Category: R&D Page 1 of 15

R&D: Jordan’s Protests, Myanmar Elects a President, and An Analysis of the Groups Challenging the Yemeni Government

Here is your R&D for February 4th:

Jordan: Heightened Instability, But Not Yet a Major Crisis from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Jordan is experiencing protests that mirror those happening in Egypt.  However, King Abdullah was quick to fire his government and that appears to have taken some momentum out of the protests for the time being.

Military Insider Selected as Myanmar’s President from the New York Times
Thein Sein, an army bureaucrat and former prime minister, was elected as Myanmar’s new president today.  The election was done by Myanmar’s new parliament, meeting for the first time under a new constitution.  However, it is expected that General Than Shwe will still be controlling the government’s actions.

Factbox: Groups challenging Yemen’s government from Reuters
In this factbox article, Reuters breaks down the groups that are challenging the Yemeni government.  This is a good background article that extempers can utilize in any speech about unrest in Yemen.

R&D: Violence Erupts in Egypt, the Senate Repeals Part of the Healthcare Law, and Central Asia is in Decay

Here is your R&D for February 3rd:

Night of violence in Egypt leaves six dead from the Financial Times
The tense situation in Egypt has finally erupted into violence as pro and anti-Mubarak forces collided last night.  Six Egyptians were killed and more than 800 were injured.

Senate repeals part of health care law from Politico
Yesterday, the Senate voted 81-17 to repeal the healthcare reform law’s 1099 reporting requirement, which had been criticized by business groups.  However, the Senate voted along party lines, 47-51, against repealing the entire law.

Central Asia: Decay and Decline from the International Crisis Group
Despite a good deal of international aid being directed towards Cental Asia in recent years, corruption has eaten away most of it and that has created political instability in the area.  The International Crisis Group provides a detailed .pdf report on the consequences of continued neglect by governments in the region.

R&D: Al-Qaeda Close to Using Dirty Bombs, Tea Party Targets GOP Candidates in 2012, and Republican Presidential Contenders Schedule Trips to Israel

Here is your R&D for February 2nd:

‘Al-Qaida on brink of using nuclear bomb’ from the Vancouver Sun
In a shocking report released by WikiLeaks, NATO security chiefs argue that al-Qaeda is on the verge of using radioactive “dirty bombs” in its attacks.  NATO believes that some of these weapons could be used in Afghanistan against NATO forces.

Tea Party Gets Early Start on G.O.P. Targets for 2012 from the New York Times
The Tea Party movement is already targeting GOP candidates that it wants to oust in party primary races in 2012.  Among those on the chopping block are Richard Lugar of Indiana, Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Orrin Hatch of Utah.  Some of the moves don’t necessarily reflect ideology as much as a desire for new blood in Washington.

Israel Is Top Foreign Destination for 2012 Republicans from RealClearPolitics
Perspective Republican presidential candidates are making Israel a top destination as they lay the groundwork for 2012.  Among those who have made the trip include Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Haley Barbour.

R&D: China Remains Mum on Egypt, Bloomberg Sends Cops to Arizona, and the U.S. Debt Ceiling is Under Debate

Here is your R&D for February 1st:

Why a nervous China aims to shield citizens from Egypt news from the Christian Science Monitor
Although American news has been following the Egyptian protests 24/7, China has limited coverage of the event because of concerns that it may spark some unrest within its borders.

Mayor Bloomberg’s undercover gun stings get results – and gripes in Tucson from the New York Daily News
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is receiving praise and criticism after sending undercover cops to Tucson, Arizona to buy guns at a gun show.  Gun shows have been criticized in the past for making it too easy for those with criminal records to purchase firearms.

The Ticking U.S. Debt-Limit Clock from the Council on Foreign Relations
This analysis brief from the Council on Foreign Relations summarizes America’s debt problems and what steps both political parties are making (or not making) to improve the situation.

R&D: A 1979 Reflection on U.S. Foreign Policy, What the U.S. Loses if Mubarak Goes, and U.S. Lawmakers Prepare an Internet “Kill Switch”

Here is your R&D for January 31st:

Dictatorships & Double Standards from Commentary Magazine
This may not seem like an article you could use in extemp, since it comes from 1979, but the situation in Egypt is in some ways similar to the Islamic Revolution in Iran three decades ago. This article provides an analysis of that situation and extempers may be able to use this article in their speeches to parallel the present U.S. foreign policy predicament.

What the U.S. Loses if Mubarak Goes from Time
The U.S. would lose a significant Middle East ally if Hosni Mubarak is forced from power in Egypt. The loss of Mubarak could also hinder Middle East peace efforts.

As Egypt goes offline US gets internet ‘kill switch’ bill ready from the Age
The U.S. Senate is set to take up a bill that would grant the U.S. president powers to shut down the Internet in the event of a national emergency. Critics have pointed out that Egypt’s government shut down the Internet during its latest protests and the move would hamper people’s civil rights.

R&D: Egyptian Protests Increase, A Former NFL National Champion Writes About Democratic Party Politics, and Rahm Emanuel is Cleared to Run for Mayor

Here is your R&D for January 28th:

Egypt shuts internet, rounds up opposition leaders as protests start from the Christian Science Monitor
Egypt is now the major area of the Middle East suffering from civil unrest.  President Hosni Mubarak looks poised to crack down on the protests, as internet communications have been shut down.

Bayh predicts moderation will serve Dems well from Politico
Former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh believes that Democrats lost the House in 2010 because they veered too far left.  Bayh believes that Democrats lost sight of the economy because of their push for healthcare reform.  As a sidenote, this article is written by James Hohmann, who was the 2004 and 2005 NFL national champion in United States Extemporaneous Speaking, and who is now a writer for Politico.

Supreme Court: Emanuel on Chicago mayor ballot from the Chicago Tribune
The Illinois Supreme Court has cleared the way for Rahm Emanuel to run for Chicago mayor by overruling an Illinois Appeals Court that took him off of the ballot earlier in the week.  Emanuel is expected to win the election.

R&D: Southern Sudan’s New Challenges, Berlusconi’s Fight to Hold on in Italy, and the GOP Uses the Nullification Doctrine

Here is your R&D for January 27th:

Sudan and the Secession Referendum from This Day (Nigeria)
This article, courtesy of AllAfrica, breaks down the challenges that Southern Sudan will face now that it is on the path to becoming an independent country.

Berlusconi’s Worst Nightmare from Foreign Policy
This is an excellent article that can help extempers navigate the political problems facing Italy because of the sex scandal that has plagued Silvio Berlusconi’s government.

Color-coded threat system to be replaced in April from CNN
The Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday that it is going to scrap the color coded terror threat alert system in April.  The system has been the subject of jokes since it was first introduced nine years ago.

R&D: Text of President Obama’s State of the Union & Paul Ryan’s Rebuttal and the U.S. Works to Secure Old Soviet Nuclear Sites

Here is your R&D for January 26th:

Full text of the State of the Union speech
Courtesy of the Miami Herald, here is the text of President Obama’s third State of the Union address last night.

Text of Paul Ryan’s Rebuttal to the State of the Union
Since quotations from leaders can be useful in any extemporaneous speech, extempers would be wise to print out this summary of Paul Ryan’s rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address last night.

The US Seeks to Protect Former Soviet Nuclear Testing Site from Der Spiegel
The United States is in the process of securing an old Soviet test site in Kazakhstan, where the Soviet Union detonated more than 500 nuclear bombs.  Reports indicate that plutonium is unprotected there and the U.S. fears terrorist groups could acquire it.

R&D: The State of the Union is Tonight, Suicide Attack in Russia Kills 35, and the Palestinian Papers Compromise the Middle East Peace Process

Here is your R&D for January 25th:

The battle to define Obama’s State of the Union address from Politico
President Obama’s third State of the Union address happens tonight and like all State of the Union speeches, it will likely be a pep rally for the president’s agenda.  Find out what President Obama will address in this article.

Suicide bomber kills 35 at Russia’s biggest airport from Reuters
Russia’s busiest airport suffered a suicide bomber attack yesterday.  35 were killed and over 150 people were injured.  Islamic militants are thought to be behind the attack.

NastyLeaks from Foreign Policy
The release of 1,600 internal Palestinian documents, which summarize peace negotiations with Israel over the last ten years, has been seen as an attack against Palestinian leadership and the Middle East peace process.  Experts believe that the Palestinian Authority may resist compromise in future negotiations, further hampering the chances for peace in the region.

R&D: Electoral Math Makes Obama Tough to Beat, Republicans Target UN Funding, and China’s New World Order

Here is your R&D for January 24th:

Electoral math adds up to a hard-to-topple president from the Washington Post
For any Republican presidential contender, they must look at the electoral map and plot a way to 270 electoral votes.  As it stands right now, that path may be difficult if they fail to win Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

The World from The Hill: U.N. funding an early target for House Republicans from the Hill
House Republicans are pushing to defund the UN Human Rights Council.  Republicans allege that it is a waste of taxpayer dollars, but defenders say that the U.S. needs to spend money on the Council in order to have leverage over other nations.

China’s New World Order from Newsweek (courtesy of RealClearPolitics)
In this op-ed, Robert Samuelson discusses China’s economic might and how the U.S. could respond without sparking a trade war.

R&D: The Federal Government Looks into State Bankruptcy, Ways to Deal with Iran, and Ecuador Puts Police Under Civilian Control

Here is your R&D for January 21st:

Path Is Sought for States to Escape Debt Burdens from the New York Times
States governments are not the only ones worried about their finances.  According to the New York Times, the federal government is looking for ways to let states declare bankruptcy to escape their debts.

Diplomacy, Sanctions & Sabotage: Put Pressure on Iran from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (courtesy of RealClearWorld)
As Iran continues to move ahead with its nuclear program, the international community has sought to confront it in soft and hard power ways.  This report breaks down each response and what impact it has had on Iran so far.

Ecuador Puts Police Under Civilian Control from the Latin American Herald Tribune
Ecuador ended the quasi-sovereign status of its national police forces this week via government decree.  The move comes in response to a police uprising against President Rafael Correa last fall.

R&D: House Repeals Healthcare Law, Bloomberg Promises to Fight Unions, and Congo’s Constitution is Revised

Here is your R&D for January 20th:

House passes health law repeal from Politico
House Republicans managed to pass a bill that repealed President Obama’s healthcare law yesterday.  The vote was 245-189 and no House Republican defected during the vote.  However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he is not going to take up the bill.

Mayor Pledges Tough Stance on Unions from the Wall Street Journal
In his State of the City speech, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised to take a tougher stance on the city’s unions.  This comes in light of allegations that the unions deliberately sabatoged some of the clean up following a blizzard in December.

Congo’s Kabila revises Constitution: presidential candidates now only need a plurality from the Christian Science Monitor
Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has revised the Congolese constitution to scrap the runoff system used in the country’s presidential elections.  International observers warn that the change may lead to electoral violence and may undermine national unity.

R&D: Americans Distrust China, Haiti Brings Duvalier to Court, and Atlanta Public Schools are Put on Probation

Here is your R&D for January 19th:

Wary Powers Set to Square Off from the Wall Street Journal
As Chinese President Hu Jintao arrives in Washington for an important summit with President Obama, the United States is not very welcoming, as almost two-thirds of Americans see China as a political and economic threat.

Duvalier is brought before Haitian court from the Washington Post
Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier arrived in Haiti a few days ago, but the government has been less than welcoming.  Duvalier has been brought to court to face charges of corruption and embezzlement that were levelled against him 25 years ago.

Atlanta Public Schools put on probation from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has told the Atlanta Public Schools that it could lose its accreditation if its board of education does not stop infighting.

R&D: China’s Lending Rises, Euro Zone Needs a Plan B, and Obama Issues an Order to Review Government Regulations

Here is your R&D for January 18th:

China’s lending hits new heights from the Financial Times
In another show of China’s growing political and economic clout, it has lent more money to developing nations over the past two years than the World Bank.  These loans topped $110 billion.

Time for Plan B from the Economist
As the euro zone debt crisis continues to unfold, the Economist argues that the bailout mechanism the EU has devised is not working.  As a result, the Economist argues that a plan B, whereby European nations restructure their debts, needs to be enacted.

Obama issues order to review gov’t regulations from the Agence France Presse
President Obama ordered a government-wide review of regulations today as a way to look into ways to boost economic growth and job creation.

R&D: Cameron Proposes British Healthcare Changes, Conservatives Ask Mike Pence to Run for President, and Palestinian Leadership After Abbas

Here is your R&D for January 17th:

UK Government Plans Major Health Care Reform from the Associated Press (courtesy of ABC News)
British Prime Minister David Cameron promised significant changes to the British public healthcare system today.  Cameron’s reforms will focus on reducing red tape and improving treatment options.

Conservatives form movement to draft Rep. Mike Pence for president from the Hill
Indiana Representative Mike Pence is seen as a potential 2012 presidential candidate by the Republican base and several Republican Congressmen are trying to persuade him to run by kicking off a “Draft Pence for President” movement.

Who could lead Palestinians better than Abbas? from Haaretz
As Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas begins what might be his last year in office, experts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are wondeirng who may replace him and how that may impact future peace talks.

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