May 19th, 2010
10:16 AM ET

On the Radar: Thai protests, primaries, juvenile sentences

A Thai anti-government protester runs beside a burning shop Wednesday in Bangkok.

Thai protests - The deadly standoff between the Thai government and protesters reached a boiling point Wednesday as security forces surged into Bangkok's Lumpini Park, with at least five people dead in the largest offensive on protesters since demonstrations began. Residents in the capital took to rooftops and anxiously watched news reports, while some fled with precious keepsakes as they feared a mini-civil war was coming. For those who decided to stay and are now trapped in Bangkok, there is only one thing left to do: hunker down.

Midterm election primaries - Voters sent mixed signals in Tuesday's primaries in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. They tossed out a longtime senator, picked a Tea Party-backed candidate and forced a Democratic senator into a runoff.  CNN's political analysts give their take on what it all means and how it may affect midterm elections in November.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine will be talking Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington about what he thinks the primaries meant and what he sees in the future for his party and its prospects in the 2010 elections.

Kagan on Capitol Hill - U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan returns to Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning to meet with Sen. Russ Feingold. A day earlier, Kagan, the solicitor general, declared a net worth of nearly $1.8 million in documents released by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Fight for second chance led to landmark decision - Mary Graham vividly remembers the day in 2006 when a Florida judge determined that her 17-year-old son was beyond redemption. The judge sentenced the teen, who was accused of committing a second armed robbery, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On Monday, the Supreme Court gave Terrance Graham, now 23, a ray of hope. In a 6-3 decision, the high court ruled that life in prison without a chance of parole is cruel and unusual punishment for defendants under 18 who have not been convicted of murder. No other country punishes juveniles with life without parole sentences for cases where no one is killed, the court said in its majority opinion. CNN's Stephanie Chen reports.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Linda

    I'm not sure how I feel about these midterm elections. I consider myself a moderate Liberal and like to think that I can see both sides of an issue before I come to a decision. I applaud Obama's efforts to encourage moderates in Congress and the Supreme Court for the same reason; I think moderates/centrists of both parties work hard to see both sides. I'm afraid of hard-line partisans on both sides although the far right is especially frightening to me. A line in a book I read says it very well: how can you be pro-individual rights and pro-womb control? These issues seem to be totally opposite philosophically. Suffice it to say, I'm going to be very cautious when it comes time for NM to go the primary polls next month.

    May 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tim

    i feel that mid terms will alow balance to come forward in our congress. The majority democratic rule in the house and senate has indebted this country more than i have ever seen. When bill clinton was elected we saw a democratic president with a majority republican congress and the result was the lowest deficit in years. But now it seems all we know how to do is spend money. Im tired of it being blamed on bush, President obama has spent more money in this one year than everyother president has combined. I fear the downfall of our powerful economy may be inevitable if these actions do not reverse. in 5 years the government will only have enough money to pay back the interest on the loans they have received from other countries, and thus the debt will never be payed off. If we do not change we will end up like greece, except when we go we'll likely take the world economy with us. and i dont know about all you, but i dont want another great depression, especially now that theres over 7 billion people with mouths to feed on this earth now

    May 20, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. drGui

    Can only comment about the recent riots in Thailand which is totally funded and fueled by Thaksin and his people to call back for reigning power. The mob is hired, is a setup using peach, innocent people as a shield. Inside is full with violent, fires, explosives M79, machine guns, RPG, etc. While the outside claims for democracy, the inside threw bombs to every places (> 100 now). That's why most people in Thailand do agree with the government to take care of this illegal, pointless and violent mob. After that, they burnt down the city. Would you like this to happen in your homeland- NYC, London, Paris????

    May 22, 2010 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. damiao carlos

    Unfortunately the radical system is spread around the world, innocent people are killed everyday, sometimes in the name of religion, sometimes in the name of justice.

    May 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |