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Small world, big concerns

Street Smarts

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The world seems to get smaller all the time, in that we're more connected and more aware. Are we also becoming more empathetic?

Kareem Braithwaite

Kareem Braithwaite of Fountain is a personal trainer

How interested would you say you are in international affairs? Only about 10 percent. I've been to lots of countries overseas, and I guess you could say I'm more interested when I'm there.

What kinds of international stories matter to you? Lately, it's been the Winter Olympics. But It seemed really political this time, as far as what country won the most gold.

How do you feel about fair trade? The people in those countries deserve to be paid for what they do, and they need the money. The person who is profiting needs to be aware of the working conditions.

What's the worst poverty you've ever seen? It was in Louisiana; I think it was Shreveport. There are some really scary neighborhoods there. I'm from New Jersey, and some parts are bad there, too.

Elizabeth Happel

Elizabeth Happel of the west side is a banker

How interested would you say you are in international affairs? Very. It directly impacts our world, and we directly impact the rest of the world, especially our economy.

What kinds of international stories matter to you, and why? Right now, I'm focused on the unrest in a lot of different countries. I don't want to see us go to war again — us or anyone else.

What does fair trade mean to you? Well, "blood diamonds" come to mind. But also the deforestation in Brazil, and what happens to the indigenous people there. The people aren't being paid what they're worth, and what we're getting is not worth what we do to them.

What's the worst poverty you've ever seen? I've seen poverty in some remote areas in Alaska, but Egypt was the worst — just incredible, abject poverty.

Tim Luethke

Tim Luethke from Denver is a zoo educator

How interested are you in international affairs? I'd say moderately. I'm a small part of this world, and it's important to know what's going on around me.

What kinds of international stories matter to you, and why? As a biologist, I'm interested in conservation, and also human rights issues.

What does fair trade mean to you? Being as fair as possible when you compensate workers.

Have you ever been to a developing nation? Not really. I've been to Costa Rica and it's very nice. I think they're pretty well off.

What's the worst poverty you've seen? Actually, the worst I've seen was a neighborhood in Denver where the graduation rate from high school was only 7 percent.

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