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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

July 12th, 2013
07:22 PM ET

Witness: Snowden prefers asylum in Venezuela

(CNN) - Admitted NSA leaker Edward Snowden met with human rights groups on Friday in Moscow, asking them to lobby the Russian government to grant him temporary asylum until he can travel to Latin America.

"A little over one month ago, I had a family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort," said Snowden at the meeting about his time in Hawaii where he worked as an National Security Agency contractor.

That was before he leaked classified documents on secret NSA telephone and e-mail surveillance programs to media outlets and fled to Hong Kong.

Tanya Lokshina, deputy director of the Moscow office of Human Rights Watch, was at Snowden's meeting and told CNN's Jake Tapper that he referenced Venezuela "several times" as a preferred destination.
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Why hasn't the Obama administration labeled 'Boko Haram' a terrorist organization?

world lead

July 12th, 2013
05:23 PM ET

Why hasn't the Obama administration labeled 'Boko Haram' a terrorist organization?

(CNN) - At least 20 students were killed in northern Nigeria last week when Islamic militants razed their boarding school, prompting British authorities to label the group thought to be responsible, Boko Haram, a terrorist organization.

But the Obama administration has not done the same.

When asked about the attack, a senior Obama administration official said that the United States is "deeply concerned" about extremism in Nigeria, and pointed to the history of cooperation between the U.S. and Nigeria on security issues.

"We are working closely with the Nigerian government to address the growing threat of violent extremism throughout Nigeria," the senior official said, adding that the U.S. also supports vocational training programs to help discourage radicalization and recruitment throughout Nigeria.
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politics lead

July 4th, 2013
06:38 PM ET

Analysis: Weighing Washington's response to Egypt

President Barack Obama and the White House continue to tread delicately in formulating a response to developments in Cairo.

"They can't come out and call it a coup or side with one of the factions for obvious reasons, the foreign aid issue and also because the administration doesn't want to take the position it's opposing a democratically elected government in Egypt," said democratic strategist Julian Epstein.

Regardless, Republicans are taking the president to task for his support for Egypt's former leader.

"This administration has been seen to be allied to two repressive governments in a row," said Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor for National Review and visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

The United States has provided Egypt with billions of dollars in economic and military aid. As the dust settles in Cairo and politicians reconvene in Washington after the July 4 recess, Congress will have to decide on the future of American support for the Middle Eastern nation in transition.

"Until there's a new, solid president or not there, they need to figure out what to do, because the clock is ticking," said Jackie Kucinich, host of The Washington Post's new politics show "In Play."

Check out the video above for full analysis of Washington's reactions to the coup.

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politics lead

June 27th, 2013
07:18 PM ET

Analysis: Bumpy road in the House for immigration reform

The U.S. Senate gave final approval Thursday to a sweeping immigration bill, passing the legislation by a 68-32 vote.

The bill promises to overhaul immigration laws for the first time since 1986, creating a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented residents while ratcheting up security along the Mexican border.

It's all in the hands of the House now.
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Gay, married congressman still seeks state recognition

politics lead

June 26th, 2013
06:39 PM ET

Gay, married congressman still seeks state recognition

As he heard Wednesday’s rulings from the steps of the Supreme Court, the sole married, gay member of Congress thought about how his own marriage remains unrecognized by his home state.

“We have to be thinking about Wisconsin and the other states where same-sex couples can’t make end-of-life decisions, can't visit hospitalized spouses [in medical emergencies],” Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin told CNN.

Pocan, who was married in Canada in 2006, made history in early May when he secured a congressional spouse ID for husband Philip Frank.
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