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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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pop lead

February 27th, 2014
06:21 PM ET

Will movie 'Son of God' attract the flock at the box office?

(CNN) – The buzz at the box office this weekend is around the film "Son of God," which opens in theaters Friday. It is the story of Jesus, with scenes taken from the mini-series "The Bible."

Box office analysts say they cannot give a real estimate of how the film will do this weekend, in part because it is difficult to analyze the performance of faith-based films.

A billion people will see this movie, says "Son of God" executive producer Mark Burnett.

"This is like a political thriller. (It) has special effects from the guys that did "Gladiator," and an incredible Hans Zimmer score, it's a big, big feature film," says Burnett.

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national lead

February 27th, 2014
06:02 PM ET

New food labels would reflect Americans' eating habits

(CNN) – The Obama administration Thursday proposed the first change to U.S. food nutrition fact labels in almost a decade.

The big differences that could roll out at the grocery store soon include calorie counts in a shame-inducing bigger, bolder font, and – in a refreshing acknowledgment of reality – serving sizes that will account for the whole bag, the whole bottle, the whole enchilada.

But in a country where more than a third of people are struggling with obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can labels really change the way we eat?

Health editor for The Atlantic Magazine Dr. James Hamblin joins CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" to discuss.

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Filed under: National Lead

politics lead

February 27th, 2014
05:55 PM ET

Obama announced 'My Brother's Keeper'

(CNN) – In a moving and honest message Thursday, President Barack Obama challenged young minority men to make good choices.

"Part of our message in this initiative is 'no excuses'. Government and private sector and philanthropy and all the faith communities, we have the responsibility to provide you the tools you need," he said at a White House event.


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national lead

February 27th, 2014
05:49 PM ET

Sen. McCain: Obama's new initiative is 'excellent,' 'praiseworthy'

(CNN) – President Barack Obama announced details of his new program "My Brother's Keeper" Thursday, an initiative that will invest $200 million in a partnership with businesses and non-profits to offer more opportunities to young men of color.

It comes two years ago to the week that Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, black 17-year-old, was gunned down by George Zimmerman, in a case that is still causing arguments all over America.

What does that case have to do with "My Brother's Keeper?" The president ordered his staff to develop this initiative, specifically in the wake of the Martin shooting.

"I think it's an excellent initiative and obviously the President is deeply committed to it, and I think that's very praiseworthy," Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

"This is a cause that he is deeply committed to, and I think he can make a difference," said McCain.

For more our interview with Sen. John McCain, discussing Russia and Ukraine, click here.

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Filed under: National Lead

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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