Month: July 2013

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of July 29th-August 4th, 2013

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HOTtopics1. In the eyes of the Republican base, does Chris Christie or Rand Paul have the best view of privacy rights in an age of terrorism?
2. Should the U.S. cut off military aid to Egypt?
3. Are Common Core standards bad for American education?
4. Should Anthony Weiner drop out of the New York City mayor’s race?
5. Will immigration reform lead to the end of John Boehner as Speaker of the House?
6. Should Google Glass be banned from public places?
7. Is Elizabeth Warren a potential Democratic presidential nominee in 2016?
8. How can CNN change its fortunes in the cable news market?
9. Should secular corporations be exempted from Obamacare’s contraception requirement on religious grounds?
10. How should states deal with their looming pension crisis?

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HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of July 29th-August 4th, 2013

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HOTtopics1. Is it in Pakistan’s best interest to improve ties with Afghanistan?
2. What steps does the Libyan government need to take to restore stability?
3. What should be France’s Mali exit strategy?
4. Who will win the July 31st Zimbabwean elections?
5. What should the Italian government do about racism?
6. Is al Qaeda making a comeback in Iraq?
7. Why are Donald Tusk’s political fortunes lagging in Poland?
8. If the EU had a trade war with China, who would come out on top?
9. How should the international community police money-transfer agencies to insure that they are not funding terrorism?
10. Would the construction of an interoceanic canal solve Nicaragua’s poverty problem?

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Poll: Should the National Points Race Return in 2013-2014?

Extemp Central readers, do you believe that the National Points Race should return?  For those who are unacquainted, the National Points Race is a competition like the PGA FedEx Cup playoffs that spans the length of the national circuit season over a group of select tournament.  The goal of the National Points Race isn’t necessarily meant to identify the top extemper in the country, since not all extempers travel the circuit during the season, but it does seek to recognize the best extemper across a broad array of tournaments.

Vote in the poll below concerning whether you think the National Points Race should return for the 2013-2014 season!

If the vote is yes, other polls will be used to determine the tournaments in the National Points Race, providing more interaction with this year’s competition.


HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of July 22nd-28th, 2013

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1. What should Shinzo Abe do with his new electoral mandate?
2. If the Israelis are willing to give up settlement construction, what should the Palestinians give up in return?
3. Is Assad winning the Syrian civil war?
4. Can independent television weaken ZANU-PF’s hold on Zimbabwean politics?
5. Is it in Italy’s best interest to jail Robert Seldon Lady?
6. Should India let go of Kashmir?
7. Is separatism a realistic solution to Belgium’s lingustic divide?
8. Has the euro zone escaped the worst of its fiscal crises?
9. How long with Enrico Letta’s government last?
10. Are liberal economic policies reviving its moribund economy?

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HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of July 22nd-28th, 2013

1. Can college athletics survive if players are paid?
2. Will Liz Cheney be the Republican nominee in the 2014 Wyoming Senate election?
3. Has President Obama handled the Trayvon Martin case well?
4. How can the federal government smoothe the transition to Obamacare?
5. Do e-mails deserve strict Fourth Amendment protections?
6. How can Congress reassert its authority over the executive branch?
7. Should the federal govenrment bailout Detroit?
8. Will Terry McAufliffe become the new governor of Virginia this fall?
9. Would an online tax help the U.S. economy?
10. Will House Republicans attempt at scaling back the federal role in public education succeed?

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HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of July 15th-21st, 2013

1. Should the Justice Department pursue civil rights charges against George Zimmerman?
2. Is a photo identification requirement to vote unconstitutional?
3. Can Texas Democrats use the abortion issue to gain significant political ground in the state?
4. Is Rick Perry the frontrunner for the GOP nomination in 2016?
5. Should the Senate eliminate the filibuster completely?
6. How will a pending merger between U.S. Airways and American Airlines impact the U.S. airline industry?
7. Will food stamps be a part of the final farm bill passed by Congress?
8. What types of deductions should be closed in a new wave of federal tax reform?
9. Does Brian Schweitzer’s decision not to run for the U.S. Senate give Republicans an easy pickup opportunity in 2014?
10. Are Democrats outmanuevering Republicans when it comes to the use of political rhetoric?

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HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of July 15th-21st, 2013

1. Should Israel pick a side in the Syrian civil war?
2. Will the Egyptian military’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood cripple the organization for decades to come?
3. Why did the People’s Democratic Party win the recent Bhutan elections?
4. Is Zimbabwe holding elections too early?
5. How can Britain’s Labour Party carve a path back to power?
6. Is it ethical for Syria’s neighbors to restrict refugee access?
7. Was the Arab Spring bad for the women of the Middle East?
8. How can Pakistan root out corruption?
9. Will the old guard of the PRI doom Enrique Nieto’s reform measures?
10. How will the Lac Megantic tragedy affect the future of Canadian railroad industry?

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Extemper’s Corner: Five Ways to Prepare for Next Season

With the opening of the season’s first national circuit tournament two months away, extempers everywhere are spending their off-season relaxing, but should also be doing some preparation. Here are five quick suggestions for how to spend your summer so that you are prepared for the 2013-2014 season.

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of July 8th-14th, 2013

1. How will the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt impact other Islamist movements in the Middle East?
2. Should Great Britain hold a referendum on EU membership?
3. Will Michelle Bachelet regain the Chilean presidency in November?
4. How should European nations handle domestic, radical Islamist preachers?
5. Should Mario Monti pull Civic Choice out of the Italian governing coalition?
6. How can Pakistan stop U.S. drone strikes within its borders?
7. Should the international community support Kenyan attempts to establish a security zone in Somalia?
8. If Europe was forced to shoulder the full costs of its own defense, how would that impact the continent’s economic outlook?
9. Will an aging workforce eventually end the Western dominance of the world?
10. Which African nation is the best place for international investors to spend their money?

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HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of July 8th-14th, 2013

1. Should the U.S. welcome the Egyptian coup?
2. To what degree should an individual’s right to privacy cede ground to national security issues?
3. Why did the Lone Ranger bomb at the box office?
4. Is President Obama’s decision to delay enforcement of the employer mandate constitutional?
5. Why is the GOP struggling to field quality Senate candidates for 2014?
6. Is the U.S. economy really recovering?
7. How can the United States repair its relationship with leftist governments in Latin America?
8. Are Mitch McConnell’s re-election hopes dim?
9. Is Texas’s proposed abortion law too tough?
10. How can the federal government encourage workers to save more of their earnings for retirement?

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R&D: Resolving the Syrian Conflict, Public Opinion on Gay Marriage, and More

In the past, our R&D’s have been daily, but we are going to start doing a once-a-week R&D that will contain in-depth reports and interviews from a variety of sources.  Our Twitter feed will serve to link to other important pieces of information throughout the week.

Syria’s Metastasising Conflicts from The International Crisis Group
This report documents the growing violence in Syria that is pulling outside actors into the volatile country. Excellent resource for background on the Syrian conflict and solutions for reducing the violence.

The Role of Religion in Postconflict Syria by The Council on Foreign Relations
This interview with Daniel Philpott, Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, discusses how religion can play a role in solving political and social tensions in postconflict Syria.

Public Divided over Same-Sex Marriage Rulings from The Pew Research Center
This poll analysis reveals American views of gay marriage by gender, age, education, and political leanings. A useful source for next season since tis topic isn’t going away.

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of July 1st-7th, 2013

1. How will the recent spat over NSA spying on EU impact the hunt for Edward Snowden?
2. Will the House pass the Senate version of immigration reform?
3. How can Paula Dean rehabilitate her image?
4. Do last week’s Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage lay the foundation for the legalization of gay marriage in all fifty states?
5. Can the “Power Africa” plan strengthen U.S.-African relations?
6. Is it ethnical for Texas to actively lobby businesses in other states to relocate?
7. How can the federal government ensure that all schools have access to high speed internet by 2018?
8. Will Anthony Weiner become the next mayor of New York City?
9. Does the media have a liberal bias?
10. How will the recent Supreme Court’s rulings on gay marriage impact the 2014 midterm elections?

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HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of July 1st-7th, 2013

1. Has the Syrian civil war reached a stalemate?
2. Is time running out for a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
3. If you were the Afghan Taliban, what would you demand for the release of Bowe Bergdahl?
4. Has participation in coalition government damaged Great Britain’s Liberal Democratic Party?
5. Can Kevin Rudd reverse the anticipated electoral fortunes of Australia’s Labor Party?
6. What steps does Mohammed Morsi need to take to reduce political tensions in Egypt?
7. Has the international community failed Haiti?
8. Is Silvio Berlusconi’s political career over?
9. Should Japan stop its annual whale hunts?
10. Would Serbian entry into the EU stabalize the Balkans?

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