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A man uses his phone in a Hong Kong high-rise. Photo: Anthony Wallace / AFP via Getty Images

An ex-CIA agent has been arrested under suspicions that he helped the Chinese government find CIA informants operating in China, the New York Times' Adam Goldman reports, citing the Justice Department. Many of the identified informants were killed in "a systematic dismantling" of the CIA's network in China that began in 2010.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee — the former agent who left the CIA in 2007 and was living in Hong Kong — was arrested after a years-long FBI investigation, launched in 2012 after CIA informants started disappearing in China. "Lee was at the center of a mole hunt in which some intelligence officials believed that he had betrayed the United States but others thought that the Chinese government had hacked the CIA's covert communications used to talk to foreign sources of information," per the Times.

How it happened: Lee was arrested at JFK airport. During recent visits to the U.S., the FBI conducted "searches of Lee’s room and luggage, and found that Lee was in unauthorized possession of materials relating to the national defense," per a DOJ release announcing the arrest. Specifically, agents found two small books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information, including but not limited to, true names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees, operational notes from asset meetings, operational meeting locations and locations of covert facilities."

He appeared in federal court today in Virginia, and has been charged with unlawful retention of national defense information

Go deeper

Birx: Trump White House could have reduced COVID deaths by 30 to 40%

Deborah Birx, then-coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a news conference in the White House last November. Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Deborah Birx, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator under former President Trump, told a House subcommittee this month that the Trump administration could have prevented tens of thousands of deaths during the early stages of the pandemic.

Driving the news: "I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining ... and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30% less to 40% less range," Birx said in closed-door testimony to the Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, according to excerpts provided by the panel.

Study: Fear of debt keeps Latinos out of college

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Fear of never being able to pay off school loans is keeping many young Latinos in the U.S. from going to college or completing a degree, according to a report published in September.

State of play: Latinos tend to have more difficulty repaying school debt than white student borrowers, according to Federal Reserve data, at the same time that they need more loans in order to afford tuition.

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Biden administration objects to Israeli settlements plan

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (L) meets with Secretary of State Tony Blinken. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has privately protested to the Israeli government over its plan to approve the planning and construction of more than 3,000 new housing units in the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: The approvals for new homes in the settlements will be the first since President Biden assumed office, and come after Biden and his top aides personally pressed Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to restrain settlement activity and decrease the number of new housing units.