The latest forecast from the US Energy Information Administration predicts that US output will grow next year to 11.8 million barrels a day.

The US has nosed ahead of Saudi Arabia and is on pace to surpass Russia to become the world's biggest oil producer for the first time in more than four decades. The latest forecast from the USEnergy Information Administration predicts that USoutput will grow next year to 11.8 million barrels a day. "If the forecast holds, that would make the US the world's leading producer of crude," says Linda Capuano, who heads the agency, a part of the Energy Department. Saudi Arabia and Russia could upend that forecast by boosting their own production. In the face of rising global oil prices, members of the OPEC cartel and a few non-members including Russia agreed last month to ease production caps that had contributed to the run-up in prices. President Donald Trump has urged the Saudis to pump more oil to contain rising prices. He tweeted on June 30 that King Salman agreed to boost production "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels." The White House later clarified that the king said his country has a reserve of 2 million barrels a day that could be tapped "if and when necessary." The idea that the U.S. could ever again become the world's top oil producer once seemed preposterous. "A decade ago the only question was how fast would U.S. production go down," said Daniel Yergin, author of several books about the oil industry including a history, "The Prize." The rebound of USoutput "has made a huge difference. If this had not happened, we would have had a severe shortage of world oil," he said. The United States led the world in oil production for much of the 20th century, but the Soviet Union surpassed America in 1974, and Saudi Arabia did the same in 1976, according to Energy Department figures. By the end of the 1970s the USSR was producing one-third more oil than the US by the end of the 1980s, Soviet output was nearly double that of the US. The last decade or so has seen a revolution in American energy production, however, led by techniques including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and horizontal drilling. Those innovations — and the breakup of the Soviet Union — helped the US narrow the gap. Last year, Russia produced more than 10.3 million barrels a day, Saudi Arabia pumped just under 10 million, and the US came in under 9.4 million barrels a day, according to USgovernment figures. The UShas been pumping more than 10 million barrels a day on average since February, and probably pumped about 10.9 million barrels a day in June, up from 10.8 million in May, the energy agency said Tuesday in its latest short-term outlook. According to the Energy Department, the USedged ahead of Saudi Arabia in February and stayed there in March; both trailed Russia. Capuano's agency forecast that US. crude output will average 10.8 million barrels a day for all of 2018 and 11.8 million barrels a day in 2019. The current U.S. record for a full year is 9.6 million barrels a day in 1970. The trend of rising USoutput prompted Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, to predict this spring that the USwould leapfrog Russia and become the world's largest producer by next year — if not sooner. One potential obstacle for USdrillers is a bottleneck of pipeline capacity to ship oil from the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico to ports and refineries. "They are growing the production but they can't get it out of the area fast enough because of pipeline constraints," said Jim Rittersbusch, a consultant to oil traders. Some analysts believe that Permian production could decline, or at least grow more slowly, in 2019 or 2020 as energy companies move from their best acreage to more marginal areas. For the latestnews, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.

FILE - This Friday, July 25, 2014, file photo shows a view of the headquarters of the Italian Sky television broadcaster in Milan, Italy. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox increased Wednesday its bid to take full control of lucrative European pay TV service Sky in a prolonged battle with U.S. rival Comcast. Fox raised its bid to 14 pounds ($18.58) a share as it seeks the 61 percent of Sky not already under its control. The company says this is 12 percent higher than the last bid from Comcast and values Sky at 24.5 billion pounds ($32.5 billion). Fox has increased its bid by just over 30 percent since its first offer in December 2016. Shares in Sky Plc were down 0.8 percent at 14.90 pounds, suggesting investors believe Comcast could come back with another improved offer. Sky operates in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Italy as well as the U.K. It has 22.5 million customers, attracted by offerings such as English Premier League soccer and "Game of Thrones." Murdoch's company still faces significant regulatory battles in Britain, including the culture secretary's statement that Fox would have to sell Sky News to win government approval because of concerns about media plurality. Fox's bid for Sky is the most recent episode in Murdoch's long-running effort to take full control of the company. His last bid foundered amid a 2011 phone-hacking scandal, in which journalists working for Murdoch newspapers were accused of gaining illegal access to the voicemail messages of crime victims, celebrities and members of the royal family. News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after. The effort to buy Sky comes as Fox itself is the object of a takeover battle by Comcast and Disney. Disney said in June it is offering more than $71 billion for Fox's entertainment businesses in a counterbid to Comcast's nearly $66 billion offer. The companies want Sky in order to amass programming and better compete with technology companies like Amazon and Netflix for viewers. 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


Jack Guy Lafontant

Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned Saturday amid calls for him to step down after a failed bid to raise fuel prices set off protests and unrest that left seven people dead. Lafontant told Haiti's Chamber of Deputies that he sent President Jovenel Moise his resignation letter and the president had accepted it. Moise has not yet commented publicly. The prime minister's abrupt resignation came ahead of a vote on a motion of censure Lafontant, a first step toward asking that Moise name a new prime minister to form a Cabinet to handle the crisis. The prime minister is the second highest official in Haiti after the president. Lafontant was to answer questions about the July 6-8 riots that followed the government's attempt to raise fuel prices by up to 51 percent as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. Dozens of businesses were looted during the deadly unrest. Instead, Lafontant (LA-FAH-TON) used the opportunity to announce his resignation, while in various parts of Haiti's small protests were held demanding the head of state step down. As the session began, chamber president Gary Bodaeu wrote on his Twitter account that the legislature "is at a crossroads in history; it must assume its responsibilities." He had earlier called the price hikes "untimely" and "inoperative." Lafontantsuspended the fuel prices increases after protests erupted last week but the disturbances continued and calls for the prime minister to resign grew, including from the opposition and some business groups. Lafontant, a 57-year-old doctor who took office in March 2017, had said the price hikes of 38 percent to 51 percent for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene were needed for Haiti to balance its budget. Government officials agreed to reduce subsidies for fuel in February as part of an assistance package with the IMF. The agreement also included increased spending on social services and infrastructure and improved tax collection in an effort to modernize the economy of one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere. Lafontant's replacement will be nominated by Moise and confirmed by the Senate. 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

Krystal Tomlinson and dancehall star Beenie Man are expecting a baby.

Media personality Krystal Tomlinson has responded to the tide of criticism swirling around her recent announcement of her pregnancy with dancehall superstar Beenie Man with a measure of sangfroid and an almost zenlike, sanguine calm that betrays her youthful age. "We must learn to keep outsiders outside and as long as you are able to do that then there is no way they can steal your joy, and create stress and anxiety in your life," media personality Krystal Tomlinson told Loop Jamaica reporter Claude Mills. "You have to know how to recognise a stranger separate from a friend. You have to recognise when criticism is coming from a place of love and compassion versus when it is coming from people who want to create chaos." Tomlinson, a former festival queen, is also the president of the People's National Party Youth Organisation (PNPYO) and she is concerned that social media users have been shouting the term 'bastard' to anyone who listens. She is concerned about any attempts, malicious and otherwise, to categorise any child as illegitimate. She believes that the practice is highly offensive and that society should be careful not to attach that label to any child. "I hope that children who read that post and are themselves the product of unmarried couples do not feel insignificant. You are not insignificant, it is an absolute lie, there is no truth in the lies being told," Tomlinson said. It is interesting to note that children who were born out of wedlock in Jamaica could not inherit property until Michael Manley piloted the act to abolish the illegitimacy law in 1975, so that “no bastard no deh again”. But certain social mores and perceptions still remain. She urged children to develop strong filters especially against the bullying tide of social media, and suggested that they "listen with the right ear, and know when criticism is coming from a place of love and care". "Take guidance, discipline and chastisement from those who care, keep the outsiders outside," she urged. In the meantime, Tomlinson is enjoying all aspects of her pregnancy, even the minutiae, the intimate and peculiar surprises that come from a life growing inside her. On Friday morning, she tweeted: "We heard our baby’s heartbeat yesterday. My 3rd time, Mo’s first. LIIIIIIFE…. Good morning world! May your heart beat wildly, with excitement - in celebration of YOUR life today. It is a gift. Enjoy it.” For the latest news, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.


France's Paul Pogba celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the final match against Croatia at the 2018 football World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner).

France won theirsecond World Cup title by beating Croatia 4-2 on Sunday in a match briefly interrupted by an on-field protest during the second half that Russian punk band Pussy Riot later took credit for. Teenage forward Kylian Mbappe scored his fourth goal of the tournament for France and the team's fourth in the 65th minute, about 12 minutes after play resumed at the Luzhniki Stadium. Mbappe, who is 19, is only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final. Pele was 17 when he scored two goals for Brazil in the 1958 final. Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba also scored for the 1998 champions. Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic scored for Croatia. Mandzukic also scored an own-goal, giving France the lead in the 18th minute. Pussy Riot, a Russian punk rock group that rose to global prominence with their daring outdoor performances critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2012, claimed responsibility for the second-half disruption on Twitter.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic lifts the trophy after winning the men's singles final match against Kevin Anderson of South Africa, at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London, Sunday July 15, 2018.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth).

Novak Djokovic was disconsolate and injured when he left Wimbledon a year ago, quitting during his quarterfinal because of a painful right elbow that would need surgery. Djokovic was so dispirited by his upset exit at the French Open last month that he vowed, in the heat of the moment, to skip the grass-court circuit. Good thing he didn't stick to that. Just look at him now, back at his best and Wimbledon's champion for the fourth time. Djokovic ended a Grand Slam drought that lasted more than two seasons, grabbing a lead in Sunday's final right away against a weary Kevin Anderson and holding off a late challenge to win 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (3). Anderson nearly managed to extend the match, five times standing just a point away from forcing a fourth set. Djokovic held steady on each one, then was as superior in the tiebreaker as he was most of the sun-drenched afternoon. It is Djokovic's 13th major trophy, the fourth-highest total in the history of men's tennis, trailing only Roger Federer's 20, Rafael Nadal's 17 and Pete Sampras' 14. But it's also Djokovic's first since he completed a career Grand Slam at the 2016 French Open. During that time, he struggled with the first major injury of his professional career, one that forced him off the tour for the last half of 2017. He eventually had an operation this February, and as his losses accumulated, his ranking fell out of the top 20 for the first time in more than a decade. At No. 21, Djokovic is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon titlist since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001. Under a pale blue sky interrupted by only the occasional soft white puff of cloud, with the temperature at 86 degrees (30 Celsius), Djokovic started so well, and Anderson shakily. That might have been easy to anticipate beforehand. This was, after all, the 22nd Grand Slam final for Djokovic, and the second for Anderson, a 6-foot-8 powerful server who was the runner-up at last year's U.S. Open and was aiming to become the first South African man to win at Wimbledon. Plus, Anderson could be excused for exhaustion. His semifinal was the second-longest Grand Slam match in history, lasting more than 6½ hours until he edged John Isner 26-24 in the fifth set. And that followed another extended fifth set in his 13-11 upset of eight-time champion Federer in the quarterfinals. So it was no wonder that, with all of that time on court, all of that stress on his racket-swinging arm, Anderson was visited by a trainer after Sunday's opening set to get his right elbow massaged. Anderson was so out of sorts, his strokes so off-the-mark, that Djokovic gathered eight of the first 10 games even though he only conjured up two winners. No need for more, because Anderson gifted him 15 unforced errors in that span. By the conclusion of a third consecutive dud of a straight-set men's singles final at the All England Club, Anderson had made 32 unforced errors, and the steady Djokovic merely 13. Another key: Djokovic was able to handle Anderson's big serves much better than previous opponents. Widely considered the top returner in the game today, Djokovic broke Anderson four times. Consider that Anderson held in each of his last 27 service games against Isner, and dropped his very first on Sunday. And one more: Djokovic saved all seven break points he faced, including five that would have given Anderson the third set. As much as Djokovic is known for his body-bending defense and unerring reads on opponents' serves, he's also someone who fills his matches with histrionics and exaggerated reactions, whether violently smacking the side of his shoe with his racket — as he did against Nadal — or tearing off his shirt to celebrate a victory. This day was no different. Angered by fans making noise during points, he told the chair umpire to tell them to shut up, adding a colorful word in there. He pointed to his ear after winning one point, as if to say: "Who are you cheering for now?!" He blew a kiss toward the stands after another. But when he broke Anderson for the second time in three service games at the outset, Djokovic simply shook a clenched fist while calmly looking at his guest box above the scoreboard. The bright yellow digits on there showed that Djokovic already led 4-1 after all of 18 minutes. Might as well have declared him the champion, right then and there. It was so lopsided for the first hour-plus that spectators began pulling for Anderson, likely in the hopes of getting more tennis for the price of their tickets, which carry a face value of 210 pounds (about $275). Just his earning a random point, even via a Djokovic miscue, was reason to roar, it seemed. Surely, Anderson appreciated the support. Didn't do a thing to alter the ultimate outcome, however. When Anderson pushed a forehand return into the net to end it, Djokovic exhaled. After they shook hands, Djokovic performed his ritual of bending down to grab a couple of blades of grass and plopping them in his mouth, savoring the triumph.


The Latest on President Donald Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin (all times local): 2:20 p.m. President Donald Trump says at the start of his summit with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki that he thinks "the world wants to see us get along." Trump says the two countries have "great opportunities," saying they have not been getting along for the past few years. He says he thinks they can have an "extraordinary relationship." He says their discussions will involve trade, the military, missiles, nuclear weapons and China, including their "mutual friend" China's Xi Jingping. He did not mention Russia's meddling in the U.S. election. The two leaders were seated together in a room adorned by American and Russian flags at the Finnish Presidential Palace, separated by a small table. The meeting started about 45 minutes late following Putin's delayed arrival to Finland. ___ 2:15 p.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin says it's time to talk seriously with President Donald Trump about relations between their powerful nations and global problems. Putin revealed little about his agenda in terse remarks at the start of talks with Trump in Helsinki. While Trump spoke more extensively amid incessant clicks of cameras, Putin said only that "the time has come to talk thoroughly about bilateral relations as well as various hotspots in the world." He called the meeting part of "continued constant contacts" between the men. Putin looked serious but smirked when journalists asked Trump about Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential campaign. Trump refused to answer. He and Trump shook hands briefly and headed into talks, which are being closely watched around the world. ___ 2 p.m. President Donald Trump has arrived at Finland's Presidential Palace for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin arrived minutes earlier at the palace in Helsinki for the summit, which consists of a one-on-one meeting and a larger working lunch, and will conclude with a joint news conference. Monday's meeting is being closely watched on both sides of the Atlantic, coming days after the U.S. Justice Department indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers for their role in hacking Democratic entities during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump says he hopes for better relations with the Russian leader. He faces bipartisan skepticism in Washington that his desire for warming ties is displacing concerns over Russia's annexation of Crimea and other destabilizing actions. ___ 1:15 p.m. President Vladimir Putin is using a newly designed Russian limousine abroad for the first time to get to the summit with President Donald Trump in Finland. Putin first used the Kortezh limousine during his inauguration in May but had never taken it abroad until now. Putin landed in Helsinki behind schedule for the summit. The use of the Kortezh could be a show of Russian pride to counter the U.S. president's world famous limousine known as "The Beast." Putin's motorcade included several other vehicles of the same Kortezh, or Aurus family. ___ 1:05 p.m. President Vladimir Putin has arrived late for his high-profile meeting with President Donald Trump — another display of the Russian's leader famous lack of punctuality. Putin's plane touched down in Helsinki 30 minutes later than planned, pushing back the start of his one-on-one talks with Trump Monday. In the past, Putin was late for meetings with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Francis, among many others. In 2014, he was hours late for meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after his previous stop in Serbia lasted longer than usual. Often seen as a trick to throw his interlocutors off balance, Putin's tardy ways appear to be more of a personal trait than a well-calculated strategy. __ 12:45 p.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says he hopes the summit with President Donald Trump is a "baby step" toward fixing exceptionally bad U.S.-Russian relations. Ahead of Monday's meeting, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told broadcaster RT that the men had no strict agenda but recognize their "special responsibility" for global stability. He said European countries shouldn't be worried about a possible U.S.-Russian rapprochement or decisions about Europe made "over the heads of Europeans." Peskov said the Russian leader respects Trump's "America first" stance because Putin puts Russia first, but said the only way to make progress at the summit is if both sides are open to finding areas of mutual benefit. Russian officials say Putin is expected to reiterate denials of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. __ 12:35 p.m. U.S. first lady Melania Trump says she and her Finnish counterpart had a "good conversation about issues facing our nations." Mrs. Trump says in a tweet that she enjoyed Monday's talk, adding "Thank you to @JenniHaukio for hosting me!" Haukio is the wife of Sauli Niinistö (SAW-lee KNEE-nes-tuh), the president of Finland, which is welcoming Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin of Russia for a summit. The first ladies met separately over breakfast while their husbands held talks. Meanwhile, the Finnish tabloid Iltalehti took the American first lady to task with a front-page photo tweaking her for an alleged "breach of etiquette" because she walked off of Air Force One in front of President Trump after they landed at the airport in Helsinki on Sunday night. __ 12:05 p.m. Finland's biggest newspaper has a message for Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin: Respect a free press. Daily Helsingin Sanomat has placed advertisements around Helsinki alluding to Finland's reputation as a hub for a free press. The advocacy group Reporters Without Borders has regularly ranked Finland among the top in its "Press Freedom Index" — including the No. 1 spot two years ago. The Russian in one of the black and white ads translates to: "Unpleasant things will happen to journalists who ask Putin questions." An English version for Trump said: "Mr. President, welcome to the land of free press." Trump regularly berates some news outlets as purveyors of "fake news." Putin is regarded as creating a culture of violence that has led to the killing of some Russian journalists. ___ 11:40 a.m. The European Union's foreign policy chief says the United States has remained a "friend" of the 28-nation bloc and said "a change in the administration does not change the friendship between countries and peoples." On Sunday, President Donald Trump named the European Union as a top adversary of the United States, saying "the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade." He added that "you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe." The EU's Federica Mogherini (feh-deh-REE'-kah moh-gehr-EE'-nee) says ahead of Monday's meeting of EU foreign ministers that "for sure, we consider the United States friends, partners - close friends and partners. We will always do that." Trump is meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday. __ 10:15 a.m. President Donald Trump says his upcoming meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin will go "fine." Trump made the brief prediction Monday at a breakfast at Finland's presidential residence in Helsinki. He was meeting with Finland's President Sauli Niinistö (SAW-lee KNEE-nes-tuh) in the hours before his highly anticipated summit with Putin. Trump thanked his Finnish counterpart for hosting the summit in Helsinki and spoke of his commitment to NATO. Trump was a destabilizing presence at NATO earlier in his European trip, torching allies and demanding more defense spending before eventually reaffirming his commitment to the military alliance. NATO at its heart is a bulwark against Russian aggression. Finland is not a member nation but has a memorandum of understanding with NATO. Finland has also been the site of previous US-Russia summits. __ 9:50 a.m. President Donald Trump is meeting with the Finnish president ahead of his summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin. Trump has arrived at the the Mäntyniemi Residence in Helsinki, where he and first lady Melania Trump were greeted by President Sauli Niinistö (SAW-lee KNEE-nes-tuh) and his wife. The leaders were seen surveying the view from a small balcony before sitting down for breakfast. Trump will then be returning to his hotel before heading to the presidential palace for his highly anticipated talks with Putin. Finland has a long legacy of hosting U.S.-Soviet and U.S.-Russian summits due to its geographic location and perceived neutrality. __ 9:45 a.m. President Donald Trump is no fan of American journalists, but might love what the Russian media are saying about him ahead of his meeting with Russian Vladimir Putin. Russia's largely Kremlin-friendly TV networks, websites and newspapers portrayed Trump as a political maverick who is being unfairly targeted by his own compatriots. Newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda dismissed the U.S. investigation into Trump's "mythical work for the Kremlin," and praised Trump for meeting Putin "despite opposition from his own elite and the hysterics of the media." Commentators on popular Sunday night talk show "Vecher" or "Evening" said Putin goes into Monday's summit in Helsinki as the stronger figure, notably coming off his hosting of the World Cup. They brushed off new indictments of Russians accused of hacking the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. __ 9:20 a.m. President Donald Trump says the U.S. relationship with Russia "has NEVER been worse" as he prepares for a high-stakes summit Monday with Russia's Vladimir Putin. Trump in a tweet is blaming the hostilities on "many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" That's Trump's favorite derogatory term for the special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling and possible ties to his campaign that has already led to a slew of indictments, including of a dozen Russian intelligence officers last week. Trump is also once again blaming his predecessor, Barack Obama, for failing to stop Russia's efforts in the 2016 election. He says Obama "thought that Crooked Hillary was going to win the election," so he did "NOTHING" about it when informed by the FBI. __ 9:05 a.m. President Donald Trump is claiming credit for bolstering NATO as he heads into a day of meetings with Russia's Vladimir Putin. Trump rocked a NATO summit last week when he lambasted members for failing to meet defense spending pledges and questioned the value of the alliance before doing a 180 and embracing it. But Trump says in a tweet that he's received "many calls from leaders of NATO countries" thanking him for helping "to get them focused on financial obligations, both present & future." Trump says, "We had a truly great Summit" and claims it was "inaccurately covered by much of the media." Foreign policy observers will be watching to see whether Trump has kinder words for Putin in Helsinki than he did for NATO leaders in Brussels. __ 7:50 a.m. European Council President Donald Tusk has urged President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and China to work with Europe to avoid trade wars and prevent conflict and chaos. Tusk was speaking Monday in Beijing at the opening of a summit between China and the European Union. He noted that Trump and Putin's summit in Helsinki would take place on the same day in Helsinki. Of the summit, Tusk said: "We are all aware of the fact that the architecture of the world is changing before our very eyes and it is our common responsibility to make it a change for the better." Tusk said Europe, China, the U.S. and Russia had a "common duty" not to destroy the global order but to improve it by reforming international trade rules. ___ 7:10 a.m. President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin are ready to go one-on-one in Finland. Their summit Monday in Helsinki will play out against a backdrop of fraying Western alliances, the investigation into Russian election meddling and fears that Moscow's aggression may go unpunished. The meeting was condemned in advance by an assortment of members of Congress from both parties after the U.S. indictment last week of 12 Russians accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump. Undeterred, the American president is set to go face-to-face with Putin, the authoritarian leader for whom he has expressed admiration. Questions are swirling about whether Trump will sharply rebuke his Russian counterpart for the election meddling that prompted a special counsel probe.

Members of the Chicago police department scuffle with an angry crowd at the scene of a police involved shooting in Chicago, on Saturday, July 14, 2018. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Footage from body-worn cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a man who was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer was armed with what appeared to be a handgun, authorities said Sunday. Police described the video and said they would release footage of Saturday's shooting from officer-worn body cameras later Sunday. Police have made some video public before in an effort to diffuse mounting public tension, and the new release comes hours after a skirmish between angry residents and baton-wielding officers. Four protesters were arrested in the clash, and some police officers suffered minor injuries from thrown rocks and bottles, some of which were filled with urine. Officers pulled people to the ground and struck them with batons. Two squad cars also were damaged. Medical examiners identified Harith Augustus, 37, of Chicago, as the victim of the shooting on the city's South Side. He wasn't a known gang member and had no recent arrest history, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. A resident of the area, Gloria Rainge, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Augustus, known in the Grand Crossing neighborhood as "Snoop," worked at a barbershop and had a 5-year-old daughter. Police found a handgun and two magazines of bullets at the shooting site and sent them for testing, Guglielmi said. Officers patrolling on foot tried to question the man over a "bulge around his waistband" that suggested he was armed, patrol chief Fred Waller told reporters. The man, who lived a short distance away, broke free and ran from the officers, who believed "he appeared to be reaching for a weapon" and shot him, Waller said. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which investigates officer-involved shootings, said it was analyzing the video and asking anyone who may have captured cellphone footage to share it with the agency. It was at least the third time in the last two weeks that a Chicago police officer shot someone. Chicago has a troubled history of police shootings. The city erupted in protest in 2015 after the release of a video showing a white police officer shoot a black 17-year-old, Laquan McDonald, 16 times a year earlier. The officer, Jason Van Dyke, was charged with murder. McDonald's death led to the ouster of the police chief and a series of reforms meant to prevent future police abuses and to hold officers accountable.


The name of French soccer player Kylian Mbappe is projected onto the Arc de Triomphe as soccer fans invade the Champs Elysees avenue after France won the soccer World Cup final match between France and Croatia, Sunday, July 15, 2018 in Paris. France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia 4-2(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

World Cup, World Cup and more World Cup — that's all France is talking about. "Eternal Happiness" said Monday's headline in sports daily L'Equipe, summing up the mood of many who can't imagine the euphoria will ever fade. France is readying to welcome home the national soccer team for a Monday parade down the Champs-Elysees, where tens of thousands thronged after the team's 4-2 victory over Croatia Sunday. President Emmanuel Macron exulted on the field and in the locker room with the players, and is hoping their victory gives him a boost, too. The French, though, are more enamored of the players, like 19-year-old star Kylian Mbappe, and of their coach, Didier Deschamps, with a parody photo circulating online suggesting renaming Paris' most famous avenue "Deschamps Elysees." Sports Minister Laura Flessel said on Europe-1 radio that the victory allows France's youth — like those in the poor suburbs where many of the players grew up — "to dare to believe in their dreams." The victory glow brightened the Monday morning Paris commute, with young people in cars still shouting in celebration. In the eastern Paris neighborhood of Belleville, with the Eiffel Tower visible in the far distance, Vincent Simon said, "Both teams deserved to win. France won, and that's good for the country, that will do us good for some months." Fellow Parisian Florian Scaven only caught glimpses of the final from the maternity ward with his wife as she had a baby during the final. "We vibrated with the horns in the street. We are happy. Long live France." It was France's second-ever World Cup win, and came at a time when the people feel needy. "It represents enormous things," said Goffrey Hamsik, dressed in a hat resembling a rooster — the French national symbol — and a shirt with the No. 10 for Kylian Mpappe, the breakout star who hails from the Paris suburb of Bondy. "We've had lots of problems in France these past years," he said, recalling deadly terror attacks. "This is good for the morale ... Here, we are all united. We mix. There is no religion, there is nothing, and that's what feels good." Hundreds of police in riot gear were discreetly lined up on side streets to monitor revelers. Typically, celebrations in France end up with some broken shop windows and other destruction, and Sunday was no exception. Tear gas was lobbed at one point on the Champs-Elysees. About 4,000 police watched over the fan zone — packed to its 90,000 capacity — during the match, then moved to the Champs-Elysees and neighboring streets. As night fell, The Eiffel Tower flashed 1998-2018 to mark France's two World Cup titles. The Arc de Triomphe was awash in the national colors, lit with the rooster, the faces of the winning team and the words "Proud to be Blue," or French. The celebrations were spread across the nation.

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."


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May 30, 2018

Saint Lucia Carnival 2018

Pumping rhythms, sexy costumes and the people dancing under the warm Caribbean sun; welcome to Saint Lucia Carnival! Almost on the heels of the annual Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, Saint Lucia’s cultural landscape morphs into a flurry of chrome plated steel drums, feathers, and beads. No matter where you are or who you are, Saint Lucia Carnival is something to behold.

In the months, weeks and hours leading up to Saint Lucia Carnival, there are numerous events that are a must see, whether you’re a Carnival veteran, or Carnival newbie. Some of the staple events - the Calypso Tents, Calypso Monarch, Party Monarch, and Carnival Parade are the deep-rooted cultural aspects of Saint Lucia Carnival. But it won’t be Carnival without the ‘wining’ and jumping and non-stop partying.

Here’s a great tip for first-time Carnival revellers - ‘wining’, is a local Caribbean-wide term used to describe the rotational movement of the hips either to the left or to the right, whichever way your waistline can go really. Before you brave any Saint Lucia Carnival event, don’t be afraid to perfect your ‘wining’ motions. You can bet on someone asking pretty ladies to “take ah wine.” Either way, master the move so that you keep up with the locals and really party like a Saint Lucian.

By the time Carnival Monday rolls around, your dancing skills will help burn off all the yummy calories you’ll be consuming – let’s face it; Saint Lucia’s Carnival food scene is just as fabulous! The ultimate Carnival experience is when one joins a “band.” Competing band members flock together at predetermined locations near the staging area, for the beginning of what will be a hyperactive dance session through the city’s streets. With speakers the size of warehouse refrigerators, the vibrations and sounds begin with only the trance of soca leading you throughout the streets of Saint Lucia.

If you’re still alive at the end of Carnival Monday, many band members will go off to enjoy official band parties or you can opt to go home to revitalize yourself – don’t worry, you can comfort yourself by the fact that the next day is Carnival Tuesday…

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August 01, 2018

Chocolate Heritage Month 2018

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Spend August satisfying your sweet tooth during Saint Lucia’s Chocolate Heritage Month.

Saint Lucia’s chocolate legacy dates back to the thriving cocoa industry of the 1700’s and the island still produces some of the world’s most sought-after chocolate. Many of Saint Lucia’s top resort spas and restaurants use the island’s native cocoa in spa treatments and savory and sweet culinary creations that are both indulgent and healthful.

August is an ideal time to sample inventive “choc-tails” and specialty tasting menus, relax with beneficial chocolate-infused spa treatments and enjoy “tree to bar” cocoa plantation tours with island-wide hotel and resort offers. Click here for more information. 

For a deeper look into the island’s chocolate heritage, you can take a plantation tour that shares the history and tradition of Saint Lucian cocoa production. Choose from a variety of experiences such as Morne Coubaril Estate and La Dauphine Estate. The Fond Doux Holiday Plantation tour will lead you through the cocoa fermentation house where you can participate in the traditional “cocoa- rina” dance to polish the cocoa beans. Or, take a behind the scenes look at a bean-to-bar single estate boutique chocolate maker at Jade Mountain’s Emerald Estate Organic Chocolate and Chocolate Laboratory.

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August 31, 2018

Roots & Soul Festival 2018

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A festival dedicated to musicians who are setting new trends in reggae, conscious hip-hop, Afro-punk and R&B, with performances, master classes and encounters between artists and other actors in the music business. Like Saint Lucia Jazz, there will be free and paying concerts, in various parts of the island. This event will bring together musicians, record labels, online music stores and platforms, specialized journalists and other actors in order to enhance market access for Saint Lucian and other musicians and producers.