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

Dutch frustration with Russia grows increasingly personal. Plus the latest on the Mideast conflict.

Dutch frustration with Russia grows increasingly personal. Plus the latest on the Mideast conflict.

world lead

March 20th, 2014
06:29 PM ET

Families of missing plane passengers suffering a roller coaster of emotions

(CNN) – Two pieces of what could be floating debris in the Indian Ocean are seen as signs of hope and horror for the family members of those on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

While some are desperate for any credible information on the fate of their loved ones, even if it means the worst has happened, others still cling to the possibility that those on board are still alive.

CNN's Sada Sidner reports.

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world lead

March 20th, 2014
06:20 PM ET

Boeing 777 pilot: Autopilot theory for missing plane makes the most sense

(CNN) – One theory gaining credence among experts is that a disturbance, such as a fire, happened on board missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that disabled the pilots and knocked out electrical systems, but also allowed the plane to continue flying on autopilot. Without anyone manning the controls, it continued to fly until it ran out of fuel.

"It's a very viable theory. It's something that I've been touting that seems the most plausible all along," aviation analyst and Boeing 777 pilot Les Abend tells CNN.
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world lead

March 20th, 2014
06:05 PM ET

26 countries probe 3 million square miles for missing plane

(CNN) – The search area for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 spans more than 3 million square miles, roughly the size of Australia.

But even with search teams from 26 countries combing the area, both above and below the ocean's surface, few clues have been uncovered over the past 14 days that give any solid indication as to what may have happened to Flight 370.

CNN's Joe Johns takes a closer look.

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world lead

March 20th, 2014
06:03 PM ET

Will new U.S., Russia sanctions make a difference on the ground in Ukraine?

(CNN) – Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces tightened their grip on newly-annexed Crimea Thursday by storming another Ukrainian military base.

Here in the U.S., President Barack Obama responded to the land grab with a second set of sanctions aimed at Russian and pro-Russian officials in Crimea, and a bank.

"These sanctions would not only have a significant impact on the Russian economy, but could also be disruptive to the global economy. However, Russia must know that further escalation will only isolate it further from the international community," Obama said Thursday.

Russia immediately retaliated with its own sanctions against nine U.S. officials: House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senators John McCain, Robert Menendez, Mary Landrieu and Dan Coats, and White House advisers Ben Rhodes, Dan Pfeiffer and Caroline Atkinson.

All are now banned from traveling to Russia, which doesn't seem to bother them much.

"I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off," McCain tweeted.

But what is the reality on the ground right now, and will these sanctions change anything on either side? CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports live from Simferopol, Crimea.

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world lead

March 20th, 2014
05:55 PM ET

Clock ticking on missing plane's recorder signals

(CNN) – The clock is ticking. Every second that passes diminishes the chance of finding missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and finally learning what happened on board.

The so-called "black box," the flight-data and cockpit-voice recorder, have a locator beacon that can send out a signal.

But as CNN's René Marsh reports, that transmitter will soon run out of power.

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