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Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue mission in northern Nigeria on Saturday, successfully freeing an American citizen, the Pentagon announced in a statement Saturday.

What they're saying: “U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men," Jonathan Hoffman, assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, said.

  • "This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State. No U.S military personnel were injured during the operation."
  • "We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation. The United States will continue to protect our people and our interests anywhere in the world.”

The big picture: Earlier this week armed kidnappers abducted a U.S. missionary in the West African nation of Niger and then transported him to Nigeria, where they demanded a ransom from the man’s father, according to AP. Nigeria has experienced a recent uptick in the number of attacks by extremist groups linked to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, per AP.

Go deeper

3 mins ago - World

Israeli parliament opts for early elections in preliminary vote

Netanyahu (C) arrives in parliament today. Photo: Alex Kolomiensky/Pool/AFP via Getty

After six months of a dysfunctional power-sharing government, Israel is headed for its fourth elections in less than two years, most likely at the end of March.

Driving the news: The Knesset voted 61-54 today to approve the preliminary reading of a bill to dissolve the parliament and call new elections. Benny Gantz's Blue and White party supported the bill while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and the rest of the coalition voted against.

1 hour ago - Sports

The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Packed stadiums and a more normal fan experience could return by late 2021, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said yesterday.

Why it matters: If Fauci's prediction comes true, it could save countless programs from going extinct next year.

Trump's 2024 begins

Trump speaking to reporters in the White House on Thanksgiving. Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump is likely to announce he'll run again in 2024, perhaps before this term even ends, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has already set in motion two important strategies to stay relevant and freeze out other Republican rivals.