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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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national lead

December 26th, 2014
04:41 PM ET

Slain NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos saw streets as his ministry

New York (CNN) - Rafael Ramos was an unusual cop.

He saw the streets of New York as his ministry.

In fact, he was just hours away from becoming a lay chaplain and graduating from a community-crisis chaplaincy program before he and fellow New York police Officer Wenjian Liu were gunned down in their patrol car Saturday in Brooklyn.

The suspected gunman in the two officers' killing, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, was found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wounds at a nearby subway station immediately after the slayings.

Services for Liu are still pending, but a wake for Ramos is Friday afternoon at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale, New York. It will be followed by a memorial service at 7 p.m. ET Friday and a funeral service Saturday morning.

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national lead

December 12th, 2014
04:37 PM ET

Rain falls with a fury to move rocks, mud in Southern California, burying homes

Affected by the storm? Send your photos to CNN iReport, but please stay safe.

Los Angeles (CNN) - Torrential rains moved walls of rock and mud Friday in South California, burying homes in one neighborhood, closing a coastal highway, and prompting evacuations of foothill communities imperiled by landslides.

The damage marked the second day of a fierce storm slamming the Pacific Coast that, in California, served to trade one natural disaster for another, namely the state's record drought of the past three years.

At a minimum, the biggest storm in years slaked the dry earth, but it is coming at a high price for many people.

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national lead

December 11th, 2014
05:59 PM ET

Heavy rain, power outages hit California; blizzards, flooding, high winds expected

Affected by the storm? Send your photos to CNN iReport, but please stay safe.

Los Angeles (CNN) - Be careful what you wish for, California.

What seemed a godsend of rain is now pummeling the drought-ravaged state with flood warnings in wine country, a potential winter storm in the Sierras and enough moisture to cause mass urban blackouts.

Wind gusts were so furious at an expected 120 mph that the typically smooth mountain waters of Lake Tahoe roiled with waves, prompting Californians to do what comes naturally to them: go surfing.

The storm left 150,000 customers without power Thursday in the San Francisco Bay Area, including 94,000 in the city itself, the National Weather Service said.

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national lead

July 4th, 2014
05:46 PM ET

More protests as Southern California town expects new immigrant transfers

Murrieta, California (CNN) - On a holiday marking the birth of a nation of immigrants, protesters and counter-protesters began a new round of angry demonstrations Friday in a California town that was scheduled to receive new busloads of migrants arrested for entering the country illegally.

The small southern California city of Murrieta, named after a Spaniard whose family set up a sheep ranch there in 1873, is now a national flashpoint in the U.S. immigration crisis: Protesters are denouncing the federal transfer of detained migrants to their town for processing at a local U.S. Border Patrol office.

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world lead

May 23rd, 2014
05:45 PM ET

Ideal wildfire conditions make battle harder for Arizona firefighters

(CNN) – The deck appears stacked against 840 firefighters trying to wrangle an Arizona forest fire as it roars through thousands of acres of park land.

 Dust-dry pine needles, high winds and steep slopes have dealt the blaze called the Slide Fire ideal conditions to spread rapidly, fire officials say. And it has.

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