News Trespass laws are being examined to allow fracking under people's homes without prior consent

Ministers are reportedly reviewing laws that would allow fracking to be carried out underneath houses without the permission of the owners.

Balletboyz: The Talent, artsdepot, London

Every good boyz deserves favour

Tom Hodgkinson: 'Why is cleverness frowned upon?'

Having three children in the state primary system, I've seen the results of New Labour's Brave New World anti-intellectualism up close. Academic work has been largely dropped. Times tables, spelling, grammar and good handwriting are not taught. One teacher told us that correcting spelling might interrupt "the creative flow". In the playground, age-old games such as conkers and It are banned, as they might upset someone. The local authority, we are told, has also banned the ancient game of football, because it encourages competitive behaviour. Instead, pupils are treated to lavish praise, sex education and colouring in, plus a big dose of television via the whiteboards. The place is awash with laptops. There is a therapeutic ethos, and in "circle time", pupils are encouraged to talk about their problems at home. Cleverness is frowned upon: yesterday my daughter said she didn't like being clever and was considering doing bad work so she would be moved down a set.

Last Night's TV: Rome Wasn't Built in a Day/Channel 4<br />Kidnap and Ransom/ITV1<br />Human Planet/BBC1

I want to be authentic. I want this column, this review, to be as authentic as possible. So, I've decided to write it on a typewriter. You know, like what they had in the olden days. Actually, scrap that. I'm writing it on a scroll. Words? Pfff. Only hieroglyphics in my department. At a stretch, I might whip out the old tablet (not the iPad kind). Computers – remind me what they are again.

Police release two held over farm killing

Two men have been released on bail by detectives investigating the killing of a man during a bungled robbery at his farm.

North Korea threatens 'sacred' nuclear war

North Korea today threatened to launch a "sacred" nuclear war against South Korea if it is attacked.

Seoul warning on eve of war games

South Korea has vowed to "completely punish" North Korea if it attacks again, and has mobilised hundreds of troops, tanks and helicopters for a massive military exercise.

South Korea prepares to stage firing drills near border

South Korea vowed today to "punish the enemy" as hundreds of troops, fighter jets, tanks and attack helicopters prepared for massive new drills near the heavily armed border a month after a deadly North Korean artillery attack.

UN to meet as South Korea plans military drills

A US governor visiting North Korea has called for it to show maximum restraint to planned South Korean military drills and hopes the UN Security Council will deliver the same message in its emergency meeting, his office said.

North Korea warns South over live-fire drills

North Korea warned South Korea on Friday not to stage artillery drills on a front-line island the North bombed last month, saying it would hit back even harder than in the previous attack that killed four South Koreans.

Lee Child: Adventures of an over-reacher

The author turned to fiction after losing his job in television. Today, he is a best-selling thriller writer. Andy Martin talks to him about his roots in Birmingham and his macho alter ego, Jack Reacher.

Crowd trouble as Zigic puts Blues through

Birmingham City 2 Aston Villa 1

Civilian deaths prompt calls for South Korea to retaliate

North Korea claims its bombardment was targeted only at army base after provocation from neighbour's military drills

Bodies of civilians found after Korean shelling

The burnt bodies of two male civilians have been found on an island attacked by North Korea, South Korean officials said.

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