MISSING

Report: Ransom Demand for Ship

Finnish authorities say a ransom demand has been made for the Russian-manned cargo ship that was reported missing while passing through the English Channel. The ransom demand has not been confirmed as geniune, and neither has a report that the ship was spotted off Cape Verde yesterday, the BBC reports. The 4,000-ton Maltese-flagged ship was carrying timber when it was last spotted July 30. Swedish, Finnish, and Maltese police are jointly investigating the ship's disappearance, which could have been the result of pirates. "The police cannot really speculate," a Finnish police spokesman said. "We need to base our investigation on existing criminal reports, and in this case there are reports of hijacking and aggravated blackmail."