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Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
12:55 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

New Mortgage Program Helps Cambodia's Poor Find Better Homes

Sriv Keng (right) and her husband, Vet Vong, dish up bowls of rice for customers at her roadside food stall, which is situated in a garment manufacturing district.
Will Baxter for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 7:20 pm

If you've applied for a mortgage recently, you know how hard it can be. The bank demands all kinds of obscure documents and wants proof of almost every asset you own. But an innovative mortgage program halfway around the world will evaluate your application without any extra documentation — and if you're approved, it will give you a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. There's just one catch: The mortgages are only for low-income people in Cambodia. The program is a throwback to the days when bankers got to know their customers — and trusted them.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Facebook Phone Is 'A Family Of Apps,' Zuckerberg Says

CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Thursday's "Facebook phone" announcement.
Robert Galbraith Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 2:06 pm

Facebook is going to "turn things around," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday, by turning "your Android phone into a great, simple social device" that is "designed around people."

He came on stage just after 1 p.m. ET at Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters to talk about a very poorly kept secret — the so-called Facebook phone.

But, Zuckerberg said at the start of his talk, "we're not building a phone and we're not building an operating system."

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Commentary
12:23 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Even Dictionaries Grapple With Getting 'Marriage' Right

Geoff Nunberg says a good definition extends to the past as well as the present: It's not just about what "marriage" has come to mean; it's all the word has ever meant.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 1:12 pm

It's a funny thing about dictionaries. First we're taught to revere them, then we have to learn to set them aside. Nobody ever went wrong starting a middle-school composition with, "According to Webster's ..." but that's not how you start an op-ed commentary about terrorism or racism. When it comes to the words that do the cultural heavy lifting, we're not about to defer to some lexicographer hunched over a dusty keyboard.

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Author Interviews
12:23 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Former Mormon Missionary Describes The Experience Of 'Elders'

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 3:47 pm

As a Mormon missionary, Ryan McIlvain spent two years ringing strangers' doorbells, even as he experienced doubts about his own faith. McIlvain left the church in his mid-20s. His debut novel, Elders, is based on the experiences he had trying to convert people to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Elder" is the term used for a young Mormon on his mission.

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

The Sky Isn't Falling Over The Korean Peninsula — Yet

In this photo released in March by the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), leader Kim Jong Un is said to be using a pair of binoculars to look south during an inspection of army troops stationed on two islands.
Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 1:04 pm

Almost every day, there's some new threat out of North Korea.

It's hard to determine how seriously to take these threats. War on the Korean Peninsula could be catastrophic, so the bluster can't be dismissed. On the other hand, North Korea has a long history of hyperbole, of making threats it doesn't follow through on.

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