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 19th, 2013
06:13 PM ET

Advocate: Treatment of housekeeper, not Indian diplomat, should be the issue

(CNN) - There has been plenty of outrage abroad over the arrest and strip-search of an Indian diplomat, but what about the contempt over the crime she is accused of committing?

Devyani Khobragade faces federal visa fraud charges. The feds say she submitted false documents to get a work visa for her housekeeper, and then paid the woman far below the minimum wage – about $3.31/hour.

Khobragade was arrested in New York and privately strip search searched, which law enforcement officials say is standard in these types of cases. Her attorney said because she was a diplomat, she should not have been arrested at all. In India, groups are staging protests outside the U.S. embassy, calling the treatment of Khobragade "barbaric."

What seems to be getting lost in the debate over how she was treated is the serious nature of the charges against her.

President of The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center Martina Vandenberg said she is not surprised, "but utterly disappointed" with how much attention has been given to the diplomat's treatment.
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national lead

December 19th, 2013
06:07 PM ET

Should 'Duck Dynasty' star have been suspended?

(CNN) - One of the stars of A&E's mega-hit reality series "Duck Dynasty" is up to his beard in controversy, for something he said in interview with GQ magazine.

While lamenting the state of modern secular morality, Phil Robertson, the family patriarch, said, "Sin becomes fine ... Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
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national lead

December 19th, 2013
05:58 PM ET

Obama commutes sentences of 8 Americans, law professor says move 'long overdue'

(CNN) - President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of eight Americans Thursday, something he has rarely done compared to presidents in the past several decades.

One was a first-time offender who received three life terms in 1993 when he was 22. Another got a life sentence in 1997 for hiding her boyfriend's stash in her house. All eight are federal inmates convicted of crack cocaine offenses, each has been in prison for at least 15 years, six were sentenced to life. Soon, all of them will be free.

"Three years ago, I signed the bipartisan Fair Sentencing Act, which dramatically narrowed the disparity between penalties for crack and powder cocaine offenses," Obama said in a statement. "Today, I am commuting the prison terms of eight men and women who were sentenced under an unfair system."

The president goes on to call on Congress to pass sentencing reforms.

"It's long overdue," said Georgetown Law School professor Paul Butler, who has spoken out against mandatory minimum sentencing, specifically its effects on the African-American community.
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world lead

December 19th, 2013
05:38 PM ET

Apollo Theatre ceiling collapses in London

London (CNN) - A rescue operation was under way Thursday after part of the ceiling in the Apollo Theatre in central London collapsed during a performance, initially trapping people inside and causing casualties, officials said.

Authorities responded to a report of a ceiling collapse at about 8:15 p.m., police said in a tweet.
Within an hour, a spokesman for the fire department said all of the people who had been hurt - estimated at 20 to 40 - had been freed from the building, which had held some 700 theatergoers.

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money lead

December 19th, 2013
05:27 PM ET

Expert: Companies like Target can't prevent hackers

(CNN) - A breach of credit and debit card data at Target may have affected as many as 40 million people who shopped at the store in the three weeks after Thanksgiving, the retailer said Thursday.

The Secret Service, charged with safeguarding the nation's financial infrastructure and payment systems, confirmed it was investigating the breach last Wednesday.

Asked if companies are prepared to prevent such breaches, security expert Shawn Henry said, "I don't think you can prevent them."

"Right now the offense outpaces the defense, and the most sophisticated adversaries are going to get on the network," says Henry, president of CrowdStrike, and former FBI executive assistant director.

"The most companies can really do, is hope that they can detect this when it occurs, and they do that by vigilantly hunting on their network," said Henry.
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