According to Russia’s election commission, Putin was heading to secure 71.9 percent of the vote, but it was unclear whether voter turnout had reached 70 percent, a Kremlin goal. But Kremlin aides insisted the final result would show it had. There were reports of hundreds of ballot violations at polling stations across the country, which Russian election officials downplayed but said they were investigating.
The battle to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State terror group is a fight increasingly without front lines. The U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have breached the old city and control about a quarter of the terror group’s de facto capital, say American officials, but holding what has already been seized is proving a struggle.
At least two members of her Cabinet — foreign minister Boris Johnson and the minister overseeing Brexit negotiations, David Davis — are already taking soundings to see if they have enough backing now to oust her, if she resists mounting calls for her to set a timetable for departure.