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Bill, Melinda Gates Release Annual Letter Focusing On ‘Surprises’, Addressing Nationalism

Devex: Q&A: Bill and Melinda Gates expand on 3 surprises from annual letter
“The time is now to ensure women have a stake in their financial future, according to Bill and Melinda Gates. The idea that mobile phones are most powerful in the hands of the poorest women is one of the nine ‘surprises’ the founders of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation detailed in their annual letter released Tuesday. Of the surprises they’ve been confronted with along their journey to philanthropy, the Gates write: ‘Some worry us. Others inspire us. All of them are prodding us to action. We hope they do the same for you, because that’s how the world gets better.’ In an email interview, Devex asked the billionaire co-chairs of the largest private foundation in the world about their views on the importance of data, human capital, and getting more mobile phones in the hands of women…” (Cheney, 2/13).

The Seattle Times: Bill and Melinda Gates warn that ‘go-it-alone’ politics could deal a major setback to global health
“In an interview ahead of the foundation’s release of its annual letter, Bill and Melinda Gates warned that a pullback in support for global health initiatives by some wealthy governments could undercut years of progress in battling polio and other infectious diseases and potentially set the stage for renewed outbreaks…” (Roberts, 2/12).

Additional coverage of the annual letter and comments made by Bill and Melinda Gates is available from Associated Press, CBS News, Fast Company, GeekWire, Los Angeles Times, TIME, and Xinhua (2).