Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

UN Denies Ransom

GENEVA -- The UN refugee agency Friday denied reports that it had been asked to pay a ransom for its chief of mission in North Ossetia who was kidnapped Jan. 29.

"No ransom demand has been made," Kris Janowski, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said.

Janowski said the UNHCR welcomed efforts Thursday by French President Jacques Chirac to secure the resue of Vincent Cochetel, 37, who was abducted in the North Ossetian capital, Vladikavkaz, by three unidentified gunmen. His whereabouts remain a mystery.