Today’s quick hits, May 22, 2020

Progress on ‘phase one’ (USTR): China has taken a number of steps, including approving U.S. blueberries and barley for import and adding more U.S. facilities to its list of approved exporters, said trade officials in reporting progress on the “phase one” trade agreement.

Harder is ‘safe’ (Sabato’s Crystal Ball): First-term Rep. Josh Harder, a Democratic member of the House Agriculture Committee, is rated “safe” for reelection in California’s Central Valley because Republican nominee Ted Howze’s “candidacy is imploding over [a] history of indefensible social media posts.”

Hunger group pulls back (Devex): Oxfam International will withdraw from 18 countries and lay off one-third of its program staff due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has reduced its fundraising.

Roberts names new chief of staff (Roberts): Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts named Chad Tenpenny, his longtime state director, to run his staff, succeeding Jackie Cottrell, who is leaving after 18 years as Roberts’ chief of staff.

Active hurricane season predicted (NOAA): An above-normal hurricane season, from June 1 to Nov. 30, is forecast, with the potential for six to 10 hurricanes, including three to six major ones.