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Rapid reaction SWAT members leave the scene of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Attorney General Jeff Sessions responded Saturday afternoon to the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that took the lives of 11 people, and explained "the Department of Justice will file hate crimes and other criminal charges against the defendant, including charges that could lead to the death penalty."

The big picture: Earlier Saturday, President Trump called to "stiffen up" death penalty laws and said people who commit such crimes should "pay the ultimate price." The gunman had posted anti-semitic messages to social media just prior to entering the synagogue saying, "I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics I'm going in," on social media just minutes before the shooting," CNN reports. The gunman was wounded during the event and has been hospitalized, his condition is unclear.

Go deeper

Bipartisan group of senators unveil $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.

Inside Patch's new local newsletter platform

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Patch, the hyperlocal (and profitable) local digital news company, has built a new software platform called "Patch Labs" that lets local news reporters publish their own newsletters and websites, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: It follows a growing trend of journalists going solo via newsletters at the national level.

Scoop: Politico stars plot new Playbook

Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Three of Politico’s biggest reporting stars plan to launch a competitor to the company’s Politico Playbook franchise, sources tell me. 

Why it matters:  Jake Sherman, Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan will launch a daily newsletter in 2021 as a stand-alone company, the sources say. In effect, they will be competing against the Playbook franchise they helped create and grow.