In Brief

Battle lines drawn as world leaders meet for G20 in Germany

'Stormiest summit in years' begins with police clashes in Hamburg and a looming showdown behind the scenes

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Thousands of anti-capitalist protesters clashed with police last night ahead of today's G20 summit in the German city of Hamburg. 

Another showdown is looming behind the scenes, with leaders of the world's largest economies facing major disagreements over free trade, climate change and North Korea.

"[It's] likely to be the stormiest G20 summit for years," AFP reports.

Climate change

Donald Trump is expected to face criticism for his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, especially as summit host, Chancellor Angela Merkel, wants to put climate change at the centre of the talks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will hold talks with the US President for the first time this afternoon in one of the most eagerly awaited meetings, has also thrown his weight behind the Paris deal.

It remains unclear how forcefully other G20 leaders, such as Turkey, will come out against the US administration, says the New York Times. "At a minimum, a weak statement or one that fails to clearly cast the US as a renegade on climate change would signal that leaders are reluctant to jeopardise deals on trade or security by antagonising the Trump administration over climate issues," it reports.

"At a minimum, a weak statement or one that fails to clearly cast the US as a renegade on climate change would signal that leaders are reluctant to jeopardise deals on trade or security by antagonising the Trump administration over climate issues," it reports.

Free trade

Competing visions of world trade are set to collide today, with Trump's "America First" approach facing off against the EU and its support for broad free trade agreements, says the Associated Press.

"In my view, it will be 19 against one at the G20, and the EU will try to take over the role of the US in respect to trade," says Claudia Schmucker, head of the program on globalisation at the German Council on Foreign Relations, ABC News reports.

A new free trade deal between Japan and the EU, announced on the eve of the summit, was seen as a not-so-subtle rebuke of Trump's protectionist policies and the recent Brexit vote.

North Korea

Pyongyang's first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday "is likely to overshadow all other trade and diplomatic rows", says The Local.

Trump can expect a frosty meeting with China's President Xi Jinping, after accusing him of not doing enough to reign in its rogue neighbour. Theresa May is also expected to press Beijing to take tougher action on the rogue state, the Financial Times reports.

"What we need to see is a China, who can exercise influence on North Korea, playing a greater role in doing that," said May. "If there are proposals to tighten sanctions and extend sanctions we will do that."

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