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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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money lead

August 5th, 2013
05:58 PM ET

Pros and cons of the world's first laboratory-grown burger

The hamburger is a U.S. icon, Americans eat an average of three burgers every week. Maybe because so many were brainwashed by the McDonald's jingle: "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun."

But what if it were "One patty made from cattle stem cells grown in a petri dish for more than $300,000, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun?"

After five years, a Netherlands university team debuted the world's first laboratory-grown patty Monday morning in London, frying it up infomercial style, complete with the cheesy, multicolored backdrop, and awkward audience. The two brave taste testers gave it such rave reviews as "close to meat" and "tasted like an animal protein cake." But in fairness, they ate the patty without any condiments or bun.

But the real story here is what this means for the food industry. The team behind the lab patty say that this could potentially be an environmentally friendly way to fight world hunger. But with its current high price tag, that does not seem realistic, and questions remain regarding the meat's safety.

The good news is that most of this patty came from just one part of the cow, said Michael Moss, investigative reporter for The New York Times, and author of the book "Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us."
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world lead

August 5th, 2013
05:38 PM ET

Analysis: Is al Qaeda back?

In what may be a disturbing sign of al Qaeda’s resurgence, U.S. intelligence believes the Yemeni head of its affiliate in the Arabian peninsula is now the overall terror organization’s No. 2 leader.

A U.S. official with access to the latest intelligence said that Nasir al Wuhayshi was appointed over the past few weeks by al Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri.

"It's amazing that al Qaeda's nominal commander would outsource operations to someone, you know, thousands of miles away," said Spencer Ackerman, national security editor with The Guardian. "You can think about, even in light of our recent reporting about the NSA, the overwhelming surveillance opportunities that exists to intercept some of the plans that al Qaeda might be attempting."
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world lead

August 5th, 2013
05:31 PM ET

New fears of al Qaeda-linked terror attack

Newly intercepted messages by senior al Qaeda members indicate final planning for an attack may be complete. Dozens of U.S. intelligence analysts are urgently scouring databases, telephone intercepts, and websites for clues.

The messages renewed fears that the terror group may be planning for an attack against the U.S. and western interests.
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world lead

August 5th, 2013
05:30 PM ET

U.S. intercepted message from al-Zawahiri to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

In what may be a disturbing sign of al Qaeda’s resurgence, U.S. intelligence believes the Yemeni head of its affiliate in the Arabian peninsula is now the overall terror organization’s No. 2 leader.

A U.S. official with access to the latest intelligence said that Nasir al Wuhayshi was appointed over the past few weeks by al Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is widely thought by the Obama administration to be behind the latest terror threat that prompted the closure this week of U.S. diplomatic facilities in the Middle East and North Africa.

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