Neri dos Santos Silva, center, watches an encroaching fire threat after digging trenches to keep the flames from spreading to the farm he works on, in the Nova Santa Helena municipality, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Under increasing international pressure to contain fires sweeping parts of the Amazon, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday authorized use of the military to battle the massive blazes. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

The Latest: Merkel: G-7 leaders can't be silent on Amazon

August 24, 2019 - 4:58 am

BIARRITZ, France (AP) — The Latest on the Group of Seven summit (all times local):

10:55 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Group of Seven leaders "cannot be silent" in the face of fires sweeping parts of Brazil's Amazon and will call for everything to be done to stop fires in the rainforest.

Germany is backing French President Emmanuel Macron's call to discuss the fires at the weekend's French-hosted G-7 summit. Merkel said in her weekly video message released Saturday: "Emmanuel Macron is right — our house is burning, and we cannot be silent."

She said leaders are "shaken" by the fires and that they will discuss "how we can support and help there, and send a clear call that everything must be done so that the rainforest stops burning."

Amid a series of policy and trade disagreements, which she didn't address explicitly, Merkel said that "talking to each other is always better than about each other — and the G-7 is an excellent opportunity for that."

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10:30 a.m.

World leaders and protesters are converging on the southern French resort town of Biarritz for the G-7 summit.

French President Emmanuel Macron is the host of the summit, which begins Saturday and has emptied out the town famed for its beach on the last week of the summer break. He has downplayed any expectations of a unified front from the leaders of the Group of Seven democracies.

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives later in the day. At last year's meeting, Trump left early and repudiated the joint statement from Air Force One.

At the top of the agenda are climate change - and especially the fires burning in the Amazon - and a global economy teetering on the edge of recession.

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