Happening Today: 2nd Avenue Subway, Electoral College, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Merriam-Webster

What to Know

  • Gov. Cuomo announced that the first phase of the long-awaited Second Avenue subway will open on New Year's Day
  • The Electoral College will vote for the next president on Monday; Donald Trump is expected to get the most votes
  • Actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor died at the age of 99 on Sunday

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2nd Avenue Subway to Open

Service to the public on the Second Avenue subway will begin on Jan. 1, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told NBC 4 New York during a one-on-one station tour Sunday. A ceremonial ride on Dec. 31 will usher in train service on the first phase of the line — a three-stop extension of the Q train that has been a century in the making. Construction on the Second Avenue line began in 2007, but it has been in planning by the city since 1929 and was first proposed by a Public Service Commission engineer in 1919 as part of an expansion of the transit system. Under the $4.5 billion first phase of the project, trains will run from 63rd Street to 96th Street. The second phase will extend the line up to 125th Street. Meanwhile, the new E train subway entrance will open Monday in the World Trade Center's Oculus transportation hub more than 15 years after it closed because of 9/11.

Zsa Zsa Gabor Dies at 99

Zsa Zsa Gabor, the jet-setting Hungarian actress who made a career out of multiple marriages, conspicuous wealth and jaded wisdom about the glamorous life, has died. She was 99. The middle and most famous of the sisters Gabor died Sunday of a heart attack at her Los Angeles home, husband Frederic von Anhalt told The Associated Press. "We tried everything, but her heart just stopped and that was it," he said. "Even the ambulance tried very hard to get her back, but there was no way." A spiritual matriarch to the Kardashians and other tabloid favorites, Gabor was the original hall-of-mirrors celebrity, famous for being famous for being famous.

Electoral College Votes for President

Electors are gathering Monday in every state to formally elect Donald Trump president even as anti-Trump forces try one last time to deny him the White House. Protests are planned Monday at state capitals, but they're unlikely to persuade the Electoral College to dump Trump. An Associated Press survey of electors found very little appetite to vote for alternative candidates. Republican electors say they’ve been deluged with emails, phone calls and letters urging them not to support Trump. Meanwhile, a former Hillary Clinton staffer is tracking possible conflicts of interests that could arise because of Trump’s businesses under this cheeky URL.

Poll: Public Concern Over Russian Hacks

More than half of Americans say they are significantly bothered by the news that hackers working in connection with a foreign government were involved in trying to influence November's presidential election, according to results from a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Forty-three percent of respondents say they are bothered a "great deal" about Russian interference, while an additional 12 percent were bothered "quite a bit." Despite more than half of Americans being concerned about Russia's interference, just 37 percent believe the actions helped President-elect Donald Trump win the presidential contest, while 57 percent say it didn't make a difference. 

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year

Was 2016 a dream or a nightmare? Try something in between: "surreal," which is Merriam-Webster's word of the year, was unveiled Monday. Meaning "marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream," or "unbelievable, fantastic," the word joins Oxford's "post-truth" and Dictionary.com's "xenophobia" as the year's top choices. The single biggest spike in lookups came in November, he said, specifically Nov. 9, the day Donald Trump went from candidate to president-elect.

SNL: Christmas With the Trumps

This week’s "Saturday Night Live" cold open welcomes back Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, the prolific tweeter and president-elect who is fuming over a bad restaurant review in "Vanity Fair." The Christmas-themed episode begins with a clatter in Donald Trump's chimney. Santa? No. Someone else. “Vladimir, what are you doing here?” Trump asks as a shirtless Putin (Beck Bennett) bearing a Santa sack emerges from the hearth. Watch the skit.

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