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A ruling on whether Turkey's ruling party, its prime minister, and president will be banned from politics may come this week, analysts said, as its most senior court opens deliberations on the matter Monday. It can find the Justice and Development Party guilty of trying to steer the secular nation toward Islamic rule and impose the bans or a fine, or it can dismiss the case. The ongoing issue has had wide ramifications, among them political turmoil, the undermining of financial markets, and stalling progress on reforms mandated by the European Union if Turkey's candidacy for membership is to advance.

Shrugging off international criticism, Iranian authorities hanged 29 felons Sunday, the largest mass execution in years. The convicts all "had long criminal records," a senior prosecutor said, and "executing [them] reflects the Islamic republic's will to confront such crimes." By one news agency count, Iran has put at least 155 people to death so far this year. Amnesty International has said only China applies the death penalty more often.


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