many of the same ships have recently started trading Venezuelan oil that is under U.S. sanctions.

The spread of AIS manipulation by E.U.-registered vessels shows how advances in technology allow some shipowners to earn windfall profits from commodities under sanction while benefiting from European financial services and legal safeguards.

Cyprus’s deputy shipping minister, Vassilios Demetriades, said illegal manipulation of on-ship equipment is punishable by fines or criminal penalties under the island’s laws. But he has downplayed the problem, saying AIS’s “value and trustworthiness as a location device is rather limited.”

According to Cyprus’s corporate documents, Reliable belongs to a company owned by Christos Georgantzoglou, 81, a Greek businessman. The ship crossed the Atlantic for the first time shortly after Mr. Georgantzoglou’s company bought it last year, and has transmitted locations around eastern Caribbean Islands since, according to Windward’s analysis.

But Venezuela’s state oil company records reviewed by The New York Times show that Reliable was working for the Venezuelan government in the country during that time.

Mr. Georgantzoglou and his company did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Their Venezuelan dealings appear to contradict a promise made by Greece’s powerful shipowners association in 2020 to stop transporting the country’s oil. The association did not respond to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, Reliable is still moving fuel around Venezuelan ports or loading crude onto Asia-bound ships in open waters to hide its origin, according to two Venezuelan oil businessmen, who asked not to be named for security reasons. It still broadcasts coordinates of a ship adrift in the Caribbean Sea.

Adriana Loureiro Fernandez and Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.

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Colorado Mom Guilty Of Qanon Kidnapping Conspiracy

By Associated Press
August 27, 2022

The foster mom was also found guilty of a misdemeanor count of child abuse.

A Colorado mother accused of plotting to kidnap her son from foster care after her teen daughter said she started associating with supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory was found guilty of conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping on Friday.

Cynthia Abcug, 53, denied she was involved in planning a raid on the foster home where her then 7-year-old son lived in the fall of 2019. She had lost custody of him earlier that year after being accused of medical child abuse — lying about him having seizures and other health problems in order to trick doctors into providing unnecessary care.

Jurors also found Abcug guilty of a misdemeanor count of child abuse. She is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

Her son, now 10, is still in foster care and has not had serious health problems since being removed from Abcug, according to prosecutors.

Abcug’s lawyers suggested that a drug prescribed to treat the seizures was responsible for at least some of the boy’s health problems. Doctors had begun weaning him from the medication before he was removed from Abcug’s custody.

Abcug moved her family to Colorado in the fall of 2017 at the suggestion of a doctor in Florida in hopes that neurologists at Children’s Hospital Colorado could find out what the cause of his health problems were.

Abcug testified that after her son was removed in May 2019 she was extremely anxious and reached out on social media for help getting her son back. She told jurors she ended up meeting members of a group that said it was working on reforming the family court system and offered to help her get her son back legally. She said it turned out to be a scam with members interested in stealing money raised online to help parents who had lost custody of their children.

She did not describe the group as being involved with QAnon but said she heard references to the conspiracy theory by people she met through her activism online.

Many QAnon supporters believe former President Donald Trump was fighting enemies in the so-called deep state to expose a group of satanic, cannibalistic child molesters they believe secretly runs the globe.

Around this time, Abcug posted on social media that social workers took children to sell them and sent them to other countries for adoption.

The conspiracy theory was not a main issue in the trial, which focused more on detailed testimony from medical providers and educators about Abcug’s medical history.

Abcug said she heard references to QAnon in passing in talking to people she met online. Rubber bracelets with a phrase used by QAnon supporters, Storm Is Upon Us, as well as a website known for posts about QAnon printed on them were found in Abcug’s home, according to police.

Abcug’s daughter, who was 16 at the time, told authorities she was concerned because her mother had been talking about a raid on the foster home for several months and that she believed people were going to be hurt because those involved believed her brother was wrongfully taken from his home, according to Abcug’s arrest affidavit. Her daughter also told them her mother had allowed a military veteran she believed to be armed to sleep on their couch to provide security, it said.

Abcug said the group she was working with arranged to send the man to protect her after the lock of her back sliding door was found broken. He has been been identified by police but has not been charged. In response to a question from the jury, she acknowledged she had never met him before she allowed him to stay with her.

Abcug said she bought a gun around this time because she feared for her safety but never made it to an appointment for a training class and has never fired it. Police found the appointment listed on the house’s whiteboard calendar when Abcug’s daughter was also removed from the home after reporting her concerns.

After her daughter was removed, Abcug said the man providing security coordinated with others to take her to a “safe house” and implied that she was held against her will. Abcug said her phone was taken from her and she was held for three months in a hotel.

Abcug was arrested in Montana on Dec. 30, 2019.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Rescue Me: Pets, Adoption And The Challenges Shelters Face

By Newsy Staff
August 17, 2022

The pets waiting for adoption in shelters across the U.S. face unique challenges.

Across the country, dogs and cats are waiting for a new chance at life. Rescue Me: Tails of Hope sheds light on the new challenges animals in shelters face.

Source: newsy.com

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Walmart Strikes a Deal to Offer Members Paramount Plus for Free

Walmart said on Monday that it had reached an agreement to include the Paramount+ streaming service in its Walmart+ membership package, bringing access to TV shows and movies from franchises like “South Park,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Star Trek” to some of its customers.

The streaming subscription will be free for Walmart+ subscribers, who pay $12.95 per month for a bundle of perks that include discounts for fuel and free shipping at the retail giant.

Chris Cracchiolo, the general manager of Walmart+, said in a statement that the company chose Paramount+ because the service had “something for everyone.” Walmart had also been in talks with companies including Disney and Comcast.

The broad adoption of streaming has created a cluttered marketplace for services that deliver TV shows and movies directly to consumers. Major media companies like Netflix, Disney, Paramount and Comcast all compete for subscribers, making partnerships with providers like Walmart — which has millions of weekly customers — an attractive proposition.

Paramount and Walmart have a longstanding business relationship. Paramount has a dedicated team of 13 people based in Bentonville, Ark., the site of Walmart’s corporate headquarters, and the retailer sells products based on Paramount’s Paw Patrol, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob franchises.

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