QUIRKY WORLD ... Tech space trumps family values for housebuyers

We take a look at some of the quirkier and fun stories from around the world.

UK: House buyers chose space for electricals like big screen TVs over being close to friends and family, according to a survey.

Research from Yorkshire Building Society found that extra room for prized technology was highlighted by 77% of prospective home buyers as an important factor when looking for a home, compared to 69% who said distance from family and friends was a key influence.

The study showed the most important reason for moving overall was the amount of living space on offer (93%), closely followed by the number of or size of bedrooms (90%) and type of property (88%).

Trial and error

UK: A group of barons and bishops are set to stand trial on treason charges 800 years after their alleged crime, the Supreme Court announced.

They will face judgment in a two-hour mock trial in the Houses of Parliament before three of the world’s top judges to help mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta.

The show trial is to feature modern-day barons and bishops while lawyers from the across the Commonwealth will argue the defence and prosecution cases.

One of the key issues is set to be whether the barons and bishops were acting lawfully when they refused to surrender London to King John.

Greek tragedy

Greece: Uproar erupted in a Greek jail courthouse after authorities managed to schedule the trial of members of an extreme right-wing group at the same time as a hearing for left-wing activists.

Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos and other leaders of a group accused of being neo-Nazis are among 69 defendants accused of running a criminal organisation in a case held in a special courtroom in the country’s largest prison, Korydallos, in Piraeus.

A separate case against suspected members of the left-wing Nucleii of Fire group, which is accused of several bombings, is also being heard there.

Nucleii suspects managed to open the Golden Dawn courtroom door and threaten the defendants, throwing a bottle before police intervened.

Labour pain

Argentina: Midwives bared their breasts in protest over government plans to restrict home births.

About 50 women joined the demonstration in Buenos Aires organised by Argentina’s Midwives Association against a health ministry proposal to cap home births. Midwives, pregnant women and doctors joined the demonstration.

Bear bother

US: Police in Massachusetts issued some sage advice: don’t go chasing after bears while drunk and armed with nothing more than a blunt blade.

North Adams police said on their Facebook page that someone did just that.

Officers said anyone who sees a bear should leave it alone and call authorities, adding: “We certainly don’t need anyone going all Davy Crockett.”

Better than fiction

US: Two women who took a writing class at Columbia University found their own stories were better than fiction.

They were sisters born to the same teenage mother in the early 1980s and adopted by different families.

Lizzie Valverde grew up in New Jersey and Katy Olson grew up mostly in Florida and Iowa.

Both moved to New York as adults and enrolled in Columbia’s School of General Studies in 2013.

Olson figured out the connection when Valverde introduced herself to the class and talked about being adopted.

The 35-year-old Valverde will graduate today.

The 34-year-old Olson and their biological mother, Leslie Parker, will be there.

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