The stiff competition brewing at Devin Events and Consultancy’s inter-high school debate soared to new heights on Friday, when all-girls St. Theresa’s Convent defeated the boys from Calvary Baptist High School by 88-86 points, to qualify for the quarter finals stage. The audience watched in high suspense as the teams – both at their best – raised the stakes for the competition, debating for and against the maintenance of Liberia’s dual currency system.Impressed with the high marks on both sides, head judge Varfee Holmes described the match as “competitive” and lauded the teams for their talent and “intellectual skills.” Yet, he advised both teams to hone their research skills, and thereby increase their accuracy in presenting information at future debates. Speaking for the corps of judges, he expressed delight at the maturity both teams displayed during the match, commending their “ability to avoid attacking personality and sticking to the issue.”Responding to the judges’ marks, Calvary Baptist Representative George Mandeh, expressed satisfaction with his school’s performance, noting that it was merely a two-point loss, and an opportunity to learn from his team’s mistakes and lead in the next competition. “I believe in the judges,” he said, “as the game was free, fair, and one of the finest matches ever played.”Earlier, Convent Captain Olivia Livingstone presented the winning argument, stating “dual currency establishes a firm basis for a prudent financial sector, which provides financial integration with developed nations, creating the market for more efficiency and quality of services.”Still with the argument, she remarked that the issue with dual currency signals [the government’s] permanent commitment to curb [inflation], fiscal responsibility and transparency. Liberia, she said, has enjoyed low inflation, growth in fiscal responsibility and transparency, because of the dual currency policy, adding that, in the situation of chronic inflation, individuals use the US Dollar to protect the real value of their income. “If Liberia had not maintained her policy on dual currency,” she explained, “[the country] would not have been able to pay some of [its] massive international debt; [or finance] the restoration of infrastructure development.’’ Presenting the opposing view, Calvary Captain Bill Ivan Gbafore countered that dual currency exhibits “complete disrespect [for] the nation and violation [of] the act that created the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).”The policy of dual currency, he explained, is hurting the Liberian people and the economy with devastating near- and long-term consequences. Citing seen data released by the CBL, Gbafore argued that the government has failed to maintain price stability in the face of the escalating depreciation of the Liberian Dollar against the US Dollar; a bad condition that has inflicted hardship on [Liberian] citizens.He also cited a statement purportedly made in 2013 by of Finance and Development Planning Minster Amara M. Konneh, publicly admitting that “many Liberians are suffering because the exchange rate has sky-rocketed, leaving the country in a state of financial dilemma.” “The persistent depreciation of the Liberia dollar in the market, he observed, is hurting all Liberians, especially the poor and downtrodden, who have to pay for everything in the local currency.”Alex Devin, CEO of Devin Events and Consultancy, said the debate enables the public to cross-examine schools’ extra academic performance, as well as their regular curricula. It also affords students the chance, he said, to apply their critical thinking skills toward understanding and solving society’s complex problems. Such experiences, according to Devin, make a huge impact on each student’s academic life.The Convent-Calvary match marked the start of the tournament’s knockout stage. The winner of the debate is expected to walk away with US$1000, while the runner-up will take home US$750, and the third place winner, US$500. Apart, from awarding cash prizes and trophies, certificates will be given in several other categories to schools that participated. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
See more NBA predictions Things That Caught My EyePlayoff LeBron is hereLeBron James posted 45 points in Sunday’s win over the Indiana Pacers, with a further 9 rebounds and 7 assists. The Cavaliers will advance to face the Toronto Raptors, so if LeBron hopes to keep up his otherworldly performance now would be the time to do so. It’s not particularly clear if anyone else on the Cavs plans to show up, after all. [FiveThirtyEight]Ovechkin is the greatest to never make a conference finalAlex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is by far the best forward — based on point shares through their age 32 season since 1987 — to have never once make a conference final. His postseason disappointment is in a lot of ways the result of a tough time closing out series — his Caps are 3-7 in game sevens. [FiveThirtyEight]Baker Mayfield to BrownsBaker Mayfield was drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the first overall pick in the NFL draft. As long as we’ve had data on QBR seasons, since 2004, Mayfield singlehandedly posted two of the six best seasons ever, and his quarterback rating of 92.1 in his final two seasons is the best of any quarterback in the set. On the other hand, he is going to Cleveland. [ESPN]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?Barkley to NYCThe New York Giants are making a go of it and drafted Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick. This gives Barkely the fourth-highest paid salary among running backs in terms of average annual value. New York desperately needs a shot in the arm for the run game; they haven’t finished with a top-10 rushing season in eight years. [ESPN, ESPN]Jets to enjoy bakeoffWith their third pick in the draft, the New York Jets drafted quarterback Sam Darnold. This means that the Jets currently have five quarterbacks on the roster, including Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty, Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater and Darnold. For those of you unfamiliar with the sport, there can only be one single quarterback on the field at a given time, so this is far too many quarterbacks. [ESPN]Harden rolls over JazzJames Harden posted his sixth career playoff game where he scored 40 or more points in a win over the Utah Jazz. His 41 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists helped the Houston Rockets dispatch Utah 110-96 in the series opener. [ESPN]Big Number(s)53 percentWe have a bona fide favorite for the NBA title. The Houston Rockets are a 53 percent chance of winning the title, while everybody else combines for only 47 percent chance of taking the championship. It certainly appears their rivals for the title will be from either Toronto or Philly; they each have a respective 42 percent and a 37 percent chance of representing the East in the NBA Finals. [FiveThirtyEight]Leaks from Slack: gfoster:I don’t speak Italian. But this looks cool.AI Image Labandrea:Oh that is cool. You can tell something is cool when you’re impressed even though you don’t actually understand any of the words. Mama mia! Oh, and don’t forgetNew Orleans longreaad We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆 Join the squad. Subscribe Predictions NBA All newsletters
Debt-ridden Planet Out Inc., the gay and lesbianpublisher, has agreed to sell its magazine and book publishing businesses to Here,a New York-based gay television network.The deal—which includes gay titles Out and Advocate—isvalued at $6 million, according to the San Francisco Business Times, wherePlanet Out is based.The company’s Web portals—gay.comand planetout.com—are not part of the deal. “We believe that the divestiture of our publishing businesses will enable [us] to devote all of our attention and resources to our core online businesses,” Planet Out CEO Kevin Magee said in a statement accompanying the deal announcement. In February, Planet Out reported a$51.2 million loss for 2007.Interestingly, the company’s revenuesplit has seen a decline in the online segment and an increase in its printrevenue. In 2005, online revenue accounted for 87 percent of the total, accordingto the paper. In 2006, Web revenue accounted for 54 percent; in 2007 51percent.Planet Out—which employs 237—hasoffices in both New York and San Francisco.