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...
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.
A controversial Scottish Government decision to extend salmon netting in the South Esk area has been reversed. However Scotland’s largest salmon netting company, which has been at the centre of the issue, said it has “no issues” and “fully accepts” the U-turn. In August, ministers granted Usan Salmon Fisheries Ltd a three-year licence to net salmon at its coastal stations south of Montrose for two weeks in September. This has now been revoked. One of the firm’s directors, George Pullar, told The Courier: “We fully accept the decision of the Scottish Government to revoke the licence on the basis that the research was no longer required as part of the South Esk Project. “We understood that the nature of the licence was that it could be revoked at any time and, therefore, have no issues with the decision.” The extension was to compensate the fishery for disruption caused by Marine Scotland Science’s access “to fish and genetic samples during the commercial fishery season” for tagging research. As the netting season ends on August 31 the government’s decision came in for criticism from anglers and from some conservation bodies. The Esk District Salmon Fisheries Board sought a judicial review of the decision to grant the licence, due to be heard this month. Former board chairman Hughie Campbell Adamson was head of the body when the review was sought. He said: “The Scottish Government’s capitulation, together with its undertaking to pay the board’s costs, vindicates entirely the EDSFB’s decision to go for judicial review. “I hope that we can all now move on and never again allow politics and prejudice to jeopardise wild salmon conservation. “The latter must take priority whether it is in the context of salmon netting on the east coast or the unsustainable increase in salmon farming on the west coast. “I would especially like to thank the Salmon and Trout Association (Scotland) and the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board for their invaluable support.” The River South Esk is a Special Area of Conservation for Atlantic salmon. Conservationists argue the district’s netting operations are closely linked to salmon numbers, not only in the South and North Esks but also in the Tay. Esk Rivers and Fisheries Trust chairman Tom Sampson said: “The Government’s reversal of its decision is indeed welcome. “No increased exploitation of salmon, in the context of today’s limited marine survival levels, can be justified.”
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
An unmarried mother behind a legal battle to access widowed parent’s allowance has accused the Government of treating her grieving children as “insignificant”.Siobhan McLaughlin, 46, said her case, being heard at the Supreme Court sitting in Northern Ireland for the first time, was never about her but about justice for her children.The special needs classroom assistant from Armoy, Co Antrim, was with her partner John Adams, a groundsman, for 23 years and they had four children – Rebecca, 15, Billy, 16, Lisa, 21, and Stuart, 23.Following Mr Adams’s death from cancer in January 2014, Ms McLaughlin had to take on an evening job after being refused widowed parent’s allowance because the couple were not married nor in a civil partnership.She sought a judicial review of the decision, claiming unlawful discrimination based on her marital status and won her original court case, later overturned by the Court of Appeal.The Supreme Court heard her latest application for judicial review on Monday.Her lawyer, Frank O’Donoghue QC, asked the court: “Is there a defensive aspect to this legislation, holding up Ms McLaughlin as an example to what might happen to you if you don’t get married?”Mr O’Donoghue said Ms McLaughlin should be treated equally to a married couple with children after the death of the breadwinner. “The court should require the state, as we prepare to enter the third decade of the 21st century, to justify this obvious difference in treatment, beyond the rather simplistic and rigid explanation that one widow was married and the other was not,” he said.“As a bare minimum, entitlement to widowed parent’s allowance on the part of cohabiting unmarried parents and children is required.”Mr O’Donoghue said the benefit is not for the married couple but for the survivor and children and claimed there is no evidence proving current restrictions promote marriage.The court also heard from Helen Mountfield QC, for the Child Poverty Action Group, who argued the ruling is incompatible with international law and “penalises” children whose parents are not married, treating them as “less worthy”.Tony McGleenan QC, for the Department for Communities, argued against this.He said the eligibility stems from having children but the benefit is not for them, as it is described as a benefit for the survivor.He said marital status is a “non-suspect ground of discrimination” as it is not an inherent characteristic and can be changed, adding that benefits of this type “should make marriage more attractive” to some cohabiting couples.Lady Hale said a judgment will be made at a later date but warned the ruling sought does not oblige the Government to act.Speaking outside court, Ms McLaughlin, who was accompanied by her two youngest children, thanked supporters.She said: “This case was never about me. I would love to be recognised as a widow but I accept in the eyes of the law and the Government that I am not.“What I wasn’t prepared to accept was how the Government viewed my children – how they could treat my grieving, bereaved children as insignificant.“I am such a private person but to sit and accept that this is how it is made me say, ‘No, this is wrong’. “I want to look my children in the eye and say it is the Government at fault here, not you, and because of this I have tried to rectify this for you.”
The Sun newspaper will join the legal action over the Parole Board’s decision to release black cab rapist John Worboys.Judges sitting at the High Court on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for a judicial review brought by two of the sex-attacker’s victims and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.Sir Brian Leveson and Mr Justice Garnham also gave permission to The Sun’s proprietor, News Group Newspapers Ltd, to challenge the Parole Board’s refusal to publish its decision.The Sun’s lawyers say the refusal was “unlawful” and argue the rule which prevents the Parole Board from releasing the decision, or any reasons for it, breaches the newspaper’s right to freedom of expression.Gavin Millar QC, representing News Group, added: “This case raises questions of profound public importance concerning the application of the open justice principle and rights to information in respect of judicial decisions made by the Parole Board in its capacity as a court.”A spokesman for The Sun said: “We’re pleased that, alongside Worboys’ victims and the Mayor of London, we can pursue our challenge to a full Judicial Review.“There is a clear case to be made for greater transparency and we look forward to making it again next month.“The public interest is not served by the current wall of secrecy surrounding the reasons for Mr Worboys’ release.”The full hearing will be held on March 13 and 14.
A lawyer has questioned whether an unmarried mother at the centre of a legal battle to access widowed parent’s allowance is being made an example of.Special needs classroom assistant Siobhan McLaughlin, 46, from Armoy in Co Antrim, was with her partner John Adams, a groundsman, for 23 years. The couple had four children – Rebecca, 15, Billy, 16, Lisa, 21, and Stuart, 23.Following Mr Adams’s death from cancer in January 2014, Ms McLaughlin was refused widowed parent’s allowance because they were not married or in a civil partnership.She applied for a judicial review of the decision, claiming unlawful discrimination based on her marital status and won her original court case, later overturned by the Court of Appeal.Ms McLaughlin has now applied to the Supreme Court, sitting in Northern Ireland for the first time, for judicial review and hopes her legal challenge will help other families.Her lawyer, Frank O’Donoghue QC, asked the court: “Is there a defensive aspect to this legislation, holding up Ms McLaughlin as an example to what might happen to you if you don’t get married?”Mr O’Donoghue said Ms McLaughlin should be treated in the same way as a married couple with children after the death of the main earner. “The court should require the state, as we prepare to enter the third decade of the 21st century, to justify this obvious difference in treatment, beyond the rather simplistic and rigid explanation that one widow was married and the other was not,” he said.“A more inclusive measure could have and should have been used. As a bare minimum, entitlement to widowed parent’s allowance on the part of cohabiting unmarried parents and children is required.”Mr O’Donoghue said the benefit is not for the married couple but for the survivor and children and claimed there is no evidence proving current restrictions promote marriage.He argued changing the regulations would not create a significant additional administrative social security burden.The court also heard from Helen Mountfield QC on behalf of the Child Poverty Action Group, who argued the ruling is incompatible with international law and “penalises” children whose parents are not married, treating them as “less worthy”.Earlier, Ms McLaughlin said: “It is wrong that a child born out of wedlock is not seen as deserving as one born to a married couple.”She had to supplement her income by taking on additional evening cleaning work after her partner’s death and said thinking about the difference the benefit would have made is “heartbreaking”. Ms McLaughlin said: “It might have meant that I could have been at home every night to prepare the supper, as I had been when John was here.“But because I had to go back to work, I am no longer there – so not only did they (the children) lose their dad, they also lost me and that stability.”She added: “It was a family unit. The children have John’s surname, his name is on their birth certificates.”The case, at the Royal Courts of Justice, continues.
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
A senior barrister and academic says some judges are “unjustifiably rude” to lawyers.Professor Jo Delahunty QC says barristers have told her how they had been humiliated by “judicial bullying”.She has outlined her concerns in an article for a legal magazine.“So, are there are judges who abuse their position by being unjustifiably rude, hostile, unfairly critical of and abusive towards lawyers who appear before them?” Prof Delahunty, who specialises in family law, has written in Counsel magazine. “‘Yes’: it is an issue for small minority of judges.“It has happened to me. From my knowledge of, and practice in, the family Bar I have been given clear, corroborated, accounts of it occurring in the High Court. I have been told of it in the county court.”She added: “I have received emails from members of the Bar at all levels of call who have experienced judicial bullying and felt deskilled and humiliated as a result. Let me make plain that we are talking of judicial behaviour well beyond the grumpy, peeved or abrasive.”Prof Delahunty said she had received reports of conduct which would fall within Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service definition of workplace bullying.She said tweets and emails she had received suggested that barristers thought complaining would harm their careers.
The family of a woman who died after taking a toxic chemical marketed as a slimming aid are set to challenge an inquest finding that she took her own life.Bethany Shipsey, aged 21, died in hospital in February last year after ingesting pills containing Dinitrophenol (DNP) which had been sold illegally online.Her parents, Doug and Carole Shipsey, have instructed law firm Irwin Mitchell to help them apply for a judicial review of the suicide conclusion recorded in February this year.Worcestershire Coroner Geraint Williams recorded a narrative verdict, including a finding of suicide, after ruling that the care Bethany received at Worcestershire Royal Hospital had been “significantly substandard” and included several “basic” failings.The coroner also said some staff at the hospital had shown a lack of communication as to who had responsibility for dealing with Bethany’s condition, which deteriorated until she went into cardiac arrest.But Mr Williams ruled that none of the failings were a cause of her death and that she probably would not have survived if she had been given different care, including sedation and urgent cooling treatment. Public law specialist Oliver Carter, who is representing the family, said: “Doug and Carole have endured an incredibly difficult time which no parents should have to face.“Ever since the inquest’s conclusion they have held concerns regarding the Coroner’s ruling and specifically whether it amounts to an error of law when all of the key facts are properly considered.“While nothing will change what they have been through, they are determined to ensure this issue is properly considered, and that the conclusion reflects the truth of what happened to Bethany.”Miss Shipsey, an animal rescue and welfare advocate from Worcester, had a history of self-harm.Her father, Doug Shipsey, hopes that the legal challenge will ensure that the inquest conclusion is a “fair reflection” of how his daughter died.Mr Shipsey, aged 52, said: “Following the Coroner’s findings, my wife and I began to consider the next steps available to us.“The inquest was difficult for us, listening to the failings in the care of our daughter being discussed, while constantly thinking that she could have perhaps been saved.“We are looking at all options available to us. We just want to ensure that the law is applied correctly in our daughter’s case and that all the evidence is considered and reflected in the findings.”Bethany’s parents are using the crowdfunding website CrowdJustice in order to raise money for the legal challenge.