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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

Two New York City cops assassinated over the weekend – what will be the department's reaction?

Two New York City cops assassinated over the weekend - what will be the department's reaction?

sports lead

October 23rd, 2014
06:24 PM ET

UNC report finds 18 years of academic fraud to keep athletes playing

Chapel Hill, North Carolina (CNN) - For 18 years, thousands of students at the prestigious University of North Carolina took fake "paper classes," and advisers funneled athletes into the program to keep them eligible, according to a scathing independent report released Wednesday.

"These counselors saw the paper classes and the artificially high grades they yielded as key to helping some student-athletes remain eligible," Kenneth Wainstein wrote in his report.

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sports lead

September 18th, 2014
05:52 PM ET

Cardinals cut player with violent history after CNN inquiries

By CNN correspondent Sara Ganim

(CNN) – Just days after the recent Ray Rice scandal broke, the Arizona Cardinals signed a player with a history of domestic abuse arrests, only to fire him today once CNN and other media began asking questions. If he had stayed, he would have been in a good position to replace Jonathan Dwyer, the Cardinals running back who was deactivated after being arrested for domestic abuse.

Chris Rainey has been kicked off three previous teams for bad behavior - twice for domestic abuse-related charges. Each time, he was picked up again by another team.
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sports lead

July 1st, 2014
06:43 PM ET

NCAA reopens 'paper class' investigation at University of North Carolina

(CNN) – After months of questions and pressure from whistle-blowers, academic reform groups, the public and members of Congress, the NCAA has decided to reopen its investigation into The University of North Carolina over its so-called paper class scandal.

UNC has been under scrutiny since 2011, when it was revealed that it had hundreds of classes in the Afro-American studies program that required no attendance and just a single paper. The issue received national attention after CNN highlighted literacy problems at UNC. In one CNN report, whistle-blower Mary Willingham said the so-called "paper classes" were well known by the athletic support staff as easy classes for athletes who needed to stay eligible, and that the papers were often plagiarized.

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national lead

June 27th, 2014
06:07 PM ET

Cyber bullies using apps like Snapchat, where evidence disappears

(CNN) – Tricia Norman thought she was being a conscientious mom, keeping tabs on her daughter's social media accounts.

But like many parents, she found monitoring online communications was getting harder with things constantly changing.

The growing trend of apps such as Snapchat and Ask.Fm, where messages easily disappear, have raised alarms; many are concerned they could be used to hide sexting or inappropriate posts.

And it's not just parents, they're a problem for law enforcement, too. Especially when something goes terribly wrong.

CNN's Sara Ganim reports.

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sports lead

May 8th, 2014
08:40 PM ET

What happens to college football players who don't make the NFL draft?

(CNN) – Draft day is finally here, the day every football fan looks forward to. Unless you root for the Jets.

For a college football star, the move from Saturday to Sunday could mean a signing bonus in the tens of millions of dollars, another pile of millions in endorsements, and tens of millions of viewers for the NFL and its TV partners.

But those who do not hear the commissioner call their names, may be left with a degree that isn't worth the paper on which it's printed, if they graduated at all.

CNN's Sara Ganim reports.

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