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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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buried lead

December 31st, 2014
06:35 PM ET

Here's the history - and mystery - of drunkenness

(CNN) - Marijuana got all the headlines in 2014, but when it comes to Americans' favorite method of altering their state, booze remains on top.

Gallup reported earlier this year that 64% of U.S. adults say they "have occasion to use alcoholic beverages" and other studies suggest it increases significantly this evening. There will be tragic ramifications of course - and here's where we caution you to drink responsibly and take a cab home - but let us for now think of the glass as half full.

Think about that for a second: most of us will drink this New Year's Eve. Whether champagne, beer, wine or liquor, it's a process and tradition older than most of the world's religions. Even though it's often bad for us.

After all, as Frank Sinatra once said: "alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

world lead

December 30th, 2014
06:08 PM ET

Who were the victims of QZ8501?

(CNN) - The mysterious circumstances surrounding AirAsia Flight QZ8501 gave loved ones of the 162 people on board reason hope that somehow, some way, they would be found alive.

But now that debris and bodies have been found, that hope has given way to unbearable grief. Some family members even fainted when an Asian news channel broadcast live images of what appeared to be bodies floating in the water.

And as the harsh reality of this tragedy sets in, we're learning more about the mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, and young children who were on the doomed plane.

CNN's Jake Tapper reports.

world lead

December 16th, 2014
06:11 PM ET

New details on Sydney victims who died as heroes

(CNN) - There are still more questions than answers into what really happened during that dramatic siege of a cafe in Sydney, Australia that left two hostages dead as well as the gunman, an Islamic extremist.


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Filed under: World Lead

buried lead

December 11th, 2014
05:36 PM ET

Why Won't Washington Work: Funding to fix backlog of 400,000 untested rape kits stuck in Congress

(CNN) – It's a simple test that could solve hundreds of thousands of sexual assault cases and save countless more women from becoming victims of repeat offenders.

But right now, across this country, 400,000 rape kits are just sitting there untested, because police departments do not have the money to examine them.

Right now the funds to potentially fix this backlog are stuck in Congress, tied to a budget battle, while victims wait, and sexual predators walk.

CNN's Jake Tapper reports.

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Filed under: Buried Lead

national lead

November 26th, 2014
05:17 PM ET

What passes for good news in Ferguson

(CNN) – The streets of Ferguson burst at the seams with protesters once again. Most were peaceful, yet there was also violence and unrest, as police cars were turned over, and torched in front of city hall.

Yet, Tuesday night was considered an improvement for officials.

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Filed under: National Lead
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