On a Friday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Let's look more closely now at the competition for control of the South China Sea. That's a strategic body of water surrounded by growing Asian nations like the Philippines, Vietnam and of course, China. Many nations have made overlapping claims for that sea and the resources beneath it. Since several nations are U.S. allies, it's a conflict in which the United States has a big interest.
And that brings us to today's last word in business - screen-free.
Maybe you read something about this on your phone, or saw a story on television. This week has been Screen-Free Week. Kids and parents around the world made pledges to stop using TVs, tablets, computers or video games - for a while.
The notion is to get kids to spend more time being physically active, playing outside or reading. Kids under 18 spend an average of seven hours and 38 minutes on media devices each day - which concerns pediatrician Michael Rich.
Disney's animated film Frozen has been racking up impressive statistics since it was released last November. Its box office earnings total $1 billion, worldwide, the movie won two Academy Awards, and on the first day the home video came out, it sold 3.2 million copies. But one stat has taken both Disney and industry analysts by surprise: The soundtrack has become a phenomenon, topping the Billboard 200 chart 13 times.
Any time a song is popular, you'll find people debating it. And at some point during that debate, someone is going to Google the lyrics.
There are roughly 5 million searches for lyrics per day on Google, according to LyricFind. Those searches often lead to websites that post lyrics to lots of songs — and, in many cases, sites that post ads alongside those lyrics.
House lawmakers in South Carolina have voted to slash funding for two of the state's largest public colleges in retaliation for the introduction of books with gay themes into the schools' freshman reading programs.
In the spring of 2013, poachers looking for elephant ivory took advantage of the chaos of a civil war raging in the Central African Republic, and massacred 26 rare forest elephants at a special place called the "Dzanga bai."
On a plaza outside a hotel in Culver City, Calif., four people are stalking each other with PlayStation Move controllers. The devices look a bit like microphones, with glowing orbs on top lit up in pink, yellow and blue.
Video game designer Douglas Wilson is holding a portable speaker, blasting Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.
From afar, this looks like some sort of public performance art. But it is actually a high-tech combination of tag and musical chairs, called Johann Sebastian Joust.
Makers of R-rated comedies face an essential dilemma: finding brand new ways to gross out their snickering adolescent viewers. But as Neighbors demonstrates, there's another challenge that's just as tricky: piloting the raunchy scenario to a payoff that upholds the very middle-class values the movie gleefully profanes.