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Photo: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

The American Medical Association has called this year's surge of transgender murders an "epidemic," which has "heightened fears and alarm among communities already familiar with looming threats to their safety," reports the New York Times.

Why it matters: So far this year, 18 trans people have been violently killed all over the country, with many of the victims being trans women of color.

  • The attacks have "mobilized transgender and LGBTQ groups, with calls for lawmakers to strengthen hate crime legislation and bar the use of the so-called gay- or trans-panic defense for people charged with attacks," per the Times.

The big picture: While transgender groups have more representation in pop culture, the acceptance often hasn't translated to real life.

  • The data isn't always reliable, but advocates say there is an increase in hostility comes "as a rise in visibility has also stirred animosity and emboldened people to attack," per the Times.
  • Transgender people have also come under fresh legal attacks from the Trump administration. In addition to seeking to have trans people removed from the military, the administration has sought to weaken protections for trans youth in schools and for those seeking health care.
  • Transgender people face bias at multiple levels, including employment, housing and education. Only some states offer explicit legal protection against discrimination based on gender identity.
  • The epidemic of violence against transgender people in recent years has been particularly aimed at trans women of color.

Context:

  • At least 14 LGBTQ people were killed this year between May and July. 7 of the victims were black transgender women.
  • The Human Rights Campaign reported at least 26 murders last year, but some advocates say those numbers "fail to grasp the full extent of the perils the community faces," per the Times.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

5 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne spent longer under lockdown than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. on Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest hours later, per AP.