The United States Senate confirmed the nomination of Gale A. Buchanan, former dean and director of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, as Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Also confirmed by the Senate on May 12 for USDA appointments were Boyd Rutherford as assistant secretary for administration, Linda Strachan as assistant secretary for congressional relations and Marc Kesselman as general counsel. “I’m pleased today that the U.S. Senate has acted to confirm the nominations to four very important positions at the U.S.Department of Agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. “Each of these nominees has demonstrated remarkable leadership abilities throughout their careers in both public and private service,” he said, “and I’m confident that they will greatly contribute to fulfilling USDA’s mission of service to our citizens. I look forward to working with them in delivering the programs and services that are the hallmark of USDA’s commitment to our employees and the people we serve.”Buchanan was dean and director of the UGA CAES until he retiredin April 2005. He served for 20 years on the Auburn University faculty before moving to Georgia as associate director for the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations and resident director of the Coastal Plain Experiment Station.
Turkish drone strikes in Syria’s Idlib province killed 19 regime soldiers on Sunday, a war monitor reported, as tensions soared between Damascus and Ankara.The 19 died in strikes on a military convoy in the Jabal al-Zawiya area and a base near Maaret al-Numan city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.The report came hours after Turkey shot down two Syrian warplanes, in an escalating offensive against the Damascus regime in the country’s northwestern province of Idlib. Following weeks of violence in and around Idlib, Turkey confirmed the launch of a full military operation against Russian-backed Syrian forces after 34 Turkish soldiers died last week in an air strike blamed on Damascus.Tensions have intensified between rebel backer Turkey and the regime’s main ally Moscow, but Ankara has insisted it does not want to clash directly with Russian forces.The Syrian regime has vowed to retake the last opposition enclave in a nine-year civil war.Ankara has also pressured Europe over the conflict by opening its border for migrants already in Turkey to cross into the continent.The confrontation between Syrian forces and NATO-member Turkey has prompted worries over a wider conflict and a migrant crisis in Europe similar to that of 2015. Topics :