The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - March 13

Italy's high court acquitted a woman who called an immigrant co-worker a 'bloody n**ger'. Rejecting a prosecution appeal, the supreme Court of Cassation said a charge of racial discrimination was "not relevant" in the case. The case was only to be judged under a law governing "reciprocal insults," it said.

A lower court had cleared the Florence woman of making a racial slur, declaring her reaction was justified because the man had "cursed" her family. According to court papers, the exchange was sparked by the woman complaining of a lack of punctuality on the part of the immigrant - who had however informed his co-workers he would have to come to work late.

In response to the woman's gripes, the immigrant reportedly said: "You have something against me, you are a bad person. I hope something happens to your family." The woman's "insult" was an "equivalent" response to the "curse," the Cassation Court ruled.