Charlottesville officials: 1 dead, 19 injured after crash near ‘Unite the Right’ rally

Story highlights

  •  Witness says car sat on side of street then took off into crowd
  • Trump condemns “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides”

Charlottesville, Virginia (CNN)One person was killed and 19 were hurt when a speeding car slammed into a throng of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, where a “Unite the Right” rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups had been scheduled take place, the city tweeted on its verified account.

The driver was later taken into custody, the city said in a news release. It did not name the person.
“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will — go home,” Mayor Mike Signer wrote on Twitter.
The city added that there were 15 other injuries associated with the scheduled rally.
Virginia’s governor had earlier declared an emergency, and police worked to disperse hundreds of protesters in the college town after clashes broke out ahead of the rally’s scheduled noon ET start.
Fistfights and screaming matches erupted Saturday, barely 12 hours after a scuffle Friday night at the nearby University of Virginia between torch-bearing demonstrators and counterprotesters.
Saturday’s rally was the latest event drawing white nationalists and right-wing activists from across the country to this Democratic-voting town — a development precipitated by the city’s decision to remove symbols of its Confederate past.
Demonstrators clash late Saturday morning in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Here are the latest developments:
• Seven people were being treated at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, spokeswoman Jen Downs said. Downs didn’t have word on their conditions.
Video of the incident shows a gray Dodge Challenger driving quickly down a narrow side street lined with walking protesters. The sports car rams into the back of a silver convertible, which hits the van in front of it. Soon the Dodge driver slams the car in reverse, going back up the street at a high rate of speed, dragging its front bumper. Several people chase the car. As the sports car retreats, a red and white athletic shoe falls off the bumper.
Another video shows at least one person being thrown over the rear of the car onto the roof of the silver convertible then sliding down onto the hood.
• Witness Chris Mahony said he and a friend, who shot one of the videos, were walking down the street when he saw the gray car on the other side of the street.
“It just sat there, looking down the road,” he said. “I thought that’s a bit strange. There didn’t seem to be any other cars stopping him from going. And then a couple moments we heard a car going incredibly fast down the road and then it plowed into the crowd.”
• President Donald Trump told reporters: “We are closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”
• Police began to break up crowds shortly before noon, after city officials declared the gathering an “unlawful assembly.” Police officers spoke on bullhorns, directing people to leave.
• The declaration was made after fistfights and screaming matches erupted in several locations late Saturday morning.
• Some protesters fired pepper spray at other demonstrators, state police said.
• Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency “to aid state response to violence,” according to a post on his Twitter account.
• An unspecified number of protesters have been arrested in Charlottesville, state police said.
Police in riot gear stood shoulder to shoulder behind shields early Saturday afternoon, at times advancing toward crowds, CNN video shows. Members of the Virginia National Guard also were there.
By 1 p.m. ET, police had cleared the park where the rally was to be held. It wasn’t immediately clear how many demonstrators remained in other parts of the city.
“It is now clear that public safety cannot be safeguarded without additional powers, and that the mostly out-of-state protesters have come to Virginia to endanger our citizens and property,” McAuliffe said. “I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours.”
It wasn’t immediately clear what led to the fights, though tensions and rhetoric were running hot. At one point, a few dozen white men wearing helmets and holding makeshift shields chanted, “Blood and soil!” Later, another group chanted slogans such as, “Nazi scum off our streets!”
Demonstrators gather Saturday ahead of a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

People punched and kicked each other during various scuffles, which often were broken up from within crowds, without police intervention, CNN video shows.
Earlier, a group of clergy and other counterdemonstrators, including activist and Harvard professor Cornel West, held hands, prayed and sang, “This Little Light of Mine.”
Police presence was heavy, with more than 1,000 officers expected to be deployed, city officials said. Police anticipated the rally would attract as many as 2,000 to 6,000 people, and the Southern Poverty Law Center said it could be the “largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the United States.”
Counterprotesters gather Saturday morning in Charlottesville, Virginia, ahead of a "Unite the Right" rally.

White nationalists wield torches

White nationalists carrying torches surround protesters Friday night at the foot of a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the University of Virginia's campus.

Charlottesville, once home to Thomas Jefferson, is known as a progressive city of about 47,000 people. During last year’s presidential election, 80% of its voters chose Hillary Clinton.
But far-right activists and Ku Klux Klan members have come here in recent months, outraged by the city’s intention to remove traces of its links to the Confederacy — including plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The effort developed amid a push by communities across the South to remove Confederate iconography from public property since the 2015 rampage killings of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, by a self-described white supremacist.
Ahead of Saturday’s planned rally, tensions roiled Friday night as white nationalists — some holding what appeared to be backyard tiki-style torches — marched onto the University of Virginia’s campus.
White nationalists and others march Friday night through the University of Virginia campus.

Chanting, “Blood and soil” and “You will not replace us,” the group rallied around a statue of Thomas Jefferson before they clashed with counterprotesters, CNN affiliate WWBT reported. The group left the university’s grounds when police arrived and declared the gathering an unlawful assembly.
City and UVA officials condemned Friday’s march.
“In my 47 years of association with @UVA, this was the most nauseating thing I’ve ever seen. We need an exorcism on the Lawn,” Larry Sabato, director of the university’s Center for Politics, tweeted.
Signer, the Charlottesville mayor, released a statement referring to Friday’s rally as a “cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance march down the lawns of the architect of our Bill of Rights.”
“Everyone has a right under the First Amendment to express their opinion peaceably, so here’s mine: not only as the Mayor of Charlottesville, but as a UVA faculty member and alumnus, I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus,” he added.
Friday’s march took place shortly after a federal judge granted a temporary injunction allowing right-wing activists to hold Saturday’s rally.
City officials had tried to “modify” the rally’s permit to move the demonstration from the park with the Lee statue more than a mile away to McIntire Park, citing safety concerns.

‘We’re going to start standing up for our history’

In February, the city council voted to remove the Lee statue, but that is on hold pending litigation. The council also voted to rename two city parks that had been named for Confederate generals; one of those, Emancipation Park, was due to be the site of Saturday’s rally.
Jason Kessler, who organized Saturday’s “Unite the Right” rally, said he doesn’t consider himself to be a white nationalist. But, he said, “we’re going to start standing up for our history.”
“The statue itself is symbolic of a lot of larger issues. The primary three issues are preserving history against this censorship and revisionism — this political correctness,” he told CNN Friday.
“The second issue is being allowed to advocate for your interests as a white person, just like other groups are allowed to advocate for their interests politically. And finally, this is about free speech. We are simply trying to express ourselves and do a demonstration, and the local government has tried to shut us down.”

Courtesy, CNN

Opinion: Unlike Donald Trump, North Korea has a plan

North Korea’s leader has a strategy that he’s stubbornly pursuing. Meanwhile, the White House is sending him uncoordinated threats. This only serves to worsen a bad situation, argues guest contributor Peter Sturm.

Seoul Donald Trump und Kim Jong Un auf einem Screen (picture alliance/dpa/AP/A. Young-joon)

For all that has been written about Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, rarely has he been described as having good sense. But in the current situation, which could very well turn into a major crisis, it can be fairly said: Kim is not irrational in his actions. In fact, he has a clear strategy, one that he’s pursuing doggedly, just as his father and his grandfather did. In contrast to his forefathers, however, Kim obviously hears the ticking of the clock. This is clearly connected to the change of administrations in Washington.

Peter Sturm, FAZ editor and DW guest contributor (FAZ)Peter Sturm, FAZ editor and DW guest contributor

The Donald Trump administration has declared an end to former President Barack Obama’s strategy of using “strategic patience” in dealing with Pyongyang. For Kim, the contradictory signals sent from the White House since January are seen as part of a carefully constructed plan by Trump, one in which every public statement is carefully worded to the very last detail.

In actual fact they are really the result of confusion within the administration. This in itself poses a danger, as both sides are more likely to perceive their opponent’s actions as threatening.

Read more: Trump and Kim’s ‘war of words’ timeline

Practiced propaganda vs. military might

For this reason, Kim sees a “window of vulnerability” in his opponent. The most important reason why is that the only way he can hit back effectively at the US is through the use of propaganda. North Korea still pales in comparison to the US militarily – two nuclear tests and countless missile launches haven’t changed that. Kim wants to bring his nuclear program to a close as soon as possible in order to prevent the country from a potential attack.

An entirely different question is whether Washington opening a dialogue with Pyongyang – as suggested by China, for instance – would do much to quell the tension. If there has been any sacred rule in Kim Jong-un’s life, it is to not put trust in anyone, least of all foreigners, nor on a piece of paper. For this reason a nuclear agreement with North Korea is theoretically likely, but it would also be impossible to trust that Kim would stick to the rules. The leader’s rationality doesn’t go that far.

Peter Sturm is an editor at the German daily newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (FAZ).

Watch video03:24

North Korea threats – Journalist Isa Baza reports from Guam

 

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Weak OPEC compliance with output cap fuels oil glut

The cartel pumped more oil in July, boosting global supplies for the third month and casting doubt on OPEC’s pledge to reduce production. But the IEA industry group hopes growing demand will take up the slack.

Ölbohrinseln vor der Küste von Baku Aserbaidschan (picture-alliance/dpa)

In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that in July the 22 countries, who had pledged to cut their output, were producing about 470,000 barrels per day (bpd) in excess of their commitment, increasing global oil supply to 500,000 bpd more than a year ago.

“The compliance rate with OPEC’s output cut fell again in July to a new low of 75 percent from June’s revised figure of 77 percent,” IEA said in its report released Friday. For the non-OPEC countries that joined the pact, the compliance rate edged up to 67 percent, said the Paris-based organization, which advises industrial countries on energy policy.

OPEC and a number of other producers including Russia agreed late last year to cut production to ease oversupply and support the price of crude. In May they extended those cuts into 2018.

IEA said compliance was weak by Algeria, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, while Libya, which is currently exempt from the output cuts, steeply increased output. The oil industry group noted that markets were “not entirely clear” if all parties to the deal would be willing to honor their pledge.

“If re-balancing is to be maintained, the producers that are committed to seeing the task through to March 2018 need to convince the market that they are in it together,” said the IEA.

Watch video01:01

US shale producers push down crude prices

Hopes pinned on demand growth

As global oil supply overshoot demand by 520,000 bpd in July, oil prices continued to languish in the doldrums. On Friday, North Sea Brent crude was down 39 cents to $51.51 (43.78 euros) in London morning trading. US benchmark WTI fell 41 cents to $48.18.

Oil prices have swung around $50 per barrel since the OPEC-led deal came into place – a far cry from historic peaks of well above $100 a few years ago.

Nevertheless, IEA said producers should find encouragement from demand, “which is growing year-on-year more strongly than first thought,” thus reducing the stocks overhang. IEA registered a decline in stocks in industrialized nations in both June and July, although they remained 219 million barrels above a 5-year average.

As a result of these developments, the organization raised its forecast for growth in demand this year to an average daily demand of 97.6 million barrels – about 1.5 million bpd more than previously estimated.

However, the main challenge to higher oil prices continued to be rising non-OPEC output, IEA said, which was expected to expand by 0.7 million bpd in 2017 and by 1.4 million bpd in 2018.

US shale producers, which are not participating in the output caps, were proving especially resilient to low prices after cutting costs. Their output is now higher than before oil prices tumbled from above $100 per barrel in 2014.

Watch video01:22

Crisis in the oil industry

uhe/kd (Reuters, AFP)

 

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Nigerian forces conduct unauthorized search of UN main base

Nigerian forces raided the UN’s compound in Maiduguri, the epicenter of a conflict with Islamist group Boko Haram. The search could hurt the already fragile relationship between the military and the world body.

Nigeria UN Camp in Maiduguri (Getty Images/AFP/S. Heunis)

The Nigerian military conducted what the UN called an unauthorized search of its main operating base in the country’s northeast in the early hours of Friday.

“Members of the Nigerian security forces entered a United Nations base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri … without authorization,” said Samantha Newport, a spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “The United Nations is extremely concerned that these actions could be detrimental to the delivery of lifesaving aid to the millions of vulnerable people in the northeast of Nigeria.”

The objective of the search was not immediately known but an internal UN memo seen by AFP news agency suggested that the Nigerian forces might have been searching for Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.

The raids followed rumors that the Boko Haram chief was hiding in the compound known as the “Red Roof.”

“Information about Shekau’s presence in the Red Roof was already being spread yesterday on social media,” said the document, that AFP said was apparently issued by the UN’s Department of Safety.

The memo ordered the UN staff in Maiduguri to work from home, fearing demonstrations against the organization and other foreign groups active in the area.

A UN source told AFP that such searches are illegal under international law and risk raising suspicions about the organization’s work.

 Nigeria UN Camp in Maiduguri The conflict with Boko Haram has left two million homeless

Nigeria’s theater commander for the conflict with Boko Haram, Ibrahim Attahiru, told Reuters news agency he did not know the reason for the raid on the UN compound.

The almost decade-old insurgency led by the jihadists has driven at least 2 million people from their homes and left almost 7 million in need humanitarian assistance.

Throughout the conflict, the army has been accused of human rights violations including unlawful detention, sexual abuse and extrajudicial killings.

ap/msh (AFP, Reuters)

Watch video01:36

Boko Haram insurgency leaves children malnourished

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UN: ‘Islamic State’ remains a threat despite military setbacks

UN experts say the “Islamic State” is still capable of sending funds to supporters and motivating global attacks. “Europe remained a priority region” for IS attacks, they said, despite developments in Iraq and Syria.

Irak - IS Islamischer Staat in Fallujah (picture alliance/AP Photo)

The 24-page report, prepared by a panel of experts for the Security Council, noted that the self-styled Islamic State (IS) was often remitting funds in small sums to avoid detection.

But the group of experts concluded that the military pressure against the group had led to a decline in the number of foreign fighters traveling to Iraq and Syria and a worsening of the financial situation of the core IS.

The would-be “Caliphate” has faced several military reversals in the past few months, most recently losing control of Iraq’s second largest city Mosul to Iraqi and allied forces in July.

An Iraqi flag is seen in MosulIS lost control of Iraqi city of Mosul in July

The experts said that Islamic State leadership was adapting to military pressure in Iraq and Syria by delegating decision-making responsibility to local commanders and switching to encrypted communications.

Despite the recent military blows, IS has been stepping up its international efforts “as demonstrated by the higher pace of attacks in Europe,” the report said.

Read more: Masoud’s list: From IS victim to terrorist hunter

‘IS expanding foothold’

Funding sources are still based on oil profits and the imposition of taxes on local populations in the areas under its control.

Beyond Europe, the extremist group is seeking to establish a foothold in Southeast Asia. The report cited the example of the southern Philippines, where the city of Marawi has been under siege by IS-linked militants for more than two months.

IS was developing the capability to design and construct larger drones for reconnaissance and bombing missions, in far-away regions, the report warned.

The experts expressed concerns about the radicalized minors returning home after undergoing advanced IS training. They said there was a need for “specific attention and strategies that take into account the legal protections afforded to minors.”

The experts said IS’ fellow jihadist group al-Qaida remains resilient especially in West Africa, East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, particularly Yemen, with localized alliances allowing the movement of fighters between the two rival outfits.

ap/msh (AP, AFP)

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Donald Trump has complete, unchecked authority to use nuclear weapons

The military chain of command provides the president with complete authority to order the use of nuclear arms, Princeton researcher and Global Zero founder Bruce Blair tells DW. He also talks about potential objections.

A nuclear Titan II missile (picture-alliance/dpa/J. Lo Scalzo)

DW: Does the US military chain of command give President Donald Trump the unilateral authority to order the use of nuclear weapons? 

Bruce Blair: The protocol that has been set up for this purpose is streamlined and designed for speed and efficiency, not for deliberation. And this protocol gives the president carte blanche – complete unchecked authority to order the use of nuclear weapons.

Bruce Blair (Max Whittaker)Bruce Blair is a nuclear security scholar at Princeton University and a co-founder of Global Zero

Now some people argue that that authority can violate the constitution if the president orders the first use of nuclear weapons, others say the constitution provides this authority through Article 2, which designates the president as commander of chief of the armed forces. So you get into a little bit of debate about what is constitutional or not. But the system, the protocol, is designed to allow for one person with a single verbal order to launch nuclear weapons.

Can you describe the nature of this protocol and how the use of nuclear weapons would be carried out in practice?

The way that would work is that the president would consult as he desires with his top advisors. He is not obliged to consult with anyone, including the Secretary of Defense or the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or the national security adviser.

He likely would and the teleconference protocol has been designed to patch in his top advisors into a secure conference call if they are not in the room with him, including the commander of the strategic forces in Omaha, Nebraska. In this case he would have a discussion with his advisors if he chose to do so.

The atomic bomb explodes over Hiroshima (Imago/United Archives International)The US is the only country to use a nuclear weapon against another country, dropping two atomic bombs on Japan in World War II

The main talker in this conference call is the commander, the four-star general in charge of our nuclear forces in Omaha, Nebraska. He is the person who talks to the president about what options are available and what the consequences would be and he would ask the president about what kind of conditions the president would like to impose on the use of nuclear weapons, for example whether or not he would like to withhold strikes against urban populations. So that conversation is the main one in this protocol and other advisors may be invited to weigh in or may not.

And then the president makes a decision and then conveys that decision to another critical party that is patched into this emergency teleconference, and that is the emergency action center, the so-called war room at the Pentagon. So the president makes a decision, chooses among the options to him and instructs the war room, which is patched into this call to carry out that order.

At which point the war room requires the president to verify his identity using a special code, known colloquially as “the biscuit,” also known as “the gold code.” And if the president gives the right codes to the Pentagon, the Pentagon transmits an emergency message or a launch order to the forces designated by the president’s choice.

That launch order, which is roughly the length of a tweet, would be formatted and would include special codes to unlock missiles and to provide instructions to the executing commanders in the field as to the time the war plan should be carried out. And then the crews would receive that message within five minutes of the president’s decision and begin to carry it out.

Seoul: Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un on a TV screen (picture alliance/dpa/AP/A. Young-joon)Trump has issued heavy-handed threats to the regime in Pyongyang

How long would it take for the president’s order to be carried out?

In the case of land-based rockets in the middle west of the United States, of which there are 400, each with one warhead, those crews can carry out the order in one minute from the time they have received it. The missiles could be leaving their silos en masse in one minute from the time they have received the order. Crews on submarines would take about 10 minutes longer to carry out the order because they have extra steps that they need to carry out.

Could there be opposition among the senior advisors that’s so strong that they would try to intervene not only to oppose, but to disobey orders and to instruct the chain of command in the Pentagon war room not to carry out the order?

There you are entering into a psychological arena, and I can’t really speculate more than anyone else how that might play out.

And the fact that the military is already planning conventional and nuclear operations against North Korea, that there is already a nuclear plan for North Korea, the fact that that is an ongoing process of fine tuning, is an indication that that is already accepted that nuclear weapons might be used against North Korea. And the mere planning for that by the military indicates the accommodation and acceptance of a presidential decision to order that plan be carried out.

North Korea rocket test (Reuters/KCNA)US intelligence authorities claim North Korea can mount a nuclear missile on a rocket

Once an option is chosen by the president in this protocol of decision making that I described to you, someone like the commander of the strategic command might be saying, “Mr President I think this is ill-advised, we have conventional non-nuclear options to deal with this threat and furthermore the nuclear option you prefer is probably a violation of the law of war under the circumstances.”

He may well receive that kind of advice in the emergency conference, but he can ignore it and proceed and I believe that – based on my conversations with people in the military that would be involved in situations like that – they would give their best advice and then they would carry out the order that the president gives, even if it were viewed as ill-advised, misguided and a violation of the law of war. I believe the system is very strongly predisposed to accept and carry out the president’s wishes.

Bruce Blair is a nuclear security scholar at Princeton University and a co-founder of Global Zero, an international initiative dedicated to the elimination of all nuclear weapons. He also served as a member of the US State Department’s International Security Advisory Board from 2007 to June 2017.

The interview was conducted by Michael Knigge.

Watch video01:58

US and North Korea: Fierce sabre-rattling

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Nations start to choose sides in event of North Korea war

As tensions rise, North Korea has found a supporter even as some US allies reaffirmed they would back Washington in the event of an open conflict. Could Germany – and other NATO members – be forced to fight for Trump?

North Korea's Kim Jong Un watching a missile test

Amid growing talk of the possibility of open conflict between the United States and North Korea, countries have started to affirm their positions in case violence breaks out on the Korean Peninsula or elsewhere.

Although countries have yet to throw their support behind Pyongyang in the event of a confrontation, North Korea has found supporters in its neighbor China – with some conditions.

“If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korea regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” said an editorial in the state-run Global Times.

A rocket fired by North Korea A rocket fired by North Korea

Read more: What is China’s role in the North Korean crisis?

However, the paper did not recommend Beijing support Pyongyang under all circumstances.

“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral,” it wrote.

Earlier this week, China’s Foreign Ministry urged both North Korea and the United States to “stop provoking each other” and de-escalate the situation in a bid to return to “dialogue and negotiations.”

Infografik Militärisches Kräfteverhältnis in Ostasien ENG

‘No stronger ally’

But others nations have been keen to choose a side. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Friday that Washington “has no stronger ally than Australia.”

“Let’s be very clear about that. If there is an attack on the United States by North Korea, then the ANZUS treaty will be invoked and Australia will come to the aid of the United States,” Turnbull said.

Read more: Does the US have to accept North Korea as a nuclear power?

Roh Jae-cheon, spokesman for South Korea’s Joints Chiefs of Staff, said on Thursday that Washington and Seoul are prepared to “immediately and sternly punish” provocations from Pyongyang.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday that Tokyo “can never tolerate” such provocations from Pyongyang, noting that technically the country could intercept a missile bound for US territory if it appeared to be an existential threat to its own domain.

Infografik North Korea's missile ranges

Is Germany in? What would NATO do?

While German officials have warned of the “very serious situation” unfolding between its ally and North Korea, Berlin has yet to affirm support for a US incursion.

However, given Germany’s position in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), would it have to heed the call if Washington triggered Article 5?

Read more: Donald Trump has complete, unchecked authority to use nuclear weapons

Despite Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which requires all members to come to the aid of any attacked member, it is unlikely Germany and other NATO members would be required to take military action against North Korea as Guam falls outside of the collective defense geographic limits detailed in the charter’s sixth article.

Even as US President Donald Trump says the “fire and fury” he said North Korea would face if it attacked the US maybe “wasn’t tough enough,” senior officials in the White House have played down the president’s tough talk, with Defense Secretary James Mattis saying a war would be “catastrophic.”

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