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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Ched Evans has repeatedly denied he did anything wrong

A bit of contrition would help, but appallingly behaved footballers barely see a problem

As sexual violence against women increases, football's authorities should take the same sort of stand that they have on racism

Isis in Kobani: Why Turkey is allowing the town to fall

A history of appalling brutality between the Ankara government and the Kurds is the key to President Erdogan's priorities
The name Abu Qatada has become a byword for ‘crazy human rights’

When did 'human rights' become a source of shame?

It has replaced 'political correctness' as the dinner-party phrase designed to appeal to right-wing prejudice
Alan Henning’s wife, Barbara, last month appealing for the release of her husband

With Alan Henning's death, the media finally stops playing the terrorists' tune

It took the death of the British aid worker for papers not to publish images of Isis's brutality

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
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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London