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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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politics lead

November 19th, 2013
04:46 PM ET

Why one GOP senator is blocking Obama's court nominations

For the third time in as many weeks, Senate Republicans have blocked an Obama nominee to the D.C. District Appeals Court, considered the second most powerful court in the country.

It appears Republicans want to maintain the current balance on the court – four judges appointed by a Democrat, and four judges appointed by a Republican. The Democrats view the move as unfair, though they filibustered several of former President George W. Bush's nominees to circuit courts in the early 2000s.

For Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, "this isn't a new crusade." Since the 1990s, the Iowa senator has been conducting studies on work loads of the various circuits, and made changes based on those studies.

Grassley said he wants to eliminate the 12th seat on the D.C. District Appeals Court, because after reviewing cases filed and cases determined, he concluded the court "is the most under worked circuit of the 12 circuits that we have in this country."

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national lead

November 19th, 2013
04:22 PM ET

State senator stabbed, son dead, state police say

(CNN) - Whatever happened, it was an awful tragedy: a state senator repeatedly stabbed in the head and torso; his 24-year-old son fatally wounded by a gunshot.

That's the scene Virginia State Police and Bath County, Virginia, sheriff's deputies encountered when they rushed to state Sen. Creigh Deeds' home in response to a 911 call Tuesday morning.

Tuesday afternoon, investigators reported the evidence collected so far indicates that Deeds was stabbed during a fight with his son, Austin "Gus" Deeds, who died of a gunshot wound despite state troopers' attempts to revive him.


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world lead

November 19th, 2013
02:05 PM ET

Web exclusive: Matt Damon on clean water, the gift of play, and lessons from his mother

Tuesday is World Toilet Day, and while it may sound like a joke, the issue of sanitation and access to clean water is a matter of life and death for millions of people around the world.

Actor Matt Damon opened up to CNN about his work with water.org, passing on his mother’s tradition of giving, and the children that inspire him across the world.

"We were in Haiti a couple years ago, and we came into this little town where they were inaugurating a new pump, which is really a joyful kind of time. And everybody is celebrating this great thing that’s happening, and I sat down and talked to this little girl," said Damon.

The girl was 13 years old, the same age as one of Damon's daughters at the time.

"Once you have kids it's impossible not to see their face in every child you see," said Damon. "I said to this little girl, 'How much time are you spending collecting water?' And she said about three hours a day.

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