A message of fitness from on high
James Mills of Expedition Denali, the first team of black climbers to attempt to reach the summit of Alaska's Mount McKinley.
June 19th, 2013
05:59 PM ET

A message of fitness from on high

By Edgar Treiguts, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – Right now, there's a group of people tackling the highest mountain in North America – Mount McKinley in Alaska, also known as Mount Denali.

Expedition Denali is made-up of nine members, ranging in age from 18-56, coming from varied professional and career backgrounds. A week and a half into their climb, the group is set to hit the summit very soon. One other note about the group – all of its members are African-American. The team is attempting to become the first group of black men and women to stand atop North America's highest mountain – 20,156 feet high

The makeup of the expedition was by design. It was organized by the National Outdoor Leadership School, with an aim to stir young people, in particuar minorities, to see the value of outdoor recreation and preservtion. James Mills is part of the effort, an African-American who's been an avid outdoor athlete most of his life:

           [1:36] "Our goal is to let people of color, especially young people, know that it's cool to spend time outdoors in nature. It's fun to spend time outdoors in nature."

James Mills is also a freelance journalist. The climb is for his effort The Joy Trip Project, and he's documenting it for National Geographic.

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Filed under: Culture • Health • Nature • Soundwaves • Sports
CNN Radio News Day: June 19, 2013
Jim Griffin, dressed as Capt. America, holds a large American flag while participating in a Tea Party rally at the U.S. Capitol, today in Washington, DC.
June 19th, 2013
04:40 PM ET

CNN Radio News Day: June 19, 2013

CNN Radio News Day is an evening news program providing an informative, thoughtful and creative look at the day's events. It's posted Monday through Friday at 4:30 pm ET.

You don’t have to be at this blog to listen, we want you to take us with you! Click the download button in the SoundCloud player and put us on your smart phone or tablet and bring us with you in the car, on the train or while you’re working out.

(CNN) – Today was a day of erupting emotions, whistle blowers in the cross hairs and tributes to a freedom fighter. Here's what's waiting for you in today's News Day:

  • Heat on the Hill over immigration

In the space of 24 hours, the debate over immigration reform in the U.S. is approaching the boiling point. Leaders of both the House and the Senate are positioning for a fight and a new report from the Congressional Budget Office spells out what effects immigration reform might have on unemployment and the economy. CNN's Lisa Desjardins goes beyond the numbers to help explain to us what it means.

  • Government whistle-blower says he's now a target

Jeff Black, a former Federal Air Marshal spoke out against the Federal Air Marshal service and the Department of Homeland Security before Congress and in a documentary. But, he tells CNN's Drew Griffin that doing what he thought was right put him in the cross hairs of the IRS and Black believes it was no coincidence.

  • Honors for an original freedom fighter

Abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, widely considered to be the father of the civil rights movement, was honored today. Congress held a ceremony to dedicate a statue of Douglass. It's a gift from the District of Columbia and its more than 600,000 residents. Each state has two such famous figures in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, but this was the first opportunity for D.C. to have one of its own in the hall.

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Filed under: News Day • Soundwaves
Diplomatic trafficking: the story that won’t go away
Dema Ramos, a Filipina woman allegedly trafficked by Kuwaiti diplomat assigned to the U.N. looks at family photos.
June 19th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Diplomatic trafficking: the story that won’t go away

By Libby Lewis, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – The story of diplomats bringing domestic workers to the United States and treating them like slaves is not new, but it keeps coming back.

It keeps coming back because diplomats believe they have life-long immunity from prosecution – even when they break the law.

Just last month, immigration agents helped two Filipina women escape a house rented by high-ranking members of the Saudi military just outside Washington DC. The women said their Saudi employer held them captive and abused them.


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Filed under: Crime • International • Justice • Soundwaves • Stories

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