Jasmine Garsd

It's after hours at Rafael Hernandez, an elementary school in the Bronx, and Room 421 is in an uproar.

It's what you would expect from a sixth-grade sex education class learning how to put a condom on.

Sex education: The very concept makes a lot of people cringe, conjuring images of teenage giggles and discomfort. It's also a subject a lot of teachers would rather avoid.

But Bronx-based teacher Lena Solow is more than happy to talk about the birds, the bees ... and beyond.

Students applying for college supply all sorts of information — financial records, letters of recommendation, the personal essay — to name just a few.

One big question they face: Do you have a criminal record?

The question appears on the Common Application — the website that prospective students use to apply to more than 500 schools across the U.S. and abroad.

Most students don't even think about it. But for some applicants, it's a reason not to apply.

On a gusty Friday evening in Manhattan's Union Square Park, Francisco Ramirez is setting up his chairs and a big sign that yells, "FREE ADVICE."

The park is packed with street musicians, chain-smoking chess players and preachers yelling predictions

Ramirez just wants to talk.

For most college students May is a happy month: the senior class graduates and summer vacation beckons. But at Sweet Briar College, a women's college in western Virginia, there's little celebration this spring.

The board of directors says declining enrollment leaves them no choice: Classes ended this week for the year and forever.

Walking through Sweet Briar's campus feels a bit like stepping into a 19th century romance novel — lush green hills, chanting cicadas and colorful chirping birds. But this spring, an air of sadness sours the humid southern air.

In the 1920s, Aurora Orozco crossed over from Mexico to Texas — a child of African descent who spoke not a word of English. She was an uneasy transplant.

Many years later, in an essay published in 1999, she recalled attitudes towards students who were caught speaking Spanish in school: "My teacher, Mrs. White, would make me stay after class. With a red rubber band, she would hit my poor hands until they nearly bled."

Laina Morris is the real person behind the Internet meme known as the "Overly Attached Girlfriend." She has deftly exploited her Internet fame, turning a spoof entry to a Justin Bieber contest into a full-time career of putting comic videos on YouTube.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Katie Morrow became a teacher, among other things, because of wanderlust.

"I'm going to be a teacher because I can go anywhere in the world," she thought.

She's originally from a small town in Nebraska called O'Neill, population 3,700. "In the middle of nowhere, literally," she says.

So where did she end up teaching? Right back in O'Neill. She fell in love with a hometown boy and ended up at O'Neill's only public school. It's K-12, with 750 students.

Morrow teaches middle-school English; she's also a technology integration specialist.

Sweet Briar College in Virginia will close its doors in May, after 114 years of teaching women at its scenic campus in western Virginia.

France is considering banning the use of anorexic models in the fashion industry.

Legislation debated Tuesday in France's Parliament would require modeling agencies to get medical certificates from models to prove that they have a body mass index of at least 18. And models would have to get routine checkups. Agencies that violate the law would be subject to fines of up to 75,000 euros ($80,968) and even prison time.

Websites and online forums that glorify anorexia and other eating disorders also would be banned.

In 1616, Hernando Arias de Saavedra, the governor of the Spanish province that included Buenos Aires, banned the population from drinking a green herbal drink called yerba mate.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Northern Chile is home to some 7,000-year-old mummies, some of the oldest mummies in the world. But scientists say the mummies are in danger. NPR's Jasmine Garsd has this story about mummies, strange oozing substances and a mysterious fog.

Univision host Rodner Figueroa has been let go for offensive remarks about first lady Michelle Obama.

There's a problem with the mummies at the University of Tarapacá's archaeological museum in northern Chile.

They're turning into a black oozy substance.

Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences says scientists have found that Chile's famous 7,000-year-old Chinchorro mummies are being eaten by bacteria — and that climate change could be the culprit.

"Scumbag Steve," "Overly Attached Girlfriend," "Bad Luck Brian." All these Internet celebrities have one thing in common: They didn't intend to become famous. Their pictures just happened to go viral.

Is nothing off-limits? That's something Kyra Pringle has been asking herself in the past couple of days. The South Carolina resident recently found out her 2-year-old daughter Mariah's birthday pictures were being shared online by thousands.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., who has served in the Senate and in Congress longer than any other woman, says she will not seek a sixth term in 2016.

Mikulski, 78, announced her decision Monday in Baltimore.

" 'Do I spend my time raising money, or do I spend my time raising hell?' " she said she asked herself, according to The Associated Press.

Mexican authorities say they have detained Servando Gomez, the leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel and one of Mexico's most-wanted men.

NPR's Carrie Kahn filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"He's known as 'La Tuta' and has evaded capture for years. Authorities say he was taken down in [Morelia,] the state capital of Michoacan, during an early morning raid Friday without a single shot fired.

Extramarital sex is no longer a crime in South Korea, giving shares of contraceptive companies a boost.

On Thursday, South Korea's Constitutional Court struck down a decades-old law that made adultery a crime punishable by up to two years in prison.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn tell our Newscast unit that "roughly 100,000 people have been convicted of adultery since the law was passed in 1953, but conviction rates have recently fallen to below 1 percent."

Charles Herrmann, the attorney who represented the families of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin is now taking on the case of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, an unarmed Mexican national who was shot and killed by police in Washington State.

Zambrano-Montes was allegedly throwing rocks at moving cars in a busy intersection. Police showed up, tried to stop him, then tazed him.

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has given West Coast dockworkers and the Pacific Maritime Association an ultimatum. If they don't resolve their ongoing labor dispute, he'll move neogotiations from the west coast to Washington, D.C.

The labor dispute started nine months ago, between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) of shipping lines and terminals and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents 20,000 dockworkers.

I was 9 years old and living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the summer of 1992 when my mother announced that we were heading downtown to run errands.

It was an opportunity to escape the house, my grandmother's nagging and my little brother's jokes. Also, trips downtown almost always meant ice cream. I remember putting on a pink dress with a pink cloth flower over my chest.

In an hour, we were downtown. We reached the front patio of a bookstore when a thunderous explosion went off just down the block. The power was overwhelming.

"I can't be the first person to notice that Brian Williams and Jon Stewart both seem available in about 6 months," NPR's Scott Simon recently tweeted.

It's hard not to compare the two.

A Chinese company building a canal across Nicaragua has handed over more than 15,000 pre-Columbian relics to the Nicaraguan government. The relics, mostly pieces of pottery and obsidian, date from around 500 B.C. to the 1500s A.D.

The Associated Press reports, "The pieces were collected over six weeks by a team of 29 archaeologists and other specialists along the canal's 173-mile route."

Óscar Arnulfo Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador in El Salvador, was an outspoken voice for justice during the civil war that tore that country apart between 1980 and 1992. In the end, he paid with his life: On March 24, 1980, he was shot while giving mass.

In this world, there are two kinds of people: those who wear cowboy boots, and those who don't. That may be true, but Wyoming Sheriff Stephen Haskell says that when his deputies are on duty, they have to hang up their spurs.

Haskell, the newly elected sheriff of Sublette County, says his decision to ban cowboy boots and hats was to ensure that each member of his staff wears a single, identifiable uniform: black trousers, a tan shirt, black boots and a black baseball cap.

He insists it's not just a fashion decision. Rubber-soled shoes just have better traction.

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