1. What's next for the Middle East?
After Hosni Mubarak handed power over to Egypt's military, the focus turned to neighboring nations. Leaders in Iran, Bahrain, and Libya are at risk of being toppled by protesters. And the world was shocked by the sexual assault in Egypt of CBS reporter Lara Logan. Here's our complete coverage of the revolts.
2. Wisconsin provokes its own raging protesters
Republican Gov. Scott Walker is in hot water after he announced plans to gut collective-bargaining rights for the state's public sector employees. Thousands of angry teachers flocked to the state capitol building, as Democratic elected officials fled Wisconsin entirely to stall a vote on the plan. Some are beginning to worry if the anger could spread to other states. View our coverage of the protests.
3. Battle of the budgets
The week began with the president unveiling his spending plan for 2012. Some — including our Bullpen columnist Edward Morrissey — were critical of the budget, believing Obama could do more to cut into the national debt. Obama's plan might wind up being "irrelevant," anyway, with Republicans demanding more immediate cuts. See our breakdown of the different proposals, and the rest of our coverage.
4. Abortion debate heats up
A Mother Jones report revealed that some South Dakota leaders were pushing a bill that seemed to legalize the murder of abortion providers (they later backed down). Meanwhile, a Chicago hospital became the first Catholic medical center in the country to make a formal practice of offering "unbortions," which reverse second-trimester abortions mid-procedure. There are plenty more fierce abortion debates taking place on both the state and federal level. Check out more on this polarizing topic here.
5. The birthers are back
First, House Speaker John Boehner stopped short of denouncing "birthers" for their out-there claims that President Obama isn't a U.S. citizen. But the movement's momentum is growing, with lawmakers in at least 10 states pushing to make all future presidential candidates prove they're citizens in order to run. Then, Karl Rove, of all people, said that enough is enough, and the GOP should stamp out Obama's birther critics once and for all. See more here.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- 4 life hacks from ancient philosophers that will make you happier
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Russia's Ukraine invasion is a moral crisis
- The Daily Show explains Hamid Karzai's 'Afghan Hustle'
- Mitt Romney, 2016 frontrunner*
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