Today’s quick hits, June 3, 2024

Menendez said to intercede with USDA: Former Agriculture undersecretary Ted McKinney, testifying in the bribery trial of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, said the senator told him to “stand down” when USDA questioned a monopoly contract. (Associated Press)

Heat and Health Index: The Department of Health and Human Services launched a Heat and Health Index that can identify, at the ZIP-code level, areas most likely to be affected by extreme heat. (HHS)

Food needs in Yemen, South Sudan: By fall, half of the population of Yemen and South Sudan will need food aid, as will 25 percent of Sudan’s population, said the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. (FEWSNET)

Solar farm axes Joshua trees: Construction crews will cut down and shred thousands of Joshua trees to build a 2,300-acre solar farm in the Mojave desert about 80 miles northeast of Los Angeles, an example of the tradeoffs of efforts to mitigate climate change. (Los Angeles Times)

Vermont climate law: A new state law empowers Vermont’s attorney general to pursue payment from oil companies for their share of climate change losses by the state since 1995. (Vermont Public)