No Apologies

Things are different in Italy, I guess.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, under fire at home for describing U.S. President-elect Barack Obama as "suntanned," said on Friday he saw no need to apologize.

At a news conference, Berlusconi was brusque with an American journalist who suggested he should say sorry for the remark on Thursday. Visiting Moscow, he described the man elected to be the first black U.S. president as "handsome, young and also suntanned."

Berlusconi was ignoring demands for an apology just as Barack pre-empted them here by calling Nancy Reagan to apologize.

His center-left opponents called the comment racist; Berlusconi responded by saying they were "imbeciles without any sense of humor."

Berlusconi's latest gaffe was on the front pages of most Italian newspapers on Friday.

"Berlusconi never fails to live up to our worst expectations," said an editorial in the Rome daily La Repubblica.