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Afghanistan's 'Next Top Model'

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Afghanistan's 'Next Top Model'

Afghanistan's 'Next Top Model'

Afghanistan's 'Next Top Model'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

From the Britney Spears' custody case to a television show for would-be runway walkers in Afghanistan, a spin through headlines worth a second look.


You are listening to THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. I'm Alison Stewart, along with my co-host, Luke Burbank.



STEWART: And it's that time again: news you can't miss, news you can't use - it's the Ramble.

BURBANK: We're the only NPR show that would cop to bringing you news you can't use. News you can't use, but boy, you're going to be talking about it today.

A Los Angeles county court commissioner has awarded exclusive custody of Britney Spears' two sons - exclusive custody - to her ex-husband Kevin Federline under further notice. This commissioner named Scott Gordon, didn't give exactly the reason why he denied Britney custody…

STEWART: Commissioner Gordon?


(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: To the - okay. Just weeks, though, before this, he actually - there was a (unintelligible) where a former bodyguard of Britney's came in and talked about her apparent drug and alcohol use, said it was habitual, frequent and continuous.

In February, Britney and Kevin agreed to share custody of the kids, but Kevin has changed his mind and now asked for exclusive custody. He actually asked for that back in August, and he just got it.

By the way, "Gimme More," which is Britney's new song, the one she performed on the Video Music Awards, too much, much noticement on the YouTubes and the MyFace, that song, it hit the Billboard dance charts at 25 this week. And her fifth album, which doesn't have a title, is due out in November.

STEWART: And for all of you turning your noses to that story right now, it's the number one most viewed at, the most trusted in human news.

BURBANK: Absolutely.

STEWART: Just pointing that out. We're talking about Hollywood a little bit. After Will Smith announced that he's starting to work on the remake of the 1984 hit, "Karate Kid," he's going to be directing it. Who's he going to direct? His own son is going to be in the lead role. (unintelligible)

BURBANK: Is he going to be like black Mr. Miyagi?

STEWART: No. Mr. Miyagi is actually going to be Jackie Chan.

BURBANK: Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.

STEWART: Jaden was in the film with his dad before, "Pursuit of Happyness." When Ralph Macchio starred in that movie, he was 22.


STEWART: Jaden Smith is nine. We're just pointing that out.

BURBANK: The tournament.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: All right. Well, TV viewers in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif have been turning into - tuning to a program which Reuters is calling a, quote, "an extremely low budget take on the hit 'America's Next Top Model.'"

The women, of course, are more modestly dressed than what we would be accustomed to on an American show. In one episode, they wore brightly colored traditional costumes with baggy pants, long, loose-fitting shawls and head scarfs. At least 10 women dropped out of the program after Muslim clerics condemned it. And despite the fall of the Taliban, most women in Afghan still -in Afghanistan, rather, still wore burkas.

The show's director is 18-year-old Sosan Soltani. He told Reuters, Afghanistan is free, and these girls are the future of this country. They couldn't get Tyra Banks, of course. (unintelligible)

STEWART: I think you wrote the whole article just to get out this headline: Afghan models reveal the beauty under the burka.

BURBANK: It is - that is very catchy. It is definitely catchy.

STEWART: All right. So this one is just - it's one of the scary stories that you hear, like news that could kill you. But this really could kill you, but it's very, very small, very, very rare.

There's an amoeba in some lake, and is being blamed for deaths of at least six men and boys in Arizona, Texas and Florida. What it does is it enters your brain through your nose, and then it eats your way at your brain. It's this bacteria which is found in ponds and swimming pools, in warmer parts of the country. It just loves the warm weather. But you really have to inhale a lot of it and a lot of the muck on the bottom of the lake.

Between '95 and 2003, it killed 23 people in the United States. Now, the authorities in science are concerned about it, because as temperatures rise, they're worried there'll be more cases of this. It's called - you want to Google this - Naegleria fowleri, or something like that.

BURBANK: I'm just staying out of the water…

STEWART: That's right.

BURBANK: …for the rest of my life just to be safe. Plus, if you see me see me without my shirt on, it's probably good for everybody.

STEWART: And that is The Ramble for October 2nd.

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