BOOK TOUR INTERRUPTED

Not only is immigration policy choking off cultural exchanges with Arab and Muslim countries, it is now clogging the cultural arteries inside the United States–if the story of Canadian author Rohinton Mistry is any weathervane. Mistry’s most recent novel, Family Matters, was nominated for this year’s Man Booker Prize. After it was published in the United States, Mistry was sent out on the traditional author’s tour but soon ran into more hazards than caloric motel food and book-signing tendinitis. Of Indian descent, he was repeatedly stopped by airport security because of his skin color and rudely interrogated. This happened in several cities and several times at the same place. Fed up, Mistry canceled his tour halfway through. Similar mistreatment has been experienced by Canadian citizens who happen to have been born in Middle Eastern countries.

NEWS OF THE WEAK IN REVIEW

According to Deutsche Bank, oilfield service firms, not the big oil companies, will profit most from a war on Iraq. That means Schlumberger–and, yes, Halliburton–will make out big time when Iraq’s dilapidated oilfields are taken over. Dick Cheney’s Halliburton handshake just got more golden.