Everyone benefits from the new Bahrain-Saudi Causeway
The plan for a new causeway between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia is excellent news for a number of reasons.
Around 40,000 people cross the existing causeway every day, with around 700,000 users recorded during peak months. The existing causeway is often heavily overcrowded, which deters many potential travelers and causes a problem for commercial vehicles which often have to queue for long periods.
A large part of Bahrain’s economy is based on tourism and a substantial proportion of those tourists are accounted for by Bahrain’s much-larger neighbour - with thousands of Saudi families pouring into Bahrain every weekend.
Many Western expats working in Saudi Arabia or other Gulf states chose to base their families in Bahrain and commute, because Bahrain is arguably the most family-friendly country in the region.
However, the attractiveness of commuting into Saudi, tourism across the causeway or using the causeway for trade is strictly limited by the time it takes to get across the existing King Fahad Causeway.
It is humanly possible to leave your home in Bahrain and be in Dammam in Saudi Arabia, in the heart of the Eastern Province’s prosperous oil-producing region in half an hour. However, heavy traffic and hold-ups at passport control can often mean that this journey may take a couple of hours or more.
The King Fahad Causeway dates back to 1986, since which time, the regional population, the number of cars and the level of commercial interactions have increased greatly. The 26 km causeway remains a feat of engineering and is still the longest causeway of its kind in the region.
An additional causeway would make a big difference in speeding up this journey and allowing a greater volume of traffic.
For small businesses that rely on lorries conveying goods between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain this would make travel quicker and therefore more profitable. For Bahraini hotels, restaurants and malls, it would be reasonable to expect a much higher number of foreign visitors. It also makes it far easier to be based in Bahrain but work in various parts of Saudi Arabia – everybody benefits.
This comes at a time when Bahrain is re-shaping its hospitality industry. For example, the recent ban on alcohol in hotels with less than four stars is in part intended to make Bahrain more appealing to families from other parts of the region and to provide an environment more amenable to the expectations of those with children.
Saudi-Bahrain political and economic ties have always been very close. The investment in a new “King Hamad Causeway” shows a long-term commitment from both sides to continue strengthening these ties. This is very much in line with the vision of the GCC and the proposed Gulf Union for raising the prosperity and opportunities for all citizens in the region.
David Cameron pledges sanctuary for child refugees suffering alone in European camps
Up to 3,000 children stuck in squalid and dangerous EU refugee camps will be given a new life in Britain.
Just days after the Mail called for David Cameron to show compassion, he dropped his opposition to the offer of sanctuary yesterday.
Tory MPs, who had been threatening a major revolt, hailed his 'sensible' decision. But they said town halls must be given enough cash to take in the youngsters, some as young as five. Officials are examining whether the first year's costs can be covered by the £12billion-a-year foreign aid budget.
Sanctuary: Children suffering EU refugee camps will be given a new life in Britain after David Cameron dropped his opposition to the plan yesterday. Pictured, children in the 'Jungle' migrant camp in Calais
U-turn: The Prime Minister climbed down after realising the Government would be defeated by Tory rebels pre bonded hair
The Prime Minister had said that letting in young refugees risked encouraging more parents to send children on the dangerous journey alone – in the hope of later joining them here.
But he climbed down after realising the Government would be defeated by Tory rebels in a Commons debate on Monday. Save the Children and other charities will now identify candidates in camps in France, Greece and Italy.
Following Home Office screening, the children will be shared out among councils around the country. Crucially, only those registered as being inside the EU before March 20 will be eligible. That removes the incentive for families to send children to Europe.
Mr Cameron said: 'What I don't want us to do is to take steps that will encourage people to make this dangerous journey because otherwise our actions, however well meaning they will be, could result in more people dying than more people getting a good life.'
Campaigners welcomed the climbdown and praised the Mail's role in changing the Government's mind. In a full-page editorial last week we urged Mr Cameron to set aside his reservations and do more to help. The leading article said the UK had no duty to the children but, in exceptional circumstances, action was needed.
Giving up: Tassil Dawlatzai, 15, left, is going back to Afghanistan after nine months of fruitless attempts to get into Britain. His friend, Mohammed, 14, also pictured, said he is determined to reach England so he can study
Abandoned hope: Some of the youngsters stuck in the Jungle, pictured, are preparing to return home
HOW THE REFUGEE SCHEME WILL WORK
Up to 3,000 unaccompanied children will be rescued from camps inside the EU and brought to the UK.
This will be achieved using two different routes. The Home Office is to bolster an existing scheme – known as Dublin 3 – under which children with family links to Britain will be allowed to move here.
Extra resources will be poured into identifying children with siblings or aunts and uncles in the UK and speeding up their applications.
But, more significantly, there will be a new offer of ‘humanitarian protection’ for children in camps in Greece, Italy or France.
To be eligible, a child must be under 16 and have registered their arrival inside the EU before March 20.
This is the date on which Brussels struck a deal with Turkey to take back refugees who were pouring into the EU.
Save the Children will have the job of identifying and helping youngsters suitable for the scheme. No family link to the UK is required.
The Home Office is then expected to carry out security screening to establish the child’s identity and age.
Once in the UK, they will be allowed to stay for an initial five years. Once this period is up, the case will be reassessed.remy hair extensions
But if their home country is considered safe, they could be sent home at this point.
The duty of care for the children will fall on local authorities, who are now being contacted by the Government with a view to the scheme starting this summer.
The councils will have to find foster homes or places in care. Funding will be provided from Whitehall to ensure town halls do not lose out.
Officials are still working on which government department will pick up the bill. Tory MPs say funding should initially come from the foreign aid budget.
In the days leading up to the U-turn, MPs had applauded the £2billion in aid Mr Cameron has pledged to Syrian refugee camps – but said there was a compassionate case for helping the terrified children already in Europe.
He announced his change of heart at Prime Minister's Questions.
Further details of the U-turn were presented to rebel Tory MPs by James Brokenshire at a meeting yesterday afternoon. The Home Office minister told them 3,000 unaccompanied children were likely to receive asylum in the UK this year under various schemes. They will be allowed to stay for five years.
It is in addition to two Government schemes that will see 23,000 vulnerable women and children brought to the UK from camps close to wartorn Syria.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: 'Today's result would not have happened without the Daily Mail and its readers.
'This is a victory, but it's not the end of the story. The Government must also ensure local authorities are properly funded so that they can help these traumatised children rebuild their lives and achieve their full potential.'
Orphan: Zyrat Ahmadzai in a Jungle caravan. He spends most nights trying to smuggle himself to Britain
Disillusioned: Tassil Dawlatzai, 15, right, and Mohammed, 14, play snooker in the kids' cafe in the Jungle
Desperate: Migrants roam the pathways between the makeshift shacks of the Jungle camp, Calais
Lord Dubs, who fled the Nazis as a child on the Kindertransport and who led the initial Lords revolt, said: 'I welcome the decision, as it will help ease the plight of some of the unaccompanied child refugees in Europe.
'I trust the Prime Minister will be true to his word and move swiftly to ensure the Home Office works closely with local authorities to find foster families to give these young people a stable and secure home.'
Eric Pickles, the former communities secretary who added to the pressure on the PM this weekend, said the Government had made a 'reasonable and sensible' offer.
Sir Eric added: 'The biggest shame in all of this is that the Government had a good case to make. It is right that we don't aid the evil people traffickers. The Prime Minister has to be congratulated.'
David Simmonds, chairman of the Local Government Association's asylum, refugee and migration task group, warned that child refugees should not become the responsibility of only a small number of English councils.
She impressed audiences with her gorgeous legs as she flirted with Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street.
And Margot Robbie’s pins were on display as she strolled around New York City in a short black slip dress paired with a long pink Kimono, on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old showed why she is tipped to be the next Bond girl, showing off her slender physique in the eye-catching number from Spell & The Gypsy Collective.
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Stepping out: Margot Robbie’s trim pins were on display as she wafted around New York City in a short black slip dress paired with a long pink Kimono on Wednesday
The oriental-inspired garment featured broderie anglaise in elaborate flower patterns on the sleeves, shoulders and back, and flowed behind her as she strolled around downtown NYC.
Leaving a Tribeca hotel, the Australian actress smiled behind oversized round metallic sunglasses with her blonde locks tied back in a bun.perruques cheveux naturels
The Hollywood starlet’s complexion was characteristically flawless all over, but years in the Northern Hemisphere appeared to have erased her Australian tan.
All smiles: Leaving a Tribeca hotel, the Australian actress smiled behind oversized round metallic sunglasses with her blonde locks tied back in a bun
High fashion: The 26-year-old showed why she is tipped to be the next Bond girl, showing off her slender physique in the eye-catching number from Spell & The Gypsy Collective
Good taste: The oriental-inspired garment featured broderie anglaise in elaborate flower patterns on the sleeves, shoulders and back, and flowed behind her as she strolled around downtown NYC
She enhanced her look with natural-look makeup and subtle pink lipstick and carried a small black leather handbag to run her errands.
Margot had been at a fitting for the upcoming NYC premiere of her new film Suicide Squad on Monday night.
Tinseltown is abuzz with rumours that the blonde beauty will appear in the next James Bond film as a Bond girl, following a long line of glamorous actresses.
Flawles: The Hollywood starlet’s complexion was characteristically flawless all over, but years in the Northern Hemisphere appeared to have erased her Australian tan
Going natural: She enhanced her look with natural-look makeup and subtle pink lipstick and carried a small black leather handbag to run her errands
Looking her best: Margot had been at a fitting for the upcoming NYC premiere of her new film Suicide Squad on Monday night
Online polls have revealed the 26-year-old stunner is at the strongest odds to fill the role, sitting at 12/1, while Emily Blunt sits at 16/1, according to Paddy Power.
Others sitting at promising odds to star as the much-desired female character are American model and actress Emily Ratajkowski, who sits at 22/1, with Brit Emma Watson further down the line at 40/1.
The Gold Coast girl found her big break in 2013 opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street as the feisty and seductive, Naomi.
Plenty to smile about: Tinseltown is abuzz with rumours that the blonde beauty will appear in the next James Bond film as a Bond girl, following a long line of glamorous actresses
Adoring fans: Margot caused a stir with passersby as she stepped out in NYC
Well made: The beautiful garment had an elaborate rose pattern on its back
More recently, she starred alongside Alexander Skarsgård in The Legend Of Tarzan as Jane.perruques cheveux
As well as the blockbuster, Margot has various other projects in the pipeline, including Suicide Squad, in which she plays Harley Quinn.
Other females who have starred as the prestigious Bond girl include talented beauties Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike and Eva Green.
Next big thing: Online polls have revealed the 26-year-old stunner is at the strongest odds to fill the Bond role, sitting at 12/1, while Emily Blunt sits at 16/1, according to Paddy Power .
In demand actress: As well as the blockbuster, Margot has various other projects in the pipeline, including Suicide Squad, in which she plays Harley Quinn
Following in footsteps: Other females who have starred as the prestigious Bond girl include talented beauties Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike and Eva Green
Although the buzz around who will land the role of Bond girl is growing, the film is not expected to be released until at least 2018.
Producer Barbara Broccoli has two other projects firmly underway and is said to be keen to tempt Daniel Craig into reprising his role as the titular character for the fifth time.
Holding her own: Her breakout role was as DiCaprio's feisty wife, Naomi, on Wolf of Wall Street, which her portrayal earned her international acclaim - and showed off her gorgeous legs to the world
Next week will see the conclusion of the 12th season of The Bachelorette, as Joelle 'JoJo' Fletcher gets engaged to either Jordan Rodgers or Robby Hayes.
And according to a new report, there's set to be a dramatic break-up ahead of the romantic proposal.
Us Weekly claims that JoJo comes to the difficult decision of choosing between the two suitors after one of them makes a big mistake with her parents Joseph and Soraya.
Family matters: Joelle 'JoJo' Fletcher apparently picks her fiance in next week's Bachelorette finale after one of the men makes a big mistake with her parents
Who will it be?: Jordan Rodgers (L) and Robby Hayes are the two men left in the competition, and one of them allegedly gets sent packing after failing to ask JoJo's parents for her hand in marriage
The runner-up gets dumped after failing to ask the 25-year-old's parents' for her hand in marriage, and during the emotional rejection, JoJo confesses that she wanted things to turn out differently.
'JoJo was sobbing,' a source told Us Weekly. 'She told him, “I wanted it to be you.”'
The insider added: 'It was important to JoJo that the guys get her parents’ permission before proposing. JoJo viewed it as disrespectful that he didn’t.'
Us Weekly claims that JoJo's family liked both of the finalists, but thought that the man she eventually picks was better suited to her.
Favourite from the start: Jordan received the First Impression Rose and his relationship with JoJo has gone from strength to strength ever since
Not true: The 27-year-old former quarterback has denied that he cheated on his last girlfriend
'Everyone thought he was husband material,' a source said. 'Later, they told JoJo that they liked the other man too, but they thought the second would be more loyal and a better fit.'
And speaking about the family's meeting with the runner-up, the insider revealed: 'After he left, Soraya said she thought he was a player.'
It seems that JoJo did make the right decision however, as she is apparently still very happily engaged to the winner.lace front wigs
She likes what she sees: JoJo has also fallen in love with former competitive swimmer Robby, 27
Denying the rumours: Robby has refuted claims that he dumped his girlfriend to appear on the show
Former quarterback Jordan, 27, has been a favourite to win the show from night one, when JoJo presented him with the First Impression Rose.
Show secrets: Us Weekly revealed details of the dramatic finale
And while on Monday's episode of the show he was seen telling the real estate developer that asking her father's permission to propose would be very important to him, a clip for the finale showed JoJo asking if he is ready to get down on one knee.
Both of the finalists have faced rumours about past relationships, with Jordan's ex Brittany Farrar claiming that they broke up because she cheated on him. He denied this to JoJo on the show.
The footballer is estranged from his famous NFL star brother Aaron, whose girlfriend Olivia Munn is close pals with Jordan's ex-girlfriend.
Aaron finally addressed his younger brother speaking about their fraught relationship on the show during an interview with WISN on Tuesday.
'As far as those kinds of things go, I've always found that it's a little inappropriate to talk publicly about some family matters, so I'm not going to speak on those things,' he said. 'But I wish him well in the competition.'
Meanwhile a friend of Robby's ex-girlfriend Hope Higginbotham has claimed that he dumped her in order to go on The Bachelorette, something which he denied during last week's hometown dates.
The Bachelorette finale followed by the After The Final Rose special will air on ABC on Monday.cosplay wigs
She made the right choice: JoJo is apparently still happily engaged to the winner, who popped the question in May. The finale airs on ABC on Monday