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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

April 5th, 2013
06:21 PM ET

Caught in an Afghanistan gun fight

By Anna Coren

Major General Tony Thomas is the most experienced special operations leader in the U.S. military. Thomas is the first NATO commander of all special forces in Afghanistan and has spent every year here since 9/11, with the exception of a 12-month deployment in Iraq.

We were with one of his units in eastern Afghanistan. When trying to capture a bomb maker, they were ambushed by the Taliban.

One region close to the Pakistan border is a hotbed for the insurgency, with U.S. forces coming under weekly attacks.

"We came into this thing saying it would probably take a generation to change the situation in Afghanistan, we have a 12-year-old right now, 12 years isn't a sufficient amount of time to say that's it," said Thomas.

But the U.S. is withdrawing, and it's now up to Afghanistan's 350,000 soldiers and police to lead the fight.
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world lead

April 5th, 2013
06:01 PM ET

Honoring spouses of the fallen

By Jake Tapper

For many people with loved ones in Afghanistan, 2014 and the U.S. withdrawal cannot come fast enough. But for the thousands of families who lost husbands, wives, dads, and moms in that war and other conflicts, there will never be a homecoming. For some of those grieving, this is their day.

The Senate has passed a resolution declaring this Gold Star Wives Day. Gold Star Wives is an organization that dates back to World War II; the group gives support to the spouses and families of the fallen.

When researching my recent book about Afghanistan, I met and came to know a number of these Gold Star Wives, and I know that long after the war in Afghanistan ends, it will never end for them. Their stories are heart-breaking, and their sacrifices are recognized even less than that of their late husbands.

Kristin, Jennifer, Brandi, Karen, Dena, Olivia, Amanda, Alyssa, Brittany, Alexis, and Megan, thank you.

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Jaguar not mad with 'Mad Men'

pop lead

April 5th, 2013
03:08 PM ET

Jaguar not mad with 'Mad Men'

By Sherisse Pham

Jaguar played a supporting role in the fifth season of "Mad Men," and not an entirely flattering one. In the AMC show, a Jaguar dealer demands that one of the characters, Joan Harris, sleep with him. And near the end of the season, there was a macabre joke about the unreliability of Jaguars when another character, Lane Pryce, tries to kill himself.

"Many of us are fans of the show," said Stuart Schorr, vice president of communications at Jaguar. "We had a sense of how brands play a role in the plot of the show, and sometimes it’s positive, and sometimes it’s negative. But it’s always entertaining."

"Jaguar, I mean, they would have never agreed to participate financially in a show if they knew the story. So they didn't. So I have to do it independently of them," "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner told CNN's Jake Tapper. "In the end, whether they ride a roller coaster or not, in terms of how the agency feels about them, or how the show is treating them, I think for the most part, they are secretly very happy to be in the public eye on this show."

"We quickly realized it would be, as Matthew said, a roller coaster," said Schorr.
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pop lead

April 5th, 2013
11:54 AM ET

Web exclusive: Is Jaguar mad at 'Mad Men'?

By Sherisse Pham and Jake Tapper

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner is well-known among cast and crew members as a stickler for authenticity. The AMC hit show has thus far been set in the 1960s, and the "Mad Men" team works hard to make sure the set, the props, even the furniture is from that era, meticulously researching every vintage detail of Don Draper's environment. That sense of reality extends to the clients and products the ad firm represents - Lucky Strike, American Airlines, Samsonite, Hilton, and Jaguar. It can get a little crazy. Inside a market research report for Samsonite - a prop on set - were detailed memos, and a job sheet.

It is likely flattering for certain companies to be featured in the show, but sometimes, not so much. The Lucky Strike client was a jerk. The Jaguar dealer demanded one of the show's popular characters, Joan Harris, sleep with him. And in one of the last episodes of the fifth season, there was a macabre joke about the unreliability of Jaguars when Lane Pryce tries to kill himself.

"Jaguar, I mean, they would have never agreed to participate financially in a show if they knew the story. So they didn't. So I have to do it independently of them," said Weiner. "In the end, whether they ride a roller coaster or not, in terms of how the agency feels about them, or how the show is treating them, I think for the most part, they are secretly very happy to be in the public eye on this show."
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politics lead

April 5th, 2013
11:10 AM ET

#You're It: Titles for Hillary's new book

We asked you on Thursday to send us titles for Hillary Clinton's forthcoming book. Thanks to all tweeps who played, and a shout out to those who made air: @Matthops82 tweeted us this gem: "Put in a Bill & All I Received Was Some Change: The Story of the 2008 Primary." @ChrisStigall sent in "Fifty Shades of Pantsuits," and @0ryuge tweeted "Likeable Enough."

[tweet https://twitter.com/Matthops82/status/319914591591223296%5D
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