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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...

Dundee

Outspoken journalist Max Blumenthal gives talk at Dundee University

February 27 2015

Award-winning journalist and bestselling author Max Blumenthal pulled in the crowds at Dundee University when he appeared as guest speaker at the Dalhousie building. The controversial Blumenthal, whose articles and video documentaries challenging both Israel and the United States’ Middle East policies have appeared in newspapers worldwide, attracted a near-capacity audience for the lecture on his outspoken views on Israel and its policies. Blumenthal caused controversy in late 2014 and early 2015 when he compared decorated Navy SEAL Chris Kyle to mass murderer Lee Malvo and criticised the film American Sniper which depicts Kyle’s tours of duty in Iraq. Blumenthal said the movie heavily distorts the truth of the war on Iraq and calls it a “bogus whitewash of the atrocities committed by US troops there”.

Fife

Perthshire driver banned from driving for a year after refusing police breathalyser

February 15 2018

Shop staff in Ballingry called the police when they saw a customer staggering before driving away in his car. The incident resulted in 61-year-old Douglas Kyle appearing in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court after he refused a breathalyser. Kyle, of Fairdene, Leslie Road, Scotlandwell, admitted he failed to provide two specimens of breath when requested at Dunfermline police station on September 14. The court heard he had been spotted in his car in Ballingry earlier that day and his behaviour had led to fears he was drink-driving. Depute fiscal Azrah Yousaf said: “At around 6.30pm Mr Kyle was seen at a local shop. He appeared to be staggering and was unsteady on his feet. He got into his car and people in the shop phoned the police.” Police went to Kyle’s home and he refused to give a breath sample, saying he had been drinking since returning home. “He was struggling to keep hold of a bottle of vodka. He was trying to drink from it,” added the depute. Defence solicitor James Moncrieff said his client’s position was that he was staggering because of health problems and he only started drinking when he got home. “Because he had not been stopped by the police he thought he didn’t have to give a breath sample,” he added. Sheriff Simon Collins banned Kyle from driving for a year and fined him £400.

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

Scottish League 1

Double blow for Raith boss Barry Smith after two key defenders are ruled out through injury

September 12 2017

Raith boss Barry Smith will turn to the club’s youth ranks after two key defenders were ruled out by injury. Skipper Kyle Benedictus suffered a fractured right fibula in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Ayr United at Stark’s Park. The 25-year-old centre-half is set to miss up to eight weeks and he will be joined on the sidelines by Kevin McHattie who is due to see a specialist. It is a bitter double blow for Smith who also lost former club captain Ross Callachan last week after he was snapped up by Hearts for an undisclosed fee. Smith said: “Kyle’s injury just happened when there was a clash of legs. “To begin with, he didn’t think it was serious and tried to play on but he quickly realised there was something wrong. “He was taken to hospital and it has now been confirmed there is a fracture and he could be out for six to eight weeks. “Hopefully he will be a quick healer as we have a small squad and it looks like we will also have Kevin McHattie out for a spell. “He had his groin op during the summer which was a success but this is a secondary thing and he will be going to see a consultant next week. “Unfortunately I have been told there are no funds available to bring a loan player in. ”So we will just have to hope that the young players can step up to the plate even although they have no experience at this level.” The injury news put a dampener on what had been a good weekend for Rovers with the Kirkcaldy side stretching their lead at the top of League 1 to four points with the win over Ayr. Smith added: “We are in a good place at the moment but we are determined to keep progressing. “I was delighted with the result against Ayr and also with the resilience we showed to come back from being 1-0 down.”

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.

Golf

Memorial tournament victory ‘a real treat’ for Matt Kuchar

June 3 2013

A nerveless final-day performance saw Matt Kuchar retain his two-shot overnight lead to win the Memorial tournament at Muirfield Village. The Ryder Cup star led by two strokes at the start of the day and after holding off an early charge from Scott Stallings, he pulled clear with six birdies on the day. The 34-year-old birdied the first and also all four par fives at the Dublin, Ohio, resort as he closed with a four-under-par round of 68 for a 12-under total of 276. Playing partners Kevin Chappell and Kyle Stanley were second and third on 10 under and seven under respectively. “It’s such an amazing feeling, this stuff never gets old,” Kuchar told Sky Sports 1 after being congratulated by tournament host Jack Nicklaus. “To win this and have Jack Nicklaus congratulate me is a real treat.” Kuchar extended his lead over playing partners Kyle Stanley and Kevin Chappell at the first opportunity and it soon appeared the challenge would come from a surprising source. Stallings, who looked to have dropped well out of contention with a round of 75 on Saturday, played the front nine in five under par with a run of five successive birdies from the fourth hole. And when another followed at the 10th he was alone in second on seven under par, two shots behind Kuchar. That was as good as it got, though, and another birdie at the 17th was sandwiched by bogeys. Kuchar gave his opening birdie back at the par-three fourth but was on in two at the par-five next. His eagle putt ran just through but he tapped in for birdie to go to nine under. The long seventh and 11th brought further birdies and he repeated the trick at the 15th. He bogeyed the 16th and found a fairway bunker at the next, but escaped safely to the middle of the green and birdied the last with no alarms, rolling in a nice right-to-left putt from 21 feet. The first prize of $1,116,000 (£734,000) adds to significant paydays for his wins over the past three years The Barclays in 2010, last year’s Players Championship and the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship earlier this season. The latter means only he and Tiger Woods have more than one event on tour this season. World number one Woods was a long way off the pace here, eight over after a level-par closing round to follow his nightmare 79 on Saturday. Chappell was steady through the first 12 holes but failed to make a move, notably at the friendly par fives which served Kuchar so well. He birdied the 13th and 15th, the latter after a tee-shot sent flush over the pin, to keep himself in contention. Stanley’s challenge sputtered out at the 17th as he hit his second shot from one bunker to another, was unable to splash out on to the green and then underhit his chip, before holing a good putt to escape with bogey. Chappell holed a good 19-foot birdie putt to go down the last hole two strokes behind the leader, hit his approach just a couple of feet short of the pin and made birdied but to no avail. “At the end there, it got scary,” Kuchar acknowledged. “I was hoping Kevin’s ball wasn’t going to go in for a two at the end, he made a great run and Kyle played some solid golf as well.” Stallings shared fourth place with Bill Haas on six under, with Australia’s Matt Jones the leading non-American in a share of sixth. English pair Justin Rose, the 2010 champion, and Brian Davis were four under along with 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and American Pat Perez.

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

Dundee

Wave 102 DJ found guilty of assaulting estranged wife

July 12 2012

A Dundee radio presenter has been found guilty of domestic assault and breach of the peace. Steven Kyle, who presents Wave 102's Saturday Party Show, appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court accused of assaulting his estranged wife by seizing her by the arm and jaw at an address in Arbroath Road on April 13. Kyle (46), also of Arbroath Road, faced a further charge of breaching the peace by allegedly stopping Kelly Kyle from leaving the building following an argument. Sheriff George Way found Kyle guilty of both charges and deferred sentence to October 11. The court heard how several neighbours of Ms Kyle had heard shouting before going outside to investigate. The court was then told how Kyle had tried to stop his ex from leaving and grabbed at her, breaking her necklace. Ms Kyle said: ''I was scared. The way he grabbed me was forceful.'' Ian Myles, defending, said: ''He's a loving father. He's not proud of his actions. '' Sheriff Way said: ''Mr Kyle may have been provoked, but it's clear it went further than a discussion and Mr Kyle trying to argue his case. I believe he did lose his temper. ''I'll defer sentence for three months for good behaviour to allow Mr Kyle to prove to me he can resolve his issues with his ex without spilling over into public disorder.''

Dundee FC

Ray Farningham hopes Nicky Riley gives Dundee the X Factor

September 3 2013

Dundee assistant manager Ray Farningham is hoping a fit-again Nicky Riley will provide the Dark Blues with a creative “X Factor”. The 27-year-old winger made his return from a medial ligament injury in the 3-0 victory over Livingston on Friday night in what was just his second appearance of the season. The former Celtic player came on for a memorable 30-minute cameo appearance and set up Peter MacDonald for a simple tap-in for the third goal following a mazy run through the visitors’ defence. Now, Farningham is keeping his fingers crossed that Riley can stay free of injury and enjoy an extended run in the side. The assistant boss said: “It was great to have Nicky back on Friday night. He showed what he is capable of when he came on. “He has that ability to go past players and create. It was definitely something we were missing in previous games, that creative side of it. “Supporters love that and so do I there isn’t enough of it in the game. The problem with Nicky last year was that he was always picking up niggly knocks so he really needs a run of games to get going fully.” Farningham revealed that two of Dundee’s injury victims are easing back to fitness and that Kevin McBride who hobbled off after 77 minutes against Livingston has made a rapid recovery. He said: “Nicky and Kyle Benedictus are back in full training with the squad and hopefully Iain Davidson and Steven Doris may return before the end of the week. Barra (McBride) also trained today despite taking a sore one on Friday night.” Meanwhile, it is understood that St Mirren defender Lee Mair will not be joining the Dark Blues for what would have been his second stint with the club.

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