Sunday Long Reads: Bandidos, Budget 2017 and the rise of NFL rookie quarterbacks

Kick back with a cup of coffee and enjoy the best long reads from Newstalk

Mass killings, the 1%, and anti-tank missiles: Seven things to know about the Bandidos

The infamous international Bandidos Motorcycle Club has just opened its first chapter in Ireland, with the Limerick-based centre reportedly already the focus of members of the Gardaí and Europol. Armed members of the Irish police force, as well as uniformed officers, carefully watched the initiation ceremony last weekend that saw the gang launch its first chapter in Ireland.

In a number of the 28 countries where the gang has set up chapters, reports link the Bandidos to serious crimes, including people smuggling and murder. Last year, Texas police in Waco arrested 177 bikers after a turf war with the rival Cossacks and the Scimitars biker gangs left nine people dead and 18 more wounded in a shootout.

Matter of Taste: From failure to full-scale panic, the 'Pop Rocks' bubble burst big time

Known primarily as popping candy on this side of the Atlantic, this year marks the 60th anniversary of the development of Pop Rocks, small crystal shards of sugar that pop open when exposed to the saliva in your mouth.

Their effervescence is their everything, as the crispy bites begin to melt away the moment they enter a consumer’s mouth, fizzily sputtering across the tongue in their castanet cacophony.

But once the whoosh of carbon dioxide escaping its artificially-flavoured shell has passed, all your left with is some sugary grit to chew through. Which is why popping candy is at its best when it comes as a surprise, like an extra ingredient in a chocolate bar or salting the rim of a cocktail glass.

Mike Carlson: Rookie quarterbacks are making a big impression ahead of schedule

One of the anomalies of the five-week old NFL season is the number of rookie quarterbacks not only starting, but playing surprisingly well.

Quarterback in American football is arguably the most important position in any team sport (perhaps goaltender in ice hockey) and it is fast becoming the most dangerous. Increased awareness of concussion has been added to the usual damage inflicted by pass rushers; last week the two starters in last season's NFC championship game, Arizona's Carson Palmer and Carolina's Cam Newton, both missed games while going through the league's concussion protocol.

But signal-callers have always been vulnerable to pass-rushers smashing into them as they release their passes, and increasingly, tacklers teaching them the dangers of being a runner.

Peter Carroll: James Gallagher sees himself as the main event for Bellator’s Dublin debut

After two hours of training and a quick shower, the superstar glow still emanates from James Gallagher as he walks around SBG Concorde, decked out in designer gear.

In the early hours of the morning on Thursday, Bellator sent out a press release with a promotional picture attached for their Dublin debut on December 16, and despite not having an opponent booked for the event yet, a shirtless Gallagher dominates the middle of the graphic.

Bellator’s deal with BAMMA will see both promotions run shows on December 16th at the 3 Arena, BAMMA 27 and Bellator 169, and even with the amount of homegrown talent that will be on display that night, Gallagher’s name has garnered the most attention thus far.