This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Close to half of the world's maritime traffic passes through the South China Sea. Vast deposits of oil and natural gas are believed to lie beneath the ocean floor there. These waters are also the scene of bitter international rivalry as at least five smaller countries find themselves in lopsided disputes with China.
A 3-D printer is being credited with helping to save an Ohio baby's life, after doctors "printed" a tube to support a weak airway that caused him to stop breathing. The innovative procedure has allowed Kaiba Gionfriddo, of Youngstown, Ohio, to stay off a ventilator for more than a year.
This is special coverage from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. In just a few minutes, President Obama will deliver what's described as a major address at the National Defense University here in Washington, D.C., a speech where he's expected to refocus strategy and tactics in the war against al-Qaida and its affiliates.
New government figures add to evidence of a decline in teen pregnancies across the nation and point to a notably large drop in births among Hispanic teens, NPR's Jennifer Ludden tells our Newscast Desk.
Moving on to other news in education, last week hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine announced that they would be giving the University of Southern California $70 million to create a degree that will blend business, marketing, product development, design and liberal arts.
Ohio Representative Marcia Fudge is still relatively new on the block. But she's established herself as the new head of the Congressional Black Congress. In the role, she's already been very vocal about whether the President is doing enough for people of color. Host Michel Martin talks with Congresswomen Fudge about her ideas for America.
Millions of students rely on loans and grants for their studies. But with universities strapped for cash, fewer schools are able to admit students regardless of their financial need. Host Michel Martin asks the President of Iowa's Grinnell College, Dr. Raynard Kington, why his school considered putting a halt to need-blind admissions.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right) walks with Myanmar's then-prime minister, Gen. Thein Sein, at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on March 16, 2009. Both men are former military officers, leading their Southeast Asian nations along a sometimes rocky path to democracy.
Credit Bay Ismoyo / AFP/Getty Images
Police and students stand off at Trisakti University in West Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 8, 1998, before scuffles erupted. Student protests against President Suharto that ignited throughout Indonesia ultimately ended the 30-year rule of the military leader.
Credit Tatan Syuflana / AP
Angry Indonesian mobs burn cars and Chinese shops in Jakarta on May 14, 1998. Indonesia has made great progress since the ethnic and religious violence of the immediate post-Suharto era.
Credit Choo Youn-Kong / AFP/Getty Images
Rohingya Muslims, trying to cross the Naf river into Bangladesh to escape sectarian violence in Myanmar, look on from an intercepted boat in Teknaf on July 13, 2012.
Credit Munir uz Zaman / AFP/Getty Images
Buddhist monks and others walk across a road in downtown Yangon, Myanmar, on May 13.
The world's highest sushi bar: On Tuesday, Yuichiro Miura, right, and his son made hand-wrapped sushi on the side of Mount Everest, at the fourth campsite during their climb to the top. The photo won many fans on Facebook.
A Japanese mountaineer has become the oldest person to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, as Yuichiro Miura, 80, reached the 29,035-foot peak Thursday morning. The feat marks Miura's third time atop Mount Everest; he previously climbed the mountain at ages 70 and 75.
As in 2008, Miura's accomplishment is in danger of being surpassed by his main rival, Nepalese climber Min Bahadur Sherchan, 81. But that possibility didn't seem to bother Miura Thursday, who was joined by his son, Gota, on the climb.