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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

August 23rd, 2013
08:05 PM ET

Former NSC senior staffer: U.S. 'credibility on the line' with Syria

A year ago this week, President Barack Obama laid out his measurement for greater involvement in Syria during a White House press conference, saying that "a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized."

Earlier this summer, the Obama administration announced it would provide military support to rebel fighters because al-Assad's forces had used chemical weapons but there continue to be calls for greater U.S. involvement.

“I’m disappointed that we make a statement even if it wasn’t sort of staffed and fully planned and then we don’t back it up with something serious because I do think that damages our interests,” Barry Pavel, senior director for defense policy and strategy on the U.S. National Security Council staff from 2008 to 2010, told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

“This is the president of the United States making an official statement that is watched not just by those parties related to the Syrian conflict but it’s watched by our allies all over the world,” he said.
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national lead

August 23rd, 2013
06:38 PM ET

Family mourns after WWII vet beaten to death in 'random' attack

In yet another senseless and sickening attack, police in Spokane, Washington say they have made an arrest after an 88-year-old World War II veteran was beaten to death, allegedly by two teenagers earlier this week.

Bobbie Belton, Delbert Belton’s daughter-in-law, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that her father-in-law “had a lot friends” and that she didn’t understand why anyone would do this.

On Wednesday, Delbert Belton - a retired aluminum worker and affectionately called "Shorty" by friends for his height - headed to the Eagles Lodge, where he was a regular.

Police found him in the parking lot.
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national lead

August 22nd, 2013
07:59 PM ET

'Boredom' shooting: Was race a factor?

Australian Ambassador to the United States Kim Beazley said Aussies’ “hearts bleed” following the murder of baseball player Chris Lane.

Lane, an Australian, was gunned down in Duncan, Oklahoma while he was out jogging. Police say he was killed by three teens who said they have nothing better to do.

Beazley called the tragedy “sheer, unmitigated horror," appearing on the Situation Room in an interview with CNN Anchor Jake Tapper.

Police have charged Edwards and Chancey Luna, 16, as adults with first degree felony murder. Michael Jones, their alleged 17-year-old driver, faces two charges: use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact to murder in the first degree.

Reports of racially-charged tweets by the suspects have bought to light another component in the murder – was race a factor?
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national lead

August 22nd, 2013
07:18 PM ET

Witness opens up about Bradley Manning’s personal struggles

Bradley Manning, the Army private sentenced to 35 years in federal prison for leaking classified documents, wants to live the rest of his life as woman.

“I am Chelsea Manning,” the former intelligence analyst said in a statement read on NBC’s “Today” show. Manning’s lawyer said he plans to fight for the prison to provide hormone therapy.

A friend and defense witness during his court-martial, Lauren McNamara, said Manning’s actions were “absolutely related to her state of mind at the time and the decisions she made.”

“It came out in the sentencing phase of the trial when various people she had talked to in the military, psychologists and counselors, that there had been many previous instances that it had been obvious that she was in need of imminent treatments and yet this was often pushed to the side because the unit was under powered and they could not afford to lose any analysts.”
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politics lead

August 22nd, 2013
06:53 PM ET

Gore: Climate change ‘deniers’ like 'an alcoholic father’

Former Vice President Al Gore is optimistic that climate change deniers are falling by the wayside, but the environmental crusader’s recent comments have sparked controversy.

In a wide-ranging interview, Gore told the Washington Post that Republicans are growing weary of those who reject the notion of climate change, likening them to “an alcoholic father who flies into a rage every time a subject is mentioned so everyone avoids the elephant in the room to keep the peace.”

What impact is Gore’s heated rhetoric having on the climate change debate?

Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive of HP, said Gore’s name calling is hurting the environmental cause.

“I think he is becoming such a polarizing figure. I think there are many people who suspect this is more about Al Gore than it is about global warming,” she said.
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