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World Digest: Aug. 13, 2022

Gangs leave vehicles ablaze in border cities

The Mexican border cities of Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosarito and Ensenada were hit by gang violence that included vehicles being set ablaze and road blockades. It was the third time in a week that Mexican cities had seen widespread arson and shootings by drug cartels. The gangs appear to be targeting stores, vehicles and innocent bystanders in response to disputes or attempts to capture gang members.

Baja California state officials said a total of 24 vehicles had been burned at different points throughout the state: 15 in Tijuana, three in Rosarito, and two each in Mexicali, Ensenada and Tecate.

Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero blamed it on disputes between drug gangs. “Today we are saying to the organized crime groups that are committing these crimes, that Tijuana is going to remain open and take care of its citizens,” Caballero said in a video, “and we also ask them to settle their debts with those who didn’t pay what they owe, not with families and hard-working citizens.”

— Associated Press

Jerusalem shooting leaves 8 Israelis wounded: A gunman opened fire near Jerusalem's Old City early Sunday, wounding eight Israelis in a suspected Palestinian attack that came a week after violence flared between Israel and Gaza militants, police and medics said. Two victims were in serious condition, including a pregnant woman with abdominal injuries and a man with gunshot wounds to the head and neck, according to Israeli hospitals treating them. The shooting occurred as a bus waited in a parking lot near the Western Wall, which is considered the holiest site where Jews can pray.

Russian official expresses optimism on Griner talks: Russia for the first time expressed guarded optimism about talks with the United States on a prisoner exchange involving WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American. " 'Quiet diplomacy' is continuing, and it should bear fruit, if of course, Washington strictly follows it without slipping into propaganda," Alexander Darchiyev, head of the North American department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told the state Tass news service. Last month, the Biden administration proposed a swap involving Griner, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist, and Marine Corps veteran Paul Whelan, who was jailed in Russia in 2020 on spying charges he denies. In return, the United States would free Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer, and a second Russian also held in a U.S. jail, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

At least 15 migrants die in Libyan desert: Libyan authorities said Saturday they found at least 15 migrants dead in the desert on the borders with Sudan. The migrants were all Sudanese, probably attempting to reach western Libya in efforts to board trafficking boats to Europe. The Department for Combating Irregular Migration said the migrants' vehicle ran out of fuel. The agency said nine other migrants survived, while two remain missing.

Gusts hit music festival, killing 1, injuring dozens: One person was killed when high winds caused part of the main stage to collapse at a dance music festival near the Spanish city of Valencia early Saturday. Thirty-two people were taken to a hospital and three remained there Saturday afternoon, regional health authorities said.

— From news services