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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…

UK & World

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.


VIDEO: Get a taste of the atmosphere at Dundee’s Carnival 56

August 12 2017

Thousands of revellers enjoyed Dundee’s biggest music event in 11 years on Saturday. Bands, DJs and comedians took to the tents and stages of Carnival 56 at Camperdown Park. Masses of revellers flocked to enjoy the music, with the Discovery live comedy tent and Rhumba Festival of House sections among the most popular. These videos and photos should give you a taste of the atmosphere… #BasementJaxx playing to an absolutely packed Rhumba Big Top tent. #Carnival56 pic.twitter.com/oDa12qoMhB — Blair C Dingwall (@C_BDingwall) August 12, 2017 Mark Ronson on the Mardi Gras stage of #Carnival56 pic.twitter.com/3lX2U9381I — Blair C Dingwall (@C_BDingwall) August 12, 2017 VIDEO: Dundee’s Kyle Falconer delights hometown crowd with surprise Carnival 56 main stage appearance The secret act was Dundee's own @KyleFrancisFalc – great wee acoustic set. Crowd loved Superstar Tradesman. #Carnival56 pic.twitter.com/4NZNR9ns48 — Blair C Dingwall (@C_BDingwall) August 12, 2017 VIDEO: “I wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for her” – Dundee crowd joins Mark Ronson in tribute to pal Amy Winehouse Callum McGregor (25), Rachel Szparman (23), Craig Szparman (43 Dad), Katie Szparman (17) and Gillian Szparman (43 Mum) all from Glenrothes (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_GB/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Rhumba "Big Top" tent at Carnival 56, great atmosphere! Posted by TheCourier.co.uk on Saturday, 12 August 2017 (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_GB/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Wee tour of the Carnival 56 grounds. Posted by TheCourier.co.uk on Saturday, 12 August 2017 (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_GB/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); The main stage at Dundee's Carnival 56! Posted by TheCourier.co.uk on Saturday, 12 August 2017 © DC ThomsonErin McIntyre (22) and Laura Conaghan (22) from Alloa © DC ThomsonKirsty Roberson (22), Paige Thomson (21), Joanne McIntosh (20), Gillian McIntosh (18), Robyn Cassels (18), Leigh Quinn (21) and Amy Finnerty (22) all from Perth. Best atmosphere by far is in the Rhumba Festival of House tent. Give it a few hours this place will be packed. #Carnival56 pic.twitter.com/Pj76CDcpbg — Blair C Dingwall (@C_BDingwall) August 12, 2017   Busiest tent by far is the Discovery live comedy one. Chris Betts currently goading some of our rivals at the @Evening_Tele #Carnival56 pic.twitter.com/AguZh9vdR0 — Blair C Dingwall (@C_BDingwall) August 12, 2017 DJ by the beer tent got a decent crowd going! 😂 💃🏻🕺🏻#Carnival56 pic.twitter.com/gGKIQh2Fza — Blair C Dingwall (@C_BDingwall) August 12, 2017 Main stage of #Carnival56 just now. pic.twitter.com/GUwSmPUpqf — Blair C Dingwall (@C_BDingwall) August 12, 2017 PC Mike Keenan and Dee the drugs dug. #carnival56 pic.twitter.com/ZQiX5KBaQp — TaysidePolice (@TaysidePolice) August 12, 2017

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit – a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.

Farming news

SNP handling of new beef scheme attacked

November 10 2016

The Scottish Government’s own efficiency has been called into question over the handling of the new £45million Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES). An estimated 180,000 beef cows from 2000 Scottish farmers have been enrolled in the new five-year  scheme which aims to improve the efficiency and quality of the beef herd and help producers increase the genetic value of their stock. But months after signing up for the scheme, farmers are still waiting to be supplied with special tags to meet the rules which call for ’tissue tagging’ of 20% of cattle. And now NFU Scotland’s livestock chairman Charlie Adam says farmers’ confidence in the scheme is being affected and has called for the rules to be adjusted. The union has also urged the Scottish Government to update all scheme applicants on progress with BES and let them know when the necessary tags will arrive. “If tag delays cannot be resolved in the immediate future, then the Scottish Government should recognise the problem and make the tissue tagging element voluntary for 2016. This will allow those who can take samples from the animals that they still own to do so,”  said Mr Adam. “Applicants to this important scheme, worth £45 million to the industry, have every right to know now, and in detail, what they are expected to do to fulfil their BES obligations and Scottish Government must get back on the front foot in delivering the scheme.” Mr Adam added that it was frustrating for the farmers who have already housed and handled their cattle for the winter as many of those animals were by now located in overwintering accommodation that can be some distance from home farms. Shadow Rural Economy secretary, Peter Chapman MSP claimed it was impossible for farmers to sell store cattle in the autumn sales until they were told which animals need tagged and were sent  the tags to do the job. He added: “This will create huge cash flow and logistic problems for farmers who normally sell calves at this time – this is the SNP letting farmers down yet again.” A Scottish Government spokesman said work was under way to rectify the problem and a timetable was expected by the end of the week. He added: “It is not necessary for farmers to hold off from selling their animals. “We will ensure that the sampling regime accommodates those farmers who have sold their calves and there will be no penalties for those whoo have. It may mean that some farmers will have a higher rate of sampling next year.” nnicolson@thecourier.co.uk      

John McCain loses thousands of Twitter followers after asking people to help him reach three million

December 5 2017

US senator John McCain’s number of Twitter followers took a hit after he asked for help reaching the three million mark. McCain was 74 followers from three million on Monday, so he tweeted his followers asking them to “spread the word” to help him “reach this big milestone”. We're only 74 Twitter followers away from 3M – spread the word & help us reach this big milestone!— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) December 4, 2017 The simple request didn’t receive the reaction he hoped, however. Voters frustrated with the politician decided to give McCain the opposite of what he asked for: fewer followers. The hashtag #UnfollowMcCain was mobilised to encourage other users to unfollow the Republican Party veteran, and was tweeted by more than 700 people, according to hashtag analyser Keyhole. A few of the those sharing the hashtag commented on McCain’s yes vote to the Republicans’ controversial tax bill. Show @SenJohnMcCain what you think of his vote on the tax bill. #UnfollowMcCain https://t.co/B2pwScVwko— Mouthy Bitch (@SheilaToomey) December 4, 2017I'm UNFOLLOWING you senator for being selfish and voting for the tax bill. It's the most UN-American bill in a very long time. Shame! #UnfollowMcCain! https://t.co/ok3AzhbtOm— (((Asbjorn NØrup))) (@Stigr3) December 5, 2017You lost more than 20k followers today @SenJohnMcCain. Instead of begging ppl to follow you, do the right thing and reject the tax bill.Ppl with cancer – less fortunate than you – will lose healthcare. Plus $1.4 trillion added to the deficit. Be an American hero. Not a villain. https://t.co/CsrAtRsThx— Kimberley Johnson (@AuthorKimberley) December 5, 2017 As of Tuesday afternoon, McCain’s followers stood at 2.98 million. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Taylor Heyman'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b416538e-f683-4630-92f3-7c018661ab78'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:viral,paservice:viral:news'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'John McCain loses thousands of Twitter followers after asking people to help him reach three million'});

Dundee FC

Dundee FC fans hit a #HomeRun

June 21 2016

Dundee FC stars Craig Wighton and Cammy Kerr were out and about visiting homes across Dundee as part of McEwan Fraser Legal’s #HomeRun promotion, last night. At one of the stop-offs they presented the brand new home kit to Megan Riddell, 10, and her brother Logan (6) on behalf of the Dark Blues’ new main club sponsor, McEwan Fraser Legal. It was a complete surprise to both, as their dad Barry had entered the competition on their behalf. A similar event was held for Dundee United fans last week. We're at Dens getting ready for the @dundeefconline @McEwanFraser #HomeRun! In the next hour we'll be off! pic.twitter.com/nKHIqszxE3 — McEwan Fraser Legal (@DundeeFC_MFL) June 20, 2016 Stop no 1 – Nathan gets his new away shirt from @McEwanFraser! #HomeRun pic.twitter.com/uxgwKRIw25 — McEwan Fraser Legal (@DundeeFC_MFL) June 20, 2016 📺 Penalty shoot out with Alistair! #HomeRun @mcewanfraser @dundeefconline @62ckerr @CWighton pic.twitter.com/JH88ltyl77 — McEwan Fraser Legal (@DundeeFC_MFL) June 20, 2016 Surprise for Alistair and his mum Lynsey! #HomeRun 🏘 pic.twitter.com/I1jNfdXUZa — McEwan Fraser Legal (@DundeeFC_MFL) June 20, 2016 Kirsty gets her all new home shirt from @McEwanFraser #HomeRun pic.twitter.com/Wv7eKEBqzK — McEwan Fraser Legal (@DundeeFC_MFL) June 20, 2016 Stop no 4: Six Dees (and an Arab!). #HomeRun pic.twitter.com/3hZkAzGUDj — McEwan Fraser Legal (@DundeeFC_MFL) June 20, 2016 Megan and Logan knew absolutely nothing! Shocked! #HomeRun pic.twitter.com/SMxEwB2BGE — McEwan Fraser Legal (@DundeeFC_MFL) June 20, 2016  

Racing disrupted by snow and frost

December 11 2017

The National Hunt meeting at Uttoxeter on Tuesday has been abandoned as the wintry weather continues to disrupt the racing programme. Clerk of the course Charlie Moore announced an 8am inspection this morning as the Staffordshire track was left covered by three inches of snow. And with the situation not expected to improve by raceday – it could even get to as low as minus 10C overnight – Moore said there was “no chance of any recovery” and made a swift decision to call off the fixture. Racing tomorrow is now Abandoned2-3" snow lying, temperatures struggling to rise above zero. -6c to -10c tonight. Minimal chance of recovery.Sorry for any inconvenience, we hope to see you soon.— Uttoxeter Racecourse (@UttoxeterRaces) December 11, 2017 This afternoon’s Flat meeting at Southwell at least passed an early-morning inspection, while there are no reported issues at Fontwell today. The fixture at Musselburgh had, however, already been abandoned on Sunday. The situation looks precarious at Ayr as its card on Tuesday is subject to a 9am precautionary inspection on raceday morning. Temperatures dropped to minus 6C within the last 24 hours, but the track is covered by fleece sheets to protect against frost. Cold weather is nonetheless likely to be prevalent over the next few days, with a forecast low of minus 5C on Monday.  Ayr clerk of the course Graeme Anderson said in a statement that it could “get 1C or 2C by midday” on Tuesday. There will be a precautionary inspection at @ayrracecourse tomorrow morning at 9am. The entire track has been covered since Friday and the going was soft, heavy in places before that. Temperatures reached low of -6C last night.— Ayr Racecourse (@ayrracecourse) December 11, 2017 Wednesday’s National Hunt meetings at Hexham and Leicester are in doubt, too, with both racecourses having called 7.30am inspections on Tuesday morning. Hexham missed the most severe wintry showers over the weekend, but the track is still “partially frozen” after overnight temperatures dropped to minus 6C. There is a likelihood of slightly warmer weather, but a statement issued by the Hexham executive said “higher temperatures than forecast are required to assist a thaw”. Crisp start @HexhamRaces with a 3rd night of frosts. -4c approx & temps well@below freezing since 4pm Sat. Going Heavy, Soft in pls- frozen but no snow. Will need to buck forecast to survive for Weds. Inspection likely Tues am before Decs. pic.twitter.com/HzAjMM6lLU— James Armstrong (@JRFArmstrong) December 10, 2017 And with Leicester covered “with two-three inches of snow”, clerk of the course Jimmy Stevenson needs to see a marked improvement. Warwick’s jumps meeting on Thursday must also pass an 8am course inspection on Wednesday morning. The track is covered by heavy snow which could be exacerbated by another overnight frost. 🌨🐎 pic.twitter.com/zbplpdH6mb— Dan Skelton Racing (@DSkeltonRacing) December 11, 2017 Warwick clerk of the course Jane Hedley said in a statement: “Persistent snow yesterday has left the track under a layer of around 10cm. “Monday is set to remain dry with bright spells before a very sharp frost into Tuesday (lows of minus 8C predicted). “Tuesday remains very cold. Some milder air and spells of rain through Wednesday with temperatures expected to recover to around 5C.” (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '41e8304b-ff23-4034-b689-7b271d10ac4e'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:racing'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:racing'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Racing disrupted by snow and frost'});