A Soviet also-ran drops from view

Konstantin Chernenko, beaten in the power struggle to succeed Leonid Brezhnev , has dropped from public view for two weeks. This has touched off speculation he may be ill or in political trouble.

The two possibilities were raised by Western diplomats after Mr. Chernenko failed to appear at a meeting Monday of Communist Party leaders. He also failed to appear at last week's conference on Marxism in East Germany. His name has not appeared in the official news media since the Communist Party newspaper Pravda published April 5 a dispatch about his latest book.

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