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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

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national lead

February 17th, 2014
06:11 PM ET

West Virginia residents still wary of water after chemical leak

(CNN) – It was a half-day for the students at Grandview Elementary in North Charleston, West Virginia, Monday, and it wasn't in observance of George Washington's birthday.

Teachers at the school reported smelling a licorice-like chemical odor this morning, a lingering problem since last month's chemical spill in the nearby Elk River. The spill left 300,000 people without access to clean water last month.
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buried lead

February 17th, 2014
06:02 PM ET

The Lincoln Memorial, 100 years later

(CNN) – He presided over some of the most transformative events of the last century, from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream," speech, to Vietnam War protests, so it's hard to believe that the 19-feet high, 175-ton Abraham Lincoln Memorial, one of the most recognizable in the world, almost never existed for a familiar reason: congressional gridlock over government spending.
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politics lead

February 17th, 2014
05:51 PM ET

Which first lady ranked best in history?

Washington (CNN) – This weekend, a definitive ranking of Americans was announced to the world. The competition was fierce, with new contenders vying for spots held by longtime favorites, while one star outshone them all.

C-SPAN and Siena college released their expert survey of American first ladies Saturday.

Thirty nine first ladies were judged by historians and scholars in ten categories, including public image, value to the president, being her own woman, and of course, value to the country.

For the fifth time since the survey began in 1982, Eleanor Roosevelt clenched the top spot solo, and with husband Franklin Delano as part of the survey's top ranked couple.
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politics lead

February 17th, 2014
05:39 PM ET

Roundtable: Can GOP recapture Senate in 2014?

(CNN) – Senator Rand Paul's "complicated" – as he puts it – endorsement of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who is battling a tea party challenger in Kentucky, is a microcosm of a much larger problem for the Republican party.

Just how will the in-fighting between the GOP establishment and the tea party favorites affect 2014?

Political columnist The Washington Post political columnist Dana Milbank and CNN political commentator and New York Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat discuss.

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world lead

February 17th, 2014
05:29 PM ET

What are Obama's options in Syria?

(CNN) – The Syria peace talks ended on a sour note in Geneva over the weekend, with no progress and plenty of finger-pointing to show for it.

Syria's foreign minister accused the U.S. of creating a "negative climate" for the talks. But Secretary of State John Kerry laid it all on the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

"They have refused to open up one line of discussion legitimately about the transition government and it is very clear that Assad is continuing to try to win this from the battlefield rather than come to negotiating table in good faith," Kerry said.

This is not just fighting far away and out of sight. The United Nations says there are nearly 2.5 million Syrian refugees, and although the UN stopped updating the death toll in Syria, a pro-opposition group says more than 7,000 children have died. CNN cannot independently confirm those numbers.

Senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations' Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and CNN's chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto join "The Lead with Jake Tapper" to discuss.

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