Political and financial leaders and delegates are convening In London for Thursday's G-20 Summit, which will address the global financial crisis. Back in November, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown invited the influential group to his hometown as an active gesture to combat the crisis. Meetings, dinners, press conferences and protests will be going on all week. Here's a guide with everything you need to know about the G-20. Check back regularly for updates.
G-20 MAIN EVENTS:
• Morning: President Obama and Prime Minister Brown host a joint press conference.
• Afternoon: The Queen welcomes audiences and formal meetings with prime ministers of Australia and Canada. Later on, she will meet with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for tea.
• Evening: Reception for world leaders and heads of delegations at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen and Prince Philip.
• Dinner: Hosted at 10 Downing by Gordon and Sara Brown for world leaders and heads of delegation. Food will be prepared by Jamie Oliver, but spouses will eat apart from the politicians, for whom it is a "working dinner".
• Morning: Summit begins with working breakfast for finance ministers and leaders.
• Afternoon: Second plenary session begins and ends with press conferences by the delegates.
For a complete timeline, including planned protests, go here.
THE KEY PLAYERS:
President Barack Obama, United States - Coming into the summit, President Obama had wanted to engage other countries in tackling the global financial crisis. Due to outright European refusal to enter into treaties, expectations for progress and his success have been greatly reduced.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, United Kingdom - The host of this summit, Brown hopes to engage the global community in combating the crisis, while at the same time securing his seat as the British Labour party head.
Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, Czech Republic - As the current president of the European Union, Topolanek maintains that more than enough money has been poured into solving the crisis. However, he is also expected to side with many US and UK proposals as he himself is opposed to the EU policies of increased regulation.
President Dmitri Medvedev, Russia - On his first trip to London as president, Medvedev will also meet for the first time with President Obama. His main aim is to establish relations with the US, while also seeking to undermine the dollar.
Read more about the attending countries, who they are and what they want at Times Online.
PHOTOS: View a slideshow of President Obama making his way over across the pond yesterday:
VIDEO: Watch video of the Obama's departure:
FOR FUN: The Guardian has a spoof on some answers to those key questions about the G20, including "Why 20?", "How many G's are there?", and "Why do secret service people where shades?":
Um, it's not. In a nutshell, Gordon Brown has invited his fellow G20 members (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the US and whoever happens to hold the rotating EU presidency, currently the Czechs), plus Spain, the Netherlands, the respective chairs of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the African Union Commission, and the president of the EU Commission. Not to forget, of course, the heads of the UN, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. By my reckoning, that makes 29 if you include the hosts (that's us). The G20's regular meetings are for finance ministers and central bankers from what are described as "systemically important industrialised and developing economies"; this one is for the leaders of those economies because the world's finances, in case you hadn't noticed, are in something of a state.
Today G-20 protesters clashed in London and broke into the Royal Bank of Scotland, vandalizing the property.
This past weekend, activists gathered in London to protest the upcoming summit. See HuffPost's citizen journalism photos:
Are you a protester? Here's the Guardian's "guide" to the protests demonstrating at the summit.
Send us your photos from upcoming protests.
View images from protests in Madrid, Spain for InspirAction.org at Demotix.
Visit the G-20 Big News Page to read news, see pictures, and watch video of the summit.
Get more information from the G-20 official website.
Read about Obama's words on the even of the summit.
Read Obama's preparation for his first meeting with the Queen.
Read Diane Francis on why Sarkozy is correct.
Olivia Sterns writes about the G-20 and Africa.
Read about London's tightening security.
Read Gary Shaprio's advice for Obama ahead of the summit.
Are you wondering what Michelle Obama will wear for tea with the Queen? Watch and read Gioia Diliberto discuss it.
Read about the social media battle taking place over the summit protests on BBC.
Read about the G-20 targeting hedgefunds.
Read about France threatening to walk out of the Summit.
Read Blythe McGarvie on the G-20 Summit and the China Viewpoint.