Rundown 7/31

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Cash for Clunkers?

So many people want to trade in their clunker cars and get cash towards the purchase of  more fuel efficient ones that the new government program is already financially strapped. Congress is scrambling to approve additional funding.  But will this help Bill Crowder? He general manager at Signature Automotive Group in Benton Township, Michigan. They sold 11 cars yesterday, but the red tape, he says, is proving to be a problem.

Afghanistan's Got Talent

"Afghan Star" contestant Lima Sahar, sings during a rehearsal at the Tolo TV office in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, March 12, 2008.  In a first for post-Taliban Afghanistan, Sahar, a woman from the conservative Pashtun belt is one of the top three contenders in the country's version of "American Idol."  Conservative detractors decry the fact an Afghan woman has found success singing on television, while others, younger Afghans, say the show is helping women progress. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
"Afghan Star" contestant Lima Sahar, sings at a rehearsal in Kabul on March 12, 2008. Conservative detractors decry the fact an Afghan woman has found success singing on television, while others say the show is helping women progress. (AP )

The TV show, Afghan Star, is taking Afghanistan by storm. It's a take-off of American Idol but the stakes have turned out to be higher.  A new documentary about the show, we learn that one contestant has fled the country after singing on the show; another dared to dance in public and brought shame on her family.  The host of the program had to leave the country and has received asylum in the US. We speak to the show's host and producer Daoud Sediqi, and the film's director and producer, Havana Marking. And we won't tell you who wins!

Checking CEO Pay

Prompted by public anger over huge CEO bonuses, House lawmakers today passed a bill that gives regulators the power to ban risky compensation practices. But the bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, and the White House is concerned the measure may go too far. We speak with Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Bike Polo Anyone?

Two sports stories:  this weekend, London plays host to the first European Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Championships. It's like polo, but it's played on a bike instead of a horse. The BBC's Tamsin Ford watched a recent practice match and prepared a report.

Steroid Scandal Snares Ortiz & Ramirez

Also in sports, the steroid scandal in major league baseball implicates two more players:  David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe joins us.

Escape From Bellevue

Chris Campion and Bill Janovitz grew up together on Long Island, New York. But their personal and professional lives took very different paths. In the early 1990s Bill went on to form the popular rock band Buffalo Tom, while Chris, who had his own band, The Knockout Drops, descended into an oblivion of alcohol and drugs which he details in his memoir "Escape from Bellevue: A Dive bar Odyssey." The title comes from Chris' successful escape from New York City's infamous mental ward. Bill Janovitz tells the story of his friend's rise, fall, and resurrection.

Music from the Show

  • Music from "Afghan Star"
  • Tito Puente, "Royal T"
  • Rolling Stones, "She's So Cold"
  • Peter Dixon, "Nagog Woods"
  • Freddie Hubbard, "Little Sunflower"
  • Art Blakey, "C.O.R.E."
  • Deep Purple, “Smoke on the Water” 
  • The Knockout Drops, “Pilot Light”

This program aired on July 31, 2009.


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