October 20, 2018

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Trump versus the rest as violent G20 wraps up

Trump versus the rest as violent G20 wraps up

US President Donald Trump heads Saturday into the final day of a fractious and violent G20 summit in Germany at odds even with America’s traditional Western allies.

Negotiators from the world’s 20 top economies were expected to have worked all night trying to hammer out a final summit statement that at least gives the impression of unity.

Hamburg authorities meanwhile braced for another day of demonstrations, after two days of running battles between police and anti-capitalist protestors left 200 officers injured and a trail of destruction.

The clashes meant that US First Lady Melania Trump was unable to join fellow leaders’ spouses on a tour of Hamburg harbour, while the car tyres of the Canadian delegation were slashed.

Militants torched cars, smashed windows and broke up paving slabs to throw stones at riot police who resorted to water cannon and tear gas as helicopters buzzed overhead, AFP reporters said.

The activists failed, however, to prevent G20 leaders making it to Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall for a rendition of Beethoven’s ninth symphony. They then went on to a gala dinner.

“War, climate change, exploitation are the result of the capitalist system that the G20 stands for and which 20,000 police are here to defend,” demonstrator Georg Ismail told AFP.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she could understand peaceful protests, but demonstrations that “put peoples’ lives in danger, put the protesters’ own lives in danger… are unacceptable”.

But the influential Bild daily slammed Merkel in a stinging editorial, calling the summit a “debacle” for the chancellor ahead of elections in September. Read more

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