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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

February 17th, 2014
05:14 PM ET

Senate's top Republican in trouble? Tea party group calls on Sen. McConnell to drop out

(CNN) – Control of the U.S. Senate is up for grabs this year, and Republicans feel good about their chances, especially in states that went for Mitt Romney in 2012 such as Louisiana, Arkansas, Alaska, and North Carolina.

But before Republicans can face off against any vulnerable Democrats, they have to get through their own primaries. And in these contests there is a battle going on for the soul of the Republican party, as establishment incumbents try to fend off tea party challengers.

Perhaps nowhere is that fight more vicious than in the Bluegrass state of Kentucky, where Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is facing tea party candidate Matt Bevin.
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world lead

February 17th, 2014
04:29 PM ET

CNN Exclusive: Syrian town left scarred by opposition group ISIS' brutal rule

Addana, Syria (CNN) - From the moment we cross the Turkish border into Syria, evidence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's draconian and brutal rule lingers.

More than a month after the group was driven from the town of Addana, residents here drive through the streets, pointing out where ISIS fighters carried out executions and left bodies to rot for all to see.

"That's where they had one of their checkpoints," says rebel fighter Abu Sa'ed, pointing to a small concrete building on the side of the road as we speed past.

ISIS arrived in Addana about a year ago, initially welcomed in the conservative town by Islamist fighters. But within a few months, ISIS had entrenched itself and begun exerting its harsh order through what one fighter calls "terrorism and punishment."

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