R&D from Prepd: Weekly Roundup for the Week of March 23-29, 2015

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 March 23-29, 2015.

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2015 Georgia Forensic Coaches Association State Tournament: Lombardo Gives Henry W. Grady Its Fourth Straight Extemporaneous Speaking State Title

Henry W. Grady High School continued its winning tradition at this year’s Georgia Forensic Coaches Association (GFCA) State Tournament when Sam Lombardo and Keegan Hasson took the top two places in extemporaneous speaking. Lombardo won the tournament with a cumulative score of four in the final round, three ranks better than Hasson’s cumulative score of seven. Yugnash Malik of Lee County High School was the third place finisher.

Henry W. Grady has won the last four GFCA state titles in extemporaneous speaking. At this year’s tournament, the school had half of the final round, with Denis Goldsman finishing fifth to go along with Lombardo and Hasson’s performances.

All of the extempers who reached the final round earned an automatic qualification to the 2015 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) at Northwestern University.

Here are the results of the 2015 Georgia Forensic Coaches Association State State Tournament (Click here for tab sheet):
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R&D from Prepd: Israeli Legislative Elections

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 recent Israeli legislative elections.  The election saw the highest turnout since the 1999 legislative elections and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party staged a comeback victory, winning a plurality of thirty seats.  The Zionist Union of Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni finished in second place with twenty-four seats.  Due to the performance of other right-wing parties, it is assumed that Netanyahu will retain his position as prime minister.  The recent election was also notable because twenty-nine women were elected to the Knesset, which is the largest number in Israeli history.

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R&D from Prepd: Loretta Lynch’s Confirmation

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 for the confirmation of attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch.  Lynch was nominated by President Obama last November to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder, but Republicans have delayed a confirmation vote.  Senate Major Mitch McConnell says that he wants a domestic human trafficking bill passed before a vote is held.  Such a bill has failed to overcome Democratic filibuster over language in the legislation about federal abortion funding.  Some of the Republican opposition to Lynch is also tied to their anger of Holder’s managing of the Justice Department and they do not want an attorney general that is poised to continue some of his policies.  Lynch could become the first female African-American attorney general in American history if she is confirmed.  Experts believe that a confirmation vote is not likely to take place until April 13, when the Senate is due to resume business.

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HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of March 23-29, 2015

HOTtopics1. Is the international community doing enough to combat human trafficking?
2. Does the far right or the far left pose the biggest threat to European stability?
3. Is Somalia’s security situation improving?
4. What rights should asylum seekers in Europe possess?
5. Is a sharing economy sustainable?
6. Does Goodluck Jonathan deserve to be re-elected?
7. Is the Islamic State becoming a legitimate state actor?
8. How can Japan, China, and South Korea work together to reduce regional tensions?
9. Is a bad deal better than no deal when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program?
10. Who was the biggest loser of the Israeli parliamentary elections?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of March 23-29, 2015

HOTtopics1. Who is 2016’s most vulnerable senator?
2. Should TSA agents carry guns?
3. How can New York City better tackle its homeless problem?
4. Is President Obama right about the GOP budget proposal?
5. How can the American gun control movement reverse its sagging fortunes?
6. Will the outcome of the Israeli parliamentary elections worsen U.S.-Israeli relations?
7. What reforms need to be made to Medicare?
8. Should the U.S. end ethanol subsidies?
9. Will the GOP win the Loretta Lynch nomination battle?
10. Should the U.S. make voting mandatory?

2015 Kentucky High School Speech League State Championship: Anderson Makes History With Third Consecutive Championship

Brian Anderson of LaRue County High School made history at this year’s Kentucky High School Speech League (KHSSL) State Championshp by winning the extemporaneous speaking state title for the third consecutive year.

Anderson, last year’s Barkley Forum champion and who at one time was the top ranked extemper in the country in the Extemp Central National Points Race, went straight 1’s in the semi-final and final rounds of the tournament to defeat Jared Thomas of Harrison County High School by three ranks.  Thomas finished third at last year’s tournament.

Lane Hedrick of Rowan County Senior High School, a two-time winner of the George C. Armstrong Heart of Illinois Invitational at Bradley University, finished third.

All of the finalists earned an automatic qualification to this year’s Extemp TOC at Northwestern University by virtue of making the tournament final round. This gives Kentucky five new TOC qualifiers as Anderson was already pre-qualified due to reaching elimination rounds at last year’s TOC.

Here are the results of the 2015 Kentucky High School Speech League State Championship (Click here for tab sheet):
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2015 NSDA Nationals: Qualification Board Update (3/20)

Dallas 15

Thanks to our readers, we have quite a few new districts on the 2015 NSDA qualification boards.  This week’s update includes qualifiers from the Central Minnesota, Central Texas, Deep South (AL), East Los Angeles (CA), Great Salt Lake (UT), Heart of America (MO – IX only), Southern Minnesota, Southern Oregon, and UIL (TX), and Valley Forge (PA) districts.

You can access the qualification board by clicking on “Quals 15” on the right hand menu on the main page, or by clicking “Quals 15″ on the top menu if you have clicked on a content post.  You can also place your cursor over the Quals 15 label and this will allow you to click on sub-menus for the International and United States Extemp qualifiers.

If you know the qualifiers from your NSDA District from previous weeks or after this week’s district tournaments conclude, please e-mail the following information to logan.scisco@topper.wku.edu:

  • The name of the NSDA District and the state that is located in
  • The names of those who will be ATTENDING nationals in IX and USX. Please do not send us the names of those who technically qualified, but opted to go in another event. We only want the names of those who will be going in the categories to avoid confusion.  If something has changed – as some districts hold debate qualifiers separately from individual events – please let us know that as well!
  • The schools those competitors attend.
  • IF your district has an automatic qualifier from last year’s NSDA Tournament (a competitor that reached finals or semi-finals in IX and USX) and that person will be going back to NSDA in that event, please let us know.

R&D from Prepd: Weekly Roundup for the Week of March 16-22, 2015

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 March 16-22, 2015.

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