By Alicia W. Stewart, CNN
(CNN) - In his first major news conference since March, President Barack Obama expressed confidence in passing immigration reform in his second term.
"You're starting to see a sense of empowerment and civic participation (among Latinos) that I think is going to be powerful and good for the country," he said. "And it is why I'm very confident that we can get immigration reform done."
In response to a question from Telemundo reporter Lori Montenegro, the president spoke about increased Latino voter turnout, the DREAM Act and border security.
Read his full answer in the excerpt below. You can also read the full transcript of the news conference here. FULL POST
By Elizabeth Landau, CNN
(CNN) - While breast cancer is still the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among American women, the number of patients dying from the disease continues to decline. That's the good news; the bad news is that those statistics do not look so good for African-American women.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that large gaps between black and white women in terms of mortality and stage of diagnosis continue to persist.
Black women still have a disproportionately higher breast cancer death rate – 41% higher than white women. This finding is based on 2005 to 2009 data, showing that even though African-American women have a lower incidence of breast cancer, they are more likely to die of this disease than women in any other racial or ethnic group.
Diagnosis of breast cancer at more aggressive stages is also more common among black women than white women. There were nine more deaths among black women for every 100 breast cancers diagnosed compared to white women.
The report says that mammography may be less frequently used among black women than white women, based on self-reported data. It's also more common for a longer amount of time to pass between mammograms for black women than white women.
By Cindy Y. Rodriguez, CNN
(CNN) - For the first time, CNN exit polls show, Cuban-Americans in Florida voted for a Democratic candidate over a Republican, 49% to 47%.
Cuban-Americans in Florida have reliably voted Republican and have been a factor in some presidential outcomes in the coveted swing state.
In 2008, more Cuban-Americans voted for John McCain over Barack Obama, 53% to 47%. In 2004, the preference was for George W. Bush, 79%-21% over John Kerry.
In 2012, many voters like retiree Antonio Villasuso believed that the president deserved a second chance.
“When Obama arrived, the country was destroyed, and now there is at least something," he said. "I don’t believe he can fix everything, but I don’t think (Mitt) Romney could have fixed any of our problems.”
Obama carried Florida’s Hispanic vote 60% to 39%, this year, an increase from 57% to 42% in 2008. Nationally, the president won 71% of the Latino vote, with key wins in swing states like Florida. FULL POST
(CNN) - On any given Sunday in Harlem, visitors might be surprised to see who is attending black churches.
Tourists are lining up to worship in Harlem, where black churches are becoming big, inspirational attractions for white European travelers.
It's a growing trend, and a cultural experience that's uniquely American. CNN's Jason Carroll reports.
Soledad O'Brien's documentary "Who is Black in America?" airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT on December 9 on CNN.
By Halimah Abdullah, CNN
Washington (CNN) - When the incoming U.S. House freshmen of the 113th Congress take their class photo, the image will reflect two very different visions of the nation.
On the Democratic side: Women and minorities - a coalition that, along with young voters, largely helped re-elect President Barack Obama - collectively will for the first time in the nation's history outnumber white male Democrats.
On the Republican side: The majority of the House seats will be held by white men - a group which far outnumbers the now dwindled numbers of House GOP women and minorities after the losses of two minority members and about a half dozen women from that caucus.
"They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well the picture that you see before you is worth millions of votes, millions of aspirations and dreams of the American people for problem-solvers to come to Washington to get to the job done, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in welcoming the incoming freshman class to the Capitol for orientation.
"Today we officially welcome our Democratic freshmen to Washington. They are extraordinary leaders who will make our House Democratic caucus the first caucus in history, in the history of civilized government, to have a majority of women and minorities in the caucus."
It also symbolizes something else that is more troubling politically.
"It's basically a sign that both parties are distilling to their core, and they are living in parallel universes," said David Wasserman, House editor for the Cook Political Report.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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