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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.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

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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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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.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Crime • International • Justice • Soundwaves • Stories
The Hunt for Hoffa
An FBI agent gathers up crime scene tape while moving the news media further away from a field outside Detroit where agents are searching for the alleged remains of former Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa.
June 18th, 2013
08:37 PM ET

The Hunt for Hoffa

By Tommy Andres, CNN

(CNN) - Just three miles from the house in which I grew up, FBI agents are digging for the body of Jimmy Hoffa. For two days they've been wading through waist-high grass in a field in Oakland Township, Michigan, trying to unearth secrets from one of the most famous cold cases in American history.

Hoffa was the leader of the Teamsters, the biggest union in the auto industry, in a time when the Big Three dominated the global car market. But his ties to the mob are believed to be what put him in peril.

He was last seen on July 30, 1975 leaving the Machus Red Fox restaurant in suburban Detroit. There have been a slew of tips over the past decade that have led to investigations. Floorboards were torn out of a home in a search for blood, a driveway was drilled for human DNA and most notably in 2006 a horse barn was torn down so FBI agents could dig beneath it.

All of these searches turned up nothing.

So, why are they digging again?

"What I tell people is, if that was your loved one, would you want the FBI and the law enforcement to be doing this? And I think most people would say yes."

Andy Arena is a former FBI Special Agent who was in charge of the FBI's Detroit office from 2007-2012. He says the FBI has two messages to send, one to criminals and one to law-abiding citizens: That the FBI never gives up.

Investigators tasked with this latest search are carrying binders that read "Big Dig 2" on the cover, a wink to that last hunt now viewed mostly as a punchline.

But Arena says this claim carries more weight than any before, because the 85-year-old former mobster who pointed authorities to this latest spot is from La Cosa Nostra in Detroit. Which, unlike the syndicates in other big cities, is made up of only family members, either by blood or by marriage. And who can keep a secret better than family?

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CNN Radio News Day: June 18, 2013
circa 1960: American labor leader Jimmy Hoffa (1913 - c.1975). FBI agents search a field outside Detroit today for the remains of the former Teamster's union president.
June 18th, 2013
04:27 PM ET

CNN Radio News Day: June 18, 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 secrets revealed and secrets searched for. Here's what's waiting for you in today's News Day:

  • The NSA gives us a peek

We got a look under the nation's cloak of secrecy today. General Keith Alexander, head of the recently much-talked-about National Security Agency, appeared before a House committee today to answer questions about its surveillance programs . He didn't give up the whole hog, but he did serve up some bacon. Alexander said that more than 50 terror plots were thwarted by electronic surveillance.

  • Diplomatic trafficking in focus

It's a story that has had too many chapters. Today, we look at the world of diplomats who bring domestic workers to the US, and then treat them like slaves. CNN's Libby Lewis goes inside the world of diplomatic trafficking and meets one of the women who was held against her will.

  • Jimmy Hoffa is more difficult to find than Jimmy Hoffa

It's been a bad 38 years to be a field in Michigan. In 1975, former Teamsters kingpin Jimmy Hoffa disappeared outside a Detroit-area diner, kicking off an extremely persistent search. It seems that every year or two a new tip surfaces, causing investigators to dig up this field or under that barn. Now, a new "highly credible" tip about Hoffa's whereabouts has surfaced from alleged mobster Tony Zerilli, and a new round of Michigan field digging is underway.

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