Massachusetts

U.S. government buildings, military posts and embassies will fly the flag at half-staff through Memorial Day weekend in memory of the nearly 100,000 people who have died of COVID-19, President Trump announced Thursday night. The decision comes after Democratic leaders in Congress sent a letter to the president requesting the gesture.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Eleven veterans have died at a soldiers' home in Holyoke, Mass., where a COVID-19 outbreak is now threatening even more residents and staff. At least five of the people who died have tested positive for COVID-19; other tests are still pending in the case, which Gov. Charlie Baker calls "a shuddering loss for us all."

Republican Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito of Massachusetts signed a bill Friday, approved one day earlier by the state's Democrat-led Legislature, outlawing so-called bump stocks, accessories that allow semi-automatic firearms to mimic the rapid firing action of machine guns.

Massachusetts is the first state to enact a ban on bump stocks in the wake of last month's shooting in Las Vegas, the deadliest in modern American history.