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 and analysis on the crisis in Ukraine.

The latest news and analysis on the crisis in Ukraine.

buried lead

December 9th, 2013
06:42 PM ET

Did Syrian rebel group have sarin?

(CNN) - Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh published an explosive, and hotly-disputed piece Sunday, alleging the Obama administration cherry-picked the intelligence it had about who used sarin gas to kill hundreds of Syrian civilians in August.

"We know the Assad regime was responsible. In the days leading up to August 21, we know that Assad's chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas. They distributed gas masks to their troops. Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighborhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces," President Barack Obama said in an address to the nation in September.

"If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons," Obama said.

However, Hersh says that it is not so crystal clear that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was the one who used the chemical weapons.

"I'm not saying I know. But I don't think our administration knew either," Hersh said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
FULL POST

national lead

December 9th, 2013
06:17 PM ET

Report: NSA agents spying on virtual worlds of 'World of Warcraft,' 'Second Life'

(CNN) - Government spies have been infiltrating the virtual worlds of online video games like 'World of Warcraft' and 'Second Life,' trying to recruit informants and stop terror attacks before they happen, according to a joint investigation by The New York Times, Pro Publica, and The Guardian, based on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The Guardian's U.S. national security editor Spencer Ackerman called it "a horde of undercover orcs."
FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under: National Lead

world lead

December 9th, 2013
06:12 PM ET

Air Force awkward: Obamas, Bushes, and a Clinton head for South Africa on Air Force One

(CNN) - The world is preparing for what may be the largest gathering of heads of state since Winston Churchill's funeral in 1965.

The U.S. alone has an impressive commanders-in-chief collection headed there - President Barack Obama, and former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter comprise one of the most prestigious frequent fliers clubs in the world.

"Air Force One departed Monday for South Africa where more than 90 heads of state are planning to attend Nelson Mandela's memorial Tuesday in Johannesburg. Inside, the Obamas, George W. and Laura Bush, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea are flying from an event in Rio, Brazil, and linking up with the rest of the club tomorrow. President George H. W. Bush, who's been in poor health for some time, won't be making the trip.

Together, they are set for an almost 20-hour flight, with only one bed on board.
FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under: World Lead

world lead

December 9th, 2013
05:26 PM ET

Expert: Kim Jong Un is 'not a reformer,' 'perp walk' ouster of uncle a first

(CNN) – In a move to squash dissent within North Korea's ruling elite, the once-powerful uncle of leader Kim Jong Un was removed from his government position at a Ruling Workers' Party politburo meeting Sunday, North Korea's state news agency KCNA confirmed.

"Jang Song Thaek has been purged before, but has never done a perp walk," said Christopher Hill, dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at Denver University.
FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under: World Lead

world lead

December 9th, 2013
04:58 PM ET

Bono: Nelson Mandela refused to hate

Watch the rest of CNN's Anderson Cooper's interview with Bono on AC360, Monday at 8 p.m. ET.

(CNN) - Nelson Mandela was a global icon for peace and non-violence, and his memorial service Tuesday is on pace to rival anything seen in decades in terms of size and security presence.

Four United States presidents, 91 heads of state, tens of thousands of South Africans, and celebrities from all over the world are among the throngs of mourners flocking to Johannesburg to bid farewell to Mandela.

There will also be elite military troops, snipers, and security dogs - all there to watch over a stadium meant to hold some 90,000 people, coming to pay their respects and celebrate Mandela's life.

CNN's Anderson Cooper is on the ground in Johannesburg, where he caught up with U2 frontman Bono.


Filed under: World Lead
« older posts