Mania Oikonomou

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Article 50 letter: Read it in full

• Annotated: What does the Article 50 letter really mean?<p>Theresa May has officially triggered Article 50 with a letter informing the European Council of Britain's intention to leave the European Union.<p>Read here in full, the six-page Brexit letter which launches two years of negotiations.<p>On 23 June …

United Kingdom

These are the lessons from Greece's 'nightmare'

The Greeks have faced a unique and debilitating confluence of challenges — excessive deficits and debt, diminishing competitiveness, increasing nonperforming loans, political upheaval, a breakdown of social cohesion, and further destabilization and security concerns because of the arrival of …

George Osborne warns of further cuts as 'storm clouds' gather

Chancellor says he will address gloomy economic outlook in budget and ‘this country can only afford what it can afford’<p>George Osborne has warned he may have to impose bigger than expected cuts to public spending towards the end of the current parliament as the “storm clouds” in the global economy …

Economics

Mental illness is a result of misery, yet still we stigmatise it

It matters how we talk and think about mental health. Get it wrong, and people can end up being misled, or even worse, hurt. Last week the BBC ran a well-intentioned season about mental health that, unfortunately, gave a completely lopsided view of psychiatry.<p>The best prescription for mental …

Mental Health

It’s the £30bn cut you’ve never heard of. And women are bearing the brunt

‘I’m going to let rip … I’m knackered.’’ Thus did the Tory MP Nadine Dorries out herself at 58 as a member of what some are calling the wronged generation. We’re arguably all knackered, of course. Small children traipse yawning to school, hollow-eyed mothers down double espressos at their desks, …

George Osborne

The EU referendum is already following the Scottish playbook, Project Fear 2.0

In 2014 the government set about frightening voters about the apocalypse that would follow an end to the union – and now it’s doing the same for Europe<p>Let’s call it Project Fear 2.0. As the remain campaign moves up the gears, it has the considerable advantage of a road-tested playbook.<p>In the run-up …

Civil Service

Croatia and Slovenia impose limits on refugee numbers

Two EU states say they will allow no more than 580 refugees and migrants a day to enter their territories<p>Croatia and Slovenia have become the latest countries to impose strict limits on the number of refugees allowed to cross their borders.<p>The two European Union member states announced that no more …

Europe

Voting extended as high turnout expected in Iran parliamentary elections

Long queues reported at polling stations, which may signal good news for President Rouhani’s reformist-moderate alliance<p>Millions of Iranians have turned out to vote in the first polls since last summer’s landmark nuclear agreement and the lifting of sanctions.<p>The elections are a key test of support …

Asia

Poetry and silence: Iran's Kurds tread the line between art and activism

In a sleepy town in Iranian Kurdistan, people take off their winter coats. It is evening, and outside one can just about discern the silhouettes of the mountains that lead to the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Inside, some 60 people fill the small community centre with a clammy heat. But it is not just …

Middle East

'Lagos shows how a city can recover from a deep, deep pit': Rem Koolhaas talks to Kunlé Adeyemi

<i>Guardian Cities: In the late 1990s, you worked in Lagos on a project that was never published. Why not, and what was the city like then?</i><p>Rem Koolhaas: When we went in the late 1990s, Nigeria was still in a dictatorship. So we didn’t go with a mission. It started really with a sort of blankness and …

Urbanization

19 of the most bizarre buildings around the world

Buildings have gone from using lava as clay for walls to having the ability to electronically rotate to change up the view from the windows.<p>While architectural possibilities have grown to a whole new level, buildings are becoming more and more advanced — and more wacky.<p>Ahead, 19 odd buildings that …

The Jew/Atheist Paradox

When I recently wrote about Godless Jews, I cited a Harris survey that surprised a lot of people. The majority of Jews don't believe in God. They are atheists. What makes this result even more interesting is another finding in a Pew Research Center survey on how Americans feel about different …

Are 'Treescrapers' the Future of Dense Urban Living?

A vertical garden tower just won a significant award for architecture. Is it time to start taking these designs seriously?<p>Passive House designers are the Fremen of the architectural world. They look at buildings the same way that <i>Dune</i>’s noble desert tribe thinks about water. For the Fremen, the …

What Higher Consciousness Really Means, How We Attain It, and What It Does for the Human Spirit

“At such moments, the world reveals itself as quite different: a place of suffering and misguided effort … but also a place of tenderness and longing, beauty, and touching vulnerability. “<p><i>“[Leonardo da Vinci’s] unique brain wiring … allowed him the opportunity to experience the world from the</i> …

Leonardo Da Vinci

The mistaken racial theory of gentrification

Like all major economic and demographic shifts, gentrification has upended familiar ways of life. It has also led to dubious, racially tinged theories. In left-leaning blog posts and articles, changes wrought in places like Harlem or Inglewood are routinely described as "ethnic cleansing" or …

Jihadi John 'dead': MI5 on alert amid fears of Isil revenge attack - as it happened

American officials say we may never know whether the drone strike did indeed kill Jihadi John

Islamic State (ISIS)

'Our rage will be relentless': Syriza faces mass strike in Greece

Prime minister Alexis Tsipras under pressure as services including schools, hospitals, and banks are hit by 24-hour walkout<p>Greece’s leftist-led government will get a taste of people power on Thursday when workers participate in a general strike that will be the first display of mass resistance to …

Europe

First genetically modified humans could exist within two years

Humans who have had their DNA genetically modified could exist within two years after a private biotech company announced plans to start the first trials into a ground-breaking new technique.<p>Editas Medicine, which is based in the US, said it plans to become the first lab in the world to …

These Are the Best Architectural Images of the Year

The winners of the 2015 Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards were announced last week as part of the the World Architecture Festival—and …

Architecture

Unbowed by criticism, Osborne announces new government cuts | Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor George Osborne announced on Monday a wide-ranging set of government spending cuts as part of his ambitious plan to turn Britain’s deficit into a surplus by 2020.<p>Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers a speech on the spending review, at the White …

Greece fails at first bail-out hurdle as new creditor stalemate beckons

EU powers and Athens stall on insolvency laws and bank rehabilitation amid fears bail-out is failing at the first hurdle<p>Greece has failed in its attempt to secure the first release of cash under its €87bn bail-out package, as creditor powers deemed the country had failed to make enough progress on …

The Daily Routines of 12 Famous Writers (And How They Can Help You Succeed)

How many people die with their best work still inside them?<p>We often assume that great things are done by those who were blessed with natural talent, genius, and skill. But how many great things could have been done by people who never fully realized their potential? I think many of us, myself …

Greek bailout tranche delayed as Athens fails to deliver

Greece has been denied the next tranche in its bailout after eurozone finance ministers said Athens had not delivered on a series of reforms to …

Greece: No agreement with creditors on bailout release

BRUSSELS (AP) — Greece failed to convince European creditors Monday to release vital bailout funds to shore up the country's public coffers and its …

Do black holes reverse time?

THINK of a holographic picture.<p>It’s a flat, two-dimensional film. But it contains all the information our eyes need to perceive a three-dimensional …

The “awww!” response to cuteness isn’t just biological, it’s philosophical

Cute kittens and cuddly toys aren’t the highest form of aestheticism, but one Stanford professor, Sianne Ngai, believes “cuteness” is a concept worth studying. And so Ngai, a professor in literary and cultural theory, has developed a philosophical argument about what counts as cute.<p>Cuteness has …

Cute

What Happens to the Brain When You Meditate

Ever since my dad tried to convince me to meditate when I was about 12, I’ve been fairly skeptical of this practice. It always seemed so vague and …

Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

Children from religious families are less kind and more punitive than those from non-religious households, according to a new study.<p>Academics from seven universities across the world studied Christian, Muslim and non-religious children to test the relationship between religion and morality.<p>They …

Religion

The skyscraper at the heart of the debate over America’s green building standard

The skyscraper at One Bryant Park in Manhattan looks like a vision of the future – or at least, what the movies tell us the future will look like. A towering 945 feet of glass, concrete and steel, arranged in crystalline planes, it evokes utopian visions of space-aged cities, hyper-efficient and …

Green Living