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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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world lead

February 27th, 2014
05:43 PM ET

Sen. McCain: Ukraine needs our help now

(CNN) – There is currently a Russian warship docked about 200 miles from Miami, Florida, at a port in Havana, in communist Cuba. It is loaded with giant military guns and anti-aircraft missiles. There has been no official explanation for what the Russian ship is doing there.

Meanwhile, across the world in southern Ukraine, dozens of armed men stormed regional government buildings, including the parliament, and raised Russian flags. The interim government is clashing with the Ukrainians in the streets there.

What is Russian President Vladimir Putin up to? Sen. John McCain said the warship in Havana is "just a little bit of saber rattling." What's more concerning is Putin's actions in Ukraine.

"He's up to trying to preserve his absolute commitment and ambition of maintaining Ukraine as the part of the Russian empire," said McCain.

"Putin is a KGB colonel apparatchik who believes in the Russian empire. That's why he invaded Georgia, that's why he put pressures on Moldova, the Baltic countries. And the crown jewel of that is the Ukraine," said McCain.

Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday that this is not an East versus West conflict. President Barack Obama said last week that this is not a Cold War era chess board.

"I've always believed that this administration was incredible naive about Putin," said McCain.

"The next move he may make is restricting some of the energy supplies, and we need to help the Ukraine quickly, and we need to get them money quickly, and we need to have the IMF agreement done as quickly as possible so that the people of Ukraine will have a brighter future than the one they've got now," said McCain.

For more of our interview with Sen. John McCain, check out the video above.

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national lead

February 27th, 2014
10:52 AM ET

3-parent IVF sparks 'designer baby' fears

(CNN) – U.S. health officials are weighing whether to approve trials of a pioneering in vitro fertilization technique using DNA from three people in an attempt to prevent illnesses like muscular dystrophy and respiratory problems. The proposed treatment would allow a woman to have a baby without passing on diseases of the mitochondria, the "powerhouses" that drive cells.

The technique is the focus of a two-day panel debate being held by the FDA.

"To repair those diseases – which are awful, most kids who have mitochondrial diseases die – and really take a shot at transplanting a few genes to let that repair go through, that seems reasonable to me," said medical ethicist at the New York University Langone Medical Center Art Caplan.

Right now, the technology is only being tested in monkeys. But critics fear we're on a slippery slope to an era of designer babies, where parents can pick and choose their child's genetic features.

Parents who currently pursue IVF procedures can screen for cystic fibrosis, but are also able to screen for gender, which concerns Caplan.

"You have to worry that we are going to march down a road using genetics toward designing our descendants," said Caplan.

"We're a society that values success, we're not anti-perfection. If we're going to stop that, let's make a rule that says: 'Fixing diseases yes, cosmetic stuff no.' But I wouldn't hold this experiment hostage to that worry," said Caplan.

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