February 15, 2009

Israeli athlete denied visa for Dubai Tournament

Per the Jerusalem Post, "Israeli tennis star Shahar Pe'er has been denied a visa for this week's WTA tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates."

A man in the UAE seemed confused by the news.

@tomsp (Abu Dhabi, UAE): If Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer can play in Qatar, I don;t really see why she can;t play in the UAE http://tinyurl.com/acj9j7

The news sparked reaction from other parts of the world.

@Yael_80 (Glasgow, Scotland): I really can't believe that 46% of people polled on cnn.com believe the UAE had a right to refuse an entry visa for Shahar Peer. WTF.

@magzalez (Gainesville, Fla.): UUGGH, can't believe the UAE denied Shahar Peer (Israeli female tennis player) a visa to play in Dubai this week! WTA needs to take action.

@PDMojo (St. Louis, Mo.): Weak, WTA. Very weak. Clearly the reason they didn't cancel is because Dubai is rolling in cash. If this were Serena, story would be huge.

@JodiEchakowitz (Toronto, Canada): UAE denied a visa to an Israeli tennis player. Someone needs a good lesson on separating church (sports) from state (politics).


Reaction to Rodriguez mainly negative

Per ESPN, the University of Miami renamed its baseball field in honor of New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez on Friday night.

Rodriguez spoke publicly for the first time since admitting he used banned performance-enhancing drugs while playing with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03. Rodriguez admitted he has made mistakes and implored the Miami baseball team to play with integrity and immediately correct any errors made.

Across Twitter, Rodriguez's mistakes have been met with disgust and anger.

@pandawife: I knew I had a reason to not be a fan of Alex Rodriguez. Makes me angry that all of those records are tainted.

@thingsannoyme (New York): Alex Rodriguez makes me depressed about following baseball. Thanks.

There were the occasional messages of support for the sports star.

@ryancurry: I support Alex Rodriguez during these difficult times.


New fire breaks out near Melbourne

Per The Australian, "A bushfire has broken out in the Dandenong Ranges National Park and has several communities under ember attack."

Residents of Ferny Creek, Sherbrooke, Kalliste, Tecoma and Belgrave have been notified that they may be affected by the blaze, per the article.

Parts of the Melbourne suburb of Belgrave caught fire, and the town name trended to one of the top tweeted words in the last few hours.

@polyxena (Melbourne): Fire in Belgrave and Ferny Creek fireplans in action My sister & family and cats and dog evacuating

A Melbourne radio station affiliated with ABC has been providing live updates the last two hours through Twitter. Its tweets have been re-tweeted dozens of times; among them this one:

@774melbourne (Melbourne): 4 water bombing air-craft & 22 fire trucks sent to Belgrave bushfires. Urgent threat issued for residents in the area.

Here are some other tweets from the area.

@mr_billiam (Melbourne): A bushfire has started in Belgrave and seems to be growing relatively quickly...keeping track of it. #bushfires

@nifwlseirff (Melbourne): 6 helicopters and a plane, some of those are hanging very high - spotters maybe? (Tecoma/Belgrave fire)

@ChrisClayton (Melbourne): i am worried bout the fires!!!! they are in belgrave now and coming down the mountain towards ferntree gully!!!

Following the Country Fire Authority (CFA) Web site for live updates, @mr_billiam wrote just a few minutes ago that the fire is under control.

@mr_billiam (Melbourne): 16 trucks and 2 water bombers later it's under control. Phew. #bushfires