Joan Smith

Known for her human rights activism and writing on subjects such as atheism and feminism, Joan Smith is a columnist, critic and novelist. An Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and a regular contributor to BBC radio, she has written five detective novels, two of which have been filmed by the BBC.

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Stalin MKII? Vladimir Putin isn’t going to give up power of his own accord

President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him

A secret war in Ukraine, murder in London, incursions into others' airspace. His behaviour is getting worse

King Abdullah died this week at the age of 90

King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account

Sucking up to the Saudis didn't stop the 9/11 attacks, the Chibok kidnappings, or Paris

Stuart Kerner claimed the pupil stalked him

How can a girl of 16 'groom' a teacher?

The judge who spared a deputy head from jail after he had sex with a pupil condoned the male fantasy eulogised in 'Lolita'

Spree killer Anders Breivik claimed he used video games to ‘train’ for the murders

Paris attacks: These troubled men who project their self-hatred on others

Murderers, like the Paris terrorists, are drawn to a toxic identity which equates masculinity with violence
A migrant disembarking from the Sierra Leone-flagged vessel Ezadeen at Corigliano Calabro, Italy, on Saturday

Syrian migrants stranded at sea deserve far more help

With a second-rate search-and-rescue mission, the EU helps people-traffickers more than traumatised refugees on rusty boats
Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s dictator, and the subject of the spoof Sony film

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand
Ukipland - a fictional country where the old values are no longer respected and people yearn for vanished certainties

In Ukipland there's a pint waiting for Russell Brand and Nigel Farage

They like to think they're opposites but when it comes to women, I can't help thinking they'd find common ground
Novelist P D James, who died last week at the age of 94

PD James: The warm, inspirational woman I knew

She confronted moral dilemmas with seriousness and a sense of responsibility

The royal dress code can't cloak Prince Charles

Ministers are terrified of the effect on public opinion if the Prince of Wales’s letters are published
The Rosetta Lander Imaging System on the Philae Lander shows the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Rosetta mission represents the very best side of human nature

The forces of darkness are on the march. All the more reason to celebrate Philae, rationality and the march of progress
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links