About the Show

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

The latest news on the crisis in Ukraine, plus a look at the technology aiding in search for Flight 370.

The latest news on the crisis in Ukraine, plus a look at the technology aiding in search for Flight 370.

national lead

May 9th, 2013
07:20 PM ET

Neighbors: Cleveland police missed early clues

Police and neighbors are telling two very different stories about whether anyone ever noticed something fishy going on at the Cleveland home where Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were held for more than nine years.

While the Cleveland Police Department has denied getting reports of suspicious activity, neighbors tell CNN they called 911 on as many as three occasions because of concerns about what was going on at the home where three women were held captive for a decade, but nothing came of it. The department is now facing some serious questions about whether it missed clues in this case, and it is not the first time the department has been under fire.

Police said they never had reason to suspect anything out of the ordinary was happening behind the boarded windows at the house on Seymour Street.
FULL POST

world lead

May 9th, 2013
07:08 PM ET

Sen. Warren proposes deep discounts for federal student loans

On average, student loan borrowers end up carrying debt loads of $27,000. The interest rate on federal student loans is set to double this summer if Congress does not do anything about it. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, has introduced her first piece of legislation - a bill that would give a steep, temporary discount, taking the interest rate from 3.4% to less than 1%.

The U.S. government has been lending money at a rate of about 0.75% to financial institutions for years, said Warren.

"We have students out there borrowing money to get an education, working hard. My view is if the American taxpayer is going to invest in those big, financial institutions by giving them a great deal on their interest rate, let's invest in those students by giving them the same deal," said Warren.

But critics say comparing the student loan rate to the federal reserve discount rate is not quite apples and apples. The federal rate involves virtually no risk because it is short-term.

"There is no risk in lending to the big financial institutions because they've got too-big-to-fail backing them up," said Warren. "That doesn't seem like the right approach to me."
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world lead

May 9th, 2013
06:27 PM ET

Benghazi: Congress wants answers, Kerry ready to give them

As terrorists armed with AK-47's and grenades were raining fire on the compound in Benghazi with American citizens trapped inside, U.S. Special Forces were told to stand down. That is the account from diplomat Gregory Hicks, about the attack that killed his friend and boss U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Three State Department witnesses said they were frustrated and angry with the response to the siege during testimony in front of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. The attack happened on then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's watch. The man who replaced her, John Kerry, said Thursday he is ready to answer any questions.

"I am absolutely determined that this issue will be answered, will be put to bed. And if there is any culpability in any area that is appropriate to be handled in some way, with some discipline, it will be appropriately handled," Kerry said.
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pop lead

May 9th, 2013
05:55 PM ET

Rainn Wilson has faith in life after 'The Office'

Dwight K. Schrute was many things: paper salesman, beet farmer, lovable dork. Though he came from Amish stock, Schrute showed more interest in martial arts than Bibles and buggies.

But the man who played Schrute for nine years calls religion central to his life, and as Rainn Wilson transitions to life after “The Office,” his Baha’i faith is taking center stage.

Wilson is on the forefront of a campaign called “Five Years Too Many” that calls for the release of seven Baha’i volunteer leaders who have been imprisoned in Iran for the past five years.

“People need to know that this has happened and that this is happening and they don't,” Wilson said. “There are Baha'is rotting in jail on a 20-year sentence on trumped up charges simply because they have a certain set of faith beliefs that run against the theocracy in Iran."

The move from actor to advocate for a world religion is a big shift for Wilson. After a failed movie career and a lot of soul searching he is at peace with his television success and knows that his career might have peaked with “The Office,” which ends next Thursday after nine years on the air.

“It is probable that this was the high point in my career and the most awesome thing I'll ever be involved in,” Wilson told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview. “I just feel tremendous gratitude.”

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world lead

May 9th, 2013
05:26 PM ET

Mother of Benghazi victim: Hearing didn't give answers

Parents who lose children in national calamities come to represent a pain and grief and importance that it is difficult to ignore.

Pat Smith, mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, a State Department information officer, listened to the Benghazi hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

She said she didn’t get the answers she was looking for.

"I want to know why there was no security there, and the security that was there got pulled. And who was the one that told the military to stand down?" said Smith.
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