Range Rover Extended

range rover

The first official long-wheelbase SUV to be offered by the company for 20 years will be officially unveiled at the Dubai motor show in November alongside the Range Rover Autobiography Black bespoke specification package.

The standard Range Rover is not exactly small, nor does it lack for creature comforts or exclusivity. However, the new model has been specifically designed to cater to what the company calls a “growing group of consumers looking for the ultimate SUV.”

As such it will offer rear passengers an extra 140mm of leg room and seats that recline to 17°, a panoramic sunroof and powered side door blinds for enhanced privacy. Adding to this sense of luxury and all-around vehicular wellbeing is the Autobiography Black specification.

Ticking that particular option box will bestow the long-wheelbase SUV with a unique seat cover design inspired by first-class travel — it features a number of massage settings and 18-points of adjustability — and built around a center console complete with electrically operated leather-covered tables, a chiller compartment to keep the champagne at exactly the right temperature, and all of the multimedia connectivity ports that modern life demands.

Completing the effect are two 10.2-inch screens, mounted to the backs of the front seats, a Meridian Audio system and cabin mood lighting with 10 different settings.

From the outside, the only hints of this exclusivity will be a choice of four two-color paint finishes, specially designed side and front grilles, redesigned rear lights, plus a choice of 7-spoke 21-inch or 22-inch wheels with a high-gloss polished finish, both of which are exclusive to the model.

Range Rover Autobiography Black Interior

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Nokia Announces Its 6-inch Windows Phone, The Lumia 1520

nokia lumia 1520

The world of oversized smartphones just got bigger with the announcment of the Nokia Lumia 1520. Joining the realms of the HTC One Max, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Sony Xperia Z Ultra, the Lumia 1520 is the first handset from Nokia to clock-in a display of over 4.7-inches – and by some margin thanks to a 6-inch panel.

It’s the first Windows Phone to pack a Full HD 1080p display, and it’s also the first large-screened device to break the 13-megapixel camera barrier thanks to a 20.7-megapixel PureView sensor.

The standout design of the 1520 is paired with some incredibly respectable dimensions, being just 8.7 mm thick. Naturally, it’s loaded up with the standard Windows Phone button array and Nokia’s trademark industrial design.

Inside is the latest version of Windows Phone 8, dubbed GDR3, bringing with it support for Full HD devices, not to mention Nokia’s newly announced apps.

One area this behemoth of a Lumia is guaranteed to trump at least the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is in terms of imaging, thanks to the 20.7-megapixel PureView camera on board.

Using the same over-sampling tech and optical image stabilisation found on the Lumia 1020, the Lumia 1520 should churn out 5-megapixel images with more clarity and quality than most mobile 8-megapixel snappers around. Unlike the Lumia 1020, though, no Xenon flash this time round.

Moving onto the processor, and finally, the Lumia range is going quad-core. To add to accolade, this isn’t just any quad-core, it’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core. If this means nothing to you, the Snapdragon 800 is the most powerful commercially available Qualcomm SoC around, and paired with the 2GB RAM on board should ensure the Lumia 1520 roars where the Lumia 1020 simply croaked.

The 3,400mAh battery also gives it the on-paper edge over the three main contenders, making this phone cum tablet something of a monster across the board.

 

Britain’s Longest-serving Taxi Driver Clocks Up 500,000 Miles

taxi

A taxi driver who has spent 50 years behind the wheel of a cab has just clocked up 500,000 miles.

Mike Joy collected his first fare in 1963. But despite reaching retirement age 11 years ago, he’s determined to carry on driving.

“It’s nice to get up in the morning and not know where you will go in the day,” he says. “One minute you could be in Bournemouth [his hometown] and the next you are half way up the country.”

During his life on the road, Mike has seen the price of fairs rise from as little as one shilling six pence per mile to £4.12.

Famous passengers have included Tom Jones, Jim Davidson and Lionel Blair. “They all liked to chat to me as we drove along,” Mike reveals. “When Tom Jones was touring in Bournemouth I used to take him to a nightclub with show girls.”

Throughout his career he’s driven a Morris Oxford, Austen Cambridge, Vauxhall Eelox, Austen Montego, a London taxi TX1 and now uses a yellow London taxi TX4.

“It was busier in the old days when you did six hours without switching your engine off,” he reflects. “But nowadays you spend a lot of time waiting about. You aren’t exactly rushed off your feet.”

Mike hopes the day he collects his last fare is still some way off. “As long as I pass my medical every year I will continue to drive until I can’t anymore,” he says.

Locals Line The Streets Of Brixton To See The Queen Cruise Past In Her Bentley

Queen,Camilla,Brixton,London,UK

The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall drove past excited families as they visited the Ebony Horse Club, which offers underprivileged children the opportunity to learn to ride. Camilla has been the club’s president since 2009 and is famous for her love of horses, as is the Queen, who owns a number of racehorses and breeds Highland ponies at Balmoral.

St Jude Storm Aftermath

aftermath

Britain faces further disruption through Tuesday following the most powerful storm to hit Britain in years.

Authorities continue to clear away debris and fallen trees while engineers work to restore power to hundreds of thousands of homes and rail services slowly return to normal.

A 17-year-old girl was among four people killed as hurricane-force winds battered England and Wales, leaving a trail of destruction.

Dubbed St Jude after the patron of lost causes, the storm caused transport disruption on road, rail, air and sea, and power cuts for hundreds of thousands of homes.

National Rail said it was not yet able to say how services would be affected on Tuesday but urged travellers to check with their train operator, while ferry services from Dover are still delayed because of rough seas.

Up to 166,000 homes across England were still without power over Monday night.

The storm, which is now over Scandinavia, will be replaced with far lighter winds and rain in Britain but dozens of areas in southern England remained on flood alert, the environment agency said.
Insurers were counting the cost of the storm but said it was too early to tell whether it would compare with the multi-billion pound hits caused by previous severe weather events.

Initial estimates of the level of financial damage wrought are not expected until later this week, the Association of British Insurers said.

During Monday morning winds of up to 100mph swept through the south-west, south, south-east, the midlands and the east of England after first hitting land in the early hours.
Up to 2.4 inches of rain – half the monthly average – fell in a few hours during the storm in areas including Hampshire and Devon, causing flash floods.

Bethany Freeman was crushed and killed as a 30ft tree fell on the caravans she and her family were living in while renovation work was taking place at their home at Edenbridge in Kent shortly after 7am.
Known as Gia, she was a “universally respected” sixth-form pupil at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School who “had everything to look forward to”, the school’s website said.
There were tragic scenes as her driving instructor arrived at her home in Lydens Lane to pick her up without knowing she had died.

Father-of-three Donal Drohan, 51, originally from Waterford in Ireland, died after his car was hit by a tree at the bridge over the river Colne in Watford. An officer who attended the scene said that a millisecond’s difference would have made for “a different story”.

The Harrow council worker’s family said: “He was the best husband and father anyone could wish for. You couldn’t find anyone who had a bad word to say about him.”

In Hounslow, west London, three houses were completely destroyed and two more were damaged by an explosion, thought to have been caused by a ruptured gas main. Officers were called to Bath Road at around 7.30am and at noon they found a man’s body at number 47 amid “scenes of devastation”.
An hour and a half later a woman – whom investigators were trying to identify – was found dead at the same property.
Met Office spokeswoman Laura Young warned the public to remain alert in the storm’s aftermath.
John Lee, a forecaster for the MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said it was the most powerful storm in years.
“There will no doubt be some disruption still following the damage caused by strong winds and heavy rain, but the weather will be quite different,” he said.

“It will be blustery with some showers, especially in the west, but a lot lighter.
“On Friday there is an indication that stormy weather could return, but it’s likely to bring heavy rain rather than strong winds.”

The Energy Networks Association said 459,000 homes suffered power cuts across England, with 166,000 still disconnected.
The port of Dover in Kent had to be shut, train and tube services were disrupted, more than 130 flights at Heathrow airport were cancelled and many roads were impassable due to fallen trees.
Debris falling on to powerlines caused a nuclear power station in Kent to automatically close down both its reactors, leaving its own diesel generators to provide power for essential safety systems.
Experts said the gales were relatively weak compared with the Great Storm of 1987 but the event showed how much weather predictions had improved compared with 26 years ago.

St Jude’s Storm Batters Britain Bringing Hurricane-force Winds And Travel Chaos

storm

Storm-force winds gusting up to 99mph have battered southern parts of the UK, bringing death, widespread travel disruption, flooding and power cuts.

A man and a woman were found dead at a house in Hounslow following a suspected gas explosion on Monday morning, Scotland Yard said. A 17-year-old girl died after a tree fell on to her static caravan at Hever in Kent, and a man in his 50s from Harrow, north London, died after a tree fell on his car in Watford. A 14-year-old boy was feared dead after being swept out to sea at Newhaven, East Sussex.

The intense storm, one of the worst to hit Britain for a decade, swept in overnight, causing a chaotic start to the working week, leaving roads impassable because of fallen trees and disrupting rush-hour rail services.

The Met Office lifted its amber warning as the heart of the storm blew out into the North Sea towards the Netherlands, leaving a trail of destruction behind it. During the morning it had swept through the south-west, south, south-east, the Midlands and the east of England after first making landfall in the early hours.

UK Power Networks said 300,000 homes had been without power at some point. The Energy Networks Association said power had been restored to 30,000.

Most rail companies in the south of England suspended early morning services, with many trains not running until well after 9am so that Network Rail staff could check the tracks were safe. Greater Anglia said it would not be running any trains until midday and could not provide alternative road transport. The west coast, east coast and Midland mainlines were all blocked at their southern ends, while services into London south of the Thames were gradually resumed, albeit with emergency and restricted timetables.

About 130 flights were cancelled at Heathrow airport, and the port of Dover was closed for nearly three hours.

Fallen trees block a railway line at Keymer, West Sussex

Fallen trees block a railway line at Keymer, West Sussex.

The Environment Agency has issued 17 flood warnings, 15 in the south-west, and 141 flood alerts for the rest of England and Wales.

David Cameron said the loss of life was “hugely regrettable”. The prime minister said the government was working to make sure that the emergency services were able to do as much as possible to provide assistance.

On a visit to the Mini plant in Oxford, he said: “We have to make sure the emergency services can act as fast as they can to help people.”

Police in Kent said a 17-year-old girl died after a tree crashed on to her home at Hever, near Edenbridge in Kent, at around 7.20am. She was taken from the scene by ambulance but despite the efforts of paramedics was pronounced dead.

The girl was named locally as Bethany Freeman, whose nickname was Gia. The tree, estimated to be about 30ft tall, could be seen from the roadside, lying across the static home. Another caravan stood beside the one that was crushed, as police stood guard outside the rural property. It emerged that neighbours came forward with chainsaws to help free the girl.

One neighbour, who declined to be named, said: “[The family] were planning to join up their two buildings, and they were living in the caravans in order to do it. They had been living there for one-and-a-half years, but I don’t know how many of them there are.

Hever

The scene of the girl’s death in Hever.

“She was in one caravan, and mum was in another caravan. I don’t know who else was there. At the end of the day the tree has come down. I won’t criticise anyone working there but not one of the emergency services had a chainsaw. It came down to the locals having chainsaws in order to cut a gap and also the local farmer having lifting gear.”

A 14-year-old boy feared dead after being swept into the sea in rough weather has been named by sources as Dylan Alkins. The teenager disappeared while playing in the surf at West Beach in Newhaven at about 4.15pm on Sunday.

Rescue teams, including a coastguard helicopter and an RNLI lifeboat, scoured the area in what were described as “atrocious conditions”.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the operation had now become one of search and recovery. A spokeswoman said rescue teams had struggled in difficult conditions and that police were with the boy’s family, who were distraught.

The Met Office said the wind reached more than 99mph on the Isle of Wight at 5am. The storm, named St Jude after the feast day of the patron saint of lost causes, hit the south-west late on Sunday night before tracking north-east across England and southern Wales in the early morning. Southern counties bore the brunt around dawn and the storm then crossed East Anglia, with some damaging gusts of between 60 to 80mph.

In Kent, the Dungeness nuclear power station partially shut down after the storm caused power cuts, said EDF Energy.

In a statement on its website, EDF said two units at the plant shut down at 7.44am. “The shutdown was weather-related. The plant reacted as it should and shut down safely,” a spokeswoman said.

On the roads, both Severn bridges, the Queen Elizabeth II bridge on the M25 and the A249 Sheppey crossing in Kent were closed.

The M11 was closed southbound near Harlow, in Essex, by an overturned lorry and there was congestion around the Blackwall tunnel in London because of fallen scaffolding.

There were also widespread reports of local roads in Cornwall, Dorset, Hampshire and Sussex blocked or closed as a result of fallen trees and flash flooding. In Suffolk the driver and several passengers were injured when a double-decker bus was blown over near Hadleigh.

A police car was damaged by a falling tree on the B2104 in Sussex, officers said, and a vehicle hit a fallen tree in Langney Rise, Eastbourne. The driver was uninjured, police said.

By 6.30am there were reports of 125 trees down across Sussex, while Kent police said 70 trees had come down in the county. Police in Hampshire warned motorists not to travel unless necessary.

Whitehall in central London was closed due to a collapsed crane near the Cabinet Office. Staff were evacuated and the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, had to cancel a press conference.

A collapsed crane on the roof of the Cabinet Office on Whitehall, central London

A collapsed crane on the roof of the Cabinet Office on Whitehall, central London.

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in south-west London was closed because of damage caused by the weather. A spokeswoman said: “Early indications are that we have lost between 10 and 15 mature trees, and a number of others have suffered loss of limbs or smaller branches.”

Forty homes were evacuated in Reading, Berkshire, after a fallen tree caused a gas leak.

Train companies in the south were running either amended services or no service at all before 9am. Southeastern, South West Trains, Southern and Greater Anglia were all telling commuters to check before trying to travel and warning there would be amended timetables and significant disruption.

There were no trains between Peterborough and London King’s Cross on the east coast mainline and services to Euston and St Pancras were also at a standstill.

Several hundred Network Rail staff worked through the night to deal with disruption caused by the severe weather, with more than 100 trees reported to have fallen onto tracks.

Special trains were used to clear tracks, the director of operations, Robin Gisby, said. “In four cases the train being sent through to inspect the line has hit a fallen tree and we have one train in Devon which is currently disabled following a collision with a fallen tree. We are also dealing with a landslip in the New Forest area.

“While conditions were as forecast during the early part of the morning, the damage caused by the storm has been more severe than expected as it has tracked eastwards to the north of London and across to East Anglia.

“As a result, the west coast, east coast and Midland mainlines are all currently blocked at their southern ends as a result of fallen trees and damage to power lines and all services are currently suspended on the Anglia route, where the storm is currently.”

On the London Underground, only three lines – Victoria, Hammersmith & City and Waterloo & City – were operating normally through the morning rush hour.

Collapsed scaffolding in Leyton, east London.

Collapsed scaffolding blocks a road in Leyton, east London.

There were no trains at all on the Overground, while the Bakerloo, Central, District, Jubilee, Metropolitan, Northern and Piccadilly lines were all partially closed while workers removed fallen trees and other obstructions.

Severe disruption was reported at London City, Stansted and Gatwick airports. Gatwick Express and Stansted Express rail services were not running.

Ferry journeys were also being disrupted, with P&O Condor, DFDS Seaways and Hovertravel all reporting cancellations.

Sussex police again warned people not to play on the seafront. Superintendent Grenville Wilson said: “At 3.30am, I was watching people on CCTV on Brighton beach dancing around at the waves’ edge, occasionally being overtaken by the advancing water. One slip and they could have found themselves in real danger, along with the people who would try to rescue them.

“We witnessed the tragic power of the sea at Newhaven yesterday and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the young lad who is sadly still missing. I don’t want to see that repeated.”