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Updated: 10 weeks 6 days ago

Teen injured in Phaneromeni stabbing

Mon, 2017-08-07 18:08

Police said Monday they were investigating a case of attempted murder after a 16-year-old was apparently stabbed in the throat and chest in the afternoon.

Police said the incident happened at around 3am while the teenager was hanging out at the Phaneromeni church courtyard at the centre of Nicosia with a friend, 17.

The pair were attacked by three individuals, resulting in the teen needing medical treatment for throat and chest injuries caused by a sharp instrument, police said.

The teen underwent surgery and his condition was stable. The 17-year-old was treated and later discharged.

Nicosia CID were on the case.


The post Teen injured in Phaneromeni stabbing appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

After military shake-up, Erdogan says Turkey to tackle Kurds in Syria

Mon, 2017-08-07 18:00

Days after a reshuffle of Turkey’s top military commanders, President Tayyip Erdogan has revived warnings of military action against Kurdish fighters in Syria that could set back the US-led battle against Islamic State.

Kurdish militia are spearheading an assault against the hardline militants in their Syrian stronghold Raqqa, from where Islamic State has planned attacks around the world for the past three years.

But US backing for the Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria has infuriated Turkey, which views their growing battlefield strength as a security threat due to a decades-old insurgency by the Kurdish PKK within in its borders.

There have been regular exchanges of rocket and artillery fire in recent weeks between Turkish forces and YPG fighters who control part of Syria’s northwestern border.

Turkey, which has the second largest army in Nato after the United States, reinforced that section of the border at the weekend with artillery and tanks and Erdogan said Turkey was ready to take action.

“We will not leave the separatist organization in peace in both Iraq and Syria,” Erdogan said in a speech on Saturday in the eastern town of Malatya, referring to the YPG in Syria and PKK bases in Iraq. “We know that if we do not drain the swamp, we cannot get rid of flies.”

The YPG denies Turkish allegations of links with Kurdish militants inside Turkey, saying it is only interested in self-rule in Syria and warning that any Turkish assault will draw its fighters away from the battle against Islamic State which they are waging in an alliance with local Arab forces.

Erdogan’s comments follow the appointment of three new leaders of Turkey’s army, air force and navy last week – moves which analysts and officials said were at least partly aimed at preparing for any campaign against the YPG militia.

Turkish forces swept into north Syria last year to seize territory from Islamic State, while also cutting off Kurdish-controlled northeast Syria from the Kurdish pocket of Afrin further west. They thereby prevented Kurdish control over almost the whole sweep of the border – Ankara’s worst-case scenario.

Recent clashes have centred around the Arab towns of Tal Rifaat and Minnigh, near Afrin, which are held by the Kurdish YPG and allied fighters.

Erdogan said Turkey’s military incursion last year dealt a blow to “terrorist projects” in the region and promised further action. “We will make new and important moves soon,” he said.

A fighter of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) stands atop a sand barricade at the northeastern province of al-Hasaka

His comments follow weeks of warnings from Turkey of possible military action against the YPG.

Washington’s concern to prevent any confrontation which deflects the Kurdish forces attacking Raqqa may help stay Ankara’s hand, but a Turkish government source said last week’s changes in military leadership have prepared the ground.

“With this new structure, some steps will be taken to be more active in the struggle against terror,” the source said. “A structure that acts according to the realities of the region will be formed”.

The battle for Raqqa has been underway since June, and a senior US official said on Friday that 2,000 Islamic State fighters are believed to be still defending positions and “fighting for every last block” in the city.

Even after the recapture of Raqqa, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has left open the possibility of longer-term American assistance to the YPG.

The influence of Turkey’s once-dominant military has decreased dramatically since Erdogan came to power nearly 15 years ago. A purge in senior ranks since last year’s failed military coup has stripped it of 40 per cent of top officers.

Last Wednesday’s appointments were issued by the Supreme Military Council, a body which despite its name is now dominated by politicians loyal to Erdogan.

“Of course the political will is behind these decisions, Erdogan’s preferences are behind them,” the source said. “But the restructuring of the Turkish Armed Forces and the demand for a more active fight against the PKK and Islamic State also has a role”.

Vacancies in senior military ranks resulting from the year-long purge would not be filled immediately, he said, but would be addressed over time.

While all three forces – air, land and sea – are under new command, focus has centred on the new army chief Yasar Guler. As head of Turkey’s gendarmerie, he was seen to take a tough line against the PKK and the movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen blamed by the government for the July 2016 coup attempt.

Ankara considers the YPG an extension of the PKK, which is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

Can Kasapoglu, a defence analyst at the Istanbul-based Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (Edam), said the YPG “remains at the epicentre of Turkey’s threat perception”.

Guler was well-placed to address Turkey’s “transnational counter-terrorism priorities” and lead the campaign against Kurdish forces because of his past roles as chief of military intelligence, head of gendarmerie and postings to Nato.

“There is an undeniable likelihood that Turkey’s new top military chain of command might have to lead a major campaign against the YPG,” Kasapoglu said.

Guler is now favourite to take over from the overall head of the Turkish armed forces, General Hulusi Akar, who is due to step down in two years.

“Guler gets on well with members of Erdogan’s AK Party and is known for his hardline performance against the PKK…and the Gulen movement,” said Metin Gurcan an independent security analyst and retired Turkish military officer who now writes a column for Al-Monitor news website.

For the president, who faces a re-election campaign in 2019, a smooth succession from Akar to Guler would avoid any military upheaval which could send his plans off-course, Gurcan said.

“Until 2023, Erdogan should have smooth sailing without disruption from the Turkish armed forces.”

The post After military shake-up, Erdogan says Turkey to tackle Kurds in Syria appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

Volume of new loans highest since 2013

Mon, 2017-08-07 18:00

Moody’s rating agency said it expects the volume of new loans in Cyprus in 2017 to be the highest since 2013, pointing out that an increase while maintaining strong underwriting standards and best practices, will be credit positive for banks.

The rating agency cites the quarterly bank lending survey issued last Tuesday by the Central Bank of Cyprus, which forecast increased loan demand in third quarter 2017, mainly in mortgage and business loans.

The increase is being driven by accelerating economic growth, an improving labour market that increased business and consumer confidence and a gradual recovery of the property market, the bank said.

Building permits issued in the first four months of 2017 reached the highest level since the 2013 banking crisis.

It also notes that the banks expect demand for loans by non-financial corporates and mortgage borrowers to increase in the third quarter of this year, and expect that lending standards, which tightened in 2014 and remained stable since, will not change.

“We expect the volume of new loans this year to be the highest since 2013,” Moody’s said.

New loans excluding debt restructurings totalled €1.6bn in the first six months of 2017, or 67 per cent of new loan volume for the entire 2016.

“The increase in new lending will support banks’ net interest income and curtail declining pre-provision profit and contracting loan books from write-offs of bad debts,” it added, noting also that higher revenues will support banks’ capacity to further improve their balance sheet by writing off bad loans.


The post Volume of new loans highest since 2013 appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

Shares in MetLife spin-off fall on trading debut

Mon, 2017-08-07 17:58
Brighthouse Financial launches on Nasdaq after extensive regulatory scrutiny

Greenhill: twice bitten

Mon, 2017-08-07 17:55
Another year, another first-half slump for the boutique merger adviser

Prudential confronts question of a break-up

Mon, 2017-08-07 17:46
Life insurer more open to splitting off UK business to focus on Asia, say investors

Stefanidi completes collection of major pole vault titles

Mon, 2017-08-07 17:43

Greece’s Ekaterini Stefanidi, the new queen of the pole vault, added the one missing gold medal to her big-event collection when she soared to the world title with the best vault of her life on Sunday.

In a repeat of last year’s Olympic final in Rio de Janeiro, the destination of the gold came down to a straight fight between the ever-consistent 27-year-old Stefanidi and American Sandi Morris.

In Rio, Stefanidi had won on countback but this time the victory was much more emphatic as she had 16 centimetres to spare over Morris, clearing a national record 4.91 metres to her rival’s 4.75m.

It meant that Stefanidi, who has been winning championships since she took the world youth title 12 years ago and has been unbeaten in eight competitions this summer, added the world crown to her Olympic and European titles.

She wrapped up her latest victory with a first-time clearance at 4.82m, having brushed the bar faintly, as Morris, having failed once at that height, then gambled on pushing the bar up to 4.89m and failed twice.

Freed to enjoy herself, Stefanidi had the bar raised to 4.91m which she cleared, again brushing the bar, to add five centimetres to her national record and record the best leap in the world this year.

Then, she tried to break Yelena Isinbayeva’s championship record but had three failures at 5.02m. Still, it did not stop her having fun, parading with the national flag as the strains of Zorba the Greek rang round the stadium.

Cuba’s defending champion Yarisley Silva and Venezuela’s Robeilys Peinado were both awarded bronze medals. The pair could not be separated on countback, having both cleared 4.65m. Peinado’s vault equalled her national record.

The post Stefanidi completes collection of major pole vault titles appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

Migrants try '17,000 times' to reach UK in 2017

Mon, 2017-08-07 17:34
Since January there have been more than 17,000 recorded attempts by migrants to board UK-bound trucks and trains at the port and Eurotunnel in Calais.

Another Guaba Sunday

Mon, 2017-08-07 17:00

While making plans for the weekend, it will be difficult to avoid a trip to the beach so why not make it an awesome trip with booming music and a party atmosphere.

Guaba will be at it again on Sunday hosting Fedde Le Grand – considered to be one of the most defining figures in the fast-evolving genre of House music.

The DJ and producer got us all putting our hands up in 2006 with his track ‘Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit’ and is now ready to once again make some waves at Guaba.

Apart from being known for his ability to create huge mainstream hits for himself, he is also known for his remixing abilities for famous artists. A couple of the names, Shakira and Rihanna, may sound a bit familiar.

Millions have witnessed him at the world’s biggest festivals and most legendary dance floors, including the Ultra Music Festival, Tomorrowland and Ministry of Sound. Continuing to break boundaries, Le Grand went forth and created his own genre-defying show concept GRAND. By combining live theatre with dance, this show really is the next big thing when it comes to dance.

Fedde Le Grand
Live performance by the DJ and others. August 13. Guaba Beach Bar, Limassol. 12pm-9pm. Tel: 96-340000

The post Another Guaba Sunday appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

Otkritie founder retakes helm after $1.7bn fall in deposits

Mon, 2017-08-07 16:54
Belyaev says he wants to reassure clients after collapse of another Russian lender

'Global shortage' of hepatitis B vaccine

Mon, 2017-08-07 16:47
A global shortage of the hepatitis B vaccine has been declared by Public Health England (PHE) because of manufacturing problems.