R&D from Prepd: Weekly Roundup for the Week of October 27th-November 2nd, 2014

l_2Today’s R&D is brought to you by Prepd, the only software built specifically for extemp. Prepd makes it easy to research, practice, and compete!  Visit www.prepd.in to learn more. Like Prepd on Facebook for special info and contests.

Here is our weekly survey of news stories to round out the week of October 27th-November 2nd, 2014.

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R&D from Prepd: The 2014 Midterms

l_2Today’s R&D is brought to you by Prepd, the only software built specifically for extemp. Prepd makes it easy to research, practice, and compete!  Visit www.prepd.in to learn more. Like Prepd on Facebook for special info and contests.

This R&D provides articles on the 2014 midterm elections, which will take place next Tuesday.  Extempers going to tournaments this weekend can expect lots of questions about how those elections may turn out on the state and national level.  Republicans hope to capture the Senate, while Democrats hope to knock off potential 2016 presidential contenders such as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

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R&D from Prepd: Jose Mujica

l_2Today’s R&D is brought to you by Prepd, the only software built specifically for extemp. Prepd makes it easy to research, practice, and compete!  Visit www.prepd.in to learn more. Like Prepd on Facebook for special info and contests.

This R&D covers Jose Mujica, the President of Uruguay.  Mujica, a former guerilla fighter, has been in office since 2010 and he is known for living a very frugal lifestyle that has caused him to be labeled as “the world’s poorest president.”  He is very popular, but he is stepping down because Uruguyan presidents cannot serve consecutive five-year terms.  A runoff to choose his successor will take place on November 30.
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HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of October 27th-November 2nd, 2014

HOTtopics1. Do New York and New Jersey’s new quarantine rules violate the U.S. Constitution?
2. How can future school shootings be avoided?
3. Are the 2014 midterm elections a referendum on President Obama’s leadership?
4. Should the USDA tighten its regulations of biotech crops?
5. How can Jeff Bezos convince investors that Amazon is still a great buy?
6. Should the U.S. Postal Service deliver groceries?
7. Will gay rights be President Obama’s biggest legacy?
8. Does the GOP need a heavy dose of “conservative realism”?
9. Will the outsourcing issue sink David Perdue’s Senate hopes?
10. Should U.S. cities pass restrictions on feeding the homeless?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of October 27th-November 2nd, 2014

HOTtopics1. How can Egypt secure the Sinai from jihadist attacks?
2. If you were Kim Jong-un, how would you go about re-engaging the international community?
3. How should Western nations handle citizens who fight in jihadist causes abroad?
4. Do Matteo Renzi’s economic reforms go far enough?
5. Was Jose Mujica’s presidency a success?
6. How can Tunisia grow its economy?
7. Will the Ottawa shootings significantly change Canada’s open culture?
8. Is Mali prepared for an Ebola outbreak?
9. What do the results of the Brazilian presidential runoff mean for the country’s economic future?
10. Is artificial intelligence a threat to the human race?

2014-2015 Extemp Central National Points Race: New Standings Posted to Reflect the New York City Invitational & St. Mark’s!

pointsraceheader-01The 2014-2015 Extemp Central National Points Race standings have been updated to reflect the New York City Invitational and St. Mark’s.  To access the standings, you can click on the National Points Race tab on the right of the main page or click here.

The National Points Race resumes in two weeks at the Florida Blue Key.  This tournament will be a fifth tier event and its winner will receive forty points.  Like St. Mark’s, Blue Key allows extempers to compete in International and United States Extemp, so the same St. Mark’s-style points system will be used to figure out which six extempers deserve National Points Race points.

Florida Blue Key is also a Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifier for the Extemp TOC at Northwestern University and the University of Kentucky (TOC).  All of the semi-finalists at Blue Key will earn Extemp TOC legs and all of the extempers who reach final round will earn an automatic qualification to the UK TOC in April (Extemp Central is in the process of constructing a UK TOC qualification board).

R&D from Prepd: Weekly Roundup for the Week of October 20th-October 26th, 2014

l_2Today’s R&D is brought to you by Prepd, the only software built specifically for extemp. Prepd makes it easy to research, practice, and compete!  Visit www.prepd.in to learn more. Like Prepd on Facebook for special info and contests.

Here is our weekly survey of news stories to round out the week of October 20th-October 26th, 2014.

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R&D from Prepd: The Greek Economy

l_2Today’s R&D is brought to you by Prepd, the only software built specifically for extemp. Prepd makes it easy to research, practice, and compete!  Visit www.prepd.in to learn more. Like Prepd on Facebook for special info and contests.

This R&D provides resources on the Greek economy.  In 2009, the country faced a debt crisis that threatened the euro zone and it required a €110 billion bailout loan from the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  The austerity and fiscal reform measures required by the bailout have proven politically unpopular and investors are fearful of what might happen if the Greek government prematurely ends its IMF program, which is supposed to end in 2016.

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