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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How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
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The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

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Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

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Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
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Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

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