R&D from Prepd: Ferguson Protests & Unrest

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 the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.  On Monday it was announced the criminal charges will not be filed against Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer who shot and killed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown on August 9.  After the announcement of the decision, Ferguson businesses were attacked by looters, although other protesters opted to peacefully challenge the decision.  The Justice Department is still looking into possible civil rights charges, but legal experts believe they will not charge Wilson.  However, they are looking into alleged civil rights violations by the Ferguson Police Department.

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R&D: Kenya & al-Shabab

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 Kenya’s fight against al-Shabab, an Islamic militant group that opposed Kenyan military interference in Somalia, where al-Shabab is trying to establish an Islamic state.  Last Saturday saw al-Shabab militants attack a bus in Northern Kenya, killing twenty-eight non-Muslims on board.  Two days ago, Kenya’s military reportedly killed more than 100 al-Shabab militants in retaliation.  Al-Shabab was behind the Westgate Mall Shooting in Nairobi last year, which killed more than sixty people.

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2014 Glenbrooks: Glaser Defeats Larkin to Become First Colorado Extemper to Win the Glenbrooks

glenbrooksHistory was made last weekend at the Glenbrooks, the first third tier National Points Race tournament of the season, as Jack Glaser of George Washington High School (CO) became the first Colorado extemper to win the tournament. Glaser, a participant at last year’s Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin and finalist at this year’s New York City Invitational, took two of the three available first place ranks in the final round and defeated Davis Larkin of the Parish Episcopal School (TX) by two ranks to claim the title. Giancarlo Musetti of Cypress Bay High School (FL) finished three ranks behind Glaser and took third.

The final was dominated by traditional extemp powers as Texas and Florida each had two finalists. Andrew Langford of Lake Highland Preparatory School (FL) participated in his second National Points Race tournament final of the season and took fourth, while Marshall Webb of Saint Mary’s Hall (TX) placed sixth.

The lone Northeast representative in the final round, Marshall Sloane of Milton Academy (MA), who is the defending Massachusetts state champion, placed fifth.

One of the bigger stories that came out of Glenbrooks, and one that is sure to shake up the National Points Race, concerned the extempers who did not reach the final round. Justin Graham of Trinity Preparatory School (FL), who received credit for winning Florida Blue Key, and Wake Forest winner Yijia Liang of Upper Arlington High School (OH) did not make the final round. Neither did 2014 NSDA United States Extemp finalist and two-time California state USX champion Brian Yu of Monte Vista High School (CA) and last year’s Barkley Forum winner Brian Anderson of LaRue County High School (KY). All of these competitors were eliminated in the semi-final round.

National Points Race leader Eitan Sapiro-Gheiler of Durham Academy (NC) was in the field, but did not break into the quarter-final round.

All of the extempers reaching quarter-finals at the Glenbrooks earned a qualifying leg for the 2015 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) at Northwestern University. All of the finalists also earned an automatic qualification to the University of Kentucky Tournament of Champions (TOC). Two extempers – Oscar Larraza of Nova Senior High School (FL) and Musetti – finalized their TOC qualification by earning their second leg, while eleven other extempers earned their first leg at the tournament. All of the extempers earning a qualifying leg for the TOC are indicated in italics below.

The National Points Race and TOC calendar resume in two weeks. The George Mason University Patriot Games will be a third tier National Points Race event as well as a TOC qualifier. Other TOC tournaments on the calendar include the George C. Armstrong Heart of Illinois Invitational at Bradley University, the University of Texas Longhorn Classic, and the Princeton Classic.

Here are the results of the 2014 Glenbrooks (Click here for tab sheet):
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2014 Villiger Speech & Debate Tournament: Wartel Becomes First Extemper to Repeat Since 1987; Teammate Tobin Takes Second

Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was the site of the thirty-fifth annual Villiger Speech and Debate Tournament, a 2015 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifier. Josh Wartel of Lake Braddock Secondary School (VA) made a successful defense of his championship, taking three of the five available first place ranks in the final round and winning by a nine rank margin over teammate Ben Tobin. Wartel’s title defense is the first to take place at Villiger since 1987, when Michael Tidd of LaSalle College High School (PA) defended his extemp championship.

The other four finalists made their first appearance in a TOC qualifying tournament final round this year. Robby Cummins of Good Counsel High School (MD) took third, Clare Halsey of Ridge High School (NJ) placed fourth, Justin Cooper of Scarsdale High School (NY) took fifth, and Christopher Lee of Regis High School (NY) rounded out the final in placing sixth.

All of the extempers who made the quarter-final round of the tournament acquired a qualifying leg for this year’s Extemp TOC at Northwestern University. Four extempers – Charlie Barton of Regis High School, Avni Mahagaoker and Collin Montag of Ridge High School (NJ), and Collin Quigley of Holy Ghost Preparatory School (PA) – acquired their second leg of the 2014-2015 campaign and finalized their TOC qualification. Fourteen other extempers, including three of the finalists, earned their first qualifying leg of the season. All of those acquiring a qualifying leg are indicated in italics below.

In addition to the Extemp TOC at Northwestern, all of the finalists of Villiger earned an automatic qualification to the University of Kentucky Tournament of Champions (TOC) in April.

Here are the results of the 2014 Villiger Speech and Debate Tournament (Click here for tab sheet):
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HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of November 24th-30th, 2014

HOTtopics1. What steps do schools need to take to ensure that students are college and career ready?
2. How should Congressional Republicans respond to President Obama’s executive action on immigration?
3. Are campus sexual assault investigations going too far or not far enough?
4. How should NASA respond to the ESA’s comet mission?
5. Does Detroit’s bankruptcy deal put the city back on the road to recovery?
6. Should the U.S. continue to embrace free trade policies?
7. What is the most significant foreign policy problem facing the United States?
8. Has the media been irresponsible in its coverage of Ferguson?
9. Would comprehensive immigration reform negatively affect the U.S. economy?
10. Who is the most electable candidate that Republicans could nominate for the presidency in 2016?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of November 24th-30th, 2014

HOTtopics1. Should Internet users have a “right to be forgotten”?
2. How should Ewa Kopacz direct Poland’s foreign policy toward Russia?
3. Will the UKIP be the kingmaker of the next British parliamentary election?
4. What should Kenya do to improve its fight against al-Shabab?
5. Are Colombia’s negotiations with the FARC breaking down?
6. Should the ICC indict Kim Jong-un?
7. Will Tony Abbott reverse his position on climate change?
8. If you were the Iranian government, what would your ideal nuclear deal with the P5+1 look like?
9. How can the Israeli government reduce violence in East Jerusalem?
10. Is Abenomics to blame for Japan’s recent recession?

R&D from Prepd: Weekly Roundup for the Week of November 17th-23rd, 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 November 17th-23rd, 2014.

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R&D from Prepd: Ed Miliband

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 Ed Miliband, the leader of the British Labour Party.  There is unrest within Labour’s ranks concerning Milband’s leadership due to the party’s declining fortunes in the run up to next year’s general elections.

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