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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...

Business news

Dunedin Enterprise seeks to internationalise

August 30 2013

Investment trust Dunedin Enterprise said it would seek to internationalise the operations of its portfolio firms to reduce their reliance on single markets. The listed trust, in which Dundee’s Alliance Trust Savings is a significant shareholder through Dunedin’s savings plan schemes, revealed a 0.5% rise in net asset value per share to 535.1p during the six months to the end of June. Overall net asset value fell to £123.7 million in the same period after £12.5m was returned to shareholders via a tender offer. Dunedin invested a total of £10.2m and realised £18.1m from investments. Live stakes include holdings in crane firm Weldex, courier company CitySprint and oil and gas component manufacturer Premier Hytemp. The trust, which principally invests in UK lower mid-market management buyouts with an enterprise value of £20m to £75m, said it had seen a “strong pipeline” of new opportunities in the period and was focussed on business services, financial services and industrials. “The existing portfolio continues to evolve both through organic growth and acquisitions,” it said. “A key driver of growth from within the portfolio is to internationalise the operations of some portfolio companies to make them less reliant on a single economy. “The manager actively assists portfolio companies to achieve this. “Though the economic outlook remains uncertain firms in the portfolio are well financed to take advantage of opportunities.” The trust also announced that chairman David Gamble is to retire from the board in May and will be replaced by Duncan Budge.

Golf

Old Course clash forces name change in Florida

January 31 2011

A golf course in Florida has been forced to change its name after the managers of St Andrews' Old Course threatened to sue over trademark infringement. Golf has been played at the 18-hole course known as St Andrews Links, in Dunedin, since 1960. But last year the City of Dunedin and course management Billy Casper Golf received a demand of $75,000 from St Andrews Links Trust with the threat of legal action. A cashless settlement was reached, with the agreement the golf course change its name and stop using all St Andrews Links marks, including images of the Swilcan Bridge. The municipal course has been given until April to cease using its current name and transfer website domain name www.saintandrewslinks.com to the trust. St Andrews Links is regarded as the home of golf, the game having been played there for over 600 years, and St Andrews Links Trust, set up in 1974, runs its seven courses. Its most famous course, the Old Course, is a favourite among some of the world's best golfers, including Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. A challenging course, it has hosted the Open Championship 28 times, more than any other venue and is considered a Mecca for lovers of the game, with people travelling from all the world to play it.BeginnersThe palm-tree-flanked Pinellas County course soon to be known as Dunedin Stirling Links Golf Course is made up of par-three holes and is popular with beginners. Dunedin, the twin town of Stirling, is proud of its connections with Scotland, having been founded by Scottish settlers. Its name comes from the Gaelic for Edinburgh. The agreement between lawyers for Dunedin City and Washington-based Nixon Peabody, acting for St Andrews Links, stressed that St Andrews Links had used its name and depictions of the Swilcan Bridge in connection with golf-related goods and services throughout the world, including the US. A significant sum had been spent marketing these goods, establishing "valuable consumer recognition, goodwill and fame", it said. The agreement states use by the City of Dunedin or Billy Casper Golf of St Andrews Links marks or any confusingly similar variation of them would "constitute trademark infringement and unfair competition." While the name remains on the Dunedin golf course's website, a note states that, "Saint Andrews Links (FL) is not in any way affiliated with Saint Andrews Links of Scotland." St Andrews Links Trust chief executive Euan Loudon said, "St Andrews Links is recognised around the world as the Home of Golf. "It is a national asset for Scotland, and St Andrews Links has a duty to protect the St Andrews name and the reputation of its world renowned golf courses.Identity"The Swilcan Bridge is also an important part of this identity and we cannot allow it to be exploited. "We appreciate that the City of Dunedin may have had innocent intentions and that is why we have reached an amicable agreement with them to resolve the matter." Dunedin mayor Dave Eggers told The Courier, "I believe the name on the course has been there for over 50 years, and to my knowledge has never had any issues with the not-to-be-confused-with Saint Andrews course in Scotland." He added, "This naming is really about creating a tie to Scotland and our own heritage here." "In any event we were very surprised when they approached us on this 'infringement' and candidly approached the contact initially like a simple misunderstanding. "When we realized they were serious we contacted a special attorney to see of our exposure. "Though he felt quite good with our case we nonetheless would have at least had to cover our attorney's fees if not more."

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

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.

Perth & Kinross

City centre brought to standstill as International Folk Dance Festival performers come to Perth

July 22 2015

An international band of dancers and musicians brought the centre of Perth to a standstill. Hundreds of people stopped to watch the colourful performances of folk music and dancing from Scotland, France, Germany and Italy. Picture gallery: Dancers dazzle crowed in Perth ahead of International Folk Dance Festival The groups have gathered in Scotland for the 23rd Dunedin International Folk Dance Festival, which is staged in Edinburgh every two years. As part of the festival, which features 200 dancers of all ages, they perform at venues across Scotland. An appearance at Falkland was rained off but they will be in action in the Queen Anne Garden at Stirling Castle on Saturday from noon to 2pm. The festivites got under way with a piper-led parade from St Matthew’s Church on Tay Street then along South Street to King Edward Street for the performances. The aim of the dance festival is to promote friendship between the countries of Europe through a shared love of folk dance and music. The groups are invited during visits abroad by the Dunedin Dancers. “This is the first time we have come to Perth, we have had really good support from the council,” said Rosalie Wilkie, one of the festival organisers, who lives near Perth.

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

UK & World

New Zealand police to re-examine plot to kill Queen during 1981 visit

March 1 2018

New Zealand police are to re-examine a teenager’s plot to kill the Queen during her 1981 visit to the country after secret documents confirmed the assassination attempt.A senior officer will lead the examination of the case file after declassified papers shed new light on the failed efforts of Christopher John Lewis to shoot the Queen as her limousine passed through Dunedin on October 14 1981.The move comes after the New Zealand establishment faced renewed accusations they attempted to cover up the incident at the time.The attempt by Lewis, who was then aged 17, to gun down the Queen has featured in a book and newspaper articles but documents obtained by the New Zealand news website Stuff confirm police officers and members of the public heard “what they took to be a shot”.The documents were released under an Official Information Act request to the Commonwealth country’s Security Intelligence Service (SIS).An SIS document said the possibility of a firearm being discharged in the vicinity of the Queen was highly likely and a .22 rifle, with a discharged cartridge in the breech, was recovered by police from the fifth floor of the building Lewis had chosen.The angle of fire would have made it difficult to hit the Queen as buildings screened her from view, although she was visible briefly on four occasions, the papers stated.After a former Dunedin detective went public about the assassination attempt in 1997, an SIS memo from the same year stated Lewis had intended to assassinate the Queen but did not have the equipment or vantage point to carry out the attack.At the time, the incident was played down by New Zealand police, who reportedly told local and international media the apparent sound of a gunshot was a council sign falling over.Lewis, who died in 1997, was not charged with treason or attempted treason, which added to suspicions of a cover-up, but was convicted of a much lesser offence.A New Zealand police spokeswoman said: “Given the interest in this historic matter, the police commissioner Mike Bush has asked the deputy commissioner national operations Mike Clement to oversee an examination by current investigation staff of the relevant case file.“Given the passage of time, it is anticipated this examination of the old file and its associated material will take some time. New Zealand police will share the outcome of this examination once it has been completed.”

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.

Perth & Kinross

Flavours of Perthshire on offer on Saturday

October 3 2014

A major celebration of locally-produced food and drink is expected to draw crowds into the centre of Perth this weekend. The first Flavours of Perthshire event will take place on Saturday and, if it proves successful, could become an annual fixture. More than 50 producers will take part in the festival at King Edward Street, which will feature cookery demonstrations by some of the area’s top chefs. To kickstart the festivities, the city’s Caf Tabou launched its latest cocktail, which is appropriately named the Pride of Perthshire. The show has been put together by Perth Farmers’ Market organiser Adeline Watson. She said: “I was keen to create an event which showcased the quality of local produce and to establish links between the farmers’ market and food and drink-related businesses in the area.” The festival has been supported by the Think Local Community Fund. During the day, which runs from 9am-3pm, entertainment will be provided by Perthshire Brass, the Dunedin Dancers and the Ad Lib theatre group. Cooking displays will be hosted by chefs including Graeme Pallister of 63 Tay Street, Tim Dover of the Roost Restaurant, Tony Heath, who runs his own city cook school, and Praveen Kumar of the Tabla Restaurant. There will also be a demonstration of butchery by Moray MacDonald from Hugh Grierson Organic. Ms Watson added: “I’m absolutely delighted that local businesses have come on board with the concept. “The day will be a celebration of all that’s great about Perthshire food and drink.” Also planned is a wine and chocolate tasting session hosted by Exel Wines, while delicatessen Provender Brown will be offering samples. Caf Tabou has put Market Specials on its menu to complement the event. Farmers’ market days were revived at Perth in modest style 15 years ago. The concept has since been rolled out to towns and villages throughout the country. The market was the brainchild of farmer Jim Fairlie, who said he was frustrated by the way the farming community had been lambasted by certain parts of the media following the BSE crisis of the late 1990s. A trip to France, where such markets have always been popular, inspired him to set up the regular event in Perth. The first market opened on a cold day in April with just 12 stalls in King Edward Street. The event has since grown into a thriving part of community life in the city centre.

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