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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Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence