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 United boss Jackie McNamara has spoken of his frustration after today's game with Inverness was called off this morning. A local senior referee took the decision at 11.30 after making what was his second inspection of the pitch. Most of the playing surface was fine, with the Tannadice undersoil heating having been on since Thursday. However, the goalmouths were still frozen solid and the decision was taken to postpone the match. It was a big blow for the United manager who was looking for his side to build on the momentum gathered during the recent three-game unbeaten spell. McNamara said: "It is really frustrating as we wanted to keep the good run going.This now adds to the backlog of games that need to be played. It will have to be rescheduled along with the Aberdeen game. "Like everybody else, you want to keep the momentum going.We were going to change things around again today looking towards Wednesday as well. "So it is disappointing as the whole pitch is fine apart from the two goalmouths where there is no grass. "The undersoil heating is on but with there being no grass in those areas it is just like concrete at the moment." A club spokesman said: “Naturally we’re very disappointed the game can’t go ahead due to the sub-zero temperatures we have experienced overnight. “Despite taking every precaution and our undersoil heating being on since first thing on Thursday morning, there are patches of the pitch that are a safety hazard for the players particularly in and around the goalmouth areas. “We don’t want to take any chances with player safety and, as such, while we wanted to give the game as much chance to happen as possible, we also wanted to give fans adequate notice to save unnecessary travel. “We have also decided that, as a goodwill gesture in appreciation of the effort being made by supporters at this time of year, we will let supporters of Inverness and Dundee United attend the rescheduled fixture for £5.” Read further reaction in Monday's Courier.
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
For more than 150 years Perth Show has been a popular, once a year meeting point for the people of the city and the farming community. The show - now the third largest of its type in Scotland – remains as always a showcase for champion livestock but this year holds a much wider appeal for visitors. To be held on Friday and Saturday August 5 and 6 on the South Inch, throughout the two days, trade stands, sideshows, entertainment, activities, music and parades all add to the vibrancy of the show along with a new culinary direction. “For the first time, Perth Show is set to feature a cookery theatre and food and drink marquee,” said show secretary Neil Forbes. “This will bring a new and popular dimension to the visitor attraction. “Perth Show 2016 is also delighted to welcome Perthshire On A Plate (POAP) - a major food festival, celebrating the very best in local produce and culinary talent. “Organised by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the two-day festival will run as part of the show and feature celebrity and local chefs, demonstrations and tastings, book signings, food and drink related trade stands, fun-filled activities for ‘kitchen kids’ and a large dining area and pop-up restaurants in a double celebration of food and farming.” Heading the celebrity chef line-up are television favourite Rosemary Shrager (Friday) and spice king Tony Singh (Saturday), backed by a host of talented local chefs including Graeme Pallister (63 Tay Street) and Grant MacNicol (Fonab Castle). The cookery theatre, supported by Quality Meat Scotland, will also stage a fun cookery challenge between students from Perth College and the ladies of the SWI. A range of pop-up restaurants featuring taster dishes from some of the area’s best known eating places will allow visitors to sample local produce as they relax in the show’s new POAP dining area. “We’re trying to create a wide and varied programme of entertainment,” said Mr Forbes. “Late afternoon on Friday will see the It’s A Knockout challenge with teams from businesses throughout Perth and Perthshire competing against each other. “And the first day’s programme will end with a beer, wine and spirit festival where teams can celebrate their achievements and visitors can sample a wide range of locally produced drinks.” This year will also see the reintroduction of showjumping at Perth Show on the Saturday afternoon.
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.
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.
It was third time unlucky for Dunfermline as undersoil heating that had worked perfectly twice previously let them down on Sunday. The East End Park system had enabled the last two home matches against Queen of the South and Partick Thistle to proceed while other fixtures fell across the country. However, what would have been a Boxing Day belter of a game against Falkirk was postponed because the heating did not work on a strip of the pitch in front of the main stand. "This is exceptionally cold weather but we had still hoped to get the game on for our fans," said chairman John Yorkston. "Everything had been fine for the matches against Partick and Queen of the South but unfortunately we were beaten this time. "It is a real shame not only because of the financial aspect, but it would have been a terrific holiday fixture for the fans." With the surrounding area, stands and pitch cleared of snow, match referee Anthony Law inspected the park just after 10am. While most of it was playable there was a strip of grass in front of the main stand that was still frozen. The Pars will try again on Wednesday after agreeing a fixture reversal with Cowdenbeath. The meeting of the clubs scheduled for February 12 at East End Park has been brought forward with the game postponed in November at Central Park now taking its place on that date.
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
Dundee United boss Jackie McNamara has revealed that Gary Mackay-Steven was set to play from the start of Saturday’s postponed game against Inverness. Just 24 hours before the match was called off because of concerns about frozen areas of the pitch, Celtic announced that “GMS” had signed a pre-contract agreement with the Hoops. Mackay-Steven is now due to move to Parkhead once his contract with the Tangerines ends in the summer. However, earlier last week, Celtic boss Ronny Deila had stated that he would like the 24-year-old to move to Glasgow during this current transfer window. Those comments had irked the United manager, who said on Friday: “He shouldn’t be speaking about that. “I’m not comfortable with it. I don’t think it’s right to speak publicly about it. “He’s got his own way of doing things but I wouldn’t want to speak about one of his players under contract.” With Mackay-Steven very much in the full glare of the spotlight, it would have been understandable if McNamara had decided to rest the player for the ICT match. However, the manager insisted that he had no qualms about playing the mercurial winger. Speaking shortly after Saturday’s game was called off, McNamara said: “Yes, he was going to play from the start.” When asked if he had a chat with the player after Celtic released their statement on Friday, he replied: “Yes. I have said since pre-season that I expected to lose him. “I knew this would be his last season here and nothing has changed as far as I’m concerned. “He is our player until the summer regardless of other people saying they want him now or he should go now. “He has an important part to play for us in the remainder of what will hopefully be a successful season for us.” McNamara also spoke of his frustration after the Inverness game was called off. A local senior referee took the decision at 11.30 on Saturday morning after making what was his second inspection of the pitch. Most of the playing surface was fine with the Tannadice undersoil heating having been on since Thursday. However, the goalmouths were still frozen solid and the decision was taken to postpone the match. It was a big blow for the United manager who was looking for his side to build on the momentum gathered during their recent three-game unbeaten spell. McNamara said: “It is really frustrating as we wanted to keep the good run going. “We have scored 11 goals in three games so it is disappointing it has been called off. “This now adds to the backlog of games that need to be played. “It will have to be rescheduled along with the Aberdeen game. “Like everybody else, you want to keep the momentum going. “We were going to change things around again against Inverness looking towards Wednesday as well. “So it is disappointing as the whole pitch is fine apart from the two goalmouths where there is no grass. “The undersoil heating is on but with there being no grass in those areas it is just like concrete at the moment. “We will do a little bit of training with the players but as I said there is that frustration that 90% of the pitch is fine. “It affects everything like the hospitality and the players, looking towards Wednesday as well. “It’s just very frustrating.” The club also issued a statement which included the news that fans attending the rescheduled fixture will just have to pay £5 at the turnstiles to watch the game. A club spokesperson said: “Naturally we’re very disappointed the game can’t go ahead due to the sub-zero temperatures we have experienced overnight. “Despite taking every precaution and our undersoil heating being on since first thing on Thursday morning, there are patches of the pitch that are a safety hazard for the players particularly in and around the goalmouth areas. “We don’t want to take any chances with player safety and as such, while we wanted to give the game as much chance to happen as possible, we also wanted to give fans adequate notice to save unnecessary travel. “We have also decided that, as a goodwill gesture in appreciation of the effort being made by supporters at this time of year, we will let supporters of Inverness and Dundee United attend the rescheduled fixture for £5.”
Stefano Brizzi, 50, has been jailed for life for strangling a police officer during a bondage sex session and then attempting to cook and eat parts of his body. Brizzi admitted he was inspired by his favourite TV series Breaking Bad as he tried to get away with killing 59-year-old PC Gordon Semple by also dissolving his flesh in an acid bath. Last month, the former Morgan Stanley IT developer was found guilty of murder by a majority of 10 to two after a jury at the Old Bailey had deliberated for more than 30 hours. The estate where Semple’s remains were found (Jonathan Brady/PA) Semple was a “caring and gentle person” and “much loved” by his family, who were left devastated with the news of his murder, the court heard. The trial had heard that Brizzi met his victim on gay dating app Grindr and arranged a “hot, dirty, sleazy session” at his flat near London’s Tate Modern gallery on April 1. According to Brizzi, Semple died when a dog leash he had been wearing slipped as they played a “strangulation game”. But a pathologist concluded that while strangulation was a possible cause of death, it would have taken minutes rather than moments, as the defendant had claimed. Stefano Brizzi has been jailed for life (Metropolitan Police/PA) In the days after the killing, Brizzi was caught on CCTV buying buckets, a perforated metal sheet and cleaning products from a DIY store. He then set about dismembering the body, stripping the flesh, burning some in the oven and mixing some with acid in the bath. Semple’s long-term partner, Gary Meeks, reported him missing when he failed to return to their home in Dartford, Kent. Neighbours complained about the stench coming from Brizzi’s flat and eventually called police, who came across the grisly sight of “globules” of flesh floating in the bath, bags containing bones and a part of Semple’s head, and pools of human fat in the oven. Pc Gordon Semple was strangled (Metropolitan Police/PA) Following his arrest, Brizzi admitted killing and trying to dissolve the body of the policeman because “Satan told me to”. Brizzi denied trying to cannibalise parts of Semple by cooking and then biting into a rib found in his kitchen bin. But at his sentencing, the prosecution said an expert odontologist had since confirmed that even though Brizzi claimed not to remember it, he had in fact tried to eat human flesh. Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC handed crystal meth addict Brizzi life in prison with a minimum of 24 years. Brizzi was also sentenced to seven years for obstructing a coroner, which will run concurrently. CCTV footage showing Brizzi purchasing supplies like buckets after Semple’s death (Metropolitan Police/PA) The judge said there were “terrible features” of the case and that Brizzi’s drug addiction had ruined his life. He told Brizzi: “Regret you express now for Mr Semple’s death has to be seen against what you did over a number of days to his body.” The defendant sat in the dock with his head bowed throughout the hearing.