HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of September 1st-7th, 2014

HOTtopics1. Is another government shutdown on the horizon?
2. How can coastal states generate more affordable housing?
3. Is America’s immigration system broken?
4. How can America have a serious conversation about race?
5. Will 2014 be a “wave election”?
6. Is California prepared for “the big one”?
7. Why is Sam Brownback struggling to win re-election?
8. Should the U.S. lower its corporate tax rate?
9. Will “affirmative consent” laws significantly curb sexual assault on U.S. campuses?
10. Should the U.S. back Bashar al-Assad?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of September 1st-7th, 2014

HOTtopics1. Is the House of Representatives or the GNC the legitimate government of Libya?
2. What is the biggest challenge that Turkey’s economy faces?
3. Is Ollanta Humala’s influence waning?
4. Are multinational institutions a threat to democracy?
5. Is the recent Gaza conflict over?
6. Can Alain Juppe defeat Nicholas Sarkozy in 2017?
7. Is the Brazilian government doing enough to protect the rights of indigenous tribes?
8. Should the 2018 World Cup be taken away from Russia?
9. Is deflation a looming threat to the eurozone?
10. If Scotland became independent, should they adopt the euro?

2014-2015 National Points Race: This Year’s Structure

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The 2014-2015 season features the return of the Extemp Central National Points Race.  The National Points Race is a season-long competition that seeks to identify the top extempers across a select group of prestigious national circuit events.  Extemp Central recognizes that in some years the top extemper in the nation may not win the National Points Race due to the inability of some competitors to travel extensively.  Still, three national champions are among the four previous National Points Race winners.
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NSDA Champion Interview with Arel Rende (Part Two)

Arel Rende competed for Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, OK for three years. He was a four-time Oklahoma Class 6A State Champion, winning three championships in DX and one in OO. He was a two-time NSDA National Champion in United States Extemporaneous Speaking (2013 and 2014), winning the final round at NSDA Nationals in each of those years. Last season, Arel won the St. Mark’s Heart of Texas Invitational, the University of Texas Longhorn Classic, and the Harvard National Invitational.  He was also a participant in the 2014 MBA Exhibition Round and the 2014 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) final round.  This fall, Arel will be studying finance at The University of Texas-Austin and competing on their speech them.

Arel agreed to do an interview with Extemp Central to reflect on his career and provide advice to young extempers.  Part one of this interview can be found here.
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R&D: Weekly Roundup for the Week of August 25th-31st, 2014

Here is our weekly survey of news stories to round out the week of August 25th-31st.

Check back next week for an interview with 2011 Yale champion and two-time NSDA national finalist Chase Harrison.  Extemp Central will also highlight the top extempers to watch in 2014-2015!

 

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NSDA Champion Interview with Arel Rende (Part One)

Arel Rende competed for Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, OK for three years. He was a four-time Oklahoma Class 6A State Champion, winning three championships in DX and one in OO. He was a two-time NSDA National Champion in United States Extemporaneous Speaking (2013 and 2014), winning the final round at NSDA Nationals in each of those years. Last season, Arel won the St. Mark’s Heart of Texas Invitational, the University of Texas Longhorn Classic, and the Harvard National Invitational.  He was also a participant in the 2014 MBA Exhibition Round and the 2014 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) final round.  This fall, Arel will be studying finance at The University of Texas-Austin and competing on their speech them.

Arel agreed to do an interview with Extemp Central to reflect on his career and provide advice to young extempers.
Continue Reading →

R&D: Zimbabwean Politics

Today’s R&D covers Zimbabwean politics.  Since President Robert Mugabe is ninety years old, there is a great deal of uncertainty about what the country’s political future will look like.  The country has only had two presidents since it gained official independence in 1980 and Mugabe has ruled since 1987.  Recently, Mugabe’s wife, Grace, entered national politics after winning an endorsement to become the next head of Zanu-PF’s women’s league.

 

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R&D: The Ferguson Shooting

Today’s R&D provides resources on the controversial police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.  The shooting, which took place on August 9, took the life of eighteen-year-old black teenager Michael Brown.  The incident triggered protests and looting in the area and was met by a heavy police response.  The officer involved in the shooting is currently under investigation and the Department of Justice is looking into potential civil rights violations.

 

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HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of August 25th-31st, 2014

HOTtopics1. Will Pakistan’s military stage a coup?
2. What changes does Uber need to make to its service?
3. How will the Ebola outbreak affect the world economy?
4. Should the Bank of Canada raise interest rates?
5. Are austerity policies having a negative effect on the eurozone?
6. Can Mahamat Kamoun quell ethnic and religious violence in the Central African Republic?
7. How can Venezuela remedy food shortages?
8. The Syrian Civil War: Was Putin right?
9. How can African nations best meet their energy needs?
10. Is Grace Mugabe the next leader of Zimbabwe?