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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Joyce Carol Oates is among 150 writers to protest that the award decision was ‘neither clear nor inarguable’

Charlie Hebdo's PEN Freedom of Expression Courage Award is well deserved

Those who oppose the award have fallen for a false narrative of universal Muslim victimhood

The Nato campaign to support Libyans who wanted to oust Gaddafi failed to plan for the aftermath

Toppling despots is the easy bit, as the PM should know by now

Ed Miliband was right to highlight the irresponsibility of unseating Gaddafi without a plan for afterwards

Ashya King arriving at the Proton Therapy Centre in Prague in September

Ashya King: The summer of hate experienced by the hospital that treated him shames us all

One letter sent to staff at Southampton General Hospital expressed the hope that the doctor's own children would get cancer and die

Depending on which media outlet you believe, Ed Miliband has either already lost the general election, or very much hasn't

General Election 2015: Is this the campaign off to a good start? Hell, no!

Demands for politicians to show their true selves are likely to have the opposite effect

Clifford is already serving an eight-year jail sentence for indecent assault

Keith Vaz has got it wrong - protecting men should not be the aim of rape laws

I don't doubt it is unpleasant to be wrongly accused of rape but such events are rare

Red Cross health workers in Liberia

Inequality remains the real killer in Africa - as the Ebola outbreak has shown

Images of listless patients, lying on mats in makeshift clinics, play into a false narrative of inevitability

Half Life: Women in India are expected to keep themselves out of harm’s way

India is in denial about its rape culture - but then so are we

The banning of a documentary about a horrific attack on a young woman in Delhi has terrible echoes elsewhere

The shrine of Iman al-Mahdi, Karbala. He is expected to return at the end of time

Jihadi John: Why are so many from Britain giving up everything to join a terrorist organisation that tortures and kills?

The appeal of Isis lies in its messianic belief that the final victory for Muslims is imminent

Michael Adebolajo killed Fusilier Lee Rigby outside Woolwich Barracks in May last year

Why are so many young men inured to violence?

After he fell out with his parents, Ziamani was radicalised in only 12 weeks

Ed Miliband is smeared because of his determination to finish the Leveson process

If Ed Miliband is useless, why are some newspapers so bothered by him?

As prime minister, the Labour leader would revisit self-regulation, and that terrifies the right-wing press

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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'