Missing from the world stage

Published 10:02 PM ET, Wed January 15, 2014
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Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner hasn't made a public appearance for nearly a month, prompting speculation about her health. She's not the first world leader to go off the grid. Check out some others: Victor R. Caivano/AP
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika suffered a ministroke in April and hasn't appeared as much in public since then. State media reported on January 14 that he's in Paris for a routine checkup and that his health is improving. FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images
As he battled cancer, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez flew to Cuba for treatment and stopped his once-frequent TV appearances. He died in March at 58. JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images
Pregnancy rumors swirled when North Korean first lady Ri Sol Ju disappeared for months in 2012. Officials never announced whether the rumors were true. But former basketball star Dennis Rodman has called President Kim Jong Un a "good dad" and said he cradled the couple's baby girl last year. Korean Central News Agency/AP
Rumors about health problems, car crashes and even assassination surged when China's then-Vice President Xi Jinping disappeared from public in 2012. Xi, now China's President, reappeared two weeks later. MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images
When Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa wasn't seen publicly in August 2012, rebels claimed he'd defected. But al-Sharaa resurfaced at meetings in Damascus more than a week later, making it clear that he hadn't left the government. Gregorio Borgia/AP/File
Former President John Atta Mills of the West African nation of Ghana scaled back public appearances and made a medical trip to the United States shortly before he died in July 2012. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Former Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua went to Saudia Arabia to be treated for inflammation of tissue around his heart in 2009. No further news came from him until almost two months later, when he gave the BBC an interview from his hospital bed. He died several months later. THOMAS LOHNES/AFP/Getty Images