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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 23rd, 2014
05:36 PM ET

Top Democrat: If Shinseki stays, it could cost Democrats the Senate

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's commitment, and the apparent commitment of his party, to stand by his Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, at least for now, does not extend to Democrats fighting for office on the campaign trail.
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world lead

May 23rd, 2014
04:47 PM ET

Where are Obama's tougher sanctions on Russia?

(CNN) – President Barack Obama issued a red line earlier this month, outlining what his administration would do if Russia did not de-escalate the situation in Ukraine.

"Russian leadership must know that if it continues to destabilize eastern Ukraine, and disrupt this month's presidential election, we will move quickly on additional steps, including further sanctions that will impose greater cost," Obama said.

Escalating violence in eastern Ukraine, Putin calling the ousted Ukrainian president the legitimate leader – isn't that disrupting the elections?

Deputy spokeswoman for the State Department Marie Harf tackles the issue on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

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world lead

May 23rd, 2014
04:29 PM ET

Pro- Russia separatists smash ballot boxes ahead of Ukraine's election

Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) – At least 32 people were killed and 44 injured in clashes between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists in the Luhansk region, according to the country's anti-terror office spokesman, Vladislav Seleznev.

The clashes took place Thursday afternoon and lasted for a few hours, Seleznev told CNN on Friday.

A total of 30 pro-Russian separatists and two Ukrainian soldiers were among the dead, while the injured included 37 separatists and seven Ukrainian soldiers, Seleznev said.

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pop lead

May 23rd, 2014
01:06 PM ET

Stan Lee: The hardest part isn't creating superheroes, it's ...

For more of our interview with Stan Lee, watch CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" at 4p.m. ET on CNN

(CNN) – Stan Lee, a legend in the comic book industry, says when he was starting out, coming up with heroes was never the problem.

"We've already established the super hero. We know Spiderman, we know Daredevil, and the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men, and the Hulk, and all of them. We know them, Captain America, and the Avengers," said Lee.

Read: 'X-Men: Days of Future Past': What's the verdict?

"But every month we have to come up with a new super villain, or a new super menace that these characters have to battle, and that’s the tough thing," said Lee.

The menace had to be convincing, and hold a reader's interest.

"It has to be somebody who seems to be more powerful than the hero, and you have to wonder how does the hero ever gonna get out of this? Otherwise, the story loses its interest. If Spiderman was just to fight some teenage guy who steals groceries in the store, it wouldn't be that exciting," said Lee.

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pop lead

May 23rd, 2014
12:56 PM ET

Why Stan Lee doesn't have a cameo in latest 'X-Men' movie

For more of our interview with Stan Lee, watch CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" at 4p.m. ET on CNN

(CNN) – To film fans, Stan Lee is just a random extra in a comic movie, an older guy playing a minor role in Marvel's universe.

But to die-hard fans, Lee is the godfather of comic books, the legendary creator of some of the world's most profitable characters.

Lee does not have a cameo in the upcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past."
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