Economics is the dismal science, but three Canadians who received new kidneys in August must feel good about it. The Vancouver Sun profiled a chain of donations made possible by the National Kidney Registry under a system devised by economist Alvin Roth, who won this year’s economics Nobel for applications of game theory. Three incompatible donor-recipient pairs in Ontario, B.C., and Quebec made a successful three-way swap of kidneys, bringing the total number of transplants performed under the registry to 141.
Is Somali piracy ending? The International Maritime Bureau reports that over the first three quarters of 2012, ships reported only 70 attacks off Somali shores, compared to 233 in 2011. Only one ship encountered trouble between July and September. The bureau praises EU-organized warships and stronger security aboard merchant vessels, but pirates still have 11 ships and 167 hostages captive.
Bike gang boss
Loathsome Lance Armstrong hit bottom as the International Cycling Union (UCI) accepted findings of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, banning the superstar for life and vacating his seven Tour de France championships. The UCI had been reluctant to act against Armstrong, but overwhelming evidence that Armstrong led (and provided muscle for) a doping conspiracy left cycling’s governing body with no choice. Nike has led an exodus of sponsors from Armstrong, and he may forfeit almost $4 million in Tour winnings.
The new Parti Québécois cabinet has promised that Bill 101 will not be extended to daycares, something the province’s family minister had seemingly threatened to do in an interview with La Presse. Nicole Léger’s comments expressing the intent to deny language choice in daycare was met with wrath from the opposition Liberals, whose interim leader Jean-Marc Fournier said, “There’s a limit on the state deciding everything for people.” The Parti Québécois’s minister responsible for language, Diane De Courcy, quickly popped Léger’s trial balloon. “Applying Bill 101 to [daycare] . . . is out of the question.”
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