Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on China and other countries to shut down the buying and selling of live wildlife in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, calling it "a move that would reduce risks to human health."

Why it matters: A wet market in Wuhan, China, is likely the original source of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 179,000 people around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

  • China’s National People’s Congress banned the sale and consumption of wild animals in the country in February, but also offered a rebate on the export of animal products, such as edible snakes and turtles, primate meat, beaver and civet musk, and rhino horns.

The big picture: Pompeo praised the United States "as a world leader in promoting clean water and air, conserving natural resources, and protecting nature while driving economic growth," but did not once mention climate change in his statement.

  • The Trump administration in recent weeks weakened mercury emission regulations and plans to remove Clean Water Act protections for some wetlands, streams and marshes around the country.
  • The administration in 2019 rolled back major environmental regulations, including restrictions on methane leaks, aspects of the Endangered Species Act and federal emissions standards for coal-fired energy plants.

What they're saying: "The United States will continue to partner internationally to leave a better America and a better world for future generations," Pompeo said.

  • "The United States is also a world leader in providing clean and affordable energy to our citizens and providing secure energy to other countries, thanks to our private sector."

Go deeper: 2020 could be the warmest year on record

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NOAA warns of potential for "extremely active" Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in Garden City, South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters warned Thursday of the potential for an "extremely active" hurricane season in the Atlantic.

The big picture: The agency expects 19 to 25 named storms — with three to six major hurricanes — during the six-month hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30. The average season produces only 12 named storms.

New York AG files lawsuit to dissolve NRA

Wayne LaPierre. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Thursday to dissolve the National Rifle Association, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

Why it matters: The NRA is the most powerful gun lobby in the country and receives a huge amount in donations each year, but New York's investigation claims that CEO Wayne LePierre and other top leaders undermined the organization's mission for their own personal benefit.

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How 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate were stranded in Beirut

The port after the explosion. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

On Sep. 23, 2013, a Russian-owned, Moldovan-flagged ship departed Georgia en route to Mozambique bearing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a material used in fertilizer as well as explosives.

Why it matters: The Rhosus made an unscheduled stop in Beirut, apparently due to engine problems. The ammonium nitrate never left the port, but destroyed it nearly seven years later, along with much of the city.