Christopher Dean Hopkins

Actor Robert Guillaume, who became the first black actor to win comedy Emmys for playing sharp-tongued butler turned lieutenant governor Benson DuBois on Soap and its spinoff, Benson, died Tuesday at age 89.

A win or a tie would have done it. Or even one loss or tie by the underdogs in Tuesday night's other two qualifying games.

Or beating Honduras a month ago, or beating Panama in March, or not losing both games to Costa Rica.

A 2-1 loss Tuesday night to Trinidad and Tobago — the only team below the U.S. soccer team in the standings — and wins by Honduras and Panama over the qualifying tourney's best two teams mean the Americans will miss the 2018 World Cup in Russia. They'd played in seven World Cups in a row dating back to 1990.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Police in Kissimmee, Fla., just south of Orlando, reported late Friday that two officers there had been shot.

Officer Matthew Baxter, a three-year veteran of the department, was killed, and Sgt. Sam Howard was in "grave critical condition," Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O'Dell told reporters early Saturday.

Seattle Mariners second-baseman Robinson Cano's home run off a changeup from the Chicago Cubs' Wade Davis won the Major League Baseball All-Star game Tuesday night in Miami, but that won't mean as much for the American League as in recent years.

The Cleveland Cavaliers came into the third game of the NBA Finals in a dispiriting but familiar position after two Golden State blowouts. Last year, that led to one of the most stunning comebacks in NBA history

That remained a possibility the entire game Wednesday night — until the closing minutes, when the Warriors ripped the Cavaliers' hearts out. Now Cleveland, which last year became the first team to recover from a 3-1 Finals deficit, faces historically long odds again.

Before Friday night's national semifinal game, the Mississippi State women's basketball coach gave an unusual motivational speech.

"I will not be scared," Vic Schaefer told his players. "There is no reason to be scared. You are one heck of a basketball team."

The tactic makes more sense in light of the opponent: 36-0 University of Connecticut, riding a 111-game winning streak that included a 60-point thrashing of Mississippi State in last year's Sweet 16. At the time, it was the worst defeat in tournament history.

It may be considered the national pastime, but in the first three World Baseball Classics the United States was far from dominant, with Japan winning twice and the Dominican Republic winning once. The Americans went 10-10 over the course of those tourneys and had never finished better than fourth — until this year.

But facing a Puerto Rican team they'd lost to less than a week ago, the United States left no room for doubt Wednesday, cruising to an 8-0 win and the World Baseball Classic title. It was the most lopsided title game so far in the four runs of the tournament.

New Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding an Obama-era memo that directed the Justice Department to reduce the use of private prisons, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports

Sessions writes in the order that returning to the Bureau of Prisons' earlier approach would provide flexibility.

John Hurt, a British actor best known for lead roles in The Elephant Man and Nineteen Eighty-Four and a shockingly gory death in Alien, has died at 77, his publicist confirmed to NPR late Friday.

In a near replay of the 2015 national title game, college football powers Alabama and Clemson traded haymakers Monday night, with some of the same big names delivering.

"That has to be one of the greatest games of all time," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said, according to The Associated Press.

"Eight years ago we set out to put Clemson back on top. We came up a little short last year, but today on top of the mountain, the Clemson flag is flying."

President-elect Donald Trump, in a statement early this morning, announced his intention to nominate ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson to lead the State Department and become the country's top diplomat.

The selection, which had been rumored for the past week, is unusual in a number of ways, and could face more scrutiny than usual when the Senate holds confirmation hearings.

Here are some key facts about the president-elect's nominee for the final major position to be filled in his Cabinet:

Among his campaign promises, President-elect Donald Trump vowed to increase domestic energy production and roll back President Obama's efforts to combat climate change. A lengthy questionnaire recently sent to the Department of Energy suggests that effort may dig deep.

Among the transition's inquiries, NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports:

The NCAA announced Monday evening that it would relocate seven championship sporting events out of North Carolina during this school year, citing the state's HB2 law limiting civil rights protections for LGBT individuals, WUNC's Dave DeWitt reports.

The events moving out of state include first and second rounds of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship — part of the Road to the Final Four — originally slated to be in Greensboro, DeWitt reports.

Thirteen months after an Environmental Protection Agency mistake sent millions of gallons of bright orange wastewater into a Colorado river, the agency has declared the Gold King Mine and 47 other locations in the region Superfund sites, Colorado Public Radio reports.

Pages