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

NFL's Roger Goodell to hold a press conference, the first in 9 days. We'll have the latest.

NFL's Roger Goodell to hold a press conference, the first in 9 days. We'll have the latest.

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 2nd, 2014
05:29 PM ET

ISIS: Second beheading is a 'message to America'

(CNN) - A video that shows the beheading of American Steven Sotloff was delivered as a "second message to America" to halt airstrikes in Iraq, following through on a threat to kill the journalist.

In the video posted Tuesday online, Sotloff says - in a message surely scripted by his captors - that he is "paying the price" for U.S. military intervention.

The intelligence community in the United States is working to confirm the authenticity of the video, and the journalist's family was waiting for that formal authentication that Sotloff has been killed.

"The family knows of the video and is grieving privately," family spokesman Barak Barfi said.

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national lead

August 26th, 2014
06:19 PM ET

Scathing report slams veterans' care but says no definite link to deaths

(CNN) - A lengthy report on wait times at VA health care facilities in Phoenix found that 28 veterans had "clinically significant delays" in care, and six of them died, but investigators couldn't conclusively link their deaths to the delays.

The scathing report, released Tuesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General, said the delays were because of scheduling issues.

There were also 17 patients - 14 of whom died - in the review who received poor care but not as a result of access or scheduling issues.

FULL POST

world lead

August 21st, 2014
05:45 PM ET

U.S. strikes ISIS again as more details emerge about failed rescue of James Foley

(CNN) - The captors of American journalist James Foley had demanded a ransom of 100 million euros ($132.5 million) for his release, according to GlobalPost spokesman Richard Byrne.

The New Hampshire native, 40, was a freelancer for the online news outlet. He was on assignment when he disappeared on November 22, 2012, in northwest Syria, near the border with Turkey.

Philip Balboni, the president and chief executive of GlobalPost, told CNN that the company "never took the $100 million seriously" because ransoms paid for other hostages in ISIS captivity were "dramatically less." He did not say what those lower amounts were, but that there was an attempt to raise money that was more in line with the lower sums.

FULL POST

national lead

August 20th, 2014
06:20 PM ET

Airstrikes hit ISIS in Iraq as Obama condemns journalist's murder

(CNN) - There was no suggestion in President Barack Obama's remarks Wednesday about the terrorist beheading of an American journalist that the United States was backing down in its airstrikes in Iraq.

The President blasted ISIS and said that the world was "appalled" by the videotaped execution of James Foley that surfaced Tuesday.

Around that time came word that U.S. military forces struck ISIS in Iraq by employing fighter, remotely piloted and attack aircraft, unleashing 14 airstrikes near Mosul Dam.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports.

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