Nigeria and Kenya to get Clinton visit as consolation prize

News is emerging today from Nigeria that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set for a visit there, as well as Kenya and several other African countries in the not-so-distant future.

As Dow Jones puts it, "many African countries felt snubbed by [Obama's] choice of Ghana" last month for his inagural trip to the continent. That's an excellent understatement. As I wrote here a few weeks ago, "miffed" might be a more accurate word to describe Nigeria's feelings, in particular. Africa's most-populous country didn't take kindly to being upstaged by its smaller neighbor -- who is, ahem, also in Nigeria's self-dubbed sphere of influence. 

Now the injustice will be at least partially remedied, it seems. Maybe Nigeria's U.S.-based diplomats went on overdrive to secure Clinton's visit. Or the White House was worried about angering its 3rd largest supplier of oil. Then again, the visit could have been in the cards long before the Ghana-row erupted.

Whatever the truth may be, Clinton may have to do some reassuring that Nigeria is not an afterthought (...even if it is).



An entrepreneur in Jerusalem is using Twitter to bring the prayers of the Jewish Diaspora to the Western Wall. After seeing the social networking site's potential in last month's Iranian elections, Alon Nil began a service where Jews abroad could tweet him their prayers, which he then prints out and places in the sacred spaces between the 2,000-year-old stones at Judaism's holiest site. Nil has been besieged with messages since he started the "hobby" three weeks ago:

You name the country, I've gotten prayers from them. I hope in some way that by tweeting their prayers, these people are helping themselves somehow. Once you figure out what you want, in 140 characters or less, you can start to take action.

I'm swamped. I can't keep up with all the tweets...But I'm determined to not lose even one prayer.

Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty images