Month: February 2010 Page 1 of 4

R&D: Cuba Clamps Down on Human Rights, Shinawatra Found to Have Abused Power, and Questions About Iraq’s Upcoming Elections

Here is your R&D top five for Februrary 26th:

Death of dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo leads to clampdown in Cuba from the Times of London

Former Thai Leader Guilty of Abusing Power for Gain from the New York Times

Iraq’s Uncertain Future: Elections and Beyond from the International Crisis Group

UN deplores Gaddafi call for anti-Swiss ‘jihad’ from the BBC

Genocidaires Should Be Hunted Down and Punished – Sarkozy from the New Times (Rwanda)

Extemp Central News Quiz Answers for the Week of Februrary 22nd-26th, 2010

Here are the answers for this week’s Extemp Central news quiz.  We hope that you found it useful and did well.

2009-2010 National Points Race Standings Are Updated

Unsurprisingly, after the Harvard Invitational and the California Invitational there is some shake up in the National Points Race standings.  While the top of the standings did not go through much change, there were significant shakeups in the middle of the pack for the individual and team points race contests.  Click here or click on the “National Points Race” tab on the top of this page to check it out.

R&D: Healthcare Summit a Bore, Maryland Agrees to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages, and Google’s Competition Practices Are Evaluated

Here is your R&D top five for February 25th:

Try to stay awake: the President has a healthcare Bill to pass from the Times of London

Maryland attorney general: state to recognize same-sex marriages from the Christian Science Monitor

How Anti-Competitive Is Google? from Der Spiegel

Nigeria:  Is Jonathan Still Acting President? from This Day (Lagos)

“Political intolerance” and “citizen insecurity” rampant in Venezuela says OAS from MercoPress

Super R&D: Google Antitrust Issues, Scott Brown Labeled a Traitor, and Thomas L. Friedman Comments on Iraq

Here is an expanded R&D top 15 for February 24th:

Google faces Brussels antitrust scrutiny from the Financial Times of London

GOP’s Brown branded turncoat for jobs bill vote from the Washington Post

Iraq’s Known Unknowns, Still Unknown from the New York Times

Less to cheer:  A Series of Setbacks for the Coalition in Afghanistan from the Economist

Mugabe’s U.N. Helpers from the Wall Street Journal Europe (coutesy of the Cato Institute)

Capture by “Main Street”: Was the Car Safety Regulatory Agency Asleep at the Wheel? from the Brookings Institution

The Case for Gasoline Sanctions on Iran from the Wall Street Journal

Prison Violence and Security in Latin America from Upside Down World

Our Taliban from Foreign Policy in Focus

The IMF to Greece’s rescue? from the Japan Times

General Strike Shuts Down Greece from Der Spiegel

Argentina takes Falklands oil dispute with UK to UN from the BBC

Why Evan Bayh Should Not Jump Ship from Rasmussen Reports

L.A. teachers gain control of 22 campuses in reform effort from the Los Angeles Times

Stimulus created jobs, but no real optimism from the Washington Times

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of February 23rd-March 1st, 2010

1.  How should the UN handle the oil dispute in the Falkland Islands?
2.  Will Israel suffer severe diplomatic consequences over the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh?
3.  What role could Russia play in a new Middle East peace agreement? 
4.  Will a ceasefire agreement between the JEM and the Sudanese government bring peace to Darfur?
5.  Is the Niger junta’s commitment to civilian democracy genuine?
6.  Are civilian casualties acceptable in NATO’s latest Afghan offensive?
7.  Should Labour keep Geert Wilders out of the new Dutch government?
8.  Will the global economy experience a wave of sovereign debt defaults by December 2011?
9.  Have the Vancouver Olympics been a success?
10.  Should the EU create a European Monetary Fund?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of February 23rd-March 1st, 2010

1.  Should the GOP view Scott Brown as a traitor for voting for cloture on the jobs bill?
2.  Is Ron Paul a serious presidential contender for 2012?
3.  Does the U.S. need an Islamic envoy?
4.  In response to Democratic threats to push healthcare through with reconciliation, should the GOP boycott the healthcare summit this week?
5.  Is the guilty plea of Najibullah Zazi a victory for Obama’s strategy to try terror suspects in civilian court?
6.  Will Obama’s call for college standards in state education systems reap rewards for America’s public education system?
7.  Is the Patriot Act’s criminalization of providing material support to a terrorist organization unconstitutional?
8.  What did Obama’s handling of the Dalai Lama’s visit say about the way America views the Tibet issue?
9.  Is the U.S. economy still experiencing a credit crunch?
10.  To what degree will the Federal Reserve’s increase of the discount rate have on market interest rates?

R&D: China and U.S. on Saudi Crude, Obama’s Healthcare Ideas, and ElBaradei as a Potential Presidential Contender in Egypt

Here is your R&D top five for February 22nd:

China taps more Saudi crude than US from the Financial Times of London

Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers’ Rate Increases from the New York Times

Could former UN nuclear boss ElBaradei bring democracy to Egypt? from the Christian Science Monitor

U.S. Stepping Up Engagement with Syria from the Los Angeles Times (courtesy of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

Brazilian Optimistic About EU-Mercosur Pact from the Latin Ameican Herald Tribune

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of February 22nd-26th, 2010 (Short Answer Version)

Here is this week’s more challenging, short answer version of the Extemp Central news quiz.  Good luck!

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of February 22nd-26th, 2010 (Multiple Choice Version)

Here is the multiple choice version of this week’s Extemp Central news quiz.  Good luck!

2010 California Invitational at Berkeley Results: Tembhekar Edges Out Baker to Take Home the Championship

Results have finally been posted for last week’s California Invitational tournament at Berkeley.  The tournament had seven extempers in the final round and was tabulated cumulatively.  All of the finalists were from the state of California and two of the finalists, Jacob Baker and Nabeel Zewail were ranked in the National Points Race.  The top six finishers earned points in the Extemp Central National Points Race as the California Invitational is a fifth tier tournament.  After surviving three preliminary rounds and four elimination rounds, Amode Tembhekar of Leland High School surged past Baker, the third ranked extemper in this year’s National Points Race, to capture the tournament championship.  Tembhekar took four of the five ones available in the final round to secure a two point victory. 

Here are the results (click here for the tab sheet):

Champion: Amode Tembhekar (Leland High School)
2nd: Jacob Baker (Bellarmine College Prep)
3rd: Pradhan Bhat (Granite Bay High School)
4th: Ali Hazrati (Bellarmine College Prep)
5th: Remi Sun (Bellarmine College Prep)
6th: Ben Mabie (James Logan High School)
7th: Nabeel Zewail (San Marino High School)

Extemp Central congratulates all of the finalists.  With the end of Harvard and the California Invitational the national circuit regular season has come to an end.  The National Points Race rankings were not updated last week because we were waiting on the results of the California Invitational.  Now that we have them we will update the standings and release them early next week.  The next National Points Race tournament will the Extemp Tournament of Champions (TOC) in May.

Expanded R&D: The Workability of a Debt Reduction Task Force, What’s Wrong in Washington, and Arab Fears of a Nuclear Iran

Yesterday we weren’t able to bring you R&D due to some technical difficulties so today we bring you an expanded R&D for February 19th:

Why the President’s Debt Reduction Task Force is Vital – and Might Work! from the Brookings Institution

What’s Gone Wrong in Washington?  from the Economist

Why Arabs fear a nuclear Iran from the Sydney Morning Herald

In surprise move, the Federal Reserve raises a key discount rate from the Christian Science Monitor

California Death Spiral from the New York Times

China buys some time in Pyongyang from the Asia Times

Military-Rebel Clashes Drive Indians Off Their Land in Colombia from the Latin American Herald Tribune

Obama to get specific on healthcare legislation from the Los Angeles Times

De Boer’s Resignation is Catastrophic from Der Spiegel

Nato takes heavy casualties in Marjah from the Financial Times of London

Extemp Central News Quiz Answers for the Week of February 15th-19th, 2010

Here are your answers for this week’s Extemp Central news quiz.

R&D: Debt Threat to the Federal Reserve, Cyberterrorism Fact vs. Fiction, and NATO Reinstates Weapons Systems in Afghanistan

Here is your R&D top five for February 17th:

Lone voice warns of debt threat to Fed from the Financial Times

Cyberterrorism Hype v. Fact from the Council on Foreign Relations

NATO reinstates weapons system used in attack that killed Afghan civilians from the Los Angeles Times

UK stern reply to Argentine intention of controlling Falklands’ sea trade from MercoPress

Abkhazia to sign Russian base deal from Al Jazeera

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of February 16th-22nd, 2010

1. Do Blue Dog Democrats still have a role in the Democratic Party?
2. If inflation begins to become a problem, should the Federal Reserve raise interest rates even if unemployment is not at an acceptable level?
3. Should TSA employees be allowed to unionize?
4. Is the United States doing a good job integrating Muslim immigrants into society?
5. Have elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts shown that the “blame Bush” strategy is dead?
6. Will Obama be able to broker a significant Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement before the end of his first term?
7. What are the chances that Senate rules are changed to abolish the filibuster before the end of 2010?
8. Can the Democrats keep Evan Bayh’s seat?
9. Do U.S. students need more recess?
10. Can John McCain survive a primary challenge from J.D. Hayworth in Arizona?

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