U.S. care ranks low

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LOS ANGELES — Despite having the costliest care, the United States ranks last among 11 industrialized countries on health care quality and access, according to a new report.

The analysis by the Commonwealth Fund published Monday ranked the United Kingdom first overall, even though its per-capita health spending is less than half that of the U.S.

Researchers said the U.S. was hurt by a lack of access to primary care and inefficiencies in the health care system overall.

They said provisions in the Affordable Care Act may help boost the country’s standing.

Obama acts on LGBT

WASHINGTON — The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, elating gay rights activists, who’ve been pressing him to make the move since he was elected in 2008.

The administration says the order adds to existing protections, which prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin and is “consistent with the president’s views that all Americans, LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] or not, should be treated with dignity and respect.”

The move, coming a day before the president headlines the 15th annual Democratic National Committee LGBT Leadership Council’s fundraiser in New York, is likely to energize gay voters in advance of November’s midterm elections.

Another GM recall

DETROIT — General Motors said in a statement Monday that it needs to change or replace the keys for about 3.4 million cars because they could cause the ignition switch to move out of position if they’re carrying too much weight.

The recalls announced Monday bring to 44 the total number of GM recalls this year, covering 17.73 million vehicles in the U.S. and more than 20 million worldwide. The company has surpassed its old U.S. full-year recall record of 10.75 million vehicles set in 2004.

NYT editor treated

NEW YORK — Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, had a malignant tumor removed from his kidney Saturday and will spend about a week away from the office while recovering, he said in an email to the newspaper’s staff Monday.

Mr. Baquet, 57, took the paper’s top newsroom job last month after the abrupt dismissal of Jill Abramson, its first female executive editor. On Thursday, Harvard University announced that Ms. Abramson plans to teach there this fall.

Mr. Baquet’s absence comes as The Times has unveiled several new digital initiatives and mobile products.

Starbucks aiding workers

NEW YORK — Starbucks announced Monday that is rolling out a program that would allow its workers to earn an online college degree at Arizona State University at a steeply discounted rate.

The coffee chain is partnering with the school to offer the option to 135,000 U.S. employees who work at least 20 hours a week. The Seattle-based company says it will phase out its existing tuition reimbursement program, which gave workers up to $1,000 a year for education at certain schools.

Compiled from news services



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