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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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politics lead

September 5th, 2014
06:44 PM ET

CNN Poll: Key Arkansas Senate race a dead heat

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Tom Cotton has a 2-point advantage over Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in a new CNN/ORC International poll of the political knife fight for the U.S. Senate seat in Arkansas.

Cotton's 49%-47% edge over the incumbent falls well within the survey's 4.5% margin of error, essentially making this race, which will help determine who controls the Senate, a dead heat two months before Election Day.

There is no sugarcoating the bitterness between the two candidates in this high-profile contest. Pryor's campaign released an ad accusing the Republican Cotton of voting against legislation that would help prepare the U.S. for a pandemic situation such as the Ebola virus, while Cotton has charged that Pryor is soft on illegal immigration.

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world lead

September 5th, 2014
06:42 PM ET

Menendez on Russia in Ukraine: Use whatever euphemism you want, to me it's an invasion

(CNN) – President Obama announced Friday that a core coalition - formed on the sidelines of this week's NATO summit - would take on militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS, or ISIL.

"That coalition needs to bring to bear the same resources we have brought to bear so far, both in air power, as well as other military equipment and abilities," said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey.
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world lead

September 5th, 2014
06:29 PM ET

Tracking down American ISIS fighters

(CNN) – It is unclear just how many Americans have joined up with the militant terrorist group ISIS.

The fear is there is still a lot U.S. officials don't know, a federal law enforcement official told CNN, and it's an issue that's keeping officials buzzing around the clock.
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world lead

September 5th, 2014
06:15 PM ET

A rogue's gallery of ISIS, Al-Shabaab terrorists

(CNN) – President Obama laid out the partial playbook for weakening ISIS and diminishing the group's global appeal Friday.

"You systemically degrade their capabilities. You narrow their scope of action. You slowly shrink the space, the territory, that they may control. You take out their leadership. And, over time, they are not able to conduct the same kinds of terrorist attacks as they once could," Obama said.

But even if the U.S. manages to take out a top terror leader, isn't there always someone in line ready and willing to step in and pick up where the previous mastermind left off?

Director of the Center for the Study of Terrorist Radicalization Daveed Gartenstein-Ross joins CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" to discuss.

world lead

September 5th, 2014
06:05 PM ET

Kurdish forces make gains on ISIS in Iraq as NATO leaders promise help

(CNN) - Kurdish forces backed by U.S. air cover made gains Friday against ISIS fighters in Iraq's Mosul province as NATO leaders concluded a summit in Wales, pledging to help defeat the radical Islamic forces.

The Kurdish fighters, known as the Peshmerga, retook several villages seized this summer in ISIS' lightning assault in Iraq as well as high ground overlooking plains on the approach to Mosul, CNN's Anna Coren reported.

"It is a duty of everybody who loves democracy and freedom and human rights to struggle against the terrorists," said Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Rowsch Shaways, a Kurd.

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