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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Angus & The Mearns

Community payback order for teenager who broke down in tears while trying to raid Monifieth shop

March 14 2012

A teenager broke down in tears while attempting to rob a shop owner at knifepoint, a court has heard. Stewart McKenna (19), of Durham Street, Monifieth, escaped a jail sentence following an appearance at Arbroath Sheriff Court on Tuesday. He had previously admitted that on July 13, he presented a knife at the 61-year-old woman behind the counter at Ashgrove Mini Market, Monifieth, before demanding she fill a carrier bag with cigarettes. The court heard McKenna had been drinking and taking mephedrone (bubbles) for more than two days prior to the incident. Depute fiscal Arlene Shaw said the woman had been alone in the store when he walked in. She said: ''During the late hours of July 12 and the early hours of July 13 the accused was drinking with friends. This continued and the accused became upset regarding his grandmother being unwell. ''The accused became aggressive and stated to a friend that he was going to get money and get 'fags'.'' Ms Shaw said that McKenna's friend knew he had no money and subsequently attempted to prevent him from leaving, fearing he would ''do something stupid.'' However, McKenna managed to leave the property and walked to the shop, where he entered dressed in a back hooded top with the hood pulled up. She added: ''At this time she saw the accused had bloods on his hands and face. He asked for a bag, which she handed over then produced a black-handled kitchen knife with a six-inch blade from the waistband of his jeans, which he presented at the woman. ''He handed the bag back to her and instructed her to fill it with cigarettes.'' The woman refused to hand anything over and told McKenna to get out of the shop. She was on the phone to her husband at the time, and he then called the police. McKenna again demanded cigarettes, with the woman this time telling him ''you are not getting anything,'' before warning him he was going to get into trouble. Ms Shaw said: ''These comments appeared to have an effect. He put the knife back in his trousers and began to cry, then told the woman his grandmother wasn't well.'' As he broke down, the shop keeper suddenly recognised McKenna, as his grandmother was a regular customer. McKenna asked for a packet of 20 cigarettes, to which the woman replied ''no'' and told him the police had been called, prompting him to run off. Sheriff Derek Pyle said the case was ''bizarre'' and sentenced McKenna to a community payback order of 200 hours with a supervision requirement.

Farming news

Aberdeen-Angus DNA test hailed by Victor Wallace

February 13 2015

The adoption of a new DNA test to authenticate the pedigree of all Aberdeen-Angus calves will put the breed in the vanguard of genomic technology, retiring Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society president, Victor Wallace, told a packed annual at Stirling. The society has decided to collect blood samples using special ear tags which incorporate a small uniquely identified receptacle. As the tag is inserted soon after birth the small amount of displaced tissue and blood is captured ready for future DNA testing. Responding to criticism of the society’s decision to use only one company, Caisley, for the collection of samples, Mr Wallace insisted Caisley was the only ear tag company which had the technology to meet the society’s required specification. “We invited a number of ear tag companies to tender and some didn’t bother to reply while others couldn’t meet the spec,” said Mr Wallace. “It is a simple and inexpensive system which most breeders are finding easy to use.” The aim is to collect blood samples from all bull calves to enable the sire of all calves to be verified in the case of any uncertainty or dispute and to authenticate beef being sold as Aberdeen-Angus.” The move by the society has been welcomed by major supermarkets selling Aberdeen-Angus beef. Mr Wallace added: “This process was extensively and rigorously tested with management and council visits to the manufacturers in Germany and the completion of field trials. After this process it was brought back to council and unanimously approved. “Like all changes, there has been some resistance but I am convinced that putting the society in a position to be leading in genomic testing can only be a good one. “We should be leaders, not followers.” Mr Wallace admitted that a £34,000 re-branding exercise carried out over the past year, which included the dropping of the society’s long-established black, green and yellow colours, left room for “significant improvement”. The issue, particularly improvement to the website, would, he said, be addressed in the coming year. The decision to prop up the pension fund of chief executive, Ron McHattie, by £120,000 in four tranches was defended by new president, David Evans, who explained that it was a “catching up” operation as the funding of the pension had not been addressed for 11 years and annuity rates had halved in that time. Mr Evans, who works as a financial adviser, runs a 60-cow pedigree herd in Cleveland with his wife, Penny, and has been chairman of the society’s breed promotion committee. He is planning a series of open days throughout the country this year to promote the commercial attributes of the Aberdeen-Angus breed. “There is a huge and growing demand for certified Aberdeen-Angus beef with the active involvement of most of the leading supermarkets in the UK and registrations in