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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...


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”.


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

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.

Perth & Kinross

Twisted school support worker traded indecent videos to attract chat room perverts

November 9 2017

A primary school support worker who traded indecent videos of children being abused to keep fellow perverts talking in seedy internet chat rooms has been jailed for 40 months. Stuart Allison, 44, was involved in the sickening trade while he was working with vulnerable children as young as eight in a classroom setting. Perth Sheriff Court heard he had been downloading child abuse material for 12 years before his activities were brought to a halt by the police. When officers raided Allison’s home they discovered seven internet-enabled devices. Indecent material was found on every one of them. He has now been placed on the sex offenders register for “an indefinite period”, ensuring his movements will be monitored by the authorities for life following his release. Perth and Kinross Council said it had worked closely with the Police Scotland investigation and confirmed he was no longer an employee. As he appeared for sentencing, laden with bags filled with his belongings, Allison detailed how he had made changes in his life and now intended to study at university. He accepted he had been guilty of serious offences, committed over many years but said the number of images was “not the greatest the court would ever have seen”. Allison also claimed he had “seen the error of his ways” and was “disappointed” to find  authorities considered he was at “moderate risk” of reoffending. The court heard Police Scotland staged a raid on Allison’s home in Perthshire after being informed that someone at the address was using Skype to share graphic child abuse clips. Depute fiscal Tina Dickie said: “He was employed as a learning support assistant at a local primary school. He was working with children aged between eight and 12. “The police received information that a device linked to the accused’s home was involved in the distribution of indecent images of children. “A search warrant was executed on November 15 2016 and various items of computer equipment were seized.” Mrs Dickie told the court Allison had used his Skype account to pass on 100 videos which were categorised as the most depraved. She said he had been storing nearly 1,000 videos, which would have taken fully four days to watch, and also had almost 1,500 still images. Allison, of Trinafour, admitted that between September 2004 and November 2016 he took, or 
permitted to be taken and possessed indecent photographs of children. He also admitted distributing or showing indecent images of children between August 2015 and May 2016. Solicitor John McLaughlin said his client was “terrified” by the prospect of imprisonment, but Sheriff Lindsay Foulis was unmoved. He told Allison: “The number of still and moving images may not be the greatest but a significant number were at the most serious end of categorisation. “All of those videos distributed to others were at the highest end – though I appreciate they were being distributed for just nine months of the 12 year period. “Custody is the only appropriate disposal.” A spokesman for Perth and Kinross Council said: “The council worked closely with Police Scotland and provided any support required during its investigation. “No pupils from any Perth and Kinross school have been identified as part of the investigation.”

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


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.''

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.

Angus & The Mearns

Rescuers just glad they could help

July 5 2014

A pair of Good Samaritans who leapt to the rescue after an Angus car crash have shrugged off their hero tag. Plumbers Gordon Clark and Kyle Hayter freed Brechin mother Katie Dunn and her 12-week-old daughter Gabrielle from her vehicle after it went off the road near Forfar last week. Credit controller Katie, 32, was left in shock after the crash before Gordon and Kyle leapt to her rescue and got the mother and baby out of harm’s way at the Fledymye crash scene. They left after police arrived and Katie contacted The Courier to publicly thank the mystery knights of the road following the terrifying incident. Mr Clark, 29, from Kirkinch and Mr Hayter, 21, from Newtyle, got in touch after reading our front page article but played down their heroics. Mr Clark said: “We just did what anyone else would have done. “We were coming home and the road was quite busy when we saw the nose of the jeep in the grass. “It looked like the accident had just happened. We drove past but instinct took over and we turned 50 yards down the road and came back to check everything was OK.” Other drivers had already passed by, oblivious to Katie and Gabrielle’s plight after their vehicle left the road and plunged down an embankment in heavy rain at a series of bends. Mr Clark added: “She was frozen in the seat. She was completely in shock and the baby was crying in the back seat. “We made sure there were no injuries and took the phone from her and called the police.” The vehicle was still in a precarious position so Gordon and Kyle who both work for Peter M Drummond Ltd of Meigle got Katie and Gabrielle out of the car. An off-duty police officer then arrived on the scene ahead of the emergency services and told the pair he would take over. The rescuers got back in their white van and headed home. They both wondered if the woman they had helped was all right and got their answer when they picked up The Courier. Kyle said they were delighted to see mother and baby were unscathed and the plumbers have since sent a message to Katie to thank her for her kind words. “It felt pretty good to see just how gratefulshe was for what we had done,” he said. “It’s just not in our nature to drive past if we think somebody is in trouble. We thought somebody was in the car and might need our help, so we stopped. “We’d actually been talking about what happened so it was great to read that there had been a happy ending.”