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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

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politics lead

June 6th, 2013
06:35 PM ET

Diplomatic snub? First lady skipping China summit

High school reunions, work Christmas parties, brunch with the in-laws, there are a lot of events spouses are obligated to attend. But apparently meetings with the President of China is not one of them for first lady Michelle Obama.

President Barack Obama travels to California for a sit-down with his new counterpart President Xi Jinping this weekend, and he will be going stag.

A Chinese state visit is usually filled with pomp and circumstance. But when Obama travels to California this weekend to meet with Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, the setting will be casual.

The meeting is billed as a sign of progress for American and Chinese diplomacy, with two world leaders rolling up their sleeves and building a personal relationship.

Like Michelle Obama, Peng Liyuan is considered a rock star in China. Except Peng actually is a rock star, sort of.

Peng is a popular soprano, widely known in China for her soaring, glass-breaking voice and patriotic folk songs. Her top hits include "People from Our Village" and "On the Plains of Hope."

But she won't be serenading Mrs. Obama. As the president is going it alone, there will be no face time for the first ladies.

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buried lead

June 6th, 2013
06:34 PM ET

Global elite gather for Bilderberg conference

The notion of “secret societies” often conjures up images of groups of rich old men sitting around a ridiculously long table, all trying to top each other with their best diabolical laugh.

It makes for a fun cartoon, but in reality such societies and secretive meetings do exist.

One is going on right now behind closed doors in the English countryside.

The Bilderberg Group is a meeting of most-influential people in Europe and North America - Wall Street investors, business moguls, politicians, and royalty. They are coming together and keeping the media and everyone else out.

The conference that began on Thursday in the Hertfordshire County is all off the record, which has fired up conspiracy theorists for years.

Security was tight at The Grove Hotel, where 140 members of the global elite arrived.

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pop lead

June 6th, 2013
06:19 PM ET

What's a double double? Quizzing Canadian CNN host George Stroumboulopoulos

CNN's newest host George Stroumboulopoulos hails from the great white north, that's Canada, where the men are men, and the beer is strong.

What's not to love?

He is busting through to host a new show on CNN called "Stroumboulopoulos."

"It's a talk show, interview show. We're going to do throughout the summer, Friday nights, with the exception of the first one," said Stroumboulopoulos. "It's a sit-down interview show in a red chair, and [we] just kind of explore why people do what they do."

CNN's Jake Tapper, who is half-Canadian on his mother's side, quizzed Stroumboulopoulos, to get a few Canadian translations out of the way for American viewers.

Jake Tapper: If I ordered a double double in Canada, what do I get?
George Stroumboulopoulos: You're going to get a coffee with either two milk or cream, and two sugars.

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politics lead

June 6th, 2013
05:54 PM ET

Mrs. Romney on sons running for office: Don't do it

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney sits on the sidelines now, hoping to mentor the next batch of presidential hopefuls. He offers some playful advice.

"Don't make any mistakes," Romney said with a laugh. "The funny thing is everyone says, 'Be spontaneous, don't act like you are being crafted.' Well, today, everything you say is being captured by video, or hand held camera ... so jokes for instance will get you in trouble."

Read "Mitt Romney to CNN: Rice appointment disappointing" here.

Asked if she would want any of her children run for public office, Ann Romney told CNN she was uncertain.

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national lead

June 6th, 2013
05:29 PM ET

Reporter: Government engaged in 'unthinkable types of surveillance'

(CNN) - The U.S. government has obtained a top-secret court order that requires Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of Americans to the National Security Agency on an "ongoing daily basis," the Guardian newspaper reported.

The four-page order, which The Guardian published on its website on Wednesday, requires the communications giant to turn over "originating and terminating" telephone numbers as well as the location, time, and duration of the calls - and demands that the order be kept secret.

Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald was the first to report on the broad order.

"What this court order does that makes it so striking, is that it’s not directed at any individuals who they believe, or have suspicion, or are committing crimes, or are part of a terrorist organization. It’s collecting the phone records of every single customer of Verizon business, and finding out every single call that they've made internationally and locally," said Greenwald in an interview with CNN.

"It’s indiscriminate and it’s sweeping. It’s a government program designed to collect information about all Americans, not just people where they believe there’s reason to think they've done anything wrong," said Greenwald.

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