US & Canada

News this week: Trump blames 'both sides' in Charlottesville

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Media captionWhat Trump said versus what I saw - by the BBC's Joel Gunter

Charlottesville - who's to blame?

Over the weekend, a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia turned deadly when a car ran into a group of anti-fascist protesters, injuring many and killing one woman.

On Tuesday, after switching back and forth between condemning white nationalism and refusing to assign blame, President Trump said "both sides" of the protest were to blame for the violence.

This sparked a storm of criticism, much from within his own party.

The "Unite the Right" march was called to protest against plans to remove a statue of a general who had fought for the pro-slavery Confederacy during the US Civil War.

Many of those attending were white supremacists who shouted racist slogans and carried weapons. There were several violent clashes.

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Media captionWhy are Trump and Trudeau fighting over trees?

Let the negotiations begin

On Wednesday, Canada headed to the negotiating table to sit down with the US and Mexico and discuss the free trade agreement Nafta. The US is calling for a major overhaul, and wants to reduce its trade deficit with both countries, get rid of third-party dispute panels, and impose stricter rules of origin.

Meanwhile, Canada maintains that those panels - which have rejected US complaints in the past for industries such as softwood lumber - are critical.

It also wants to make Nafta more "progressive" by ensuring more labour and environmental protections. Mexico wants to make its manufacturing sector more competitive, and clarify migration rules for seasonal workers in the other two countries.

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