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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Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea