Charlottesville car-ram suspect James Alex Fields denied bail

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Media captionThe events in Charlottesville were the culmination of months of protests by white supremacists

A 20-year-old man accused of ramming his car into a crowd of protesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia has appeared in court via video from jail.

James Alex Fields was denied bail as he was arraigned for second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit and run.

Heather Heyer, 32, died and 19 were injured when a car hit demonstrators in Charlottesville on Saturday.

Mr Fields is said to have harboured Nazi sympathies.

President Donald Trump has been criticised for not specifically denouncing the far-right elements in the weekend’s march.

But the White House has defended his remarks as explicitly condemning the white supremacy groups involved.

Ken Frazier, CEO of drugs giant Merck, announced on Monday he would resign from the president’s American Manufacturing Council over Mr Trump’s response to Charlottesville.

Mr Frazier, who is African American, tweeted he had “a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism”.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday said the deadly violence met “the definition of domestic terrorism”, adding that the Justice Department was opening a civil rights investigation against into the event.

“You can be sure we will charge and advance the investigation towards the most serious charges that can be brought because this is unequivocally an unacceptable evil attack,” he said on ABC News’ Good Morning America.

He told the television programme that FBI agents from the terrorism and civil rights divisions were also investigating the matter.

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