R&D from Prepd: Saudi Arabian Succession

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 topic brief covers royal succession in Saudi Arabia.  Last week, King Abdullah passed away and power passed to his half brother Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud.  Prior to assuming the throne, King Salman was the country’s Minister of Defense since 2011.  He is considered a conservative reformist and analysts do not expect Saudi Arabia’s friendly relationship with the United States to change under his watch. What concerns some is that King Salman had ties to radical Islamist groups in the past.

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2015 Columbia Invitational: Rinder Defeats Chen by Two Ranks to Claim First TOC Title of the Season; Regis Puts Two Extempers Into the Final Round

This year’s Columbia Invitational attracted sixty-two extempers. At the end of seven rounds of competition, Mark Rinder of Freehold Township High School (NJ) emerged as the tournament champion, defeating Teresa Chen of Stuyvesant High School (NY) by two ranks. The tournament was tabbed cumulatively and Rinder won the final round by five ranks, which helped him vault above his fellow competitors and claim his first Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifying tournament title of the season.

Charlie Barton of Regis High School (NY) finished in third place, making him one of two Regis extempers in the final round. In addition to Barton, Dylan Kennedy of Regis finished in fifth place.

The defending champion of the tournament was Jasper Primack of Newton South High School (MA), but he did not attend this year’s event.

The top three finishers at Columbia earned a qualifying leg to this year’s Extemp TOC at Northwestern University. Two extempers – Chen and Rinder – completed their at-large qualification to this year’s tournament.  Barton was already qualified due to his finishes at Yale and Villiger.

All of the finalists also earned an automatic qualification to the University of Kentucky TOC in April.

Here are the results of the 2015 Columbia Invitational (Click here for tab sheet):
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R&D from Prepd: Marco Rubio

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 Florida Senator Marco Rubio.  Rumors are that Rubio is planning a 2016 presidential bid, which could make him the second Floridian in the field if former Florida Governor Jeb Bush also decides to run for the White House.  Rubio is up for re-election in 2016 as well, but he has signaled that he will not seek both offices simultaneously.  Rubio has been a strong opponent of President Obama’s moves to improve relations, but his political stock took a hit last year when he supported immigration reform.

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2015 Chanhassen High School Speech Tournament: Eckberg Triumphs Over an Eastview-Dominated Final Round

A three-week Minnesota swing of Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifying tournaments kicked off last weekend in Chanhassen, Minnesota at the Chanhassen High School Speech Tournament. Noah Eckberg of East Ridge High School was this year’s winner, winning an all-Minnesota final by three ranks. Varoon Pazhyanur of Eastview High School finished in second place. Eckberg took three of the available first place ranks in the final round, while Pazhyanur took the other two.

Eastview High School had four of the seven finalists at the tournament. In addition to Pazhyanur, Apoorva Malarvannan finished third, Alex Baker finished third, and Charlie Cahow finished seventh.

The top three extempers earned qualifying legs to this year’s Extemp TOC at Northwestern University. No extemper at the tournament completed their at-large qualification. Those who earned a qualifying leg are indicated in italics in the results listing.

Here are the results of the 2015 Chanhassen Speech Tournament (Click here for tab sheet):
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2015 Downers Grove South Varsity Tournament: Bare Defeats Chun in an All-Illinois Final

Eighty-three extempers competed last weekend at the Downers Grove South Varsity Invitational in Downers Grove, Illinois. After five rounds of competition, Colette Bare of Glenbard West High School (IL) was crowned as the tournament champion, defeating Steven Chun of Hinsdale Central High School (IL) in the tournament’s final round. Charlie Stark of Downer Grove North High School (IL) placed third.

The tournament featured a diverse final round, with six different Illinois schools represented. Defending tournament champion Parth Patel of Huntley High School (IL) did not participate in this year’s event.

The top three finishers at the tournament earned a qualifying leg for the 2015 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) at Northwestern University. Chun and Stark completed their at-large qualification via their placings at the event, while Bare earned her first qualifying leg of the season.

Here are the results of the 2015 Downers Grove South Varsity Invitiational:
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HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of January 26-February 1, 2015

HOTtopics1. Are Brazilian politicians to blame for the country’s water crisis?
2. Is India improving its environmental record?
3. What is King Abdullah’s human rights legacy?
4. How can South Africa effectively tackle its unemployment problem?
5. Have central bankers lost control of the world economy?
6. Has the West African Ebola outbreak been tamed?
7. Is Yemen headed toward civil war?
8. Should Greece’s debt be forgiven?
9. Why has Bashar al-Assad managed to hang onto power?
10. How will the death of King Abdullah affect Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the United States?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of January 26-February 1, 2015

HOTtopics1. Is Rubio the Republican Obama?
2. How should the U.S. deal with citizens who go and fight for the Islamic State?
3. Should more U.S. cities prohibit alcohol advertising on city property?
4. Which parts of the State of the Union should the GOP support?
5. Will the ECB’s bond buying program force the Federal Reserve to delay its plans to raise interest rates?
6. Should the U.S. remove Cuba from the state sponsors of terrorism list?
7. What changes should be made to the federal disability insurance program?
8. Should welfare recipients be drug tested?
9. Is Oklahoma’s lethal injection system unconstitutional?
10. Would Sarah Palin’s entry into the 2016 presidential race reduce the chances of a Republican winning the White House?

Prepd Goes Mobile!: Prepd releases an iPad App, Prepares to Launch a Free Smartphone App for Student Congress

l_2Prepd is software for Extemp. Prepd helps extempers research, practice, and compete. For coaches, Prepd makes it easy to manage and monitor their team. Learn more about Prepd by visiting www.prepd.in

Prepd is proud to announce the launch of its first mobile product! Prepd for iPad is an application that replicates the experience of Prepd’s Offline App. Prepd’s mobile app runs on iPad devices using iOS 8.0 and higher.

To download Prepd for iPad, simply search “Prepd – Extemp” in the App Store or open the following link on your iPad: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/prepd-extemp/id949527116

Prepd’s iPad app synchronizes articles from the Dashboard. Users can go offline and open folders and articles while in competition. The iPad app is free to download, but requires a Prepd account in order to log in.

Moreover, Prepd is weeks away from releasing a new product for Student Congress. Precedence is a mobile app that will run on iPhone and Android devices. As the name implies, Precedence makes it easy for debaters to keep track of precedence and recency in a Student Congress round. Precedence will be available for free to any person who would like to use the app, even if their team does not use Prepd’s Extemp software.

Learn more about Precedence: http://prepd.in/precedence/

If you submit your email through the website, you will be among the first to know when Precedence is available for free download.

2015 James Logan MLK Invitational: Dhoopar Defeats Defending Champion Ye in IX; Loftis Edges Out Teammate Venkateswaran in USX

The 2014-2015 National Points Race continued last weekend at the James Logan MLK Invitational. The tournament attracted some of the strongest competitors on the West Coast, with California powers such as Bellarmine College Preparatory, James Logan, Leland High School, and Gabrielino High School participating. In International Extemp, Rohan Dhoopar of Bellarmine College Preparatory, who finished third at last year’s National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) national tournament in the category, defeated defending champion Alex Ye of Gabrielino by five ranks. The tournament was tabbed cumulatively and Dhoopar defeated Ye by one rank in the tournament final. Matthew Zheng of Mira Loma High School (CA) took third.

In United States Extemp, Cameron Loftis of Leland won the title by two ranks over teammate Sid Venkateswaran. Loftis won the tournament final by two ranks. Third place finisher Arjun Narayan of the Harker School (CA) placed second in the final round to Loftis.

For the National Points Race, Dhoopar and Loftis will receive forty points for their victories since James Logan is a fifth tier tournament in the standings. Each final round featured seven competitors, so the top six in each category will receive National Points Race points.

All of the competitors who reached the semi-final round earned a qualifying leg to the 2015 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) at Northwestern University. Two extempers – Dhoopar and Addie Glickstien of Denver East High School (CO) – locked up their at-large qualification for this year’s TOC. Fifteen other extempers earned their first qualifying leg. All of the extempers who earned a qualifying leg are indicated in italics below.

The finalists in each category also earned an automatic qualification to the University of Kentucky TOC in April.

Here are the results of the 2015 James Logan MLK Invitational (Click here for tab sheet):
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