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World in brief May 24 2018

GREECE: Hundreds of refugees blocked a motorway today in a second day of protests against overcrowding in the Diavata camp.

The camp is designed to hold 750 people but is now home to 1,850, with many new arrivals sleeping on the ground.

The Greek government is now reopening many camps closed after 2015, a crisis year that saw over a million refugees arrive having fled war in the Middle East.

SPAIN: Two officials involved in a corruption case that saw Spain’s ruling party take bribes in return for awarding contracts were jailed today.

Scheme mastermind Francisco Correa, a businessman, has been sentenced to nearly 52 years in prison while former Popular Party (PP) accountant Luis Barcenas has been jailed for 33 years and fined €4 million (£3.5m).

The PP, led by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, has itself been fined just €245,000 (£215,000) over the sleazy affair.

SAUDI ARABIA: Two women’s rights activists seized in a clampdown on feminist campaigners have been released but at least eight more are still behind bars, Amnesty and two Saudi rights groups said today.

Aisha al-Mana and Hessah al-Sheikh, both of whom were part of the first protest against the despotic Gulf kingdom’s ban on women driving in 1990, have been let go, the groups said, but others have not. The detainees have been interrogated without access to lawyers and one woman has not been heard from since her arrest on May 15.

UNITED STATES: China, Japan and the EU all condemned the Trump administration today after it threatened to slap tariffs on vehicle and automotive part imports.

Mr Trump is thought to have made the threat to browbeat Mexico as part of ongoing talks over whether to scrap and rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico exports many passenger vehicles and vans to the US.

Japan, the EU and China all said the US would be breaking World Trade Organisation rules if it goes ahead.

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