Happening Today: Rex Tillerson, Rick Perry, Quest Diagnostics, Santa Claus

What to Know

  • Donald Trump has nominated ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be his secretary of state
  • New Jersey-based healthcare company Quest Diagnostics said that information about 34,000 of its patients has been hacked
  • A Lufthansa flight was diverted to JFK Airport on Monday night after someone phoned in a bomb threat to the plane

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Trump Picks Tillerson, Perry

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to lead the State Department, dismissing concerns about the businessman's close ties to Russia and bringing a long public audition process to a conclusion. Sources say Trump has also made his pick for the leader of the Department of Energy — former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who famously once forgot that he wanted to abolish the Energy Department. Perry, a rival of Trump's during the Republican presidential nominating campaign, met with Trump for about 90 minutes earlier Monday at Trump Tower in midtown.

Clinton Campaign Changes Tune on Russia

Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has dropped its reluctance to challenge the election results because Russia "certainly succeeded in interfering" with the electoral process, a top campaign official told MSNBC on Monday night. Clinton campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said calls to declassify U.S. intelligence on Russia's alleged connection to hacks of U.S. political institutions' email and computer systems were "compelling" enough for the campaign to break its silence and join the fray.

Major Data Breach of NJ Lab

Clinical laboratory services company Quest Diagnostics announced Monday that it is investigating a third-party hack into an internet application on its network. The Madison, New Jersey-based Fortune 500 healthcare company said in a press release that on Nov. 26, an unauthorized third party accessed the MyQuest by Care 360 internet application and obtained health information of about 34,000 patients.

2 Face Judge in Hofsta Grad’s Death

Two men who have been charged in the murder investigation of a young Hofstra graduate from Connecticut will go before a judge in a Manhattan court on Tuesday morning — and they could face even more charges. James Rackover, 25, and Lawrence Dilione, 28, face a number of charges in the slaying of Joey Comunale, whose body was stabbed more than a dozen times in a luxury Manhattan apartment last month and then buried in a shallow grave in New Jersey.

Flight Diverted to JFK After Threat

A Lufthansa flight was diverted to JFK Airport following a bomb threat, authorities said Monday night. Port Authority Spokesperson Steve Coleman said Lufthansa received the phone threat while Lufthansa Flight 441 was traveling from Houston to Frankfurt, Germany. About 530 people got off the flight. Authorities later said that the plane had been searched and cleared.

Long Island Video Goes Viral

Heartwarming video of an employee at a Long Island electronics store giving a Nintendo console to a boy has gone viral. The act of kindness was captured at the Valley Stream Best Buy earlier this month after store employees pitched in to buy a Wii U for the boy. The video has been viewed more than 1.3 million times on YouTube. 

Talked-About Santa Stories

A Santa Claus says a terminally ill 5-year-old boy died in his arms after he gave the boy a present in the hospital. Eric Schmitt-Matzen, who plays Santa, says that after giving the boy a toy, the boy asked how he would be able to tell when he got to where he was going after he died. The touching conversation between the boy and Santa is sure to bring a tear to your eye. On a happier note, a Santa came through with an early gift for a 7-year-old boy in Ohio. James Croot wished for his dad, a staff sergeant in the Air Force, to come home. His wish came true. Meanwhile, a pastor angered parents after he went to a mall Santa and said "We're going to tell the children here today the truth."

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