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.

A woman cools her foot in a fountain during hot weather in Nottingham, central England May 8, 2008. REUTERS/Darren Staples

Heatwave, what heatwave? Hanging out in Britain's coldest spots

It's not all sweat and sweltering - from Ceredigion to Cornwall, find out what you could be up to in out of the heat

Union leader Bob Crow seeks to form new 'working class party' to replace Labour

Bob Crow, the RMT general secretary, will seek to exploit Labour’s wranglings with trade unions by urging the movement to break ties with Ed Miliband and create a party that “speaks for working people”.

Ricky Ponting celebrates his century

Ricky Ponting hits century in final first-class innings

The former Australia captain was playing for Surrey

Justin Welby, pictured, accused Lord Freud of getting his facts wrong on food banks and benefits

Justin Welby: Food banks users ‘aren’t scroungers’

The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised Conservative ministers for dividing the nation to justify their welfare reforms

T20 cricket: Klinger ton lifts Gloucestershire

Michael Klinger smashed a brilliant 61-ball century to lead Gloucestershire to a 48-run Friends Life T20 victory over Worcestershire at Bristol.

England reject Nick Compton flicks the ball over short leg on his way to 81

Nick Compton gets another shot after making point against Aussies

Somerset 320 Australia 2-0

Will Beer, of Sussex, runs out Northamptonshire’s Rob Keogh

Round-up: Samit Patel serves a reminder with career-best 129

Samit Patel's first one-day century for three years guided Nottinghamshire to a six-wicket victory over Warwickshire on Sunday and maintained their 100 per cent start to this season's Yorkshire Bank 40 competition.

Matthew Fisher becomes youngest county cricket star aged 15

Fifteen-year-old Matthew Fisher today became county cricket's youngest post-war player after he was handed his senior debut by Yorkshire.

Ollie Rayner: Middlesex man claimed his first five-wicket haul since 2008 yesterday

Middlesex 499-8 dec Sussex 222 & 228-4: Matt Prior practice fails to pay off with Sussex on the slide

After his controversial first-innings dismissal, Matt Prior’s fortunes hardly improved as Sussex slid towards defeat. And this time England’s Test match wicketkeeper could blame no one but himself.

Colly gosh: Durham captain Paul Collingwood (left) celebrates a wicket

Paul Collingwood leaves it too late as points are shared

Durham 259 & 240-6 Middlesex 196 & 165-5 (Match drawn): Durham captain waits to declare – and scuppers chance of a victory

Graham Onions took five wickets including that of Joe Denly

Potent Graham Onions adds some flavour to Durham's Championship hopes

Durham 259 & 37-0 Middlesex 196

Phil Mustard stuck to his task with the bat to earn a second bonus point

Phil Mustard shows strength to slow early leaders Middlesex

Durham 259 Middlesex 11-2

The sporting week ahead (19/05/13)

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'