CONCACAF World Cup 2026 Qualifiers: Groups and Schedule Unveiled for First and Second Rounds

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Jan. 31, 2024: The CONCACAF Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2026 have announced the groups and schedule for the first and second round matches:

Draw Assistant Paulo Wanchope draws St. Kitts and Nevis from pot 3 during the Concacaf Qualifiers for FIFA World Cup 2026 – Preliminary Draw at Home of FIFA on January 25, 2024 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)


March 22, 2024

Anguilla vs Turks and Caicos Islands
US Virgin Islands vs British Virgin Islands
March 26, 2024

Turks and Caicos Islands vs Anguilla
British Virgin Islands vs US Virgin Islands
The aggregate score winner in each Play-off will progress to the second round


Group A: Honduras, Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Bermuda, Cayman Islands
Group B: Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Bahamas
Group C: Haiti, Curaçao, St. Lucia, Barbados, Aruba
Group D: Panama, Nicaragua, Guyana, Montserrat, Belize
Group E: Jamaica, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Winner Play-off 2
Group F: El Salvador, Suriname, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Winner Play-off 1


June 5, 2024

(A) Antigua and Barbuda vs Bermuda
(B) Trinidad and Tobago vs Grenada
(C) Curaçao vs Barbados
(D) Nicaragua vs Montserrat
(E) Guatemala vs Dominica
(F) Suriname vs St. Vincent and the Grenadines

June 6, 2024

(A) Honduras vs Cuba
(B) Costa Rica vs St. Kitts and Nevis
(C) Haiti vs St. Lucia
(D) Panama vs Guyana
(E) Jamaica vs Dominican Republic
(F) El Salvador vs Puerto Rico

June 8, 2024

(A) Cayman Islands vs Antigua and Barbuda
(B) Bahamas vs Trinidad and Tobago
(C) Aruba vs Curaçao
(D) Belize vs Nicaragua
(E) Winner Play-off 2 vs Guatemala
(F) Winner Play-off 1 vs Suriname

June 9, 2024

(A) Bermuda vs Honduras
(B) Grenada vs Costa Rica
(C) Barbados vs Haiti
(D) Montserrat vs Panama
(E) Dominica vs Jamaica
(F) St. Vincent and the Grenadines vs El Salvador

June 11, 2024

(A) Cuba vs Cayman Islands
(B) St. Kitts and Nevis vs Bahamas
(C) St. Lucia vs Aruba
(D) Guyana vs Belize
(E) Dominican Republic vs Winner Play-off 2
(F) Puerto Rico vs Winner Play-off 1

June 4, 2025

(A) Bermuda vs Cayman Islands
(B) Grenada vs Bahamas
(C) Barbados vs Aruba
(D) Montserrat vs Belize
(E) Dominica vs Winner Play-off 2
(F) St. Vincent and the Grenadines vs Winner Play-off 1

June 6, 2025

(A) Antigua and Barbuda vs Cuba
(B) Trinidad and Tobago vs St. Kitts and Nevis
(C) Curaçao vs St. Lucia
(D) Nicaragua vs Guyana
(E) Guatemala vs Dominican Republic
(F) Suriname vs Puerto Rico

June 7, 2025

(A) Cayman Islands vs Honduras
(B) Bahamas vs Costa Rica
(C) Aruba vs Haiti
(D) Belize vs Panama
(E) Winner Play-off 2 vs Jamaica
(F) Winner Play-off 1 vs El Salvador

June 10, 2025

(A) Cuba vs Bermuda
(A) Honduras vs Antigua and Barbuda
(B) St. Kitts and Nevis vs Grenada
(B) Costa Rica vs Trinidad and Tobago
(C) St. Lucia vs Barbados
(C) Haiti vs Curaçao
(D) Guyana vs Montserrat
(D) Panama vs Nicaragua
(E) Dominican Republic vs Dominica
(E) Jamaica vs Guatemala
(F) Puerto Rico vs St. Vincent and the Grenadines
(F) El Salvador vs Suriname

Group winners and runners-up (12 teams in total) will progress to the third round.

PAPJAZZ Festival Defies Security Challenges, Returns to Haiti’s Capital in Spectacular Fashion

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Jan. 30, 2024: In a remarkable show of resilience, Haiti’s capital played host to the “PAPJAZZ” music festival this week, drawing hundreds of concertgoers back to the event for the first time since 2021. The festival, known for its international jazz acts, made a triumphant return, albeit with significant modifications and stringent security measures, all within the backdrop of the city’s dire security situation.

Festival organizer Milena Sandler speaks during the international jazz festival (Papjazz) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 27, 2024. (Photo by RICHARD PIERRIN/AFP via Getty Images)

The 2022 edition of the festival had been postponed due to security concerns, leading to its relocation to the northern city of Cap-Haitien in the preceding year. Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital, had been grappling with alarming levels of gang control, with reports suggesting that these criminal groups held sway over as much as 80 percent of the area, according to the United Nations.

Haitian musician Cisco performs during the international jazz festival (Papjazz) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 27, 2024. (Photo by RICHARD PIERRIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Milena Sandler, one of the festival’s organizers, expressed the sentiment of defiance, stating, “This is the festival of resistance to everything that’s happening, our way of saying that we believe — and want to move forward.” She added optimistically, “The city is not dead despite everything.”

Haitian musician Erol Josué performs during the international jazz festival (Papjazz) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 27, 2024. (Photo by RICHARD PIERRIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas, had been embroiled in turmoil for years, with the rise of armed gangs contributing to widespread violence, economic turmoil, and a crumbling public health system. A recent report by the United Nations revealed a disheartening surge in homicides and kidnappings in the country.

In response to the ongoing security challenges, the 2024 PAPJAZZ festival was significantly scaled down, lasting for just four days instead of the usual eight. Concerts were held exclusively in a relatively secure residential neighborhood. Stages were set up outside the Karibe Hotel, a location that also houses UN offices. Security was ensured by a combination of volunteers and national police officers.

Haitian musician Jah Nesta performs during the international jazz festival (Papjazz) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 27, 2024. (Photo by RICHARD PIERRIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite the challenging circumstances, the audience, primarily consisting of expatriates and middle-class Haitians, enthusiastically danced and sang each night. Local “Rara” carnival music filled the gaps between performances, adding a unique Haitian flavor to the event.

Esmeralda Milce, a spectator with a background in marketing, commented, “Despite the challenges, the festival bears witness to an impressive resilience. It’s a celebration of Haitian cultural richness.” Milce expressed her excitement about seeing Haitian artist Beethova Obas, whom she hadn’t seen perform in over a decade. “People are in a festive spirit,” she added.

The festival featured a diverse lineup of performers, including foreign artists like Cameroon-born American Richard Bona and Frenchman Ludovic Louis, as well as Haitian musicians from within the country and the diaspora.

According to the Haiti Jazz Foundation, which organized the event, PAPJAZZ saw between 550 and 850 guests attending each evening from Thursday to Saturday, Jan. 27th. Meanwhile, emerging musicians performed at free “after-show” concerts held in three restaurants in the Petion-Ville neighborhood, attracting significant crowds.

Notably, the free concerts that would typically take place in public squares and universities were excluded from this year’s festival, reflecting the organizers’ determination to navigate the challenging security environment while still celebrating the vibrant spirit of Haitian jazz and culture.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister and U.S. Secretary of State Address Regional Challenges

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Tues. Jan. 30, 2024: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, on Monday engaged in discussions on diplomatic relations with United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, underscoring the significance of their partnership.

Antony Blinken expressed the United States’ recognition of Trinidad and Tobago as a vital partner, highlighting collaboration in areas such as energy security and climate resilience, aligning with the United States-Caribbean Partnership to address the climate crisis. Additionally, they joined forces to combat violent crime and firearm trafficking, prioritizing regional prosperity and opportunity.

Blinken acknowledged the importance of addressing regional challenges in countries like Venezuela and Haiti while emphasizing the strength of their bilateral ties. He commended the partnership’s growth over the past couple of years.

Prime Minister Rowley expressed his satisfaction with the meeting, emphasizing the importance of the relationship between Washington and the wider Caribbean. He recognized the United States as a major trading partner with a substantial Trinidad and Tobago diaspora.

The discussions encompassed various key issues, including energy, education, crime prevention, training, and technical assistance. National security and firearms trafficking were also focal points, with the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative playing a role. The talks briefly touched on Venezuela, energy security, cyber and digital policy, and Haiti’s ongoing instability.

Prime Minister Rowley also met with United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai, to explore opportunities for expanding the bilateral economic partnership, including discussions on the Caribbean Basin Initiative and supply chain management.

The Trinidad and Tobago delegation included Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Minister, Dr. Amery Browne; Minister of Energy and Energy Industries and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Stuart Young; Minister of Digital Transformation, Assel Bacchus; and Chief of Defence Staff of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, Air Vice-Marshal Darryl Daniel.

World’s Largest Cruise Ship Docks At Port Zante, St. Kitts On Maiden Voyage

News Americas, BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Tues. Jan. 30, 2024: The world’s largest cruise ship, “Icon of the Seas,” made its inaugural voyage and docked at Port Zante in St. Kitts today, with approximately 5,610 passengers on board.

Marsha Henderson, the Tourism Minister, emphasized the significant role of tourism, contributing over 40% to the country’s GDP, providing livelihoods for many.

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES – JANUARY 27: Onlookers gather at South Pointe Park to watch Royal Caribbean’s “Icon of the Seas”, the world’s largest cruise ship, as it sailed from Port Miami on its maiden cruise, in Miami Beach, Florida on January 27, 2024. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/Anadolu via Getty Images)

She expressed satisfaction with the arrival of “Icon of the Seas” and praised industry partners and stakeholders for their execution. The ship belongs to the Oasis Class, the fourth or fifth of its kind to visit St. Kitts since 2011, demonstrating Royal Caribbean’s confidence in the destination.

Elison “Tommy” Thompson, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, celebrated the strong partnership with Royal Caribbean and the ship’s first call at St. Kitts, expressing pride in the ongoing collaboration.

Russel Benford, Vice President of Government Relations for the Americas and the Royal Caribbean Group, described the ship as a symbol of innovation, representing seven years of design and construction. The Icon of the Seas reflects 50 years of innovation in the cruise industry and features notable sustainability efforts, including a waste energy system and the use of LNG for cleaner, more sustainable operations.

The Icon of the Seas embarked on its first voyage from Miami and is set to visit two other countries before concluding its inaugural journey.

Guyanese-Born, Windies Bowler Joins Peshawar Zalmi For Pakistan Super League

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Jan. 30, 2024: Guyana-born, West Indies’ rising fast bowler, Shamar Joseph, has been signed by Peshawar Zalmi for the upcoming Pakistan Super League, (PSL), scheduled for later this month.

This move comes just two days after Joseph’s standout performance in the second Test match in Brisbane on January 27th, which helped the Windies men to victory.

Shamar Joseph of West Indies reacts after he was gifted a shift by Pat Cummins of Australia during day four of the Second Test match in the series between Australia and West Indies at The Gabba on January 28, 2024 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

The 24-year-old, who recently made his debut in Adelaide, was initially brought in as a replacement for England fast bowler Gus Atkinson. Peshawar Zalmi had initially named Atkinson as a replacement for Afghan spinner Noor Ahmad. However, since Atkinson is currently on England’s tour of India, Joseph was chosen as the stand-in.

Peshawar Zalmi confirmed Joseph’s inclusion in their squad on X, formerly known as Twitter, stating, “Fans asked, we delivered. Welcome to the Zalmi family Shamar Joseph.”

Although Joseph was initially signed as a replacement, ESPNCricinfo reported that he is expected to stay with the team for the entire tournament, which runs from February 17 to March 24.

If this arrangement holds, it means that Joseph, who has limited experience with only seven first-class matches, will be available for only the last two rounds of the Cricket West Indies four-day championship, commencing on February 7.

Joseph will find familiar faces at Peshawar Zalmi, including West Indies’ white-ball head coach, Darren Sammy, who will serve as Zalmi’s head coach for the upcoming season. Additionally, Twenty20 captain Rovman Powell is expected to feature for the team.

Joseph made headlines with his performance during the West Indies’ two-Test tour of Australia. He secured a five-wicket haul on his debut in the Adelaide Test, despite the team losing by ten wickets. Joseph continued to impress by taking an astounding seven for 68 in the second Test, leading West Indies to an unexpected eight-run victory at the Gabba.

The under-strength West Indies had initially lost the opening game in Adelaide by 10 wickets but hit back strongly to win the second Test by eight runs in Brisbane, to force a 1-1 draw in the series.

The series result halted a worrisome run of nine consecutive series defeats, with the Brisbane victory marking West Indies’ first in Tests Down Under for 27 years.

Although Joseph has limited experience in T20 cricket, having played just two matches for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the 2023 Caribbean Premier League, his remarkable talent has earned him a spot in the Peshawar Zalmi squad for the PSL.

Joseph was born in Baracara, a small community in East Berbice-Corentyne, Guyana, about 225 km up the Canje River, and two days by boat from the port city of New Amsterdam. Joseph was named Man of the Match and Man of the Series for his shattering wicket-taking at the Gabba.

Cricket Windies

Dr. Kishore Shallow, President of Cricket West Indies, remarked “This victory is a testament to the indomitable spirit of West Indies cricket. It demonstrates our ability to rise above adversity and justly be among the world’s cricketing elite. “

President Shallow continued, “Captain Kraigg Brathwaite’s exemplary leadership has been instrumental in guiding our team through challenges and victories alike. His resilience, determination, and unwavering dedication to the cause have inspired this young team and every member of our cricketing fraternity.”

Sir Curtly’s Advice

Meanwhile, renowned former fast bowler Sir Curtly Ambrose has advised Joseph, to concentrate on the longer format of the game to refine his skills.

Following Joseph’s impressive performance in the second Test against Australia in Brisbane, Sir Curtly emphasized the importance of establishing a strong foundation in red-ball cricket before venturing into shorter formats.

Speaking on the matter, Sir Curtly stated, “I believe that he loves cricket in general and it doesn’t matter whether it’s Test, ODI, or T20 cricket. I believe he is just passionate  about cricket.”

He continued, “But for me, I would love to see him continue playing red-ball cricket for a while so that he can develop his skills. Because we know sometimes as a young player as you gain success you are wanted in the T20 franchise cricket around the world.”

Get Ready For ICC Men’s T20 World Cup In Lauderhill, Florida

News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Jan. 30, 2024: The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 is set to captivate cricket fans again in Broward county Florida.

The tournament will be hosted across three venues in the USA, including at the Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida, and six in the Caribbean, promising a thrilling 29-day cricket extravaganza. Lauderhill will come alive with the first match on June 11th with Nepal facing Sri Lanka while the USA takes on Ireland on June 14th.  On June 15th, India will face Canada while Pakistan faces Ireland on June 16th.

FLASHBACK – The West Indies team lost their second T-20 match up at the Central Broward Stadium in Lauderhill, Fl.

With ten of the 20 participating teams kicking off their campaigns in the USA, cricket enthusiasts can expect 16 exciting clashes in Lauderhill, Dallas, and New York. One of the most highly anticipated matches of the tournament, India vs. Pakistan, is scheduled to take place at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in Long Island on June 9th.

In the Caribbean, 41 matches will unfold across six different islands, leading up to the semi-finals in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. The grand finale will be held in Barbados on June 29, promising an exhilarating conclusion to the tournament.

The event features four groups, each comprising five teams. The top two teams from each group will progress to the Super Eight phase, followed by the knockout semi-finals and the ultimate title showdown.

Group A boasts co-hosts USA, arch-rivals India and Pakistan, Canada making their tournament debut, and European side Ireland.

Group B features the past two Men’s T20 World Cup winners, England and Australia, who will face off against Namibia, Scotland, and Oman.

Group C sees the West Indies joined by New Zealand, Afghanistan, Uganda, and Papua New Guinea.

Group D showcases South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Netherlands, and Nepal.

The tournament kicks off on June 1 with the co-hosts USA taking on neighbours Canada in Dallas. Meanwhile, fellow hosts West Indies will challenge Papua New Guinea in Guyana on the tournament’s second day.

Cricket fans around the world can look forward to a thrilling competition, with teams battling for T20 cricket supremacy across the USA and the Caribbean.

For the full fixture list of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, refer to the provided schedule below:

Dates         Matches    Groups      Venues

June 1        USA vs Canada  Group A    Dallas

June 2        West Indies vs Papua New Guinea         Group C    Guyana

June 2        Namibia vs Oman        Group B    Barbados

June 3        Sri Lanka vs South Africa    Group D    New York

June 3        Afghanistan vs Uganda         Group C    Guyana

June 4        England vs Scotland   Group B    Barbados

June 4        Netherlands vs Nepal  Group D    Dallas

June 5        India vs Ireland  Group A    New York

June 5        Papua New Guinea vs Uganda      Group C    Guyana

June 5        Australia vs Oman       Group B    Barbados

June 6        USA vs Pakistan          Group A    Dallas

June 6        Namibia vs Scotland   Group B    Barbados

June 7        Canada vs Ireland        Group A    New York

June 7        New Zealand vs Afghanistan         Group C    Guyana

June 7        Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh      Group D    Dallas

June 8        Netherlands vs South Africa          Group D    New York

June 8        Australia vs England   Group B    Barbados

June 8        West Indies vs Uganda         Group C    Guyana

June 9        India vs Pakistan         Group A    New York

June 9        Oman vs Scotland       Group B    Antigua and Barbuda

June 10      South Africa vs Bangladesh Group D    New York

June 11      Pakistan vs Canada      Group A    New York

June 11      Sri Lanka vs Nepal      Group D    Lauderhill

June 11      Australia vs Namibia   Group B    Antigua and Barbuda

June 12      z        Group A    New York

June 12      West Indies vs New Zealand         Group C    Trinidad and Tobago

June 13      England vs Oman        Group B    Antigua and Barbuda

June 13      Bangladesh vs Netherlands  Group D    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

June 13      Afghanistan vs Papua New Guinea        Group C    Trinidad and Tobago

June 14      USA vs Ireland   Group A    Lauderhill

June 14      South Africa vs Nepal Group D    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

June 14      New Zealand vs Uganda       Group C    Trinidad and Tobago

June 15      India vs Canada  Group A    Lauderhill

June 15      Namibia vs England    Group B    Antigua and Barbuda

June 15      Australia vs Scotland  Group B    Saint Lucia

June 16      Pakistan vs Ireland      Group A    Lauderhill

June 16      Bangladesh vs Nepal   Group D    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

June 16      Sri Lanka vs Netherlands     Group D    Saint Lucia

June 17      New Zealand vs Papua New Guinea       Group C    Trinidad and Tobago

June 17      West Indies vs Afghanistan  Group C    Saint Lucia

June 19      A2 vs D1   Group 2     Antigua and Barbuda

June 19      B1 vs C2   Group 2     Saint Lucia

June 20      C1 vs A1   Group 1     Barbados

June 20      B2 vs D2   Group 1     Antigua and Barbuda

June 21      B1 vs D1   Group 2     Saint Lucia

June 21      A2 vs C2   Group 2     Barbados

June 22      A1 vs D2   Group 1     Antigua and Barbuda

June 22      C1 vs B2   Group 1     Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

June 23      A2 vs B1   Group 2     Barbados

June 23      C2 vs D1   Group 2     Antigua and Barbuda

June 24      B2 vs A1   Group 1     Saint Lucia

June 24      C1 vs D1   Group 1     Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

June 26      TBD Semi-final 1        Guyana

June 27      TBD Semi-final 2        Trinidad and Tobago

June 29      TBD Final Barbados.

iOS 17.3 Brings In The Unity Wallpaper To Mark Black History Month

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Jan. 29, 2024: As per the latest reports, the iOS 17.3 update was rolled out on Monday this week. It’s quite impactful and astonishing at the same time since it’s already the third update rolled out with the release of the latest iPhone 15. But what’s in it? For starters, it has brought the ‘Unity Wallpaper’ to celebrate Black History Month.

Unity Wallpaper

With the latest update, users can get the Unity wallpaper that celebrates Black History Month. The artwork itself is super-amazing and brings a great touch to the aesthetics. The Pan African wallpaper represents the Black culture as well as presents a surreal display.


Users can get this wallpaper for iPhones, iPad, and Mac and even for Apple watch. Another amazing thing is that it comes with the perfect resolution for all devices with its portrait orientation. You can easily get the new wallpaper from the Apple’s Unity section, and show your support.

What Else Did iPhone Users Get with 17.3?

In addition, users can also use the device to stream to the TV directly in selected hotels. Linked devices to the user’s Apple ID will get AppleCare and warranty information too. Plus, there has been an improvement in the crash detection feature present in iPhone 14 and 15.

Updated Security Features

Apple is renowned for its security features and we can all agree that it’s true. It’s one of the reasons why the fans of Blackberry switched to the iPhone when it got its security compromised. But thankfully, the 17.3 update brings some robust security features too.

It has added the ‘stolen device protection’ feature, offering an additional layer of security to the users. With this update, users can prevent thieves from accessing sensitive information. This will be done by the addition of Touch ID or Face ID requirements for such resources such as iCloud keychain, Apple Card, etc.

Moreover, the feature will also cause an hour delay as well as add an additional two biometric scans, making it difficult for any unauthorized person to operate the device. The update was highly focused on providing security to the users in case of theft.

Thieves would later acquire passwords and lock the users out of the Apple accounts while accessing financial accounts, emails, and other sensitive information. Most importantly, if any user finds out the passcode and steals the device, the added protective feature will keep them at bay from accessing sensitive information.

Collaborative Playlists

Apple Music players will now be able to collaborate with others using the playlist. From inviting friends to add more songs to the playlist to sending emojis on them, users can do much more than just listen to music.

If you’re into streaming music without any hassle, then get a smooth internet connection such as Comcast Internet to enjoy the experience with your pals uninterruptedly.

The good thing is that this update was initially introduced in the beta for the 17.2 update; however, it was officially rolled out in this one.

Kidnapped Nuns Released In Haiti

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Jan. 26, 2024: The Archbishop of Haiti, Max Leroy Mésidor, has announced the release of the nuns who were kidnapped last week, along with two others. The revelation came late Wednesday in a statement from the archbishop.

A man armed with a machete runs in a street of Solino, a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 18, 2024. (Photo by RICHARD PIERRIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Last Friday, Jan. 19th, armed gunmen hijacked a bus in Port-au-Prince, taking all of the passengers hostage, including six nuns from the order of the Sisters of Saint Anne.

“The archdiocese of Port-au-Prince thanks the Lord for the liberation of the six religious sisters and the others who were kidnapped on Jan. 19,” said Mesidor. “This traumatising event has, once more, tested our faith, but it remains unbreakable.”

This latest high-profile kidnapping prompted religious leaders to issue a scathing letter criticizing the government for its inaction in addressing Haiti’s surge in gang-related violence.

The statement did not disclose whether a ransom had been paid or provide details about those responsible.

Meanwhile, the Vatican’s official news outlet welcomed the announcement on Thursday, stating, “This marks a sigh of relief for the Haitian church.”

On Sunday, Pope Francis called for the release of hostages and expressed his prayers for an end to the violence in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state. The United Nations estimates that over 4,700 people have been killed in Haiti in the past year due to the ongoing violence.

Will Bob Marley’s Biopic Ignite The Box Office?

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Jan. 26, 2024: Paramount’s upcoming musical biopic, “Bob Marley: One Love,” is poised to inject life into the somewhat lackluster 2024 box office, which is currently trailing last year’s numbers by 9%.

(L-R) Brian Robbins, James Norton, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Mike Ireland, Robert Teitel, Reinaldo Marcus Green and Jeremy Kleiner attend the Premiere of “Bob Marley: One Love” at the Carib 5 Theatre on January 23, 2024 in Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Starring Trinidadian roots and British-born actor Kingsley Ben-Adir, the film is expected to dominate the six-day holiday frame from February 14th to 19th, encompassing Valentine’s Day through President’s Day, with an anticipated box office haul ranging from $27 million to $33 million. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the movie portrays the life of the iconic reggae musician, Bob Marley, who passed away at the age of 36 due to cancer. Actress Lashana Lynch takes on the role of Marley’s wife, Rita, in the film.

(L-R) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Andrew Holness, Juliet Holness and Olivia Grange attend the Premiere of “Bob Marley: One Love” at the Carib 5 Theatre on January 23, 2024 in Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Paramount recently held the first global screening of “Bob Marley: One Love,” in Kingston, Jamaica, the hometown of the legendary musician. The event was celebrated with the Marley family, the film’s stars, and local fans. Rita Marley received a standing ovation at the Carib 5 Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 23rd.

In a surprising turn of events, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made an unexpected appearance at the premiere held at the Carib Theatre in Kingston. During the event, Meghan and Harry engaged in conversations with fellow attendees on the red carpet, including Ziggy Marley, son of Bob Marley. The couple also took photos with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Brian Robbins, the president and CEO of Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, along with his wife Tracy James.

Sygnus Credit Investments Marks First Listing of 2024 On Jamaica Stock Exchange

News Americas, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Fri. Jan. 26, 2024: Jamaican company, Sygnus Credit Investments, (SCI), has made a significant move by listing its preference share offer on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, (JSE). This listing, which occurred on January 19th, marks the first of the year and is part of a larger strategic move by the company.

The preference share offer comprised three tranches and garnered considerable attention from investors. In fact, it was oversubscribed by an impressive 102% following a successful closing in December. This achievement highlights the strong demand for SCI’s offerings in the market.

Jason Morris, Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President, Sygnus, inserts strip as members of the Sygnus, JMMB and Jamaica Stock Exchange teams look on. (Front L to R) Dr Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director, JSE Group, Karl Townsend, Chief Country Officer (Jamaica), Capital Markets Unit, JMMB, Linval Freeman, Chairman, Sygnus Credit Investments. (Back L to R) Berisford Grey, CEO and President, Sygnus, Alana Lawrence, Manager Capital Markets Unit, JMMB, and Gregory Samuels, Lead Arranger, Head of Investment Banking and Senior Vice President, Sygnus Capital.

This transaction is noteworthy not only for SCI but also for the JSE. It represents the largest capital raise in SCI’s history and stands as the largest capital raise on the JSE in over a year. Additionally, in terms of USD capital raise, it is the most significant transaction on the JSE since SCI’s initial public offering.

Dr. Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the JSE Group, commended SCI for effectively utilizing the stock market to further its strategic plans. She noted that this listing represents a remarkable start to the year, surpassing the total capital raised in the main, junior, and US-denominated markets for 2023.

All three classes of SCI’s preference shares saw overwhelming interest from investors. The company successfully raised a total of J$8.0 billion equivalent. This substantial capital infusion reflects investor confidence in SCI’s growth prospects and its ability to deliver value.

Berisford Grey, CEO and President of Sygnus, expressed his gratitude to subscribers and emphasized the company’s pioneering role in the alternative investment space. He highlighted SCI’s commitment to driving economic growth across the region and creating wealth for investors.

SCI’s diverse investment approach encompasses various industries, including manufacturing, distribution, financial services, energy, and more. The company remains focused on expanding its private credit portfolio and participating in private credit transactions across the Caribbean, with a target of at least US$1 billion over the next three years.

Karl Townsend, JMMB’s Chief Country Officer (Jamaica), Capital Markets Unit, praised the overwhelming response to the offering. JMMB played a significant role in the success of the preference share offer, raising J$1.6 billion and US$40 million through JMMB Moneyline and its newly launched JMMB Moneyline IPO.

The successful listing of SCI’s preference shares underscores the company’s growth trajectory and the strong partnership between SCI and JMMB. It also highlights the growing investor interest in this asset class and the confidence in SCI’s strategic direction.

SCI’s listing on the JSE represents a significant milestone for the company and the exchange. It reflects SCI’s commitment to growth, innovation, and delivering value to its investors. The capital raised will enable SCI to pursue its ambitious growth initiatives in the Caribbean region.