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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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
Fiona Woolf, left, ex-BBC newsreader Martyn Lewis and Lady Brittan

Child abuse inquiry: Children's lives are destroyed by this culture of disbelief

The fiasco surrounding the Woolf inquiry suggests the Home Office still doesn't grasp the size of the problem
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
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
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

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
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Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks