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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

A look at Obama's immigration plan. Plus, how long Takata knew of problems with its airbags.

A look at Obama's immigration plan. Plus, how long Takata knew of problems with its airbags.

money lead

June 18th, 2013
07:36 PM ET

It's official: Jack Lew's new signature

It's official: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has undergone a transformation, at least when it comes to penmanship.
The Treasury Department on Tuesday unveiled Lew's official new signature, which will soon grace the bottom right corner of every bill in your wallet.

Lew's signature needed a major make over. After President Obama nominated him to the post in January, Lew's John Hancock was downright indiscernible. Even the President pleaded for him to work on his penmanship.

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buried lead

June 18th, 2013
07:25 PM ET

Search for Jimmy Hoffa costs taxpayers

James Riddle Hoffa - yes, his middle name was "Riddle" - stood outside the Machus Red Fox Restaurant near Detroit on July 30, 1975, and vanished without a trace.

And now, in a field not far away, investigators are following yet another lead. They are digging up another possible grave, trying to solve the riddle of where Jimmy Hoffa went, and taxpayers again have an interest in the outcome.
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national lead

June 18th, 2013
07:21 PM ET

Study: Pollution associated with higher risk of autism

Autism remains a largely misunderstood neurodevelopmental disorder that experts say is very much on the rise.

A recent, albeit controversial, survey of parents by the CDC suggests that as many as 1 in 50 school-aged children could have some form of the disorder.

On Tuesday, a brand new study had parents and experts talking. According to research conducted by a number of physicians including several from the Harvard School of Public Health, living in an area with high levels of air pollution may be linked with a woman's chances of having a child with autism.
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world lead

June 18th, 2013
06:50 PM ET

House Democrat defends NSA programs

President Barack Obama and top intelligence officials - their hands forced by leaks from NSA intelligence contractor Edward Snowden - have been trying to justify the vast National Security Agency spying programs.

The latest attempt came at a House Intelligence Committee hearing Tuesday, where top law enforcement officials made their case.

"In recent years these programs, together with other intelligence, have protected the U.S. and our allies from terrorist threats across the globe, to include helping prevent the potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11," NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander said.

Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Dutch Ruppersberger also defended the NSA programs.

"If you want to find a needle in a haystack, which is a lot of what our intelligence community does, you need the haystack.  And the providers who have this information, they keep it only for a certain period of time.  So in order for us to be involved and stop these attacks, we need to move right away," Ruppersberger told CNN.

"This is a program that works.  It's a program that does not listen to your conversation.  It's a program that is overseen by the courts.  And our role in government is to protect the country from these terrorist attacks," said Ruppersberger.
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world lead

June 18th, 2013
06:43 PM ET

NSA whistleblowers: Obama administration misleading on surveillance programs

President Barack Obama publicly defended the NSA programs revealed by admitted leaker Edward Snowden.

"If you're a U.S. person, then NSA is not listening to your phone calls and it's not targeting your emails unless it's getting an individualized court order," Obama told PBS's Charlie Rose.

NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander reiterated the president's point, telling Congress on Tuesday that the NSA does not have the ability to listen to Americans' phone calls or read their e-mails.

The president also assured the public that while he understands the concerns of privacy, some information is better kept as a secret.

"Look, we have to make decisions about how much classified information and how much covert activity we are willing to tolerate as a society. And we could not have carried out the (Osama) bin Laden raid if it was carried out on the front page of the papers. I think everybody understands that," said Obama.

William Binney takes issue with "virtually everything" Obama said about the NSA programs in the PBS interview.

Binney worked at the NSA for almost 40 years. He retired in 2001 after his criticism of an NSA program. Over the years, he has disclosed surveillance programs used by the government.

Binney said all e-mails are already being collected, and stored, even if they are not being read.
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