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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

June 19th, 2013
05:32 PM ET

Remembering reporter Michael Hastings

By CNN chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper

Journalism lost a rising star Tuesday, when Rolling Stone and Buzzfeed writer Michael Hastings was killed in a single car accident early in the morning in Los Angeles.

Hastings was best known for his 2010 story "The Runaway General," which featured General Stanley McChrystal and his aides speaking disparagingly about senior members of the Obama administration, resulting in the end of McChrystal's command in Afghanistan and his military career

Hastings himself was a friend of mine, and someone whose fearlessness – both in terms of his reporting from combat zones and his lack of concern for what people in power thought of him – I admired.

He's the last person who would want a gauzy saintly portrayal of a man who had his share of foibles – along with those considerable talents – so let me just say I hope some of that fearlessness can somehow be sprinkled upon those of us journalists who remain on this earth.Michael I will miss you.

Michael Hastings was 33.

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politics lead

June 19th, 2013
05:21 PM ET

IRS controversy revives tea party

The tea party was out in force Wednesday, railing against the Internal Revenue Service on Capitol Hill.

"Some people are trying to write the obituary for the tea party. But if you look around at this crowd here today on a Wednesday afternoon, the tea party is alive and well, and instead, we're going to write the obituary for big government," Mike Needham of Heritage Action told the crowd.

The tea party came to prominence before the 2010 elections, when its small-government ethos energized the Republican party, leading to massive victories at the polls. But after that, the tea party seemed to be on a slower boil.
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national lead

June 19th, 2013
05:06 PM ET

NSA spying revelations damper Obama's Berlin visit

Things have changed since President Barack Obama was last in Germany back in 2008. For starters, he was merely candidate Obama back then, and a cheering crowd of 200,000 was there to greet him.

A smaller, invitation-only crowd of a few thousand was on-hand for his speech at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate Wednesday.

This time around, the enthusiasm was dampened by revelations that the NSA used its "boundless informant" program to spy on Germany more than any other country in the European Union.

Speaking from behind a pane of bulletproof glass, the president stuck to a lot of the same applause lines he hit back in 2008.
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sports lead

June 19th, 2013
03:22 PM ET

LeBron loses headband, finds his mojo

Game 6 of the NBA finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs had it all.

There was an epic comeback and a clutch 3-point shot from the Heat’s Ray Allen to force overtime.

And of course, there was the moment when Lebron James lost his headband ... and found his mojo.

The casual sports fan may have failed to make the connection between the superstar athlete’s accessory and one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history.

But fans that have followed a sport understand why many believe the Spurs were destined to lose the instant “King James” lost his crown.

It happened with 8:59 left in the 4th quarter.
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