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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

Following Scotland's historic vote on independence from the U.K.

Following Scotland's historic vote on independence from the U.K.

world lead

September 18th, 2014
06:41 PM ET

Polls close as Scotland's voters make their choice in independence referendum

Glasgow, Scotland (CNN) - Voters in Scotland made their choice Thursday - remain part of the United Kingdom, or form their own independent nation.

Now, the counting of the votes begins.

Polls at more than 5,500 stations across 32 districts, from the remote highlands and islands to the big cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, closed at 10 p.m. local time (5 p.m. ET). People still in line to vote at that time were allowed to cast ballots.

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world lead

September 18th, 2014
06:11 PM ET

Sen. Corker: Obama administration's ISIS strategy 'not serious'

(CNN) – Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, said there has been a rush for President Obama to address the threat posed by terrorist group ISIS, also known as ISIL.

"But it's evident to me that they don't have the pieces put together," Corker said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
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world lead

September 18th, 2014
05:55 PM ET

Australian PM: Public execution terror plot foiled

(CNN) - Two men were charged Thursday in connection with a terror plot that Australia's prime minister said involved plans to carry out a public execution.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said authorities obtained intelligence about a "demonstration killing" - a killing, Australian media reported, in which alleged assailants planned to kidnap a member of the public, behead the victim and then drape him or her in an ISIS flag.

The foiled plot comes just days after the country raised its terror alert to high and in the midst of Australia committing to helping the United States and a broad international coalition to beat back the Islamic State, or ISIS.

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world lead

September 18th, 2014
05:38 PM ET

Rep. Sanchez: 'This is a rush' to war

(CNN) – Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-California, voted Wednesday against a House bill to arm moderate Syrian rebels to aid in the fight against ISIS.

Sanchez expressed frustration at the process, noting that the vote was yesterday, while a House Armed Services hearing on ISIS was held today, telling U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel she found the order of events "pretty disturbing."

"ISIS does present a problem," Sanchez said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper." "I just don't believe that the plan that they've put together to arm these moderates – as they call them – Syrians will work."

The congresswoman criticized her colleagues for not staying to debate the issue, but going home to campaign instead. Asked if there was a rush to war, Sanchez said: "Yes, I do believe that this is a rush."
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Free Syrian Army doesn't dispute aid to fight ISIS will also be used to fight Assad

world lead

September 18th, 2014
12:18 PM ET

Free Syrian Army doesn't dispute aid to fight ISIS will also be used to fight Assad

By CNN chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper

A letter issued Wednesday by a top leader of the Free Syrian Army makes it clear that its fighters intend to use U.S. aid to fight not only ISIS but the forces of Bashar al-Assad, regardless of a reluctance by the Obama administration to publicly acknowledge that fact. The letter – issued as Congress began voting on aid and assistance to the rebels – affirms “the Free Syrian Army’s continued commitment to removing the twin terrorists Bashar al-Assad and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from Syrian soil,” and directly calls upon the U.S. Congress to help them accomplish that task.

Obtained by CNN and available here, the letter was in direct response to Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minnesota, who opposed the House legislation that provided funding and military aid to Syrian rebels fighting ISIS. On Tuesday on the House floor, Nolan questioned whether members the Free Syrian Army were truly moderates.
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