Apr 22, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Pompeo calls on China to close wildlife wet markets in Earth Day message

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

Go deeper

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Protesters were still out en masse even as curfews set in in New York City and Washington, D.C.. Large crowds took a knee at Arizona's state capitol nearly an hour before the statewide 8 p.m. curfew, and a peaceful march dispersed in Chicago ahead of the city's 9 p.m. curfew.

RNC officially plans to move 2020 convention to new city

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and their families on the final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 21, 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

The Republican National Committee is scrambling for a new convention host city after President Trump said North Carolina’s coronavirus restrictions will make Charlotte unworkable for the crowds he’s counting on.

Driving the news: The organization is still hoping to conduct the convention's "official business" in Charlotte, an RNC spokesperson said. But the part that most Americans think about the convention — the spectacle of the speakers and the president accepting the Republican nomination itself — will be held in a different state with more relaxed COVID-19 laws.