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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

November 17th, 2014
07:11 PM ET

Ex-fiancée of NFL player, a domestic abuse survivor tells her story

(CNN) – The story of Kristen Lennon and her former fiance Phillip Merling, an NFL player then with the Miami Dolphins, reveals not only questions about how the National Football League treats domestic violence incidents, but also how the police handle the cases.

Lennon first shared her story with The New York Times. In her first television interview, an emotional Lennon tells CNN the league knew of the domestic abuse, and failed to respond.

"What he needed was not necessarily jail time," Lennon said. "Seriously, he needed psychological help. That's the best thing that they could have did for me, was to give him help."
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world lead

November 14th, 2014
05:48 PM ET

State Department to Congress: Don't knock Iran deal until you see it

(CNN) – The U.S. is currently negotiating to try to get Iran to stop what the U.S. believes is a nuclear weapons program.

Secretary of State John Kerry has been working to get that nuclear deal done almost since he began his time at the State Department.

"It's the final stages of this. That's often when the tough discussions, the tough decisions are made, and we're certainly hopeful that will be the case, but we're working toward that (November 24 deadline)," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

But there is already a move in Congress to block the deal, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, warns that Iran will use a weak deal as cover to get nuclear weapons.
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buried lead

October 30th, 2014
05:29 PM ET

Fmr. Blackwater CEO defends company amidst manslaughter convictions

(CNN) – The Nusoor Square massacre was a major turning point in the Iraq War – a shoot out in the streets of Baghdad that left 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians dead at the hands of four American security contractors working for Blackwater – the now infamous private security contractor.

"I will not second-guess the split-second decisions of my men," founder and former CEO of Blackwater Erik Prince writes of the incident in his new book, "Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror."

Last week, an American jury disagreed, and found three of Prince's former employees guilty of voluntary manslaughter, and one guilty of first-degree murder. But Prince stood by the security contractors.

"I'm not going to second-guess their actions," said Prince. "They were operating with the rules of engagement dictated to them by the State Departments, with the whole use of force continuum."
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national lead

October 27th, 2014
06:01 PM ET

Grandfather of Marysville shooting victim: He's walking and talking

(CNN) – A victim of Friday's shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School greeted his grandfather with a wonderful surprise this morning.

"I start walking down the hallway, and here he comes around the corner, walking with his nurse holding onto his arm," said Don Hatch, Jr., who had gone to the hospital to visit his 14-year-old grandson, Nate.

"Really surprising the progress he had in the last few days," Hatch said. "I couldn't believe it."

Yesterday, Nate was even talking, said Hatch, adding that "a lot of prayers" have been answered.
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national lead

October 24th, 2014
06:06 PM ET

Shooter’s friend: It came out of nowhere

(CNN) – A popular freshman shocked friends, fellow students, and teachers when he opened fire at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. The gunman shot five people, killing one, before killing himself, law enforcement officials say.

"It just came out of nowhere. I honestly wouldn't expect it," student Frankie Pina, a friend of the shooter, told CNN.

"We used to be very good friends. We kind of drifted away a little bit. And now this happened," the junior said.

The gunman, whom witnesses identify as Jaylen Fryberg, was not a violent person, said Pina. Fryberg's girlfriend had broken up with him, and his tweets had recently taken a dark turn, he said.

He sent "scary" tweets "about hurting himself and stuff like that," said Pina.

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