Before the 2009 G7 meeting in Rome, Japan's Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa was all over the place: slurring his words, answering the wrong questions, and — wait a minute, did he just fall asleep? Though he blamed his cold medicine, the blunder cost him the job. Nakagawa resigned and was replaced by Minister of the Economy Kaoru Yosano.
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During a visit to Tokyo in 1992, 41st President George H.W. Bush became violently ill at a dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, vomiting on the foreign head of state before slumping into an unconscious stupor. His aids passed it off as the flu and a White House spokesperson said, "The President is human."
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At the 2006 G8 Summit, Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair discussed militant group Hezbollah and the U.N.'s inability to mobilize Syria. Which sounds like what world leaders do at these things. But they seem to have forgotten is that these summits are heavily recorded affairs full of microphones and cameras. Bush let it all hang out a bit, even letting a four-letter word slip. Oops?
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The shoulder rub heard around the world seemed to completely skeeve German Chancellor Angela Merkel out. And can you really blame her?
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At one of many conferences during the 2007 G8 Summit, then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy apparently arrived late, after a meeting with Vladimir Putin. Perplexingly, Putin is a noted teetotaler; had Sarkozy been drinking for two at lunch? He appeared befuddled, giggly and unsure how to proceed — asking the audience, "Do I answer your questions?"
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Running a country can be tiring work. Unfortunately for Former President Bill Clinton, when he fell asleep during a 2008 memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his mid-speech nap was recorded for all the world to see.
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Never mind the serious global financial crisis. Gordon Brown will not put his phone on vibrate. Who cares if he's at the annual World Economic Forum at Davos?
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While visiting Austria in 1975, President Gerald Ford's knee gave way and he tumbled down the Air Force One stairs. A few more falls (one was even up the stairs) combined with Chevy Chase's Saturday Night Live pratfall routine, earned the former University of Michigan football star a reputation as a bumbling klutz.
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Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin probably boogied more than was necessary, but he amused at least one U.S. President and provided entertainment for all.
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Are you from Poland? Then President Jimmy Carter wants to sleep with you. That's what his translator, Steven Seymour, told the then-Communist country during the U.S. President's 1977 visit. Carter said he wanted to learn about the Polish people's desires for the future; Seymour said that Carter desired the Poles. Carter said he was happy to be in Poland; Seymour said he was happy to grasp at Poland's private parts. Carter talked about leaving the U.S. to go on a trip; Seymour said that he had abandoned America forever. Then he spoke Russian — to a nation struggling under the thumb of the Soviet Union. Talk about lost in translation.
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