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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Public disgrace: Andy Coulson’s conviction is just the latest case of how power can be perverted

Will the press ever be able to restore public confidence?

The trials of Andy Coulson and Rolf Harris reveal a celebrity-obsessed culture in which we are all complicit
Andy Coulson arrives for sentencing at the Old Bailey court house in London

Andy Coulson has been sentenced, now it's time to implement Leveson’s recommendations

We need a proper independent and effective press regulator that actually works

The 'World in Action' team making a program about the pirate radio ship Caroline, filmed on board in 1967

Jimmy Savile's crimes are rooted in pirate radio

John Peel was allowed to run a 'schoolgirl of the year' competition on his late night show
Andy Coulson, left, has been found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones, while Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie were cleared of all charges

After Coulson, now is the time for robust self-regulation along Leveson lines

A criminal culture at the News of the World has finally been exposed

Two Iraqi girls in a temporary camp near the Kurdish region on Friday

The Iraq invasion was wrong, but this time we must get involved

A keenness to denounce Tony Blair and George Bush is parochial and does nothing to help those in need
One world: The only way we can prevent future scandals is for all state schools to teach all children regardless of faith

Religion is no reason to let the ill-qualified become teachers

The Trojan Horse row shows how state education has become a dog's breakfast of different types of schools
Charles' comments have reignited debate about the British monarchy

Can Prince Charles get laws changed? They won't say

This makes a mockery of the idea that the UK is a democracy based on equal rights
Grieving residents clash with riot police in Soma

Turkish mine explosion: Are 300 lives enough to make Recep Tayyip Erdogan's admirers think again?

Cutting corners in the drive for cheap coal meant last week's disaster was an accident waiting to happen
A man read Lewinsky's spread in New York

Almost two decades on, it's OK for Bill Clinton, but there's no peace for Monica Lewinsky

Her account of her affair with the President will resonate with survivors of abusive relationships, who will recognise the emotional devastation she experienced
Outcry: Women protest outside Nigeria’s parliament on Wednesday

Nigerian kidnapped schoolgirls: The world's media have failed in their response to the kidnap of 200 girls

Their abduction by terrorists has had little coverage compared with the missing Malaysian airliner
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all