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Heat Advisory issued August 13 at 3:13AM CDT until August 13 at 7:00PM CDT by NWS

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By w-nws.webmaster@noaa.gov …HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 7 PM CDT THIS EVENING… The National Weather Service in Austin/San Antonio has issued a Heat Advisory, which is in effect from 1 PM this afternoon to 7 PM CDT this evening. * TEMPERATURE…High temperatures in the upper 90s to near 100 …read more



White nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia sparks violent clashes, turns deadly

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By Suzie Liu

Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The usually quiet university city of Charlottesville, Virginia, erupted into chaos Saturday when far-right extremists gathering for a “Unite the Right” event clashed with counter-protesters, leaving more than a dozen injured and several under arrest.

The melee turned deadly in the afternoon when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman and leaving 19 others injured, five critically. The driver was charged with murder in an incident a bystander described as “the most horrible thing I’ve ever witnessed.”

And two state troopers who were part of the response to the events in Charlottesville died when their helicopter crashed several miles outside the city.

The gathering of white nationalists was roundly condemned and a number of politicians called for the events to be called a terror attack. But president Trump drew scrutiny for issuing what some viewed as an equivocating statement that there was “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

The state of Virginia declared the gathering unlawful and ordered both rallygoers and counter-protesters to “disperse immediately,” but tensions boiled over in the city’s streets well into the afternoon Saturday.

The Virginia State Police posted videos on Facebook of officers breaking up the Unite the Right gathering and counter-protest. Warning: The videos contain some offensive language and images.

One video shows an officer in announcing to milling crowds: “This gathering has been declared as to be an unlawful assembly; in the name of the Commonwealth, you are commanded to immediately disperse; if you do not disperse immediately you will be arrested.” Another video shows some of the crowd.

Charlottesville police reported Saturday evening that 14 people had been injured in the clashes and that more than a dozen others were injure in the vehicle ramming incident that left a woman dead in the city’s downtown. Police charged James Alex Fields, 20, of Ohio Saturday night with second degree murder related to the death.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe referenced two additional fatalities during a Saturday press conference, but did not elaborate on the nature of the deaths. President Donald Trump tweeted condolences “to the families & fellow officers of the VA State Police who died today” shortly after.

Saturday evening, the state police announced three additional arrests in relation to the planned rally, issuing charges of disorderly conduct, misdemeanor assault and battery, and carrying a concealed handgun to three individuals, respectively.

The attempted rally and clashes came after a Friday night march by torch-bearing white nationalists on and near the University of Virginia campus, which resulted in brawls with protesters countering the event.

The Unite the Right event Saturday was supposed to begin at noon, but people both in support and opposed to the rally began gathering earlier and by 11 a.m. two people had been treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries after an altercation at the city’s Emancipation Park, according to city officials.

McAuliffe placed the National Guard on standby in preparation for the rally, an action he took even before the clashes Friday night.

On Saturday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a statement condemning the violence.

“I have been in contact with our Department of Justice agents assisting at the scene and state officials,” Sessions said. “We will continue to support our state and local officers on the ground in any way possible. We stand united behind the President in condemning the violence in Charlottesville and any message of hate and intolerance. This kind of violence is totally contrary to American values and can never be tolerated. I want to thank all law enforcement personnel in the area for their commitment to protecting this community and the rule of law.”

Charlottesville has become a flash point for white nationalists and protesters seeking to counter them since a city council vote in February to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park formerly called Lee Park but renamed in June as Emancipation Park.

A group opposed to the council’s decision sued, and in May a judge issued a six-month injunction against the city’s removing the statue while litigation proceeds.

On Friday night, hundreds of white nationalists carrying torches and chanting “white lives matter,” “you will not replace us,” and the Nazi-associated phrase “blood and soil” marched near a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the grounds of the University of Virginia, and were met by counterprotesters.

Police arrived on campus, declared it an unlawful assembly, and ordered the crowds to disperse. University police arrested one person who was charged with assault and disorderly conduct, a university statement Saturday said. “Several other members of the university community sustained minor injuries during the confrontation.”

McAuliffe was direct Saturday night in his condemnation of those who arrived to attend the rally Saturday, telling the group to “go home.”

“You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you,” he said. “You pretend that you’re patriots, but you are anything but a patriot.”

University President Teresa A. Sullivan, “strongly condemned the demonstration,” the statement said, adding that the “intimidating and abhorrent behavior displayed by the alt-right protesters was wrong.”

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer called the event “a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance,” adding that he was “beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus.”

A mass prayer service was held at St. Paul’s Memorial Church on University Avenue that was organized in response to the rally, according to The Daily Progress, a local paper.

Cornel West, a prominent leftist philosopher and political activist, spoke at the prayer service, calling the “Unite the Right” rally the “biggest gathering of a hate-driven right wing in the history of this country in the last 30 to 35 years,” the Daily Progress reported.

A similar rally in which white supremacists carried tiki torches to …read more

Source:: National News


Justice Department opens investigation into deadly Charlottesville car-ramming

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By Suzie Liu

Twitter/@brennanmgilmore(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — An Ohio man was charged with murder after a car plowed into a crowd of demonstrators following a foiled white nationalist rally Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a 32-year-old woman and leaving 19 others injured, police and officials said.

James Alex Fields, Jr. of Maumee Ohio faces one count of second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit-and-run after the incident, which sent pedestrians flying. In the wake of the incident, the Department of Justice opened an investigation into the incident, calling

“It was absolutely the most horrible thing I’ve ever witnessed,” said Brittany Caine-Conley, the lead organizer with Congregate Charlottesville. “We ran to the scene and one of my friends actually tried to hold the wounds together for the woman who has passed away.”

In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that “the violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.”

White nationalist and other attendees clashed with those who arrived to oppose the demonstration, which began with a torch-wielding group marching through the city Friday evening and was intended to culminate in an event entitled “Unite the Right,” set to begin at noon on Saturday.

However, the event — which was roundly criticized on both sides of the aisle and included calls for the actions to be deemed terrorism — was shut down by authorities early Saturday afternoon. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in the city and police ordered the crowds to disperse.

President Trump denounced the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” but drew scrutiny for not condemning the white nationalists directly.

Dramatic video taken after the demonstration was shut down shows crowds walking along a downtown Charlottesville street as several cars move slowly along the same avenue. Abruptly, a gray Dodge rams into the back of another vehicle, slamming one or more cars ahead of it amid the crowd of protesters. The driver then rapidly reverses away from the scene.

The University of Virginia Health System confirmed that 20 patients were brought to UVA Medical Center and that 19 were being “assessed and treated” in addition to the woman who died. Five of the 19 individuals were listed as being in critical condition as of 7 p.m. Saturday.

Thomas identified the victim only as a 32-year-old woman, and saying her name would not be released until her next of kin were notified.

President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences to the family of the woman Saturday evening, adding his “best regards to all of those injured.”

Charlottesville has become a flashpoint for white nationalists following a City Council vote in February to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park formerly called Lee Park.

The park was renamed Emancipation Park in June.

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Source:: National News


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