Sunday, January 30, 2011

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS ~ singing from a hole in the heart is WYNONNA JUDD

When I saw this Oprah show, I so regretted that I didn't record it for the sake of having these moments in time.... when Wynonna Judd sang this song...or better to say, that she let this song out, out from a heart that was raw that day. If you saw the show and "experienced" the hole in her heart within her family and what she never had manifested in her life, then you would have a more authentic "understanding" of "where" the feelings came from that delivered this one-of-a-time rendition of this song. Some "singings" are sacred, holy ground....and this is one of those....

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2007 map
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BREAKING NEWS - The Facebook Organized Protests Have Begun In Sudan


Student Protesters Want Ouster Of Sudanese President

Source: wsj

Updated: Sunday, 30 Jan 2011, 3:45 PM CST

Published : Sunday, 30 Jan 2011, 3:45 PM CST

KHARTOUM -- Student protesters in Khartoum clashed with police Sunday and called for the ouster of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, in a movement organizers said was inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

Communicating via the social networking site Facebook, organizers called for a street demonstration on Jan. 30 to protest Sudan's poor economic climate and political oppression. The date was chosen to coincide with the announcement of preliminary results for the south's referendum on whether to secede from the north. Over 99 percent of voters chose secession, according to those results, in line with overwhelming support for independence in southern Sudan.

A handful of demonstrations sprang up at various locations in Khartoum, including three of the main universities, and around the country. In Khartoum, participants reported via Twitter that police had attempted to disperse the crowd with teargas and Tasers. Images posted by a Sudanese website showed police clad in riot gear apparently hitting people with long batons.

Ahmed Musa, a police officer in Khartoum, said that students started protesting on campuses and attempted to move to the streets, but that police had stopped them. "The stubborn students wanted to start chaos," Musa said. "They sung songs praising protests in Tunisia and Egypt … They threw stones at the police, but we controlled them." Musa estimated about 120 students were involved in the protest and five had been arrested.

Samira Hassan, a political activist who participated in the protests, said that about 500 people, who included students and other civilians, gathered on a main street in Khartoum. Hassan said police beat them and arrested about 100 from the crowd.

"The police and security forces hit me and broke my hand, and others were badly beaten -- they were beating people viciously," she said, adding that one hospital that is affiliated with the police had refused to treat her because she had been involved in the protests.


Mapping non-violent protests in Sudan: jan30sudan.crowdmap.com

How to Report
  1. By sending an email to jan30sudan@gmail.com
  2. By sending a tweet with the hashtag/s #Jan30 or #Sudan or #jan30sudan
  3. By filling this form


Sudanese police, students clash in the capital

From Isma'il Kamal Kushkush, For CNN

Source: cnn

January 30, 2011 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)

Sudanese riot police hold shields and sticks as students take to the streets in protests, spurred by events in Egypt and Tunisia.

Khartoum, Sudan (CNN) -- Sudanese police clashed with students Sunday as protests inspired by rallies in Egypt broke out in the capital.

The students protested at a university in Khartoum, chanting "No to high prices, no to corruption" and "Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan together as one."

About 100 students hurled rocks at police officers, who forced them back. Five people were arrested, authorities said.

Students resumed the protests and tried to engage bystanders as soon as police left the area.


News at Operation broken silence

News at Radio dabanga

Related articles at:



WikiLeaks cables: Sudanese president 'stashed $9bn in UK banks'

Speculation that Omar al-Bashir siphoned $9bn in oil money and deposited it in foreign accounts could fuel calls for his arrest

Source: guardian.co.uk


From Sudan to Pittsburgh: A long journey home

Refugees watch changes in Darfur intently but say Pittsburgh has embraced them

Source: post-gazette

Sunday, January 30, 2011

By Sean D. Hamill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ismail Omar, foreground, prepares for dinner with Mohamed Idris.
Bill Wade/Post-Gazette

The question is simple: Would you like to return home some day?

The answer is simple, too, but loaded with history and emotion.

"I can't. There is no home," said Ismail Omar, waving his arms indicating his home -- his entire village -- is gone.

Home for Mr. Omar, 54, was the village of Amo in the Darfur, or western, region of Sudan, one of the most war-torn countries on the planet over the last 30 years.

After a 20-year journey by turns treacherous and fortuitous that took him through four countries, he now works in housekeeping at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and lives in a small apartment in Castle Shannon.

He shares it with three other men, including lifelong friend Mohamed Idris, 48; all are refugees from Darfur. In the apartment across the hallway are three more refugees, all seven of them from villages in the northern region of Darfur.

They all came here between May and August 2009, assisted by Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh. Though the region now has several hundred residents from the south region of Sudan, the seven are believed to be the first Darfurians to move as refugees to the Pittsburgh area in recent memory.

Their presence is appreciated by the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition, which formed six years ago to raise awareness of the genocide taking place in Darfur.

Before the Darfurians moved here, "we had to ask Darfur residents from Philadelphia to come speak at our rallies," said David Rosenberg, lead organizer for the coalition.

Having them here "helps people understand and makes it real to them," Mr. Rosenberg said. "It doesn't feel so far away anymore."

The men take language classes to improve their English, already pretty good, and search for more work. But Mr. Omar and Mr. Idris keep an eye and ear on their homeland, which is lurching toward peace.

Wednesday marks the end of a three-week-long referendum among residents of south Sudan, and expatriate refugees around the world, including in the United States, to decide if the predominantly Christian south will separate from the predominantly Muslim north.

Often lost in the coverage of that momentous referendum, which is expected to pass easily, is that it does nothing to solve the lingering trouble between the north of Sudan, which is ethnically Arab, and the Darfur region, which is ethnically African.

This past week, Mr. Omar and Mr. Idris sat down in their apartment to talk about their history, and the future of their country.

Both are members of the Fur tribe, the largest tribe in the region of Darfur, which literally means "land of the Fur." Their native tongue is Fur, despite the Sudanese government's effort to stamp it out and make them speak only Arabic.

They spoke in English, and for more complex questions in Arabic translated by a friend.

They met the friend, Benedict Killang, since moving here. He is a leader among the south Sudanese community here. Three weeks ago, Mr. Killang and fellow south Sudanese went to Virginia to vote in the referendum, something not lost on Mr. Idris and Mr. Omar, who say they weren't envious.

"We were happy for him," said Mr. Idris, who works in housekeeping at Rivers Casino. "It will be better that they separate, because since 1955 [when England gave up colonial rule of Sudan] there has only been death. So this will enable them to stay in peace."

As for their hopes for their homeland, like Darfurians around the world, they can't agree on what should happen.

"That is a tough question," Mr. Idris said. "Maybe Darfur and the south will join together, and later rejoin with the north."

Mr. Omar can't fathom that, not after genocide, not after he lost his father and two brothers in the early fighting in 1987.

"I hope for a separate state, like the south will have. This is my hope," he said.

Though international officials, pundits and historians like to debate the real reasons behind the fighting in Darfur, to Mr. Omar and Mr. Idris, there is no disagreement about what was really behind it.

"The government [in the north] wanted to completely destroy our African culture and bring the Arab culture in and use Darfur as the gateway for Arab Islam to get into the whole of Africa," Mr. Idris said.

"My religion is Islam, like it is in the north, and I speak Arabic, like in the north, but my roots are not Arab. I am African," he said. "And since we became an obstacle to what the government wanted, they fought us."

His friend, Mr. Omar, nods in agreement.

The two men have known each other nearly all of their lives. They were both farmers in separate villages in northern Darfur, "about a three- or four-hour walk apart, maybe two by camel," Mr. Idris said.

Mr. Idris first left his village, Einseiro, for the larger town of Kutum in 1985, after fighting broke out near home. When it worsened, he left Sudan and headed to Egypt. He eventually made his way to Iraq in 1998, living for a time in a refugee camp in the desert, "where only the American military helped us, gave us food."

Eventually he got a job in a hotel nearby, staying for a decade before heading to a refugee camp in Romania. From there, in 2009, he finally was approved to come to the United States.

Mr. Omar followed roughly the same path, though he left four years later, in 1989, joining up with Mr. Idris in Egypt and then Iraq and Romania before leaving for the U.S. But he couldn't persuade his mother, who is living in a refugee camp, to apply to leave with him.

"She says she will never move," he said. "She wants to go back to our village and die, even though I tell her it is destroyed."

Mr. Omar also worked in a hotel in Iraq, work that made them appealing hires when they came to the United States.

"Unlike some other refugees we work with, every time I took them somewhere for a job interview, everyone was just amazed," said Kheir Mugwaneza, a refugee case manager for Catholic Charities, which provided financial support when they first arrived with almost no possessions. "They spoke some English. They had more than 10 years experience working in hotels. They would do anything and were eager to work. It wasn't hard to find them jobs."

Catholic Charities found them an apartment just a couple blocks from the T line that runs through the South Hills, and the jobs have given them a base, but life remains a work in progress.

Both worry their limited English will prevent them from getting better jobs: "I want people to understand me with everything I say," Mr. Idris said.

But Western Pennsylvania has been very welcoming, Mr. Omar said, so much so that when he heard from his friend Mr. Idris that New Hampshire, where he was first settled, was not a good fit, he persuaded him to move here.

"It was very, very cold there," Mr. Idris said, and the people there were indifferent.

Mr. Omar described a different life in Western Pennsylvania to him.

"I told him, the citizens of Pittsburgh are good. They like helping others," Mr. Omar said.

A big part of that were the exchanges he began having with Mr. Rosenberg and the people, like Mr. Killang, he met through the south Sudanese community.

Finding the coalition here "was a surprise," Mr. Omar said. "I didn't expect there would be people here worried about Darfur."

"One of the reasons I feel I belong to Pittsburgh and it is my land now is knowing [the coalition] is here," he said.

He told Mr. Idris about the coalition before he came here, too, and it helped persuade him to move.

"I was grateful there were people here who cared," said Mr. Idris, who has come to be a fan of the Steelers.

Of course, they miss their homeland, their families, their food -- "We can't find any millet to make our food like at home," Mr. Idris said -- and their music, kushoke, a drum-based music played for celebrations.

But neither can they see ever returning for anything more than a visit. Even if peace is achieved, too much time and history have passed, and because so many have died, they wouldn't know whom to trust.

"Here," said Mr. Omar, pointing around the table in his apartment at Mr. Rosenberg, Mr. Killang and Mr. Idris, "I know he is my friend, and he is my friend and he is my friend. I know that. But there, so many of my friends died.

"I think, now, this is my home."

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Saturday, January 29, 2011


Peaceful Demonstrations To Take Place In Sudan 30 January 2011

A Call To Action For Peaceful Demonstrations In Sudan

Source: peaceful-demonstrations-to-take-place-in-sudan-30-january-2011

30 JANUARY 2011

Contact: Adil Abdel Aati, Liberal Democratic Party, abdelaati@gmail.com, +48 888524519


A group of young Sudanese activists proclaim January 30, 2011 to be the beginning of peaceful demonstrations to bring down the military regime in Sudan. This campaign is calling on all sectors of Sudanese to get out January 30th and demonstrate in the streets of Sudan's most populated cities. The largest assembly and demonstration will take place on Palace Street, which is located a few meters from the presidential palace of Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir. The invitation for the demonstration excludes the leaders omef the traditional opposition parties who are not willing to confront the Islamic military regime, which has been ruling Sudan since 1989.

The call for this action came one day after the leader of the Umma Party, Mr. Alsadiq Al-mahdi, announced that he would continue peaceful dialogue with the current government. His speech is widely regarded by most young Sudanese, including members of the Umma party, as disappointing and lacking insight into the systematic destruction of the country by Al-Bashir`s government. His political views show that he continues to disengage himself from the issues vital to Sudanese activists. This call for demonstrations coincides with the 116th anniversary of the liberation of Khartoum by Imam Mohammed Ahmed al-Mahdi on January 26, 1885, great grandfather of Mr. Alsadiq Al-Mahdi. Their intent is to peacefully express anger at the decades of corruption, violence, and human right violations, which led to the separation of the South and which could lead to the potential separation of the West.

It is no secret that the young people who have called for the demonstration have seen what has happened in Tunisia and Egypt, where young generations have loudly spoken against unemployment and political marginalization.

We would like to be clear that this is a call for removal of this government.

In a statement, on its Facebook page, the Liberal Democratic Party, represented by Mr. Adel Abd Atti and Ms. Noor Tour, invite all members to participate in the demonstration, planned for January 30th.

It is time to change the face of Sudan and to end decades of injustice, marginalization, and corruption.



ANALYSIS-Darfur: Africa's latest neglected conflict

Fri Jan 28, 2011
Source: reuters

* U.S., UN focus on south Sudan's independence

* Fighting between Darfur rebels, government escalates

* US envoy says UNAMID has been too timid in Darfur

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 28 (Reuters) - An eight-year struggle in Sudan's barren, remote western Darfur region has joined the ranks of Africa's neglected conflicts as the world shifts its attention to southern Sudan's independence drive.

Confirmation appeared to come last Tuesday, when U.S. President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address. He mentioned oil-rich south Sudan and its recent referendum on whether to secede from the Khartoum-led north and establish an independent state -- but not a word about Darfur.

U.S. officials officials deny that they are neglecting Darfur, where the United Nations believes that as many as 300,000 people died after mostly non-Arab rebels rose up against Khartoum in 2003, sparking a brutal counterinsurgency campaign by Sudan's army and Arab 'Janjaweed' militia.

But analysts and Darfur activists say the U.S. special envoy on Sudan, retired Air Force General Scott Gration, has largely ignored Darfur, where fighting between government and rebel forces has been escalating for months, while courting Khartoum with offers of incentives to let south Sudan secede.

This has not always been the case. For years Darfur got all the attention while the north-south conflict was ignored.

In 2004, the United States became the first to speak of "genocide" in Darfur, which became one of the most fashionable causes in Hollywood, pressuring Washington to get the U.N. Security Council in 2007 to approve a peacekeeping mission.

While actors like George Clooney and Mia Farrow have lobbied consistently for years for the United States and United Nations to get tougher on Khartoum over Darfur, most members of the Obama administration have said little about western Sudan over the last year as their interests shifted to the south.

Making matters worse, U.N. diplomats have complained privately for months that the U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, has been far too timid, allowing Khartoum to bully it into submission and complacency.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, long one of Obama's closest foreign policy advisers, has pushed the administration to toughen its stance on Khartoum over Darfur, U.N. diplomats and U.S. officials told Reuters. But they said Gration's calls for "soft diplomacy" in Sudan won out.

Earlier this week, Rice went public with her misgivings about UNAMID's approach in Darfur, where government forces have been denying international peacekeepers and aid workers access to the camps where millions of displaced Darfuris face armed attacks, robbery, starvation, rape and disease.

"We expect UNAMID ... to be very active and, when necessary, aggressive in fulfilling its mandate to protect civilians," Rice said, adding that Washington has been "frustrated and dismayed by repeated instances of UNAMID being denied access and its freedom of movement restricted."


Rice said UNAMID must stop asking permission for access to refugee camps from Khartoum, which has tried to limit the force's freedom of movement since it began deploying in 2007.

UNAMID's mandate gives it the right to unfettered access across Darfur. The civilian head of UNAMID, Nigerian diplomat Ibrahim Gambari, said he ordered his top military and police officers this month to stop creating the impression of seeking Khartoum's permission for access to refugee camps.

But he virtually confirmed Rice's complaints when he told U.N. Security Council members that UNAMID had backed down when the army stopped it from entering a Darfur camp on Jan. 22.

"This issue has been raised with the government authorities and we are awaiting their response," Gambari said.

John Prendergast, a former U.S. State Department official and co-founder of the Enough Project, an anti-genocide group, said the world's approach to Darfur needs a complete overhaul.

"The entire policy construct on Darfur has to be wrecked and rebuilt," he told Reuters. "The peace process has failed, and out of the ashes a new approach needs to be forged, one in which the U.S. is much more directly involved."

John Bradshaw, head of the Enough Project, said he hoped the recent appointment of Dane Smith as senior U.S. adviser for Darfur was "a positive sign" of a much-needed policy change.

Analysts and diplomats say tougher sanctions on Khartoum might help, though China would likely veto any attempt to get the U.N. Security Council to take new steps against Sudan.

Violence in Darfur is down from the mass killings seen earlier in the conflict but has risen over the last year after rebels walked out of floundering peace talks in Doha. One rebel force that had signed a deal with Khartoum resumed fighting.

"The world should stop looking only to the south while the conflict in Darfur is reigniting," said Philippe Bolopion of Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group based in New York. He also echoed Rice's criticisms of UNAMID and Gambari.

After Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir surprised U.S. and U.N. officials by peacefully accepting that south Sudan will likely secede, U.N. diplomats expressed the hope that Khartoum would opt for a negotiated peace in Darfur.

But Bashir, who is wanted for genocide and other crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court, appears determined to crush the Darfur insurgency with force, the diplomats said.

Bashir's change of heart on south Sudan came after Gration held out the prospects of normalizing U.S. ties with Khartoum, U.S. officials say. Foreign Minister Ali Karti seemed eager to collect Khartoum's prize while in Washington this week.

"Normalization of relations should not be held hostage by Darfur," Karti told a think-tank audience in the U.S. capital. (Additional reporting by Andrew Heavens in Khartoum; editing by Jackie Frank)

Source: reuters

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Friday, January 28, 2011



RECENTLY AND EVEN IN THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS, WHICH IS NOT SO "RECENT", THE GOVERNMENT OF SUDAN HAS BEEN BOMBING AND BURNING DOWN DARFUR VILLAGES. The USA government has been ineffective in this issue for the last two years under President Obama (as well as the eight years of George W Bush's Presidency) and US Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration's words have played into the hands of the very government behind the crimes against humanity - the genocide on the Darfuri people.


Sudan army bombs north Darfur, threatens to burn down UNAMID base

Source: sudantribune

January 27, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese army on Wednesday carried out an aerial bombardment on rebel-controlled areas in north Darfur and threatened to "burn down" a base of the UN-AU hybrid peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) in the area.

Troops of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) clashed a day before on Tuesday with rebels from the Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel Wahid Al-Nur joined by combatants of the disaffected SLM faction of Minni Arkoi Minnawi in Tabit area, 45 kilometers from El-Fasher, the provincial capital of North Darfur state.

On Wednesday, SAF forces resumed bombardment of Tabit area, which prevented a UNAMID’s verification team based in Shangil Tobaya from accessing the area, the hybrid operation said today.

The mission further reported that at 06:00pm (local time) approximately 200 SAF soldiers, on 40 vehicles, surrounded the mission’s base in Shangil Tobaya and the adjacent makeshift camp.

The commander of SAF forces, who detained four people in the area, initially said they were there to persuade displaced persons to return to their homes. Moreover, the SAF commander later threatened to "burn down" the makeshift camp and the UNAMID site if the peacekeepers continued to interfere. UNAMID said SAF forces had eventually left after its peacekeepers held their grounds.

The standoff between SAF and UNAMID comes at a time when the mission faces international calls to act as aggressively as its mandate authorizes it to act in protecting civilians.

Members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday received a briefing via a video link by UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari and later criticized the Sudanese authorities for curtailing the mission’s right to access areas in the region.

The US envoy also appeared unhappy with the mission’s failure to function in accordance with its mandate to protect civilians.

"UNAMID is a Chapter 7 mission, with a robust protection of civilians mandate. And the United States view and the view of many members of the Council, as expressed today and on numerous previous occasions, is that we expect UNAMID, as one of the UN’s largest and most costly operations, with one of the most robust mandates passed by this Council, to be very active and, when necessary, aggressive, in fulfilling its mandate to protect civilians," Rice said.

Internally Displaced Persons from Darfur told Sudan Tribune that the recent violence displaced thousands of people as the government troops and militias continue to harass the civilians and burn their villages.

A female teacher from Tabit reached by Sudan Tribune after their arrival to Zamzam IDPs camp near El-Fasher said since the bombing of 25 January, the villagers, 17000 families, fled to Zamzam, and Rwanda camps near Tawilla.

"People are homeless in the valleys and roads as the army block the roads," she said, adding "this is the new policy of peace".

A local chief from Al-Salam IDPs camp told Sudan Tribune that the Sudanese troops burnt down seven villages in the area located south-west of El-Fasher on the period of Saturday to Tuesday of this week.

Oumda Atem Osman said the army detained 80 people from Abu Zarka area in north Darfur. He further said their belongings and properties were looted by the militiamen who attacked the villages jointly with the army.

He further deplored the position of the peacekeepers on the ground adding that in the areas of Tawilla and Korma the militiamen seized the harvest of farmers but the UNAMID members were unable to stop them.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) today denounced the growing violence against civilians in Darfur and urged the international community to not forget Darfur by focusing only on the independence of South Sudan.

"While the international community remains focused on South Sudan, the situation in Darfur has sharply deteriorated," said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "We are seeing a return to past patterns of violence, with both government and rebel forces targeting civilians and committing other abuses."

UNAMID is the largest U.N.-funded peacekeeping mission established in 2008 under VII of the United Nations Charter to protect civilians in Darfur region. The mission’s current strength stands at 88% of its total 26,000 authorized strength, but it says its job to secure the remote area is difficult in the absence of a peace deal between Khartoum and rebels.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s official news agency SUNA reported on Thursday that SAF’s commander-in-chief of the western military zone had declared the areas of Tabit and all areas in east Mara Mountains “completely devoid” of rebel forces.

Darfur conflict broke out in 2003 after rebels belonging mostly to African ethnic groups took up arms against the government. At least 300,000 people died and 2.7 million lost their homes since the conflict erupted, according to UN estimates.


Sudan army surrounds, threatens to burn down UNAMID camp

Source: radio dabanga


January 28, 2011

A Sudanese army force of 200 soldiers on 40 vehicles surrounded the exit of an UN – African Union military camp yesterday in Shangil Tobaya. A senior officer at the head of the force then threatened to burn down the military camp and an adjoining refugee camp. The threat came at about 6:00 p.m., after the UN forces unsuccessfuly tried to prevent the army from threatening and arresting refugees at the neighboring camp. The army arrested three people in the camp.

“The SAF commander at the scene stated that they were carrying out their duties and intended to persuade the IDPs to return to their original camps. He then threatened to burn down the makeshift camp and UNAMID team site, if the peacekeepers continued to interfere,” UNAMID reported in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

The makeshift camp next to the UNAMID base sheltered thousands of people who had fled during the events of December 2010.

UNAMID also reported that it was unable to complete a “verification mission” from its Shangil Tobaya base to Tabit, where fighting broke out Monday, due to “resumption of aerial bombardment in the area.”


Two Sudan journalists in court, risk death sentence

Source: reuters

KHARTOUM| Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:47am EST

(Reuters) - Sudan has charged two journalists with trying to overthrow the government, a crime punishable by death, for publishing an article saying the impoverished east of Africa's largest country may secede.

Sudan's oil-producing south voted this month in a referendum on secession from the north, promised under a 2005 peace accord which ended decades of civil war. It now looks set to become independent on July 9.

Many in the north blame the split on Khartoum's failure to share power and wealth with marginalized areas.

The western Darfur region is in the throes of an eight-year insurgency and the east has the country's deepest levels of poverty despite hosting its only port and largest gold mines.

"The accused were practicing their rights to express their opinion freely as guaranteed under the constitution and the many charters of human rights which Sudan has signed," Mutasim al- Amir, one of the defense lawyers, told Reuters on Thursday as the journalists made their first court appearance in Khartoum.

The hearing was postponed as some witnesses were still in the eastern city of Port Sudan, where the accused were first arrested before being transferred to the capital.

Both journalists work for a weekly paper published in the east called Sout al-Bar'out, named after a religious leader.

Khartoum has brought eight charges against them, the most prominent being trying to overthrow the constitutional government, an offense punishable by death.

On January 9, the first day of voting in the south's referendum, the paper published an article saying the marginalization of the east could give rise to calls for secession there.

The editor-in-chief of the paper, Abu Eisha Kazim, and the author of the article, Abdel Gadir Bakash, were arrested the following day, they said.

(Additional report and writing by Opheera McDoom; Editing by Maria Golovnina)


Sudan army bombs Darfur, threatens peacekeepers: UN

Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:52pm GMT

By Andrew Heavens

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan's army bombed rebel positions in Darfur and later surrounded and threatened to burn down a refugee camp and peacekeeping base nearby, the region's joint U.N./African Union mission said on Thursday.

The incident took place as Washington's envoy to the United Nations, Susan Rice, criticised Khartoum for obstructing peacekeepers and said the international force needed to take a more aggressive stance in the region.

Darfur has been hit by sporadic fighting almost eight years after mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against the government, accusing it of marginalising Darfur.

Violence, while down from the mass killings seen at the start of the conflict, has risen over the past year after rebels walked out of floundering peace talks and one insurgent force, which had signed an accord with Khartoum, went back to fighting.

Darfur's UNAMID peacekeepers on Wednesday sent out a mission to investigate the site of recent fighting between the government and rebels close to the north Darfur town of Thabit, UNAMID said in a statement on Thursday.

"(The) verification mission ... was unable to complete its mission yesterday (Wednesday) after the resumption of aerial bombardment in the area," said the statement.

UNAMID spokesman Kemal Saiki confirmed the bombing was by "the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) air force".

Later on Wednesday, a group of 200 Sudanese government soldiers in 40 vehicles arrived at UNAMID's camp in the nearby settlement of Shangil Tobay, UNAMID said.

"(The soldiers) surrounded the team site's exit as well as the adjacent makeshift camp, where thousands of civilians recently displaced by the December 2010 clashes have settled," read the statement.

The Sudanese army detained four displaced people at the camp, said UNAMID.

"The SAF commander at the scene ... then threatened to burn down the makeshift camp and UNAMID team site, if the peacekeepers continued to interfere. The UNAMID Blue Helmets stood their ground and the SAF troops eventually departed," said the statement.

A U.N. official said the government soldiers had wanted to search the refugee camp for rebel fighters but the UNAMID force there stopped them. No one was immediately available for comment from Sudan's army.

Susan Rice on Wednesday said UNAMID had to be more aggressive in protecting civilians and ensuring humanitarian aid workers had access to needy people in Darfur.

"We expect UNAMID ... to be very active and, when necessary, aggressive in fulfilling its mandate to protect civilians," Rice told reporters, adding that Washington has been "frustrated and dismayed by repeated instances of UNAMID being denied access and its freedom of movement restricted."

UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari told the U.N. Security Council via video link that he informed his military and police chiefs on January 4 that the force "would adopt a more robust posture and no longer create the impression of seeking permission for movement."



January 27, 2011
US Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough.
The full discussion can be found here.




First Satellite Images Available of SAF Troop Deployments Near Sudan’s Volatile North-South Border

1/27/11 | Enough Project

WASHINGTON, DC — The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has confirmed that the Sudanese Armed Forces, or SAF, has deployed company-sized units of troops equipped with light armor and artillery in areas of South Kordofan around the oil-producing Abyei region and other strategic areas along Sudan’s volatile North-South border. However, the project’s first report also indicates that the SAF troops do not appear prepared for imminent forward movement.

Source: satellite-sentinel-project-provides-images-troop-presence-around-sudan


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Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Thanks everybody for stopping by. I have watched my numbers soar for viewings/viewers, although no one leaves me a comment. I know you come here because you admire Rafa. Admire on.

Click on image to enlarge.
Rafael Nadal of Spain sits during a break between games in the final set against David Ferrer of Spain in their quarter-final men's singles match on the tenth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2011. Ferrer won 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.
AFP PHOTO / Torsten Blackwood.

Rafa Quarter Final pictures at sports.yahoo. and daylife and uk.eurosport and zimbio

Australian Open 2011
Quarter Final
David Ferrer defeated Rafa Nadal
6-4, 6-2, 6-3
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
There is a very brief video australianopen


By yerangell
at 00:46 I am curious what Rafa means about what David told him at the net


By maggybeee

Rafael Nadal of Spain holds his face in his hands as he sits between games in the final set against David Ferrer of Spain in their quarter-final men's singles match on the tenth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2011. Ferrer won 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Photo credit: Getty Images

Spain's Rafael Nadal sits in his chair and wipes his eyes during a break in his quarterfinal against compatriot David Ferrer at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. Photo credit: Getty

Rafael Nadal of Spain waves to the crowd after defeat in his men's singles quarter-final match against David Ferrer of Spain on the tenth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2011. Ferrer won 6-4. 6-2. 6-3. Photo credit: Getty Images

Spain's Rafael Nadal receives treatment from a trainer during his quarterfinal loss to compatriot David Ferrer at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. Photo credit: AP

Rafael Nadal of Spain sits during a break during his men's singles quarter-final match against David Ferrer of Spain on the tenth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2011. Ferrer won 6-4. 6-2. 6-3. Photo by Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal of Spain walks on court during his men's singles quarter-final match against David Ferrer of Spain on the tenth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2011. Photo by Paul Crock/pool/AFP/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal of Spain talks during a press conference after his loss to David Ferrer of Spain in their quarter-final men's singles match on the tenth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2011. Injury-hit world number one Nadal was sensationally dumped from the quarter-finals 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 by compatriot Ferrer. Photo credit: Greg Wood, Getty/AFP

More Quarter Final pictures at sports.yahoo. and daylife and uk.eurosport and zimbio

AO '11 Semi Finals
Roger Federer versus Novak Djokovic
January 27, 2011 3:30 a.m. USA EST
David Ferrer versus Andy Murray
Probably January 28, 2011 same time as Federer and Djokovic's Semi Final

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts in the final set against David Ferrer of Spain in their quarter-final men's singles match on the tenth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2011. Ferrer won 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Photo credit: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD, AFP Getty


Although I know I am crossing the line to post these articles here, albeit with links to the actual articles, I do it because many times, articles are only available for a limited amount of time. There are articles that I like and can be found at the links provided.
Tennis-Nadal walks precipice in search of perfection
By Martyn Herman of uk.reuters


Nadal loses to Ferrer in Quarters

Read at sportsillustrated

Part of the article

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Rafael Nadal wiped the tears from his eyes with his taped-up fingers.

His Rafa Slam was evaporating. The 25-match winning streak in Grand Slams and his bid to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four major titles at once was three games from ending.

He was hurt. He was down two sets and a break. It was the same court, and the same round where he retired in the Australian Open last year. Yet the idea of packing it in didn't even enter his mind.

"I hate the retirements,'' he said, "This wasn't the day. I did last year. I hate that moment. ... Didn't want to repeat that.''

Six games later, Nadal was out of the tournament, losing 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer on Wednesday night in Rod Laver Arena, the center court at Melbourne Park named after the Australian great whose four consecutive majors he was trying to match.

"It's a victory for me. But it's not a victory really,'' Ferrer said.

Thanks everybody for stopping by. I have watched my numbers soar for viewers, although no one leaves me a comment. I know you come here because you admire Rafa. Admire on.

Laver, the Australian great who lives in Carlsbad, Calif., was surprised to hear of Nadal's loss.

"I'll be darned,'' Laver said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "I thought he'd come all the way through but he didn't. They were all counting that he was going to be the defending champion in all four tournaments.

"That's disappointing for him, really,'' Laver said. "In a way, that was an effort to put all those tournaments together through last year. It really was a good performance. I had him as being favored, even to beat Federer, the way he was playing. He just has got a game that's difficult for Roger.''

Laver is the last man to win a true Grand Slam, made up of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in a calendar year. He did it twice, as an amateur in 1962 and again in 1969.

Again, it was Australia Day. Again, Nadal's match was interrupted by fireworks for the national day celebrations. Again, the match was a dud.

Nadal received treatment to his upper left thigh after the third game. He had the thigh heavily strapped. He needed treatment again after the first set.

"I can say nothing about the injury,'' he said after the match. "Seriously, I would prefer don't talk a lot about the injury.''

"Tonight, first of all, I don't know nothing. Second thing, for respect to the winner and to a friend, I prefer to talk about the match. I think he played at a very high level. I just congratulate him and wish him all the best for the semifinal.''

He was later quoted in Spanish as saying he had a small tear in a muscle in his upper left leg.

Read the entire article at: sportsillustrated


Injury sidelines Nadal's quest for Grand Slam

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - The headlines Down Under were predictably cruel.

"Rafa Slammed." "Rafa Slam-Dunked."

Rafael Nadal's quest for the Australian Open title was snuffed out by injury for the second straight year on Australia Day Wednesday night, after a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 loss to countryman David Ferrer in the quarterfinals.

The world No. 1 was trying to become the first man since Australia's Rod Laver won the Grand Slam in 1969 - all four majors in the same season - to hold all four titles at once after Nadal won the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last season.

Exactly a year ago, Nadal retired in his quarterfinal match against Scotland's Andy Murray after two-plus sets of the most brilliant tennis you will ever see. Until Wednesday night, it was the last time he had lost at a Grand Slam tournament.

But it was the knee a year ago - an ongoing, career-threatening concern for Nadal and one about which he wanted to take no chances.

This time, it reportedly was a muscle tear in his left thigh suffered in his first service game of the match. Nadal could endure it, but he was a shadow of the player who under normal circumstances usually withstands the charge from the bulldog Ferrer.

Had it been the knee again, he may very well have quit. But he said there wasn't the same concern this time, the pain wasn't at a level where he couldn't bear it. He chose to carry on. "I hate the retirements, so this wasn't the day. I did last year. I hate that moment. I didn't want to repeat that," he said.

A No. 1 player has never retired in a Grand Slam match. A year ago against Murray, Nadal was ranked No. 2.

He came into his post-match news conference looking nearly as devastated as he had for most of his two and a half hours on court against Ferrer. There were times during changeovers late in the third set when it appeared he had tears welling up in his eyes.

There were constant conversations with the members of his entourage, much grimacing, constant shaking of his head as if to say, "Oh, this doesn't look good."

He fought with his trademark full-out effort, because the competitive animal in Nadal won't allow him to do otherwise. But Ferrer had to know that if he just held on, a semifinal birth would be his.

At first, once it was over, Nadal just wanted to congratulate his opponent and asked that reporters not ask him about the injury. At first, he said he didn't even know what it was, although he later told the Spanish media he knew exactly where it was located.

Eventually his pride kicked in, and he stated the obvious. "I don't have to tell you about what I felt on the court because I tried my best all the time. But is obvious that I didn't feel at my best. I had a problem during the match, in the very beginning. After that, the match was almost over. So that's what I can say," he said. "In Doha I wasn't healthy (a virus put him on antibiotics and weakened him considerably in a semifinal loss to Nikolay Davydenko). Today I have another problem. Seems like I always have problems when I lose, and I don't want to have this image, no? I prefer not to talk about that today."

Part of it was the large crowd in Rod Laver Arena to see him. Part of it was out of respect for his good friend and countryman Ferrer, who deserved "Ferrer wins" headlines but, given his opponent on the day, won't get them.

But as Nadal said in Spanish, it was mostly about walking out with his head held high, knowing he did the right thing.

He did. Ferrer was almost as stunned for his friend as he was pleased about the win.

There's a reason why there hasn't been a Grand Slam winner since Laver. Beyond the competition at the highest level, you have to be healthy. You have to be lucky. You can't afford to have a single bad day at the office for 28 consecutive best-of-five-set matches.

Nadal's quest seemed doomed from the start, even if his early rounds were a breeze.

He took 11 straight games from Marcos Daniel in the first round before the Brazilian retired with injury. He ceded only four to American qualifier Ryan Sweeting in the second round.

But against Aussie teenager Bernard Tomic, all wasn't right. Despite the straight-sets win, Nadal was sweating as profusely as he had in Qatar.

He swapped his Nike top for one several sizes larger. And against Marin Cilic of Croatia in the fourth round, he seemed to be old self. He was finally playing well, and feeling well.

Then, this.

On the plus side, it's not the knee. Nadal will be back.

"I think he can win the next four Grand Slams, no? Rafael is (one of) the best three players of the history of tennis. He is a young player. He will, can do it," Ferrer said.

Credit: Montrealgazette


Nadal Is Noble in Defeat

Read at


So, Rafael Nadal won’t win four Grand Slam tournaments in a row, which saves us from the ridiculous debate over that accomplishment compared to a real Grand Slam, accomplished in one calendar year, but his departure from the Australian Open on Wednesday gave tennis something else altogether: a touch of nobility.

Because not only would Nadal not drop out of his quarterfinal against his fellow Spaniard David Ferrer (“I hate retirements,” he said), he wouldn’t talk about the injury that so clearly hampered him. And to respect Ferrer’s victory, Nadal asked reporters not to ask him about it. He lamented his string of injuries because they sound like excuses. This was all worth marveling at and appreciating, writes Greg Couch on Fanhouse.com, because it’s something so beautiful and so rare. In sports, we’re talking spotted owl rare.

(Avoid gratuitous comparisons to Bears quarterback Jay Cutler because their situations are not at all comparable, other than suggesting Cutler could take a few lessons in public relations from the gracious Nadal.)

Ferrer was nearly as gracious in victory, saying a healthy Nadal wins that match in straight sets. But injuries, it seems, are the price Nadal pays for his relentless game. As Ravi Ubha writes on ESPN.com, they keep interrupting whatever momentum he creates. Right now, they are costing tennis another showdown between Nadal and Roger Federer, who maintains his role as the healthy half of the rivalry.

Rivalries are healthy and thriving in college basketball these days as the season races toward tournament season. On a serious upswing is No. 1 Ohio State, which has people like Paul Daugherty of SI.com starting to consider the Buckeyes unbeatable. (Wait, wasn’t Duke unbeatable up until getting beat?) Jeff Goodman of Foxsports.com sees comparisons to the back-to-back national champion Florida team. The real unstoppable force this season, though, seems to be Brigham Young’s Jimmer Fredette, although Luke Winn of SI.com proposes some ways to slow him down.

On the downswing side of things, Syracuse finds its confidence reeling after a third straight loss, writes Bud Poliquin of The Syracuse Post Standard, and Michigan State is descending into something resembling chaos after kicking Korie Lucious off the team. Last year’s N.C.A.A. tournament underdog for the ages, Butler, is having a much tougher time of it this season, too.

None of that approaches the real-life heartbreaking story of Kansas’s Thomas Robinson, who is mourning the death of his mother and two grandparents.

Real life interrupted some Iowa football workouts, with 12 Hawkeyes landing in the hospital with what The Cedar Rapids Gazette called “an exertional condition.”

There is a more uplifting football story by Jon Wertheim of SI.com on Terry Harrington, whose 25-year wrongful imprisonment did not dampen his love for the sport and he now coaches children in Omaha.

Hockey pauses today to notice that Wayne Gretzky is turning 50, as good a reason as any to look back at his remarkable career. And you might notice some remarkable feats by a rookie in Philadelphia, the 22-year-old goalie Sergei Bobrovski, but as Nicholas Cotsonika writes on Yahoo.com, you can just call him Bob.

As for Rafael Nadal, you can just call him Rafa and hope a little of him rubs off on everyone else.

Credit: nytimes


Rafa Slammed, Hurt, Goes Down Fighting

By Greg Couch

Read at tennis.fanhouse.com

Click post title for one of my favorite fan videos of Rafa

~ Updated Friday, January 29, 2011 ~

AO '11 Finals
Novak Djokovic versus Andy Murray
Sunday, January 30, 2011 3:30 a.m. USA EST
Time converter

AO '11 Semi Finals
Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer
7-6(3), 7-5, 6-4
Andy Murray defeated David Ferrer
4-6, 7-6(2), 6-1, 7-6(2)

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Saturday, January 22, 2011


I saw Gasland today on HBO tv network. It can be watched anytime as it is "on demand" at the present time. EVERYONE SHOULD SEE IT. The movie states that fracking for natural gas is not just in the USA, but if not already on its way to a town near you in Europe, it is being considered. In the United Sates of America we can thank former Vice President Dick Cheney for leading the way to lifting any regulations that might have protected our water and land from pollution, as stated in the movie Gasland. These are terrorist acts being done by people in corporations. We have a right to clean water, air and land. We should not be being killed by our government lifting protective regulations on our environment, which is what happened under the former President George W Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney's administration. When the movie is over, don't miss the long list of interviewees who refused to speak with the movie's creator, Josh Fox. It shouldn't surprise you that the people in corporate USA who wouldn't speak to the movie's creator are the ones ripping the "heart and health" out of our country's land, as well as killing the people whose water is now unusable due to contamination. Devaluation of their property is another residual effect. Would you like to buy their property once the chemicals have ruined their immediate environment?


This world belongs to all of us and until we decide that we will not be run off our land by the likes of Dick Cheney and the greed of human beings behind the corporate logos, we are at their merciless mercy and live at our own lack of actions' peril.

About the film

"The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a "Saudia Arabia of natural gas" just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown."


GASLAND will be broadcast on HBO through 2012. To host a public screening in your community please click here. The DVD is on sale.

Drilling locations of fractioning and waterways in the USA at (click on "map")~ gaslandthemovie
PLEASE, when at this link for the USA map click on the east coast over Virginia and West Virginia....you'll know it is the correct one when you see the House of Representatives chamber in the picture. Click on it again to play it, after you click on it to select it....and watch this clip from the Gasland movie. I found this part of the movie very enlightening....it explains how none of the bills to protect us from harm happening can be used to hold corporations accountable because all regulations were lifted for fracking.


Bill Summary & Status - 109th Congress (2005 - 2006) - H.R.6 ...


On the website gasland the movie this can be found:

Gasland is going a long way in spreading public awareness about gas drilling and the risks it poses on human and environmental health. Nationwide response to the film has been overwhelmingly positive. The Oil and Gas Industry's response: not so enthusiastic.

"Energy-In-Depth" is a PR Firm/Lobbying Group funded by the American Petroleum Institute. They are putting a misleading spin on information in Gasland to soothe and silence public curiosity about gas drilling.

The work of Energy-In-Depth lacks journalistic credibility and educated opinion. It's nothing short of an attack on truth. For public interest, we’ve prepared a response to their self-serving claims on gas drilling. Click here to learn more and pass along to friends.



Other methods of retrieving energy that contaminates our water and land is called Mountaintop Removal

See my previous posts on Mountaintop Removal

When Wrong Is Taken As Right
This is how I begin this post ~
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money."

Ignorance is not bliss. It is just ignorance. And it can be deadly. Just ask the people in this story.

Other Mountaintop Removal posts ~

Coal dust and black water no big deal...Right?

Contact elected politicians:
Keep drilling toxins out of our water

Contact your U.S. Senator - Contact information

Contact your U.S. Representative - Contact information

Contact President Obama

The following text is from the movie, Gasland's website, January 22, 2011:

We need your help to pass the FRAC Act - twin bills in the Senate (S 1215) and House (HR 2766) that remove the exemption to the Safe Drinking Water Act for fracking and call for the disclosure and monitoring of the chemicals used in the process. Contacting your elected officials is critical to its passage.

The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (H.R. 2766), (S. 1215)—was introduced to both houses of the the United States Congress on June 9, 2009, and aims to repeal the exemption for hydraulic fracturing in the Safe Drinking Water Act. It would require the energy industry to disclose the chemicals it mixes with the water and sand it pumps underground in the hydraulic fracturing process (also known as fracking), information that has largely been protected as trade secrets. Controversy surrounds the practice of hydraulic fracturing as a threat to drinking water supplies.[1] The gas industry opposes the legislation.[2]

The House bill was introduced by representatives Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Maurice Hinchey D-N.Y., and Jared Polis, D-Colo. The Senate version was introduced by senators Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

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Thanks everybody for stopping by. I have watched my numbers soar for viewers of this post, although no one leaves a comment. I know you come here because you admire Rafa. Admire on. I have a separate post ~ Taking a lesson from Rafa Nadal ~ for Rafa's exit from the Australian Open 2011. We will never know what might have been had Rafa not had the hamstring injury. But those of us Rafa-watchers, know his heart and know he will be back if at all possible. I expect him to return to the court and give us more pleasure. Get better Rafa and continue to reach for your hopes and dreams. It does our hearts good to watch you do so.

By NadalFan


A collection of pictures that I made of Rafa
in his signature on-court look of days gone by.

Australian Open 2011
Videos of Rafa at espn

Quarter Final
David Ferrer defeated Rafa Nadal
6-4, 6-2, 6-3
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
There is a very brief video australianopen


Uploaded by yerangell
at 00:46 I am curious what Rafa means about what David told him at the net

AO '11 Finals
Novak Djokovic versus Andy Murray
Sunday, January 30, 2011 3:30 a.m. USA EST
Time converter

AO '11 Semi Finals
Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer
7-6(3), 7-5, 6-4
Andy Murray defeated David Ferrer
4-6, 7-6(2), 6-1, 7-6(2)

Time and date


Time and date conversion
See sidebar for clock with Melbourne, Australian time

Read post about Rafa Open-Spaniard-Rafael-Nadal-feels-the-heat

Round of 16 - Round 4
Rafa Nadal defeated Marin Cilic
6-2, 6-4, 6-3
Monday, January 24, 2011

Round 3
Rafa Nadal defeated Bernard Tomic
6-2, 7-5, 6-3
Press video after the match

Round 2

Rafa Nadal defeated Ryan Sweeting
6-2, 6-1, 6-1

Rafa Nadal defeated Marcos Daniel
6-0, 5-0, then Marcos Daniel retired after 46 minutes
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia

Note: I will do my best to keep this post updated, but "real life" may prevent this sometimes. But you can always find information at the two fan sites with links below.

Channel in USA ESPN2
Check the guide at sports.espn
Click ESPN2 to find tennis

The Tennis Channel
The Tennis Channel schedule
Sometimes live and also delayed airing

Watch online at
This is great because you can see the match you want with no break aways to other matches, as well as no commercials, includes the after-match interview and autograph signing.
ESPN3 streaming link can also be accessed by clicking the post title.

I will be updating this post after the Quarter Final

Other free online watching



These two fan sites are a great source of up-to-date information ~

Vamos Brigade

Rafa's Babolat-sponsored forum

It is free to register at these sites and then you can read at your heart's content.

Join Us at Facebook


Rafa on facebook

Online viewing at this website is not available in the USA, but there is information ~

atp world tour

Press conference videos at the link ~ australianopentv

Round 4 Pictures...

Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand in his fourth round match against Marin Cilic of Croatia during day eight of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Mark Dadswell of Getty Images AsiaPac

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning a point in his fourth round match against Marin Cilic of Croatia during day eight of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images AsiaPac

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates beating Marin Cilic of Croatia during their round four men's singles match on the eighth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 24, 2011. Nadal won 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. Photo credit: Getty Images

More Pictures Round 4 zimbio and daylife

Round 3 Pictures...

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning a point in his third round match against Bernard Tomic of Australia during day six of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.Photo by Clive Brunskill of Getty Images AsiaPac

Rafael Nadal of Spain selects a ball to serve against Bernard Tomic of Australia during their round three men's singles match on the sixth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 22, 2011. Nadal won the match 6-2, 7-5, 6-3. Photo credit: Getty Images

More Pictures Round 3 daylife and zimbio

Round 2 Pictures...

Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a stroke during his second round men's singles match against Ryan Sweeting of the US on the fourth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2011. Nadal is two sets to nil up as play continues.

More Pictures
Round 2

Round 1 Pictures...

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 18, 2011 ~ Rafael Nadal of Spain looks on in his first round match against Marcos Daniel of Brazil during day two of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 18, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo credit: Getty Images

More Pictures
Round 1

UPDATED TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2011 at 11:00 p.m. USA EST
Rafa AO '11 Promo Video

Rally for Relief
video (for the recent floods in Australia) australianopentv
Click Video tab when at the Australian Open website.

Another place to view the Rally for Relief match with Rafa in them ~

Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland enjoy the day during the "Rally For Relief" charity exhibition match ahead of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 16, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. January 15, 2011 - Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images AsiaPac.

Rally for Relief ~ More photos at zimbio

Links to more pictures of Rafa before the first match are included below each picture ~

Rafael Nadal of Spain rests on the net during a practice session ahead of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 12, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. January 11, 2011. Photo by Mark Dadswell of Getty Images AsiaPac. More zimbio pictures.

Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a forehand during a practice session ahead of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 13, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. January 12, 2011. Photo by Mark Dadswell of Getty Images AsiaPac. More zimbio pictures.

Rafael Nadal of Spain stretches during a practice session ahead of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 16, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Mark Dadswell of Getty Images AsiaPac. More zimbio pictures.

Rafael Nadal press conference at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. January 16, 2011 - Photo by Photo Agency. More zimbio pictures.

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