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Qantas launches first Sydney to Byron Bay flight in 15 years via QantasLink

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Qantas has launched a direct flight from Sydney to Byron for the first time in 15 years in time for the school holidays.

Since 2005, the flying kangaroo’s budget subsidiary Jetstar has primarily flown travellers to Ballina – near the New South Wales north coast town that’s home to movie stars Chris Hemsworth and Zac Efron.

Jetstar has also provided direct flights from Melbourne, but this service is set to have fewer customers as NSW bans visitors who have been to 36 COVID-infected Melbourne suburbs.  

On Wednesday morning, the airline’s regional carrier QantasLink flew direct from Sydney to Byron Bay – the first for Qantas in 15 years.

Qantas has launched a direct flight from Sydney to Byron for the first time in 15 years in time for the school holidays

Qantas has launched a direct flight from Sydney to Byron for the first time in 15 years in time for the school holidays

Qantas has launched a direct flight from Sydney to Byron for the first time in 15 years in time for the school holidays

The launch of the one-hour flight came just days before the start of the New South Wales July school holidays.  

QantasLink chief executive John Gissing said the onset of COVID-19 had delayed the launch, originally scheduled for early 2020.

‘These additional flights are coming at the right time for families who’ve spent much of the recent months confined to their homes and are looking forward to getting out and exploring their own state,’ he said.

‘Byron Bay continues to be an incredibly popular destination for holidaymakers of all types, and was one of the most in demand destinations for Qantas and Jetstar over the past month.’

Airfares aren’t cheap, however, with return flights this weekend costing $499.

Travellers prepared to wait until late July, and fly during the week, can get a return flight for $233. 

Since 2005, the flying kangaroo's budget subsidiary Jetstar has flown travellers to Ballina near the New South Wales north coast town that is home to Australian movie star Chris Hemsworth (pictured at Byron Bay) and a holiday spot for Zac Effron

Since 2005, the flying kangaroo's budget subsidiary Jetstar has flown travellers to Ballina near the New South Wales north coast town that is home to Australian movie star Chris Hemsworth (pictured at Byron Bay) and a holiday spot for Zac Effron

Since 2005, the flying kangaroo’s budget subsidiary Jetstar has flown travellers to Ballina near the New South Wales north coast town that is home to Australian movie star Chris Hemsworth (pictured at Byron Bay) and a holiday spot for Zac Effron

Qantas’s embattled rival Virgin Australia had been offering return economy airfares from Sydney to Ballina from $109 but it has grounded the majority of its domestic flights.

US private equity group Bain Capital takes over today after Virgin Australia Holdings’s administrator Deloitte last week accepted their bid over rival Cyrus Capital Partners.

From July 20, QantasLink is flying direct from Sydney to Orange in the state’s central west.

On Wednesday morning, the airline's regional carrier QantasLink flew direct from Sydney to Byron Bay - the first for Qantas in 15 years

On Wednesday morning, the airline's regional carrier QantasLink flew direct from Sydney to Byron Bay - the first for Qantas in 15 years

On Wednesday morning, the airline’s regional carrier QantasLink flew direct from Sydney to Byron Bay – the first for Qantas in 15 years

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New Hampshire county jail where Ghislaine Maxwell is

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As Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘pimp’ Ghislaine Maxwell spends her first days behind bars, a lawyer for their alleged victims who predicted the pervert financier would die in jail says she will likely suffer the same fate.

Spencer Kuvin told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview that Maxwell ‘knows too much’ and that powerful people may want to silence her even as she is locked up.

‘It may be that she can’t handle the fear of what’s going to happen to her and takes matters into her own hands or there will be people who are very afraid of what she has to say,’ Kuvin predicted. 

Maxwell has an astonishing international network of friends and acquaintances, some of whom have no doubt helped her lay low since Epstein’s suicide. 

Kuvin said people laughed at him when he predicted that Epstein would die in prison — but his gut is telling him the same thing about Maxwell.

Maxwell, 58, was arrested on Thursday on federal charges relating to her allegedly enticing underage girls for Epstein to abuse.

She won the trust of girls as young as 14 and brought them to a ‘trap’ she and Epstein set — and in some cases took part in sex acts, the federal indictment states. 

Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured in October 2016, in one of her final social appearances

Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured in October 2016, in one of her final social appearances

Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured in October 2016, in one of her final social appearances

Ghislaine Maxwell is spending her first few nights in custody in the Merrimack County Jail in New Hampshire

Ghislaine Maxwell is spending her first few nights in custody in the Merrimack County Jail in New Hampshire

Ghislaine Maxwell is spending her first few nights in custody in the Merrimack County Jail in New Hampshire 

Maxwell, who dated Epstein for at least three years in the 1990s, is spending the weekend in the relative comfort of Merrimack County Jail in Boscawen, New Hampshire, before being transferred to New York where she will be housed in a tough-as-nails federal lock-up as she awaits trial.

The Merrimack lock-up houses both men and women from the area around the New Hampshire capital, Concord. Jail superintendent Ross Cunningham refused to reveal details of Maxwell’s day-to-day life inside when contacted by DailyMail.com. ‘It’s a security matter,’ he said.

He said the jail, which was built in 2005, is holding Maxwell under contract to the US Marshals Service.

Kuvin made his prediction after British socialite Maxwell was arrested at Tuckedaway, a mountaintop mansion in rural Bradford, New Hampshire, that she had anonymously bought for $1.07 million in December.

Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein in 2005

Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein in 2005

Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein in 2005 

She had hidden her identity by using an LLC and rarely if ever left the isolated house with its stunning views of Mount Sunapee. No-one in town knew she was living at the four-bed, four-bath property set on 156 acres.

William Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office said she had ‘slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims lived with the trauma inflicted on them years ago.’

Maxwell has not yet entered a plea but in depositions has strongly protested her innocence.

Florida-based Kuvin represents several women who claim Epstein sexually assaulted and raped them when they were teens.

He told DailyMail.com: ‘I don’t think she is going to get out of jail alive. I said the same thing about Jeffrey Epstein and people laughed at me.

‘I think she knows way too much information — I just have this gut feeling.

Epstein, 66, was found hanged in his prison cell last August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, sparking a raft of conspiracy theories.

Among the powerful people who knew him and had visited him at his hoes in New York, New Mexico, Florida, London and the US Virgin Islands, were Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Britain’s Prince Andrew, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Baruk and celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

A pathologist hired by Epstein’s brother Mark said that the fracture on his neck suggested he was killed, though the official autopsy said it was suicide.

The apparent incompetence of the prison where he was being held played a part in his death. Guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan allegedly did not check on him and the cameras outside of his cell were not working on the night he died.

Maxwell could very well be heading to the same prison meaning there will be intense scrutiny of her safety.

Kuvin said that he was surprised by the way the Southern District of New York had handled the case because it was ‘the opposite of the way you’d prosecute a mob case’.

Rather than go for underlings and get them to flip, prosecutors have gone straight to the top; first Epstein and now Maxwell.

But Kuvin said that ‘maybe there are people who are higher up we don’t know about’.

Kuvin said: ‘By charging Ghislaine with as many counts as they did, the US Attorney’s office was probably looking for her to speak and will pressure her into giving more evidence.

Epstein killed himself in is prison cell in August last year but some have speculated he was murdered

Epstein killed himself in is prison cell in August last year but some have speculated he was murdered

Epstein killed himself in is prison cell in August last year but some have speculated he was murdered 

‘I don’t think they will bargain away all of these charges and you want her to serve some serious time for what she did.

‘I think she will talk. Given who she is, her status and her lifestyle, I don’t think she has the ability to support herself which is why she was suing Epstein’s estate to pay her legal costs.

‘She will be in panic mode and will want to do anything to get a lighter sentence. For anyone who has culpability for anything over the past 10-15 years, I’d be nervous’.

After Epstein’s death, Attorney General William Barr said he was ‘appalled’ and ordered an FBI investigation.

At the time Geoffrey Berman, then the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, vowed to continue the investigation into Epstein’s co-conspirators, with Maxwell as the number one target. Berman was fired by Trump last month and the case is now under acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss.

The charges against Maxwell, daughter of disgraced British press baron Robert Maxwell, who died in 1991 when he fell from his luxury yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, include two of perjury for claiming in a deposition that she did not know of Epstein’s abuse and that she had never massaged any of the girls.

She is also accused of helping her former boyfriend to ‘recruit, groom and ultimately abuse victims known…to be under the age of 18.’

Some of the girls are said to have been as young as 14, the indictment states.

Among those who have claimed that Epstein did not kill himself is his former lawyer David Schoen.

He previously told DailyMail.com that Epstein was preparing a multi-layered legal and media strategy to fight his case.

During a five-hour meeting with Epstein nine days before his death Schoen said Epstein was ‘upbeat and excited’ and looking forward to clearing his name

But Epstein was in a ‘dangerous situation’ in jail and suggested other prisoners were considering blackmailing him.

They would see him on TV inside the prison and tell Epstein: ‘$70m mansion, huh?’ Schoen said.

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Guy Sebastian and Titus Day: inside the toxic feud as police lay fraud charges

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Guy Sebastian and his estranged former agent Titus Day were once so close, their families would stay together while the pop star and his manager were on tour. 

Day, 47, was the pivotal member of Sebastian’s entourage for 12 years, working as his protector, promoter and keeper of secrets.  

He helped Sebastian land his hits consistently at number one and with other achievements, such as representing Australia at Eurovision five years ago. 

So entwined were their two clans, Day’s former Sony executive wife Courtney was a driving force behind Sebastian’s wife Jules’s media career, producing her ‘Tea With Jules’ YouTube show.

But Titus and Guy’s relationship spectacularly imploded in 2017 and their public feud has only escalated since.

Sebastian took allegations Day had defrauded him of a staggering $1.15million to police last month and the celebrity manager was hit with 61 charges this week. 

From friends to foes: Guy Sebastian's falling out with his long-time manager Titus Day (above, at a GQ party) deepened after the pop star went to police to level fraud allegations

From friends to foes: Guy Sebastian's falling out with his long-time manager Titus Day (above, at a GQ party) deepened after the pop star went to police to level fraud allegations

From friends to foes: Guy Sebastian’s falling out with his long-time manager Titus Day (above, at a GQ party) deepened after the pop star went to police to level fraud allegations

Day was at the centre of Sebastian's entourage (the original Australian Idol winner is centre, with Day on far right, at the AFL grand final in 2017)

Day was at the centre of Sebastian's entourage (the original Australian Idol winner is centre, with Day on far right, at the AFL grand final in 2017)

Day was at the centre of Sebastian’s entourage (the original Australian Idol winner is centre, with Day on far right, at the AFL grand final in 2017)

Close friends: Titus's wife Courtney (left) was the executive producer of Jules Sebastian's 'Tea With Jules' program

Close friends: Titus's wife Courtney (left) was the executive producer of Jules Sebastian's 'Tea With Jules' program

Ms Day (left) and Ms Sebastian (right) smile for a selfie with make-up artist Brooke Low (centre)

Ms Day (left) and Ms Sebastian (right) smile for a selfie with make-up artist Brooke Low (centre)

Close friends: Titus’s wife Courtney (left in both pictures) was the executive producer of Jules Sebastian’s ‘Tea With Jules’ program (Ms Sebastian on right in both photos. Make up artist Brooke Low is centre in right picture

Father-of-three Day was arrested at his extended family’s sprawling eight-bedroom, heritage-listed Bondi home shortly after 6pm on Wednesday evening.

The celebrity manager spent the night in a police cell in the city’s east and would only tell police that their financial dispute was already before the Federal Court.

Guy Sebastian – who had taken his allegations to investigators on June 3 – issued a statement claiming he was ‘absolutely devastated to learn the nature and detail’ of the charges and described them as a ‘sad vindication’ of his position. 

Day’s high-profile criminal defence lawyer, Lauren MacDougall, told reporters her client will fight the allegations.

So just how did Day allegedly defraud Sebastian? And just how did the best of friends become the bitterest of foes? 

The charges against Day 

Day was clearly irritated and startled when a media scrum pursued him out the door of Waverley Police Station on Thursday afternoon. 

Photographers chased the prominent talent manager up the street for several minutes until he clambered into his dad’s car.

He jumped into the passenger seat, accepted an affectionate pat on the head from his dad and drove off. 

What the court had heard in the hours previously was that Day had allegedly failed to pay Sebastian money he was owed from an international music rights holding company, Premier Muzik, over six years.

Talent agents such as Day typically work by taking a percentage of the earnings they generate for their clients as wages. 

Premier Muzik had allegedly paid sums of money into a trust that only Day had access to between 2014 and 2020. 

Day was irritated by a swarm of media following him up the road from Waverley Police Station on Thursday, before jumping in the back of a car with his father

Day was irritated by a swarm of media following him up the road from Waverley Police Station on Thursday, before jumping in the back of a car with his father

Day was irritated by a swarm of media following him up the road from Waverley Police Station on Thursday, before jumping in the back of a car with his father

Out of some 24 payments made, police allege only five were received by Sebastian while 19 transactions were allegedly kept by Day.

Court documents alleged Day failed to forward on sums of money to Sebastian, ranging from $5100 to $214,565 every few months during that period.   

One of the biggest revelations came when Magistrate Ross Hudson told the court police believe Day may have allegedly defrauded  ‘high profile clients’. 

Just who they may be wasn’t made clear. 

Day watched the case by audio-visual link as Magistrate Hudson said: ‘It could be said that it is a strong prosecution case.’ 

He was granted bail on conditions including that he not contact Sebastian, pay a $10,000 surety and report to police daily. 

The collapse of a relationship 

In February 2017, Guy Sebastian uploaded an ‘appreciation post’ on Instagram, singing Titus and Courtney Day’s praises.

‘This is my manager and mate …. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him and his better half Courtney,’ he said. ‘They work their buns off’.   

But just nine months later, Guy terminated his agreement with Day. There were few signs of acrimony. 

Life on tour: Day and Sebastian (back left) in Kuala Lumpur with the team more than three years ago

Life on tour: Day and Sebastian (back left) in Kuala Lumpur with the team more than three years ago

Life on tour: Day and Sebastian (back left) in Kuala Lumpur with the team more than three years ago

Day said at the time: ”After 12 great years together I’m very sad to be losing Guy as a client.

‘But he is a wonderful talent and a good person, so I wish him well in everything he does.’ 

But Sebastian this week suggested he split with Day in 2017 over ‘disparities’ in financial documents. 

‘I parted ways with Titus’s management company in November 2017,’ he said in a statement. 

In June 2018, Guy Sebastian launched legal action against Day in the Federal Court. Day counter-sued but later dropped the lawsuit. 

Sophie Monk ditched Day as her manager in recent years

Sophie Monk ditched Day as her manager in recent years

Another former client: Grant Denyer (above with wife Cheryl)

Another former client: Grant Denyer (above with wife Cheryl)

Titus Day’s former clients include Sophie Monk (left) and Grant Denyer (right, with wife Cheryl)

The row has taken its toll on both men. Day has had to sell his house and move into his extended family’s home in Bondi.

He also closed down his business that he ran with his wife, 6 Degrees Management, although contrary to rumours, he is not bankrupt.

Key clients including Sophie Monk – a friend of Sebastian’s – and Grant Denyer have also left him.

Meanwhile, Sebastian claims his reputation has been tarred by the stoush. 

‘My integrity and reputation have been questioned and many untruths have been publicly stated,’ he said. ‘This period has been the toughest of my life’.

Day’s case returns to court in two weeks.  

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Dan Andrews’ lockdown plan questioned with half of Melbourne’s active COVID-19 cases in lockdown

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Questions are being raised about whether Melbourne should expand its 36 suburb lockdown zone – as the number of new COVID-19 cases outside the suburban hotspots in the city’s northwest continues to grow. 

As of Friday, there are 442 active cases across the state – with only half of these in the locked down hotspot suburbs.

The figure is 66 more than the day before in what is Melbourne’s 17th consecutive day of double-digit increases.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on Thursday revealed four postcodes with the highest number of new cases in the past week – 3064, 3047, 3060 and 3031.

As of Friday, there are 442 active cases across the state, with only about half in hotspot suburbs. The figure is 66 more than the day before in what is Melbourne's 17th consecutive day of double-digit increases. There have been 2368 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Victoria since the pandemic began

As of Friday, there are 442 active cases across the state, with only about half in hotspot suburbs. The figure is 66 more than the day before in what is Melbourne's 17th consecutive day of double-digit increases. There have been 2368 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Victoria since the pandemic began

As of Friday, there are 442 active cases across the state, with only about half in hotspot suburbs. The figure is 66 more than the day before in what is Melbourne’s 17th consecutive day of double-digit increases. There have been 2368 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Victoria since the pandemic began

The later included Flemington and Kensington, two suburbs bordering hotspot Ascot Vale (3031) in Melbourne’s inner-north.

The suburbs are two of a number of others not yet identified as hotspots or even listed for lockdown. The other suburbs include City of Melbourne with 39 active cases, Wyndham with 22, Casey with 21, Melton with 19, Yarra with 12 and Whittlesea with 21. 

Of the Friday increase in Melbourne, 17 of the active cases were linked to contained outbreaks, 28 remain under investigation, one is from hotel quarantine and 20 came from routine testing.

Twenty-three people in Melbourne are in hospital with the virus, including six in intensive care. 

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald about the ‘best path’ to beating COVID-19 in Victoria, University of Melbourne epidemiologist Tony Blakely said Premier Daniel Andrews expanding the lockdown to include more suburbs was the answer. 

In recent weeks, Mr Andrews has become known as ‘Chairman Dan’ or ‘Dictator Dan’ after it was alleged he was being dictatorial. 

Passengers arriving from Melbourne are greeted by staff from NSW Health to check for COVID-19 symptoms at Sydney Airport. A total of 36 suburbs in Victoria have been placed into lockdown following a spike in COVID-19 cases

Passengers arriving from Melbourne are greeted by staff from NSW Health to check for COVID-19 symptoms at Sydney Airport. A total of 36 suburbs in Victoria have been placed into lockdown following a spike in COVID-19 cases

People lining up to get a COVID-19 test at a testing site in a locked down suburb in Melbourne. Lockdowns across Melbourne have come into effect for residents of suburbs identified as COVID-19 hotspots following a spike in new coronavirus cases

People lining up to get a COVID-19 test at a testing site in a locked down suburb in Melbourne. Lockdowns across Melbourne have come into effect for residents of suburbs identified as COVID-19 hotspots following a spike in new coronavirus cases

Passengers arriving from Melbourne are greeted by staff from NSW Health (pictured, right) to check for COVID-19 symptoms at Sydney Airport. A total of 36 suburbs in Victoria have been placed into lockdown following a spike in COVID-19 cases. People line up to get a COVID-19 test (pictured, left) in a lockdown suburb in Victoria 

‘Then hopefully we are able to get on top of it,’ Mr Blakely said. ‘I’d be very, very surprised if we didn’t see more suburbs go into lockdown.’

For a Local Government Area to go into lockdown, a postcode must have at least five active cases, with the rate in the postcode exceeding 20 per 100,000 people. 

Australian National University’s Professor Peter Collignon said locking down more suburbs, however, was not necessarily the right answer as ‘we can’t be in lockdown for the next two years’.

Melbourne has locked down 36 of its suburbs to get ahead of the spread of COVID-19. The suburbs (pictured) are located across 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs)

Melbourne has locked down 36 of its suburbs to get ahead of the spread of COVID-19. The suburbs (pictured) are located across 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs)

Melbourne has locked down 36 of its suburbs to get ahead of the spread of COVID-19. The suburbs (pictured) are located across 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs)

‘The best thing people can do is continue practicing social distancing while using hand sanitiser and wearing face masks,’ he said. ‘We need to keep going with what we’ve been doing.

‘It’s really important for people everywhere in Melbourne – not just in the hotspots – to wash their hands, don’t go near the sick and stay away from others.

‘It’s not the active cases we should be worried about at the moment – it’s the cases popping up overnight. What that says is it’s spreading in an area and hasn’t been pinned down just yet.’

Streets in suburbs which have been placed into lockdown, such as one in Ascot Vale (pictured), are now like ghost towns following a spike in coronavirus cases

Streets in suburbs which have been placed into lockdown, such as one in Ascot Vale (pictured), are now like ghost towns following a spike in coronavirus cases

Streets in suburbs which have been placed into lockdown, such as one in Ascot Vale (pictured), are now like ghost towns following a spike in coronavirus cases

Professor Collignon’s comments come as more than 10,000 people in Victoria refused to be tested for COVID-19 in a suburban testing blitz, which started on June 25.

More than 880,000 COVID-19 tests have been done in the state since the start of the year, with 24,430 tests conducted on Thursday alone. 

There have been 2368 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Victoria since the pandemic began. 

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