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Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

The weekend saw more fallout from Black’s rant on the BBC, a taunting swipe from an old enemy, and the usual run-up to sentencing claptrap. Writing in The Independent, Stephen Foley waxed lyrical concerning Black’s eclectic choice of referees in his defence: “Sir Elton must have really enjoyed the party. Years after enjoying vintage champagne and exquisite canapés provided by Lord Black of Crossharbour, the singer has written a thank-you note that could be worth far more than bubbly to the disgraced tycoon. It might—if an American judge is a fan of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road—knock years off his hefty jail sentence. If she prefers Napalm Death, it could be a disaster.” The idea that Amy St. Eve, acolyte to Ken Starr, has heard of—let alone listened to—Napalm Death (the thrash metal equivalent of the Sex Pistols) boggles the mind.

The aforementioned old enemy, of course, is Tom Bower, who wonders in The Sunday Times whither Conrad Black’s ill-gotten gains. Bower’s analysis leads him to speculate that, in all likelihood, Black has stowed the money with his moll: “The question all the directors and their lawyers remain reluctant to answer is whether Amiel will be personally pursued to recover the money after Black’s imprisonment. Legally she is an obvious target of the hunt, and her notoriety as a rude snob encourages the bloodthirsty to settle old scores.” To suggest that the last bit is gratuitous belabours the obvious.

Beyond that, the Globe catches up to Black’s utterance of last Friday, eliciting an e-mail from him that essentially repeats his protests to the BBC: “I said nothing that should be offensive to the trial judge. The media preoccupation with my lack of remorse seems to assume that I should go from protesting my innocence, as was established on most of the charges, to protestations of guilt and shame because a jury found against me on a quarter of the counts. On to appeal.” And speaking of which, Canadian Press has a story that concludes Black will likely get six weeks after sentencing to, in the grim parlance of these occasions, “put his affairs in order” before surrendering himself to whatever institution the bureau of prisons deems appropriate. The story asserts that, “Since Black gave up his Canadian citizenship to join the British House of Lords, he cannot opt to serve his sentence in Canada, nor is he eligible for a minimum-security prison in the U.S.” This last piece of news, the first time I’ve seen it reported, indicates a grimmer fate than even the most ardent of Black’s maligners could have hoped.

Conrad. Don’t go breaking your bail!: Source [The Independent]

The hunt for Black’s hidden millions: Source [The Times]

Black defends his rant against U.S. system: Source [The Globe and Mail]

Black unlikely to go straight to jail: expert: Source [CTV]

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