Christopher Dean Hopkins

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.

After three weeks of domination, the Cleveland Indians had begun to seem almost invulnerable. The Kansas City Royals exposed some weakness Thursday night but couldn't finish the job, as the Indians got consecutive win No. 22 with runs in the ninth and 10th innings.

A double by Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer got outfielder Melky Cabrera across home plate for a 2-1 lead in the sixth, but Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor's two-out double in the ninth scored pinch runner Erik Gonzalez.

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.

A number of factors contributed to actress Carrie Fisher's death in December, the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported late Friday, including sleep apnea and heart disease. The statement also mentions drug use but doesn't specify which drugs or how long ago they were taken.

The report leaves the cause of death "undetermined" for the 60-year-old, best known as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies.

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.

Monday night's national title game was expected to be a fast-paced, competitive showcase for North Carolina forward Justin Jackson and Gonzaga point guard Nigel Williams-Goss, two of the best players in college this season.

It was certainly competitive, but with both teams' tough defenses locking up the main offensive options, the game turned into a foul-laden slog rather than a shootout. The Tar Heels were able to pin their opponent in the end, 71-65, winning the school's sixth national title.

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."

British pop singer George Michael, who achieved fame as half of the duo Wham! before a breakout solo career, has died at his home in Oxfordshire, England, his publicist tells NPR. He was 53.

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:

Updated at 4:59 p.m. ET

Soul singer Sharon Jones, lead singer of the group The Dap-Kings, has died, her publicist announced late Friday. She was 60.

She'd been fighting pancreatic cancer since 2013, when she took a break from touring to undergo extensive surgery and chemotherapy, Fresh Air wrote earlier this year. The cancer went into remission, but returned this year.

On Wednesday, for a second straight evening, demonstrators in Charlotte, N.C., protested the fatal shooting of a black man by police. Demonstrators threw objects at police and smashed car windows; officers in riot gear tried to disperse the protesters with tear gas and concussion grenades.

And there was a second shooting — city officials early on Thursday said one civilian shot another at the protests. At a press conference later in the day, Charlotte's police chief said that the department is investigating allegations that the man was shot by a police officer.

After a 330,000-gallon spill shut down a gasoline pipeline in Alabama on Sept. 9, fuel shortages and high gas prices are occurring across the Southern United States this week, NPR member stations report.

Emily Siner of Nashville's WPLN tells NPR's Newscast that prices there have risen about 20 cents per gallon since Thursday, and officials are urging drivers not to fill up unless they need to:

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.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

Hurricane Hermine made landfall early Friday morning just east of St. Marks, Fla., as a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds, but weakened to a tropical storm as it moved further inland.

The National Hurricane Center expects Hermine to produce "a large extent of dangerous winds, life-threatening storm surge and flooding rains well to the east and southeast of the path of the center."

U.S. soccer again has suspended goalkeeper Hope Solo from the women's national team, but unlike last year, she won't be back in 30 days. Citing Solo's accusation of cowardice among Sweden's players after the team beat the U.S. in the Olympic quarterfinals in Rio de Janeiro, U.S. officials booted Solo for six months.

Updated 9:42 a.m. ET

Voters in the U.K. have decided to leave the European Union, a decision that has shocked Europe, shaken global markets and pushed Prime Minister David Cameron to announce his upcoming resignation.

The EU referendum vote was decisive — 52 percent to 48 percent in favor of dissolving the United Kingdom's 43-year membership in the European community. But Northern Ireland and Scotland voted in favor of remaining, raising the specter that the United Kingdom itself may break apart.

Even with their best defensive player Draymond Green suspended, the Golden State Warriors were in a close fight with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night in Oakland. It felt like the sort of game where one late run from guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson could settle Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and the entire series.

Then big Andrew Bogut toppled.

Four years ago, in superstar guard Stephen Curry's injury-truncated third season, the Golden State Warriors went 23-43 and missed the playoffs by 13 games.

On Wednesday night, they beat the Memphis Grizzlies 125-104 to finish their regular season 73-9, breaking the Chicago Bulls' 20-year-old NBA record for most wins in a season.

The father of two men who were among the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and are now in jail, was himself arrested in Portland, Ore., Wednesday night.

Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher prominent in protests to end federal control of western lands, is being held in the Multnomah County Detention Center. His sons Ammon and Ryan were arrested Jan. 27 and are there as well.

Update at 1:50 p.m. ET: Bundy Is Charged With Conspiracy

Ammon Bundy, leader of the group of militants that has occupied a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon for weeks, has been arrested along with seven other members of the group, including his brother, Ryan, according to federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Glenn Frey, 67, a founding member and guitarist of The Eagles, died on Monday in New York City of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, according to a statement on the band's official website:

"The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery. Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide."

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