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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

January 1st, 2014
04:31 PM ET

Fighting Obamacare's 'contraception mandate'

(CNN) – The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily exempted two Catholic Church-affiliated nonprofits from requirements to provide contraceptive coverage to its employees under the Affordable Care Act.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a brief order late Tuesday, hours before the controversial Obama administration mandates were set to go into effect.

The Little Sisters of the Poor – a charity congregation of Roman Catholic women in Denver – and the Illinois-based Christian Brothers Services had filed a lawsuit objecting to the contraception mandate, saying it violated their religious and moral beliefs. Some religious-affiliated groups were required to comply with contraception coverage or face hefty fines.

When they heard the news, the nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor were "very relieved," said Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the group that filed the suit on behalf of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
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world lead

January 1st, 2014
04:19 PM ET

Nobel Peace Prize winner: Obama failed to reclaim America's role as world leader

(CNN) - The 1990s was an era of big dramatic moments, movements, and amazing victories led by underdogs - Nelson Mandela was one; Lech Wałęsa another.

Wałęsa was the ship yard electrician turned union organizer who helped overthrow the repressive Communist government in Poland. Imprisoned in the early 1980s, the leader of the Solidarity movement went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and became the first democratically elected president of Poland in 1990.

At 70, he remains irrepressible, stubborn, even bullheaded, having made clear his U.S. presidential preference for Mitt Romney during the 2012 election.

The old cold warrior is a strong critic of President Barack Obama.

"When he was elected there was great hope in the world. We were hoping that Obama would reclaim moral leadership for America, but that failed," Wałęsa told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" through an interpreter.
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world lead

January 1st, 2014
11:28 AM ET

Expert: December deadline for Syria's chemical weapons 'was never realistic'

(CNN) - Syria missed a deadline to hand over a significant portion of its chemical weapons stockpile Tuesday, citing a number of reasons including bad weather, according to the organization overseeing the disarmament.

"There are milestones for a reason. It was always an ambitious time line, but we are still operating on the June 30 timeline for the complete destruction," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said Monday.

A June deadline is "certainly in the realm of possibility," said David Kay, former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, now a member of the State Department's international security advisory board.

The December 31 deadline, Kay adds, "was never realistic."
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