Around the world


Kansas Congressman formally apologizes for nude dip in holy sea

After a 2011 naked escapade in the Sea of Galilee, Kansas Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder formally apologized for his untimely skinny dipping session.

“It’s certainly not an incident that I’m proud of,” Yoder said in an Associated Press article published on Monday. “It is something that was obviously a mistake on my part, and I want folks in the district to know that I’m apologetic for it.”   

As if baring it all wasn’t enough, Yoder’s swim session just happened to be in the same location where the Bible says Jesus walked on water.

“It was a spontaneous moment where other members of Congress were jumping in,” Yoder said in the same article. “I made the mistake of diving in. I was in for about 10 seconds and got back out.” 

Although swimming in the sea is permitted, public nudity is banned; even one year later, Yoder could face charges from local Israeli police.

Federal officials seize $150 million from Hezbollah

New York City prosecutors announced that they have seized $150 million from Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite militant group, as a part of an effort to collect money from an escrow account that officials suspect is linked to money laundering and various drug rings. 

According to an Associated Press article released on Monday, prosecutors had originally filed the lawsuit last year and demanded hundreds of millions in money laundering penalties from numerous Lebanese institutions.

In the same article, authorities also said that more than $300 million was illegally wired from Lebanon to the U.S. since 2007.

Myanmar grants journalistic freedoms, lifts public censorship regulations

After years of strict government regulation, officials in the east Asian country of Myanmar ended the censorship of local publications.

For the past 50 years, Myanmar was considered to be one of the world’s most restrictive media environment. Political and military conflict has dominated the country’s history, resulting in heavily censored media outlets. 

Myanmar, which faced political and military instability for much of the latter half of the twentieth century, views this as a step to launch a reform process. Just one year after officially electing current President Thein Sein, civil liberties, prisoner releases and friendlier international relations have slowly become a more common occurrence in the evolving nation.  

Comedian Phyllis Diller dies at the age of 95

Renowned stand-up comedian Phyllis Diller died “peacefully in her sleep” at the age of 95 in her Los Angeles home on Monday morning. 

Diller, who performed in several movies and toured with the United Services Organizations, saw her popularity spike in the 1960s. Her unique sense of humor included self-deprecating jokes about her looks, her cooking and her imaginary husband “Fang.”

“She was a true pioneer,” Fred Wostbrock, Diller’s former talent agent, in a CNN article published on Monday. “She was the first lady of stand-up comedy. She paved the way for everybody.”