It appears new rules don't allow closing duplicate questions if the earlier question does not have an answer? Perhaps I am just using the close function wrong, if so, my apologies. When I attempted to initiate a close on a question earlier, using a link to the earlier question, a message appeared stating something along the lines (I didn't copy the message) that 'the earlier question does not have an accepted or up-voted answer' and the system did not seem to accept my close vote. I received the same result when trying to flag the question after not being able to vote to close.
This seems to allow users to spam the same question over and over ( and over and over and over, annoying isn't it?)