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.

The sporting week ahead (19/05/13)

Today

Southampton

The iQuiz part two: In pictures

Tuesday's iQuiz first round was as hotly contested as ever - and it's been memorialised on film.

Chris Rogers smashed his way to a double hundred yesterday

Chris Rogers raps out an Ashes message with double ton

Middlesex 166 & 514-8 Surrey 338 & 85-1 Match drawn

Graeme Swann took four wickets and made a brave half-century

Graeme Swann escapes ban despite 'serious dissent'

England bowler penalised for actions in comeback game for Nottinghamshire against Durham

Graeme Swann took four wickets and made a brave half-century

Graeme Swann's day spoilt by Phil Mustard cutting a dash for Durham

Nottinghamshire 320 & 333 Durham 471 & 184-4 (Durham win by six wickets)

Durham’s Mark Wood on his way to an unbeaten 58 yesterday

Mark Wood right at home to torment Notts yet again

Nottinghamshire 320 & 145-5 Durham 471

Joe Root showed his class with 182 to help Yorkshire to victory

Round-Up: Warwickshire draw strength from escape at Somerset

Warwickshire pulled off an unlikely escape act to salvage a draw as yesterday's sole remaining County Championship fixture produced a thriller in Taunton.

Nottinghamshire’s Graeme Swann bowls in the nets as he nears his return

James Taylor helps Notts cash in as Derbyshire get harsh lesson

Derbyshire 256 Nottinghamshire 325-5

<b>Kevin Pietersen - 4</b><br/>
Never seemed ready for this series and his 73 in the second Test was untypically laboured. Perhaps it was the knee which forced him to leave the tour, perhaps something more deeply-seated.

Ashes 2013: Fears over fitness of Kevin Pietersen heighten

The batsman will miss the Champions Trophy

Cricket round-up: Shane Watson's Aussie turmoil

Ashes watch part one: Australia will begin this summer's Ashes series in England with a new vice-captain after Shane Watson, left, quit yesterday following a turbulent stint as Michael Clarke's deputy. The 31-year-old all-rounder was suspended during Australia's disastrous tour of India for failing to submit a written self-critique to coach Mickey Arthur. Watson stood in for Clarke as India completed a 4-0 series win with a six-wicket victory in Delhi. His own form has been patchy and he cited that as a reason for resigning. "I want to be the best Test player I can be and think I can do that by focusing my attention on scoring runs and taking wickets."

Man faces British court over 'Facebook threats to kill 200 in US'

A British man who allegedly posted on Facebook threats to kill 200 people in America appeared before a crown court judge today.

County Championship round-up: It's an Aussie one-two as Ed Cowan pips George Bailey to 50

The first County Championship half-century of an Ashes summer was scored, appropriately, by an Australian, pipping another to the mark by moments. Ed Cowan, the man likely to open the batting for Michael Clarke's team in the first Test at Trent Bridge in July, marked his first appearance on that ground for Nottinghamshire by passing 50 in the 20th over against Middlesex, an over ahead of George Bailey, Australia's Twenty20 captain, on his Hampshire debut against Leicestershire at the Ageas Bowl. Bailey fell seven runs short of a debut century.

Paolo Di Canio’s arrival as Sunderland coach has led many miners to want to remove their historic banner from the club in protest

Suspicious miners prepare to vote over Sunderland's appointment of Paolo Di Canio

The Italian's appointment has proved hugely controversial

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Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam