Tag: Secret

Dan Andrews’ secret text messages on the disastrous hotel quarantine program FINALLY made public

Secret text messages sent by Daniel Andrews to his chief of staff about Victoria’s hotel quarantine have been released by the inquiry into the botched program.

The phone records between the Victorian premier and his right-hand woman Lissie Ratcliff were made public on Friday after additional evidence was provided to the inquiry.   

The then Department of Premier and Cabinet secretary Chris Eccles – who resigned as Victoria’s top public servant last month – has also had his phone records released by the inquiry.

Text messages between Mr Andrews and Ms Ratcliff on the evening of March 27 show him telling her to expect updates on logistics of hotel quarantine, such as rooms available, transportation and guidelines for travellers. 

Secret text messages sent by Daniel Andrews to his chief of staff about Victoria's hotel quarantine program have been released. Mr Andrews pictured addressing the media on Thursday

Secret text messages sent by Daniel Andrews to his chief of staff about Victoria’s hotel quarantine program have been released. Mr Andrews pictured addressing the media on Thursday

‘How are we going on hotels and midnight tomorrow? Do we have many flights tomorrow. Call if you need to,’ A text from Mr Andrews at 8.26pm said.

Ms Ratcliff replied: ‘I’ll have updates tonight on number of rooms, transportation, guidelines for leaving rooms, protection for workers, number of expected arrivals [and flights] for Sunday.

‘It’ll only apply to flights landing after midnight so anyone coming in during the day won’t be caught up.

‘Will get you an update as soon as it comes through.’

A summary of the March 27 national cabinet meeting by Department of Health and Human Services bureaucrat Nicole Lynch was mentioned throughout the new tranche of documents, particularly the line: ‘Enforcement by S and T governments keen for police not to babysit but called in as need (eg use private security)’.

Mr Andrews said in his sworn statement he did not take this to be a decision about private security and therefore did not pass it on.

‘Decisions of that kind are of an operational nature in which I do not play a role,’ he wrote.

Former police commissioner Graham Ashton told the inquiry it was Mr Eccles who led him to believe private security would be used.

Staff pictured at Melbourne's Stamford Hotel quarantine facility on June 25. Ex-top Victorian civil servant Chris Eccles has also had his phone records made public

Staff pictured at Melbourne’s Stamford Hotel quarantine facility on June 25. Ex-top Victorian civil servant Chris Eccles has also had his phone records made public

The ex-police chief’s recollection of a phone call at 1.17 pm on March 27 was detailed in a fresh sworn statement tendered to the inquiry on Friday.

It was one of a raft of documents called for by the inquiry in a final attempt to nail down who made the decision that ultimately led to Victoria’s second coronavirus wave.

Mr Ashton wrote that he and Mr Eccles spoke for 136 seconds following a meeting of the national cabinet.

‘At least part of this conversation involved Mr Eccles informing me regarding the potential use of the ADF to guard returned travellers during the transfer from their flights and the use of private security to guard them at the hotels,’ he wrote.

‘But my belief as to what

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More than 130 Secret Service officers are said to be infected with coronavirus or quarantining in wake of Trump’s campaign travel

The spread of the coronavirus — which has sidelined roughly 10 percent of the agency’s core security team — is believed to be partly linked to a series of campaign rallies that President Trump held in the weeks before the Nov. 3 election, according to the people, who, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the situation.

The outbreak comes as coronavirus cases have been rapidly rising across the nation, with more than 152,000 new cases reported Thursday.

The virus is having a dramatic impact on the Secret Service’s presidential security unit at the same time that growing numbers of prominent Trump campaign allies and White House officials have fallen ill in the wake of campaign events, where many attendees did not wear masks.

Among those who are infected are White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and outside political advisers Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie.

In addition, at least eight staffers at the Republican National Committee, including Chief of Staff Richard Walters, have the virus, according to officials at the organization. Some of those infected are in field offices across the country, including Pennsylvania, where some believe they were exposed in large staff gatherings, an official said.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the administration takes “every case seriously.” He referred questions about the Secret Service outbreak to agency officials. A spokeswoman for the Secret Service declined to comment.

Trump went on a travel blitz in the final stretch of the campaign, making five campaign stops on each of the last two days. On Nov. 2, Trump’s campaign schedule required five separate groups of Secret Service officers — each numbering 20 to several dozen — to travel to Fayetteville, N.C.; Scranton, Pa.; Traverse City, Mich.; and Kenosha and Grand Rapids, Wis.; to screen spectators and secure the perimeter around the president’s events. President-elect Joe Biden made two campaign stops that day that also required Secret Service protection, but in smaller numbers.

The agency is also examining whether some portion of the current infections are not travel-related, one government official said, but instead trace back to the site where many Secret Service officers report for duty each day: the White House.

White House staff largely eschew wearing masks, despite public health guidelines that they help contain the spread of the virus, and some Secret Service officers on duty at the complex have also been seen without them.

The Secret Service employs roughly 1,300 officers in its Uniformed Division to guard the White House and the vice president’s residence. The officers are also the backbone of security for presidential trips out of town and other official events.

Earlier this week, agency supervisors told other staff about the large number of officers who have contracted the virus and said there has been expanded testing to help limit the spread, according to the people familiar with the situation.

The number of officers who have been pulled off duty creates a major stress on an already overworked

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This hotel suite is hiding a secret room

A HOTEL suite in the US has a hidden room which guests are challenged to find – with a secret reading nook behind the bookcase.

Travel blogger Zanna van Dijk stayed at the Bella Vista Bed and Breakfast Inn in California and shared her discovery.

A travel blogger has revealed how to find a secret room in a hotel suite in the US

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A travel blogger has revealed how to find a secret room in a hotel suite in the USCredit: TikTok

The secret room is found in the Monte Vista Suite, with the hotel challenging: “If you are clever enough, you will find a secret room somewhere in your suite.”

The luxurious room features a bookcase at the end of the bed, which is the secret to the discovery.

A book on the third shelf has no pages inside it, but instead has a golden door handle.

Behind the secret bookcase door is a reading room with a floor to ceiling bookcase, armchair and window with views of the surrounding area.

Behind the bookcase is a hidden room

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Behind the bookcase is a hidden roomCredit: TikTok
Instead of a book, inside is a gold door handle for guests to discover

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Instead of a book, inside is a gold door handle for guests to discoverCredit: TikTok
Pulling the handle reveals a staircase leading to the hidden nook

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Pulling the handle reveals a staircase leading to the hidden nookCredit: TikTok
Inside is a huge floor to ceiling bookcase, armchair and large window

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Inside is a huge floor to ceiling bookcase, armchair and large windowCredit: TikTok

You can stay for yourself for £200 a night, although California is currently off the cards for Brits due to the US borders being closed to the UK.

The room description states the decor is “100 years of Hollywood” with vintage pictures of celebrities and film stars.

Tik Tok fans loved the secret room, with one person commenting: “Put a couch, blankets, some candles and I am gone. Living the rest of my life as a blanket human burrito surrounded by books… Ngl sounds like heaven.”

Another person said: “That would be good for hide and seek.”

Someone else agreed: “This was always my dream as a kid.”

Hotels also have hidden rooms for VIP guests, not available on booking websites.

Even though the rooms aren’t advertised, you can still rent them if you receive the go-ahead from hotel management.

A new scheme called Sleepover to Help Over is offering discounts and free upgrades if you book a hotel stay.

TikTok flight attendant shares top safety tips when staying at a hotel

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Rossen Reports: Secret hotel hacks revealed

Rossen Reports: Secret hotel hacks revealed


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Hi. I travel a ton for work, basically every week for more than a decade, not to mention family vacations. So I have stayed in a lot of hotel rooms. Trust me, I thought I had seen all the hacks possible, but some of the country’s best hotel insiders just gave me some new ones I have never heard of before. They’re so easy, so simple, so cool. And they’re gonna upgrade your stay big time. If you’re anything like me, the first thing you do when you get to a hotel is look for your phone charger to plug in your phone. But I always do this. I always forget the block. You know, the part that goes into this, the plug it into the wall socket. A lot of the older hotels don’t have the USB ports. But don’t worry, I just found a really cool hack for you. The hotel TV, most of them. This one spins around, making it so much easier. If not, just get back in their most hotel TVs. Have a USB port like this one does right here. So you plug your charger into the TV like that, we grab my phone and it will act as a charger. Watch. I’m plugging it in. Look at this boom turned green. It is charging my phone right now. No charger, no wall. Socket it all. Now, here’s a security alert for you. Come on in. It’s going to ask you this question. Allow this device to access photos and videos. Make sure to hit, don’t allow. And now you’ve got a charger and your dad is safe. Here’s another cool hack. If you forget your charger entirely, that happens too. We’re told by hotel clerks. You know what? We actually have a stash of chargers that we find whenever we clean rooms and we keep it in a loss of balance. So just call us. They say. And we can usually give you a charger. I have not called the hotel operator in this hotel yet, but I’m gonna ask her if they could bring Hi, Shirley. My name is Jeff Ross, and I’m in 5 20. Do you have by any chance have any phone chargers? I forgot mine. You have one. Can you Do you mind bringing it up to my room? Thank you so much ons within minutes on knock on my door. Surely with your amazing way, we’re just telling people about hacks. Sorry for the TV camera, right? This is a good idea for people. E annoy you, but it’s good for a good idea. Thank you so much. Thank you. E love hacks. Everyone hates a stinky hotel room. Here’s a great hack. Grab the air fresheners from your car. You know these little cheap ones? Stick them right onto the vents off the hotel. Air

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Kourtney Kardashian’s secret vacation pictures with Scott Disick surface online

Scott Disick never stopped leaning on Kourtney Kardashian, revealed a source 

Are Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick back together? Their recent romantic pictures from private getaway suggest so. 

The former flames were snapped getting cosy at Kim Kardashian’s 40th birthday celebrations at a remote island in Tahiti.

Sharing one of the photos on Instagram, Kourtney wrote, “Selfie selfie.”

The pictures sent the duo’s fans in a meltdown. 

“I ship this so hard,” one user commented. “Get back together already, please!” added another. 

Kourtney and Scott share three kids, Mason, Penelope and Reign. They dated for nearly nine years before ultimately calling it quits in 2015.

Scott, who was dating supermodel Sofia Richie, broke up with her this summer for the second time this year.

“They were very happy together but Sofia could not handle his issues,” an insider explained. “They were never cut out for the long term because he has too much baggage and has trouble opening up to anyone besides Kourtney. When he gets low, Kourtney is the only person he can turn to.”

According to a separate source,  Scott never stopped “leaning on” Kourtney for guidance.

“Their dynamic is that she likes to care for him and he depends on her for support,” they added.

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Your secret vacation weapon during the pandemic

Before Covid-19, São Paulo resident Claudia Glina regularly planned trips around Brazil and all over the world for her family, which includes herself, her husband and their two young children.



graphical user interface, application: A woman passes the window of a travel agent in Dublin's city centre as the Government continues to recommend that all non-essential overseas travel should be avoided during Phase 3 of the lifting of restrictions. (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)


© Brian Lawless/PA Images/Getty Images
A woman passes the window of a travel agent in Dublin’s city centre as the Government continues to recommend that all non-essential overseas travel should be avoided during Phase 3 of the lifting of restrictions. (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)

“I used to go online and book the hotels and flights because that seemed like the easiest route to take,” she says.

Then the pandemic happened.

After months of lockdown and no travel, the family was desperate for a getaway in August within driving distance of home but were unsure of where to go. Glina didn’t know what properties had reopened, and even if they were accepting guests, she had multiple questions about their safety and health protocols.

“I considered myself a savvy traveler, but I couldn’t get the information I was looking for online,” says Glina. “I was lost and overwhelmed trying to plan a simple vacation.”

Traveling during the pandemic is a personal choice and for those who are willing to take some risk. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “travel increases your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from Covid-19.”



Jackie Roby and her husband, David (pictured), booked a trip to Mexico recently through a travel adviser.


© Courtesy Jackie Roby
Jackie Roby and her husband, David (pictured), booked a trip to Mexico recently through a travel adviser.

While Glina and her family were open to traveling, their health and safety was on top of mind. For reassurance and to find the best options, they turned — for the first time — to a travel agent.

‘We felt safe’

The experience couldn’t have been better, says Glina. Their adviser, Larissa Camhaji Ejzenbaum, the owner of Larissa Travel Designer, was recommended by a friend and presented them with a list of family-friendly resorts that she had personally visited within the past few weeks.



a group of lawn chairs sitting on top of a sandy beach: Advisers are able to offer reassurance and firsthand experience of resort areas such as Cancun, Mexico.


© Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Advisers are able to offer reassurance and firsthand experience of resort areas such as Cancun, Mexico.

Glina chose the all-inclusive Tauá Resort Atibaia, located an hour from São Paulo, and the family spent five fun-filled days enjoying the property’s water parks and multiple pools. Ejzenbaum even surprised them with a welcome gift of a framed family picture and scored them a room upgrade.

“The resort did a fantastic job of following social distancing, and we felt safe,” says Glina. “I wouldn’t have felt comfortable going without Larissa’s expertise, and now, I can’t imagine traveling again without her help.”

Glina and are her family aren’t the only ones relying on an adviser for the first time to plan their trips. Some international travel networks and agencies report a rise in clients who have never used travel agents before since the pandemic started.



a girl in a pool of water: A travel adviser arranged a trip for Claudia Glina's family of four to a resort not far from their home in São Paulo.


© Courtesy Claudia Glina
A travel adviser arranged a trip for Claudia Glina’s family

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Your secret travel weapon during the pandemic

Before Covid-19, São Paulo resident Claudia Glina regularly planned trips around Brazil and all over the world for her family, which includes herself, her husband and their two young children.



graphical user interface, application: A woman passes the window of a travel agent in Dublin's city centre as the Government continues to recommend that all non-essential overseas travel should be avoided during Phase 3 of the lifting of restrictions. (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)


© Brian Lawless/PA Images/Getty Images
A woman passes the window of a travel agent in Dublin’s city centre as the Government continues to recommend that all non-essential overseas travel should be avoided during Phase 3 of the lifting of restrictions. (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)

“I used to go online and book the hotels and flights because that seemed like the easiest route to take,” she says.

Then the pandemic happened.

After months of lockdown and no travel, the family was desperate for a getaway in August within driving distance of home but were unsure of where to go. Glina didn’t know what properties had reopened, and even if they were accepting guests, she had multiple questions about their safety and health protocols.

“I considered myself a savvy traveler, but I couldn’t get the information I was looking for online,” says Glina. “I was lost and overwhelmed trying to plan a simple vacation.”

Traveling during the pandemic is a personal choice and for those who are willing to take some risk. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “travel increases your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from Covid-19.”



Jackie Roby and her husband, David (pictured), booked a trip to Mexico recently through a travel adviser.


© Courtesy Jackie Roby
Jackie Roby and her husband, David (pictured), booked a trip to Mexico recently through a travel adviser.

While Glina and her family were open to traveling, their health and safety was on top of mind. For reassurance and to find the best options, they turned — for the first time — to a travel agent.

‘We felt safe’

The experience couldn’t have been better, says Glina. Their adviser, Larissa Camhaji Ejzenbaum, the owner of Larissa Travel Designer, was recommended by a friend and presented them with a list of family-friendly resorts that she had personally visited within the past few weeks.



a group of lawn chairs sitting on top of a sandy beach: Advisers are able to offer reassurance and firsthand experience of resort areas such as Cancun, Mexico.


© Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Advisers are able to offer reassurance and firsthand experience of resort areas such as Cancun, Mexico.

Glina chose the all-inclusive Tauá Resort Atibaia, located an hour from São Paulo, and the family spent five fun-filled days enjoying the property’s water parks and multiple pools. Ejzenbaum even surprised them with a welcome gift of a framed family picture and scored them a room upgrade.

“The resort did a fantastic job of following social distancing, and we felt safe,” says Glina. “I wouldn’t have felt comfortable going without Larissa’s expertise, and now, I can’t imagine traveling again without her help.”

Glina and are her family aren’t the only ones relying on an adviser for the first time to plan their trips. Some international travel networks and agencies report a rise in clients who have never used travel agents before since the pandemic started.



a girl in a pool of water: A travel adviser arranged a trip for Claudia Glina's family of four to a resort not far from their home in São Paulo.


© Courtesy Claudia Glina
A travel adviser arranged a trip for Claudia Glina’s family

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upstate new york secret library airbnb

As the effects of the global pandemic continue, cities across the world are contending with closed attractions, a dearth of things to do, re-imagined culinary offerings and the overall shrinking of tourist-related activities. 

As a result, it’s clear a different sort of holiday is on the rise – one that will offer the same draws as a pre-Covid-19 trip (relaxation and different surroundings) alongside proper social distancing measures and virus-related precautions. Will far-flung rental homes, middle-of-nowhere cottages and unusual houses far from a city centre solve the problems escalated by Covid-19 within the travel industry? If the popularity of a secret library in upstate New York serves as proof, the answer is yes.

The Hemmelig Rom, located in the Hudson Valley about 90 miles from Manhattan, is the creation of Jason Koxvold, a Norwegian-British photographer and creative director. Quite literally a black box in the middle of the forest, it is a simple yet stylish one-room library, measuring 110-square-feet, that is heated by a wood-burning stove and a small electric heater. Inside the cabin-like space, guests will find a desk and an armchair alongside 1,500 books. The destination’s name translates to “secret room” in Norwegian. 

“From a conceptual standpoint, when I first built it, I had this idea that guests would be invited to write a note anonymously and leave it in any of the books,” explains Koxvold. “I don’t know if that’s happened, I haven’t really been looking, but I like this idea that you have a black cabin in the woods that almost disappears into the landscape.”

You won’t get bored at Hemmelig Rom – there are more than 1,500 books

Credit:
© Jason Koxvold 2016/Jason Koxvold

• 10 cool Catskills and Hudson Valley hotels

Although it has Wi-Fi and electricity, the library doesn’t have running water and it isn’t connected to a bathroom or a kitchen, which is why Koxvold has decided to rent it out only as part of the larger Lidar West property it sits on. The entire home—rentable on Airbnb unless occupied by Koxvold and his family—has two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

As for the kinds of books you’ll find in the peaceful enclave, expect a variety of genres. Most of the tomes are Koxvold’s own but those closer to the ceiling are a random batch that he bought from someone cleaning out his own library. “Those became kind of the filler,” he says. “But down at human height, all the books are mine.” A voracious reader himself, Koxvold mentions Peter Heller’s post-apocalyptic fiction novel The Dog Stars as one of his favourite recent reads. Quite fitting, indeed.

“I bought this property back in 2012,” reminisces the 42-year-old Koxvold. “It was nearly two-and-a-half acres and it was completely wild forest.” After building the 1,400-square-foot main structure, Koxvold was left with extra lumber that he decided to cut down into eight-by-eight inch logs. After a rather busy visit by his extended family during which he was forced to sleep in the basement, Koxvold decided

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Insiders call it the ‘Secret Season,’ when travel bargains are everywhere: It’s happening now.

I need a break. And you do too.



diagram: (Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)


© Provided by The LA Times
(Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

After a summer spent hiding inside the house to avoid pestilence, scorching temperatures and soot-filled air, we crave liberation and escape.

The good news: We’re entering the Secret Season, the answer to a frustrated traveler’s prayers. It offers bargains, uncrowded destinations and mild temperatures. It’s the ideal time to take a drive and get away from it all for a few days.

We’ve targeted three out-of-state (but relatively close) destinations where tourism is at low ebb this time of year, making it easier to socially distance. If you’re nervous about staying in a hotel, check out the websites of places you’re considering to read about their COVID-19 safety protocols, then make a phone call to find out more. Some people pack disinfecting cleaning supplies to be on the safe side.

Then grab your gear and hit the road. Our first pick is Scottsdale, Ariz., a big proponent of the Secret Season, which lasts through December. Locals in this resort town say fall offers some of the best weather of the year, ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities.

When you visit, take an easy drive two hours north of Scottsdale to see fall’s vibrant colors in Sedona, where the reds and golds of the season complement the red rock landscape.

You’ll find some of the nation’s top resorts in Scottsdale, where the nightly room rate often tops $1,000 during the spring season. But during the Secret Season, you’ll find 60%-off deals at some high-end resorts. Others have BOGO — buy-one-get-one-free deals — or three-nights-for-the-price-of-two specials.

Check out these bargains:

Hotel Adeline: If you like Midcentury Modern, you’ll love sleek and stylish Hotel Adeline, a boutique newcomer in Old Town Scottsdale. The 215-room, pet-friendly hotel had a $13-million makeover and now sports a restaurant and a lively pool with bar and cabanas. Rates start at $116 per night.



a view of a building: The hip Valley Ho hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., has a "Slip Into Fall" deal from $240 a night. (Mark Boisclair / Valley Ho)


© (Mark Boisclair / Valley Ho)
The hip Valley Ho hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., has a “Slip Into Fall” deal from $240 a night. (Mark Boisclair / Valley Ho)

Hotel Valley Ho: Anytime is martini time at the oh-so-hip Hotel Valley Ho in downtown Scottsdale, where the pool is shaped like a martini glass, complete with an olive. This Midcentury Modern hotel has a “Slip Into Fall Deal” that includes a $50 daily hotel credit and a bottle of wine, with rates from $240 a night.

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa: This award winner, in neighboring Paradise Valley, isn’t near downtown shops or restaurants but it has panoramic views and offers a great place to escape, relax and rewind. Hike, bike or run on the many trails near the resort. Secret Season visitors from California can take advantage of a “Welcome, Neighbors” special (booking code PROCA3) that allows guests to stay for free on their third night. Rates from $373 per night.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: Get a BOGO deal this

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