI. "Obviously it's not good for Trump," Sol Wisenberg, who conducted grand jury questioning of President Bill Clinton during the Whitewater investigation, said of Cohen plea bargain. "I'm assuming he's not going to be indicted because he's a sitting president, Wisenberg added. "But it leads him closer to ultimate impeachment proceedings, particularly if the Democrats take back the House." The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which provides legal advice and guidance to executive branch agencies, has held that a president cannot be indicted while in office. Trump's lawyers have said that Mueller plans to adhere to that guidance, though Mueller's office has never confirmed that. There would presumably be no bar against charging a president after he leaves the White House. Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, noted that the deal does not require Cohen to cooperate, but does not preclude it from happening, which should be worrying to the president and his allies. "What it shows is that the people close to the president have criminal exposure and it may mean they don't need Cohen to cooperate," she said. Levenson argued that the deal also knocks back the argument that the investigations swirling around Trump are a "witch hunt." "No longer can you say Mueller is on a witch hunt when you have his own lawyer pleading guilty to things that were designed to impact the election," she said. Mueller's team is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The team referred the case involving Cohen's financial dealings to federal prosecutors in Manhattan. Before the election, Cohen had been a trusted member of the Trump organization, working out of an office in Trump Tower next to one used by his boss. He raised millions for Trump's campaign and, after being interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee last year, told Vanity Fair that Trump had no part in the suspected Russian conspiracy to tamper with the election. The president's initial support for Cohen after the raid soon degenerated into a public feud, prompting speculation that, to save himself, Cohen might be willing to tell prosecutors some of the secrets he helped Trump keep. When Cohen's team produced a recording he had made of Trump discussing one of the hush-money payments, Trump tweeted: "What kind of lawyer would tape a client? So sad!"

Authorities say a plane that blew two tires during takeoff at a small New Jersey airport will attempt to make an emergency landing at an airport in Massachusetts. The Gulfstream IV jet was carrying 16 passengers when it left Teterboro Airport around 10:50 a.m. Tuesday. The pilot soon realized what had happened and began circling the airport for about 30 minutes before the jet was diverted. The jet was headed to London Luton Airport in Luton, England. The Federal Aviation Administration says it was diverted to Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport in Westfield, Massachusetts.


People react outside the Paris town hall after France defeated Belgium in the World Cup semifinal match between France and Belgium, Tuesday, July 10, 2018 in Paris. France advanced to the World Cup final for the first time since 2006 with a 1-0 win over Belgium on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

The Latest on Tuesday atthe World Cup(all times local): 12:15 a.m. Paul Pogba has paused after the biggest win of his international career to dedicate it to the Thai soccer team whose last members were freed from a flooded cave hours earlier. The France midfieldertook to Twittershortly after France beat Belgium late Tuesday to advance to the World Cup final. He posted the boys' photos and said the victory "goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong." The last of the 12 boys and their coach were freed earlier in the day from a cave where they had been trapped for more than two weeks. FIFA had invited the team to the World Cup final on Sunday but the governing body announced the boys wouldn't be able to attend since they are receiving medical treatment after their ordeal. ___ 11:15 p.m. Paris has erupted in firecrackers, flares and shouts and tears of joy after France advanced to the World Cup final. Red smoke rose up from flares fired by fans on the Right Bank esplanade outside City Hall, where crowds watched a broadcast of the 1-0 victory over Belgium on huge screens Tuesday night. Fans poured onto streets around the city, from the chic Champs-Elysees to working-class neighborhoods on the edge of town. Firecrackers popped in quick succession, punctuated by car horns and football chants and "On est en finale!" or "we're in the final!" Some streets were closed to car traffic to accommodate fans. Police vans lined the busiest areas in a city still on guard after extremist attacks. France will face the winner of Wednesday's semifinal between England and Croatia in the World Cup decider in Moscow on Sunday. The French public, celebrities and politicians have rallied around the national team as it advanced. Samuel Umititi scored the only goal in the semifinal with a header in the 51st minute at the St. Petersburg stadium in Russia. Umititi says "We worked really hard together, and it's me that scored but we all delivered a big game." His live TV interview was interrupted by teammate Antoine Griezmann, who saluted to the camera and said: "Vive la France! Vive la Republique!" ___ 10:55 p.m. France has reached the World Cup final for the first time since 2006 with a 1-0 win over Belgium in a semifinal match that attracted presidents, royalty and a rock star. Samuel Umtiti's header in the 51st minute was the only goal in a tense match at St. Petersburg. France, the 1998 champions and runners-up in '06, will play either Croatia or England in Sunday's final at Moscow. England and Croatia will meet Wednesday in Moscow in the second semifinal. France President Emmanuel Macron and King Philippe of Belgium shook hands in the VIP section before the match. Mick Jagger was also on the official list of guests. ___ 10:15 p.m. What came first, the chicken or the goal? Harry Kane, Dele Alli were among the England players who played a game of toss the rubber chicken at training, a day ahead of a World Cup semifinal against Croatia. Why? "That's exactly what I asked our fitness coaches around here," England coach Gareth Southgate said. "Our physical performance coaches try to keep refreshing the warmups of the players and keep them stimulated. Just a bit of fun to get them moving, and some of the mobility exercises." ____ 10:09 p.m. Samuel Umtiti has headed France into a 1-0 lead against Belgium in the World Cup semifinals. Umtiti rose brilliantly to head in Antoine Griezmann's corner from the right in the 51st minute, for his first goal of the tournament. Striker Olivier Giroud won the corner after turning Belgian defender Vincent Kompany, forcing him to put his goal-bound shot out of play. The winner in St. Petersburg plays Croatia or England in Sunday's final. ___ 9:46 p.m. It's 0-0 at halftime in the World Cup semifinal despite Belgium and France going close to scoring in the first half. With France's soccer-loving President Emmanuel Macron and Belgian King Philippe watching from the stands, France sat back and hoped to hit Belgium on the counterattack. Belgium used the space to put France under pressure around the 20-minute mark with Eden Hazard firing a curling shot from the left that Raphael Varane headed over the bar. Hugo Lloris was twice called into action to save France. The France goalkeeper first punched away a cross by Kevin De Bruyne aimed at Marouane Fellaini and moments later dived to his right to block a shot by Toby Alderweireld. French teenager Kylian Mbappe's pace was a constant threat on the right and his pass in the 40thminute set up Benjamin Pavard but Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois stuck out a left leg to deflect the shot wide. ___ 9:10 p.m. Mick Jagger is on FIFA's list of VIP guests at the World Cup semifinal between France and Belgium in St. Petersburg. The Rolling Stones singer completed the band's world tour on Sunday in Poland. On stage in Warsaw,Jagger fulfilled a request by former Polish president Lech Walesaby drawing attention to an authoritarian government policy to remove independent judges. Among the political leaders joining Jagger in the crowd as official are Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Ali Bongo Ondimba, the President of Gabon. ___ 9 p.m. The World Cup semifinal between France and Belgium has kicked off at St. Petersburg Stadium, with France President Emmanuel Macron and King Philippe of Belgium in attendance. France coach Didier Deschamps warmly hugged Thierry Henry moments before the start. Henry is France's all-time leading scorer with 51 goals, but is now an assistant to Belgium coach Robert Martinez. Henry also greeted players on France's bench. The winner between France and Belgium will meet Croatia or England in Sunday's final. France was European Championship runner-up two years ago and is aiming to reach its fourth major final this century. Les Bleus won Euro 2000 and lost the 2006 World Cup final. Belgium is hoping to reach only the second major final, having lost the European final to West Germany in 1980. Belgium lost its only previous World Cup semifinal to an Argentina in '86. ___ 8:50 p.m. France President Emmanuel Macron is attending the World Cup semifinal between France and Belgium at St. Petersburg Stadium. Macron shook hands with King Philippe of Belgium, who was with his wife Queen Mathilde. Macron and King Philippe shook hands warmly and Macron patted him on the chest. Macron is an avid soccer fan and supports southern French club Marseille. ___ 8:10 p.m. Mexico went home from the World Cup more than a week ago, and while its fans are still scattered around Russia, some of them have lost enough interest in the matches that they're selling tickets at face value. Several fans wearing Mexico's green jerseys approached a larger group of Belgians at a beer garden in St. Petersburg offering seats at "FIFA prices" for the World Cup semifinal. They didn't immediately find any takers among the festive Europeans, who apparently already were set for the Belgium-France match. Mexican and South American fans came to Russia in huge numbers despite having to travel far greater distances than Europeans. They're still everywhere in the semifinal cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow even though only teams still alive are from Europe. ___ 7:55 p.m. Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has picked Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele to replace Thomas Meunier for the World Cup semifinal against France. Martinez has been forced to reshuffle his back line after Paris Saint-Germain wing back Meunier was suspended for the match in St. Petersburg after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament in Belgium's 2-1 quarterfinal win over Brazil. After using a four-man defense against Brazil, Martinez has reverted to a three-man backline and four-man midfield of Nacer Chadli on the left, Dembele on the right, and Marouane Fellaini and Axel Witsel in the middle. Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne make up a potent three-man attack. Dembele's inclusion was the only change to the Belgium team that beat Brazil 2-1 in the quarterfinals. Lineup: Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Marouane Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli. ____ 7:45 p.m. France coach Didier Deschamps has recalled Blaise Matuidi in the only change to his lineup for the World Cup semifinal against Belgium at St. Petersburg Stadium. Matuidi, who was suspended for the 2-0 quarterfinal win over Uruguay last Friday, comes into midfield to replace Corentin Tolisso. Veteran striker Olivier Giroud hasn't scored yet in the tournament but needs one goal to move ahead of Zinedine Zidane into outright fourth spot on France's all-time list. Giroud keeps his place in a forward line featuring 19-year-old sensation Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann. France: Hugo Lloris, Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe, N'Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi, Lucas Hernandez. ___ 7:30 p.m. The British government says motorways are expected to have one-third less traffic than normal when England takes on Croatia in the World Cup semifinals. Highways England says traffic analysis on each of the England match days to date showed that during the games demand reduced by up to 33 percent. The agency said in a statement that roads were not busier than normal before or after games, "suggesting people are often choosing not to travel or to travel at completely different times." Frank Bird, one of Highways England's emergency planning officers, says "along with the rest of the country, we'll be cheering on England! We want them to bring it home - and we want everyone on our roads to get home safely." ___ 7:15 p.m. Thousands more England fans are expected to descend on Moscow for their first World Cup semifinal in 28 years, but there's not much sign of them yet. The Nikolskaya street near the Kremlin, elaborately decorated with hanging lights, has been the main gathering point for fans in the Russian capital. There were no more than a few dozen England fans there as of late Tuesday afternoon, with those singing team songs heavily outnumbered by passers-by filming them on phones. Still, Kevin Miles of the Football Supporters Federation expects between 5,000 and 7,000 fans for Wednesday's semifinal against Croatia, but admits "a lot of people are doing it last minute, so it's very difficult to put numbers on it." Airlines have offered extra places on flights to Moscow and some Russians have sold their tickets after their team lost to Croatia. Still, Miles says high prices "have put a lot of people off" who were thinking of traveling at short notice. ____ 6:15 p.m. England manager Gareth Southgate has been surprised at the vest craze back home, where "Waistcoast Wednesday" is trending. Stores have been pushing waistcoat sales as England advanced to a World Cup semifinal match against Croatia in Moscow on Wednesday, with people taken by Southgate's style of wearing a vest without his suit jacket, Southgate says "I was not a renowned fashion icon throughout my playing career, so it's rather strange to feel that way now. But we are really proud of the support that we are receiving." England has reached the semifinals at the World Cup for the first time since 1990, and confidence among supporters is growing that the national team will win the title for the first time since 1966. Southgate says, "We've had the chance to make a difference. Our supporters, our country has had a long time of suffering in terms of football, and the enthusiasm they have for these players, because of the way they've — not only the way they've played, but the way they're conducted themselves, they've been brilliant ambassadors for our country, and I think everybody can see that they're proud to wear the shirt." ___ 5 p.m. FOX Sports says it will be simulcasting the World Cup semifinal between France and Belgium on Silvercast's high-definition screen known as "Mega-Zilla" in New York's Times Square. Soccer fans in the United States have watched the World Cup in Russia on big screens around the country, but this is promoted as the biggest of them all. The "Mega-Zilla," a 78-foot-by-330-foot (24x100-meter) screen being promoted as the largest TV screen in the world, will be located between 45th and 46th Street on Broadway in Manhattan. France and Belgium will be playing for a spot in Sunday's final in Moscow. ___ 4:45 p.m. FIFA says players from the youth soccer team rescued from a cave in Thailand will not be able to attend the World Cup final. The sport's world governing body says it has been informed by Thai authorities that the 12 boys and their coach "will not be in a position to travel" for health reasons. FIFA expressed its "great joy" at the rescue and says its "priority remains the health of everyone involved in the operation." FIFA leaders will meet with Thai soccer officials this weekend in Moscow to explore "a new opportunity" to invite the boys to a major event to celebrate their survival. The last four of the boys and the team coach were rescued Tuesday from a flooded cave in far northern Thailand after an ordeal that lasted more than two weeks. FIFA expressed "profound gratitude to all persons involved in the rescue operation," and condolences for the family of the diver who died. ___ 3:30 p.m. They're getting the World Cup croissants ready in Paris. Paris, Russia, that is. The village of Paris just outside the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod is embracing its French links ahead of the World Cup semifinal match between France and Belgium. The village cafe is decorated with images of the Eiffel Tower and is preparing croissants for the game, plus a Russian menu for any French guests who might happen to drop by. Mayor Sergei Gromov says "we were supporting Russia but now it's turned out like that (that Russia was eliminated), we're going to support France and wish it success." The village's full name is In Memory Of The Paris Commune, a reference to a socialist rebellion in 19th-century France. The name is so unwieldy most locals use Paris for short. Not everyone in Paris is pro-France, though. Villager Elena Vasilyeva says she's cheering on Belgium because "they're a real team." ___ 3 p.m. The Ukraine Football Federation has offered to pay a fine imposed on a Croatia official for making a pro-Ukraine video at the World Cup. Soccer's international governing body has fined Ognjen Vukojevic 15,000 Swiss francs ($15,150) for "unsporting behavior" after he and Croatia defender Domagoj Vida recorded a video including the phrase "glory to Ukraine" after the team beat host nation Russia in the World Cup quarterfinals. The video angered some Russian fans, but was welcomed in Ukraine, where both Vida and Vukojevic formerly played for the Dynamo Kiev club. Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and political tensions remain high. UFF president Andriy Pavelko, wearing a Croatia shirt and scarf, tells Ukrainian broadcaster 112 that he and other members of the UFF management offered to pay the fine and help Vukojevic with legal costs if he wants to appeal the ruling. The Croatia soccer federation has already removed Vukojevic from its World Cup delegation. Vida was let off with an official warning and no match sanction, leaving him available to play in Wednesday's World Cup semifinal against England. ___ 1 p.m. The World Cup semifinal stage is beginning with the all-European lineup being celebrated by soccer's governing body on the continent. Belgium and France play in St. Petersburg on Tuesday and then Croatia and England meet the following night in Moscow. It is the fifth time the last four has featured only European teams. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin says "even though some of our traditional contenders such as Germany, Spain,and Portugal were eliminated, there are other teams which have surpassed expectations and can now win the title." In a statement to The Associated Press, Ceferin added "these results validate all the work that is being done across the continent to develop football, and they also showcase the strength and quality that exists across the whole UEFA region."

An ambulance believed to be carrying one of the rescued boys from the flooded cave heads to the hospital in Chiang Rai as divers evacuated the remaining boys and their coach trapped at Tham Luang cave in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

The youth soccer team rescued from a cave in Thailand will be unable to accept FIFA's invitation to attend the World Cup final. The last four of the boys and the team's 25-year-old coach were rescued Tuesday from a flooded cave in northern Thailand, ending an ordeal that lasted more than two weeks. "We have been informed by the Football Association of Thailand that due to medical reasons, the boys will not be in a position to travel to Moscow for the FIFA World Cup final," the sport's governing body said Tuesday after the rescue operation was completed. [related node_id='84a9d6ce-b30d-4465-9e1c-1e3b2ac4031a']Eight more boys had been rescued in the previous two days after becoming trapped by rising water levels. "FIFA's priority remains the health of everyone involved in the operation," the governing body said. FIFA leaders will meet with Thai soccer officials in Moscow on the sidelines of the World Cup final on Sunday. "We will look into finding a new opportunity to invite the boys to a FIFA event to share with them a moment of communion and celebration," FIFA said in a statement. FIFA expressed "profound gratitude to all persons involved in the rescue operation," and condolences for the family of the Thai Navy SEAL diver who died. England defender Kyle Walker also sent a message on Twitter after the "amazing news" of the rescue. "I'd like to send out shirts to them! Is there anyone who can help with an address?" Walker wrote. Manchester United extended an invitation to the team to visit in the months ahead. "We would love to welcome the team from Wild Boars Football Club and their rescuers to Old Trafford this coming season," the club said on its official Twitter account. In 2010, Man United hosted a group of miners from Chile who spent almost 10 weeks underground before being rescued. Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: Download the Loop News Caribbean app on Google Play Store: http://bit.ly/GetALoop Download the Loop News Caribbean app on the App Store: http://bit.ly/GetiLoop