Month: January 2024 Page 1 of 2

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of January 29-February 4, 2024

Here is this week’s news quiz.  Good luck!

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of January 29-February 4, 2024

1. Will the next “hot” theater of global disorder unfold on the Korean Peninsula?
2. How would the return of Donald Trump to the American presidency impact the global economy?
3. Will Western airstrikes strengthen or weaken Yemen’s Houthis?
4. Is Germany’s new set of immigration bills a victory for its immigrant community?
5. What assistance can Western nations provide to help Ecuador win its war against drug cartels?
6. Will France scuttle an EU-Mercosur trade deal?
7. Are the EU’s climate policies leaving European farmers behind?
8. Will the ICJ’s ruling hasten the end of Israel-Hamas War?
9. Who should be Vietnam’s next leader?
10. Will the benefits of AI technology be globally shared?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of January 29-February 4, 2024

1. Does Nikki Haley have a path to the Republican nomination after a defeat in New Hampshire?
2. What was the biggest mistake made in Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign?
3. Should more U.S. states adopt wealth taxes?
4. What should be done to stop the use of “deepfakes” in elections?
5. Can President Biden politically afford to pivot to the middle on immigration?
6. Is a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in America’s best interest?
7. Could a bipartisan deal on immigration be brokered before the 2024 presidential election?
8. Should the U.S. erect trade barriers to Chinese-produced electric vehicles?
9. What lessons should states learn from Oregon’s attempt to decriminalize drug offenses?
10. How will the use of artificial intelligence reshape America’s military?

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of January 22-28, 2024

Here is this week’s Extemp Central news quiz!

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of January 22-28, 2024

1. Which GOP presidential contender has best positioned themselves for 2028?
2. Should banks be allowed to impose overdraft fees on customers?
3. Why has Dean Phillips’ primary challenge to President Biden failed to gain traction?
4. Should SNAP interview requirements be abolished?
5. Does Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign have an “educational divide” problem?
6. Should U.S. military aid to Israel be contingent on a human rights report?
7. Are celebrations about the containing of inflation premature?
8. Should the GOP “establishment” break off and form their own political party?
9. Is President Biden’s green industrial policy a bust?
10. Should the U.S. invest more in its naval forces?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of January 22-28, 2024

1. What is the biggest implication of growing tensions between Iran and Pakistan?
2. Will instability in Red Sea shipping make global inflation worse?
3. Which of Milei’s reforms would benefit Argentina the most?
4. Will Rishi Sunak’s deportation plan for migrants be enacted?
5. What is currently the biggest risk to global security?
6. Will the formation of a combined Nigerian opposition party wrest power from the APC in 2027?
7. Who is winning Sudan’s civil war?
8. Is there a way for Israel to end its war against Hamas and claim victory without the total annihilation of the group?
9. Should Germany ban the AfD?
10. How would increased defense spending affect the welfare states of Western European nations?

2024 James Logan MLK Invitational: Rana Defeats Teammate D’Souza via Tiebreaker in IX; Final Round Victory Propels Tsoi to USX Championship

The West Coast swing of the National Points Race began last weekend at James Logan High School in Union City, California. The school’s James Logan MLK Invitational attracted a wide variety of California schools, with a few Texas extempers mixed in.

The tournament split extempers into International and United States Extemp categories. International Extemp was dominated by Bellarmine College Preparatory (CA), which had three of the seven finalists. Teammates Abhijay Rana and Shamit D’Souza tied for first with an all-tournament cumulative score of 39 ranks. They also tied with a composite score of 15 in finals. When tiebreakers were applied, Rana defeated D’Souza to win the championship.

Isaiah Sohn of Redlands High School (CA) was runner-up last year at the MLK in International Extemp. This year he finished third, two ranks back of Rana and D’Souza.

The battle for fourth place was tightly contested by Ali Malik of Monta Vista High School (CA), Fiona Yan of the Harker School (CA), and Ellie Sohn of Flintridge Preparatory School (CA). Each extemper was separated by only one cumulative rank, with Malik placing fourth, Yan fifth, and Sohn sixth.

United States Extemp was not as closely contested as its global counterpart. Evelyn Tsoi of Velasquez Academy (CA) claimed a six-rank victory over Kevin Lu of Bellarmine College Preparatory, winning the final round by that same margin.

Third place was taken by Sovia Villagra of Gabrielino High School (CA), who was ten ranks back of Tsoi.

The fight for fourth place was also fierce in United States Extemp. Yan, the only extemper to final in both categories, won the spot over Aadi Chauhan of Bellarmine College Preparatory.

While none of the finalists at the MLK Invitational were ranked in the top 25, there were a few extempers in the field that just missed out on claiming points. #4 Brandon Cheng of Flintridge was eliminated in the quarter-final round of International Extemp and #9 Katherine Lee of Plano West Senior High School (TX) went out in the quarter-final round of United States Extemp.

This was the first year that the MLK Invitational counts as a fourth tier tournament in the National Points Race. All of the competitors who reached the semi-final and final rounds will receive credit in the standings.  To prevent double counting, an extemper’s top finish will count toward this year’s standings.

Here are the results of the 2024 James Logan MLK Invitational (Click here for tab sheet):

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of January 15-21, 2024

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

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of January 15-21, 2024

1. Does the European Union need an army?
2. Has Brazil effectively handled the aftermath of its January 8, 2023 protests?
3. Does the United Kingdom need to adopt more effective knife control?
4. What impact will the Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance have on German politics?
5. Will Ecuador’s war on gangs create greater migrant flows to North America?
6. Should Iraq push for the removal of U.S. military forces?
7. Which election in 2024 is the most significant for the international community?
8. What impact will the election of Lai Ching-te have on Sino-Taiwanese relations?
9. Is diplomacy a better option for stopping Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping?
10. What is the right way for the world to regulate AI?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of January 15-21, 2024

1. Is there a Biden doctrine for U.S. foreign policy?
2. How will the Labor Department’s new rules affect the gig economy?
3. Is Liz Cheney having any effect on Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy?
4. How should U.S. localities handle demands for reparations?
5. Would a Haley victory in the New Hampshire primary “reset” the GOP race?
6. Will the rise of ads on streaming services create a new boom for the cable industry?
7. How will Chris Christie’s exit affect the Republican presidential primary?
8. Should members of Congress be given a raise?
9. How much longer should the U.S. allow Israeli operations in Gaza continue?
10. Should the U.S. welcome the election of Lai Ching-te to the Taiwanese presidency?

2023-2024 Extemp Central National Points Race: New Standings After the Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin!

Updated standings for the 2023-2024 Extemp Central National Points Race have been released.  Check them out by clicking here or the “Natl Points Race” tab above.

The new standings feature another shakeup of the top ten after the Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin.

The next National Points Race competition will take place this weekend in Union City, California as James Logan High School hosts its MLK Invitational.  For the first time the MLK will be a fourth tier event, awarding 70 points to the winners of International and United States Extemp.

2024 Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin: Zhang Closes Out Peddi for Illinois First Round Robin Championship

The first major tournmament of the season, the Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin, took place last weekend on the campus of Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. The tournament is one the most prestigious on the calendar as sixteen of the nation’s best extempers are invited to compete each year.

As expected, this year’s tournament went down to the wire. #13 April Zhang of Neuqua Valley High School High School (IL) became the first extemper from her state to win the Round Robin, defeating #3 Sruti Peddi of BASIS Scottsdale (AZ) by two ranks. Peddi made a spirited charge over the last two rounds of the tournament, collecting four first place ranks from six judges. However, Zhang never earned a rank lower than a two over those last two rounds, blunting Peddi’s momentum.

It was the second National Points Race top six placing for Zhang this year after finishing runner-up at the Yale Invitational.

#17 Rohit Vakkalagadda of Bellarmine College Preparatory (CA) was the tournament’s third place finisher. After a rough start in the tournament, Vakkalagadda found his footing and tore through the last three rounds of the tournament with six first place ranks. He “picket fenced” his eighth and ninth rounds but was not able to do so in round ten. In the last round his cumulative score was eight ranks and that prevented him from winning the title.

Meghana Kunapareddy of Tompkins High School (TX) was unranked going into the Round Robin but will be after earning a fourth place finish. Kunapareddy tied Vakkalagadda’s cumulative score of 60 ranks at the end of the tournament but lost out on a standard deviation and reciprocal tiebreaker.

National Points Race leader Robert Zhang of Elkins High School (TX) took fifth, nestled in his own spot with 67 ranks between Kunapareddy and #4 Brandon Cheng of Flintridge Preparatory School (CA). Zhang finished three ranks ahead of Cheng.

What made this year’s Round Robin unique compared with past edition is that the top six was made up of extempers who did not place in the top six at the previous year’s tournament.

At the award’s ceremony, Dr. Steve Moss and Sandip Gupta, who have judged and assisted in prior Round Robins were recognized as honorary participants of the tournament. This is the first time that honor was bestowed.

April Zhang will earn 150 points for winning the season’s first major tournament. All of the extempers who placed in the top six, which were recognized at MBA’s award ceremony, will receive National Points Race points. Due to the fact that the old Round Robin rules advanced the top five to an Exhibition Round, the top five will receive credit for “finaling,” which could become useful in tiebreakers near the end of the season.

Here are the results of the 2024 Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin:

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of January 8-14, 2024

Here is this week’s Extemp Central news quiz!

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of January 8-14, 2024

1. Is the U.S. doing enough to protect trade in the Red Sea?
2. Does the National Rifle Association still have significant political influence?
3. What characteristics should Harvard University look for in its next president?
4. Is Detroit in the midst of a comeback?
5. Should Clarence Thomas recuse himself from President Trump’s ballot eligiblity case?
6. Will New York City’s lawsuit against Texas bus companies thwart Greg Abbott’s migrant policy?
7. How can the U.S. make its elections more secure?
8. Should states tighten their school truancy rules?
9. Is Barack Obama still the leader of the Democratic Party?
10. Should Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin resign?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of January 8-14, 2024

1. Is Justin Trudeau serving his last term as Canadian prime minister?
2. What reforms does Britain need to make to its power grid?
3. Will autocratic regimes be able to control AI like they have the Internet?
4. Is the Ethiopia-Somaliland deal a violation of Somalia’s sovereignty?
5. Will the Palestinian Authority govern Gaza after the Israel-Hamas War?
6. Has the Russo-Ukrainian War become a stalemate?
7. How should Iran respond to ISIS’ recent attack on Kerman?
8. Will Tshisekedi’s victory increase tensions between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda?
9. Should Israel expand its ongoing war to include Hezbollah?
10. Is it in Mexico’s best interest to work with the United States to curb migrant flows?

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