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...
Senior BG Group executive Andy Samuel has been named as the inaugural chief executive of the Oil and Gas Authority. The new Aberdeen-based industry regulator will come on-stream in April and will be responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Wood Review and maximising recovery on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). The announcement of Mr Samuel’s appointment came as Energy Secretary Ed Davey issued a call to the industry to submit its views on the Maximising Economic Recovery UK strategy, the scope of OGA’s regulatory powers and sanctions regime, and the cost recovery mechanism. Mr Samuel has been appointed for a fixed three-year term, with a further three-year option depending on performance. He said he was looking forward to leading the new industry watchdog as the North Sea entered a new era. “I know first-hand the challenges industry currently faces and am confident that implementing the vision set out in the Wood Review will create a strong future for the UK’s oil and gas industry,” Mr Samuel said. “I have much enjoyed my time at BG Group, with a lot to be grateful for, and am now looking forward to establishing the OGA and setting its priorities in the New Year.” Sir Ian Wood author of the Wood Review, which estimated that a further four billion barrels of extra oil could be recovered from the UKCS through better industry collaboration and the adoption of new extraction techniques said that Mr Samuel’s new role was central to the long-term effectiveness of the new industry regulator. He said: “The OGA will need to work very closely with industry over the coming years, and Andy’s impressive experience and the significant credibility he holds within the industry will put him in a very strong position to encourage the industry collaboration that is needed as we enter the next phase of the UKCS.” The new CEO has spent the past 19 years with BG Group and has been managing director for European exploration and production since 2012. He was previously president and general manager of the US Exco Appalachia joint venture, where he had responsibility for BG Group’s Marcellus shale play and associated developments, had also served as chief operating officer of BG Trinidad and Tobago, and was a board member of Atlantic LNG. The Energy Secretary welcomed Mr Samuel’s appointment as he opened a new industry consultation, which will run until December 31, on the Wood Review recommendations. He said: “It’s vital for Government to work closely with industry to maintain Britain’s energy security, and Andy is superbly placed to steer the OGA to maximise the economic recovery of our oil and gas resources. “We’re also asking industry for their views to make sure we implement the Wood Review recommendations in the most efficient and practical way.” Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said Mr Samuel’s new role would not only see him shape the future of North Sea oil extraction but also play a key role in the development of the wider UK economy. “Oil and gas is one of the UK’s most valuable industries, supporting 450,000 jobs in Scotland and across the country,” he said.
Former Premier League footballer Jlloyd Samuel has died in a car accident, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association has announced. He was 37.Samuel is reported to have been involved in a collision with a truck in Cheshire on Tuesday morning.“We’ve received some terrible news that former national defender and ex-Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers player Jlloyd Samuel died in a car crash this morning in England,” the Trinidad and Tobago FA said on its official Facebook page.“According to reports, Jlloyd was returning home after dropping his kids off to school and collided with an oncoming vehicle.“The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association and his former national team-mates at this time extend deepest condolences to his family members both in the UK and here in Trinidad and Tobago.”Samuel was born in the city of San Fernando in the south-west of Trinidad but moved to England as a youngster and represented London Schoolboys teams.He played youth football for Charlton before joining Villa, where he made nearly 200 appearances between 1999 and 2007.Samuel was capped by England from Under-18 to Under-21 level and was an unused substitute for a senior international against Sweden in 2004.He attempted to switch international allegiance before Trinidad and Tobago played at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.Although his application was rejected by FIFA because he was over 21 at the time, he later represented the country of his birth.Samuel joined Bolton in 2007, where he made 83 appearances, and also had loan spells at Gillingham and Cardiff before ending his playing career in Iran.“We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of our former player Jlloyd Samuel at the age of just 37 in a car accident,” said a post on Villa’s official Twitter account before their Sky Bet Championship play-off game against Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.“Our players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect tonight and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this very difficult time.”Cardiff also paid tribute to Samuel by tweeting: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former #CardiffCity defender, Jlloyd Samuel. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this incredibly difficult time.”Bolton Wanderers tweeted: “Everybody associated with Bolton Wanderers Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former defender, Jlloyd Samuel. Rest in peace, Jlloyd. Our deepest condolences are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”In a statement, Cheshire Police said Samuel died following a crash involving the 4×4 he was driving and a van at High Legh, near Warrington.A spokesman for the force said: “At around 7.55am police were called following reports of a collision involving a van and a Range Rover near to Costcutter on West Lane.“Sadly the driver of the car, Jlloyd Samuel, 37, from Lymm, died at the scene.“His next of kin have been informed and are currently being supported by specially trained officers.“The driver of the van, a 54-year-old man, sustained serious injuries and has been taken to hospital for treatment.”
Former Aston Villa and Bolton defender Jlloyd Samuel has died in a car accident, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association has announced. He was 37.Samuel is reported to have been involved in a collision with a truck in Cheshire on Tuesday morning.“We’ve received some terrible news that former national defender and ex-Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers player Jlloyd Samuel died in a car crash this morning in England,” the Trinidad and Tobago FA said on its official Facebook page.“According to reports, Jlloyd was returning home after dropping his kids off to school and collided with an oncoming vehicle.“The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association and his former national team-mates at this time extend deepest condolences to his family members both in the UK and here in Trinidad and Tobago.”Samuel was born in the city of San Fernando in the south-west of Trinidad but moved to England as a youngster and represented London Schoolboys teams.He played youth football for Charlton before joining Villa, where he made nearly 200 appearances between 1999 and 2007.Samuel was capped by England from Under-18 to Under-21 level and was an unused substitute for a senior international against Sweden in 2004.He attempted to switch international allegiance before Trinidad and Tobago played at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.Although his application was rejected by FIFA because he was over 21 at the time, he later represented the country of his birth.Samuel joined Bolton in 2007, where he made 83 appearances, and also had loan spells at Gillingham and Cardiff before ending his playing career in Iran.“We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of our former player Jlloyd Samuel at the age of just 37 in a car accident,” said a post on Villa’s official Twitter account ahead of their Sky Bet Championship play-off game against Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.“Our players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect tonight and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this very difficult time.”Cardiff also paid tribute to Samuel by tweeting: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former #CardiffCity defender, Jlloyd Samuel.”“Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this incredibly difficult time.”
Lawyers representing injured victims and families of those killed in the Glasgow helicopter crash have started legal action against the aircraft's operator. Ten people died when the police helicopter crashed into the roof of the Clutha pub on November 29 last year. More than 100 people were inside the city-centre bar at the time. Irwin Mitchell's specialist aviation law team has sent a letter of claim to the legal representatives of Bond Aviation Group and also reiterated calls for a full examination of what can be done to improve flight safety. One client the law firm is representing in the compensation claim is John McGarrigle. Mr McGarrigle's father, also called John, died when the helicopter crashed through the roof. It has not yet been established what caused the helicopter to fall from the sky, although investigators say initial evidence rules out engine or gearbox failure. The helicopter crew of pilot David Traill, PC Tony Collins and PC Kirsty Nelis died in the Clutha crash as well as seven customers in the pub. They were John McGarrigle, Mark O'Prey, Gary Arthur, Colin Gibson, Robert Jenkins, Samuel McGhee and Joe Cusker.
Campaigners against the so-called bedroom tax remain optimistic following a tribunal hearing in Edinburgh. Glenrothes man David Nelson, who won a landmark test case against the ending of the spare room subsidy, said he was awaiting a verdict from officials after the initial ruling was contested by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Last year’s verdict, which declared that size does matter when it comes to defining a bedroom, made national headlines following the huge controversy surrounding the implementation of the spare room levy. Despite the DWP’s efforts to overturn QC Simon Collin’s decision, Mr Nelson said he remained confident. About 75,000 Scottish households are affected by the policy that resulted in people with one spare room having their housing benefit cut by 1% and those with two or more facing a 25% reduction in benefit. Mr Collins ruled that a room measuring less than 50 sq ft is not a bedroom and a room measuring between 50 and 70 can only be used by a child under 10. The DWP contends that a room is a bedroom if it can accommodate a bed. If the DWP’s appeal fails, it could see the scrapping of the policy altogether.
A retired doctor has won a fight to have her great uncle’s name spelled correctly on a village memorial 97 years after he died in France aged 20 during the First World War. Alison Corfield said the mis-spelling of Private George Samuel’s name as “Samuels” on the memorial at Shepreth, Cambridgeshire, caused “great distress” to his parents. Parish councillors in Shepreth have decided to have the final “s” removed after a plea from Mrs Corfield, 67, of Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Shepreth Parish Councilchairman Donna Thomas said a stonemason had given advice and changes would be made. “We will be making the amendment to the war memorial and will be covering the cost,” she said. “We have also spoken to the local vicar and she has said that once the correction has been made there will be a re-dedication and we will be inviting the family to attend.”
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
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 new Police Scotland helicopter will be fitted with a black box recorder in line with recommendations following the Clutha tragedy. In addition to the standard equipment, the new aircraft will have a cockpit voice and flight data recorder, known as a black box recorder, unlike the force helicopter which crashed through the roof of the Clutha bar in Glasgow on November 29 2013, claiming 10 lives. An Air Accidents Investigations Branch (AAIB) report into the tragedy recommended equipment to record data, audio and images be made compulsory for police aircraft. Further additional safety features in the new aircraft include a recording system to video helicopter flight systems and instruments within the cockpit, a helicopter terrain awareness and warning system, and an emergency locator transmitter. Bond Air Services will provide the Airbus EC 135 T3 helicopter to replace the current EC 135 T2 model after winning a seven-year £17.9 million air support contract. The firm, which provided the EC 135 T2 Clutha crash helicopter, had the Police Scotland and Scottish Police Association (SPA) contract renewed following a competitive tendering and procurement process. Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: "Bond Air Services and Police Scotland have a well-established collaborative relationship and have worked together to find solutions to enhance the operational capabilities of Police Scotland air support whilst taking into consideration the AAIB recommendations. "The new helicopter will be fitted with technology which goes beyond current industry standards for this type of aircraft." SPA chairman Andrew Flanagan said: "The SPA set expectations that a renewed air support service for policing in Scotland should set the standard for safety in the UK and we are pleased that this new contract delivers on that." The AAIB report found two fuel supply switches were off in the Clutha crash helicopter and the pilot did not follow emergency procedures after a fuel warning in the cockpit. Pilot David Traill, Pc Tony Collins and Pc Kirsty Nellis died on board the aircraft and John McGarrigle, Mark O'Prey, Gary Arthur, Colin Gibson, Robert Jenkins and Samuel McGhee were killed in the pub. Joe Cusker was pulled from the wreckage alive but later died in hospital. The bar re-opened last July, 20 months after the disaster.