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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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own