Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny jailed after protests

Moscow court hands down 15-day prison sentence and a fine to Navalny, who was arrested at anti-government rally

(Media Release) Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been fined and sentenced to 15 days in prison, a day after some of the biggest anti-government protests in years swept the country.

Navalny was jailed and given a 20,000-rouble (£280) fine by a Moscow court for disobeying police orders and organising the protests, which led to more than 1,000 people being detained.

The opposition leader has declared his intention to run for president next year, an election in which the president, Vladimir Putin, is expected to win a new six-year term. ( 

Before sentencing, Navalny tweeted a defiant selfie from court, writing: “The time will come when we will have them on trial (but honestly).”

He was upbeat during his hearing, asking the judge to summon the prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, as a witness to “explain why so many people protested”.

Thousands of people rallied in dozens of cities across Russia on Sunday, called to protest by Navalny over an investigation into Medvedev’s alleged corruption. Navalny’s team released a video alleging Medvedev had amassed a collection of palaces, yachts and vineyards during his time in office.

Authorities in most cities – from Chita in Siberia to Makhachkala in Dagestan – denied permission for the rallies, and police arrested those who were holding posters or chanting, and also on occasion simply swept random people off the street.

Guardian correspondent Alec Luhn was among those arrested, despite having Russian journalistic accreditation. He was held for hours and charged with participating in an unsanctioned demonstration before being released after the foreign ministry intervened.

A rights group monitoring the arrests said on Monday morning that 1,030 people had been detained in Moscow alone. About 120 remained in custody overnight. The majority of those released were charged with the minor offence of taking part in an unsanctioned demonstration and are likely to be fined.

In Nizhny Novgorod, parents of five children who took part in the protests were charged with “improper parenting”, according to Interfax news agency.

Employees of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation were also arrested and his office was searched by police, who seized computers and sealed the premises.

The protests were mostly attended by younger Russians, who came out despite a near blackout of news about the event on Russian state media, which has ignored the protests and arrests.

On Monday, the EU appealed to Russian authorities to release those still being held. “We call on the Russian authorities to abide fully by the international commitments it has made, including in the Council of Europe … to uphold these rights and to release without delay the peaceful demonstrators that have been detained,” it said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected the call, describing the protests as “a provocation” and claiming that some teenagers had been promised cash if they were arrested.

Authorities have struggled to deal with Navalny’s threat. He has been put on several trials, widely believed to be politicised, and his brother has been jailed. At times, authorities have experimented with allowing him to take part in politics, and he stood for mayor of Moscow in 2013, winning 27% of votes. Although he has declared his intention to stand for president next year, it is unlikely he will be allowed on to the ballot.

Speaking from the defendant’s bench on Monday, Navalny told reporters: “Even the slightest illusion of fair justice is absent here. Yesterday’s events have shown that quite a large number of voters in Russia support the programme of a candidate who stands for fighting corruption. These people demand political representation and I strive to be their political representative.”

Sunday’s protests were some of the largest since a wave of anti-Kremlin street demonstrations in 2011-12. They concluded with a massive protest on 6 May 2012, the day before Putin returned to the presidency after four years as prime minister. Dozens of people who participated in clashes at the protest were put on trial and many sentenced to long jail terms.

Authorities will have to decide between a similar crackdown or trying to weather the protest mood in the year leading up to the presidential election next March.

Medvedev, who has not made an official response to the corruption claims, answered a comment on his official Instagram asking how his day was on Sunday by writing: “Not bad! Went skiing.” He accompanied it with a winking emoji face.

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12 ways to hack-proof your smartphone

(Media Release) As we’ve recently seen from leaked CIA documents, no one is immune to hacking attacks. Here’s how to protect yourself against them, whether they come from opportunist thieves or state-sponsored spies.

1. Keep up to date – and don’t open up holes yourself

When it comes to protecting yourself against hackers, step one is always to install software updates as soon as they become available: that’s as true on smartphones as it is on computers. Yes, updating can be a tiresome and intrusive process, and it sometimes brings annoying changes to the interface that you’re used to. All the same, a huge proportion of successful hacks exploit vulnerabilities that have already been patched; exposing yourself unnecessarily is just daft.

I’d also strongly advise against using unofficial tools to “root” your phone (known as “jailbreaking” on iOS), unless you know exactly what you’re doing. On a rooted phone, technical safeguards can be defeated, allowing apps to perform all sorts of actions that are normally prohibited – and that can include snooping on your personal data.

2. Be careful of what you install

When you install a smartphone app, you may be asked to grant it various permissions, including the ability to read your files, access your camera or listen in to your microphone. There are legitimate uses for these  ( capabilities, but they’re potentially open to abuse: think before you approve the request. That applies especially to Android users, as Google’s app-vetting process isn’t as strict as Apple’s, and there have been reports of malicious apps spending months on the Play Store before being spotted and taken down.

Android also lets you install apps from third-party sources: this allows services such as Amazon’s competing Appstore to operate, but it also provides an easy way for rogue apps to get onto your phone. I’d strongly advise against installing anything from an unfamiliar website.

3. Review what’s already on your phone

Even if the apps on your phone seemed simple and safe when you installed them, subsequent updates could have turned them into something more sinister. Take two minutes to review all the apps on your smartphone, and see which permissions they’re using: on iOS, you’ll find lots of relevant information under Settings > Privacy.

On Android, it’s harder to get an overview of which apps have which permissions, but there are plenty of security apps that help here, including free packages from Avast and McAfee. These tools can also jump in and alert you if you’re trying to install an app that’s known to be malicious, and warn you if a “phishing” attack is trying to trick you into entering a password into an untrusted app or webpage.

4. Make it hard for intruders to get in

If a thief gets physical access to your phone, they can cause all sorts of trouble. For a start, your email app probably contains a trove of personal information. Make sure your phone is locked when not in use: both Android and iOS can be set to require a six-digit passcode. Your device may offer other options too, like fingerprints or facial recognition. Such methods aren’t perfect – a really determined hacker could copy your fingerprints from a drinking glass, or trick a camera with a photograph of you – but they’re a lot better than nothing.

And be wary of “smart unlock” features, which automatically unlock your phone when you’re at home, or when your smartwatch is near; these could let a thief bypass your unlock code altogether.

5. Be prepared to track and lock your phone

Plan ahead, so even if your phone is stolen, you know your data is safe. One option is to set your phone to automatically erase itself after a certain number of incorrect attempts to enter the passcode.

If that seems a bit drastic, don’t forget that both Apple and Google operate “find my device” services that can locate your phone on a map, and remotely lock or erase it. For Apple users, this is accessed through the iCloud website – you can check it’s enabled on the phone in Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone. Android users can access Google’s service at You can also make a missing phone ring – helpful for drawing attention to the thief, or tracking down a handset that’s been merely mislaid.

We all know there’s a risk involved in using an open wireless network. But you may not realise how severe it is

6. Don’t leave online services unlocked

Auto-login is a very convenient feature, especially since a virtual keyboard can make typing passwords a chore. It’s also a huge liability: an intruder simply needs to open your browser to gain access to all your online accounts.

Ideally, therefore, you shouldn’t use auto-login features at all. If you must, use a password manager app that requires you to regularly re-enter a master password. And don’t use the same password for more than one app or service: if that one password gets found out, it can be used to access a whole range of private information. This applies even if you’re perfectly scrupulous about keeping your smartphone secure: hackers regularly break into online services to steal user credentials, which they then try out on other sites.

7. Adopt an alter ego

If you’ve followed this advice so far, it should be very difficult for anyone to get into your phone. However, some major hacks have been pulled off without any access to the victim at all. If someone can find out (for example) your date of birth, home town and mother’s maiden name – all stuff that can be easily picked up from a site like Facebook – that’s often all they need to reset a password and start breaking into your accounts. You can see off such attacks by fictionalising your past with details that are unlikely to be guessed; perhaps, for the purposes of security, you were born in 1999 to Mrs Victoria Beckham, née Adams. Just remember what you claimed, or you could end up locking yourself out.

8. Beware open wifi

We all know there’s a risk involved in using an open wireless network. But you may not realise how severe it is: anyone in the vicinity can snoop on what you’re doing online. This sort of attack demands specialist software and skills, so it’s unlikely to be a hazard in your local cafe, but it’s not a danger that can be ignored.

If you’re at all doubtful about a wireless network, don’t connect – stick with your phone’s mobile internet connection. Or use a VPN tool such as CyberGhost or TunnelBear (both available free for Android and iOS). These tools route your traffic through a private encrypted channel, so even if someone is monitoring your traffic they won’t be able to see what you’re up to.

9. Don’t let lockscreen notifications give the game away

Lots of apps pop up messages and notifications on your phone’s lockscreen. It’s worth thinking about what these notifications may reveal. If you work for a big banking company, for example, a visible email from a work colleague or a meeting reminder tells a thief that this might be a particularly interesting phone to steal.

On iOS, also consider disabling access to Siri from the lockscreen. Siri isn’t supposed to give away personal information before you enter your passcode to unlock the iPhone, but past hacks have let intruders use Siri to unlock the device, access details of contacts and view photos. It’s safest to shut the feature off entirely: you’ll find the option under Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Disable Siri on the Lockscreen.

10. Lock individual apps

A strong passcode helps keep thieves out of your phone, but what if a stranger snatches your phone while you’re using it? Or asks to borrow it to check a website, then bolts off down the street?

On Android, as a second line of defence, you can lock individual apps, so even if someone can get past your lockscreen, they can’t open your email or banking app without a second password. This capability isn’t built into the OS, but there are plenty of free apps that provide it, such as AVG AntiVirus Free. iOS users can’t directly lock individual apps, but check out Folder Lock – free on the App Store – which can password-protect your documents and folders, reducing the amount of information a thief can access.

11. Get a warning when your phone goes walkies

If you’re on the fence about investing in a smartwatch, here’s a little-known feature that could swing it: Apple Watch and Android Wear devices can warn you immediately if they lose Bluetooth contact with your phone. If you get this notification while you’re in a public place, there’s a good chance someone’s just picked your pocket, and is currently making off with your phone.

The device will normally be less than 50 metres away when the connection drops, so the warning gives you a chance to ring the phone right away, hopefully drawing attention to the thief and prompting them to jettison it. Failing that, you can lock it before the culprit has a chance to start trying to break in and steal your data.

12. Keep an eye on things behind the scenes

No matter how cautious you are, you can’t completely eradicate the danger of your phone being hacked – not unless you refuse to install any apps or visit any websites. What you can do is supplement your on-device security measures with an online service. LogDog – available for both Android and iOS – is an app that monitors your identity on sites such as Gmail, Dropbox and Facebook. It alerts you to suspicious activity, such as logins from unfamiliar places, giving you a chance to step in and change your credentials before serious harm can be done. As a bonus, LogDog will also scan your email and highlight messages containing sensitive data such as credit card details and passwords, which you can then purge to ensure they don’t fall into the wrong hands.

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Agar Market Expected to be Worth US$ 357,091.6 by 2026


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Agar is derived from the polysaccharide agarose, which forms the
supporting structure in the cell walls of agarophytes belonging to the
Rhodophyta (Red algae) phylum; gracilaria, gelidium and gelidiella
which are a genus of red algae, are cultivated commercially for the
production of agar. Commercial cultivation of Gracilaria was initially
carried out using gracilaria chilensis, which is a red seaweed
originating from the southern coast of Chile. Gelidium seaweed is
primarily harvested on the western coast of Morocco, southern coast of
Portugal and the northern coast of Spain. While, gracilaria species
are widely present in cold waters such as southern coast of Chile and
the Atlantic coast of Canada. However, some species have adapted to
the tropical waters of Indonesia and Thailand. ( 

Market Value and Volume Forecast

The global agar market revenue is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of
over 4.9% in terms of value and 2.6%, in terms of volume during the
forecast period. Preference of halal/kosher food products, increasing
usage of agar as natural ingredient by food, pharmaceuticals and
cosmetics industries are factors fuelling market growth across the
globe. The global agar market is currently witnessing major trends
like the usage of agar in bakery industry due to high temperature
resistance capacity and it as a superior gelling agent in dairy

Segmentation, by Form

In the report, the agar market is segmented on the basis of form which
includes strips and powders. In 2015, among all these segments, powder
segment accounted for the largest value share in the global agar

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Segmentation, by Application

The global agar market is segmented on the basis of application which
includes: food & beverages, bacteriological applications, technical
applications and others (agriculture). In 2015, of these segments,
food & beverages segment dominated the market in terms of value and
volume, and is expected to remain dominant over the forecast period.
Food & beverages segment is further sub segmented as bakery,
confectionery, dairy, canned meat/poultry products, beverages, sauces,
creams & dressings, dietetic products and others. In addition
bacteriological is further sub-segmented as culture media and
microbiology. Technical application is sub-segmented as cosmetology
and medical applications. The technical application segment is
expected to expand at the highest CAGR in terms of value during the
forecast period.

Segmentation, by Region

On the basis of region, the global agar market is segmented into North
America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific
Excluding Japan, the Middle East & Africa and Japan. Among all these
region Western Europe has been estimated to dominate the overall
market in terms of value in 2015. Market in the region is expected to
expand at a CAGR of 5.2 % over the forecast period.

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Key Players

Some of the key players identified in the global agar market are
Agarmex, New Zealand Manuka Group, Hispanagar, Acroyali Holdings
Qingdao Co.Ltd., Industrias Roko, S.A, Neogen, Merck Group, Agarindo
Bogatama, Setexam and Norevo GmbH.

Best Meisner Training Program In U.S. Now Accepting Actors For The Meisner Summer Intensive


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The Best Meisner Training Program In The United States Is Now Taking
Applications For The Six-week Meisner Summer Intensive

For 16 years, the gold standard for professional actor training, the
Maggie Flanigan Studio is now enrolling for their acclaimed Meisner
Summer Intensive, the highly respected summer acting program, which
runs for six weeks June 9th – July 21st, 2017( 

Located in the heart of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, the Maggie
Flanigan Studio has earned the reputation as the nation’s most
accurate teacher of Sanford Meisner’s brilliant training known
worldwide as the Meisner Technique. The entire track of Meisner’s
work takes a full two years to implement, but for six weeks every
summer, the Maggie Flanigan Studio provides the first third of the
work to aspiring actors looking to begin the process of acquiring
professional craft and technique.

The founder of MFS and master teacher Maggie Flanigan says, “If you
are committed to a life in the arts, then the first step is taking
yourself seriously. Our six-week summer acting program is designed to
introduce aspiring actors to the demands of the art form, real insight
into what top professional actor training is, and an intensive
introduction to the training of Sanford Meisner.”

Sanford Meisner began teaching in 1935, and for the next sixty years,
honed what is considered by many to be the greatest way to instill
actors with fundamental skill and technique. The reputation of the
Maggie Flanigan Studio rests in its commitment to the accuracy and
integrity of the Meisner Technique. Acceptance into the summer
intensive requires an application and then a personal interview with
the studio’s Executive Director and Head Of Acting, Charlie Sandlan.
According to Sandlan, ” We purposely small and selective enrollment.
The Maggie Flanigan Studio is not a factory taking hundreds of
students and throwing them into overcrowded classes with second-rate
teachers. There are plenty of those to choose from. I interview
everyone personally because I’m teaching you. I care deeply about
the integrity of the studio and the quality of students we bring in.”

Jamie Butler, a current first year student who first took the summer
intensive last year says, “This studio changed my life. The Meisner
intensive introduced me to the hard work of acting, and Charlie’s
incredible teaching gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my
dream. He helped instill in me the desire to be a real artist. Going
into the full conservatory was a no-brainer.”

The Maggie Flanigan Studio, created by Maggie Flanigan in 2001, came
to fruition out of Maggie’s belief that excellent training in a
small, nurturing, yet challenging environment was sorely lacking in
America. Lead now by Charlie Sandlan, MFS is committed fully to the
entire artist, with classes that go beyond acting. Their summer acting
program also offers classes in Voice, Movement, Playwriting,
Nutrition, Anatomy, On-Camera and Film History. The six-week summer
intensive is perfect for current undergraduates, professional actors
looking to refresh the fundamentals, or those truly considering the
idea of committing to the two-year acting program.

Only 60 spots are available, and spots are already filling up at an
extraordinary pace. Those interested are encouraged to apply and set
up an interview with Charlie.

For more information visit

CONTACT: Charlie Sandlan
Maggie Flanigan Studio
(917) 789-1599
studio [at]
March 15, 2017 New York City:

Get the Best Cab Service in Lucknow for Travelling


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We need to maintain balance between our social, professional and
personal lives. We also need to do things right and at appropriate
time, for that we need resources and partners who help us to do things
rightly done. This is the time when we need cab services to reach our
destination on time with luxury comfort. People can ride a bus or rent
a vehicle from transport but hiring cab service is best way of
travelling now a days, as it include pick up from the location and
drop off safely to the destination. ( 

Cab services in Lucknow are efficient and comfortable. These cab
services offer most exclusive and cost effective door to door pick up
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days, cab services use technology advancement with GPS technology
which is used to know the customer exact location and there is no need
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reasonable rates. Get the hassle free rides by booking your trip with
the cab service and experience the best comfortable journey.

In this fast moving life, many working professional hire these cab
services in order to reach conference or meeting on time. Sometimes
due to lack of taxi, they fail to attend the meeting and fail badly to
achieve goals or target. This causes loss to their organization or
business. Cab Booking in Lucknow service provide facility of booking
cab online which is wonderful feature and easy to navigate. You just
need internet connection and you can book cab online from both the
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can rely these services for safe and secure journey.

Sometimes at odd hours there is shortage of taxi on the road. Instead
of waiting for long time just to get taxi or public transport you can
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If you are looking for best cab service which provide luxury at the
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Mintroute to start offering its digital gift cards portfolio in Virgin Megastores


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Mintroute, the largest cross boarder prepaid product distribution network in Middle East and Africa with more than 60,000 point of sale connected to their on demand EVD platform, will now start offering its portfolio of 30 different brand of digital gift to Virgin Megastores customers in Saudi Arabia.

Virgin Megastores will be offering the digital gift cards offered by Mintroute using the Mintroute advanced m-POS (mobile point-of-sale) solutions which is a dedicated wireless device performing the task of a sale terminal. ( 

“Virgin Megastore has for long been a precursor in Saudi Arabia in bringing the latest digital trends and gadgets to savvy customers from global brands, and innovates once again today with the introduction of Minroute’s mPOS. And we are glad that consumers in Saudi Arabia can now have access to a wide array of prepaid services and digital products right at their fingertips, from any of Virgin Megastore shops.“ said Mintroute Chief Commercial Officer, Samar Mushainesh.

The service will be available today at all Virgin Megastore locations in Saudi Arabia providing prepaid services from iTunes, Google Play, PlayStation Network, XBOX, Nintendo, Steam, League of Legends and many others.

About Mintroute

The largest cross boarder prepaid product distribution network in Middle East and Africa with more than 60,000 point of sale connected to our on demand EVD platform.

Mintroute offer the most reliable one stop distribution solution for digital products making them available through various sales channels including retail, mobile, self service kiosks, financial companies, ATM’s and online portals.

Mintroute also provides a unique real time cash collection service in multiple countries, giving our clients the ability accept cash payments for online sale!

Mintroute retail network can now also act as a post office for our clients where sold products can be paid and collected by their buyers.

Mintroute clients are issuers and distributors of prepaid gift cards, mobile top-ups, cash payments, payment vouchers, prepaid subscriptions.

Twitter considers paid membership option

(Media Release)( Twitter is considering adding a paid membership option for businesses and power users.

The micro-blogging service, which has struggled to grow its user base in recent years, is carrying out surveys to “assess interest” in the idea.

Paying members would get access to an enhanced version of Tweetdeck, Twitter’s souped-up interface that offers more functionality than

The company has not made any indication it is considering charging regular users of the service.

But a premium membership scheme could offer Twitter a new revenue stream at a time when users are increasingly turning to other networks such as Snapchat.

Twitter’s active user base has plateaued – and advertising revenues, currently the firms only meaningful income stream, are in decline. Twitter’s struggles come despite the online advertising market growing considerably in the past year.

‘More valuable’

Twitter has surveyed a small selection of its users about the idea.

In a statement, the company said: “We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.”

In an email to selected users, the company described how the new tool would work.

“This premium tool set will provide valuable viewing, posting, and signaling tools like alerts, trends and activity analysis, advanced analytics, and composing and posting tools all in one customizable dashboard,” the note said.

“It will be designed to make it easier than ever to keep up with multiple interests, grow your audience, and see even more great content and information in real-time.”

If it goes ahead with premium accounts, Twitter will be competing with more established players like SocialFlow and HootSuite – companies that have offered enhanced ways to use Twitter for many years.

Why it has taken the company this long to roll out its own initiative is not clear. In 2009, co-founder Biz Stone said the firm had hired a product manager to develop premium features, but these never materialised – and Mr Stone left the company in 2011.

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