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Missing transgender woman found dead in ‘crude’ North Carolina grave

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The body of Elisha Walker, a 20-year-old transgender woman who had been missing for almost a year, was found in a “crude grave” in Johnston County, North Carolina. According to advocates and local media, the discovery was made more than 100 miles from Walker’s home in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Related: Phoenix woman Kandis Capri killed as transgender murders continue

A Latin Kings gang member, Angel Dejesus Arias, 23, was arrested and charged with killing Walker and stealing her car, reports said on Thursday. He was being held without bond.

Amid reports from Detroit, Texas and Phoenix of the deaths of three more black, transgender women, some observers have placed the number of transgender women killed this year at 16.

In a statement, transgender Human Rights Campaign staff member Laya Monarez said: “Even as we are seeing an increase in transgender visibility through a range of inspiring national media stories, including Caitlyn Jenner’s, the levels of violence and harassment transgender people face – particularly transgender women and transgender women of color – constitute a national crisis .”

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This week, Texas police announced an investigation into the death of 22-year-old Shade Schuler, whose body was found badly decomposed in a field in Dallas. It took almost three weeks to identify her remains.

Activists in Michigan were also asking for help from Detroit law enforcement, after 20-year-old Amber Monroe was shot and killed in a city park. She was the fifth transgender woman to be killed in Palmer Park since 2014.

In Phoenix on Tuesday night a 35-year-old transgender woman, Kandis Capri, was shot dead .

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Walker was reported missing in November 2014, after her family had not heard from her since 24 October, the Salisbury Post reported. Police gave local media information about Walker’s disappearance in an effort to generate leads, but few were forthcoming until Walker’s burnt-out 2000 Pontiac Sunfire was discovered in an open field in Sampson County, police said in a release.

Arias had lived in a house in Salisbury that Walker was known to frequent, before moving to Johnston County, more than 100 miles away, where he was arrested on unrelated drug charges. Rowan County police obtained a search warrant for a Johnston County house, they said. They discovered Walker’s body in a “small depression” behind it.

Arias will not face hate crimes charges over Walker’s death. North Carolina does not have a hate crimes statute.

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Related: LGBT activists call for new focus on violence against transgender community

Like other police departments around the country, the Rowan County sheriff’s office has repeatedly referred to Walker with the incorrect pronoun “him”, despite it being widely acknowledged that Walker identified as a transgender woman. The department did not return a request for comment.

Condolences for those close to Walker poured on to her Facebook page late this week, after news of Arias’ arrest broke in the local community. Those posting to the page described Walker as joyful.

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“My heart hurts because you were such a kind spirit that never bothered anyone,” said one poster, named as Fab Oz, on the page .

“You always kept a smile on your face regardless of how you felt. I pray your soul rest in peace and justice is served.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015

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In rebuke to Trump, US Congress blocks Saudi arms sales

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The US House voted Wednesday to block $8.1 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other allies, a rebuke of Donald Trump that will likely lead to a veto by the president.

Lawmakers, many of whom are outraged with the kingdom over Riyadh's role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year, approved three resolutions that would prevent the controversial sales announced under emergency measures earlier this year by Trump.

The resolutions blocking the sales have already cleared the US Senate, and now go to the White House, where Trump is expected to issue a veto, the third of his presidency.

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Six officials at Southwest Key, nonprofit running migrant child shelters, earned more than $1 million in 2017

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The Texas-based group's former chief executive made $3.6 million that year.

Six high-ranking employees at a nonprofit organization housing thousands of migrant children for the federal government made at least $1 million for their work in 2017, according to tax filings released Tuesday.

The tax records show that Juan Sanchez, founder of Southwest Key Programs, the Texas-based nonprofit, earned $3.6 million in total compensation that year, which The Washington Post reported last week. They also showed that other prominent employees — including the group’s chief financial officer, who earned more than $2.4 million — were earning substantial, seven-figure salaries at the nonprofit.

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‘Pure and simple evil’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Mika destroy Trump’s ‘racist and illegal’ taunts against Omar

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski warned that President Donald Trump's attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) were both illegal and racist -- as well as an incitement to violence.

The "Morning Joe" co-hosts were appalled by the crowd's reaction -- chanting "send her back" -- to Trump attacks at a Greensboro, North Carolina, rally.

"Republicans shamed themselves by not calling racism, racism," Scarborough said. "I saw some people actually write columns that used to be respected trying to excuse the president's language and saying it's not racist, but the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that Donald Trump oversees that enforces laws against discrimination, specifically outlined such language that the president used last night and that his crowd used last night as an example of bias."

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