Month: November 2010 Page 1 of 7

R&D: China Ponders Its Ties with North Korea, International Observers Say Haitian Vote Okay, and President Obama Freezes the Pay of Federal Workers

Here is your R&D for November 30th:

Wikileaks release ‘shows China thinking on Korea’ from the BBC
One of the interesting pieces of information uncovered by the release of State Department documents is that China seems to be frustrated by North Korea and is weighing whether a unified Korea would be best for regional security.

Severity of Problems in Haiti Vote Is Disputed from the New York Times
Colin Granderson, the chief of a team of international election observers in Haiti, announced yesterday that although the country’s presidential election had problems, those problems were not enough to invalidate the election.

Federal workers rage over President Obama’s two-year wage freeze from the New York Daily News
President Obama announced yesterday that federal employees would have their wages frozen for the next two years.  Unsurprisingly, the move, which signifies a shift of President Obama on fiscal matters, has angered public employees.

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of November 30th-December 6th, 2010

1.  Is the EU’s tin ear responsible for the increased electoral success of far-right parties across the continent?
2.  Are austerity measures the only way to stop Europe’s debt crisis?
3.  Will Christina Fernandez de Kirchner run for re-election in 2011?
4.  How will Haiti’s recent presidential election impact the country’s reconstruction budget?
5.  Is Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s move to name Kenyan politicians accused of orchestrating violence after elections in 2007 unwise?
6.  How fair was Egypt’s latest parliamentary election?
7.  Has Africa’s partnership with the EU been a failure?
8.  How will WikiLeaks State Department document dump impact Iran’s relations with other Middle Eastern nations?
9.  What grade does China deserve for its handling of the Korea crisis?
10.  Can Germany continue to afford bailing out other euro zone members?

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R&D: U.S. Scrambles After WikiLeaks Reveal, Mark Kirk Arrives in the Senate, and Haiti’s Presidential Election Sparks Fraud Claims

Here is your R&D for November 29th:

US tries to contain damage from leaked cables from the Associated Press
The U.S. State Department is scrambling after WikiLeaks released more than 250,000 classified State Department documents.  The documents contain blunt interpretations of foreign leaders and provide insight into America’s handling of diplomatic hot spots throughout the world.

Kirk’s arrival boosts GOP from Politico
Republican Mark Kirk, the winner of Illinois Senate election several weeks ago, will be sworn in on Capitol Hill this evening.  Kirk will fill the rest of Roland Burris’s term before beginning his own six year term in January.  Kirk’s arrival boosts the number of GOP controlled Senate seats to 42, making it more difficult for Democrats to push partisan legislation in the lame duck session.

Election debacle has Haiti again near turmoil from the Houston Chronicle
Considering the chaos in Haiti over the last year, it is unsurprising that the country’s presidential election is in shambles.  Sunday’s vote brought the country’s political parties together to oppose Jude Celestin, considered President Rene Preval’s heir apparent.

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of November 29th-December 3rd, 2010 (Short Answer Version)

Here is this week’s short answer Extemp Central news quiz.  Good luck!

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of November 29th-December 3, 2010 (Multiple Choice Version)

Here is this week’s multiple choice Extemp Central news quiz.  Pick well and good luck!

George Mason University Patriot Games Tournament Preview

by Oscar Wang

Oscar Wang competed for four years at San Marino High School in San Marino, California. He received third place in Domestic Extemp at the 2010 NFL Nationals and was a four-year qualifier to Nationals. Last year, he placed second at the California State Championships, second at the GMU Patriot Games, third at the TOC, and seventh at the MBA Southern Bell Forum. Over the course of his career, he accumulated over twenty tournament victories. His team, San Marino, finished first overall for the National Teams Points Race in 2010 while he placed fifth for the Individual Points Race. Oscar is currently studying political science and history at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Every year, there are a plethora of high school speech and debate invitationals held at various colleges and universities across the country. Many of these tournaments feature quality competition, gorgeous campuses, and (hopefully) beautiful weather. These invitationals are generally well attended because of what competitors see that they offer – everything ranging from the food to the location. However, what separates the great tournaments from the awesometastic* tournaments is what happens behind the scenes with running the entire show. (*Note: I believe Sarah Palin has given every American the right to combine two words that mean the same thing to form a new word that still means the same thing, so I have done so here)

A Look ‘Round the GMU Round Robin

by Aaron Lutkowitz

Aaron Lutkowitz competed for Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to victories at the 2008 George Mason tournament and the 2009 Yale tournament, Aaron finished in 3rd place at the 2010 Southern Bell Forum and went undefeated in the preliminary rounds of the 2009 George Mason Round Robin, where he placed second.  He was also a top ten finisher in last year’s National Points Race.  Aaron co-attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University with plans to major in business and political science.


I love GMIF, and I always enjoyed competing in its round robin. I wouldn’t be anywhere without the institute, the camp, the staff, the Round Robin, the tournament, etc. I went to the summer camp all three summers of high school, and I send all the MBA youngins’ there too. At the tournament my junior year, I went 3-4 in 7 prelim rounds (tying 5 other competitors) and managed to earn 3rd place on individual ballot pick-ups. I then went on to win the tournament two days later. My senior year, I went 7-0 in prelims, but lost the final round 0-5. I then continued this trend to an early exit in quarters in the regular tournament. Emily B, Joe, Catherine, Ben, Emily M, Jason, Alex, and Nabeel, congrats on making the tournament. I hope to articulate the ins-and-outs of the Round Robin for you.

2010-2011 National Points Race Standings Updated!

The 2010-2011 Extemp Central National Points Race and National Team Points Race standings have been updated to reflect the results of last week’s Glenbrooks Tournament.  Find out who made a move in the individual and team points races by clicking on the National Points Race tab above or clicking here.

The next National Points Race tournament can’t come soon enough as next week’s George Mason University Patriot Games Tournament is a third tier tournament that will offer 100 points to the winner and points to quarter-final and semi-final finishers.  George Mason is the last National Points Race tournament of first semester and it will set the National Points Race standings before the Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin in early January.  It is also the last chance for extempers who are on the MBA bubble to solidify their chances of making the field.

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TOC Qualifier Results: 2010 Villiger Tournament (Pennsylvania)

Here are the results of the 2010 Villiger Tournament, held at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 20th and 21st. All of the elimination round participants earned bids to the 2011 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) at Northwestern University.

Champion: Sheha Walia (Shrewsbury High School, Massachusetts)
2nd: Nick Hansen (Ridge High School, New Jersey)
3rd: Brendan Zehner (St. Joseph’s Preparatory, Pennsylvania)
4th: Justin Kieran (Newton South High School, Massachusetts)
5th: Stephen Buell (Regis High School, New York)
6th: Christopher Grillo (Regis High School, New York)

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

Here are the answers to this week’s Extemp Central news quiz.  We hope that you did well!

Big R&D: North and South Korea Exchange Fire, Irish Debt Crisis Leads to Collapse of Government, and the Future of Terror Trials and Detention

Here is your big R&D for November 23rd

North, South Korea exchange fire; 2 marines killed from the Associated Press
North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire today after North Korea shelled an island near their disputed sea border.  Two South Korean marines were killed.

Irish Debt Crisis Forces Collapse of Government from the New York Times
The Irish government collapsed a day after signing a $100 billion bailout from the European Union.  Prime Minister Brian Cowen says that he will dissolve the government after the country passes its 2011 budget in December.

North Korean attack: South mingles toughness with calls for calm from the Christian Science Monitor
After North Korea’s latest provocative attack, South Korean analysts are split over how best to respond.

Terrorism Trials and Detention’s Future from the Council on Foreign Relations
After the Ahmed Ghailani disaster, what is the future of America’s detention policy for terror suspects?

Local Results: Round Rock TFA Qualifying Tournament (Texas)

Here are the results from the sixteenth annual Round Rock TFA Qualifying Tournament, held at Round Rock High School on November 19th and 20th.

U.S. Extemp

Champion:  Matthew Hinojosa (Flower Mound High School)
2nd:  Katerine Ray (A&M Consolidated High School)
3rd:  Tanya Rajan (Newman Smith High School)
4th:  Joshua Yun (Flower Mound High School)
5th:  Kevin Alcantar (Flower Mound High School)
6th:  Haylee Young (Salado High School)
7th:  Sahij Vanjani (Parish Episcopal High School)
8th:  Jeremy Booth (Garland High School)

Local Results: Firsts and Foremosts Swing Tournament (Kentucky)

Here are the results of the Firsts and Foremosts Swing Tournament, held at Boyle County High School on November 20th.

Boyle County Half

Champion:  Teagan Dolan (Rowan County Senior High School)
2nd:  Laurence Rogers (Paul Laurence Dunbar High School)
3rd:  Emily Martin (Boone County High School)
4th:  Ben Swanson (Henry Clay High School)
5th:  Alexis Caddell (Boone County High School
6th:  Katelyn Bertolet (Boone County High School

Local Results: The 2010 Asheville High School Cougar Classic (North Carolina)

Here are the results from the 2010 Asheville High School Cougar Classic, held on November 20th.

Champion:  Jerrel Ledbetter (Salem High School, Virginia)
2nd:  Aashna Desai (Charlotte Latin High School, North Carolina)
3rd:  Amit Bilgi (Southside High School, South Carolina)
4th:  Johnathan Hamiter (E.E. Smith High School, North Carolina)
5th:  Ben Runkel (Marvin Ridge High School, North Carolina)
6th:  Vania Brockway (Bob Jones Academy, South Carolina)

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Local Results: 2010 George McGovern Forensics Invitational (South Dakota)

Here are the results from the 2010 George McGovern Forensics Invitational, held at Mitchell High School on November 19th.

International Extemp

Champion:  Ana O’Hara (Sioux Falls Lincoln High School)
2nd:  CJ Point (Sioux Falls Lincoln High School)
3rd:  Gus Campbell (Aberdeen Central High School)
4th:  Nishita D’Souza (Sioux Falls Lincoln High School)
5th:  Taylor Tielke (Yankton High School)

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