David J. Phillip, AP
FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2014, file photo, a Russian skating fan holds the country's national flag over the Olympic rings before the start of the men's 10,000-meter speedskating race at Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Russia could be banned from competing at the Pyeongchang Olympics. The decision will come on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 when the International Olympic Committee executive board meets in Lausanne, less than nine weeks before the games open on Feb. 9 in South Korea. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Here’s a look at the news for Dec. 19.

Salt Lake sets sights on 2030 Winter Olympics

We may have a better idea of which Winter Olympics Salt Lake City hopes to host.

The Olympic Exploratory Committee said Monday that is targeting to host the 2030 Winter Games and not the 2026 Olympics, according to the Deseret News.

Southwestern U.S. neighbors Denver and Reno, Nevada, also recently expressed interest in hosting one of the two Olympics.

International cities such as Calgary, Alberta; Sion, Switzerland; and Sapporo, Japan, are also in contention for the hosting duties, according to the Deseret News.

Fraser Bullock, one of three committee chairmen, said hosting in 2026 would be challenging for Utah.

"It's going to be possible, but challenging, to make the numbers work," Bullock said.

Read more at the Deseret News.

Coming to America: A story of hope, sacrifice and the power of family

Meet the Hamad family, who escaped war-torn Syria and found refuge in Jordan before running to Utah as their final chance of survival.

The Deseret News recently profiled the Hamad family, detailing their journey from when they first arrived in Utah to now, as they try to survive modern life in the United States.

The Hamad family were among the last Syrian refugees to arrive in the U.S. before President Donald Trump suspended the country’s refugee resettlement program, according to the Deseret News.

“We’re lucky, not like most refugees. We had family here, and … then we saw there was a lot of interest and care from (other families), the agencies and the government,” father Malek Hamad said.

Read and see brilliant photos of their journey at the Deseret News.

New BYU OC talks plans for Cougars

What does BYU’s new offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes have in store for the Cougars?

Creativity and constant motion, he said in a press conference Monday, according to the Deseret News.

Grimes, who will still coach LSU on New Year’s Day for the team’s bowl game against Notre Dame, told the BYU faithful that he will bring his current offensive system to Provo.

“I believe in being creative and giving the defense a lot to look at — diversionary tactics like shifts and motions, forcing the defense to defend a variety of things, whether you’re talking about tempo, the way you line up, personnel groups that you have on the field," he said. "I believe in a lot of variety and I believe in balance. You can achieve balance in a lot of different ways. (Washington State coach) Mike Leach talks about having balance in ball distribution. For a team that runs the ball all the time, they talk about balance by giving the ball in a run scheme to a lot of different guys.

Read more at the Deseret News.

Amtrak accident kills 6

An Amtrak train hurtled off an overpass near Seattle on Monday, killing at least six people and destroying two vehicles, according to The Associated Press.

The train was on its first-ever run on a faster route. The train spilled onto a highway, blocking and destroying the cars below.

The AP reported that 77 passengers and seven crew members were on the train when it crashed. Close to 50 people were hospitalized, with more than a dozen having serious or critical injuries.

The train had sped at an estimated 80 mph before it crashed.

Comment on this story

"I was just coming out of the bathroom when the accident happened. My car just started shaking really, really badly. Things were falling off the shelf. Right away, you knew that this was not something minor," said Aleksander Kristiansen, a 24-year-old exchange student at the University of Washington from Copenhagen.

Read more from The Associated Press.


North Korea executes official in charge of nuclear test site: report [Newsweek]

China condemns US 'Cold War mentality' on national security [BBC]

Ex-Navy pilot describes encounter with UFO, says ‘It was real’ [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

Scientists finally confirm there was life on Earth 3.5 billion years ago [Quartz]

Yemen rebel ballistic missile 'intercepted over Riyadh' [BBC]