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Ariana Grande could be granted an honorary citizenship of Manchester under new proposals put forward by the council.

Manchester City Council is suggesting a new system be adopted to help recognise people who have made an outstanding contribution to the city.

The proposal – which will be debated next month – would see Ariana Grande being the first recipient of this new honour for her role in organising the One Love Manchester concert.

‘This seems a fitting moment to update the way we recognise those who make noteworthy contributions to the life and success of our city,’ said Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council.

He added: ‘Ariana Grande exemplified this response. I think many people would already consider her an honorary Mancunian and we would be delighted, if the council approves the proposal, to make it official.’

The council will also hold an event later this year to celebrate people who made significant contributions in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.



A day without intention is a day wasted. It doesn’t matter if you want to get some exercise, write an essay, or start a business; without intention, there can be no productivity, and in turn no success.

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in the day to get through all I want to achieve. But then I remember, everyone on this planet only has 24 hours in a day – that includes President Obama, Oprah, the Pope and Beyoncé. To help me stay on track and do what I intend to achieve, I have also adopted the following habits:

Start each day fresh

I start each day with a clean slate. If I get caught up in the challenges of yesterday or the focus too much on the past, it can be hard to move on and achieve future goals. I start each day new by waking early, getting outdoors, breathing in nature, and getting stuck into some exercise. Playing tennis, going for a kitesurf or a cycle, or simply taking a walk, helps me to focus and gives me energy for the day ahead.

Write it down

What’s better than thinking with intention? Writing it down. Note taking is one of my favourite pastimes. I can’t tell you where I’d be if I hadn’t had a pen on hand to write down my ideas. No matter how big, small, simple or complex an idea is, get it in writing. It becomes easier to turn your intentions into actionable and measurable goals once you write them down. And boy, is it fun to tick them off as you complete them.

Use your time wisely

I’m always travelling, so to make sure I get the most out of every minute of my day, I generally use my transit hours as valuable meeting time. When given the opportunity I like to take walking meetings – sometimes I even set myself a personal challenge of trying to come up with a plan of attack in the time it takes to walk to my next appointment. And I like to use the time I spend travelling between appointments, taking call or speaking to people – I interviewed Virgin Group CEO, Josh Bayliss, in the back seat of a car while waiting in a traffic jam!

Think ahead

Intention in its very essence is a futuristic act. We cannot change the past, so there’s no point of dwelling on it. The key to being productive is thinking ahead.

Make it fun

As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. Just don’t get side-tracked by having too much fun. Wait. is too much fun even possible?

Do you have a top tip for productivity? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.


Article by Sir Richard Branson culled from Vigin online magazine




Tens of thousands of British travellers face being turned away from holiday and business flights to the US this summer, due to a little-publicised new rule introduced last month.

Anyone without a biometric passport is now ineligible to travel to America without a visa – even if they have been granted an “Esta”, online permission to visit the US.

Vic Ryan from Lincoln was due to fly to to Florida on 1 May, along with his wife and his daughter and her boyfriend. He had applied in good time for an “Esta”, which was granted.


But when he arrived at check-in he was told that as his passport was non-biometric, he would not be allowed to travel.

“We had no notification of this change which apparently came into force on 1 April,” he told The Independent. “We made the decision for the rest of my party to go without me and I would come home.”

Mr Ryan was told to get a new passport, which he could not do until Tuesday because of the bank holiday. “There were a number of people at East Midlands Airport in the same situation as me but help was virtually non-existent,” he said.


The Independent has calculated that as many as 80,000 people planning to fly to the US this summer could have non-biometric passports. The new “ePassport,”containing an electronic chip with personal data, was introduced in the spring of 2007. They are readily identifiable from the front cover – if it features a rectangle bisected by a horizontal line, with a circle in the middle, then it is biometric.

The last old-style passports were issued in autumn 2007. Using figures from the Passport Office, the Office of National Statistics and the Foreign Office, The Independent has calculated that 1.3m are still in use. As just over 6 per cent of all the overseas trips by British citizens are to the US, 80,000 people are at risk of being denied boarding.

Mr Ryan has now joined his family in Florida. He said: “This has so far cost me over £500 extra.”

Airlines and tour operators make it clear that passengers are responsible for complying with passport and visa rules. The change was quietly introduced in the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act 2015. Disappointed passengers are angry that the US authorities and the travel industry have not done more to alert travellers to the new rule.



“All it needed was for Thomson to run a report from their database for people travelling to the US from 1 April,” said Mr Ryan. “That would enable them to send a courtesy email to notify people who had already booked – possibly like us, a year in advance.”

How to handle EU Roaming charges
Thomson told The Independent: “Given this is a recent change and to help customers, we will review if we can highlight the requirement of an electronic passport on relevant customer communications.”

British Airways said: “The week before our customers travel to the US, we also send a reminder email recommending they check they have the right documentation, with links to detailed information on the changes on the Department for Homeland Security website.”