Dante given stay of execution

Officials in Florence, Italy have granted Dante Alighieri, Italy's most famous poet, a stay of execution. The poet was exiled in 1302 with a mandate that he "would be executed if he stepped foot in the city again."

Called a publicity stunt by opponents on the City Council, the vote to wipe Dante's record clean passed by a vote of 19 to 5. Opponents complained that the poet would not have written his important works if not for the "suffering" imposed by his exile.