The Miss Universe 2010 pageant is under way on NBC, airing live from Las Vegas. Hosts are Natalie Morales and Bret Michaels. Here's what's happened so far:

Based on a preliminary competition, the top 15 contestants are:

Miss Puerto Rico, Miss Ukraine, Miss Mexico, Miss Belgium, Miss Ireland, Miss South Africa, Miss France, Miss Australia, Miss Jamaica, Miss Russia, Miss Albania, Miss Colombia, Miss Guatemala, Miss Czech Republic and Miss Philippines.

The judges include celebrities like Jane Seymour, Criss Angel and Evan Lysacek.

Swimsuit competition time. Here are the contestants' approximate combined judges' scores:

Miss Puerto Rico scores 8.4. Miss Ukraine scores 8.3. Miss Mexico scores 9.3. Miss Belgium scores 7.6. Miss Ireland scores 8.8. Miss South Africa scores 8.2.

Miss France scores 7.6. Miss Australia scores 8.5. Miss Jamaica scores 9.4. Miss Russia scores 7.8. Miss Albania scores 8.2. Miss Colombia scores 7.6. Miss Guatemala scores 8.1. Miss Czech Republic scores 7.4. Miss Philippines scores 9.0.

The top 10 contestants are:

Miss Ireland, Miss Albania, Miss Philippines, Miss Jamaica, Miss Mexico, Miss Ukraine, Miss Puerto Rico, Miss South Africa, Miss Guatemala and Miss Australia.

I really like Miss Australia, but I think Miss Mexico is going to win. What are your predictions?

Evening gown competition time. Here are the contestants' approximate combined judges' scores:

Miss Ireland gets 8.5. Miss Albania gets 8.7. Miss Philippines gets 8.7. Miss Jamaica gets 8.9. Miss Mexico gets 8.9.

Miss Ukraine gets 8.7. Miss Puerto Rico gets 8.0. Miss South Africa gets 8.4. Miss Guatemala gets 8.3. Miss Australia gets 8.8.

Time for some special awards. Miss Australia wins Miss Congeniality. Miss Thailand wins Miss Photogenic and Best National Costume.

The top 5 contestants are:

Miss Mexico, Miss Australia, Miss Jamaica, Miss Ukraine and Miss Philippines.

Yes! The dreaded final question! They have 30 seconds to answer. Here are their questions and excerpts from their answers.

First up, Miss Mexico Jimena Navarrete: What effect is unsupervised Internet use having on today's youth? Through an interpreter, she says the Internet is an "indispensable, necessary tool" and we have to make sure kids are using it according to family values.

Miss Australia Jesinta Campbell: What role should the government play in regulating potentially offensive clothing? "One of the greatest things we have is the freedom of choice...I don't think the government should have any say in what we wear."

Miss Jamaica Yendi Phillipps: Is the death penalty acceptable and why? "I believe that life is a gift...I believe that none of us as humans have the right to take a life."

Miss Ukraine Anna Poslavska: How do you feel about full-body scanners in airports? Through an interpreter, she says, "I think it's a very important question of security...if that helps us to save the lives of people, than I'm for it."

Miss Philippines Venus Raj: What is one big mistake you've made and what did you do to make it right? She says she hasn't made any major mistakes, then gives a shout-out to her family. "Thank you so much that I am here."

OK, that was the worst answer of the bunch.

Judgment time.

Fourth runner-up: Miss Philippines

Third runner-up: Miss Ukraine

Second runner-up: Miss Australia

First runner-up: Miss Jamaica

Winner: Miss Mexico!

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Hong Kong announced to one of their government websites to avoid all travel to the Philippines.

The Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) System aims to help people better understand the risk or threat to personal safety in travelling to 60 countries that are the more popular travel destinations for Hong Kong residents (HKRs). When there are signs of threat in a place that may affect the personal safety of HKRs, the Security Bureau will assess and consider the need to issue an OTA taking into account factors such as the nature (e.g. whether it is targeted at travellers), level and duration of the threat.

For more information please click this link:

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Philippine Hostage Crisis Ends

Posted by Wayne | Monday, August 23, 2010

A hostage crisis in the Philippine capital ended on Monday with four captives emerging from a bus alive and the gunman believed to have been killed, according to footage broadcast on television.

Fifteen tourists from Hong Kong were believed to have been on the bus at the end of the 12-hour ordeal, and there were fears for the lives of the others who did not get off the bus immediately afterwards.

The body of the man believed to be the gunman, an ex-policeman who hijacked the bus in a desperate bid to get his job back, was seen slumped out of the main door of the vehicle.

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