Site ranks Portland fourth for affordable health care

Portlanders spend, on average, 19 percent less on medical costs than most Americans, making it one of the top 10 cities for affordable health care, according to, a website that examines factors that make smaller cities a good place to live and work.

The site says that finding a doctor in Maine is “almost as easy as finding a lobster” since the city’s ratio of doctors to residents is among the best in the nation. That, plus Mainers’ “good access to hospitals” and an excellent quality of life, landed Portland in the top 10 on the annual list.

Portland ranks fourth on the list, just behind Iowa City, Iowa; Morgantown, W.Va.; and Mankato, Minn. Following Portland on the list are Hartford, Conn.; Charlottesville, Va.; Albany, N.Y.; Lincoln, Neb.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Burien, Wash.

Price of benchmark crude rises 62 cents, tops $100

The price of oil extended gains above $100 a barrel Monday as the cold weather in the United States increased demand for heating fuels.


By midday, benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 62 cents to $100.92 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt say prices are likely to correct, possibly as much as several dollars, once the cold weather abates.

In wake of Barclays’ fine, 3 former workers charged

British authorities on Monday charged three former Barclays Bank employees with fraud for allegedly rigging a key interest rate in the run-up to the financial crisis.

The country’s Serious Fraud Office said it filed criminal charges in connection with the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, known as Libor.

The office said the violations took place between June 2005 and August 2007.


In 2012, Barclays agreed to pay more than $450 million to U.S. and British authorities to settle investigations into manipulation of the benchmark interest rate.

Euro area won’t consider Greek relief until summer

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem dashed Greek government hopes of gaining debt relief before European elections in late May, saying the euro area would likely wait until August to take up the matter.

Dijsselbloem, also head of the group of euro-area finance ministers, said they would focus over the next six months on Greece’s eligibility for aid payments under the country’s existing rescue program. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s fragile coalition government is keen for extra euro-area support before European Parliament elections May 22-25.

– From staff and news services

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