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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

April 5th, 2013
06:58 PM ET

Judge strikes down age limits on "morning-after" pill

For some, it's about time. For others, it's an outrage. A federal judge in New York has ruled that every woman and girl - regardless of her age - should have access to the so-called "morning-after" pill without a prescription.

And in the case of minors, without the consent of a parent.

The federal judge said it was "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable" to deny over-the-counter access to emergency contraception for girls under the age of 17. The drug, called Plan B, does not terminate pregnancy like RU-486, commonly called "the abortion pill." Instead, it is meant to prevent pregnancy by using a higher dosage of birth control taken within three days of unprotected sex.

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Filed under: National Lead

money lead

March 28th, 2013
05:50 PM ET

Spring break: Boom or Bust?

Spring break has been celebrated on MTV, captured on "Girls Gone Wild," and immortalized by Van Halen. A study detailed in The Atlantic by Derek Thompson traces the ritual of spring breaking back to ancient Greece. There's always been drinking, dancing, general revelry - but not a whole lot of luxury.

"Basically the Greeks would do something not so dissimilar from today's; they would gather, they would sing, they would dance, they would actually have drinking competitions," says Derek Thompson, business editor with The Atlantic. "They would drink with cheap wine, we now drink with cheap beer. They used terracotta pots while we used red plastic cups. But essentially, thematically it was the exact same."

In this century, you'd think the booze-fueled debauchery would bring in big bucks to the towns where college students GO when they put aside their books for a week of fun and sun.

But you'd be wrong.

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Filed under: Money Lead

world lead

March 27th, 2013
05:41 PM ET

AMC cashes in on "The Walking Dead"

AMC's "The Walking Dead" is a smash hit. In just three seasons, a show about a police officer who wakes up from a coma to find a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies is taking over television.

Its average audience has doubled in just three years to more than 10 million viewers this season, helping the AMC network rise to the top of the cable heap. Advertising revenue jumped 16% to $157 million in the last quarter of 2012.

"I think that the show's ratings have increased exponentially in this past season both because the show itself has gotten better - it's gotten leaner and meaner and more efficient in the way it presents its adventure," says Ken Tucker, a media critic with Entertainment Weekly. "But I also think that it's offering something that neither the networks nor pay cable television is offering, which is just this spectacle of killing zombies."

You already know sex sells. Turns out the undead do too. Series star Andrew Lincoln, who plays Sheriff Rick Grimes, told CNN he's surprised by the success.

"I mean we're still pinching ourselves. And, I don't know. I mean, of course, you know, the apocalypse and that sort of theme is - seems to be around and in the air at the moment," Lincoln told CNN in 2012.

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Filed under: World Lead

pop lead

March 26th, 2013
05:51 PM ET

Aging rock stars refuse to retire

Happy birthday Steven Tyler - 65 years young and dude, you still look like a lady. Last month the birthday boy dressed in drag to visit his old stomping grounds, "American Idol," the show he quit judging just last year.

But that's the only quitting we've seen Tyler do. At the age most Americans want to retire, the former "Aerosmith" front man continues to rock on.

David Bowie is also showing no signs of slowing down, already thinking about the next day, literally. The aplty-named album, ten years in the making, was a top-ten release on iTunes when it debuted earlier this month. It took Justin Timberlake to dethrone Bowie from a number one spot on the UK albums chart, according to Billboard.

For Eric Clapton, it's a new album, and a new tour. Clapton will be 68 years old in just a few days. The name of his new album? "Old Sock."

The likes of Bob Dylan, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and B.B. King all join Tyler, Bowie and Clapton on the charts –specifically the 65 years and older chart. But why work through your golden years, especially when you don't need the money?

"Billboard estimated for five years last year the Rolling Stones made $5 million per show.  That's take home money. That's how much  money those guys got paid," says Billboard editor Joe Levy. "If somebody was offering me five million dollars for a couple hours of work - I might say yes no matter how old I was."

But how do these rockers stay young? For Richards, perhaps a diet vodka and orange soda.

We should all have such longevity, in any business.

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Filed under: Pop Lead