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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

April 26th, 2013
06:46 PM ET

Boston carjacking victim was 'just trying to live'

One man, who asks to be called only by his English nickname, Danny, endured 90 minutes of horror when he was carjacked and held captive by the Boston bombing suspects. He first told his story to The Boston Globe.

Danny's bold escape helped put police on the suspects' trail. He is still incredibly shaken by the whole ordeal, but reached out to one of his former professors for advice.

"He wanted his story to be out there,"said Northeastern University criminology professor James Fox. Fox has been advising Danny through the ordeal.

Danny had pulled over to check a text message, when a sedan pulled up behind him.

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politics lead

April 26th, 2013
06:22 PM ET

Congress quickly acts to preserve short lines at airports, then leave town

Thousands of air traffic controllers will head back to work soon. On Friday, the House voted for a bill ending the furloughs that went into effect Sunday, and subsequently caused some 3,000 flight delays.

The bill gives the FAA permission to move money from another part of its budget to fund the controllers, some wiggle room in the forced federal spending cuts. President Obama is expected to sign it late Friday.

The FAA says the furloughs should be reversed fairly quickly. Right now, as many as 1,500 air traffic controllers are furloughed per day. But the transportation secretary can quickly move money into the account that funds their salaries.

Though it passed the Senate and House overwhelmingly, and very fast, not all Democrats are pleased.

Walking the halls of the house today, you heard a lot of House Democrats cursing under their breath, and their frustration was aimed at fellow Democrats at the White House and in the Senate who agreed to fix furloughs that delay air travelers, without trying to extract concessions from Republicans in areas where forced spending cuts are hurting the least fortunate, like children on Head Start programs.

"I have a hard time going back home to the Mayo Clinic, and for them saying, 'Why is cancer research money not restored when you give FAA money?' And I think that's a fair question to ask," said Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minnesota.

Cancer research, and lots of other people hurt by forced spending cuts, may not have a voice because they are not frequent travelers.

"It's out of sight, out of mind. But if you're on a plane, so you're irritated by this, all of a sudden we need to make an adjustment to it," said Walz.

Other Democrats said helping air travelers, and doing it in such a bipartisan way, is politically pragmatic, something they had to get off their plate to avoid getting distracted from issues they want to talk about.

It perhaps is no accident that of all the effects of forced spending cuts, flight delays affect congressmen personally more than anything else. As soon as House members approved this measure that would change the law to make sure flights are not delayed because of spending cuts they put into effect, they all raced to the airports to go home for the weekend.

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national lead

April 26th, 2013
05:59 PM ET

A Song for Boston: Music student writes, sings tribute for victims

People of Boston have found all sorts of ways to drive out the darkness of the bombing attack. Berklee College of Music student Steffi Jeraldo did so with a song. Jeraldo wrote "A Song for Boston, a tribute to the people hurt in the bombing blasts.

"I felt so heartbroken and so traumatized by everything that happened, and I wanted to give back to Boston, and help in any way I can," said Jeraldo.

So she gave back the best way she knew how, through her music. Her song, she says, carries the message that in times like these, we need to stick together.

Listen to her tribute in the video above, and listen to more of Jeraldo's music here.

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national lead

April 26th, 2013
05:54 PM ET

Doctor treated Boston victims, worried one would be her husband

A makeshift memorial pays tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. But what about the medical teams, the doctors, and the EMTs? How are they coping in the aftermath? And what if they were missing their own relatives while they were saving the lives of those injured?

Emergency physician Dr. Leana Wen's husband had attended and watched the marathon from near the finish line. As patients streamed into Massachusetts General Hospital that Monday, Wen worried one of them would be her husband.

"While I was treating patients, I had no idea whether the next patient was going to be my husband," Wen told CNN's Jake Tapper. "Because there was soot and blood everywhere, I thought there was a good chance that the next patient I would be seeing on the stretcher would be my husband."

Wen first shared her story on NPR. She said in the end, thankfully, her husband was unharmed.

For her, the attack has taken an emotional toll.

"It was a horrific day," said Wen, who estimates nearly three dozen patients flooded into the hospital in two hours.

"Technically and medically, we were ready. We had done drills, we knew what to do with each individual patient who came in," said Wen. "But I had never seen trauma like this before. The volume and the nature of the trauma was really chilling, really shocking."

"I have nightmares, and whenever I hear sirens, or the loud speaker, or the ambulance going off, I think about Monday," said Wen.

Wen said she knows she has to get better.

"I need to take care of myself, and our colleagues, in order for us to take care of our patients going forward," said Wen.

national lead

April 26th, 2013
05:53 PM ET

Marine amputee has walked in marathon victims' shoes

When the ground exploded under Gabe Martinez’s feet in Afghanistan three years ago, the Marine corporal’s next step set him on a journey to help others who also lost limbs.

That’s how he ended up in the Boston-area hospital room of Celeste and Sydney Corcoran on Sunday, sharing his experience as a double amputee with a mother and daughter who were seriously injured in the marathon bombing last week.

“Being that I have the same injuries as the mother, Celeste, it really hit home and I was able to relate to her on a personal level and just give her that hope,” he said Friday on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”

“Anybody can say it will be alright - you’ll be OK - but it really hits home when somebody can relate to what you’re going through,” he said.

Video of Martinez and the Corcorans posted online shows just how emotional the experience was for the family.

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