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Graphic: Gates Foundation, "Examining Inequality"

Bill Gates, in an interview about a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation report on global inequality that's out Tuesday, told Axios that gender inequality cuts across every single country on earth — a shortfall that unites the U.S. and the developing world.

What he's saying: "The developed world hasn't fully solved the problem, and yet we know it's important and we know we need to work on it," Gates said by phone. "The gender issues are much worse as you get down into these poor countries."

  • As the report puts it: "No matter where you are born, your life will be harder if you are born a girl. If you are born in a poor country or district, it will be even harder."

The report's most memorable sentence: "Where you are born is more predictive of your future than any other factor."

  • The paradox: "Even in the worst-off parts of low- and low-middle-income countries, more than 99 percent of communities have seen an improvement in child mortality and schooling. Yet despite this progress, persistent gaps in opportunity mean that nearly half a billion people — about one in 15 — still do not have access to basic health and education."
  • "Inequality between countries has narrowed but remains large."

Released ahead of next week's UN General Assembly in New York, this is the Gates Foundation's third annual Goalkeepers Data Report, tracking progress on the UN Global Goals.

  • "The world is a tumultuous place even without paying attention to developing countries," Gates said. "So I think this year will be a particular challenge."

Gates told me he remains concerned about discussion in the U.S. "about turning inward."

  • But he said the data shows that the government's small amount of foreign aid, relative to the budget, is "not just guilt money that ends up not having an impact."
  • "People think, 'Hey, Africa is in tough shape,'" Gates added. "They don't realize that in terms of literacy and child survival, it's in dramatically better shape today than it has ever been."

Go deeper: Read the entire report

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Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

50 mins ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.