Osborne takes cheap option on child care

'Independent' survey reveals concerns that central plank of mid-term review suits high earners

Youth workers are for life... and the astonishingly brave life-savers at Prospex need your help

Income for charities has been decimated by the financial crash, but were it not for this group, hundreds if not thousands of young people simply would not be alive

Case dismissed: islanders 'waived' claim to Chagos

A group of islanders “callously and shamefully” evicted from their homeland by Britain received a bitter blow yesterday in their marathon legal battle for the right to return when judges in Strasbourg rejected their case.

Demonstrators near India Gate in Delhi yesterday demand capital punishment for rapists

‘I feel the attack in my heart’: India’s shame at brutal rape

Protesters demand extra protection for women as suspect admits: I should be hanged

Generation Xbox: 'Alarming' drop in fathers helping children to read

An “alarming” drop in the number of fathers encouraging their children to read is revealed in new research published today.

Concern as major slump in science standards in primary schools is revealed

A major slump in science standards in primary schools is revealed in an international league table published today.

Children spending a year in pre-school would boost UK ranking in international education league tables

Researchers predict UK would have risen from 25th to 13th out of 60 in the latest international literacy test

'World's oldest person' Besse Cooper dies aged 116

The woman who was listed as the world's oldest person has died in a Georgia nursing home at age 116.

Back-to-work scheme ‘failing homeless’

Homeless people are being failed by the government’s flagship back-to-work programme despite large amounts of public money being given to private firms to cut chronic employment, a new report warns.

Kingsley Amis (pictured) and Philip Larkin were brought together by a liking for girls, books, and jazz

IoS book review: The Odd Couple: The Curious Friendship between Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin, By Richard Bradford

Pedigree chums ... or how two literary old dogs finally fell out

Poor reading skills are the most serious weakness in our education system

It should be obvious that reading skills are essential throughout education, so why has this very serious problem only just come to light?

Supermarket multi-buy offers can BOGOF. Who goes shopping to practise their mental arithmetic?

A Which? survey has discovered that the price of one in 10 products go up when they’re in a multi-buy deal. Just who are supermarkets trying to kid?

New tests will cut school reading time, say authors

A new spelling and punctuation test for 11-year-olds next year will cut the time for children's reading in schools, authors warned at the weekend.

Boys and bras have a place in the Girl Guides

That the new chief executive of Girlguiding UK is willing to talk about sex can only be a good thing for the future of the organisation

Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over 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
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

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

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
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
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?