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Law enforcement responds to active shooter in El Paso, Texas on Aug. 3. Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images

Amnesty International advised U.S. visitors on Wednesday to avoid "cultural events, places of worship, schools, and shopping malls" due to "ongoing high levels of gun violence in the country."

The big picture: Japan, Uruguay and Venezuela released similar warnings to their citizens after recent mass shootings in California, Ohio and Texas, NPR reports. Ireland, Germany, France, New Zealand and Canada issued warnings over gun violence following the 2016 Pulse shooting and the 2017 shooting at Las Vegas' Harvest music festival.

  • "Depending on the traveler's gender identity, race, country of origin, ethnic background, or sexual orientation, they may be at higher risk of being targeted with gun violence, and should plan accordingly," Amnesty International included in its press release.
  • The organization recommended travelers "exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos," and to "avoid places where large numbers of people gather."

The bottom line: In the past 18 months, white-extremist active shooters in the U.S. have been responsible for 63 deaths in 7 episodes, including attacks on a Texas Walmart, a Florida high school, a Texas high school and a Pennsylvania synagogue, a N.Y. Times graphic shows.

Go deeper: Mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton force America to confront its hate problem

Go deeper

Former D.C. Guard alleges Army Generals lied about Jan. 6 response

Members of the National Guard and Capitol police keep a small group of pro-Trump demonstrators away from the Capitol following the insurrection on Jan. 6. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A former D.C. National Guard official has alleged that top Army generals "lied" to Congress in their testimony on the U.S. Capitol riot, Politico first reported Monday.

The big picture: Col. Earl Matthews, who was serving on Jan. 6, alleges in a memo that the official version on the military response is "worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist" and that the Pentagon inspector general's November report on it features "myriad inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, or examples of faulty analysis."

Toyota to build $1.3 billion U.S. battery plant in North Carolina

The all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the company's first battery-electric vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 17. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller. This battery plant will be the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress hunts for shortcut to pass defense funding, debt limit combo

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer returned to his office Monday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The scramble in Congress to pass the National Defense Authorization Act is being complicated by an effort to tie it to a needed hike in the federal debt limit.

Why it matters: The House and Senate are rapidly coming up against a series of deadlines they must address before the end of the year — or risk disrupting crucial military funding and upending the economy. Congressional leaders are now hoping they can knock out both "must-pass" priorities in one, complex swoop.