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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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world lead

December 31st, 2014
06:00 PM ET

Search delays compound families' grief

(CNN) - A sad homecoming for some of the passengers on the doomed jet, as two bodies - victims recovered from the Java Sea - arrived in Surabaya, the same city their fated plane left early Sunday morning.

The numbered caskets, escorted by rescue workers and soldiers, hammered home the devastating reality that the 162 souls who boarded AirAsia Flight QZ8501, including 18 children, are almost certainly all gone. So far, Indonesian officials say rescue teams have recovered a total of seven bodies, including a woman wearing a flight attendant's uniform.

All of them will ultimately wind up at hospitals or morgues for the grim but necessary process of examining and identifying the bodies, to give families closure and to look for any evidence that might strip away the layers of mystery about how this jet went down.

Clues that might give the families and friends of the passengers - and the world - some answers.

CNN's Andrew Stevens reports live from Surabaya on the latest.

world lead

December 30th, 2014
06:19 PM ET

Report from Indonesia: families distraught at discovery

(CNN) - The heartbreaking discovery of bodies and debris all but confirmed the absolute worst happened to AirAsia Flight 8501.

The search for the plane continues with crews working through the night, though the effort may have turned from search and rescue into search and recovery. Indonesian teams pulled three bodies, two women and one man, from the Java Sea, according to the head of that country's search and rescue agency, with whom CNN's Jake Tapper spoke earlier today.

Spotters in a military plane also spied and collected pieces of debris floating in the water below, just sixty miles from the flight's last known location. Now, per AirAsia, all the search teams are focusing their efforts around that site in the Karimata Strait, with divers and ships with sonar combing the ocean floor hoping to find the main cabin of the plane.

FULL POST

world lead

September 29th, 2014
06:41 PM ET

Hong Kong: Will crackdown become Tiananmen 2?

Thousands of protesters demanding democracy pack the streets in Hong Kong. CNN's Andrew Stevens and Jim Sciutto report.

world lead

April 23rd, 2014
06:41 PM ET

South Korea ferry disaster: Divers say there are no air pockets left

(CNN) – South Korean officials continue to call their operation a search and rescue mission, but hopes are fading that survivors of the sunken ferry Sewol may yet be found.

Rescue officials said Wednesday that divers have yet to find an air pocket on the third or fourth decks, where most of the passenger bedrooms and the ship's cafeteria are located.

Rescuers haven't found a single survivor since 174 people were rescued the day the ship sank one week ago.

FULL POST

world lead

November 15th, 2013
05:31 PM ET

A week after Typhoon Haiyan hit, grim realities sink in

Tacloban, Philippines (CNN) - A mother mourns the deaths of children who slipped from her grasp. A father says he's contemplated suicide. A family prepares to rebuild.

A week after Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines, the adrenaline-fueled response to the storm and its aftermath have faded from the streets of Tacloban. Now, the grim realities of daily life have taken its place.

Juvelyn Taniega is trying to keep busy. She's collected old dishes and is cleaning them up, crouching on the ground near the spot where her home once stood and the place where she last saw her husband and six children alive.

FULL POST