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Women pray from a prayerbook a block away from the site of a mass shooting in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images.

Saturday's shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that took the lives of 11 people has been classified as a hate crime, and is likely the deadliest attack in American history on Jewish people in the U.S., according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Why it matters: The ADL's most recent audit of anti-Semitic incidents found that the number of such incidents in the U.S. went up 57% last year — "the largest single-year increase on record and the second highest number reported since ADL started tracking." The most recent FBI data shows that in 2016, more Jewish people in the United States were victims of reported hate crimes than any other religious minority.

By the numbers: 684 anti-Jewish incidents were reported in 2016, which is more than all other religiously motivated hate crimes combined, CNN reports. The FBI reports an overall increase in reported hate crimes of more than 4% from 2015 to 2016. The ADL's data shows a spike in cases of vandalism, harassment, and physical against Jewish people between 2016 (1,267) to 2017 (1,986.)

Go deeper:

Go deeper

House cancels Thursday session as FBI, Homeland Security warn of threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report reviewed by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says an unidentified group of extremists discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

42 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).

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