Month: March 2020

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of March 30-April 5, 2020

1. How should the international community react to North Korea’s recent missile launches?
2. Should Twitter bar tweets from the Chinese government?
3. Will Bolsonaro’s dismissal of coronavirus concerns backfire?
4. How can the developing countries reduce their number of traffic deaths?
5. Will global efforts to combat coronavirus hurt the ability of East African nations to receive much needed food aid?
6. How can the world head off a coronavirus depression?
7. Will Gambia’s gambit to save the Rohingya succeed?
8. Can private investors solve Colombia’s drug war?
9. Will the U.S. indictment of Nicholas Maduro prove counterproductive in resolving Venezuela’s political crisis?
10. Is AMLO’s political standing on the decline?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of March 30-April 5, 2020

1. Do states have the constitutional ability to shut their borders during a national pandemic?
2. Should the DNC make Andrew Cuomo its presidential candidate?
3. Why did the U.S. lack an appropriate supply of medical equipment to deal with the coronavirus?
4. Should the U.S. government increase its surveillance of American citizens to prevent future outbreaks?
5. Did the U.S. failt to learn from the Ebola scare?
6. How can Joe Biden re-establish his public presence in the wake of the current coronavirus outbreak?
7. Why did the U.S. fail in Afghanistan?
8. Should all U.S. states allow citizens to mail in their ballots for elections?
9. Does the U.S. need a bigger stimulus package to get through the coronavirus outbreak?
10. How much authority does President Trump possess to void local and state shutdowns in the midst of the coronavirus?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of March 23-29, 2020

1. How can the U.S. increase the number of respirators needed to fight the coronavirus?
2. Can the U.S. economically afford to do “social distancing” measures for up to eighteen months?
3. After the coronavirus crisis ends, will more U.S. schools embrace online education?
4. Is the coronavirus exposing how dysfunctional American politics has become?
5. Will the coronavirus prevent Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy from gaining traction due to a lack of media attention?
6. Does the U.S. need to establish a lending facility for mortgage companies during the coronavirus crisis?
7. Should the U.S. value public health or economic growth during the coronavirus crisis?
8. Will the coronavirus disrupt collecting data for the U.S. Census?
9. Should grocery chains do more to prevent hoarding by customers?
10. Can wind and solar sources effectively meet America’s energy needs?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of March 23-29, 2020

1. Will the coronavirus strengthen or weaken the world’s authoritarian states?
2. Is the coronavirus exposing the weaknesses of globalization?
3. Why was South Korea able to effectively combat the coronavirus while other governments failed?
4. Will the world’s developing nations bear the brunt of the coronavirus?
5. Could China be held legally liable in international courts due to its handling of the coronavirus?
6. Is Abiy Ahmed’s crackdown in Oromia putting Ethiopia’s democracy at risk?
7. What work remains for African nations in their battles against HIV/AIDS?
8. Should Poland be expelled from the EU?
9. Which global leader deserves the highest marks for fighting the coronavirus?
10. Should the EU be playing a more robust role in combatting the coronavirus?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of March 16-22, 2020

1. Will Gantz be able to form a government?
2. Should the EU do more to assist Italy as it battles the coronavirus?
3. What reforms need to made to the WHO after the coronavirus passes?
4. How can the world’s economic organizations best head off a global economic recession due to coronavirus?
5. Should the world trust China’s claim to have beaten the coronavirus?
6. Is Argentina going to default on its debts?
7. Should Myanmar seek to limit the power of its military in national politics?
8. Are lower global oil prices a blow to the world’s authoritarians?
9. Is Russia too dependent on Vladimir Putin’s leadership?
10. Should more governments adopt Italian-like measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of March 16-22, 2020

1. What will be the long-term effects of the coronavirus on the United States?
2. Could the coronavirus lead to a postponment of the 2020 elections?
3. Will the coronavirus cause the U.S. to rethink its economic ties to China?
4. Are questions about Joe Biden’s mental fitness justified?
5. Does a U.S. president possess the constitutional right to place America under martial law to combat a pandemic?
6. Is the Sun Belt turning blue?
7. Should the College Board cancel all AP testing due to coronavirus?
8. Are state governors doing a better job attacking the effects of the coronavirus than the federal government?
9. Will the economic damage of the coronavirus be short-term or long-term?
10. Does Joe Biden need Bernie Sanders endorsement if Sanders drops out of the Democratic presidential race?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of March 9-15, 2020

1. Will the U.S. have to impose mandatory quarantines to better combat COVID-19?
2. Should the NSDA National Tournament be cancelled over COVID-19 fears?
3. Does Bernie Sanders still have a path to the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination?
4. Should there be greater restrictions on a president’s ability to pardon?
5. Would Stacey Abrams be a good vice-presidential pick for whomever wins the Democratic presidential nomination?
6. Should President Trump dump Mike Pence for Nikki Haley?
7. Is liberalism a dying political philosophy in the United States?
8. What impact, if any, will Mark Meadows have on the Trump administration?
9. Is distrust between American and Chinese officials making the spread of COVID-19 worse?
10. How strong is the American labor market?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of March 9-15, 2020

1. What grade does the Italian government deserve for its handling of COVID-19?
2. Will Saudi Arabia’s price cuts force Russia to agree to a new OPEC+ deal?
3. If the Palestinians proposed an alternative Middle East peace plan, what should be the terms of that plan?
4. Will the Taliban follow the terms of its peace deal with the United States?
5. What will Russia’s future look like without Vladimir Putin?
6. Now that Lebanon has defaulted on its debt, what path does it take to create an economic recovery?
7. Will Greece’s recent migrant crisis shift the country further to the political right?
8. Should Quebec repeal its ban on religious symbols?
9. Will growing femicide in Mexico spark major political changes?
10. Is time running out on Netanyahu’s rule?

Stanford Invitational: Kalahasti and Habib Split IX & USX Wins; Kalahasti Earns More National Ranking Points

by Daniel Kind
In early February, the 34th Annual Stanford Invitational, an important tournament for West Coast Extempers has concluded. This year’s instance of the Palo Alto tournament attracted 69 competitors, mostly from California in National Extemp and 66 competitors in International Extemp. The Stanford Invitational is a fifth-tier tournament which means that it is a make or break affair. Only finalists are awarded points in the national points race. Since the tournament divides Extemporaneous Speaking into International and National (US) categories, the competitors who placed in the top 6 using a formula that calculates results in both categories.
Nikitha Kalahasti, an MBA attendee from Presentation High School in California placed 1st in the International Category and 3rd in the National Category. These placements give her 1st place overall and 40 points in the National Points Race. Krish Kothari from Mission San Jose High School in California earned 2nd place overall as a result of his 2nd place finish in International Extemp and his semifinal placement in National Extemp. James Hu of Mira Loma High School in California got 3rd place overall; he finished in 5th place in both International and National Extemp. Arham Habib from Monte Vista High School in California came in 4th place overall since he won the National Extemp category. 5th place goes to Keith Maben from Golden State Academy in California, who got 2nd in National Extemp. Rounding out the finalists is Monte Vista High School’s Lisa Leung, who finished 3rd in International Extemp.
For their performances, Kalahasti got 40 points, Kothari got 34, Hu got 28, Habib got 20, Maben got 16, and Leung accrued 13 points in the Extemp Central National Points Race.
Here are the results of the 2020 Stanford Invitational:

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of March 2-8, 2020

1. Will the spread of the coronavirus cause Western businesses to rethink their economic relationship with China?
2. Is El Salvador backsliding into authoritarianism?
3. Should the UN Security Council endorse the U.S.-Taliban peace deal?
4. Do developed nations need greater migration levels to save their welfare states?
5. Is there a path for Mahathir Mohamad to return to power in Malaysia?
6. Has the EU-Turkish deal on migration broken down?
7. Are West African nations losing their battles against terrorist groups?
8. Should Mexico call off its drug war?
9. How can the Israeli left rebuild itself into an effective political force?
10. Who is to blame for the decline of Egypt’s cotton industry?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of March 2-8, 2020

1. Has the Trump administration reacted poorly to the spread of the coronavirus?
2. After South Carolina, is the Democratic presidential primary now a two person race?
3. If you were Bernie Sanders campaign strategist, how would you try to increase his support among African-American voters?
4. Have the suburbs become America’s political battleground?
5. Will the Taliban peace deal be a political boon for President Trump?
6. Do state governments have the constitutional powers to impose a China-like quarantine on their citizens?
7. Are reports of America’s demise on the global stage greatly exaggerated?
8. Should the U.S. create a safe zone for Syrians fleeing Idlib?
9. Is healthcare the best card that Democrats can play to win the 2020 presidential election?
10. Does California have an affordability crisis?

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