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Italy's PM Checks Out the Mall (No, Not That One)

Berlusconi and Bush (Jim Young/Reuters)

Guess who's boosting the flagging U.S. economy? Silvio Berlusconi.

After the G-20 global economic summit wrapped up Saturday afternoon, the Italian prime minister headed for ... the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. A mall? Since he's already seen Washington's famous monuments, Berlusconi really wanted to see one of the area's famous shopping meccas, Italian Embassy spokesman Niccolo Fontana explained. "He just walked around the mall. Many Italian tourists recognized him, and there were even a few Americans who wanted to take pictures with him."

Berlusconi, surrounded by a flock of nervous-looking security guys, browsed for 10 minutes in Macy's housewares and linens department, moved on to a sports store, then spent about 20 minutes at Brookstone, where he started flying a remote-controlled toy helicopter. Sold! The Italian delegation bought "several" of the $49.95 gadgets before heading to the airport.

By The Reliable Source  |  November 18, 2008; 1:02 AM ET
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