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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

Journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward on the death of legendary news editor Ben Bradlee.

Journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward on the death of legendary news editor Ben Bradlee.

politics lead

June 25th, 2013
07:29 PM ET

Analysis: Have times really changed since passage of Voting Rights Act?

The Voting Rights Act was a cornerstone of the civil rights movement. Now, in a split decision by the Supreme Court, a key portion of the voting rights act has been struck down.

CNN "The Lead's" political panel with journalist Jonathan Alter, CNN political contributor, and former deputy campaign manger for the Obama 2012 campaign Stephanie Cutter, and CNN contributor and columnist for The New York Times Ross Douthat discusses whether times have really changed all that much. Check out their analysis in the video above.

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world lead

June 25th, 2013
07:24 PM ET

Experts: With Snowden, U.S. is getting a taste of its own medicine from Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor responsible for one of the biggest intelligence leaks in U.S. history is in Moscow. Russia will not turn him over to the U.S.

According to Putin, Snowden is in the transit area of the Moscow airport, and has not officially crossed the border into Russia.

Some are questioning whether any U.S. president could handle this awkward situation any differently.

"It could be handled differently if not for two words: Viktor Bout," said The New Republic's Julia Ioffe, referring to the Russian arms smuggler who was captured in Thailand and taken to the U.S. for trial. Bout is currently in prison in the U.S.

"The Russians were about as mad at that as we are about Edward Snowden. And we did not extradite him as Russia asked. I think maybe the Americans would have been able to get a better deal before Victor Bout," said Ioffe.

"The Russians are looking for the best deal here, what's going to benefit Russia the most, whether dragging this story out, making Obama look bad, or get at the information he already has," said former CIA officer Peter Brookes.
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pop lead

June 25th, 2013
07:15 PM ET

Kenny Chesney fans destroy property, start fights at concerts

Cleaning crews in Pittsburgh are still recovering Tuesday, after an estimated 50,000 Kenny Chesney fans attended his concert at Heinz Field Saturday, leaving behind a pile of destruction and garbage.

"The Kenny Chesney crowd is the most difficult crowd for our staff to work with of any of the events of the year," said Merrill Stabile, President of ALCO Parking.

"It's just going to be a really fun, very energetic, very fast, probably pretty loud night of music," Chesney told CNN in 2012, perhaps underestimating his fans' energy levels.

Most of Chesney's shows are day-long events, where tailgating is encouraged.

Unfortunately, a parking lot brawl was just one of at least 10 large fights that broke out at the Pittsburgh stadium Saturday, where more than 70 people were either arrested or cited for their behavior.
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money lead

June 25th, 2013
06:34 PM ET

Brand expert: Paula Deen should do less interviews, more behind-the-scenes work

Paula Deen was dropped from the Food Network and lost a major endorsement deal for behavior offensive to millions of Americans - admitting she has used the racist n-word, and discussed her desire to have an Old South themed wedding.

But just when it seemed like Deen's career was toast, friends and family are stepping up to show they've got her back. Deen's sons spoke with Chris Cuomo on CNN's morning show "New Day," saying the allegations their mom is a racist are absurd. The fallout came after Deen was deposed and asked about her views on African-Americans during a lawsuit alleging discrimination

But her sons said the backlash has prompted "Team Deen" to come out in full force.

"We have so much local support now, so many friends that have come forward and spoken out for our family," son Jamie Deen told CNN's "New Day."

Deen is giving her first television interview Wednesday, to NBC's Today Show.

"After she does this interview tomorrow, I would be advising her not to do more interviews. I would advise most of her work to be behind the scenes. She needs to keep her sponsors on board," said brand and public relations expert Howard Bragman, founder of Reputation.com.
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sports lead

June 25th, 2013
06:27 PM ET

The Lead Read: NFL player, author Chris Kluwe on gay rights in pro sports

Chris Kluwe is a record-breaking NFL punter and now the author of "Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities," a compilation of essays and letters.

The book's title comes from an open letter Kluwe wrote in response to Maryland state delegate Emmett Burns, who criticized an NFL player for supporting same-sex marriage.

After Kluwe's father protested the amount of profanity in the original letter, the NFL player posted another on his blog, swapping out the cusses for over-the-top euphemisms, like beautifully unique sparkle pony.

"It just arose from somewhere in a probably dank and recessed corner of my mind, and I went with it, it flowed well," said Kluwe of his "sparkle pony" label.

Several pieces in the book touch upon gay marriage, including a letter to the Supreme Court justices.
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