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Violent clashes erupt at ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Va.

One person was killed in Virginia on Saturday after white nationalists clashed with counter-demonstrators and a car plowed into a crowd near the scene of the earlier melee, the mayor of Charlottesville said.

The clashes on Saturday morning prompted the governor to declare an emergency and halt a rally over removing a Confederate general’s statue from a public park.

“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here,” Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer said on his Twitter feed. “I urge all people of good will – go home.” He did not give details of who died and what caused the death.

“I am praying that God help us all,” Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy said in an interview with CNN. “We are better than this.”

Tensions in the city intensified when at least one vehicle plowed into a crowd of people gathered in a street two blocks from the park. Multiple people were injured in the incident, the Charlottesville Police Department said on its Facebook page. (Reuters)

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Rescue workers move victims on stretchers after car plowed through a crowd of counter-demonstrators marching through the downtown shopping district Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Violent clashes erupt at ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Va

People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)

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A vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: The Daily Progress via AP)

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This photo provided by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail shows James Alex Fields Jr., who was charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he rammed his car into a crowd of protesters Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally took place. (Photo: Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail via AP)

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People receive first-aid after a car accident ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

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In this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 photo, James Alex Fields Jr., second from left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally took place. Fields was later charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he plowed a car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally. (Photo: Alan Goffinski via AP)

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Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber/AP)

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The Virginia National Guard block a street during protests in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017. (Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

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A vehicle reverses after driving into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)

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First responders stand by a car that was struck when a car drove through a group of counter protesters at the “Unite the Right” rally Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Justin Ide/Reuters)

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CHARescue workers and medics tend to many people who were injured when a car plowed through a crowd of anti-facist counter-demonstrators marching through the downtown shopping district Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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A Virginia State Trooper secures the area were a car ran into a crowd of protesters on August 12, 2017, downtown Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

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ViViolent clashes erupt at ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters after an white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

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Rescue workers and medics tend to many people who were injured when a car plowed through a crowd of anti-facist counter-demonstrators marching through the downtown shopping district Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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A woman is received first-aid after a car accident ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

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White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” with body armor and combat weapons evacuate comrades who were pepper sprayed after the “Unite the Right” rally was delcared a unlawful gathering by Virginia State Police Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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A white supremacist militia member stands in front of clergy counter protesting during rally in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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Rescue workers assist a victim who was injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the “Unite the Right” rally Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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Police respond after a car drove through a group of counter protesters at the “Unite the Right” rally Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Justin Ide/Reuters)

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Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the “Unite the Right” rally Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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A woman who was injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the “Unite the Right” rally is helped in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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Anti-fascist counter-protesters wait outside Lee Park to hurl insluts as white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” are forced out after the “Unite the Right” rally was declared an unlawful gathering Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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A White Supremacists with one lens knocked out of his sunglasses holds up a shield during clashes with counter protestors at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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Battle lines form between white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” and anti-fascist counter-protesters at the entrance to Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” rally Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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A White Supremacist kicks back a smoke bomb thrown by counter protestors during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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A woman has a special mixture and water poured in her eyes after being hit with pepper spray during clashes with between White Supremacists and counter protestors at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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A white supremacist is cut below his eye during clashes with counter-protesters at Lee Park after the “Unite the Right” rally was declared an unlawful gathering Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Violent clashes erupt at ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Va.lent clashes erupt at ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Va

White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” are forced out of Lee Park after the “Unite the Right” rally was declared an unlawful gathering Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” clash with counter-protesters as they attempt to guard the entrance to Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” rally Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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A counter demonstrator gets a splash of water after being hit by pepper spray at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

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A White Supremacist tries to strike a counter protestor with a White Nationalist flag during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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A White Supremacist has a special mixture poured in his eyes after being hit with pepper spray during clashes with counter protestors at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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White nationalist demonstrators walk into the entrance of Lee Park surrounded by counter demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

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White Supremacists rush forward with shields and sticks during clashes with counter protestors at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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A counter demonstrator uses a lighted spray can against a white nationalist demonstrator at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

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White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” leap over barricades inside Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” rally Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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A counter-demonstrator marches down the street after the “Unite the Right” rally, a gathering of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” was declared an unlawful gathering Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Members of white nationalists clash a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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Members of white nationalists are met by a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” exchange insults with counter-protesters as they enter Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” exchange vollys of pepper spray with counter-protesters as they enter Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” rally Aug.12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” march down East Market Street toward Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” rally Aug.12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” clash with counter-protesters as they enter Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” Aug.12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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A white supremacist grabs a counter protesters’ sign during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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Counter-protesters line the route taken by white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the ‘alt-right’ during the ‘Unite the Right’ rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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White nationalist Richard Spencer © and his supporters clash with Virginia State Police in Lee Park after the ‘Unite the Right’ rally was declared an unlawful gathering August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the ‘alt-right’ clashed with anti-fascist protesters and police as they attempted to hold a rally in Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the ‘alt-right’ clash with counter-protesters as they enter Lee Park during the ‘Unite the Right’ rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Counter-protesters line the route taken by white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the ‘alt-right’ during the ‘Unite the Right’ rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the ‘alt-right’ march down East Market Street toward Lee Park during the ‘Unite the Right’ rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Members of white nationalists clash a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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White nationalist demonstrators clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

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A man makes a slashing motion across his throat twoard counter-protesters as he marches with other white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the ‘alt-right’ during the ‘Unite the Right’ rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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A member of a white supremacists militia stands near a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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Virginia State Troopers stand under a statue of Robert E. Lee before a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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White supremacists pass a militia member as the they arrive for a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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Members of white nationalists rally around a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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bbc.co.uk
US chemical spill hits water supply

About 300,000 people in the US state of West Virginia have been warned not to drink tap water after a chemical spill into a river near the state capital.

The water advisory closed schools and businesses in nine counties, and cancelled a state legislative session.

A foaming agent used in the coal preparation process leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries on Thursday.

Officials said it was unclear how dangerous the spill was but had declared a water advisory to be safe.

“Until we get out and flush the actual system and do more testing, we can’t say how long this will last at this time,” water company president Jeff McIntyre told the Associated Press news agency.

President Barack Obama has accepted West Virginia’s request for a disaster declaration, which allows federal aid to be used.

The West Virginia National Guard planned on Friday to deliver bottled water to emergency services agencies.

Virginia National Guard soldiers assigned to the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment conduct air assault operations with U.S. Army Special Forces troops assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Jan. 23, 2014, at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. The use of Virginia Guard aviation assets added realism to the training conducted by the Special Forces soldiers, who are preparing for an upcoming overseas deployment. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

A section of Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Va., shows a fraction of the 143,000 wreaths placed at the graves of fallen service members during Wreaths Across America, Dec. 14, 2013. Thousands of volunteers helped place over 143,000 wreaths at the graves of fallen service members as part of the annual Wreaths Across America event.

(Department of Defense photo by Sebastian Sciotti Jr.)

washingtonpost.com
Virginia National Guard will provide benefits to same-sex couples, McDonnell says

Virginia’s National Guard will provide health insurance and other benefits to same-sex couples, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell said Thursday, one day after a state delegate urged him to defy a new Pentagon directive to treat all marriages equally.

In a letter to McDonnell this week, Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) warned that providing the benefits would violate the state constitutional ban on gay marriage.

“As Commander of the Virginia National Guard[,] what will you do to secure that the spirit and letter of the [state] Constitution regarding marriage will be upheld?” Marshall wrote.

McDonnell, a social conservative who has walked a fine line on gay-rights issues as governor, said he would abide by the Pentagon policy that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced in August.

The policy came in response to a Supreme Court decision striking down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act. The high court ruling requires the federal government to provide legally married gay couples with the same federal tax, health, Social Security and other benefits provided to heterosexual couples.

~ The Washington Post