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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo by Geoffroy Van der Hasselt/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A Turkish court has sentenced 25 journalists to prison terms of up to seven and a half years for links to Fethullah Gülen, an exiled preacher accused of organizing the country's 2016 failed coup, reports AFP. Almost all of those convicted worked for three media outlets — Zaman, Aksiyon and Rotahaber — that are considered close to Gülen, who denies having any role in the coup attempt.

Why it matters: President Erdoğan has extended a state of emergency six times since 2016, allowing authorities to arrest more than 50,000 people in an attempt to purge Gülen's influence from Turkish society. Turkey is considered the No. 1 worst jailer of press by the Committee to Protect Journalists, ahead of China and Egypt.

Go deeper

25 mins ago - Health

Cuomo advisers reportedly altered July COVID-19 nursing homes report

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Seth Wenig/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's advisers successfully pushed state health officials to exclude certain data on the number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths from a July report, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.

Why it matters: The changes resulted in a "significant undercount of the death toll attributed to the state’s most vulnerable population," the WSJ wrote.

Ro Khanna wary of Biden approach on Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.

Democrats eye reconciliation for immigration

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Comprehensive immigration reform is a pipe dream, but some Senate Democrats are hoping to tie key immigration provisions to the next big reconciliation push.

Why it matters: Immigration is one of the most controversial and partisan issues in U.S. politics, which is why the budget reconciliation process — which allows for bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes — is so attractive.