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Over the past few months, there have been religious riots, killer floods, a full-scale war, a government overthrown, U.S. bombing and more religious riots in the Horn of Africa. Don't feel too bad if you've been too distracted by news about

The Real World: Denver

and the iPhone to pay attention to these developments half a world away. After all, even those in the midst of the turmoil have long since learned that when it comes issues of global significance, the most important stuff is always going to be happening in the good old U.S. of A.

I saw this firsthand while I was in Ethiopia reporting on the recent Westword feature "Pot of Gold." I spent some time with Getinet Kelkle, the former secretary general of the Ethiopian Coffee Exporters' Association. At the time, his country was erupting in small-scale riots, suffering from mass flooding, and preparing to go to war with Somalia. He never mentioned any of it. The only time current events came up was when he turned to me and asked, "What happened to that guy who killed the child?"

He was talking, of course, about John Mark Karr and JonBenet Ramsey. -- Joel Warner

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.