Photo: Inga Kjer/Photothek via Getty Images

Genetically-modified seeds can help farmers adapt to droughts and other changes brought on by human-driven climate change, according to Bill Gates in new comments timed with a new report.

Driving the news: The report, a second annual scorecard of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's work, focuses mainly on youth population growth and sub-Saharan Africa. A big part of that involves agriculture — hence the focus on climate change and genetically-modified organisms.

"What we have to do is help these farmers with farming techniques and new seeds — seeds that deal with drought better, that deal with flooding better, that are just basically more productive. ... Some of those new seeds will use advanced science that people call GMO to get that doubling in productivity and deal with drought and avoid the starvation."
— Bill Gates

The other side: GMOs spark a lot of controversy, though most scientists generally agree they’re safe.

One level deeper: In a recent interview at the foundation’s office in Seattle, Laura Birx, deputy director of strategy for the foundation’s agriculture work, says climate change is an omnipresent topic when she meets with farmers in Africa. However, they use different words, like water and drought. "It’s a topic that comes up all the time, but no one has ever used the words 'climate change,'" Birx said.

Go deeper: Read the whole report.

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Exclusive: Facebook cracks down on political content disguised as local news

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Facebook is rolling out a new policy that will prevent U.S. news publishers with "direct, meaningful ties" to political groups from claiming the news exemption within its political ads authorization process, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: Since the 2016 election, reporters and researchers have uncovered over 1,200 instances in which political groups use websites disguised as local news outlets to push their point of view to Americans.

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Nationalism and authoritarianism threaten the internet's universality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Governments around the world, prompted by nationalism, authoritarianism and other forces, are threatening the notion of a single, universal computer network — long the defining characteristic of the internet.

The big picture: Most countries want the internet and the economic and cultural benefits that come with it. Increasingly, though, they want to add their own rules — the internet with an asterisk, if you will. The question is just how many local rules you can make before the network's universality disappears.

The Democratic fight to shape Biden's climate policy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Left-wing climate activists don't want Joe Biden getting advice from people with credentials they don't like — and they're increasingly going public with their campaign.

Why it matters: Nobody is confusing Biden with President Trump, and his climate platform goes much further than anything contemplated in the Obama years.