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A peace pole is carried into an interfaith prayer and candlelight vigil at Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church after yesterday's attack. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Two appalling attacks, four days apart: The first in Northern California, and yesterday's in my native Southern California — less than 500 miles apart. One mowed down Muslims. One aimed at Jews on the last day of Passover.

Context: It was only six months ago that 11 Jewish worshipers were killed in the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. And of course, it's not just America: It was just six weeks ago that 50 Muslim worshipers in New Zealand were killed in terrorist attacks on two mosques.

  • This morning, Sri Lanka's Catholics celebrated mass in their homes via TV, as churches across the island nation closed down over fears of militant attacks, a week after Easter suicide bombings killed over 250 people, per AP.

Yesterday, worshipers in Poway, California, just north of San Diego, "were nearing the end of Passover, a sacred Jewish celebration steeped in ancient freedom, when a modern terror walked in the door," the San Diego Union-Tribune reports:

  • "A 60-year-old woman was killed when she jumped in front of the rabbi, whose hands were pierced by gunfire. An 8-year-old girl was hit with shrapnel in the face and leg," according to the L.A. Times.
  • The suspected gunman, 19, was arrested "after fleeing the synagogue amid a hail of bullets from a security guard," per the Union-Tribune.
  • "An anti-Semitic manifesto attributed to him was posted online claiming responsibility for the attack."

On Tuesday, in Sunnyvale, California, in Silicon Valley, a 34-year-old Army veteran of the war in Iraq intentionally careened his car through a crowded intersection, injuring eight pedestrians, per the San Francisco Chronicle.

  • The former sharpshooter "targeted the victims because he thought some of them were Muslim, police officials said."
  • The FBI has opened a federal hate crimes investigation.

The debate ahead ... The N.Y. Times' Charlie Warzel writes that online messages "from suspects in shootings at a California synagogue and a New Zealand mosque were similar":

"[I]t’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore how online hatred and message board screeds are bleeding into the physical world — and how social platforms can act as an accelerant for terroristic behavior.
The internet, it seems, has imprinted itself on modern hate crimes, giving its most unstable residents a theater for unspeakable acts — and an amplification system for an ideology of white supremacy that only recently was relegated to the shadows."

The latest from Poway.

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Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
53 mins ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.