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Bill Gates is guest editor of TIME’s “The Optimists” issue, featuring a cover portrait of 5-year-old Ethiopian Mohamad Nasir, whom Gates had met in 2012, less than a month after birth.

What happened: "Thirty years ago, 1 in 5 children in Ethiopia didn’t live to their fifth birthdays. Ethiopia wrestled down its mortality rates for children under five by two-thirds from 1990 to 2012. Mohamad is a reminder of how his fate, and the world’s, have changed.

Courtesy: TIME

Why it matters: "Around the globe, child mortality rates are falling, and children have hopes of brighter futures."

Gates writes: "Reading the news today does not exactly leave you feeling optimistic. Hurricanes in the Americas. Horrific mass shootings. Global tensions over nuclear arms, crisis in Myanmar, bloody civil wars in Syria and Yemen ... But these events ... have happened in the context of a bigger, positive trend. On the whole, the world is getting better. "

Gates to Nancy Gibbs on what makes him optimistic about the role technology in the future of work: “There are many problems that we haven’t solved. Obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s: These are gigantic problems that there are solutions for. And I do expect that advanced software — AI software — will help us understand the biology, understand how to intervene and improve lives very dramatically."

Warren Buffett on the economy: “I have good news. First, most American children are going to live far better than their parents did. Second, large gains in the living standards of Americans will continue for many generations to come."

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.