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...
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.
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 fashion student has claimed it was just “bad luck” that she threw acid over her former partner within days of viewing articles about victims of such attacks.Berlinah Wallace, 48, is charged with murdering Mark van Dongen by leaving him with such catastrophic injuries that he was granted euthanasia and died in Belgium.Wallace insists she believed she was throwing a glass of water over Mr van Dongen, an 29-year-old engineer, as he lay in bed at her flat in Westbury Park, Bristol, in September 2015.Mr van Dongen was left paralysed, scarred, had his lower left leg amputated and lost the sight in his left eye, as well as most of the sight in his right eye, following the incident. Before his death in January 2017, Mr van Dongen told police he woke at 3am on September 23 to hear Wallace laugh and tell him: “If I can’t have you, no-one else can” before throwing the acid.In cross-examination of Wallace at Bristol Crown Court, Adam Vaitilingam QC read out a number of articles – later recovered after being deleted from her browsing history – that were visited by the fashion student.On September 13, Wallace searched for advice on how to get back with an ex-boyfriend but the following day asked Google “can I die from drink sulphuric acid”.Wallace told the court that she had not read any of the articles and was only interesting in viewing images of acid attack victims.“What was so interesting to you about pictures of people who had acid thrown in their faces,” Mr Vaitilingam asked.Wallace replied: “Just curiosity.”Mr Vaitilingam told Wallace: “You were obsessed with these sites about people having sulphuric acid thrown in their faces.”Wallace said: “No. I don’t remember looking at these articles.”Mr Vaitilingam asked: “Is it just a coincidence that within a few days of reading these sites or looking at these pictures, you yourself have thrown sulphuric acid in Mark’s face?”Wallace replied: “Yes. It is just a coincidence – bad luck.” She described Mr van Dongen as “my best friend, my family” and said she missed him after he left her for his new girlfriend, Violet Farquharson.During a police interview, Wallace claimed that Mr van Dongen must have placed the acid in her glass and left it by the side of the bed for her to drink.Wallace, from South Africa, said she did not drink from her glass and instead threw it over Mr van Dongen when he pulled on her underwear during an argument.Mr Vaitilingam read part of one of the articles visited by Wallace in September 2015.“It is a story about a man tricking his partner into drinking sulphuric acid,” he told Wallace.“Is it what gave you the idea for your defence in this case – I’m going to say that Mark tried to trick me and put it in my glass for me to drink?“That’s what gave you the idea. (You thought) ‘No-one will know it’s a story I read because I’ve deleted it from my internet history.”Wallace replied: “That’s not true. Because I never read the story. Like I said, I was only clicking on images.“I never read any articles because I was not interested in reading them.”When asked why Mr van Dongen would want to kill Wallace, the defendant told the court that she had “said nasty things to him”.Mr Vaitilingam pointed out that on September 21, Mr van Dongen refused to give Wallace money to pay for a flight home.“If Mark had wanted to be rid of you, was there something stopping him buying you a plane ticket to South Africa and waving you goodbye?” Mr Vaitilingam asked.Wallace replied: “Well he didn’t want me to go. It is so unfair to make me think what Mark was thinking in this moment.”In text messages, Mr van Dongen said he would financially provide for Wallace through the remainder of her studies.But after he asked Wallace not to contact him, she told him she would no longer go to university and wanted to go home.Mr Vaitilingam told Wallace: “You were emotionally blackmailing Mark by telling him how devastated you were and how you couldn’t finish your course and how you were going to go back to South Africa.”The defendant replied: “I find what you are saying really unkind. You have no idea how I was really feeling at the time.“That’s a really unkind thing to say. I couldn’t take the stress anymore. He was my family. I felt alone and I just wanted to go home.”Mr van Dongen returned to Wallace following her message and arrived at her home at 10pm on September 22.Neighbours called 999 just before 3am after hearing him screaming in pain in the street outside.Wallace denied that she had told Mr van Dongen: “If I can’t have you, no-one else can”.She wept and cried “no” when Mr Vaitilingam asked if she was aiming at her former partner’s face when she threw the liquid over him.“I didn’t mean to hurt him,” she wept. “I didn’t mean to hurt Mark.”The defendant, of Ladysmith Road, Bristol, denies charges of murder and throwing a corrosive substance with intent.The trial continues next week.
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
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
A man accused of murdering two people at a Dundee vigil following the death of a teenager in Arbroath denies the charges and claims he was acting in self-defence, a court has heard. The alleged stabbing took place at around 5am, just hours after Ralphie Smith, 18, fell from cliffs at Arbroath, the High Court in Edinburgh was told. The prosecution and defence have agreed evidence that Julie McCash, 43, sustained a single penetrating wound to her chest, and David Sorrie, 32, sustained a wound to his abdomen, from a knife held by Robert Stratton, which resulted in their deaths. Stratton, 43, has lodged special defences of self-defence and incrimination. A friend of the woman killed during the disturbance described her frantic efforts to resuscitate her. Wendy McKinney, 44, said she found Julie McCash’s lifeless body on Drumlanrig Drive after violence broke out as friends and relatives gathered to offer comfort to Ralphie’s family on February 26. Ms McKinney and her son, Darren Wallace, both admitted they had taken cocaine earlier that day and had been drinking. Ms McKinney said Dundee hairdresser Ms McCash had a stab wound just above her stomach and was showing no signs of life. She was giving evidence at the trial of Robert Stratton who faces a string of charges including the murder of Ms McCash and David Sorrie at a house on Drumlanrig Drive on February 26. Stratton denies all the charges. The court also heard evidence from Darren Wallace, 25, who said he heard Stratton say “who started on my wife?” He said: “Julie said she didn’t start on her but she was arguing with her. “He came across and he stabbed her. I thought it was a punch, but he stabbed her.” He said Stratton’s partner Lee Kinney had earlier been “shouting abuse” at the accused. “Everyone in the house got involved,” he said. He and his mother had been at another house on Drumlanrig Drive with Ms McCash and Ralphie’s mother Nicola Duffy, among others, until 5am. Mr Wallace told defence lawyer Edward Targowski QC he had taken cocaine at this house. Mr Targowski asked: “Were other people taking cocaine?” Mr Wallace said: “Yes”. He also told Mr Targowski that, following an argument between his mother and Ms Kinney, his mother, helped by Ms McCash, had lifted Ms Kinney up and taken her out the door. He said his mother then took Ms Kinney “by the wrists” in the garden and led her to her own gate. Mr Targowski put it to the witness that “there was a large number of people, a group of people, attacking Lee”. Mr Wallace said: “I totally disagree.” The first witness called was Police Constable Kyle Stewart, who said: “It was very emotional. People were shouting, crying and wailing.” Stratton denies murdering Ms McCash by striking her on the body with a knife. He further denies running towards Mr Sorrie while brandishing two knives, attempting to strike him on the body with the weapons and pursuing him and striking him on the body with a knife, and murdering him. He also denies a charge of assaulting his partner Ms Kinney by seizing her by the throat, throwing her to the ground, seizing her by the arms and hair and repeatedly pushing her on the body, picking her up and carrying her away, all to her injury. He further denies assaulting Ms McKinney by running towards her while brandishing two knives. It is claimed he attempted to strike her on the body with the knives. He also denies possessing cocaine. The trial continues.
Glenrothes maintained their title challenge in BT Caledonia Division One after an 8-5 win at home to Dunfermline. Ross Anderson had a try for the hosts and Calum Allardice dotted down for the visitors as the sides reached the break at 5-5 after an error-strewn opening 40 minutes. The teams continued to cancel each other out in the second period, and it took a penalty by Shaun Gray to earn the victory for the hosts. Carnoustie moved out of the bottom two with a 48-5 win at home to basement side Hillfoots. Tom Hall and Jordan Donnachie had two tries apiece and there was one each for Anthony Franco, Mark McQueen and Dani Van Wyk, as well as a penalty try, while McQueen had four conversions. Strathmore lost 22-0 on their trip to leaders Gordonians. The top two sides in Division Two (Midlands) had big wins as they build towards an April 9 showdown. Harris Academy eased to a 70-0 win over Kinross at Elliot Road. The hosts ran in 12 tries. Mike Devlin and Marc Wilson each had doubles, while a penalty try plus four conversions from Craig Wallace saw Harris into a 33-0 interval lead. The second period brought touchdowns for Joe Abbott, Kevin Gibb, Mike McDonald, Chaz Quin, Andy Wallace, Stewart Walker, and Adam Wood. Wallace landed a conversion. Harris remain five points clear of Alloa, who have two games in hand. The Earlsfield men saw off Panmure 85-3. Matt Pope bagged the opening try in the first minute. Twelve others followed, with Lee Cairney claiming four touchdowns and 10 conversions. Daniel Murrell, Matt Pope and skipper Gary Taylor bagged a brace, and Alan Keir, Andrew McTaggart and Ross Brydie scored one apiece. Alloa’s next assignment is a trip to Grangemouth Stags, who bowed out of the BT National Bowl, going down 14-3 away to Millbrae in their semi-final. Blairgowrie will play in Division Three next season after their relegation was confirmed by a 26-6 defeat away to Kirkcaldy seconds. Falkirk seconds extended their lead in Division Three (Midlands) with a 105-0 win over Bo’ness. Crieff and Strathearn remain the nearest challengers after returning from Anstruther with a 24-6 win against Waid. Third-placed Dundee University Medics won 29-5 at Perthshire seconds. Fife Southern won 29-0 against Glenrothes Development XV.
Rangers left-back Lee Wallace has been recalled to the Scotland squad for next Wednesday's friendly against Estonia at Pittodrie. Wallace had not been included since dropping to the Irn-Bru Third Division with the Ibrox side but new Scotland manager Gordon Strachan today named him in his first squad. Birmingham winger Chris Burke and Leeds forward Ross McCormack have also been brought back into the national set-up. Celtic winger James Forrest, who has been missing for several weeks with a hamstring injury, is one of four Parkhead players selected for the Aberdeen clash, which comes six days before their club’s Champions League clash against Juventus. The squad is largely familiar with the likes of Kenny Miller and Alan Hutton included. Wallace played in the 5-1 friendly defeat to the United States last May but was then overlooked by Craig Levein, who feared he would not be able to adjust to international football while playing in Scotland’s bottom tier. Levein did pick Wallace’s Rangers team-mate Ian Black for the friendly win over Australia in August but stressed that was because of a shortage of midfielders. Strachan revealed the decision to recall the former Hearts left-back came following discussions with his coaching and scouting staff. “It was a collective thought,” he said. “We had a look at the options in that area and Lee was one of the names. I asked ‘who do you think is playing well and deserves a pat on the back?’ “Is he a good player? Yes, he’s a good player. He is in the Third Division but can still be a good player. “Lee’s been in the squad many times and played and he’s been a good player. I see no reason why he’s still not a good player.” Celtic winger James Forrest, who has been missing for several weeks with a hamstring injury, is one of four Parkhead players selected for the Aberdeen clash, which comes six days before their club’s Champions League clash againstJuventus. The squad is largely familiar with the likes of Kenny Miller and Alan Hutton included. Wallace played in the 5-1 friendly defeat to the United States last May but was then overlooked by Craig Levein, who feared he would not be able to adjust to international football while playing in Scotland’s bottom tier. Levein did pick Wallace’s Rangers team-mate Ian Black for the friendly win over Australia in August but stressed that was because of a shortage of midfielders. Strachan revealed the decision to recall the former Hearts left-back came following discussions with his coaching and scouting staff. “It was a collective thought,” he said. “We had a look at the options in that area and Lee was one of the names. I asked ‘who do you think is playing well and deserves a pat on the back?’ “Is he a good player? Yes, he’s a good player. He is in the Third Division but can still be a good player. “Lee’s been in the squad many times and played and he’s been a good player. I see no reason why he’s still not a good player.”
An award-winning Tayside song writer who immortalised the 50th anniversary of the Tay Road Bridge in music last year has released an EP which pays tribute to the newly opened Queensferry Crossing over the Forth. Perth-born Eddie Cairney, 65, who now lives in Arbroath, has released an album called ‘Sketches o' the QC’ which includes songs dedicated to the “isolated” workers who were employed during construction and contrasts the old Forth Road Bridge to the new crossing with its wind shields designed to keep traffic flowing during storms. Eddie, who delayed the release of the album due to family illness and bereavement, said: “It's just another quirky album like I did for the Tay Road Bridge. https://youtu.be/Z6BblA_Zev4 “As you can probably imagine, how do you write six songs about a bridge? “I usually end up using a process of creative journalism. I get a few facts or even just a single fact and then I let my imagination take over. “With each album early on in the writing process I draw a blank and think there's nothing here I can write about but there's always something to write about. “You just have to hang around long enough and it comes eventually. https://youtu.be/a9NyQAFjDsY “I just took threads from here and there. I was going to call the album The Queensferry Crossing but thought that was a bit boring so I went for Sketches o' the Q.C. “It introduces a bit of ambiguity. If you Google the name you get lots of drawings of court scenes!” Eddie was inspired to write Columba Cannon after reading an article about the general foreman for the foundations and towers. https://youtu.be/y_y1y8oV7vo Eddie said: “It was the name that got me and that gave me the first line of the song "He is a bridge builder wi a missionary zeal" Has to be with a name like Columba!” Fishnet bridge was set in a meditative light, describing the bridge as a “thing of beauty that looks like a big fish net glistening high above the Forth but it is a symbolic fishnet with the song taking the form of an imaginary conversation with the bridge.” https://youtu.be/dJgsl2WQ5G0 “Midday starvation came from an article which highlighted the isolation of the workers working high up on the bridge,” he added. https://youtu.be/Dme-bfCXHRI “If you forget your piece you've had it and you starve for there's no nipping round to the corner shop for a pie. The article also said that a local pizza delivery firm regularly delivered a pallet load of warm pizzas to the bridge so that was "midday salvation"! Meanwhile, The boys frae the cheese is a play on words. https://youtu.be/phtQ2-Xx1I0 He added: “I read an article that said The Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) could have acted sooner and avoided the costly closure of the bridge at the end of 2015.” Eddie is no stranger to music and song influenced by Dundee and wider Scottish history. In 2015 he featured in The Courier for his efforts to put the complete works of Robert Burns to music. With a piano style influenced by Albert Ammons, Champion Jack Dupree and Memphis Slim, and a song-writing style influenced by Matt McGinn, Michael Marra and Randy Newman, the former Perth High School pupil, who wrote the 1984 New Zealand Olympic anthem, has organised a number of projects over the years including the McGonagall Centenary Festival for Dundee City Council in 2002. Last year’s Tay Road Bridge album included a tribute to 19th century poet William Topas McGonagall and also honoured Hugh Pincott – the first member of the public to cross the Tay Road Bridge in 1966. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y51tixl9GEs Thanks to The Courier, he also became one of the first to cross the Queensferry Crossing when it opened to the public in the early hours of August 30.