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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

Continuing coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Plus, the latest on Mideast tensions.

Continuing coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Plus, the latest on Mideast tensions.

national lead

November 15th, 2013
05:57 PM ET

Praying for Obama: Meet the man who served as spiritual adviser to the President

President Barack Obama's faith has often been called into question by political opponents. As a sleight, he was often called a Muslim during the 2008 campaign. In fact, Obama had been a member of a Christian church in Chicago for two decades. That membership later became a liability during the campaign when fiery sermons from his former pastor Jeremiah Wright surfaced.

Through that controversy and in the intervening years, Obama has turned to Joshua DuBois as a spiritual adviser. DuBois was a young campaign staffer, the director for faith outreach. In the midst of the bruising 2008 presidential campaign, DuBois was quietly praying for his candidate and decided to let him know, sending Obama an e-mail devotional – a short message featuring scripture and inspiration to start the day.

"I was thinking, 'I wonder who is looking out for his soul, his spirit?' Shot him an e-mail, wasn't sure what kind of response I was going to get, or if I was going to get fired, or what would happen if I sent this note," DuBois said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

"He wrote back in a few minutes and said, 'This is exactly what I was looking for," said DuBois.
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world lead

November 15th, 2013
05:46 PM ET

White House defends Syria policy

It appears that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is stronger than ever. Has U.S. policy in the region failed?

"He still does not have legitimacy to establish control over the country," said Deputy national security adviser for strategic communication for President Barack Obama Ben Rhodes.
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Filed under: World Lead

world lead

November 15th, 2013
05:43 PM ET

Matt Damon takes on global water crisis

Actor Matt Damon has been a genius from Southie in "Good Will Hunting," an assassin with amnesia and a brand-new conscience in "The Bourne Trilogy," and a contemptibly crooked cop in "The Departed."

But to hear Damon tell it, his most compelling role is bringing water and toilets to impoverished villages in developing nations.

"It's not just to improve their lives but to save them," Damon said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

It's particularly crucial for the young; water and sanitation issues kill children at a rate equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every four hours.
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world lead

November 15th, 2013
05:31 PM ET

A week after Typhoon Haiyan hit, grim realities sink in

Tacloban, Philippines (CNN) - A mother mourns the deaths of children who slipped from her grasp. A father says he's contemplated suicide. A family prepares to rebuild.

A week after Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines, the adrenaline-fueled response to the storm and its aftermath have faded from the streets of Tacloban. Now, the grim realities of daily life have taken its place.

Juvelyn Taniega is trying to keep busy. She's collected old dishes and is cleaning them up, crouching on the ground near the spot where her home once stood and the place where she last saw her husband and six children alive.

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national lead

November 15th, 2013
05:28 PM ET

Sen. Blumenthal: Companies should label energy drinks, cease marketing to kids

Most American adults are accustomed to the deluge of marketing. But are kids fair game?

A tweet sent to Senator Dick Durbin showed a toy, sold at retailer Target, with the words "Rockstar Energy Drink" slapped across the front. It was made by Ronin Syndicate Toys, an action sport toy manufacturer who has other Rockstar Energy drink products on its site.

"Rockstar always has been committed to not recommended for children, and by that we mean under 12," Rockstar company's chief operations officer Janet Weiner said before a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in July.

"Rockstar plainly is using a toy and a ploy to pitch their products to children," said Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, one of the senators asking Rockstar to take the brand off the toy.
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