The News Matrix: Friday 27 September 2013


Want to marry? First switch on brain…

The government has backed a move to make divorce more costly in the hope that couples will think harder before getting married. "The motives … are understandable: switch on your brain when you're getting married, otherwise there's going to be material penalties," Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister, said.

Scouse accent is 'the least trusted'

Liverpudlians have the most untrustworthy accent in the UK, a survey suggests. The poll, for ITV, says people from Devon are thought to have the friendliest. Londoners and Scots feel most discriminated against because of how they speak. The research is part of an investigation into snobbery, stigma and accents. MORE

Liberia's Taylor set for 50 years in jail

More than a decade after fuelling a murderous campaign of terror in Sierra Leone by supplying rebels with arms, Charles Taylor was convicted and imprisoned for 50 years yesterday. Judge will decide where he will serve the sentence, but it is likely to be in a British prison. MORE

'Forest Boy' hoaxer to serve community

He duped the German police to think he had been living in a forest for five years, costing the taxpayer €30,000. Now the law has caught up with Robin van Helsum, a 22-year-old Dutchman, better known as "Forest Boy". He's been ordered to do 150 hours community service for carrying out his hoax. MORE

Greenpeace activists detained for months

A Russian court ordered 14 Greenpeace activists to be held in custody for two months after the protest on the Prirazlomnaya oil platform this week. The 15 detainees, who were among 30 people aboard a Greenpeace ship, were denied bail by judges in the Murmansk. MORE

Harvard in name row with Havard

Harvard University, the prestigious US institution recently ranked second best university in the world, is suing a private school in Milton Keynes for copyright infringement due the fact that they share a very similar name. Havard School, note the missing "r", has been defending itself in the High Court. MORE

Icap brokers could face charges in UK

Brokers who worked for Icap, the firm founded by the Tory donor Michael Spencer, could face criminal charges in the UK after City watchdogs passed a file on Libor rate fixing to the Serious Fraud Office. Three Icap employees are already facing rate-fixing charges in the US, but some of their UK colleagues could still be called to appear before the SFO inquiry. MORE

Evidence of racism in NHS hospitals

Concerns are mounting around racial discrimination in the NHS after an investigation revealed white doctors are three times more likely to be picked for senior hospital jobs than ethnic minority colleagues. Black doctors were the least likely to secure consultant jobs. MORE

Anti-war critics were spied on by agency

Declassified files reveal the National Security Agency placed anti-Vietnam campaigners, including Mohammed Ali and Martin Luther King, on a "watch list" during the Nixon government. MORE

Abusive gorilla goes for therapy

A gregarious male gorilla at Dallas Zoo will be sent to South Carolina for therapy after he bit one female gorilla and sneered at others, zoo officials have announced. Patrick, a 430lb western lowland gorilla, will move to Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, where he will live the bachelor life in his own digs.