Friday, June 15 in the news....
- The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) today cleared Prime Minister John Howard over his use of Kirribilli House last month for a cocktail party for delegates of the Liberals' federal council and invited businessmen. "There has been a long-standing practice of serving Liberal prime ministers inviting delegates to Liberal Party national conferences to drinks at their residence," said Tony Abbott, the federal health minister. He went on: "And there has been a long-standing tradition in Australia of getting others to shout your drinks if you get the opportunity, and since we have access to the best drink shouter around, the next round is always on the Australian taxpayer."
- Hamas fighters overran two of the rival Fatah movement's most important security command centers in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, major advances in the Islamic group's attempts to take over Gaza. "We are telling our people that the past era has ended and will not return," Islam Shahawan, a spokesman for Hamas' militia, told Hamas radio. "The era of justice and Islamic rule and chocolate cake has arrived." The Hamas spokesman looked down at his reader notes then turned back to his fellow militants, "Okay, who added chocolate cake?"
- Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern won a third successive term on Thursday, cementing his position as one of Ireland's most successful politicians. When asked how he did it, Ahern said "I speak to the drunk in all Irishmen."