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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

Dutch frustration with Russia grows increasingly personal. Plus the latest on the Mideast conflict.

Dutch frustration with Russia grows increasingly personal. Plus the latest on the Mideast conflict.

politics lead

September 12th, 2013
11:59 PM ET

Democratic senator: Putin's op-ed speaks more to Russians than to Americans

Several members of the House and Senate have publicly criticized President Vladimir Putin's op-ed in The New York Times.

Putin took a direct shot at President Barack Obama's speech on Syria Tuesday, writing, "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation."

"Most of Russia's foreign policy over the last few years has been dedicated to the single foundational premise that they want to stick a finger in the eye of the American president," said Democratic Senator Chris Murphy.
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world lead

September 12th, 2013
11:41 PM ET

Sen. Murphy on diplomatic solution in Syria: Putin has to bring Assad to the table

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Geneva meeting with his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minster Sergey Lavrov. The two are trying to nail down the framework for an agreement requiring Syria to give up its chemical weapons, as the U.S. continues to threaten Syria with potential military strikes.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that a secretive Syrian military unit has been moving chemical stockpiles around to as many as 50 sites to try to avoid U.S. detection. U.S. intelligence thinks it still has a good way of tracking their movements.

"Syria doesn't want to give up these weapons, they're only going to do so if Russia tells them they have to. The only way that Assad continues in power in Syria is with the permission of Vladimir Putin and the Russian government," said Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, member of the Foreign Relations Committee.

"Ultimately he's going to do everything he can to subterfuge this deal, it's going to be Putin that brings him to the table," said Murphy.
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pop lead

September 12th, 2013
06:16 PM ET

Evolution of late night: Comedians turn to viral campaigns to sell jokes

The video of the worst twerk fail ever from "Jimmy Kimmel Live," and the Breaking Bad parody from "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" are the very definitions of viral videos.

Such digital offerings are now defining late night comedy.

"We just put it on the internet, YouTube, and let the magic happen," Kimmel said of the twerking video.
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politics lead

September 12th, 2013
06:00 PM ET

Analysis: The politics of Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin's op-ed in The New York Times was a limited strike, a shot across the bow designed to send a stern message.

"It is clear that President Putin has invested his credibility in transferring Assad's chemical weapons to international control, and ultimately destroying them," Press Secretary Jay Carney said at Thursday's press briefing.

But Putin doesn't care about his credibility, said Max Fisher, foreign affairs blogger for The Washington Post.

"He's not running for the Senate here. What he's trying to do is put his thumb on the domestic American debate over whether to strike Syria," said Fisher.
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buried lead

September 12th, 2013
05:18 PM ET

When it mattered most, invasive surveillance programs didn't work, say reporters

Thursday marks a dubious anniversary – September 12, the day the United States woke up to a different world, one where the Patriot Act, digital surveillance, and secret data collection programs routinely bend individual liberties in the name of national security.
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