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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...


Family show support for cyclists covering length of country for brain tumour research

June 11 2011

A mother and son from Perth joined a mammoth charity effort in support of Brain Tumour Action. Andrew Sloan whose 10-year-old cousin was diagnosed with a brain tumour and his mum Christine Sloan met cyclists Angie White and Steph Revelle just outside Perth at the end of the ninth day of their 970-mile ride from Land's End to John O'Groats. Angie, from Marlborough, has undertaken the ride in memory of her brother-in-law, who died last year of a brain tumour. Her friend Steph is accompanying her and friends and family are providing support. Andrew (44) said, "I think it is marvellous what Angie is doing and I really hope it helps to spread awareness of this terrible disease which kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer. "My cousin, Vivian Barty, who grew up in Edinburgh, has been very lucky to survive but I am so aware of the thousands of families out there who are mourning the loss of a loved one from a brain tumour. "Vivian's mother, Lynne Barty, is secretary of Scotland's Brain Tumour Action charity which offers support, counselling, education, training and research for patients, relatives and professionals. "We need more funding for brain tumour research to find better treatments and hopefully a cure." Angie said, "It was the death last year of my brother-in-law, Malcolm Smith, at the age of 60 from a brain tumour that inspired me to undertake this challenging venture. "Malcolm was an incredibly-fit man until he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2008." She continued, "He was treated and then given the all-clear, but subsequently complained of an ear-ache and a droopy eye. When he was eventually sent for an MRI scan, a brain tumour was diagnosed and he didn't survive long."For more information go to www.braintumourresearch.org or to sponsor Angie and Steph go to www.justgiving.com/Angela-White.

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

Angus & The Mearns

Family of Angus teacher hope to raise cancer awareness

October 14 2013

The family of an Angus woman hope her death can increase awareness of a brain cancer charity. Jill Allen, 51, died last week after a battle with glioblastoma, which is the most aggressive malignant primary brain tumour. The Letham Primary School teacher had raised £2,500 since September last year for Brain Tumour Research following her terminal diagnosis. Husband Laurence, 53, said: “Brain Tumour Research operates out of Buckingham and we want to raise awareness of the problem with funding. “Brain cancer continues to receive less than 1% of the cancer research budget, yet brain tumours kill more than any other form of cancer. There will be a collection for the charity at Jill’s funeral on Thursday.” Mrs Allen, who was mum to Matthew, 22, and Hayley, 25, was diagnosed with brain cancer shortly after complaining of feeling ill in February last year A scan found a tumour the size of a small orange pressing on her brain and an operation was carried out to remove it just three days later. The surgery removed 95% of the tumour and she underwent two further operations but the latest one in June left her with mobility issues. She decided she was not going to have any more operations following the surgery and chose to return home and let nature take its course. Brain Tumour Research was launched in April 2009 to raise awareness and funding for scientific research into brain tumours and improve outcomes for patients. It is the only national charity in the UK dedicated to granting 100% of its funds to continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours. Sue Farrington-Smith, director of Brain Tumour Research, said: “Every day I hear from people whose lives are being devastated by this disease, whose treatment is falling short, who are living without hope for a cure. “Action needs to be taken now, by the government, the larger cancer charities and the general public. We can’t afford to wait a year, let alone 10.” Mrs Allen planned her own funeral before she died and the service will take place at Parkgrove Crematorium in Friockheim on Thursday.

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.


Josie Philips’ sailing challenge for Brain Tumour Research

May 27 2010

When Josie Phillips (27) and her husband Roger sail their yacht Nordlys into Arbroath tomorrow, the marina won't be welcoming ordinary sailors. Cancer sufferer Josie, a doctor at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, has set herself a challenge with three primary objectives sail anti-clockwise around the coast of Britain, raise awareness of brain tumours and, at the same time, collect around £20,000 through sponsorship for Brain Tumour Research. They are posting regular updates on their progress on their website and Twitter. Jim McGugan, a brain tumour survivor of some 18 years, will welcome Josie to Arbroath as a representative from the Scottish charity Brain Tumour Action. "I congratulate Josie," Jim said. "She is a lady to be saluted. Her determination to challenge the condition whilst raising funds for brain tumour research is very admirable and I hope she raises a lot of money." Josie's challenge comes after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2004, following five years of unexplained symptoms. In September 2008 Josie faced devastating news when it was discovered that the tumour was malignant. Her prognosis then was given as between 12 to 15 months to live. But Josie and Roger, who has just completed a PhD, were determined to make the most of life. They began to focus on a challenge for when she was sufficiently healthy to sail 2000 miles around the coast of Britain. Having set out from their home port of Ipswich on May 15, Josie and Roger's planned route is up the east coast, calling in at Eyemouth, Arbroath and Inverness.Beautiful sceneryThey will then pass along the Caledonian Canal, enjoying the beautiful scenery, as well as spectacular views of Ben Nevis and the marvels of Neptune's Staircase of eight locks, before reaching Fort William and Oban. Using the Caledonian Canal has made this voyage around Britain possible as it enables the couple to avoid the long and often hazardous route round the far north of Scotland. The couple will then head south through the Irish Sea and around the south coast of England, arriving back at Ipswich. Subject to the weather, they expect to complete the challenge in around four months. Marinas are helping them to minimise expenses by providing free berthing and many companies are offering the loan or gift of specialist equipment and clothing. All other costs are being covered by Josie and Roger and any donations made will go directly to the Brain Tumour Research charity. Josie said, "Brain tumours can affect anyone, and there is no way of preventing them because their cause is unknown. "Living with an incurable disease is extremely difficult I try to carry on as normally as possible. We hope that funding for brain tumour research will give hope to others in the future." You can support Josie's fundraising efforts by visiting her JustGiving page, and follow the couple's progress on their website or Twitter.


St Andrews scientists help lead fight against prostate cancer

February 13 2013

Scientists from St Andrews and Edinburgh universities are leading research into a new genetic test which could help in the fight against prostate cancer. Men thought to have prostate cancer could receive a more accurate diagnosis thanks to a simple genetic test, research has shown. The procedure will help identify the cancer if it is missed in routine check-ups, and will save patients undergoing repeated invasive investigations which carry a risk of infection. Scientists who led the research say the improved test works by recognising the “halo” of cells which form around a prostate tumour. These cells, which can appear healthy under a microscope, contain silenced genes which turn off the cell’s natural protection against tumour growth. Researchers say by identifying genetic changes in these halo cells they can tell that a patient is more likely to have a tumour, even if their tissue sample shows no cancerous cells. More than one in 10 men tested for prostate cancer receives an inconclusive result and has to have a second biopsy which can be painful and carries a risk of serious infection. This is often because the first tissue sample taken is clear, while their blood test reveals high levels of the PSA protein prostate-specific antigen which is associated with prostate cancer. The team examined prostate tissue from 500 men who had undergone a prostate check-up and received inconclusive results. The new test correctly identified hidden tumours in seven out of 10 cases without the need for a second biopsy. The test was also 90% effective in showing which patients did not have prostate cancer. It provided peace of mind to those without the disease, and prevented two-thirds of men from undergoing a second, unnecessary biopsy. Dr Grant Stewart, clinical lecturer in urology at Edinburgh University, who jointly led the study said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men in the UK although it can be challenging to diagnose as these tumours are not easily seen on scans. “Our work shows that there is a more precise way of detecting these cancers. “This new test helps us to see the ripple effect of a tumour so that even if the cells we examine aren’t cancerous, we can tell there might be a tumour nearby.” The test is now available in the US. The team hopes to work with the NHS to introduce it into routine prostate checks in the UK.

UK & World

PM’s former Oxford college launches inquiry into sexual harassment claims

April 12 2018

An independent inquiry is being launched into allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment at the Prime Minister’s former Oxford college.St Hugh’s has confirmed that its governing body commissioned the investigation following claims about the behaviour of a now-deceased Fellow.It is understood the Fellow is Professor David Robertson, who died in August last year.The inquiry was set up after author Mel McGrath wrote an article on the website The Pool, accusing Professor Robertson of “doing a Weinstein on me” – a reference to Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein – when she was an undergraduate in the 1980s.The inquiry will be chaired by Alison Levitt QC, who carried out a review into the crimes of the late Jimmy Savile and who has been tipped to become the new director of public prosecutions.Ms McGrath wrote: “David, who was my tutor, held tutorials in his flat on college grounds and had an uncanny knack for scheduling a shower, at whatever time of day, just before I arrived.“He’d open the door – as if innocently – dressed in his bathrobe and, one time, in a tiny towel.“For the next hour I would have to undergo the humiliating experience of reading my essay, on which I had laboured hard and with serious intent, while David sat opposite, half-naked and man spreading, often smelling of alcohol and sipping from a mug of what was never tea or coffee.”Ms McGrath was also critical of St Hugh’s, saying that if the authorities at the time had not heard the rumours about Prof Robertson’s alleged behaviour “they couldn’t have been listening very hard”.The college confirmed that an investigation had been launched and released its terms of reference, but a spokeswoman said it would be inappropriate to comment until the investigation was complete.The terms of reference given to Ms Levitt read: “The College has recently received allegations of historic misconduct and sexual harassment about a now deceased Fellow from two former students.“The College requests you to carry out an independent investigation about these allegations and whether the circumstances of these or of similar allegations were known to the members of governing body or management staff of the College.“If so, to report on the adequacy and appropriateness of the College’s responses and any action taken in respect of such allegations or circumstances, with any recommendations for action.”St Hugh’s was founded in 1886 “to open up the opportunities of an Oxford education to poorer women”. It accepted its first male students in 1987.Former students include the Prime Minister Theresa May, Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi, Amal Clooney and suffragette Emily Davison.

UK & World

Are Oasis reforming for Manchester tribute gig?

June 1 2017

Rumours are circulating that Britpop legends Oasis are re-forming for a benefit gig in their home city of Manchester this weekend. The speculation was kick-started by a member of The Black Eyed Peas, who tagged the group in a post about Ariana Grande's One Love Manchester show on Sunday. The concert was organised in the wake of the Manchester Arena terror attack last week, which left 22 dead and a further 64 injured. Free tickets have been offered for Grande fans who attended the concert which was targeted by an alleged suicide bomber. Katy Perry, Take That, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus and Usher will all play alongside the US pop star at the concert. Taboo Nawasha, a member of the Black Eyed Peas, tweeted about the gig; tagging all the musicians and bands that will play at the Old Trafford Cricket Grounds. Oasis were included in the original tweet, which was quickly deleted. https://twitter.com/TabBep/status/869907050691608579 https://twitter.com/TabBep/status/869906670436007937?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fmetro.co.uk%2F2017%2F05%2F31%2Fwhen-and-how-to-watch-ariana-grandes-one-love-manchester-concert-6675547%2F https://twitter.com/TabBep/status/869907050691608579 Nawasha then posted that he had made a mistake and put the mention of the rock group down to "human error". Classic Oasis single Don't Look Back in Anger rose up the charts last week after the people of Manchester adopted it in the wake of the terror attack. Oasis are among Manchester’s most famous and cherished musical exports, though the band split up in 2009. They are one of the most symbolic groups of the 1990s and the Britpop era. The band was fronted by brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher, who have been at loggerheads since the split. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/uk-world/434338/video-beautiful-moment-people-manchester-turn-silent-tribute-oasis-dont-look-back-anger-articleisfree/ However commenting on the rumours on Radio 1, Liam said though he is "up for it" - it wouldn't be possible due to his solo commitments in Germany this weekend.