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Weekend talking points: 5 top stories

What happened this week? Japan endured a massive earthquake. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finally got his way. And NPR did damage control after an embarrassing sting

1. Japan deals with disasterOne of the worst earthquakes in history and a resulting tsunami struck Japan early Friday, leaving hundreds, if not thousands, dead, and countless others missing. Some fear the economic toll that this natural disaster could have on Japan, and an already struggling global economy. But it could have been worse: Japan is arguably better prepared than any other country for such a disaster. Click here for all our coverage including photos, videos, and fact sheets.

2. Gadhafi gains the upper handThe ouster of Libya's Moaamar Gadhafi once seemed like an inevitability. Now America's intelligence chief is predicting that Gadhafi "will prevail" in his battle with Libyan rebels. Can President Obama avoid intervening in Libya? Is it time for a no-fly zone? For more on the Arab revolts, click here.

3. Wisconsin's union standoff ends... for nowAfter weeks of heated feuding with Democrats and union protesters, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) and the state Senate finally succeeded in passing anti-union legislation, which effectively eliminates the collective bargaining rights of government workers. But is Walker really a loser in the deal? What comes next in this battle is anyone's guess, and the protests at the state capitol haven't ceased just yet. Is there a legal battle coming? See more on the union fight.

4. Republican Peter King investigates IslamRep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) grabbed headlines with his congressional hearings on the threat of radicalization among American Muslims. Though some commentators condemn King's investigation as a witch hunt, he calls it a necessary anti-terror defense. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is Muslim, put a personal face on the issue when he delivered emotional testimony about a fellow Muslim's patriotism. View more stories about the war on terror.

5. NPR grapples with scandalNotorious conservative activist James O'Keefe released video this week that captured an NPR executive calling Tea partiers "racist." O'Keefe, who has pulled similar stunts before, won another scalp the next day, when NPR CEO Vivian Schiller stepped down. The entire incident reinvigorated the debate over whether the government should halt funding for NPR. Click here for more.

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