Sunday Long Reads: How not to apologise, pregnant smokers and North Korea explained

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

OPINION: How (not) to apologise: A lesson from Pepsi, United and Sean Spicer

Even in the deeply divided outrage culture of 2017, three recent high-profile faux pas have attracted almost universal scorn.

The controversies in question arose for very different reasons. Last week, Pepsi executives were forced to pull an ad featuring Kendall Jenner, which co-opted imagery from recent protest movements in the US. The ad had been criticised as being tone-deaf and wildly misjudged.

Calls for assistance for pregnant women who smoke

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) says investing in ways to help people quit smoking is effective and offers good value for money.

The Health Technology Assessment (HTA), the first of its kind in the European Union, says pregnant women who smoke should be offered counselling in the first instance.

How to backup your photos securely

We're taking more photos than ever before, so it's worth taking the time to set up a photo management system that works for you. Doing this ensures the photos you take of your family and friends won't disappear should your phone die or get stolen.

Before we go any further, I will concede that the term 'photo-management system' is incredibly dorky. It's important to note, however, that the more you do as you go along, the easier it will be in the long run.

OPINION: Let 2017 be the year black artistry wins

A matter of urgency - that's how Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar described the release of his new album 'Damn.'

Lamar became an unlikely political figure on his last album. The critically-acclaimed 'To Pimp A Butterfly', tackled tough subject matter - institutionalised racism, how the systemic oppression of black people continues in the 21st century, his own declining mental health. Alright, one of the album's lead singles, was adopted by the Black Lives Matter movement as its unofficial anthem.

Explainer: The escalating tensions between North Korea and the US

Although much of the recent attention has focused on the deteriorating relations between the US and Russia, the Trump administration has also ramped up its threats against North Korea.

The North Korean regime has - as is its way - responded by intensifying its own rhetoric and shows of force.