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Pete Seeger in 1967. AP Photo/ADN-D.Steinberg, File
up to speed

Catch-up Wednesday: 3 midweek longreads

Get up to speed with the latest news, opinions and insights with our hand-picked in-depth reads.

IT’S MIDWAY THROUGH the week and you want to get up to speed on the latest news topics and catch up on opinions and insights.

We’re here to help you do just that, with our three midweek longreads:

1. Waste and why it matters

Rose George tackles the subject of waste in India, and the ‘manual scavengers’ who look for it. Here’s an excerpt from her soon to be reissued book on the subject, which also takes in the the nuances of the different castes in the country.

(Longreads –  35 minutes reading time, 7060 words)

This scavenging has none of the usefulness of its usual meaning. There is no salvaging of waste, no making good of the dis¬carded. Champaben recycles nothing and gains nothing. She takes filth away and for this she is considered dirt. There are between 400,000 and 1.2 million manual scavengers in India, depending on who is compiling the figures.

2. Goodbye, Pete

Folk singer Pete Seeger died earlier this week. Jack Hamilton writes about his legacy, his impact on 20th century music and his anti-war words.

(Slate –  5 minutes reading time, 1065 words)

By the early 1960s America was in the midst of yet another folk revival, and Seeger became a sort of éminence grise. He took a new generation under his wing, and that generation would change American music and to no small degree America itself. Songs like “We Shall Overcome,” “If I Had a Hammer,” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”—all of which can be traced to Seeger—became touchstones of the civil rights and anti-war movements.

3. RTÉ, Panti, and the Iona Institute

Barrister Brian Barrington writes an open letter to RTÉ about its handling of the Rory O’Neill (Panti) and Iona Institute situation, and his thoughts on O’Neill’s comments about homophobia.

( – 4  minutes reading time, 891 words)

It is astonishing, therefore, that RTE, a national broadcaster, should apologise for what Mr O’Neill has stated, censor his interview on the internet and award public money to those in the Iona Institute who have sought to prevent a free debate on equal marriage by preventing gay rights campaigners from uttering in future that opposition to same-sex marriage is homophobic.

Want some more longreads? Then check out Sitdown Sunday>

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