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DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's state media says Damascus welcomes the international community's nuclear deal with Iran, calling it a "historic agreement."

Iran agreed with the U.S. and five other world powers to a temporary freeze of its nuclear program for six months in exchange for limited and gradual sanctions relief.

Iran is a chief backer of President Bashar Assad's government.

Activists fear the deal will take international pressure off of Iran and embolden Syria's government to use an even harder hand to quash the 3-year-old uprising.

The Sunday report from SANA, a mouthpiece for the views of Assad's government, quoted an unnamed Foreign Ministry official.

Read more...

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (AP) — An innovative training program that prepares prison inmates for jobs in the tech sector has expanded.

The rigorous, six-month course was launched at San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco by a pair of successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

The program is "bootstrapping," as its organizers say, with just 12 graduates in its first two years, but a new session began this month at the Los Angeles Twin Towers Correctional Facility.

The program uses local experts as volunteer instructors, teaching carefully selected prisoners to design and launch technology firms.

The five graduates released so far have landed real jobs at real dot-coms.

Read more...

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A New York teacher could be in hot water after sending a note home with her pre-kindergarten students saying some of them were showing up to school so dirty she didn't want to touch them.

Parents say the handwritten note was sent home by a teacher at the Buffalo School District's BUILD Academy. The Nov. 14 letter says several of the 3- and 4-year-old children "also give off unpleasant smells."

The letter also requests the signatures of parent and child to confirm it was received.

The Buffalo News reports the school board concluded the teacher should face disciplinary action.

Kimberly Wells says she was shocked by the letter her granddaughter brought home. She says it made the girl ask if her teacher thinks she stinks.

Read more...

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