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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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national lead

August 20th, 2014
06:20 PM ET

Airstrikes hit ISIS in Iraq as Obama condemns journalist's murder

(CNN) - There was no suggestion in President Barack Obama's remarks Wednesday about the terrorist beheading of an American journalist that the United States was backing down in its airstrikes in Iraq.

The President blasted ISIS and said that the world was "appalled" by the videotaped execution of James Foley that surfaced Tuesday.

Around that time came word that U.S. military forces struck ISIS in Iraq by employing fighter, remotely piloted and attack aircraft, unleashing 14 airstrikes near Mosul Dam.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports.

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world lead

August 20th, 2014
06:06 PM ET

Will ISIS execution change Obama’s strategy in Iraq?

(CNN) – When President Obama spoke Wednesday about the murder of American journalist James Foley, he seemed to also respond to the threat ISIS issued to him over the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.
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national lead

August 20th, 2014
05:58 PM ET

Brown family lawyer: We are seeking AG’s assurance that process will be fair, transparent

(CNN) – Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in Ferguson, Missouri, Wednesday and made a pledge to the community that the federal investigation into the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager would be "fair and independent."

Holder will meet with the family of 18-year-old Michael Brown to hear their concerns about how this investigation might play out.

"At a minimum, I think they want to be assured that the process will be fair, that it will be transparent which is what they've been calling for from the very beginning. So they're hopeful that this meeting will add that reassurance that they've been looking for since day one," said Anthony Gray, co-counsel for the Brown Family.
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national lead

August 20th, 2014
05:24 PM ET

Church 'safe haven' organizers in town near Ferguson claim police harassment

(CNN) – There are no announced plans for President Obama to visit Ferguson, Missouri.

But now, 11 days after a white police officer, Darren Wilson, fatally shot unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown in the street, a member of the Obama administration, Attorney General Eric Holder, is in Ferguson meeting with the FBI, community leaders, students, and law enforcement.

Holder met with highway patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is tasked with coordinating authorities, after police were accused of heavy-handed tactics.

"You are the man," Holder told Johnson, hugging him.

The attorney general is walking into the middle of an enormously tense situation. Just today, CNN was at a church next door to Ferguson in Dellwood, where the highway patrol confirmed St. Louis County police officers came to a school.
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