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Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

The weekend saw a plethora of wrap-ups and cheap-seats columnizing in the face of the coming summations and deliberations that will finally, short of a hung jury (heaven forfend), put paid to this low drama. Among them, Susan Chandler of the Chicago Tribune paints a nightmare scenario for the Trib’s competitor, the Sun-Times, should Black, its former proprietor, be exonerated. (I’m not sure how it could get any worse thereabouts. When I asked a local real estate guy what he made of Chicago’s other paper, he didn’t miss a beat: “It’s crap. The sports is OK, but the rest of the paper sucks.”)

As the Globe’s Paul Waldie noted this morning, kicking off for the prosecution is Julie Ruder, who if you will remember slowly and delicately filleted Ken Whyte into admitting that he accepted $100,000 from Conrad Black in contravention of Black’s own non-compete with CanWest (the implications of that petit morçeau are sure to be journalistic fodder for some time after the trial). Ruder is smooth, cerebral and the perfect gentle assassin to summarize for a jury in which women outnumber men nearly three to one.

Young prosecution star gets the nod to close [Globe and Mail]‘Ostrich’ ruling by judge may tilt jury against Lord Black [Times of London]Then the RTE man came skiing in . . . [Independent.ie]Theories abound at Conrad Black fraud trial [Reuters]What if the press baron returns? [Chicago Tribune]Lady Black’s guide to survival [Globe and Mail]

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