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.

world lead

December 5th, 2013
06:52 PM ET

Analyst: Family of American teacher slain in Benghazi may never get answers

(CNN) - An American teacher working in Benghazi, Libya, awoke this morning, put on his running shoes like he's probably done countless other mornings, and went out for a jog.

But Ronnie Smith never returned home.

Gunmen shot and killed Smith right in the streets of Benghazi. At this point, it's not known who did this, or why Smith might have been targeted.

The Smith family will likely want justice, and answers. But in a place like Libya, they may never know what really happened.

"It's pretty unlikely, perhaps," said terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank. "Very, very difficult for the FBI to get over to places like Benghazi. Very difficult even for the Libyan central government to actually operate in Benghazi."
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politics lead

December 5th, 2013
06:31 PM ET

Boehner: GOP needs to work on talking to women

(CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner wants to get ahead of the GOP's women problem before the 2014 midterms, making sure Republican men in the House get a little sensitivity training to learn how to run against female opponents and appeal to female voters. Last year, Republican Senate candidates talked of "legitimate rape," among other things

Boehner is being candid, and it is not a secret that since the end of the last election, Republicans have been licking their wounds, and trying to figure out the best way to close the gender gap among voters and try to recruit more female candidates.

CNN's Dana Bash reports.

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buried lead

December 5th, 2013
06:22 PM ET

DNA evidence frees innocent man who spent 25 years in prison

Editor's note: For much more about the dramatic exoneration of falsely accused murderer Michael Morton, watch CNN Films' "An Unreal Dream, The Michael Morton Story," airing Thursday, December 12, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CNN TV.

(CNN) – Crucial DNA evidence proved Michael Morton had been sitting in jail for a quarter century, for a crime he didn't commit. Morton was convicted in 1987 of killing his wife, Christine, even though he repeatedly denied it.

"I didn't think I'd be convicted. I thought it was going to be a longish trial. But then it would be revealed that there can be no there there," Morton said in the documentary "An Unreal Dream," airing Thursday on CNN.

But he was wrong. Morton was sentenced to life and spent 25 years in prison before his attorneys and The Innocence Project, a group which works to help prove prisoners innocent through DNA evidence, found holes in his conviction.

DNA testing in 1987, when Morton was convicted, was "very rudimentary," said Chris Asplen, a former federal prosecutor who is now the director for the Alliance for Rapid DNA Testing.
FULL POST

national lead

December 5th, 2013
06:02 PM ET

Pastor Rick Warren fights fat with faith

(CNN) - One of this country's most famous pastors, Rick Warren, was in the middle of baptizing more than 800 people into the Christian faith, and as he lifted each body out of the water, he says he could not help thinking, 'Wow, everybody's fat!"

Warren knew he had a health problem, too. So with the help of some experts, he came up with, and co-authored, "The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life," a road map to better living through five key factors: faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends.

"We have to redefine what community's all about," Warren said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper." "It's about relationships. It's not about the food itself."
FULL POST

world lead

December 5th, 2013
05:30 PM ET

Zuma: 'We will always love you, Madiba'

(CNN) - South African President Jacob Zuma announces Nelson Mandela has died, saying "he passed on peacefully, in the company of his family."

"We will always love you, Madiba, may your soul rest in peace. God bless Africa," Zuma said.

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