News Dr Andrew Davis claims rival camps in the debate over how to teach children to read are acting like 'religious fundamentalists'

Children who are fluent readers are being damaged by the Government’s insistence on using synthetic phonics in the classroom, a leading academic warns today.

Ben Stokes wants to become a key figure for England following his match-winning performance against Australia

ODI series: Ben Stokes hoping to become Englnad's go-to man following match-winning performance against Australia

Stokes hit a career-best 70 before taking four wicket for 38 runs with the ball

The Great Interior Design Challenge, TV review

You may also worry you're not conversant enough in current design lingo to get much out of new BBC2 series The Great Interior Design Challenge. Fear not. The only vocab you needed to enjoy last night's episode was "upcycle". It's a verb meaning "to take a perfectly decent piece of furniture and ruin it by the addition of some old tat you bought at a car boot sale".

Serving police officers have been found guilty of nearly 200 crimes in the past three years

Brothel-running, child abuse images, and selling firearms among nearly 200 crimes committed by police in last three years

Brothel-keeping and child porn among police officers’ crimes

Buried treasure: Miners who worked in Smallcleugh, one of the long disused mines nearby

Village digs deep into its mining past: Zinc deposits could return a once-thriving Pennine community to its glory days

A Canadian company has discovered that Nenthead may be sitting on one of Europe's biggest deposits

Album reviews: Lincoln Durham, Boy & Bear, Run The Jewels, Benjamin Clementine, Howe Gelb

Lincoln Durham, "Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous" (Droog)

Monty Panesar bowls in the nets at Adelaide as Alastair Cook looks on

Ashes 2013-14: Opportunity knocks for Monty Panesar to revive career following retirement of Graeme Swann

Monty Panesar was initially dropped by England in strange circumstances. Looking back nearly five years it was as though he was squarely to blame for the beach which doubled as a cricket pitch at the Sir Viv Richards Recreation Ground in Antigua.

Stabbed lawyer Peter Maine ‘may have killed himself’, police say

A solicitor at the centre of a fraud investigation may have stabbed himself to death, police said.

<b>'Crown of Light' - Ross Ashton, Robert Ziegler & John Del'Nero</b>
<p>This large-scale projection featuring illuminated manuscripts from the Lindisfarne gospels and other treasures from the North East returns to transform the exterior of the Cathedral for a final time. The son et lumiere is accompanied by an evocative soundscape.</p>

Gallery: Lumiere festival of light dazzles Durham

The spectacular show promises visitors "pure joyous fun"

The four students climbed up to the roof of the cathedral but were unable to get down

Durham students in drunken cathedral roof-top rescue

Four Durham students rebuked by dean after drunken prank goes wrong

Steve Harmison holds the Ashes urn with Andrew Flintoff in 2005

Former England bowler Steve Harmison announces retirement from cricket

Bowler was part of England's Ashes-winning team in 2005

Decriminalise drugs - even the police agree

The case for reforming Britain’s draconian but ineffective drugs laws is a robust one

Win bonus: Graham Onions (on the left) with Paul Collingwood after Durham win title

Ashes squad: Ambitious Graham Onions is crying out for one more crack at big time

Outstanding bowler behind Durham's Championship success this season has seen his England career stall through injury and stiff competition but is hoping for an Ashes swansong

Durham captain Paul Collingwood (c) and team celebrate with the trophy after winning the LV County Championship Division One title

Durham clinch County Championship title

Rain halted victory over Nottinghamshire before Durham clinched 62 runs required at Chester-le-Street

Paul Collingwood made an unbeaten 88 in Durham’s first innings

Durham coronation held up by Steve Mullaney's defiance

Nottinghamshire 78 & 246 Durham 256 & 7-0

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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
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Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
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Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
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Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
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Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?