The National:

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GERMANY’S chancellor Angela Merkel has said a UN accord on migration is “about nothing less than the foundation of our international co-operation”.

Merkel, who welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees from places like Syria and Afghanistan to her country, hailed an “important day” after more than 160 countries approved the first Global Compact for Migration at a United Nations conference in Marrakesh, Morocco.

She pointed to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights being celebrated also on Monday, saying human rights apply “to every person on our planet”.
The chancellor also inveighed against dangers posed by people smugglers, saying they could not be allowed to control borders.

The National: Mikhail Popkov is already serving life

MEANWHILE in Russia, a former policeman has been convicted of murdering 56 women, bringing the number he is believed to have killed to at least 78.

Mikhail Popkov, from the eastern Siberian city of Angarsk, was found guilty of the murders between 1994 and 2000 and was sentenced to life in prison.

Popkov, who was arrested in 2012, is already serving life for 22 other killings.

The verdict makes him Russia’s most prolific serial killer in at least the past century.
Local police have for years been investigating murders in the Irkutsk region, where dozens of women were raped and killed in secluded spots.

Psychiatric tests run on Popkov have concluded that he is sane.

The National: Wang Yi is among those taken

DOZENS of Christians in China have been detained in a raid on a prominent church that operates outside the government’s official protestant organisation, a US-based advocacy group has claimed.

ChinaAid said at least 80 churchgoers and seminary students from the Early Rain Covenant Church were taken away in the south-western city of Chengdu beginning on Sunday night.

It said they include the church’s pastor, Wang Yi, and his wife, Jiang Rong.

China has cracked down heavily on independent church groups this year as part of an assault on all religions. The country requires that Protestants worship only in churches recognised and regulated by the Three-Self Patriotic Movement.

AND finally, US President Donald Trump has defended payments made by his former lawyer to two women during his 2016 campaign as “a simple private transaction”.

Prosecutors said Michael Cohen acted with intent to influence results when he brokered the deals to stop the women going public about alleged affairs with Trump.