Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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(CNN) - Admitted NSA leaker Edward Snowden met with human rights groups on Friday in Moscow, asking them to lobby the Russian government to grant him temporary asylum until he can travel to Latin America.
"A little over one month ago, I had a family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort," said Snowden at the meeting about his time in Hawaii where he worked as an National Security Agency contractor.
That was before he leaked classified documents on secret NSA telephone and e-mail surveillance programs to media outlets and fled to Hong Kong.
Tanya Lokshina, deputy director of the Moscow office of Human Rights Watch, was at Snowden's meeting and told CNN's Jake Tapper that he referenced Venezuela "several times" as a preferred destination.
(CNN) - One of her first major tests came on her first Christmas in the job, heading the department created in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks when the failed underwear bomber Umar Abdulmutallab tried to destroy a northwest airlines plane full of passengers flying from Amsterdam to Detroit, thankfully prevented by the passengers and crew on the plane.
Abdulmutallab's presence on that plane with explosives was, as a Senate investigation would later conclude, an example of systemic intelligence failures and "failures of the systems and procedures in place to prevent suspected terrorists of entering the United States.”
But on the Sunday shows, two days later, Secretary Napolitano had a different focus.
“The system has worked really very, very smoothly over the course of the past several days,” she said on ABC’s “This Week” in December 2009. “Everybody reacted as they should. We trained for this. We planned for this. We exercised for this sort of event should it occur.”
(CNN) – As the case goes to the jury in the George Zimmerman murder trial, the Lead’s legal panel breaks down the key moments in the trial.
CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffery Toobin said is was Lead Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda dramatic closing speech on Thursday that goes to the core of “why this became a national story in the first place.”
“Can a 17 year-old African American boy go to the store, do a perfectly innocent act like buying a can of soda and then walk home without getting killed?” Toobin said to CNN’s Jake Tapper appearing on “The Lead” on Friday.
“I think putting the question in front of the jury in that way, in a stark way and I think a very favorable way for the prosecution.”
(CNN) – While the prosecution has tried to steer clear of the race conversation during the George Zimmerman murder trial, prosecutor John Guy questioned: What if it were George Zimmerman walking home that night?
“This case is not about race – it’s about right and wrong,” Guy said Friday while closing the state’s case. If it were Zimmerman who was shot, “What would your verdict be? That’s how you know it’s not about race.”
Jelani Cobb, contributing writer for the New Yorker, said “nothing certifies that something is about race more than an unsolicited denial that something is about race.”
(CNN) – It all started with Jaws, the cult classic movie that sent millions lunging for dry land. Now, nearly 40 years later, the summer feeding frenzy started anew on Thursday with the SyFy Network luring viewers into its latest bloodbath – Sharknado.
The channel’s newest gem combines – you guessed it – a twister with toothy projectiles.
“These movies envision a scenario in which maybe the victory is not quite as solid as we thought and in order to do that you can't just have normal sharks, you have to have gigantic, dinosaur sharks," said Matt Zoller Seitz, a TV critic for New York Magazine. "We're envisioning a foe that is worthy of us."
Sharknado not only left Los Angeles awash in bloody debris, it left the Twitter-verse flooded in fishy puns and hashtags. The unlikely topic was the top trend on Twitter last night drawing attention from celebrities and politicos with #Sharknado reaching more than 5,000 tweets per minute.