Russia’s ruling United Russia Party suffered a rare setback in regional elections despite winning most of the seats, a reversal its leaders and election chiefs blamed on unpopular plans to raise the pension age. “... There’s a heated public discussion in society right now about a whole raft of changes, including changes to pension law. That undoubtedly ratcheted up the intensity of the campaign and of the political battle,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
The former US Secretary of State, John Kerry, writes in his soon-to-be-published memoirs that when he was head of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 2010 he met with Bashar al-Assad and received a “personal message” from him to US President, Barack Obama, that included his readiness to fully recognize Israel and to open embassies in Damascus and Tel Aviv.
Janet Heard, managing editor of The Daily Maverick: "I think the DA took a lot for granted in just assuming that they have the trust of the public who supported them. They weren't used to being questioned by that support base and it seemed like they couldn't believe that they were being challenged on their transparency (in dealing with the De Lille matter)."