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.

Timon of Athens, Olivier, NT, London / The Complete World of Sports, Arts Theatre, London

De-barnacled and bejewelled, the Bard's tricky play shines like a topical treasure

Saunders: as well as his broadcasting skills, he 'wrote like an angel'

Alan Saunders: Broadcaster who left Britain and became much loved in Australia

If Australia had such a thing as National Treasures, Alan Saunders would have been one. For the past 25 years on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation his beautifully modulated baritone voice enlightened, stimulated and engaged listeners to programmes such as the weekly Food Program for the 10 years until 1997, when he began presenting The Comfort Zone; and on ABC Radio National's Screen, the film and TV discussion and its Breakfast Program, to which he contributed film reviews until 2000.

Roger Garaudy: Veteran of the Resistance who later became a Holocaust denier

Roger Garaudy, who died in Paris on 13 June at the age of 98, was a long-time Communist who fought in the French resistance in the Second World War but became a Holocaust denier in old age.

Erika Bok plays the farmer's daughter in this Beckett-like two-hander

The Turin Horse, Bela Tarr, 146 mins (15)

A stubborn horse presages doom in this distillation of Bela Tarr's ascetic aesthetic (hint: not much happens, and little is said)

Five-minute memoir: Andy Martin recalls how a stolen book changed his life

It was a small family bookshop, on a peaceful back street in a small town on the fringes of London. I treated it as my own personal library, and I would sit there for hours on end, often on the floor, usually not buying anything. I loved that bookshop, so naturally I had to go and betray it.

Divided societies: The remains of Dawdon Colliery in County Durham

Why Nations Fail, By Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson

A penetrating analysis of social organisation argues that the West's 'inclusive' states show signs of a relapse.

Pep Guardiola: Victory tonight will give the departing coach his 14th trophy since 2008

Barça hope to give Guardiola an emotional send-off

Pep Guardiola's glorious reign as Barcelona manager will end tonight with the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid. Victory would mean Guardiola ending his four-year tenure at the Nou Camp with his 14th trophy – the perfect end to the best spell at a European club side for a generation. This date has been marked since, one month ago, the former Barça midfielder announced he would step down.

Tom Hodgkinson: Why Shakespeare's pain is pure poetry

Do we need poetry? Last week, appearing on a Radio 4 programme, I praised the poets for making our lives bearable with their words, for adding meaning to our world. Another of the guests, a hard-working businessman wearing a gold watch, attacked me for promoting poetry, and therefore idleness: "People need food!" he raved. "You can't eat poetry!"

De Botton: Society is “awash with porn”

Alain De Botton to explore the consolations of pornography

Alain de Botton has addressed love, happiness and religion. Now he wants to investigate pornography in the belief it can be turned into a moral and noble industry.

In this January 1965 file photo taken by Associated Press photographer Horst Faas, the sun breaks through dense jungle foliage around the embattled town of Binh Gia, 40 miles east of Saigon, as South Vietnamese troops, joined by US advisers, rest after a cold, damp and tense night of waiting in an ambush position for a Viet Cong attack that didn't come.

Horst Faas: The chronicler of Vietnam who captured horror because he felt it

Fêted photographer has died aged 79. Adrian Hamilton pays tribute

The Cookbook Collector, By Allegra Goodman

When the facts get in the way of a good story

The getting of wisdom

What can dead thinkers teach us about modern life? Matilda Battersby meets the new philosophy clubs
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Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
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Jim Davidson performs his comedy show at Edinburgh Festival 2014
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Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor