Connect to share and comment

The fog lifts in Pittsburgh, and the G20 leaders are already scrambling for position

PITTSBURGH — A fog is lifting over the city of three rivers as world leaders begin to arrive here for the Group of 20 summit.

And before they even arrive in their limousines snarling traffic for all the locals, presidents and prime ministers are positioning their policies for the summit which will focus on how to keep the slow, but steady recovery of the global economy going forward.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces an election on Sunday, was eager to get on the map. And she spoke directly to a strong sentiment in Europe that the U.S. needs to focus more on what it sees as an urgent need for market regulation, particularly in the United States. GlobalPost columnist Cindy Skyrzycki, an expert on regulation who happens to live here in Pittsburgh, is right on the money in her analysis of this debate over regulation as the cutting edge of this summit.

Coming off the U.N. General Assembly, the leaders of the G20 are also taking positions on other key issues, particularly China, which has already thrown cold water on the resolution that emerged out of the Security Council Wednesday to impose further sanctions on Iran if it does not halt its nuclear program.

All week, GlobalPost has been weighing in on a wild few days of foreign policy.

Led by GlobalPost managing editor Thomas Mucha, GlobalPost has provided an outstanding body of work on the global economy in recent weeks. That coverage culminates over these next two days here in Pittsburgh at the G20. 

We have been working in partnership with one of our newspaper syndication partners, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, one of America’s great city newspapers, which has done an excellent job covering the events. Their online team has built a very cool web page for the paper’s coverage and a running blog, “The Big Story.”

The Post-Gazette has also featured our  interactive graphic, “The World Comes to Pittsburgh: A G20 Survival Guide,” which was edited by Mucha and created by our ace web developer Luke Parlin out of our offices in Boston. The graphic features 20 reports from 20 correspondents on the G20 countries and is a survival guide to the events here, providing you with the players and the positions they hold.

I arrived in Pittsburgh and immediately starting writing about this gritty and welcoming city and how it was bracing for the world to arrive on its doorstep. The city was chosen to host the G20 summit because of its stunning renaissance from a dying steel mill town to a vibrant, modern city that has reinvented itself as a center for medicine, academia and technology.

There’s heavy security here with 900 Pittsburgh police and 1,000 additional police sworn in from forces around the country who are on hand to protect the city from a small army of protesters, activists and anarchists who are threatening to disrupt the gathering of world leaders as they did so effectively at past summits in San Francisco and Genoa, Italy. Wednesday, Greenpeace successfully carried out an operation by climbing a bridge with repelling ropes and unfurling a huge banner that read: “DANGER: Climate Destruction Ahead. Reduce CO2 Emissions Now.”

It’s a big week for those who follow the issues that affects us all — the struggles against terrorism, climate change, nuclear proliferation, the global economy and the Obama administration’s still emerging foreign policy — and GlobalPost has a lot of groundtruth for you to check out. Let us know what you think by posting comments here or on my blog, GroundTruth.