A Good and Bad Economy, Ukraine, the Death Penalty

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The economy added 288,000 jobs in April, surpassing most analysts expectations, but the good news stands in contrast to a report earlier this week that showed the US economy grew at an annual rate of just 0.1% during the first quarter. Meanwhile, the President returned from Asia this week and immediately renewed his call for Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. But Senate Republicans blocked a vote on the bill. Will this be an election rallying cry for Democrats? The Ukrainian army launched a major assault on a rebel stronghold resulting in the heaviest fighting yet and two downed military helicopters. The Kremlin said the last shreds of hope for an international deal are now gone. Did the sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union have no impact? The state of Oklahoma botched the lethal injection execution of an inmate this week. Clayton Lockett reportedly writhed in pain before finally dying of a heart attack 40 minutes later. Is this the event that is the beginning of the end of the death penalty?

Reid Wilson (Washington Post) moderates from the Center. On the Left, Robert Scheer (TruthDig.com). Rich Lowry (National Review) is on the Right.

Banner image: People wait to be rescued on the ledge of the second floor during a fire at the trade union building in Odessa May 2, 2014. Photo: Yevgeny Volokin/Reuters