Yes Private User "View Nearby Merge Issues" of any family group member (like: http://www.geni.com/list/requested_merges?focus_id=6000000002764837879 ) will give now:
"We are experiencing technical difficulties"
NB! For non-members of your family group it gives "Error
You don't have permission to view this page" (this is OK as after last privacy change it is always so)
1. It was the "We are experiencing technical difficulties" problem that I was referring to - when you SHOULD be able to see the nearby merge issues.
2. Back on topic re what has happened to Family Discussions, I think as I said that was happened is that it has shrunk to discussions started by your real family (up to 4th cousins) - rather than previously also including discussions started by people who were not your real family but you had added them to your family group.
The same appears to have happened to Family Awards - http://www.geni.com/statistics?tab=awards - they used to include those you had added to your family group who are not your real family, but not any more.