Hard Numbers: The Hamas hostage deal that wasn’t, Brazil nabs Hezbollah agents, former US spook pleads guilty to sex crimes, Polish truckers block Ukrainian border, global warming reaches new record (again)
2: Brazilian police detained two people with links to Hezbollah on suspicion of planning terrorist attacks against Jews in Brazil. Lebanon-based Hezbollah has long been known to operate financial and smuggling networks in South America, in particular in the so-called Tri-Border Area, a semi-lawless region where the frontiers of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil meet. For more on who Hezbollah are, see our explainer here.
24: A former CIA agent pleaded guilty to drugging and sexually assaulting at least 24 women over the course of foreign postings in Latin America and elsewhere. The 47-year-old agent kept hundreds of photos and videos documenting his crimes. He faces up to 30 years in prison.
3: Polish truckers are blocking three Ukrainian border crossings, demanding that Warsaw limit the number of Ukrainian trucks that are allowed to enter the country. Poland has supported Ukraine militarily and absorbed more than a million refugees from the conflict, but has also tightly restricted imports of Ukrainian grain to protect Polish farmers. The truckers say Ukrainians are secretly violating those agreements. The move comes as Poland’s new centrist government prepares to take over from the right-wing Law and Justice party.
125,000: Hot enough for ya? Scientists say 2023 will almost certainly be the warmest year since a break between two major ice ages 125,000 years ago. The warming warning comes after this past October became the warmest on record, smashing the previous mark set in October 2019 by nearly half a degree Celsius.