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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

May 6th, 2014
05:38 PM ET

GOP establishment looks nervously at North Carolina Senate primary

Raleigh, North Carolina (CNN) - For a Republican establishment still spooked by the ghosts of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock - grassroots-backed conservatives who threw away winnable Senate races in recent elections with tone-deaf remarks about abortion - Tuesday can't come soon enough.

In North Carolina, Republicans are watching closely to see if Thom Tillis, the state House speaker and maybe the party's best bet to unseat endangered Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan this November, can capture 40% of the vote in Tuesday's GOP Senate primary.

If he does, Tillis will become the party's Senate nominee, and Washington Republicans will breathe a little easier knowing they've dodged a long and expensive runoff battle between Tillis, the consensus frontrunner, and a flame-throwing conservative rival. Perhaps more importantly, Republicans will have picked a Senate candidate who doesn't immediately jeopardize their chances of defeating Hagan, whose approval ratings are dangerously low, and flipping a crucial swing state Senate seat into GOP hands.

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world lead

May 6th, 2014
05:32 PM ET

Nigeria formally accepts U.S. assistance

CNN anchor Isha Sesay will be live from Abuja on CNN International, Monday to Thursday at 5, 7, 8.30 and 9 p.m. CET.

Abuja, Nigeria (CNN) - Nigeria defended its response to the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls by a terror group even as details emerged Tuesday about a second mass abduction, adding to a growing global outcry over the fate of the children.

President Goodluck Jonathan has been under mounting international pressure to step up efforts to rescue the girls, who have become the focal point for a global campaign that began on social media and quickly spread to street demonstrations.

"The President and the government is not taking this as easy as people all over the world think," Doyin Okupe, a spokesman for Nigeria's President, told CNN.

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buried lead

May 6th, 2014
05:07 PM ET

Two key veterans groups call for VA chief Eric Shinseki to resign

Washington (CNN) - The nation's largest veteran organization, The American Legion, and one other veterans group, Concerned Veterans for America, on Monday called for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki.

The calls for his resignation came after months of CNN exclusive reporting on U.S. veterans who have died while waiting for care at VA hospitals across the country, including in Phoenix.

"It's not something we do lightly. But we do so today because it is our responsibility as advocate for the men and women who have worn this nation's uniform," said Daniel M. Dellinger, national commander of the American Legion, speaking in Indianapolis.

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world lead

May 6th, 2014
04:51 PM ET

Russia questions Ukraine holding an election while its troops are deployed

Slovyansk, Ukraine (CNN) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday ruled out holding a second international meeting in a bid to defuse the crisis in Ukraine, also saying it would be "unusual" to hold a presidential election in the country when the army was being deployed against the population.

In what could be a sign of Moscow preparing to question the legitimacy of the May 25 presidential election if it is unhappy with the process, Lavrov said, "In the situation where they use the army against their own population, it's quite unusual."

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world lead

May 6th, 2014
04:25 PM ET

Menendez to Nigeria: 'Help us help you'

(CNN) – Amid news of more Nigerian girls being kidnapped by a militant Islamist group, the country's President said he welcomed an offer of U.S. support in the search for them, the U.S. State Department said Tuesday.

"America has offered assistance in the area of high technology, including satellite imagery, recognisance, and all sort of things, and the president (of Nigeria) has accepted," senior special assistant to the Nigerian president Doyin Okupe told CNN.

"We will take help from anywhere," Okupe said.

Until now, the Nigerian government’s refusal to accept U.S. help to find and save the kidnapped Nigerian girls had been frustrating U.S. policymakers for weeks, and it continues to do so, even with reports Nigeria will finally allow an American team into the country to make a case for assistance.

Earlier Tuesday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez called upon President Goodluck Jonathan to formally accept offers of help.
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