Some years back, I commented that the Great White Whale of this blog–the Britishism that seems least likely to succeed in the U.S.–is plural verb for collective noun, as in “Parliament are voting.” Over the years, most of the examples I’ve found relate to soccer/football, or more broadly to sports: “the Miami Heat are..” or (infrequently) “the team are…”
Today, NOOBs friend Wes Davis points out a New York Times headline that demonstrates the usage in a non-athletic context:
I don’t have access to the Times stylebook but I did search the newspaper’s archives for “Taliban believe” (11 hits) and “Taliban believes” (two hits), so the headline is consistent with past practice. But it may be less a matter of using British style than paying attention to etymology. According to Wikipedia, “Taliban” is Pashto for “students–that is, it’s a plural.