Philippines remains swine flu free, chairs Asean+3 health summit on A(H1N1)

Here’s an excerpt from my latest CNET Asia blog post.

The Philippines, which thankfully still has no cases of influenza A(H1N1) a.k.a. swine flu after a baby suspected of being infected with the virus tested negative, is batting for greater regional cooperation to combat the potential pandemic.

Philippine health secretary Francisco Duque III chaired the Asean+3 summit on May 8 in Bangkok. This saw a turnout of health ministers from the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their counterparts from China, Japan and South Korea.

Read the full story.

WWE vs NBA: Raw to be canceled due to LA Lakers vs Denver Nuggets?

UPDATE: Added video clip of interview. Found it via Kevin Eck’s Ring Posts pro wrestling blog for The Baltimore Sun.

Unbelievably, next week’s edition of Monday Night Raw might be in danger of being canceled. It turns out that the same venue has been double booked for World Wrestling Entertainment and Game 4 of the National Basketball Association’s Western Conference finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets.

Here’s an excerpt from the story.

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are scheduled to be at the Pepsi Center in Denver next Monday night.

Problem is, so are John Cena and a bunch of wrestlers — and they called it first.

World Wrestling Entertainment said it is booked at the arena for an episode of Monday Night Raw, the same night the Nuggets are slated to host the Lakers in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

Let’s hope this scheduling mix-up will be quickly resolved.

Too bad this isn’t just a wrestling storyline involving the WWE Superstars from the Raw brand. Imagine Kobe having to wrestle WWE champ Randy Orton for the right to use the Pepsi Center — or Big Show chokeslamming the Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony LOL 🙂

Here’s a clip of ESPNews anchor Jonathan Coachman interviewing WWE chairman Vince McMahon. As wrestling fans would know, Coachman a.k.a. Coach once worked for McMahon in WWE as a color commentator, even wrestling as a heel in some matches.

Filipino Netizens rally vs government’s ‘book blockade’

Find out all about the Philippine government’s “book blockade” — and how you can help end it.

Here’s an excerpt from my CNET Asia blog post.

From blogs, to microblogging tools like Twitter and Plurk, to online petitions, Filipinos are taking the fight against the Philippine government’s “book blockade” to cyberspace.

The “book blockade” refers to the decision of Philippine Customs officials to impose a tax on books which are not “educational”, such as novels, thereby curtailing the entry of imported books into the country. Here is an article written about the issue by Robin Hemley, director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa, who is in the Philippines on a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an opinion piece from columnist and TV host Manuel L. Quezon III published in the leading Philippine newspaper, the Philippine Daily Inquirer. On Facebook, Louie Aguinaldo also started the cause Filipinos against the Taxation of Books by Customs.

Read the full story.

Astronaut Mike Massimino sends first Twitter update from space

Check out my latest CNET Asia blog post.

Here’s an excerpt:

NASA astronaut Mike Massimino has made history as the first person to tweet from space while in orbit on board the space shuttle Atlantis for the STS-125 mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Massimino, who opened a Twitter account on April 4 to start tweeting updates on the preparations for the launch, has 234,075 followers as of this writing.

Congratulations Mike and all the best to you and your crew!

David Cook or David Archuleta?

Since David Cook and David Archuleta are flying to Manila for their back-to-back concert on May 16 at the SM Mall of Asia, I was just wondering: which David do you like better?

Here’s a poll.

By the way, yesterday, “Philippines” became one of the most popular Twitter Trending Topics after Archuleta tweeted that he was on his way here.

The two Davids also posted videos to announce their May 16 concert.

Are you watching the concert?