Peshtiwan Nasser Abdal has been holed up in a church for the past four months, in a desperate bid to avoid deportation from Germany. The 21-year-old Yazidi Iraqi, like 400 other people, is being offered sanctuary by a German church under a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. The practice of religious asylum had been largely forgotten until last year when a massive influx of migrants led some churches to offer safe haven to vulnerable asylum seekers.
Once the pride of Communist rulers and now hit by a global glut and slowing domestic growth, China's largest oilfield epitomises Beijing's reluctance to cut jobs at loss-making state-run operations. Thousands of oil pumps painted black, yellow and red stretch to the horizon in Daqing, which has produced more than two billion tonnes of the black gold since it started flowing almost 60 years ago. As oil prices hovered near historic lows, the field lost around $800 million in the first two months of 2016, its top Communist official said in March according to state-run media.