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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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October 6th, 2014
06:59 PM ET

Ben Affleck, Bill Maher in heated debate about Islam

(CNN) - Ben Affleck's appearance on Bill Maher's "Real Time" on Friday turned into a somewhat heated discussion when Maher and author Sam Harris voiced their opinions on Islam.

"Gone Girl" star Affleck took umbrage at the pair's contention that Islam is, in Harris' words, a "mother lode of bad ideas" and that liberals are squeamish about criticizing Islam for stances on women and LGBT issues because people "have been sold this meme of Islamophobia, where every criticism gets confused with bigotry toward Muslims as people."

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May 28th, 2014
05:39 PM ET

The words Maya Angelou left behind

Inspired by Maya Angelou? Read your favorite Angelou quote on video and send it to CNN iReport.

(CNN) - A literary voice revered globally for her poetic command and her commitment to civil rights has fallen silent.

Maya Angelou died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Wednesday, said her literary agent, Helen Brann. Angelou had been "frail" and suffering from heart problems, the agent said.

Angelou's legacy is twofold. She leaves behind a body of important artistic work that influenced several generations. But the 86-year-old was praised by those who knew her as a good person, a woman who pushed for justice and education and equality.

In her full life, she wrote staggeringly beautiful poetry. She also wrote a cookbook and was nominated for a Tony. She delivered a poem at a presidential inauguration. In 2010, President Barack Obama named her a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor.

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August 20th, 2013
06:42 PM ET

Elmore Leonard, writer of sharp, colorful crime stories, dead at 87

(CNN) - Elmore Leonard - the award-winning mystery writer whose snappy dialogue, misfit characters and laconic sense of humor produced such popular works as "Get Shorty," "Hombre," "Fifty-Two Pickup" and "Out of Sight" - has died, according to his literary agent, Jeffrey Posternak. He was 87.

The cause of death was not given, but Leonard had suffered a stroke two weeks ago. According to his website, the author died at his home in Bloomfield Village, Michigan.

Leonard's succinct writing style - he favored brief exchanges of dialogue leavened with wit and a keen sense of person and place - made him a favorite of Hollywood, which turned several Leonard novels and stories into films and TV programs. (The newest Leonard adaptation, the film "Life of Crime," based on his novel "The Switch," will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival next month.)

He was also incredibly prolific. At the time of his death, he was at work on his 46th novel.

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