The Latest: G-20 protesters halt Hamburg march after clashes

The Latest on the G-20 summit in Hamburg (all times local):

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9:05 p.m.

German police say organizers of a protest against the Group of 20 summit have declared the march over after trouble broke out at the start of the demonstration in the northern city of Hamburg.

Officers used water cannons and pepper spray to disperse black-hooded protesters at the event dubbed "G-20: Welcome to Hell." Police say the masked protesters attacked them with bottles, stones and other objects and set fires in the street.

More than 100,000 protesters are expected in the city for the summit that takes place Friday and Saturday. Hamburg has boosted its forces so that 20,000 officers are on hand to patrol its streets, skies and waterways.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among those attending the summit hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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8:15 p.m.

German police have used water cannons and pepper spray to disperse protesters in Hamburg after being attacked with bottles and stones by some marchers protesting the Group of 20 summit.

Police say they repeatedly asked a group of hardcore anti-capitalist demonstrators to remove their masks Thursday evening, to no avail. They then decided to separate the group from the rest of the several thousand-strong demonstration.

Black-hooded protesters attacked a police vehicle with bottles and bricks, breaking its window.

The violence broke out near the start of the demonstration at a riverside plaza used for Hamburg's weekly fish market.

More than 100,000 protesters are expected in Hamburg for the summit, which takes place Friday and Saturday.


7:30 p.m.

Thousands of people are taking part in a protest against the Group of 20 summit titled "G-20: Welcome to Hell," with authorities wary of potential violence.

Demonstrators gathered at a riverside plaza used for Hamburg's weekly fish market Thursday before setting off on a march through the city.

There were no immediate reports of significant trouble, though police said a few bottles were thrown. Police using loudspeakers also were calling on about 1,000 demonstrators to remove masks.

Hamburg has boosted its police with reinforcements from around the country for the G-20 summit, so that 20,000 officers are on hand to patrol the northern German city's streets, skies and waterways.

More than 100,000 protesters are expected in the city for the summit, according to police.


7:25 p.m.

The German government says Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Donald Trump have discussed issues including North Korea, the situation in the Middle East and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

A brief government statement gave no further details of Thursday's discussion, which lasted a little over an hour, other than to say they discussed "some issues on the G-20 agenda." It said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also participated.

Merkel and Trump have met on three previous occasions. Merkel has visited the White House, and the two also participated in May in a NATO summit and the Group of Seven summit in Italy.


7:05 p.m.

The heads of the World Trade Organization, World Bank and International Monetary Fund are calling on Group of 20 leaders meeting in Hamburg to take "decisive actions" to deepen global trade integration.

Roberto Azevedo, Jim Yong Kim and Christine Lagarde said in a joint statement Thursday that too many trade barriers have been preserved and new ones created over recent years. They wrote that "such policies can cause a chain reaction, as other countries adopt similar measures with the effect of lowering overall growth, reducing output, and harming workers."

They said that one part of reinvigorating trade needs "is to remove trade barriers and reduce subsidies and other measures that distort trade."

Trade is likely to be a contentious issue at the G-20 summit amid concerns about President Donald Trump's "America First."


6 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that she hopes to find "compromises and answers" on a raft of issues at the meeting of the Group of 20 top economic powers.

Merkel told reporters in Hamburg on Thursday that the leaders would address a wide range of issues, including financial market regulation, fighting terrorism, climate change, supply chains and fighting pandemics.

The meetings open Friday morning and run through Saturday afternoon.

Merkel says even though not everybody sees eye-to-eye on matters, "globalization can be a win-win situation; it must not always be that there are winners and losers."


3 p.m.

People of Hamburg: No drones, no remote controlled airplanes and no hot air balloons either.

Hamburg reminded residents and visitors on Thursday over Twitter that during the Group of 20 summit in the northern port city all such recreational aircraft will be banned from flying.

Police themselves are using drones — both aerial and underwater — as they seek to keep tabs on expected protests.

More than 100,000 protesters are expected to be taking part in multiple demonstrations through the Friday-Saturday summit. Some 20,000 police are also on hand.


1:30 p.m.

A Chinese finance official says he hopes Washington and Beijing will be able to bridge gaps over trade at the Group of 20 meetings in Hamburg.

Zhu Guangyao, a Chinese deputy finance minister, told reporters Thursday that despite President Donald Trump's "America First" stance, "the Trump administration actually supports free trade but also sees the U.S. as suffering from it at the same time, so how to balance the issue of free trade and the principle of inequality is a major task for us."

He says China's convinced of the benefits of free trade, and that it "can bring benefits to all of us." He says "that's why we are confident we can reach important consensus in this year's Hamburg summit."


1:25 p.m.

China says it doesn't plan on signing on to a climate change statement at the Group of 20 meetings in Hamburg if it excludes the U.S.

Zhu Guangyao, a Chinese deputy finance minister, told reporters Thursday that despite President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, China hoped the U.S. would agree to a statement at the G-20 about the need to fight climate change.

But he says "the policies produced by the G-20 should be by the consensus of all member states. No one should be excluded."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also rejected the idea pushed by some of a "G-19" statement on climate change excluding the U.S.

Regardless of the statement, Zhu says "China will firmly promote its policies taking more measures against climate change."


1:10 p.m.

China is stressing the need for friendly economic cooperation with the U.S. after recent comments from President Donald Trump suggested he may be reviving his criticism of Beijing's trade practices.

Zhu Guangyao, a Chinese deputy finance minister, told reporters Thursday before the start of Group of 20 meetings in Hamburg working together was a "win-win" situation.

He says "China and the U.S. have very practical economic teams, we all know that peace can bring win-win outcomes, while fighting will leave everyone the loser."

He says the two countries have maintained close cooperation since meetings in April between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping and that China hopes to "follow the important consensus reached at the (April) Mar-a-Lago meetings at the upcoming meetings of the G-20 summit."


11 a.m.

Germany's foreign minister is supporting the idea of holding future Group of 20 summits in New York, home to U.N. headquarters.

Sigmar Gabriel said in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio Thursday that this year's host, Hamburg, and its predecessors have done a good job of hosting the summit — but it would make sense to connect the event more closely to the U.N.

Gabriel says that many feel left out by 20 heads of state and government "talking about the rest of the world."

He says he supports a proposal by Martin Schulz, the leader of his center-left party and Chancellor Angela Merkel's challenger in Germany's September election, to take the event to the home of the U.N.

Gabriel says "that would be a big symbolic step forward."


10:15 a.m.

Ten cars were set ablaze overnight outside a Porsche dealership in Hamburg. Police say they're investigating whether the incident was related to the upcoming Group of 20 summit.

Police said Thursday that unidentified perpetrators set the cars alight in the city's Eidelstedt district shortly before 4 a.m. The blaze was extinguished before 6 a.m.

The situation in Hamburg has been largely calm ahead of the G-20 summit that starts on Friday but authorities are concerned about possible trouble at a large protest by anti-globalization activists later Thursday.


9:25 a.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is assailing "politically motivated" sanctions as a hidden form of trade protectionism ahead of the Group of 20 summit in Germany.

Putin wrote in a guest article for Thursday's edition of German business daily Handelsblatt that "protectionism is developing into a behavioral norm."

He added that "limits by one-sided, politically motivated sanctions on investment, trade and particularly technology transfer are becoming its hidden form."

Putin said that such sanctions not only lead nowhere but "contradict the G-20 principles" of working together in the interests of all countries.

The European Union and United States have imposed sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

Putin and other G-20 leaders will meet in Hamburg Friday and Saturday.


8:35 a.m.

Hamburg police are gearing up for a major protest by anti-globalization activists as Germany's second-biggest city prepares to welcome leaders of the Group of 20 economic powers.

Organizers of Thursday's demonstration have titled the event "G-20: Welcome to Hell." While protests so far have been largely calm, city police chief Ralf Martin Meyer told ZDF television: "We are skeptical as to whether this evening and tonight will remain peaceful."

Hamburg is boosting its police force with reinforcements from around the country for the summit, which takes place Friday and Saturday, and will have 20,000 officers on hand to patrol the city's streets, skies and waterways.

Leaders of the participating countries, among them U.S. President Donald Trump, are expected to arrive in Hamburg Thursday.