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...
Today's letters to The Courier. Sir, - John Miller's article on Friday, March 23 ('The whole nation united in prayer') suggests the tragic collapse of Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba has "thrust the concept of prayer and its effectiveness on the minds of the British people". I do, of course, wish Mr Muamba a full and speedy recovery, but I think that if this happens then it will be down to his underlying fitness, the timely, professional treatment he received on the pitch, and the care he has been receiving in hospital. Credit should be given to the good men and women who dedicate themselves to helping people who have suffered such unfortunate accidents and to those who determine the best methods of assisting their recovery. Whilst I am sure some people may attain some level of personal comfort from the act of praying, or even that it may help some people to know that they are being prayed for, I am not persuaded prayer is effective in achieving physical outcomes through the intercession of a deity. Mr Millar suggests some historical events have been influenced by prayer, but it is easy to find examples, even quite recently, where prayer has been publicly invoked and the desired result has not been achieved. For example, in Texas last year there were a huge number of wildfires (some might say of biblical proportions) and the Governor of Texas invoked a prayer rally to ask for rain, then prayed, publicly and often. There followed a rainless spring and summer. July was the hottest month in recorded Texas history and most of Texas suffered "extreme or exceptional" drought. Later in office he asked 30,000 evangelical followers to pray for an economic recovery. This didn't happen either. Perhaps Governor Perry wasn't doing it right, or perhaps there is a much simpler explanation. I suggest we should put our "faith" in scientific advances and professional healthcare. Norry Passway.29 Albany Road,Dundee. Choose prayer over CPR? Sir, - How the likes of John Miller's article commands column space is beyond me. No one should be in any doubt that the reason a young footballer is showing encouraging signs of recovery is down in part (a very large part) to the skill, knowledge and professionalism of the medical professionals who have attended him since those horrific scenes the other evening. To suggest any thing else is, frankly, offensive. Imagine if those attending in the very first moments of his collapse had chosen prayer over CPR! I doubt if Mr Miller would be enlightening us then on the power of prayer. N. Austin.10 Shepherd Lane,Arbroath. Real miracle of Dunkirk Sir, - I would like to make a few comments concerning John Miller's article on prayer. I certainly have no wish to make light of belief in prayer, but the miracle of Dunkirk was most definitely down to the men of 51st Highland Division, who held back the German forces. Many paid with their lives and many more were marched into prison camps to be starved and worked to death. That any men survived was a miracle. And to think they are almost airbrushed from history each time the British public are reminded of the miracle of Dunkirk. Margaret Borland.57 Rodd Road,Dundee. A question of principle Sir, - The Rev John Cameron targets his ironic barbs superbly (Letters, March 24), but the 'granny tax' raises a separate question of principle. Why, purely due to our age, should pensioners like me enjoy a higher tax-free allowance than the working population, many with young families and on average incomes little more than mine? Churchill's original justification for age allowances in 1925 surely no longer exists. Pensioners do not pay NIC (effectively another income tax of about 10%), or their previous pension contributions, or travel-to-work costs; and many will no longer be in the 40% tax bracket. The combined effect for those in some final-salary schemes can leave them with net disposable incomes almost unchanged from their employment. Many pensioners much wealthier than he or I can limit their taxable income to £25,000 for example if they have substantial ISAs to draw down, while others choose to work. Why should these groups benefit even more than younger workers? The coalition should have announced in June 2010 an early move to incorporating tax-free cash benefits like the fuel allowance into the taxable state pension; linking or even equalising that pension and a single tax-free allowance with the minimum wage for 18-20 year-olds (£10,000); amalgamating income tax and NIC; and improving the progressive tax structure. John Birkett.12 Horseleys Park,St Andrews. Bridging gap in knowledge Sir, - Reading Ken Guild's remarks about "another bridge falling down" I presumed he was referring to the Tay Bridge disaster, implying it was caused by the use of Scottish steel. In that case, may I inform him that the bridge was constructed from cast and wrought iron rather than from steel? The first major bridge to be constructed from Scottish (and Welsh) steel was the Forth Bridge which, as far as I know, is still standing. (Mrs) JE McFarlane.41 Highfield Place,Birkhill. Closures will be a nightmare Sir, - On the subject of public toilet closures in Fife, my daughter took my granddaughter to the West Sands play area in St Andrews recently. Soon after they arrived, my granddaughter needed the toilet. The toilets there were closed. My daughter had to drive up to South Street in order to use the toilet there. It cost her £1 to park and 30p to use the toilet. Luckily she found a parking place, but that might not be possible in the holiday season. Public toilet closures will be a nightmare for the elderly and people with children. Mrs Margaret Duncan.32 Pickford Crescent,Cellardyke. Get involved: to have your say on these or any other topics, email your letter to email@example.com or send to Letters Editor, The Courier, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL. Letters should be accompanied by an address and a daytime telephone number.
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
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.
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.
East Fife player-manager Gary Naysmith said his players had let themselves down in their 3-0 defeat to Queen’s Park. The Fifers had taken plaudits for their performance during the week as they competed well against Rangers in the Pterofac Training Cup before going down 2-0. But, having taken the praise for that showing, the Methil gaffer said it was only fair they stood up to criticism following their Excelsior Stadium no-show. Naysmith said: “I don’t publicly criticise the players but they know that’s not good enough. Over the last two or three games it hasn’t been good enough in the league. “We got credit following the Rangers game but there was no expectation on them so it’s easy to go and want the ball and do different stuff. “The league is our bread and butter and that’s what I told the players. “There was no ranting or raving after the game, I just told the players they’d let themselves down. Not so much let me down, but let themselves down because we’re better than we showed.” Queen’s should have been a goal up within the first five minutes when Shaun Rooney’s pass split the Fife defence and found Ross McPherson. The striker burst in on goal but his strike was saved by Jordan Millar. The hosts had taken the game to the Fifers and took a deserved lead from the penalty spot. Shaun Fraser was brought down inside the box by Jonathan Page and the Queen’s striker picked himself up to take the kick himself, firing high into Miller’s top corner. Fife striker Ross Campbell was unlucky to see his effort cleared off the line by Rooney shortly before the break. The home side doubled their advantage in style soon after when Ciaran McElroy wasn’t shut down on the edge of the box and fired past Millar. In 80 minutes Darren Millar’s free-kick found its way in at the front post to make it 3-0.
A 123-year-old page of The Courier is to hang in the offices of the Spanish Football Association after it was revealed that, thanks to an article in the paper that day, Sevilla FC can officially claim to be Spain’s oldest club. The Courier revealed in September that the discovery of the club being founded 15 years earlier than previously thought was due to the story on page four of the paper from March 17 1890, which details how a group of young British, mainly Scottish, men met in a pub in Seville on January 25 that year to celebrate Burns Night. Along with some Spanish friends, they decided to form the country’s first official football club, and, word having reached back to Dundee, The Courier carried an article documenting the club’s act of constitution. As a result, current members of the club say the article can be considered the founding document of Sevilla FC. The president of Sevilla FC, Jos Mara del Nido, was presented with a copy of the page, certified by the British Newspaper Archive, by the club’s history department on January 25, 123 years after the club’s formation. Another print of the page will be presented by the club to the Spanish FA. Grant Millar, marketing executive of Dundee online company brightsolid, which hosts the online version of the British Newspaper Archive, was told of the presentations by Spanish researcher Javier Terenti. Javier said: “The page in question contains a treasure for the history of Spanish football, since it is an article that describes in detail how the club was founded 15 years earlier than it was thought, thus being Spain’s oldest football club. “The article that is extremely rich in detail shows how the club’s founding date was not a coincidence. “Everything suggests that that Saturday 25 January, 123 years ago, a group of young British, mainly Scots, along with other young men of Spanish origin, met at one of the cafes in the city and celebrated Burns Night with the excuse of founding the first football club in Spain. “Among the most prominent Scots was the club’s first president, EF Johnston, and first captain, Hugo MacColl, who later, upon returning to the UK, became chairman of Sunderland Burns Club. “The discovery of the club’s Act of Constitution within an old edition of the Dundee Courier has been published not only in Spain but also in several important newspapers outside the country.” Mr Carlos Romero, director of the club’s history department, said: “It’s a beautiful article that chronicles the adventures of those first ‘Sevillistas’, in which the following paragraph appears: ‘Some six weeks ago a few enthusiastic young residents of British origin met in one of the cafs for the purpose of considering a proposal that we should start an athletic association, the want of exercise being greatly felt by the majority of us, who are chiefly engaged in mercantile pursuits. After a deal of talk and a limited consumption of small beer, the “Club de Football de Sevilla” was duly formed and office bearers elected.” Mr Miller added: “The reason why this important report was published in the Dundee Courier is probably due to the fact that, at that time, tonnes and tonnes of Seville oranges were loaded on steamships, travelling from Seville to Dundee for the manufacture of the city’s famous marmalade. “However, this connection between Seville and Dundee could even go further if we take into account that two of the members of the Sevilla Football Club at that time, D Thomson and Robert Thomson, could have been related to DC Thomson, founders of the Dundee Courier.”
The family of one of the British backpackers brutally murdered on a beach in Thailand has said "justice" has been delivered after two Burmese migrants were sentenced to death for the killings. The battered bodies of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were discovered on the idyllic holiday island of Koh Tao on September 15 last year. Miss Witheridge, from Hemsby in Norfolk, had been raped before she was killed, while Mr Miller, from Jersey, had been hit over the head before drowning in the sea. Bar workers Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, also known as Win Zaw Htun, initially confessed to the murders but later retracted their statements, claiming they had been tortured by police. The long-awaited verdicts in their trial were delivered at a court on the island of Koh Samui as both men were found guilty of murder and rape and issued with the death penalty. Mr Miller's brother Michael, flanked by parents Ian and Sue, said outside court that the "correct decision" had been reached. "David was hacked down from behind, dragged into the sea, and left to die. That will live with us forever," he said. "What happened to Hannah Witheridge is unspeakable. "We believe the result today represents justice for David and Hannah." Miss Witheridge's family, who did not travel to Thailand for the verdicts, said the last year had been an "unimaginably impossible time" and they would now "digest the outcome of the trial". The University of Essex student and Mr Miller, who had just completed a civil and structural engineering degree at the University of Leeds, met on Koh Tao while staying at the same hotel. Post-mortem examinations showed that both had suffered severe head wounds. Prosecutors said DNA evidence collected from cigarette butts, a condom and the bodies of the victims linked Lin and Phyo to the killings. But lawyers representing the pair, both 22, said DNA samples from the alleged murder weapon - a garden hoe - did not match that of the two men and their confessions were a result of torture in the context of "systematic abuse" of migrants on Koh Tao. A re-enactment of the murders in which the defendants were paraded in front of the media was also "staged under threat of violence", the lawyers added. Mr Miller's family said the widespread interest in the case had ensured the defendants received the "best possible representation in court by a team of seven top lawyers". "It is our opinion that the evidence against Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin is absolutely overwhelming," said Michael Miller. "They raped to satisfy their selfish desires and murdered to cover up that fact. They have shown no remorse during the trial." The mothers of Phyo and Lin burst into tears after the verdicts. Neither defendant showed any emotion. British police officers travelled to Thailand to help with the investigation into the deaths following a direct appeal from Prime Minister David Cameron to Thailand's military ruler, General Prayuth Chan-ocha. Mr Miller said that, after hearing the evidence during the trial, the Thai police investigation was "not the so-called shambles it was made out to be". He said the defendants' cause had been promoted "vigorously" by a group of activists including a petition handed to 10 Downing Street. "Like many people we initially unsure what to think when Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo were detained as suspects," Mr Miller said. "We saw images of two innocent-looking men surrounded by tough policemen. It was easy to conclude they might be convenient scapegoats. "We believe that, after a difficult start, the Royal Thai police conducted a methodical and thorough investigation. "We hope the campaigners who have relentlessly promoted this case will respect the process of law and the decision of the court." Mr Miller's family described David as "irreplaceable" and paid tribute to relatives of Miss Witheridge for the "horrors they are also enduring with such dignity". £ "Our lives have been changed forever," Michael Miller said. "Nothing brings David home. No last hugs. No goodbyes. "Our 24 years of memories and his beaming smile will always be cherished. David was intelligent, hard-working, he was caring, inclusive, enthusiastic and fun. He irreplaceable to us. "Our hearts will always be filled with the brightness he brought to our hearts. We are so proud of him. We and his friends will miss him terribly." Andy Hall, an international affairs adviser with the Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN), which has represented the defendants, said they planned to appeal against the court's decision. He said: "The defendants have said today, whatever the decision, they accept the decision but they believe very strongly that one day the truth in this case will come out. "They're confident during the appeal process they will be acquitted." An appeal will be lodged in the next 30 days and it could take between six months to a year before a decision is reached, Mr Hall added. In a statement, Miss Witheridge's family said: "The past year has served as an unimaginably impossible time for our family. "We have found the trial process extremely difficult and our trips out to Thailand, to attend court, made for particularly distressing experiences. "We found listening to proceedings very challenging and we have had to endure a lot of painful and confusing information. "We now need time, as a family, to digest the outcome of the trial and figure out the most appropriate way to tell our story."
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 paedophile who was shopped to police by his family after they became suspicious of him when he became “nervous” as his partner's son downloaded a Star Trek movie on to his laptop has dodged jail. Andrew Miller’s “behaviour changed” as the movie was transferred on to his hard drive becoming visibly nervous as the man looked for a folder to store the space adventure movie in. Miller was staying with his partner’s son in England for Christmas and New Year last year and when he went to bed that night his concerned host retrieved the laptop and searched through it. He found a stash of twisted videos and indecent still images of young boys aged from five to 17. When he returned home Miller’s family were alerted and they checked the laptop while he was out. They also found the hoard of sick pictures and contacted police. Depute fiscal Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court: “His partner's son had offered to copy a Star Trek film to his hard drive as the accused is a fan of Star Trek. “He was aware that the accused’s behaviour had changed and he was watching him very carefully. “He was looking for a movies folder and the accused seemed anxious. “The film was copied and at that point the accused relaxed. “The partner’s son became suspicious and later retrieved the hard drive from his laptop case. “He found naked pictures of young boys. “A total of 42 videos with a run time of 32 hours 46 minutes were found, three of those at Category A. “A total of 377 still images were also found, all were at Category C, showing erotic posing. “There was also a quantity of concerning images which could be considered to be nudist pictures and some where the age of the people was not clear.” Miller, 52, of Hepburn Street, Dundee, pleaded guilty to downloading, possessing and possessing with a view to distributing indecent images of children. The pictures were downloaded between October 2010 and March 2013 and in his possession until January 10 2015. One of the videos was distributed from his system between March 27 and March 28, 2013. David Sinclair, defending, said: “He is in full-time employment but whether that continues now that he has tendered this plea remains to be seen.” Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC imposed a three-year community payback order with supervision, 230 hours of unpaid work. She ordered Miller to take part in a sex offender’s groupwork programme. Miller was also placed on the sex offenders register for three years. Sherriff Drummond said: “These are serious matters that involve you downloading various indecent images of children and possession of those.”