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U.S. surpasses 100,000 cases as Trump signs $2 trillion stimulus package

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
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President Donald Trump on Friday signed the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill that the House passed earlier in the day, while the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed 100,000.

The legislation signed by Trump and also unanimously passed by the Senate on Wednesday provides relief for workers and businesses devastated by the outbreak.

The United States now has more reported coronavirus cases than any other country, including China, as the number climbed past 100,000, according to NBC News' count.

In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted he tested positive for the coronavirus.

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U.S. cases surpass 100,000

More than 100,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in the U.S., the most in the world, according to NBC News data.

The hardest hit states are New York, New Jersey and California.

There have been more than 1,500 deaths. 

Gun groups sue over sheriff's order to close gun stores in LA County

Gun groups have gone to court, seeking to stop an order to close gun stores issued by the sheriff of Los Angeles County. Gun stores were deemed non-essential businesses, requiring them to close under the LA County stay-at-home order, according to the sheriff's order on March 26.

The suit, brought by Adam Brady, Daemion Garr and several 2nd Amendment advocates including the National Rifle Association, was filed in federal court in Los Angeles on Friday, seeking an injunction against LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Governor Gavin Newsom and other government officials in connection with the order, saying it violates the "fundamental rights of law-abiding Californians."

It cited a slew of federal and state regulations on gun stores protecting the rights of gun owners, arguing such a closure is particularly ill advised in a crisis. The 30-page filing argued it was illegal to "use a public health crisis as political cover to impose bans and restrictions on rights they do not like."

The sheriff' later clarified the order, stating that while gun stores must close to the general public, licensed firearm retailers are permitted to sell ammunition to security guard companies.

An Empire State tribute to first responders

The Empire State Building is putting on a light show, backed by the vocals of Alicia Keys, to honor first responders who are working tirelessly through the coronavirus pandemic.

At 9 p.m. EST on Friday, lights will pour on to the iconic building to the vocals of Keys' inspirational hit,  "Empire State of Mind."

The show, set to repeat Saturday and again next Monday through Thursday, will be carried on the Empire State Building's Facebook page.

Photo: Indian workers pack buses to return home after lockdown

Migrant daily wage laborers crowd a bus as they travel to their respective hometowns following a lockdown amid concern over spread of coronavirus in New Delhi, India, on Friday. The measures that went into effect Wednesday, the largest of their kind in the world, risk heaping further hardship on the quarter of the population who live below the poverty line and the 1.8 million who are homeless.Manish Swarup / AP

St. Patrick's Day party linked to six positive tests in Kentucky

A half-dozen positive coronavirus cases sprouted from a single St. Patrick's Day party in Kentucky that went on even after a big local parade had been canceled, health officials said Friday.

Those cases were traced to a St. Patrick's Day party on March 17, three days after the Lexington St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival had been canceled in an attempt to limit the pandemic's spread.

Organizers of that party had only intended to have nine guests but more showed up.

Read the full story here.

Four people die, two test positive on Holland America cruise ship

Four older guests died on a Holland America cruise ship where two people have tested positive for the coronavirus and more than 100 are experiencing flu-like symptoms, the company said Friday. 

The British–American-owned cruise line company said that out of its more than 1,800 passengers and crew on the Zaandam ship, 53 guests and 85 staff members are sick, the company said in a post

The ship was sailing on a South America cruise that departed Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7 and was originally scheduled to end in Chile on March 21. It is currently off the coast of Panama, where healthy passengers will be taken off and put on a sister ship. Those who are sick will remain in isolation. 

"While the onward plan for both ships is still being finalized, we continue to work with the Panamanian authorities on approval to transit the Panama Canal for sailing to Fort Lauderdale, Florida," the company said.

Los Angeles County shuts down beaches and hiking trails

Los Angeles County closed off its beaches and hiking trails on Friday, in another move to keep Southern Californians at home during the fight against coronavirus. 

"It is crucial that we limit access to non-essential places where crowds have been gathering," said Barbara Ferrer. director of the Public Health Department. "I ask that that you help us by not going to our beaches and not going  on our hiking trails, at least for the next few weeks." 

Volleyball nets have been taken down, and nearby parking lots, bike paths and bathrooms closed. The shutdown took effect immediately and is set until at least April 19.

"We cannot afford to see a repeat of last week's crowded beaches," said Gary Jones, director of the Department of Beaches and Harbors Gary Jones. "The risk of spreading COVID-19 is too great. Please stay home."

The Week in Pictures: The world in the grip of a spreading virus

With at least a third of the globe under lockdown, the coronavirus has continued its march across nations. See more of the most stunning images from the last week here. 

Record number of 911 calls in New York City

New Yorkers are flooding the city's 911 system with a record number of calls for help, officials said Friday.

The FDNY received more 911 calls Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday than in any other three-day period in system history, officials said.

FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer begged New Yorkers to think twice before dialing:  “We need the public’s help – please do not call unless a true emergency.”

Nurse brought to tears as Seattle claps for health care workers

A Seattle nurse was brought to tears Thursday night by the sound of her community clapping and cheering for the city's health care workers. Ashlyn Juul, a nurse at Swedish Hospital in Washington state, works night shifts most of the time, but happened to work a day shift the first night the city of Seattle did this, her girlfriend, Mara Curley, told NBC News. 

"She is not normally an emotional person, but this has been a hard few weeks as her unit does have COVID positive patients with critically low protective equipment," Curley said. "These were undoubtedly happy tears to be recognized and appreciated."

Seattle's Office of Arts and Culture asked the city's residents to take part in applauding and celebrating from their homes for the people working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Pope Francis delivers blessing to empty St. Peter's Square

Pope Francis presides over a moment of prayer on the sagrato of St. Peter's Basilica on March 27, 2020.Yara Nardi / Pool via AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis delivered a special "Urbi et Orbi" blessing to an empty St. Peter's Square on Friday, praying for an end to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Urbi et Orbi," which means "to the city and to the world," is a prayer that can be led only by the pope and is reserved for solemn occasions, such as Easter, Christmas or the installation of a new pope. 

"You ask us not to be afraid, but our faith is weak, and we are fearful. But Lord, do not leave us to the mercy of the storm," Francis said during the prayer. "Tell us again, 'Do not be afraid.' And we together with Peter will cast all our anxieties to you, because we know that you care for us."

St. Peter's Square has been empty for weeks because of Italy's national lockdown. More than 80,000 coronavirus cases and more than 9,000 deaths have been recorded in Italy as of Friday, making it the third most affected country.