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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

July 1st, 2014
07:01 PM ET

Hurricane fears for Fourth of July as Tropical Storm Arthur forms

(CNN) - It's likely to be a very wet Fourth of July for North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Tropical Storm Arthur has formed off eastern Florida, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday, making it the first named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.

The center said the system could reach minimal hurricane strength by the time it hits the Outer Banks on Thursday night.

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sports lead

July 1st, 2014
06:43 PM ET

NCAA reopens 'paper class' investigation at University of North Carolina

(CNN) – After months of questions and pressure from whistle-blowers, academic reform groups, the public and members of Congress, the NCAA has decided to reopen its investigation into The University of North Carolina over its so-called paper class scandal.

UNC has been under scrutiny since 2011, when it was revealed that it had hundreds of classes in the Afro-American studies program that required no attendance and just a single paper. The issue received national attention after CNN highlighted literacy problems at UNC. In one CNN report, whistle-blower Mary Willingham said the so-called "paper classes" were well known by the athletic support staff as easy classes for athletes who needed to stay eligible, and that the papers were often plagiarized.

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buried lead

July 1st, 2014
06:36 PM ET

Blackwater manager allegedly threatened to kill State Department investigator

(CNN) – As President Obama sends troops to Iraq, one of the uglier chapters from previous U.S. involvement is playing out in a courthouse in Washington, D.C.

After years of delay and legal issues, the U.S. government is trying four guards with the company once known as Blackwater, for a deadly shoot out in the streets of Baghdad back in September 2007.
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politics lead

July 1st, 2014
05:47 PM ET

House ethics change on travel reporting sparks controversy

Washington (CNN) - Watchdogs and even some members of Congress raised alarms Tuesday after learning that the House of Representatives quietly changed how lawmakers report privately funded travel worth millions of dollars a year, removing those trips from one of the most high-profile reports that members must file.

But as the change sent out ripples of outrage, it was not clear how wide-ranging the effect would be, because the trip information remains easily accessible in a separate report.

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world lead

July 1st, 2014
05:39 PM ET

Some tough questions for Iraq's ambassador to the U.S.

(CNN) – Iraq is calling on the U.S. to provide air support, specifically drones and F16s, to "defeat that immediate threat of ISIL to the integrity of Iraq," says Iraq's ambassador the U.S. Lukman Faily.

American and Arab diplomats have told CNN that the United States probably won't launch military strikes against the militant group ISIS (also known as ISIL) and its allied fighters before a new government is formed in Iraq.

But Faily said ISIS is getting dangerously close Baghdad, securing pockets in the northern provinces, and near Tikrit.

"We're talking about something like 100 miles away," said Faily.
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