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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

Arbroath Library welcomes top crime writers

June 15 2013

Arbroath Library welcomed three of Scotland’s top female crime writers for an evening of insight into their work. To celebrate Crime Month, Lin Anderson, Caro Ramsay and Aline Templeton talked to visitors about Scottish crime writing and their own characters and novels. Lin’s first novel Driftnet was an immediate bestseller back in 2006 and she is now working on her ninth novel featuring tough, sexy forensic expert Dr Rhona MacLeod as well as a film script based on her short story Dead Close. Caro Ramsay’s first novel, Absolution, was also a bestseller and was short-listed for the Crime Writer Association’s New Blood Dagger award in 2008. Aline Templeton’s DI Marjory Fleming novels, set in Galloway, are popular with Angus readers. She is a member of the Scottish Parliament cross party group for media and culture.

Scottish League 1

Rangers 3 Arbroath 2: Lichties close to Ibrox shock

January 27 2014

Arbroath boss Paul Sheerin admitted he was proud of his battling side as the Lichties twice held the lead in their clash with runaway League One leaders Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday. A penalty from Gers captain Lee McCulloch allowed the Gers to scrape a 3-2 victory in a thrilling contest. The Glasgow side were twice forced to fight back from behind as goals from Jon Daly and David Templeton cancelled out strikes from David Banjo and Bobby Linn. McCulloch’s late spot-kick then proved to be decisive as Rangers managed to hold on for the win and move 23 points ahead of second-placed Dunfermline. Sheerin who was unhappy with the penalty award said: “I’m proud but ultimately we have lost the game so it is pointless being proud when you lose football matches. “I think everybody gets caught up in this thing about going to Ibrox or Celtic Park that you’re the smaller club, which is rightly so, but we set up to win any football match, whether we train for four hours or 40 hours a week. “It frustrates the life out of me when people say ‘enjoy your day’ because the only way you enjoy your day is when you win.” Rangers goalkeeper Cammy Bell reclaimed the gloves despite an impressive display from stand-in Steve Simonsen at Forfar on Monday after the regular number one missed the last match due to the birth of his daughter. Ian Black was also back in the starting line-up after returning from suspension but Arnold Peralta had to settle for a place on the bench after serving his own ban. Arbroath had shipped eight goals with just one in reply in two previous meetings with Rangers this season. But they had managed to open the scoring in a 5-1 defeat on their last visit to Ibrox and it was deja vu as the Red Lichties surged into the lead again on this occasion. The match was just two minutes old when Alan Cook’s cross from the left found Banjo in space and he was able to dispatch the ball into the back of the net at the back post. Rangers attempted to hit back immediately and a corner cleared only as far as Lee Wallace saw the left-back launch a thunderous effort that flashed just past the post. Black then sent a free-kick curling just over the bar, before the home side levelled on 21 minutes. It was Black who started the move when he released Wallace down the left flank and he cut back for Daly to stroke past goalkeeper Scott Morrison. Rangers were threatening again when Dean Shiels cut inside from the right only to smash his shot into the side-netting. The home side were denied just before the break when Bilel Mohsni’s header was cleared off the line by an alert Alex Keddie. Rangers still looked dangerous after the restart and an over-head kick from Shiels released Nicky Law through on goal but his effort was blocked by Morrison. It was Arbroath, however, who had the net bulging again after 50 minutes when a McCulloch mistake allowed Linn to break free of the Gers defence and unleash a shot that came off the inside of the far post and trundled over the line. Jeers rang around the stadium as furious fans made their feelings at the shock scoreline known. Lewis Macleod hobbled out of the action and was replaced by Templeton a minute after the goal, before Shiels was swapped for Andy Little three minutes after the first substitution. It was one of those replacements who hauled Rangers back into the game with the second equaliser of the day after 72 minutes when Templeton forced his way into the box before drilling low past Morrison. Seconds later, Mohsni also had the ball in the net, when he pounced on the rebound after Templeton’s effort struck the post, but the close-range shot was ruled offside. Rangers did manage to edge in front with 12 minutes to go when Daly was felled in the box and McCulloch stepped up to convert the resultant spot-kick with confidence to secure the points as the hosts survived a last-gasp scramble in their box. Rangers boss Ally McCoist, who hailed the impact of sub David Templeton, said: “We lost two poor goals. “The first one was a real disappointment early on and the second one was arguably worse right at the start of the second half. “I said to the lads at half-time that for the vast majority of the game they played really well. I thought they knocked the ball about and showed a lot of spirit and they worked very hard for each other. We created a lot of openings and we had a few chances to score. “We probably put ourselves under pressure with the two goals we lost, which was uncharacteristic of us to lose those types of goals.”

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


Rangers goal hero Nicky Clark optimistic despite latest setback

March 19 2015

Rangers striker Nicky Clark insists his side can take confidence from their 2-2 draw with Alloa when they bid to avoid another defeat to Hibernian on Sunday. Clark’s headed double looked to have earned Rangers all three points at Ibrox on Tuesday but a late goal from Liam Buchanan consigned them to a fifth consecutive draw, and their second under Stuart McCall. Any new-manager bounce is yet to take effect on their results and Rangers now travel to Easter Road on Sunday, scene of a 4-0 thrashing just after Christmas. Rangers are 9-1 down on aggregate against Hibs in the Scottish Championship and have won just once in nine matches. But Clark felt there was some creativity in the team from wide players Tom Walsh and David Templeton and agreed with McCall’s assessment that there were reasons for optimism. The former Queen of the South forward said: “We are looking forward to it. We know it’s a massive game for us but every game is massive at this club. “We can take a lot of positives out of Tuesday’s game. I thought we did well. Wee Walshy was brilliant again, Temps made a difference when he came on. So we will take confidence into Sunday.” Rangers looked to have turned the game on its head going into the final quarter, with Clark heading home a rebound following a short burst of intense pressure, before heading home Templeton’s cross in the 77th minute. Clark said: “It was great to get the two goals on a personal level but I would have much preferred to have got the three points.” McCall claimed Ibrox was one of the most difficult places to play for a home team after his side made it five games without a win in Govan. Clark said: “It’s obviously a difficult place to play. It’s different from every other club, there are 40,000 here every week wanting you to do well. “But as professionals you wouldn’t be here if the manager didn’t think we could handle that. We need to make sure we are professional about our jobs when we are on the park.”


Man appears in court charged with attempted Templeton murder

August 9 2017

A 31-year-old man, Robbie McIntosh appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court accused of attempting to murder a woman in a vicious woodland attack. McIntosh appeared in private from custody before Sheriff Simon Collins QC on Wednesday afternoon, accused of the attempted murder of Dundee woman Linda McDonald. Ms McDonald is currently in a serious condition in Ninewells hospital, where she is being treated for a head injury after apparently being struck repeatedly with a dumbbell. McIntosh, of Rowan Place, Bridgefoot, made no plea and no declaration to two charges levelled against him. He was remanded in custody and committed for further examination. McIntosh was charged with attempted murder in Templeton woods on Monday August 7. The attempted murder charge alleges McIntosh repeatedly struck Linda McDonald, 52, on the head and body with a dumbbell, rendering her unconscious before dragging her along a path – to her permanent impairment and disfigurement, to the danger of her life and did attempt to murder her. The second charge alleges McIntosh attempted to defeat the ends of justice –  having allegedly committed the crime in charge one – by washing his clothes to conceal and destroy any evidence. McIntosh was remanded in custody and ordained to appear back before the court in Dundee within the next eight days. A heavy police presence was witnessed in the immediate aftermath of the alleged crime, both in Templeton woods, Clatto park and Bridgefoot. Officers continued to scour the area and maintained a cordon 24 hours after the incident is said to have occurred. Locals in the area reported seeing scores of police vans and cars lining the road toward Clatto reservoir, with dog walkers continuing to use the remaining open paths. Templeton woods has an infamous and uneasy history of murder, with the bodies of Carol Lannen and Elizabeth McCabe being discovered their in 1979 and 1980. Nobody has ever been convicted of killing the young women, but a cold case investigator and former police intelligence officer Chris Clark believes they may have been killed by World's End murderer Angus Sinclair.

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.


Man accused of attempted murder at Templeton Woods committed to trial

August 17 2017

A man charged with the attempted murder of a woman in  Dundee's Templeton Woods has made his second appearance in court. Robbie McIntosh, 31, of Rowan Place, Bridgefoot, appeared in private at Dundee Sheriff Court on Thursday and was fully committed to trial. Appearing before Sheriff Drummond, he made no plea or declaration and was remanded in custody in the meantime. It is alleged that, on August 7, McIntosh assaulted a woman by repeatedly striking her on the head and body with a dumbbell to her permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment and to the danger of her life. McIntosh is also charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice, on the same date, at Rowan Place, by washing articles of clothing.

Dundee FC

Dundee boss Neil McCann faces up to hitting rock bottom of the league

October 28 2017

Dundee boss Neil McCann refused to hide from his team's league position after watching his side slump to the foot of the Premiership with defeat at home to Hamilton. Despite the dismissal of Massimo Donati, goals from Ioannis Skondras, David Templeton and Antonio Raul Rojano were enough for the points. A-Jay Leitch-Smith's penalty could not keep Dundee off the bottom and McCann said: "I'm aware of the league table. "I don't like being down at the bottom of the table. I'm trying to change things here so that we're not looking down in that direction. "All the other teams who've started to come above us now have been through a difficult period and we're experiencing one now. "The only way to get out of it is to get the boys to be brave and still believe in what we're doing. "This is when you need to use a lot of your man-management skills to gather the boys and make sure they become stronger characters. "Our game has been really attractive to watch without getting results but we need to do the ugly side of things as well. "I'm not going to roll over. We'll get back to work to try and become harder to beat. "We've got a young group and this is when they become men, when it's difficult at times. "Without stating the obvious we need to work on our defensive side of things. There's a real sense of disappointment because the goals we lost were very poor. "Again we were in control of the match and then we get done by a sucker-punch at the first one just before half-time. "It's a bit indicative of our season that we're losing such soft goals." Skondras headed in Dougie Imrie's cross for Hamilton's 39th-minute opener and another Imrie delivery allowed Templeton to hammer in the second. Leitch-Smith scored from the spot after Skondras handled and Donati collected a second booking for kicking the ball away, but Rojano's tap-in settled any late nerves. Hamilton boss Martin Canning said: "It's never easy coming up to Dens Park so we're absolutely delighted. "Our most experienced player, Massimo, has made a naive mistake, which could have cost us but he owes the boys one for digging even deeper. "It's a moment of madness. He should know better despite being frustrated. "I've told Massimo in front of the rest of the boys that he owes them all a beer!"

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 the Herd Book are at a record level and continuing to increase,” said Mr Evans. “But we can’t stand still and it is important that the breed adopts all the latest technology to take the breed forward in the future.” New senior vice-president is Tom Arnott, Haymount, Kelso, while Alex Sanger, Prettycur, Montrose, was appointed junior vice-president.