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.

Man charged over £2m Durham University museum theft

A 35-year-old man has been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary by police investigating the theft of Chinese artefacts worth more than £2 million in a raid on a university museum.

Still no sign of eight-year-old boy after river plunge, hopes 'fading'

Police scouring a swollen river for a missing eight-year-old boy said hopes of finding him alive were "fading" as the operation stretched into a fourth day.

Police name River Wear fall boy

An eight-year-old boy believed to have fallen into a rain-swollen river while playing with friends has been named by police.

Call for 600m fracking limit

Controversial "fracking" for shale gas should only take place at least 600 metres down from aquifers used for water supplies, scientists said today.

GRAHAM ONIONS: The Durham paceman took 10 wickets for the first time in his career

Rain comes to the rescue for Middlesex as Durham settle for the draw

Middlesex 188 & 179 Durham 238 & 82-6 (Match drawn)

Lean times: Andrew Strauss was dismissed cheaply for a second time at Lord's

Strauss is still to show he knows his Onions

Middlesex 188 & 21-1 Durham 238 (Durham lead by 29 runs)

Imprisonment 'sees drug use begin'

One in eight prisoners developed a drug problem after being locked up in jail, inspectors said today.

£9m keeps oldest book in Europe

A seventh-century book that lay buried in a saint's coffin for hundreds of years has been saved for the nation.

Rikki Clarke helps Warwickshire to a handy first-innings lead over Somerset

Round-up: Second failure means Patel may be frozen out

It is all very well being sent to the shires to make some runs, but when the month you have been given to rebuild your claim to an England place is April you might argue that the playing field is not exactly level.

£2m stolen from museum in daring 60-second raid

Police were last night hunting two men wanted in connection with a daring museum raid in which Chinese treasures worth £2m were stolen in less than a minute.

£2m raid took just 2 minutes

Thieves who broke into a museum to steal Chinese treasures worth £2m were in and out in less than two minutes, according to police.

Two men named over £2m museum raid

Police released photographs tonight of two men wanted in connection with a well-planned raid on a museum in which treasures worth more than £2 million were stolen.

Rory Hamilton-Brown in front of a painting showing previous Surrey captains at The Oval

London calling to reclaim the County title

Northern sides have ruled the roost for a decade but Surrey and Middlesex are well placed to challenge in the County Championship, which starts today

Johnson joins Durham for t20

Durham yesterday confirmed that the Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson will be their second overseas player for the Friends Life t20, which takes place in June and July. The 30-year-old said: "I've heard brilliant things about Durham from Paul Collingwood when he played over in Perth."

Scott, described by the judge as 'a fantasist', outside court in 2010

Raymond Scott: Shakespeare thief

Raymond Scott, who died on 14 March, was a flamboyant antiques dealer who was jailed for handling a stolen first edition of Shakespeare's plays. Scott, who passed himself off as a wealthy playboy before his conviction, was pronounced dead after being found unconscious in his cell at Northumnberland Prison, where he was serving an eight-year sentence.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore