This is the UK’s first Tracks & Records restaurant, with three others in Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.

Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Recordswill on October 10, open a location in London – the first of 15 venues in the UK over the next five years. “After much success with our Track & Records restaurants, we’re delighted to be opening in the UK. I believe this signifies the first time a local, home grown concept has evolved into becoming an International franchise and this further confirms brand Jamaica’s potential and gives us widespread hope that we can export many other Jamaican brands through this business model,” stated FRANJAM’s Managing Director Gary Matalon. FranJam is afranchise company founded to own, develop and license Jamaican themed restaurants. It creates opportunities for investors by way of buying into the Jamaican franchise concept similar to what has already been done with Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records. Offering an authentic slice of Jamaica in the heart of the capital, Tracks & Records will be located a few minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street Station at 94 Middlesex Street, E1 7EZ. The unique space features a mix of bold flavours with Usain Bolt’s sports memorabilia and a soundtrack of reggae and dub courtesy of live DJ sets from some of the leading names from the UK circuit. Designed to give guests a real taste of Jamaica, diners can enjoy their favourite dishes such as jerk chicken and pork and fried fish and bammy - all packed full of authentic seasonings and spices. The rum bar, which features a carefully curated, extensive collection of over 150 global rums, of which 100 are Jamaican. The menu also offers a range of signature cocktails including traditional favourites and a new range all exclusively created for London. Split across two floors, downstairs boasts a stylish bar, dancefloor and club where reggae music and live DJs will play until late. Throughout the space guests will feel fully immersed in Usain’s world as, alongside the trademark Tracks & Records dishes and drinks, the unique interiors have been created with his style in mind - including a slick bar, modern wall art and vinyls. “Our new location, in the heart of the capital, is the perfect spot for friends to get together and embrace Jamaican culture by enjoying traditional flavours, while dancing the night away,” Matalon further stated. Usain Bolt said: “London is my second home and a place very close to my heart - so it’s brilliant to be sharing a taste of Jamaica in the capital.” This is the UK’s first Tracks & Records restaurant, with three others in Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. The London-based restaurant will open from 11:00 am until midnight Monday to Wednesday and until 1:00 am on Thursday to Saturday, following its launch on October 10. For the latestnews, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.

It is viewed by many as the Emmys of the Travel Industry, and this week Sandals Resorts International swept the Travel Trade Gazette Awards 2018 held at the Lyceum Theatre in London’s Covent Garden. Sandals held off competition from the world’s leading travel industry bodies such as Thomas Cook, Jet2Holidays, Royal Caribbean International, Beachcomber Tours and Celebrity Cruises, and walked away with the three top prizes on offer including the coveted “Travel Company of the Year Award”. Sandals Resorts also scooped awards for ‘Hotel and Resort Operator of the Year’ and ‘On the Road Hero’, which was awarded to Business Development Manager, Neil Read for his outstanding contribution to the Sandals Resorts’ sales team. In the “Hotel and Resort Operator Award’ category Sandals beat back companies such as Elegant Hotels Group, Hard Rock Hotels – All Inclusive Collection, Palladium Hotel Group, Secrets Resorts & Spas and Warner Leisure Hotels to take the top prize. It adds to the long list of accolades which have recognised Sandals Resorts as being the very best in the tourism and hospitality industry. Not only has Sandals been voted World’s Best All Inclusive Company at the World Travel Awards for 23 consecutive years, the resort chain copped the award for ‘Best All-Inclusive Resort Operator’ in January 2018 at the Travel Weekly Globe Awards; it’s 10th win in this category. This means that the UK’s top two travel trade publications have now nominated Sandals Resorts as their number one. The TTG Travel Awards aims to celebrate success by showcasing the highest standards within the UK travel trade industry. The awards themselves are widely regarded as being some of the toughest in the business to win, while the annual TTG Awards ceremony itself is one of the most highly anticipated each year. The majority of all categories are voted for by travel agents and the travel trade, whilst The Travel Company of the Year Award is judged by a specialist panel of senior team members from the TTG Media publishing house, along with other travel industry professionals. Karl Thompson, Managing Director of Sandals Resorts, UK & Europe, said, “We are absolutely delighted to receive all three awards at this year’s TTG Travel Awards – particularly Travel Company of the Year, which is an incredible achievement for the Sandals Resorts brand and for every member of our fantastic team. We are also extremely grateful to all the agents who also took the time to vote for us in the Hotel & Resort Operator of the Year category, as we couldn’t have done it without the support of the trade.” For the latestnews, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.


Between 2000 and 2015, deaths from tuberculosis (TB) fell by 37.5% in the Americas and new cases dropped by 24%.However, the rate of decline must be accelerated for the Region to be able to end the disease, according to a new report by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). "Tuberculosis in the Americas2018",a reportissued on the eve of the first United Nations High-level Meeting on Ending TB,provides a complete and updated assessment of the TB epidemic and progress made in treating and preventing the disease in the Region. In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 282,000 new cases of TB in the Americas, 11% of which were in people living with HIV.In all, 87% of cases were concentrated in 10 countries, with Brazil, Peru,and Mexico reporting just over half the total.An estimated 24,000 people died last year from tuberculosis in the Region, and 6,000 of them were coinfected with HIV. “Ending TB will only be possible if we step up the reduction in new cases and deaths,” said PAHO Director, Carissa F. Etienne.“We need to expandaccess to diagnosis and quality treatment for everyone who needs it and to address social determinants that affect health and favor transmission of the disease,” she noted. Although preventable and curable, tuberculosis is currently the region’s most lethal infectious disease and its persistence is largely due to the serious social and economic inequities in the Americas.Since 2015, deaths fell on average by 2.5% per year and new cases dropped by 1.6%, but they need to fall at a rate of 12% and 8% per year, respectively, to achieve the intermediate targets for 2020 and continue to decline until 2030. Ending the worldwide tuberculosis epidemic is one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).WHO’sEnd TBStrategy, adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2014, aims to reduce deaths from TB by 90% and the incidence of the disease (number of new cases each year) by 80% by 2030, compared to 2015 levels. Diagnosis, treatment, and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis The report notes that more than50,000 people in the Region––almost half of them under 15 years of age––do not know they have the disease and have not been treated.This diagnostic gap increased by 3,000 people, compared to 2016.Rapiddiagnostic testing, a new tool that could help to close the gap, was used in just 13% of diagnosed cases, up slightly from 9% in 2016. Treatment for TB has saved thousands of lives.However, in the last five years 75% of patients were cured, which is below the target set for 2030 (at least 90% cured).To step up progress, the report recommends that countries improve patient monitoring to ensure follow-through on treatment (8.6% abandon treatment) and address access barriers to health care, among other issues. Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is also a serious threat, with an estimated 11,000 people in the Region currently infected by this form of the disease.Among those who develop it, the cure rate is just 56%. Caribbean countries with the lowest incidence of TB The Americas is the region with the lowest percentage of new TB cases in the world (3% of the total) and is the first region with a real opportunity to eliminate the disease as a public health problem.According to the report, 15 countries,12 of them from the Caribbean, have low TB incidence (less than 10cases per 100,000 people) and are on the road to elimination. “Countries are adopting measures to tackle TB, but they cannot lower their guard and must redouble efforts, along with the collaboration of society at large, including the affected communities,” said Marcos Espinal, Director of PAHO’s Department of Communicable Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health. The report’s other recommendations for accelerating progress toward eliminating TB, especially in the countries with the greatest disease burden, include:promoting the study of contacts with people who have TB, especially children under 15;stepping up implementation of simpler treatment regimens and introducing drugs for children;reaching the most vulnerable populations and addressing social determinants, and ensuring that plans are financed with a country’s own resources rather than depending on external funds. 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

"Eliminating single-use plastic straws and stirrers is only the beginning of our journey toward helping create a plastic-free sea in the region we call home," said SRI Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart.

Sandals Resorts International (SRI) will eliminate the use of over 21 million single-use plastic straws and stirrers across its resorts each year byNovember 1. Eco-friendly paper straws will be available upon request, the company said. Sandals Resorts said it would discontinue the use of the plastic items in all 19 Sandals and Beaches resorts across the region, including Jamaica, theBahamas,St Lucia,Antigua,Grenada,Barbadosand Turks & Caicos. "Love is at the crux of all Sandals Resorts, and this love extends to the oceans and communities around them," saidAdam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of SRI. Following the elimination of single-use plastic straws and stirrers, Sandals will explore opportunities to eliminate other plastic across its resorts bySeptember 2019. Sandals has already made headway with the elimination of plastic laundry bags and plastic bags throughout gift shops. Stewart added: "We care deeply about our commitment to preserving both marine wildlife and human health within the many beautiful islands we're connected to. Eliminating single-use plastic straws and stirrers is only the beginning of our journey toward helping create a plastic-free sea in the region we call home.” Through a new partnership withOceanic Global, a non-profit focused on providing solutions to issues impacting our oceans, Sandals is conducting an audit – both front and back of house – to determine a roadmap to the elimination of single-use plastic across its resorts. The audit will be conducted in accordance to guidelines outlined in Oceanic Global's industry-specific sustainability toolkit, The Oceanic Standard. "We're thrilled to partner with Sandals Resorts International, the first all-inclusive brand to join our mission," said Lea d'Auriol, Founder of Oceanic Global. "Seventy percent of our world is made up of oceans. It's critical that we take steps to protect this precious resource – and Sandals is sending the message to companies with a major presence along ocean shores that they have a responsibility to take action, and that preserving ocean health can be both efficient and effective," she added. This initiative is part of a larger effort to reduce plastic waste in theCaribbeanregion, where the Caribbean Sea connects more than 700 islands and coastlines that draw more than 30 million visitors each year. Sandals Resorts is already invested in environmental sustainability. TheSandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International,has intensified efforts to reduce plastic pollution in theCaribbeanand educate communities on the dangers plastic pollution poses to the environment, health and tourism. Its recent initiatives include distributing reusable water bottles in schools across theCaribbeanto reduce the use of disposable bottles among school children, delivering reusable tote bags to supermarkets across the region, and instituting a Solid Waste Reduction Project inJamaica'sSouth Coast to clean up the communities and educate residents on how to properly manage their waste. "Plastic pollution is one of the leading environmental issues in theCaribbean. Sandals and Beaches Resorts are rooted in oceanfront communities, and we are committed to protecting our marine wildlife, developing effective conservation practices, and teaching the next generation the importance of caring for their communities," saidHeidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation. For the latestnews, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.


West Indiesfast bowler, Kemar Roach will return home from the United Arab Emirates to Barbados following the death of his grandmother. Roach, part of the squad preparing for the India series, will travel home on Tuesday. He will then rejoin the team in India after the funeral. No replacement will be named for Roach. The Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Cricket West Indies, has expressed condolences to Roach and his family. India will host West Indies for twoTests, fiveODIs and threeT20Is starting October 4, 2018. The series will start just a week after the completion of the Asia Cup. Here is the full schedule for West Indies tour of India series: TESTS: 1st Test: 4-8 October in Rajkot 2nd Test: 12-16 October in Hyderabad ODIs: 1st ODI: 21st October in Guwahati 2nd ODI: 24th October in Indore 3rd ODI: 27th October in Pune 4th ODI: 29th October in Mumbai 5th ODI: 1st November in Thiruvananthapuram T20Is: 1st T20I: 4th November in Kolkata 2nd T20I: 6th November in Lucknow 3rd T20I: 11th November in Chennai For the latest news, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.

Doha is preparing to stage a spectacularIAAF World Championshipsnext year, when it will become the first city in the Middle East to host athletics’ premier showcase event. A large team of IAAF event and technical experts has spent the last two days conducting an extensive site visit with the Doha 2019 Local Organising Committee, part of the process of coordination that precedes every major championships. IAAF Vice President Dahlan Al Hamad, who is also the Vice-Chairman and Director-General of the Local Organising Committee, said that with little more than one year to go to the opening day of the championships, he was confident that Doha would be ready to host the athletes of the world. “Our airport and hotels are ready, our stadium is ready, our ticket programme and brand will be revealed when we celebrate One Year to Go on Thursday (September 27),’’ he said. “All the big pieces are in place. Our task over the next year is to link all the pieces together as we prepare to stage an innovative and exciting event that will engage athletics fans both near and far.” The highlight of the visit was the demonstration of the world-first air-conditioning system that will keep Khalifa International Stadium at a comfortable temperature for athletes, officials and fans, protecting all from Qatar’s desert climate. IAAF Council member Geoff Gardner, who led the federation’s team, said everyone was impressed by the effectiveness of the stadium cooling system. “I don’t know if the rest of the world really believed this was possible but it’s an amazing system and it shows that our championships can be conducted here in a good environment for the athletes,’’ he said. “There are always challenges preparing for a major event like this but if the Doha LOC rises to all those challenges as it has to this one, then our event is in safe hands. “We have made good progress in our planning over the weekend. One of the goals was to forge closer relationships between key personnel at the LOC and the IAAF because that united team will form the foundation for a successful championships in just over a year’s time.” National team leaders from some 30 countries have now arrived in Doha to conduct their own inspection of competition and training venues, hotels and logistical plans. On Thursday, the LOC will release details of the ticketing programme and launch the event logo and branding to celebrate One Year to Go to the 2019 IAAF World Championships. There will be a series of milestones for the Doha organisers over the coming months, including a test of the lighting for the marathon course in October, the World Broadcasters Meeting and Press Agencies Meeting in November, the Asian Athletics Championships next April, which will serve as a full test event for the championships as they will be held in the Khalifa Stadium, and the annual Diamond League meeting in May. Qatar has an extensive history as a host of international athletics events, from the first ever IAAF Grand Prix in 1997 to the Doha Diamond League over the last nine years, and the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships. The 2019 IAAF World Championships will be held from September 27 to October 6 in Doha, Qatar.


This undated photo provided by Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence shows Deborah Ramirez. Ramirez went public with allegations that while in his first year at Yale University, Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh placed his penis in front of her and caused her to involuntarily touch it during a drunken dormitory party. (Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence via AP)

Between shifts ladling hot meals at the dining hall, Deborah Ramirez did her best to fit in with the blue-blooded social set of Yale University in the 1980s. She took a chartered flight to the Bahamas sophomore year with dozens of other spring breakers and attended booze-filled parties on campus with posh private-school grads. What she says happened at one of those gatherings inside Yale's brick dormitory walls has pulled her from a life as an advocate for needy families and domestic violence survivors to the center of the battle over the shape of the Supreme Court. Friends said Ramirez rarely talked about her college days and lived a private life in the Rocky Mountains foothills, but colleagues said they sensed something in her past had drawn her to devote her life to supporting women in trouble. "I definitely had known she went to Yale and I knew that it wasn't always an easy experience for her," said Angela Hardin, who became close friends with Ramirez as they trained women's crisis volunteers a decade ago. "Debbie would talk about feeling various levels of discrimination." Still, friends and colleagues said it came as a surprise when Ramirez decided to go public with allegations that while in his first year at Yale University, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh placed his penis in front of her and caused her to involuntarily touch it during a drunken dormitory party. Kavanaugh denied the accusation soon after it was reported Sunday by The New Yorker magazine. The magazine said that when it first contacted her, Ramirez was "hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident." After six days of going over her memories and talking with an attorney, the magazine reported, Ramirez "said that she felt confident enough of her recollections" to name Kavanaugh as the student who had exposed himself to her at the party. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump showered Kavanaugh with praise before world leaders, and said Ramirez's allegations were part of a "con game" engineered by the Democratic Party. "She says it may not be him and there are gaps. And she was totally inebriated and all messed up, and she doesn't know. It might have been him, or it might not have been him. Gee, let's not make him a Supreme Court judge," Trump said on the same day he addressed the U.N. General Assembly. Kavanaugh is set to testify Thursday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing along with Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers during an early 1980s high school party. Ramirez's attorney John Clune tweeted Tuesday that his client wants to give a sworn statement to the FBI. "Ms. Ramirez is ready to swear to the FBI under penalty of perjury," Clune tweeted. "Why won't the Senate Judiciary Committee welcome that?" Clune did not respond to a request from The Associated Press for an interview with Ramirez. Hardin, who spoke with Ramirez Sunday night, said her friend reluctantly decided to tell her story so that her own words would be shared, rather than having them filter out through others. "The fact that she brought her story forward tells me that she had to have gone through a lot of introspection," said Lisa Calderon, Ramirez's former supervisor at a Boulder nonprofit that assists survivors of domestic violence. "Bringing in what she went through would have been in some ways compromising boundaries because she always felt it wasn't about her. ... She had a passion for social justice, helping people, particularly women of color whose voices tended to not be heard." Ramirez, who grew up Catholic in Connecticut, attended a co-ed, parochial high school in Trumbull and graduated from nearby Yale in New Haven with a degree in sociology in 1987. Classmates described Ramirez, 53, as friendly, well-liked and quiet. Some of her closest friends were athletes and she made extra cash by working in the dining hall at her residential college, serving food and washing dishes, classmates said. "She was not someone to want to be in the spotlight," said Julie Heller, who was a year behind and lived in her residential college. She spent her spring break in 1985 with a large group of students in the Bahamas, where they partied, searched for the cheapest drinks, lounged on the beach and tried their luck at the casino, according to a Yale Daily News article from the time. Ramirez also saw herself as an outsider as a woman of Puerto Rican descent who didn't come from the wealth and privilege of many of her classmates, said James Roche, a close friend who was also Kavanaugh's freshman year roommate. Roche said he didn't interact much with Kavanaugh, who he said was typically reserved but was a "notably heavy drinker" who "became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk." "Based on my time with Debbie, I believe her to be unusually honest and straightforward and I cannot imagine her making this up," Roche said in a statement. "Based on my time with Brett, I believe that he and his social circle were capable of the actions that Debbie described." Ramirez's sister, who was a year behind her at Yale, said in a Facebook message that she's proud of her sister. "This is not easy for anyone, but Deb has been tremendously brave and her honesty is above reproach," Denise Ramirez said. After moving to Boulder, Colorado, Ramirez joined a local running club, where she met a group of friends who got together for weekly after-work runs and ski trips to Vail. Scott Fliegelman, a friend from the running group, described her as shy "in that she was outgoing recreationally but not an overly ebullient-type personality. I know religion played a role for her — she was a strong Christian." Ramirez started volunteering at the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence and soon was brought on staff by Calderon, who described her as a talented, humble employee who wanted to be among the people she served. Mercedes Lindenoak, who served on the nonprofit's board for two years with Ramirez, said training focused on race and gender diversity sometimes got heated, but that Ramirez was respectful of her colleagues, even when she disagreed. "We didn't talk about what drew her there,' Lindenoak said. Ramirez now works as a senior volunteer coordinator in Boulder County's housing agency, but she has stayed connected to Safehouse as a member of its board. She also began to voice her thoughts on gender equality publicly, writing aletter to the editorof the Boulder paper in 2014 denouncing a T-shirt for a running race that said "Sea Level is for Sissies." She said she gets hurt, shows her emotions and is a "strong, tough" woman who rock climbs. She said she would "never wear a t-shirt that does not value these traits in all genders." She met her husband, a technology consultant, through a friend at the Safehouse, Hardin said. The couple lives in a small house in a late 1970s-era development in Boulder dotted with aspen trees and sunflowers, where black bears and mountain lions sometimes visit. Neighbors, who did not want their names used, described Ramirez as an avid outdoors woman, and said she was a grounded, honest person driven by the urge to help others. Behind Ramirez's home there's a walking trail and a park, and a vista of a legendary rock-climbing destination beloved by residents of the athletic, liberal college town. Late Monday, the Boulder County Commission released a statement backing Ramirez. "We stand firmly behind our brave Boulder County employee who chose to speak publicly about a demeaning and demoralizing act of sexual misconduct she experienced as a young woman," the statement said. Hardin said that when she reached Ramirez on Sunday to offer her support, Ramirez told her she felt a sense of freedom in having finally come forward with her memories of what happened decades ago in that college dorm. "She had fears about coming forward because she had been under the influence at the time," Hardin said. "She said that as painful as it was, it also felt freeing to not hold onto this anymore and to be able to talk about it, not having shared any of this with more than a few people in her life until now."

President Donald Trump addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

President Donald Trump poured scorn on the "ideology of globalism" and heaped praise on his own administration's achievements in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly that drew headshakes and even mocking laughter from his audience of fellow world leaders. "The U.S. will not tell you how to live and work or worship," Trump said as he unapologetically promoted his "America First" agenda. "We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return." Speaking in triumphal terms, Trump approached his address to the world body as something of an annual report to the world on his country's progress since his inauguration. He showcased strong economic numbers, declared that the U.S. military is "more powerful than it has ever been before" and crowed that in "less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country." Just sentences into the president's remarks, the audience began to chuckle and some leaders broke into outright laughter, suggesting the one-time reality television star's puffery is as familiar abroad as it is at home. Trump appeared briefly flustered, then smiled and said it was not the reaction he expected "but that's all right." Later he brushed off the episode, telling reporters, "Oh it was great. Well, that was meant to get some laughter so it was great." The leaders' spontaneous response to Trump's address only reinforced the American president's isolation among allies and foes alike, as his nationalistic policies have created rifts with erstwhile partners and cast doubt in some circles about the reliability of American commitments around the world. Barely an hour before he spoke, in fact, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared to the assembly that global cooperation is the world's best hope and "multilateralism is under fire precisely when we need it most." Since taking office, Trump has removed the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, promoted protectionist tariffs and questioned the value of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other alliances in furtherance of what he termed on Tuesday a strategy of "principled realism." To that end, Trump flaunted his embrace of negotiations with North Korea's Kim Jong Un just a year after he had warned of raining down "total destruction" on a leader he branded "Little Rocket Man." As Trump praised Kim's "courage" on Tuesday, he unloaded harsh rhetoric on nuclear-aspirant Iran as a persistent malign influence across the Middle East. "We ask all nations to isolate Iran's regime as long as its aggression continues," said Trump. The president has removed the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, citing the country's destabilizing actions throughout the region and support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah, and he accused its leaders on Tuesday of sowing "chaos, death and destruction." His national security adviser, John Bolton, was to go even further in a speech Tuesday, issuing a dire warning to Iran: "If you cross us, our allies or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay," Bolton said, according to prepared remarks released by the White House. In addition to his keynote speech, Trump is to chair a meeting of the U.N. Security Council about nuclear proliferation on Wednesday. His four days of choreographed foreign affairs were designed to stand in contrast to a presidency sometimes defined by disorder, but they were quickly overshadowed by domestic political crises. The fate of his second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, was in fresh doubt after a second allegation of sexual misconduct, which Kavanaugh denies. Kavanaugh and his first accuser testify to Congress on Thursday. Drama also swirls around the job security of Trump's deputy attorney general. Rod Rosenstein was reported last week to have floated the idea of secretly recording the president last year and to have raised the idea of using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. He will meet with Trump at the White House, also on Thursday. At the U.N., Trump seized his opportunity to assert American independence from the international body. He showcased his decisions to engage with the erstwhile pariah North Korea, remove the U.S. from the international Iran nuclear accord and object to U.N. programs he believes are contrary to American interests. "We reject the ideology of globalism and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism," Trump said. He referenced a list of U.N. bodies, from the International Criminal Court to the Human Rights Council, that his administration is working to undermine. "America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control and domination," Trump declared. His denunciations of globalism drew murmurs from other members of the organization that stands as the very embodiment of the notion. Shortly before he spoke, in fact, U.N. Secretary-General Guterres had defended international cooperation as the only way to tackle the challenges and threats of increasingly chaotic times. "Democratic principles are under siege," Guterres said. "The world is more connected, yet societies are becoming more fragmented. Challenges are growing outward, while many people are turning inward." On other tense subjects, Trump's criticism of Germany's pursuit of a direct energy pipeline from Russia drew a dismissive headshake from a member of the U.S. ally's delegation, and his mention of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar all in one breath was received with stone-faced expressions by Saudi officials. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have been boycotting Doha since last year as part of a dispute tearing apart the typically clubby Gulf Arab nations. The laughter in the first moments of Trump's address evoked a campaign line Trump frequently deployed against his predecessor Barack Obama — who embraced international engagement — suggesting that due to weak American leadership, "the world is laughing at us." In 2014, Trump tweeted, "We need a President who isn't a laughingstock to the entire World. We need a truly great leader, a genius at strategy and winning. Respect!" Appearances on the global stage tend to elevate the stature of presidents both abroad and at home. But even before his arrival for the annual gathering of world leaders and diplomats, the desired image was being eclipsed as Trump was forced to confront the salacious and embarrassing in the controversies over Rosenstein and Kavanaugh. With cable news chyrons flashing breathless updates about both Beltway dramas, news of Trump's foreign policy moves from the U.N., led by a new trade deal with South Korea, struggled to break through.


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