About the Show

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

The latest news on the crisis in Ukraine, plus a look at the technology aiding in search for Flight 370.

The latest news on the crisis in Ukraine, plus a look at the technology aiding in search for Flight 370.

pop lead

December 4th, 2013
08:26 PM ET

Mega musicians are now 'franchise players'

(CNN) - Bette Midler, Celine Dion, Elton John, Cher ... once they happen in Vegas, they often stay in Vegas.

It's called a residency – casinos pay big bucks to secure exclusive rights to a performer for weeks, even years. In turn, the headliner gets to build the show of their dreams, complete with all the Vegas pomp and plumage money can buy.

Tuesday night Sin City pulled out all the stops for its newest recruit – pop star Britney Spears.

Starting December 27, Spears will perform for two years at Planet Hollywood, 98 shows in total, for a reported $30 million.

"For Vegas we're always looking for top entertainment, right, so the value really is in having big name artists in the city, at our properties," said Kurt Melian, vice president of Caesars Entertainment, who helped negotiate the deal.
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pop lead

December 4th, 2013
06:34 PM ET

The real 'Alpha House': Yes, this is where some Senators actually live

By Dana Bash, CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent

Washington (CNN) – Paint peeling off the walls. Sheets for curtains. Broken blinds. A mangled wicker chair made settable with a board. An ancient stove with a giant hole. And there's also the pile of underwear in the living room.

What looks and feels like the most rundown frat house on campus is actually the Capitol Hill home of some of the most powerful men in Washington.

"Welcome to the Omega House," joked Dick Durbin, who is the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate.

"This is where I've lived for 31 years," boasted Chuck Schumer, the Senate's third-ranking Democrat.

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politics lead

December 4th, 2013
06:15 PM ET

Roundtable: Sen. Warren churning the 2016 rumor mill?

(CNN) - One sure-fire way to get the 2016 rumor mill churning is to promise you're not running for president. At a news conference Wednesday, Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren did just that.

"I pledge to serve out my term. I am not running for president. I am working as hard as I can to be the best possible senator I can be," said Warren.

But then-Senator Barack Obama said he wasn't running for president at one time. He obviously changed his mind.

Bloomberg View columnist Margaret Carlson, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Ana Navarro, and CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger discuss.

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world lead

December 4th, 2013
05:39 PM ET

Fmr. Ambassador Huntsman on U.S. 'miscue' over disputed China air zone

Watch the full interview with former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman on CNN's "Erin Burnett Out Front" at 7 p.m. ET.

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden is in China, meeting with President Xi Jinping for more than five hours between meetings and dinner. According to senior administration officials, Biden told the Chinese leader that the U.S. does not recognize its newly declared air-defense zone over the East China Sea, but appeared to make no immediate progress on the issue.

The U.S. advised airlines to 'comply' with China's request on the disputed zone, but some say that is the wrong message to send and conveys weakness.

"The administration started out by doing the right thing. They sent a couple B52s on a freedom of navigation mission which is exactly what we should be doing in the aftermath of this kind of announcement," said former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman.

"There was a miscue in terms of how we handle commercial aviation, because it was at odds with what Japan then was doing," said Huntsman.
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national lead

December 4th, 2013
05:12 PM ET

Senator: 911 tapes force families to 'relive tragedy'

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, had very strong feelings about the Sandy Hook 911 tapes being released to the public.

"My heart went to the families, because they are now reliving the unspeakable tragedy of that day," said Blumenthal.

The tapes bring back terrible memories for families, and force the entire community and all involved on the day to relive the grief and the speed in which the shooting occurred, said the Connecticut senator.
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