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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
06:09 PM ET

Panel: Has sonar found AirAsia wreckage?

(CNN) - Sea operations specialist Captain Tim Taylor, CNN aviation analyst Jeff Wise and CNN safety analyst David Soucie discuss the search progress for AirAsia Flight QZ8501.

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world lead

December 31st, 2014
06:01 PM ET

Report from Borneo: Attempts to identify victims

(CNN) - As families of the victims of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 struggle to come to grips with their loved ones being gone, Indonesian authorities are searching the sea for more wreckage and more victims.

Officials are now bringing bodies to a mid-way point, so they can start the grim process of identifying them.

CNN's Paula Hancocks reports live from Borneo.

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 31st, 2014
05:38 PM ET

Nasty weather hampers AirAsia search

(CNN) - The array of ships, planes, helicopters, and divers looking for AirAsia Flight QZ8501 had to abort yesterday's search two hours early as heavy rain, wind, and towering waves shrouded the scene in a misty dark fog.

Efforts remain focused on the Karimata Strait where crews first spotted debris. Indonesian officials now say they think the plane's main fuselage might be there as well.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux joins "The Lead" with the latest on the hunt for the wreckage.

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.

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