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.

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio

Miners join opposition to Paolo Di Canio's appointment at Sunderland

New manager made inflammatory comments in the past

Graeme Swann is England’s most prolific off-spinner of all time

'I want to be back soon because I am bored stupid already' - Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann is on the road to recovery after elbow surgery forced him to miss the New Zealand tour. He tells Jon Culley how the machine in his attic may help England win the Ashes

Top universities really are biased in favour of private school pupils

Survey reveals that state school students need higher A-level results to get accepted

February 5, 2013: A facial reconstruction of King Richard III is displayed at a news conference in central London. The reconstruction is based on a CT scan of human remains found in a council car park in Leicester which are believed to belong to the last of the Plantagenet monarchs of Britain who was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Poll: Where should Richard III be interred?

When the skeleton of the crooked-backed Plantagenet king Richard III was found under a car park in Leicester, a petty civil war broke between four British cities, all staking their claim as the rightful burial ground for the dead monarch.

HMRC: Plan to close 281 centres and save £13m

HMRC could close all 281 of its enquiry centres, putting 1,300 jobs at risk, as part of a move to save £13m a year.

Rudy Gestede celebrates his injury-time equaliser for Cardiff
A photo issued by Durham Police of (left to right) Susan McGoldrick, her sister Alison Turnbull and Alison's daughter Tanya Turnbull

'Systemic shortcomings' by police allowed gunman with history of domestic abuse to shoot dead three female members of his family

Coroner demands gun licensing overhaul over killer Michael Atherton, who legally owned six weapons

Thieves jailed after losing £2m loot

Two inept thieves who stole Chinese artefacts worth £2m from a museum but then could not find where they had stashed them were handed lengthy jail sentences.

The robbery scene inside Durham’s Oriental Museum

Plotters deny stealing £1.8m Chinese works in hole-in-wall raid

Pair admit they were involved in plan but say they took no part in museum break-in

Warwickshire pull off Ottis Gibson coup

Warwickshire are set to announce Ottis Gibson as their new director of cricket, a source close to the West Indies' coach has revealed. It is a coup for the county champions and a blow for Caribbean cricket.

Children face arrest over snowball fights, police warn

Police have taken to Facebook to warn youngsters they could be arrested for throwing snowballs at cars, homes or people who do not want to be involved in games.

£300,000 arch artwork to be demolished

A piece of public art which cost more than £300,000 to build five years ago is to be demolished.

Benefit cheat worked as fitness instructor

A benefits cheat who claimed he could barely walk has been jailed after he was caught working as a leisure centre fitness instructor.

Drugs ban for javelin man Ian Burns

A javelin thrower and coach has been banned from all competition for four years for possessing numerous banned substances discovered after a raid by police.

Man arrested over woman's murder after body discovered on Christmas Eve

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a grandmother was found dead in her home on Christmas Eve, police have said.

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement