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 20th, 2013
06:04 PM ET

Is 'Love Actually" a new Christmas classic?

(CNN) - 'Tis the season of classic holiday movies, starting with "It's A Wonderful Life," and "Miracle on 34th Street."

In the 1960s, a couple TV specials were added to the cannon: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

Now, a newer batch of movies are starting to crowd in on the family favorites.

Does Will Ferrell's "Elf" deserve a place on the DVR?

Hmmm. Probably not.

The most heated debate about Christmas movies centers around the film "Love Actually." Does it deserve to be considered a new Christmas classic?
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politics lead

December 20th, 2013
06:02 PM ET

The politics behind nominating Baucus for ambassador to China

(CNN) - On a policy level Senator Max Baucus, D-Montana, seems an odd choice for America's next ambassador to China.

Baucus doesn't speak Mandarin Chinese, and while he knows about trade issues, he isn't known for a history of ties to the country.
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politics lead

December 20th, 2013
05:57 PM ET

The next U.S. ambassador to China?

(CNN) - President Barack Obama Friday announced he will nominate longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana as U.S. ambassador to China.

"(I'm) honored, very humbled, and it's very rewarding to be able to continue public service. That's what makes me alive, I love service, I like trying to solve people's problems and this is a new challenge that I'm very looking forward to," Baucus told CNN.

"China is one of the most, if not the most important relationship in the country, in the world – it's up there and I very much want to help the President," said Baucus.

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money lead

December 20th, 2013
05:47 PM ET

Will A&E slay its golden 'duck'?

(CNN) - Mess with the papa duck, and apparently the whole raft gets rattled. The family behind A&E's hit reality show "Duck Dynasty" is standing behind its patriarch, who was suspended over controversial comments he made about blacks and homosexuality.

The feud could mean the show's future is up in the air.
FULL POST

national lead

December 20th, 2013
05:24 PM ET

Edward Snowden casts long shadow on Obama

(CNN) - Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden may be in hiding thousands of miles away, but he cast a long shadow over Friday's White House press conference.

"As a consequence of these disclosures, we've got countries who actually do the things that Mr. Snowden says he's worried about, very explicitly engaging in surveillance of their own citizens; targeting political dissidents; targeting and suppressing the press; who somehow are able to sit on the sidelines and act as if it's the United States that has problems when it comes to surveillance and intelligence operations," President Barack Obama told reporters Friday.
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