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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 27th, 2013
06:23 PM ET

Analysis: Charges against bombing suspect show he was not hapless younger brother

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was officially charged Thursday for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings. Tsarnaev was indicted on 30 counts by a federal grand jury Thursday, 17 of which could result in the death penalty, like using a weapon of mass destruction.

He was also charged with 15 counts, including murder, by the state.

The 74-page indictment reports that when Tsarnaev was hiding in a boat in a Watertown, Massachusetts backyard, he wrote a message on the inside wall and beams of the boat saying, among other things, "The U.S. government is killing our innocent civilians," "I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished," "Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop," "We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all," and "Now I don't like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said (unintelligible) it is allowed."

The surprising thing from the indictment is the tone of it, said former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem.

"It is Dzhokhar. You read this indictment, and there's nothing about the older brother, there's nothing about, 'Oh, he's the hapless younger brother,'" said Kayyem. "He did a lot of things to make this attack work and it outlines what that chronology is."
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politics lead

June 27th, 2013
06:01 PM ET

Anthony Weiner winning back New Yorkers

A new poll finds former Congressman Anthony Weiner is now leading the Democratic field in the New York City mayor's race.

Weiner now has the support of 25% of registered Democrats, followed by the former, and longtime front runner, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, according to The Wall Street Journal/ WNBC/Marist poll.

His wife Huma Abedin and young son have been very visible pieces of his campaign. Not only is she standing by her man, she is asking her friends to support him. On Thursday night, Abedin is hosting a fundraiser for Weiner's campaign called "Women for Anthony."

One woman who wouldn't touch the topic Thursday was House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. When asked how she would assess Weiner's leadership when he was in Congress, Pelosi responded, with a laugh, "I won't. I have enough to do here than to get involved in the mayor's race in New York.

Check out CNN's Erin McPike's full report in the video above.

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national lead

June 27th, 2013
05:51 PM ET

Analysis on race relations in America: We cannot just throw people away

It has been an explosive week for race relations in America, with the debate in the George Zimmerman trial over the use of the term "cracker," Paula Deen's empire imploding after she admitted using the n-word, and the the Supreme Court striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, with Chief Justice John Roberts declaring that "times have changed."

Trayvon Martin was speaking with his friend Rachel Jeantel on the phone just moments before he was killed. Jeantel was on the stand for five hours Wednesday. During that time, she testified that Martin described Zimmerman as a "creepy [expletive] cracker."

There are now people questioning why "cracker" is acceptable but the n-word is not, saying that using the word "cracker" is evidence Martin was racist against white people.

"Being a racist doesn't mean you deserve to die, let's be clear about that," said Clinton Yates, columnist for The Washington Post.

"I think that that word is more of an indicator of whom Trayvon was referring to in an age context," said Yates. "I'm not saying that the racial component isn't there, but I think in terms of what he was trying to convey to the person he was talking to is, 'This is an older white guy.' Hence the reason for using that word."
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politics lead

June 27th, 2013
04:46 PM ET

Senate passes sweeping immigration bill

Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Senate gave final approval Thursday to a roughly 1,200-page bill that promises to overhaul immigration laws for the first time since 1986, creating a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented residents while ratcheting up security along the Mexican border.

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politics lead

June 26th, 2013
06:43 PM ET

Polls: Weiner gaining ground in NYC mayoral battle

(CNN) – Politics is full of second chances.

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, now Rep. Sanford, is living proof.

Two new polls suggest that former Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York may follow in Sanford's footsteps in winning political redemption.

Weiner was in his seventh term in Congress representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens when he resigned in 2011 after being caught and admitting to sending lewd messages to women via social media.

But last month Weiner returned to campaign politics, announcing a bid for New York City mayor. And two surveys of New York City voters released in the past 24 hours indicate Weiner basically tied in the battle for the Democratic mayoral nomination.

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