Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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Donetsk, Ukraine (CNN) – Pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine have decided to go ahead with a Sunday referendum on greater local powers, they said Thursday, defying a call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone the vote.
Putin had urged the pro-Russia sympathizers to delay the referendum to give dialogue "the conditions it needs to have a chance."
Representatives from the council of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic and separatists from Luhansk told reporters they have voted to press ahead to ask eastern Ukrainians there if they want sovereignty from Kiev.
(CNN) - Ukrainian security forces battled pro-Russian militants in the eastern flashpoint city of Slovyansk on Monday as Kiev tackled the gunmen who have overrun the region.
Military gains were evident on the main highway into Slovyansk, a rebel stronghold, as government forces moved in.
A CNN team on the ground saw a substantial number of militants bolster their defensive positions and checkpoints inside the city. One civilian car was hit in the fighting, its exterior damaged by bullet holes.
(CNN) – Scores of pro-Russian protesters storm a Ukrainian police headquarters and confront the officers inside. Hundreds outside back up the intruders, chanting. A Russian flag flies from the structure as the crowd listens to activists with a megaphone at the entrance.
Monday was the day the Ukrainian government demanded pro-Russian activists give up. Instead, they appear to have overrun another key building in yet another eastern Ukrainian city.
(CNN) - French President Francois Hollande said he and France's first lady were going through "painful moments," as he faced questions Tuesday over an alleged affair with an actress.
In his first appearance before the media since the allegations surfaced in the French tabloid Closer linking Hollande romantically to actress Julie Gayet, the President was immediately asked about his personal life when he handed the floor to journalists following a nearly 40-minute speech.
Johannesburg (CNN) - They gathered in the tens of thousands - presidents, prime ministers, royals, celebrities and ordinary South Africans - all united to say farewell to a man hailed as a global symbol of reconciliation.
In what has been billed as one of the largest gatherings of global leaders in recent history, representatives from around the world joined street sweepers, actors and religious figures to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela.