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Embattled Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned today after apparently wavering in the face of imminent no-confidence votes. "A weight has been taken off," the Italian media magnate said after resigning. But Berlusconi, who just yesterday dared the country's lawmakers to vote him out, is following through on threats to immediately press for a new election he hopes will return him to power. President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro's more ceremonial role in politics now becomes pivotal: he'll decide whether to grant Berlusconi's elections request -- or call on politicians to form a new parliamentary majority without him. The balance tipped against Berlusconi's seven-month-old government last week, when former key ally Umberto Bossi's Northern League party -- which wanted the P.M. to sever ties to his media empire -- joined opposition parties to schedule a spate of no-confidence motions for Friday. The former partners' final exchange Wednesday: Berlusconi called Bossi "a traitor who ha