Gates says fixing education toughest challenge

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LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates says eradicating malaria is easier than fixing the United States' education system. But what he really wishes he could do is write a check to eliminate biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.

Gates made the comments in a 45-minute talk Monday to employees at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was in northern New Mexico for a private tour of the nation's premier nuclear weapons facility. His foundation helps fund some research at the lab, including work on an HIV vaccine.

Gates talked about his foundation's work distributing vaccines across the world. But he says making advances in education is the foundation's hardest challenge.

Asked if he saw more areas for collaboration at Los Alamos, Gates joked that his foundation doesn't fund weapons. But he says non-proliferation is "super important."

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