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Help for Troubled Homeowners

Congress is holding hearings tomorrow on a plan to help unemployed homeowners stay out of foreclosure. Since President Obama launched a $75 billion plan in February to encourage lenders to lower mortgage payments, only 50,000 out of an estimated 4 million people in trouble have gotten help. Now the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has a new study that says incentives to lenders won't prevent foreclosures. Instead, Paul Willen of the Boston Fed says the government should give that money directly to homeowners until they're back on their feet.

Buying Health Insurance

We offer a user's guide to purchasing health insurance. It's not easy, with lots of plans to compare, and lots of fine print to read. We speak with Eliza Navarro Bangit, senior research associate and attorney at the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University, and Ida Schnipper, who co-founded the patient advocacy firm, Health Champion.

Tiny House

Photo by Harold Shapiro
Photo by Harold Shapiro

In terms of living space, how many square feet do you need? In the US, the average size of a home is 2,600 sq. feet. One of the child star's of the film, Slumdog Millionaire, is happy to have 250 sq. ft. for his family of four. Our guest, Elizabeth Turnbull describes her living space — all 144 sq. feet of it. She says size matters when you are thinking about a 'green' and a 'sustainable' home.

What next in Iran?

Tomorrow marks the 10-year anniversary of the storming of Tehran University by pro-government militias and Iran is bracing for the possibility of more violence in the streets. This after the deadly protests that followed the disputed presidential election last month. At the same time, desert storms have raised pollution to unprecedented levels and Iranian officials are hoping that will keep people off the streets. We speak to Sadeq Saba, head of the BBC Persian Service.

The Conscience of Nhem En

We revisit a conversation we had with filmmaker Steven Okazaki. His Oscar-nominated short documentary "The Conscience of Nhem En" centers around Tuol Sleng, the Cambodian prison where thousands of victims of the Khmer Rouge were tortured and killed during the late 70s. The film premieres on HBO2 tonight.

Music from the Show

  • Kar Kar Madison, "Boubacar Traore"
  • Radiohead, "Myxamatosis"
  • Herbie Hancock, "Watermelon Man"
  • Calexico, "Dub Latina"
  • Freddie Hubbard, "Gibraltar"
  • The Lickets, "Serial East"
  • Tito Puente, "Royal T"
  • J.S. Bach, “The Goldberg Variations” as performed by Mari Kodama

This program aired on July 8, 2009.

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