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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Isis beheadings: The Hideous return of execution as a public spectacle

Clicking on a link, or even viewing a photo from before the killing, is not far removed from attending a Tudor beheading
Alice Gross was last seen in August

Alice Gross disappearance: Murderers must stay on somebody's radar

'The lack of an EU-wide register means even men with a dreadful history might appear unblemished'

Model Reeva Steenkamp, whose messages saying that she was afraid of Pistorius were ignored by the judge

Pistorius: Reeva Steenkamp was just a chapter in a scary story

Pistorius is already on his way to rehabilitation in a country where three women a day are killed by a husband or boyfriend

Source of controversy: Ashya King with his mother, Naghemeh

Ashya King: This story isn't quite what it seems

The five-year-old isn't dying – but nor is he getting the urgent treatment he needs, despite Jeremy Hunt's extraordinary offer
Women were excluded from the decision-making progress in Rotherham

Rotherham child sexual abuse scandal - the lessons: Asian women's voices go unheard

The Jay report showed the Labour Party's willingness to listen only to the male community leaders
Cost of a cure: Roche knows that patients have no other options

Priority for caregivers, not shareholders: Why campaigners support a ban on Roche's new cancer treatment

Nice had 'no option' but to reject Kadcyla at its current price
Thai immigration policemen investigate Vietnamese women who were allegedly lured into becoming surrogate mothers

Mother country: The harrowing truth behind Thai 'fertility tourism'

A surrogate Down's syndrome baby abandoned by an Australian couple, exposes the First World's double standards
Does Miliband have an image problem?

Actually, Ed Miliband never said he was 'weird'

The public has been softened up to believe any old nonsense about the Labour leader
Innocents’ tears: A mother yesterday mourns her son killed by an Israeli tank shell in Gaza

In modern warfare, it's the civilians who suffer most of all

From MH17 to Gaza, there's no distinction between soldiers and non-combatants caught in the crossfire
Harman has said her gender affected her employment

Gordon Brown could have had a woman as deputy PM. He bottled it

When he had the chance to appoint Harriet Harman, his fine words failed to match his actions
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Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?