A U.S. man was released Saturday from captivity in Iraq after being imprisoned for nine months by a Shiite militia that targets Americans. In a press conference outside the Green Zone in Baghdad, lawmakers showed U.S.-issued military and contractor ID that identified the man as Randy Michael Hultz. He gave only a few details, saying he had been taken hostage in June 2011 by the Promised Day Brigade, a branch of the Mahdi Army controlled by the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The man wore a U.S. Army uniform during the press conference, and said he had been in the army for 15 months before returning to Iraq in a “civilian capacity."
TOP 10 RIGHT NOW
Audio Cheat Sheet
Press Play, Get Smarter
IN THE LOOP
Sondland Kept Pompeo Updated on Ukraine Dealings: NYT
The U.S. ambassador to the European Union reportedly kept secretary of state updated on what was happening in Ukraine.1 hr ago
A NEW FRONT?
FBI Requests Interview With Ukraine Whistleblower: Report
However, no interview has been scheduled, and it’s unclear whether the whistleblower’s lawyers will agree to it.58 mins ago
Gift Pick: A Multi-Purpose Backpack from Dagne Dover
There’s something so sleek and stylish about this monochromatic, neoprene bag that feels much more grown-up than the backpacks of your youth.4 hrs ago
PANTS ON FIRE
Twitter Condemns U.K. Conservatives for ‘Fact-Check’ Trick
The party briefly rebranded its verified press office account to look like an independent fact-checking outfit during its nationally televised debate.4 hrs ago
CUZ I LOVE YOU
Lizzo Secures Massive Eight Nominations for 2020 Grammys
The singer-rapper’s eight nods include bids for the top four awards, making her the year’s most-nominated act. Plus, Michelle Obama got one, too.19 mins ago
WHAT’S THE HOLDUP?
Ukraine Is Still Waiting on $35M of U.S. Military Aid: LAT
The Pentagon has declined to explain why the aid, part of the $400 million held back by Trump earlier this year, had been delayed.1 hr ago
Navy May Strip Officer Backed by Trump of SEAL Status
Conflict arises between Navy and White House over Trident pin removal for Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher.4 hrs ago
Writer: Exec Wanted Julia Roberts to Play Harriet Tubman
“When someone pointed out that Roberts couldn’t be Harriet, the executive responded, ‘It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.’”9 hrs ago
WHERE YOU GOING?
Man Tied to Dead Reporter’s Investigation Arrested on Yacht
Daphne Caruana Galizia was probing the murky dealings of 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech when she was assassinated in Malta.1 hr ago
‘SHACKLED AND BLINDFOLDED’
Britain Says Consulate Worker Was Tortured by Chinese Police
Simon Cheng was detained for 15 days earlier this year, and says he was hung up on a wall with handcuffs.3 hrs ago