John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, appears to have relented on his pledge to block civilian Pentagon nominees from advancing to a confirmation vote on the chamber floor.The committee held a confirmation hearing Thursday for four nominees, including John Conger, who the president nominated in March to be the principal deputy to the Pentagon comptroller. Conger currently is the acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment.McCain had slowed the advance of civilian nominations through the Armed Services Committee since he became chairman at the beginning of the year. But with Obama expected to sign the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill into law after the House and Senate reworked the original version to reflect the recent budget deal, McCain on Thursday said he planned to move forward with the confirmations of the four nominees after Thanksgiving.“Hopefully we can get that done and let you get to work,” McCain told them, reported CQ.Appearing with Conger were Stephen Welby, nominated to be assistant defense secretary for research and engineering; Franklin Parker, nominated for assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs; and Alissa Starzak, nominated for Army general counsel. Starzak was pressed by lawmakers on the legality of closing the military prison at Guantánamo Bay.There currently are 13 civilian nominations for DOD posts pending in the committee, including Eric Fanning to be secretary of the Army. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice Top 5 unanswered questions about Apple TV Plus 1 50 Photos Comment 2:21 2019 TV shows you can’t miss NBCUniversal is working on its own streaming service. SOPA Images/Getty NBCUniversal, a streaming service from Comcast, will launch in April, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said during a Comcast earnings call Thursday.The service, which will reportedly be ad-supported, has been expected and caused some consternation among fans of The Office, when it was announced in June that the show would be leaving Netflix for the NBC platform in 2021.There’s no shortage of companies getting into the streaming business. Both Apple and Disney, for instance, are working on platforms. Originally published at 7:09 a.m. PT.Update 7:20 a.m. PT: Adds additional information about streaming platforms. Tags Digital Media
Two children were killed and another was injured after being struck by lightning in Shaplapur union of Maheskhali upazila of Cox’s Bazar on Monday afternoon.The deceased were identified as Osman Goni, 13, and Sadia Akhter, 12, while the injured is Saima Akhter, 10, younger sister of Sadia.Mohammad Hossain, a member of Shaplapur union parishad, said a thunderbolt struck the trio around 5:30pm while they were grazing cattle at Moulvikata, leaving two of them dead on the spot and the other wounded.The injured was taken to Maheshkhali Health Complex, he said.