DIPLOMACY: On Thursday afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced they have reached a cease-fire agreement between Turkey and Kurds, following a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“It will be a pause in military operation for 120 hours, while the United States facilitates the withdrawal of YPG (the People’s Protection Units) from the affected areas in the safe zone. And once that is completed, Turkey has agreed to a permanent ceasefire and the United States of America will work with Turkey — will work with nations around the world — to make sure peace and stability are the order of the day in this safe zone,” Pence said during a press conference.
ELIJAH CUMMINGS: Dead at 68 – Rep. Elijah Cummings represented Baltimore (badly) for more than two decades and was a vocal critic of President Trump, died early Thursday. As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, he was one of the most powerful Democrats in Washington, and played a key role in the House Democrats’ ongoing efforts to impeach Trump.
I’m glad to see POTUS is not dancing on his grave. The flag at the White House was lowered to half-staff and Trump tweeted, “My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings. I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!”
PRAYING FOR PEOPLE: I sincerely hope my readers use my blogs as a jumping off point for prayer.
TRANS: Georgia – Hundreds of angry parents attended a Pickens County School Board meeting after the announcement that gender-confused students would be allowed to use bathrooms meant for the opposite sex.
Parents say it’s enough that such students are allowed to use single-occupancy restrooms. The board said they’d rethink their decision.
CATHOLICS: At first, the followers of Jesus of Nazareth were called “disciples.” But not long after He ascended, the name “Christian” appeared in the city of Antioch and spread very quickly.
As different groups identifying themselves as “Christian” began to fall into either heresy or schism, a new word was needed to distinguish the Christians belonging to the Church that Christ founded from the people belonging to churches that had split off.
That term was the Greek word “kataholos”, which means “universal” or “according to the whole”, was chosen. By the beginning of the second century (circa A.D. 107), this term was already in widespread use.
“Catholic” is the English translation.
ZEBRAS: This is so cool! – Scientists have pondered for ages about why zebras have stripes. The most commonly proposed explanations – camouflage and cooling – have all been refuted. But one guy has proposed AND demonstrated a great reason! The stripes make it very difficult for bloodsucking flies to land on zebras.
Zebras have very short hair, which makes it easier for flies to find blood vessels. Zebras are also highly susceptible to a variety of fatal diseases that are spread by horseflies and tsetse flies.
Stripes, for some reason, seem to confuse the heck out of the flies. Why this should be isn’t well understood yet, but I’m sure they’ll keep working on it.
In the meantime, wearing stripes could help you or your favorite animals avoid getting targeted by those nasty, disease-carrying biters.
LEGO: The LEGO Group has announced the launch of LEGO® Replay, a pilot program that will accept any and all previously used LEGO bricks and donate them to children’s non-profits in the United States. The process is simple: collect any unused LEGO bricks, sets, or elements you have kicking around, place them into a cardboard box, and visit www.lego.com/replay to print out a free UPS shipping label.
GRAMMY NOTES: Shout out to my Dearest who hit the Big Seven Oh today! Thank You, God, for keeping him healthy. We all need him and love him so much!