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Weekend talking points: 5 top stories
What happened this week? Congress reached a short-term budget deal, Libya continued its descent toward civil war, and Charlie Sheen (seriously) overshared
 
It's been a busy week for (from left to right) D.C. Dems, Libya's leader, lawmakers on the run, iPad watchers, and Charlie Sheen.
It's been a busy week for (from left to right) D.C. Dems, Libya's leader, lawmakers on the run, iPad watchers, and Charlie Sheen.
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1. Washington spars over spending cuts
This week, Democrats and Republicans reached a short-term deal to avert a government shutdown... but the war's not over. A battle is still looming over the spending plan for the last seven months of the fiscal year, and economists warn that the Republican proposal would cost the U.S. economy 700,000 jobs. Can Democrats recover and stand up to the GOP? See more on the budget showdown here.

2. Gadhafi digs in
As the Libyan leader refuses to relinquish power, the international community is considering what the next step might be: Bomb Libya? Hire Hugo Chavez as a peace negotiator? Meanwhile, industry analysts worry that Libya's instability could mean trouble for oil prices. Will Gadhafi ever give up? Follow along with our coverage.

3. Wisconsin Democrats refuse to budge
Polls show that Americans support unions in their fight to retain collective bargaining rights. As for fleeing Democrats, no place has been more welcoming than Rockford, Ill., which is wooing them in an attempt to boost Illinois' tourism industry. Less cheery: Wisconsin's Democratic state senators may be subject to daily fines, or even face arrest, for their attempts to stall Gov. Scott Walker's (R) tough anti-union bill. View more stories about the union protests here.

4. The iPad 2 debuts
Apple chief Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance at the unveiling of the company's hotly-anticipated iPad 2. Almost immediately after the announcement, though, discussion turned to the next installment, the iPad 3, rumored to be coming this fall. Is that the version to hold out for? Check out all of our Apple coverage here.

5. Charlie Sheen owns the airwaves
After getting booted from his hit sitcom, the troubled TV star launched a media blitz that left people buzzing over his epic unraveling. In the aftermath, Sheen lost his publicist, some questioned whether the media was exploiting Sheen, the internet went to town repackaging his stunningly off-kilter quotes, and shameless experts attempted to diagnose his troubles. See more about Sheen's meltdown.

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

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