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Boston Marathon bombings: Suspect arrested

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April 17, 2013

23:39  Boston Marathon bombings: Suspect arrested:  US authorities here have arrested anindividual in connection with the twin bombings at the BostonMarathon that killed three persons and left over 180 wounded,a media report said today.        

"An arrest has been made in the Boston bombingsinvestigation based on two videos showing images of thesuspect," the CNN quoted a law enforcement source as saying.
23:14  Khamenei condemns Boston bombings, chides US:  Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today condemned the deadly twin bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon but also chided what he described as a "contradictory" US approach to terrorism. 

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a follower of the Islamic rationale, is against any blast and killing of innocent people whether in Boston, Pakistan, Afghanistan or Syria," Khamenei said in remarks on his website,
23:13  Assad accuses West of backing al-Qaeda in Syria:  The Syrian president today accused the West of backing al-Qaeda in Syria, warning it will pay the price "in the heart" of Europe and the United States as the terror network becomes emboldened. 

Bashar Assad spoke in an interview set to be aired later today on the government-run Al-Ikhbariya channel, marking Syria's independence day. Excerpts of the interview were broadcast in advance and posted on his office's Facebook page.
22:52  Boston Marathon bombings: 'Suspect identified':   Investigators believe they have identified a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, a source tells CNN.

Officials say they have a clear image of the suspect from a video from a departmental store.    

CNN says new video clearly ID's suspect (incl face) placing package similiar to one they believe was bomb.
22:27  It's time for UN Security Council reform: Tharoor:  Aspiring for a permanent seat at the powerful UN Security Council, India has renewed its call for reforming and expanding the 15-membered highest decision making body of the United Nations, to make it more reflective of the 21st century realities. 

"Now that we have renovated the Chamber, it is time to renovate the institution," Union Minister for Human Resources Development Shashi Tharoor said yesterday during a ceremony to mark the inauguration of the renovated chamber of the Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York.
21:51  Suspicious substance found in letter sent to Obama:  A "suspicious substance" was found in a letter sent to US President Barack Obama, the US Secret Service said today.

"On 4-16-13, a letter addressed to the (US) president containing a suspicious substance was received at the remote White House mail screening facility. This facility routinely identifies letters or parcels that require secondary screening or scientific testing before delivery," a spokesman of the US Secret Service said. 

The Secret Service White House mail screening facility is a remote facility, not located near the White House complex, that all White House mail goes through.

"The Secret Service is working closely with the US Capitol Police and the FBI in this investigation," the Secret Service said. 

The White House has been put under heightened security alert after Monday's bomb blast in Boston that killed threepersons and injured more than 170.
21:13  Rape highest reported crime in Meghalaya:  Rape is the highest reported crime in Meghalaya where matrilineal system exists among the dominant tribes and victims of over 65 per cent of those cases were minors, the assembly was informed today. "The total number of rape cases registered between April 2012 and March 31, 2013 was 179, out of which 118 cases (over 65 per cent) involved victims below the age of 18," Home Minister Roshan Warjri said.

East Khasi Hills district recorded the highest number of rapes with 62 cases, followed by Ri-Bhoi district (32), West Khasi Hills (22), East Jaintia Hills (17), West Jaintia Hills (16), South West Khasi Hills and South Garo Hills (both eight) and West Garo Hills (six).

Among other districts, South West Garo Hills and East Garo Hills recorded three cases each, followed by North Garo Hills with two, the minister said, adding that charge-sheets have been filed in 52 cases so far.
20:50  Indian-American comes to Boston blast victims aid:  Indian-American orthopaedic surgeon Vivek Shah had a narrow escape in the twin blasts at the Boston Marathon but that did not stop him from rushing to the aid of several others wounded in the tragic incident that left three dead and injured over 170 people.

Recalling the horror of the blasts, Shah said he was just 25 yards away from the finish line of the 26.2-mile marathon when the first of the two bombs exploded to his left. 

Hearing the loud bang, Shah said he was not sure "whether it was the fireworks gone bad or something that was supposed to happen," Shah was quoted as saying in a CNN report.

Shah and his running mates continued running toward the finish line and knew something was not right when the second blast occurred.
20:10  Gang rape: SC denies plea to shift trial out:  The Supreme Court today turned down the plea of a December 16 gang rape accused to shift the trial outside Delhi but it agreed to hear his plea for moving him out of Tihar jail for allegedly being tortured there.

"We are issuing notice on the limited prayer of shifting him to another jail," a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir said.

The court passed the order on a plea filed by Mukesh submitting that he is being tortured in the jail and fair trial is not possible in the capital. Mukesh, who has been charged with murder, gang rape and unnatural offences, submitted in his petition that he has been falsely implicated in the case.
19:56  Mitra manhandling: SFI gen secy apologises:  SFI General Secretary Ritabrata Bhattacharjee today apologized for the manhandling of West Bengal Finance minister Amit Mitra in Delhi on April nine, but said that his organisation was not involved in it.

"I have earlier said that if there is footage of Amit Mitra being heckled by me during the protest then I will go to jail myself. But we can't avoid our responsibility for the protest. We condemn the incident and apologize for it," Bhattacharjee said at the condolence meeting for SFI leader Sudipto Gupta. 

Referring to the death of Gupta in police custody on April 2 for which the protest was held when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the finance minister were entering Yojna Bhavan in Delhi on April 9, Bhattacharjee said, "The entire incident of Sudipto Gupto's death was condemned by the entire country."
19:28  Senior LeT commander arrested in Afghanistan:  A senior Lashkar-e-Taiba commander has been captured along with other militants in an operation by US-led security forces in Afghanistan, the latest in a string of arrests of the members of the Pakistan-based terror group in the neighbouring country.

The LeT commander was arrested with a "number of other insurgents" during an operation by Afghan and coalition security forces in Andar district of Ghazni province, the International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.

The insurgents were captured on Monday.

The LeT commander was "alleged to have planned and participated in multiple attacks against Afghan and coalition forces throughout Kunar, Kandahar and Ghazni provinces" of Afghanistan, the statement said.
19:28  India's new permanent representative to UN takes charge:  Ambassador Asoke Kumar Mukerji has taken charge as India's new Permanent Representative to the UN and presented his credentials to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who lauded India's role as a "long trusted partner" of the multilateral system.

Ban welcomed Mukerji's appointment and lauded India's key role at the UN as a long trusted partner of the multilateral system, a statement released by the Indian mission said.

Mukerji reiterated India's strong commitment to the world body and assured the UN Chief of his full support in helping the UN achieve the five 'generational' opportunities the UN Secretary General had set out at the commencement of his second term.
19:17  Obama backs immigration reform bill:  President Barack Obama has endorsed a proposed legislation to overhaul the US immigration system which will allow 11 million undocumented immigrants, including 240,000 Indians, to become American citizens.

Obama requested the Senate to quickly move forward the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill proposed by a bipartisan group of eight Senators, saying the legislation, once passed, will pave the way for the required changes in the immigration rules.

"The bill will provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are already in this country illegally. It will modernise our legal immigration system so that we're able to reunite families and attract highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help create good paying jobs and grow our economy," said the US president.
18:50  Farooq Abdullah at Thatcher's funeral:   Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah attended the ceremonial funeral of Baroness Margaret Thatcher at St. Paul's Cathedral in London on Wednesday on behalf of the Government of India.

Dr. Abdullah described Baroness Thatcher as a transformative figure of global standing and remembered her for notable contribution to the strengthening of  India-UK relations. He conveyed deep condolences to the family and friends of Baroness Thatcher on his own behalf, on behalf of her countless admirers in India as well as the Government of India.
18:48  Poisoned letter sent to US senator, probe launched:  A day after twin bombings rocked Boston, a senior Republican Senator received a letter tested positive for the deadly poison ricin, prompting the FBI to launch a probe.

The envelope addressed to Roger Wicker was tested positive for ricin, a highly poisonous substance, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. Following this, the authorities have increased security for the Mississippi Senator.

An FBI official said tests on the substance was undergoing further analysis at a laboratory. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill said authorities have identified a suspect who may have sent the letter. "The person that is a suspect writes a lot of letters to members," McCaskill was quoted as saying by media reports.

The letter's discovery came a day after the twin Boston bombing that left three people dead and more than 170 injured. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ricin is a poison found in castor beans, which can be manufactured from castor bean waste materials.
18:47  Sena warns of 'Mahabharata' in NDA on PM choice:  After JD(U), BJP's oldest ally Shiv Sena today sought to put pressure on the party seeking a meeting of the NDA to decide on the name of a prime ministerial candidate, days after Nitish Kumar fired his salvos against Narendra Modi.

Comparing NDA constituents to horses of Arjun's chariot, Shiv Sena, which has its own axe to grind against Modi for his warm relations with its rival Raj Thackeray, cautioned that BJP should take the allies into confidence on the prime ministerial choice or else there could be a "Mahabharat" (squabble).

"BJP has the right to name its PM candidate but it cannot do so on its own steam. This (NDA) is Arjuna's chariot and has many horses (allies). "Every horse is important. Or else, there will be a different Mahabharat and the chariot wheel will get stuck," the Shiv Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
18:42  11 convicts of 1993 blast case surrender before TADA Court:   Eleven convicts of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, who were out on bail, today surrendered before the designated TADA court in Mumbai following the dismissal of their appeals by the Supreme Court. Special TADA Judge G A Sanap directed that they be taken to the Central Prison at Arthur Road in central Mumbai. They would be transferred to various Central Prisons in the state.

The surrendered convicts include four retired police constables, a customs official and others who were involved in arranging the landing of RDX, arms and ammunition at Shekhadi coast in Raigad district. The consignment was brought into the city and used in the blasts. Customs official Sadashiv Talwadekar was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment; he has served over six years in jail so far. Talwadekar was accused of taking a bribe and allowing the landing of contraband at Shekhadi, allegedly sent by absconding accused Tiger Memon from Pakistan. 
18:35  SC ticks off CBI for opposing Dutt's plea:  The CBI today faced embarrassment in the Supreme Court which said the agency that opted not to challenge Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt's acquittal under anti- terror law TADA in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case was opposing his plea seeking more time for surrender.

"We are saying it in a lighter vein, you have not challenged his (Dutt's) acquittal under TADA when you filed many appeals in other cases. Who prevented you from filing an appeal. In many appeals filed by the CBI, we enhanced the sentence," a bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said when the agency pleaded that court should not grant any relief to the actor.

Additional Solicitor General Haren Rawal submitted that no extension of time should be given to Dutt on the ground of "commercial interest" to complete his unfinished films. He said that any extension given to Dutt would open a floodgate as similar appeals would be made by other convicts also.

The bench, however, was not satisfied with his contention and said that if similar plea is made by the other convicts then it would decide such petitions on case to case basis.
18:16  Cong: Don't view B'lore blast as political issue:  Congress today distanced itself from party leader Shakeel Ahmed's remarks that the blast near BJP office in Bangalore will help the Opposition party politically and said it does not view the problem of terrorism in terms of political benefit or loss.

"We all know terrorism is a national issue or problem. And not only that to some extent an international problem. We do not view the problem in terms of political benefit or loss," party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.

He said that the problem of terrorism should be a concern for all the citizens and should be faced unitedly. "Whatever I am saying, I am saying on behalf of the party," Dwivedi insisted.

He was responding to Ahmed's remarks made in this regard on Twitter. Ahmed had tweeted,"If the blast near BJP's office in Bangalore is a terror attack, it will certainly help the BJP politically on the eve of election".
17:29  Two AIR officials sacked for sexually harassing RJs:   Taking strong note of allegations of sexual harassment of women presenters in All India Radio, the Prasar Bharati has discontinued services of two employees, suspended another and given a show cause notice to the head of its Delhi Kendra. Prasar Bharati's action came after senior officials had perused material related to the allegations made by the presenters, represented by AIR Broadcasting Professionals Association.
17:28  Alagiri downplays meet with Kanimozhi:  Former Union Minister and DMK leader M K Alagiri today sought to downplay the meeting between him and his sister Kanimozhi, MP, here last week, which came days after showcause notices were issued to some of his loyalists for not attending party functions.

Talking to reporters in Madurai, he said "my sister has met me...that is all. But the media is twisting a meeting between a brother and sister", he said referring to reports that Kanimozhi was on a mission to broker peace.

Kanimozhi met Alagiri, DMK's south zone organising Secretary, at his residence on April 7 when she came here to attend a marriage.

He alleged that the Tamil Nadu government had stopped "all the good schemes" launched by him here and that corruption had increased manifold after the AIADMK came to power.

To another question Alagiri said "I will participate in the party meetings and functions if the high command directed me to do so". Kanimozhi and Alagiri have not shared a very cordial relationship in the past and have often avoided each other.
17:17  NCP leader's son who mowed down girl arrested:   Senior NCP leader Abdul Qadeer Maulana's 17-year-old son has been arrested a day after the SUV car he was driving hit two minor girls and their uncle, killing the younger girl on the spot, police said today. The incident happened in Aurangabad.

NCP leader Jitendra Awhad says nobody is above the law but it was unfair to hold the father responsible for the son's action.

The incident took place on Tuesday morning and the minor victim was identified as Navya Prakash Sonawane, police said. According to police, the minor boy was behind the wheel at the time of incident, while car driver Mohammed Amar Chaus, was seated beside him.

The deceased, Navya and her three-year-old sister Sayali were on their way to a temple along with their uncle, Shirish Sonawane (35) when they were hit by the car near the Hudco TV Centre chowk, senior inspector Pratap Baviskar of Cidco police station said.
17:09  Shocked Bangalore reeling from blast :  Update on the Bangalore blast:

For two friends Rakshita and Leesha, who were returning from tuitions, it was an unforgettable experience. "We heard a very loud sound and the next moment we were on the ground lying injured," one of them said. The two were immediately rushed to the K C General Hospital by an autorickshaw driver. "Both need surgical intervention. One suffered a knee fracture and the other a soft tissue injury," said Dr Dhanya Kumar, Director of the Hospital.

Of the 16 injured, 15 have been admitted to K C General Hospital while one was treated as an outpatient. Eleven of the injured are from the KSRP, Dr Chandra Prabha, Chief Medical Officer of the hospital said.

"Two patients including one who was bleeding from the ear have been referred to other hospitals," Kumar said. For many residents of Malleshwaram, one of the oldest localities of Bangalore, it has been a "terrible experience". "We are still reeling under shock. We cannot imagine that such an incident has taken place in such a peaceful locality," said one of the residents.

A housewife staying very close to the blast site suffered a gash on her forehead. "I was in my kitchen when glass splinters flew from the window and hit me," she said. Another youth whose office is located in the area said, "The sound was deafening. The glass panes of my office were shattered. I saw smoke billowing. The smoke was almost as high as coconut trees outside my office."
17:04  Maya asks partymen to prepare for early poll:  Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati today said the Lok Sabha elections could be held earlier as the country is heading towards "political instability" due to corruption, inflation and unemployment.

The BSP chief today asked the party workers in Lucknow "to make all preparations" required for giving a better result in Uttar Pradesh this time.

"People are unhappy due to corruption, inflation and unemployment under the UPA government and because of this the country is moving towards political instability, therefore elections could be held before its schedule," Mayawati told her partymen in a meeting.
16:58  Margaret Thatcher's funeral service ends at St Paul's:  The funeral of Baroness Thatcher, Conservative Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, has taken place at St Paul's Cathedral in central London. 
16:39  'Pulling nails out of a little girl's flesh is just awful':  Surgeons have spoken of their horror as they were forced to amputate several limbs following many "lower extremity" wounds caused by flying shrapnel from the Boston bombs. Read
16:36  Gujarat on alert following Bangalore blast:  An alert has been sounded across Gujarat in the wake of the blast near BJP office in Bangalore today, a top police officer said. "We have sounded alert to police commissioners and district police heads in the state following the bomb blast in Bangalore," state police chief Amitabh Pathak said.

When asked whether security at state BJP office in Ahmedabad and other offices in districts was beefed up, Pathak said, "in alert situation, police keep a close vigil at all sensitive and important places and installations in the state".

Pathak said additional vigil was being maintained by police at crowded places like railway stations, bus stations, malls and hospitals. Security check-ups are being put in place at entry points to Ahmedabad which was rocked by series of bomb blasts in June 2008.
16:30  Family torn apart by Boston bombing :  Bill Richard expected to get home on Monday night exhausted after a family day out watching the Boston Marathon.Instead he returned to his house in Dorchester, Massachusetts looking like 'the walking dead' as he struggled to come to terms with the loss of his eight-year-old son, Martin, and the horrific injuries suffered by his wife, Denise, and six-year-old daughter, Jane.   Read
16:24  Margaret Thatcher's real soul mate was Indira Gandhi:  They fought wars, thrived in a male-dominated political world, and faced controversy at home. The kinship between Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi explored. Read
16:22  Boston child is cut down by attacker's bombs:  Eight-year-old Martin Richard was a symbol of young enthusiasm. So, why is he dead today? Read
16:19  Boston Marathon bombs have hallmarks of 'lone wolf' devices, expe:  Update on the Boston Marathon bomb blasts: The devices used in the Boston Marathon attack Monday are typical of the "lone wolf:" the solo terrorist who builds a bomb on his own by following a widely available formula. Read
16:13  Timberland: 40 years of the yellow boot:  The Timberland boot is one of fashion's most recognisable fashion classics -- favoured by everyone from working men to fashion designers and pop royalty, so what's the secret of its success? Read
15:41  Margaret Thatcher's coffin enters St Paul's :  Margaret Thatcher's funeral ceremony: The great west doors of St Paul's cathedral are closed and the guests stand. The coffin is borne through the nave as the choir sings the sentences, set to music by the English composer William Croft.
15:40  NCP leader's minor son held as his car mows down 2-yr-old girl:   Senior NCP leader Abdul Qadeer Maulana's 17-year-old son was detained after the SUV car he was driving hit two minor girls and their uncle, killing the younger girl on the spot, police said today.

The incident took place on Tuesday morning and the minor victim was identified as Navya Prakash Sonawane, police said. According to police, the minor boy was behind the wheel at the time of incident, while car driver Mohammed Amar Chaus, was seated beside him.

The deceased, Navya and her three-year-old sister Sayali were on their way to a temple along with their uncle, Shirish Sonawane (35) when they were hit by the car near the Hudco TV Centre chowk, senior inspector Pratap Baviskar of Cidco police station said.

After the accident, an irate mob roughed up the suspects and tried to burn the car, but the police intervened and brought the situation under control. Sonawane and his niece were admitted to a private hospital.
15:32  Welcome to Indias own Disneyland:  India's first big amusement park will open its door to visitors Thursday.  Called Adlabs Imagica, the park has a uniquely Indian flavor to it: its rides are mostly inspired by Indian folk tales and culture.It's as close as India gets to a Disneyland equivalent, and bills itself as such. Read
15:23  Queen, Prince Philip arrive at St Paul's:  Update on Margaret Thatcher's funeral ceremony: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have arrived at St Paul's to the sound of the national athem and cheers from the crowd, who are singing along. They are greeted by the Lord Mayor of London, who carries a mourning sword, and escorted into the cathedral to meet the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of London.
15:08  We are all Thatcherites now: David Cameron:  "We are all Thatcherites now", David Cameron said on Radio 4's Today Programme this morning, adding: "One of the things about her legacy is some of those big arguments we had everyone now accepts."The Prime Minister also said it is "absolutely fitting and right" to give Lady Thatcher a ceremonial funeral.Rather than being divisive, he said she had created less strife by bringing down the unions. -- The Telegraph. 
15:04  'I want to nod, show respect to Maggie':  Stuart MacKenzie, 52, from London, was a corporal in the Parachute Regiment during the Falklands conflict. He describes the late former PM as a "great war-time leader" who "had more balls than half of the people in her cabinet"."I wanted to nod my head and show respect, he says."There's about 100 other paratroopers here and we will meet up afterwards and raise a glass to Maggie." -- BBC
15:02  The WWI gun carriage which will carry the Margaret Thatcher's coffin to St Paul's Cathedral has never been used in a funeral procession before, and will be named after Baroness Thatcher after today, says the BBC.
15:01  Some 2,300 people are expected to attend the funeral. Around 4,000 police officers are on duty in central London. Also watch: Another great Briton and UK's wartime PM, Winston Churchill's funeral. 
14:57  Margaret Thatcher's funeral ceremony begins:  The funeral ceremony of former UK PM Baroness Margaret Thatcher due to begin shortly. The BBC writes that before heading into St Paul's to take his seat, and read a lesson during the service, Prime Minister David Cameron says he "learned a huge amount from watching" Baroness Thatcher at work.

He says he saw first hand "the kindness she showed to people" when he began work for the Conservative Party as a junior researcher in 1998. Today, he feels "a great pride in all that she achieved, tinged with sadness".
14:35  First statement by home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde after the Bangalore bomb blast. Shinde said almost nothing except that a high-level committee has been put in place to conduct the probe. 
14:22  BJP will benefit from B'lore blast: Cong leader:   Bangalore blast update: Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad put his reaction on micro-blogging site Twitter, saying the blast would benefit the ruling BJP in the forthcoming Karnataka Assembly polls.

"If the blast near BJP's office in Banglore is a terror attack, it will certainly help the BJP politically on the eve of election," Ahmad tweeted.

Reacting to Ahmad's tweet, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain asked if the Congress had benefited from the blasts across the country. He advised the Congress to refrain from making such remarks, especially those who were the party's spokespersons. -- India Today. 
14:12  Modi never asked to be made PM candidate: Rajnath:'s Sheela Bhatt reports: Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh on Wednesday claimed that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had never sought to be projected as the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance's prime ministerial candidate.

Singh made the remark at a press conference organised by the Indian Women's Press Corps, where he faced a volley of questions about Modi and NDA ally Janata Dal-United's opposition to the Gujarat CM's nomination as the PM candidate.

Addressing the differences with JD-U over the issue, Singh categorically stated that the NDA should not be allowed to split. He added that he had not instructed the BJP's Bihar unit to walk out of the ruling coalition with the JD-U.

Speaking on the forthcoming Karnataka election, Singh claimed that the BJP's fortunes in the state would not affect national politics. He pointed out precedents of political parties winning state elections but losing out in the Parliamentary polls.

Pic: Rajnath Singh give his feet an airing at the meet
14:10  More bad news for India:  The Indian economy is stuck in the woods. The International Monetary Fund Tuesday lowered its forecast on India's economic growth to 5.7% for 2013, down from its January estimate of 5.9%. It also revised its 2014 growth forecast to 6.2% to 6.3%. Read
14:06  What foreign investors want to hear from India:  This week, India's finance minister, P.Chidambaram is headed to stump for foreign direct investment in the United State and Canada. This comes after a recent similar run through Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Britain. His messages are familiar: the India growth story, reducing fiscal deficits and an admission that 5 percent growth is uninteresting. Read
13:52  Will this man help stop bank thugs?:  When a banker comes to your home, exploits your trust and dupes you, he is called a bankster. Why doesn't such systematic criminal exploitation of hapless depositors move the government and the banking regulator? This 79-year old has resorted to Gandhigiri to get justice. Read
13:49  Bihar's girl gangster robs Domino's:  In other news: Anshu Kumari, a BA Part III student of Patna College of Commerce, led her two friends to a daring midnight heist at a Domino's Pizza outlet on Monday. They succeeded in looting Rs. 2.70 lakh. But, luck soon ran out on them as some employees at the fast food joint recognised them as former colleagues despite the hoods. Read
13:46  Former UK PM Margaret Thatcher will be laid to rest this afternoon. Read: Margaret Thatcher: The Entrepreneurs' Prime Minister.

Also read: Margaret Thatcher and the Queen: The two most powerful women in the world

13:37  Bangalore blast: Bomb placed on stolen motorbike :  Update on the Bangalore blast:

Karnataka home minister says it was election time and there was a huge crowd at the BJP office.

TV reports says that the bomb was placed on a stolen Yamaha bike.

Hospital sources say all the 16 injured are out of danger, including the two who were said to be critically injured.

Tjhe Karnataka DG says none of the vehicles were CNG and therefore the earlier possibility that it was a LPG kit blast has been firmly ruled out.

The BJP says they were the targets of the terror attack.
13:21  Bangalore blast: Timer device, IED may have been used:'s Vicky Nanjappa reports that preliminary investigations into the Bangalore blasts points towards the use of a timer device. The police have not ruled out the use of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which could have been used in the bomb blast.

Although a lot of the investigation is based on theory at the moment, the police say that taking into consideration the sheer intensity of the blast, it becomes evident that it was assembled by a professional and aimed at causing a huge impact.

The police have taken the hard disk from the CCTV atop of the BJP office, that is believed to be the target. The BJP office is barely 100 metres from the blast site. Traffic cameras as well which are being examined the police also add.
13:02  In other news: How the support of the neo-middle class has been crucial to Narendra Modi's rise. Read
12:54  Bangalore blast: Injured have sustained fractures:   Hospital sources reveal that of the 15 injured, none of them have any head injuries. There are no deaths and most of the injured have sustained fractures. DGP Pachau says nobody is critically injured.  The police have confirmed that it was a low-intensity blast, but there are at least six vehicles totally gutted. CNN IBN says an improvised explosive device was used in the blast.  
12:36  BJP spokesperson: Severe intensity of blast shook building:   LR Pachau, DGP Karnataka says 13 people have been injured in the bomb blast, but confirms it was a blast. Eight cops and five civilians have been injured. The precise nature of the explosives used in the blast is being probed.

There were a large number of people at the party office filing their nominations when the blast took place. Today is the last date of filing nominations. Doctors treating the injured (figures between 13 and 16) says two have fractured their legs. An NIA team is scanning the site. The Karnataka BJP spokesperson says the intensity of the blast was so strong that the entire building shook. 

MoS Home RPN Singh says the home ministry is ready to help the Karnataka police, if needed. He also appealed to the people to keep calm and not spread rumours. Singh says he is "not ruling out anything right now."

The police have been saying that the bomb was placed on a motorbike. The large number of policemen injured in the blast is because there was a police van with cops on duty outside the BJP office when the blast took place. Eight cops have been injured.  
12:18  'Karnataka was warned of bomb blast 4 days ago':   Sniffer dogs and a bomb disposal squad are at the site in Malleshwaram, just 100 m away from the BJP's office in Bangalore.'s Vicky Nanjappa
reports gives us these startling updates. The Karnataka State Intelligence unit had issued an alert four days ago telling the police to step up security in all parts of Karnataka.

The alert made specific mention of Bangalore and said that due to the ongoing political process in the state, disruptive elements would try and cause havoc.

Although the alert was general in nature and not Grade A intelligence, police sources said that they had done their best to beef-up security. Following the terror alert, presence of policemen outside all party offices in Bangalore have been upped.

The police believe there are a lot of disgruntled elements who have not got tickets to contest the upcoming state elections on May 5 and they are capable of causing trouble.

The police however say that it is too early to point a finger at anyone. It could be the handiwork of a small terror group or could well be a political issue. Investigations are on.

Right now, a forensics team is at the site.
12:18  Police: Low intensity bomb blast in Bangalore:   The number of injured in the explosion outside the BJP office in Bangalore has gone up to 13, of which 8 are policemen and two teen girls. Two people are seriously injured.

More importantly, the explosion which was believed to be a CNG blast in a car, now may be a bomb blast.'s Vicky Nanjappa reports that police say the explosion may have occured due to a bomb blast. The explosives may have been planted on a motorcycle. The blast occurred at around 10.40 am, 100 m away from the BJP office. 
12:05  15 injured in B'lore bomb blast outside BJP office:  Still no definite conclusions on the Bangalore blast, but police now believe that it was in fact a bomb blast.'s Vicky Nanjappa says that two persons on a motorbike hurled the bomb in between cars outside the BJP office at Malleshwaram in Bangalore this morning.

Police sources say that it was in fact a bomb blast and not an LPG cylinder blast. The number of injured have gone up to 15 of which seven are KSRP personnel and eight are civilians. Two are said to be in a serious condition.

The police are having a tough time to find evidence of the used in the blast. Immediately after the explosion there was a fire and the water used to douse the fire may have washed away the evidence.
11:48  '93 convict Zaibunisa kin: Pays to be a celebrity:  The daughter of Zaibunnisa Anwar Kazi, one of three 1993 Mumbai blasts convicts' whose petitions for extension of time to surrender was dismissed by the Supreme Court, said that it pays to be a celebrity in this country.

Zaibunnisa Anwar Kazi (70), Issaq Mohd Hajwane (76) and Shariff Abdul Gafoor Parker (88) alias Dadabhai had moved the apex court seeking more time to surrender in order to undergo sentences awarded to them.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir rejected their petitions, saying extension of time to surrender cannot be given on the ground that clemency plea is pending before the President.

11:18  Outrage at Sanjay Dutt's 4-week reprieve:  Gaurav C Sawant: They say how so ever high you may be, the law is above you. Clearly not when you compare mercy for Zaibunisa Qazi with mercy for Sanjay Dutt.

Abhijit Majumder: ‏70-year-old Zaibunissa Kazi doesn't qualify for humanitarian grounds. Rich, influential actor Sanjay Dutt does. Justice?

Rupa Subramanya‏: The biggest idiots in India are people who spend their money and patronize  Sanjay Dutt's "entertaining" films when he shld be behind bars.

Narayanan ‏: Producers of Sanjay Dutt films know that he was convicted by a Lower Court and his appeal was pending. still invested on him.

Gunjan Chakrabarty: If Sanjay Dutt's extension was granted on humanitarian grounds then pleas of others that were turned down aren't human enough??

Apoorv sharma: REPRIEVE for SANJAY DUTT-Its time to set up ClPC(Celebrity Procedure Code) & CPC(Celebrity Penal code) for celebrities in INDIA !

Sanjiv Kumar P:  ‏But Zaibunisa is older than Sanjay Dutt, economicaly weak too! RT @timesofindia: Relief to Sanjay Dutt is purely on humanitarian grounds: SC
11:09  Gas cylinder explosion outside BJP Bangalore office:'s Vicky Nanjappa reporting from Bangalore says an explosion has occurred outside the BJP office in Mallesaram, Bangalore, sending panic waves across the city. Several cars have been gutted in the blast. Six people have been injured. The police say the explosion is due to a gas cylinder blast. The blast occurred around 10.40 pm.  
11:04  Reactions to Sanjay Dutt's extension:   The Supreme Court therefore rejected the CBI's contention that Dutt cannot be given an extension. The SC said that the extension had been granted on purely humanitarian grounds. The CBI had argued that giving an extension meant modifying the verdict.

Reactions to the SC verdict.

Gaurav C Sawant: Supreme court showed mercy to Sanjay Dutt but no mercy to a 70 yr old cancer patient Zaibunisa Qazi. Milk of human kindness only for Dutt?

Shammy Baweja: So Sanjay Dutt can shoot films for a month but Zaibunissa, unknown to most must go back to jail immediately. Justice ? Say that again
10:56  SC gives Sanjay Dutt four weeks to surrender :  Supreme Court Harish Salve who is representing Sanjay Dutt had said the actor be granted relief purely on humanitarian grounds. The judge said four weeks extension should be given so that the actor can complete his films.

Harish The apex court had on March 21 granted Dutt, who has already been in jail for 18 months, to surrender within four weeks to undergo the remaining prison term.

The apex court had on March 21 upheld his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case which it said was organised by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and others with the involvement of Pakistan's ISI.

However, the apex court had reduced to five years the six year jail term awarded to him by a designated TADA court in 2006, ruling out his release on probation because the "nature" of his offence was "serious".

Dutt, the son of famous Bollywood couple Sunil Dutt and Nargis, was convicted by the TADA court for illegal possession a 9 mm Pistol and a AK-56 rifle which was part of the consignment of weapons and explosives brought to India for the coordinated serial blasts that killed 257 people and injured over 700.
10:50  SC gives Sanjay Dutt four weeks to surrender :  The Supreme Court has given Sanjay Dutt four more weeks to surrender. Dutt, 53, who was directed to surrender by April 18, urged the apex court to allow him to finish shooting his films, which will take at least 196 days. He submitted that he should be allowed to surrender after the completion of his films. Sanjay had appealed to the court to grant him six months more to surrender saying films worth Rs 300 crore were riding on him.
10:48  The limits of intelligence:  A day after the Boston Marathon blasts, a time to collect our thoughts. "Nothing broken but my heart,' was the subject line on an e-mail from one of the Boston Marathon runners to his friends Monday night after the bombs had detonated near the finish line. And every American shared some of that trauma as a classic sporting ritual was turned into a scene of mayhem. Read
10:43  Margaret Thatcher: Security tight for funeral:  A security operation involving more than 4,000 police officers is getting under way for the funeral of former UK Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher.

Lady Thatcher's coffin will travel from Westminster and be taken in procession through central London for the funeral at St Paul's Cathedral at 11:00 BST.

Some 2,300 people, representing 170 countries, are expected to attend. The Queen will be among them.Scotland Yard said it was expecting some protests along the funeral route. Full story here
10:27  Supreme Court to hear Sanjay Dutt's plea TODAY:  Ahead of us today, is the Supreme Court verdict on Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt's plea seeking more time to surrender to a jail term of three-and-a-half  years.

Dutt, 53, who was directed to surrender by April 18, urged the apex court to allow him to finish shooting his films, which will take at least 196 days. He submitted that he should be allowed to surrender after the completion of his films.

Dutt, last month said he will surrender before the authorities as per the Supreme Court's direction, and added that he would not be seeking a pardon.

"I will surrender within the time frame set by the Supreme Court. I have the highest respect for the SC and will abide by the law," said an emotional Dutt while briefing the media.

"I have a lot of work to finish. Just want to spend this time with my family and finish my work," he said. "I want to thank everyone who supported me. I love my country. I love India," he added. 

The apex court, which had upheld the death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, a key conspirator with Dawood Ibrahim in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, ordered that Dutt return to jail to serve three-and-a-half years sentence for possessing illegal arms.

Dutt, who is out on bail, will also have to surrender within four weeks to serve a jail term of 42 months as the apex court reduced to five years the six year jail term awarded to him by a designated TADA court in 2007 and he had already spent 18 months behind the bar.

A total of 257 persons were killed and 713 others injured when a series 13 coordinated explosions shattered the metropolis on March 12, 1993. The blasts occurred at 12 places, including Bombay Stock Exchange building, Air-India Building at Nariman Point, at Worli opposite Century Bazaar, Hotels Sea Rock and Juhu Centaur.
10:21  Guj to seek death rap for Maya Kodnani, Bajrangi:  Gujarat Government has decided to seek the death penalty for Maya Kodnani, a former minister in the Narendra Modi government, Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and eight others in connection with the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case.

The state government will soon file an appeal in the High Court against the Special Court's judgement in the case.

"The legal department has formed a panel of three advocates who have been asked to prepare an appeal to be filed in the High Court and seek death sentence for 10 convicts in the case, including Kodnani and Bajrangi, who were awarded life sentence by the trial court," Assistant Public Prosecutor Gaurang Vyas said.

The government will be filing the appeal after a gap of seven months, whereas stipulated time for challenging a lower court's order is three months. The state will have to seek approval from the High Court to file the appeal due to lapse of time.
10:01  Sensex up 80 points in early trade on smart corporate earnings:  

The BSE benchmark Sensex today rose by 80 points in early trade, extending an upward streak for the third straight session, after Reliance Industries and HCL Technologies posted encouraging fourth quarter earnings.         


Besides, a firming trend in the global markets also buoyed the trading sentiment here. The 30-share index, which had gained over 502 points in the previous two sessions, rose by 80.09 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 18,825.02, with stocks of IT, technology, realty and consumer sectors leading the rise in early trade.          Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 30.45 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 5,719.40.         


Buying activity triggered after Reliance Industries yesterday posted a 32 per cent jump in its fourth quarter net profit, the biggest rise in almost three years, brokers said.         


A better trend in the Asian region, following overnight gains on US markets, following on the back of positive corporate earnings, further generated buying, they said.         


Shares of RIL rose 0.68 per cent to Rs 810, after the company yesterday reported a net profit of Rs 5,589 crore in January-March as against Rs 4,236 crore in the same period a year ago.   


In the IT segment, TCS surged one per cent to Rs 1500, while HCL Technologies, which posted an over 72 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 1,039.9 crore for the January-Marchquarter today, was trading higher by up 4.30 per cent at Rs 795.50.

09:59  Music composer T K Ramamurthy passes away:  

Noted music composer of yesteryear, T K Ramamurthy, 91, died in Chennai today following brief illness. The veteran composer, also a violinist, breathed his last this morning at a hospital, sources close to his family said.         


The M S Viswanathan-Ramamurthy duo had composed music for a number of films including 'Karnan', the story of the warrior king which starred a galaxy of actors including South Indian thespians Sivaji Ganesan and N T Ramarao.          Later, Ramamurthy parted ways with Viswanathan in the mid-60s and composed music for a few films.         


Ramamurthy's recent significant public appearance came at the anniversary function of Jaya TV, where he was honoured by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Image: T K Ramamurthy

09:47  HCL Tech Net up 72.59 pc in Jan-Mar:  

Software services major HCL Technologies today reported a 72.59 per cent jump in consolidated net profit at Rs 1,039.9 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, driven by growth in infrastructure and enterprise application services.          The company's net profit stood at Rs 602.5 crore in the January-March quarter of 2012, HCL Technologies said in a statement.         


It follows July-June fiscal year. HCL Tech's revenues stood at Rs 6,424.6 crore during the reported quarter, up 23.2 per cent from Rs 5,215.6 crore in the same quarter last year.        

 "We have delivered yet another quarter of strong performance. Our net margins have improved for six straight quarters and are up by 51.5 per cent along with a robust 14.6 per cent US dollar constant currency growth for the 12 month period ended March 31, 2013," HCL Technologies President and CEO Anant Gupta said.

09:14  Changes in H1B visas to hit Indian IT firms:  

PTI: The proposed changes in the issuing of H-1B visas, the highly sought after US work permits, will badly affect the Indian IT firms which depend heavily on these work visas. The changes under the Comprehensive Immigration Reform put a curb on use of H-1B visa for those companies which have a higher ratio of work force under this category.         


Most of the Indian companies will fall under this classification. The companies will also have to shell out more fee to get a H-1B visa, if the draft legislation is cleared by the Congress and is signed into law by the US President.         


The US, according to the 17-page outline of the 'Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernisation Act of 2013', will crack down on abusers of the H-1B system by requiring the dependent employers to pay significantly higher wages and fees than normal users of the programme.         


If the employer has 50 or more employees, and more than 30 per cent but less than 50 per cent are H-1B or L-1 employees (who do not have a green card petition pending), the employer will need to pay a $5,000 fee per additional worker in either of these two statuses, the outline of the bill said.         


In case the employer has 50 or more employees and more than 50 per cent of these workers are H-1B or L-1 employees who do not have a green card petition pending, then the companies will have to pay a $10,000 fee per additional worker in either of these two statuses. As such, large Indian IT companies like TCS, Wipro and Infosys will have to pay $10,000 for each additional H-1B employee they would be hiring.  

09:02  FBI will try to rebuild Boston bombs:  

On their own, they're simple household items. Pressure cookers. Nails. Nylon bags. But combine them with explosives, and you can get the kind of bombs that investigators now suspect were used to turn the finish line of the Boston Marathon into a bloody nightmare.


Scraps of them found at the scene of the twin bombings are being sent to the FBI's national laboratory, where technicians will try to reconstruct the devices, the federal agent leading the investigation said Tuesday. Meanwhile, investigators combed through a digital mountain of photos and video clips and asked the public for help finding who planted them at two points on Boylston Street.


"Someone knows who did this," said Rick DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston office. "Cooperation from the community will play a crucial role in this investigation."


Read the full report on CNN

08:30  US ready to offer aid to quake-hit Iran, Pak:  

PTI: Condoling the earthquake victims in Iran and Pakistan, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States stands ready to offer assistance in this difficult time.        


"The United States sends our deepest condolences for those lost in the earthquake in southeastern Iran and western Pakistan today," Kerry said in a statement.         "Our thoughts are with the families of those who were killed, those who were injured, and with those communities that have suffered damage to homes and property," he said.        


"We stand ready to offer assistance in this difficult time," Kerry said.

04:05  ISI has links with Haqqani network: US General:  A top American commander today said that the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network have sanctuaries inside Pakistan and there are intelligence reports about their link with the spy agency ISI. 

"There have been intelligence reports that link the ISI particularly to the Haqqani network," Joseph Dunford, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told members of Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan. 

Responding to a question from Senator Donnelly, Dunford said he was not clear over what control the Pakistan Army is over the ISI.
04:04  'Injured Saudi man not a suspect in Boston attacks':  Law enforcement sources said the Saudi Arabian man who was initially questioned by investigators is not being considered a suspect at this time. It appears that he was a spectator who was injured in the attack, reports CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton.

Investigators are tracking down leads conducting an investigation on a multi-pronged basis, including Boston police, FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, trying to determine who is responsible for the attack.

Read more
02:57  Ya'alon: Israel may have to defend itself from nuclear Iran:  Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Tuesday that "The world must lead the battle against Iran, but Israel must take into account the possibility that it may be forced to defend itself, by itself." 

Speaking on the Israeli Independence Day, Ya'alon said that Iran's nuclear power posed "The most significant threat '" not only to the State of Israel, but also to the Middle East and developed countries. Tehran has been developing for the past few years a military nuclear program the repercussions of which might be tragic.

Read more
02:55  Commander says US troops should remain in Afghanistan:  The top coalition commander in Afghanistan said U.S. troops should remain in Afghanistan after 2014 when the major combat mission ends, but he said he has not made a recommendation on the size of that force.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said he would take into account a number of variables, including how Afghan forces perform this summer, before making a recommendation on size.

Read more
02:10  Nigeria charges 3 journalists over presidency story:  Nigeria today charged three journalists and the parent company of their newspaper over a story claiming the president had ordered a sabotage campaign of an opposition coalition. 

President Goodluck Jonathan's office has dismissed the story, and an alleged presidential document detailing the sabotage, as false. 

According to the report in the independent Leadership newspaper on April 3, Jonathan instructed his allies to frustrate efforts by the opposition to unite ahead of presidential polls in 2015.
01:22  Florida imam seeks new terror trial:  A Muslim cleric convicted of terrorism support charges for sending thousands of dollars to the Pakistani Taliban is seeking a new trial, according to documents filed in federal court. 

The attorney for 77-year-old Hafiz Khan said in the motion filed yesterday that the informant provided previously undisclosed information in the March 8 interview with the AP. 

Informant David Mahmood Siddiqui gave the interview describing his work for the FBI a few days after a jury convicted Khan of four terrorism support-related charges.
01:21  Restaurant manager identified as bombing victim:  A 29-year-old restaurant manager has been identified as one of three people killed in the bombing at the Boston Marathon. 

Her father says Krystle Campbell, of Medford, Massachusetts, had gone with her best friend to take a picture of the friend's boyfriend crossing the finish line yesterday afternoon.
01:05  Marathon explosives made from pressure cookers:  The explosives that killed three and wounded more than 170 at the Boston Marathon were made of pressure cookers packed with metal and ball bearings, a person briefed on the investigation said today. 

President Barack Obama said it was unclear whether the bombings were carried out by an international organization, domestic group or a "malevolent individual." Obama, speaking to reporters at the White House, said authorities still don't know who is responsible and officials said no one had claimed responsibility. 

He called the bombing "a heinous and cowardly act" used to target innocent civilians.
00:56  American Airlines cancels flights after outage:  American Airlines said Tuesday that it had grounded all of its flights after a nationwide problem with its computer reservation systems.

The airline said it had imposed a ground delay on planes scheduled to take off until 5 p.m. Eastern time as it works to resolve the issue.
00:25  At least 34 dead in Pak quake:  At least thirty-four people were killed and about 150 more injured when hundreds of buildings collapsed in Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan today during a massive earthquake that was felt across the region. 

Most of the deaths were recorded in remote Panjgur and Kharan districts of Balochistan. Officials confirmed the death of at least 34 people in the quake-hit area, near the border with Iran. Several children and women were among the dead. 

The remote Mashkel area and Panjgur district were hit hardest by the high-intensity earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale. Reports said some 1,000 mud houses were destroyed or damaged in Mashkel.
00:24  Iran's president visits uranium-rich Niger:  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the uranium-rich West African nation of Niger today, although officials discounted that the mineral was the reason for his visit. Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou denied international speculation that Iran had come in search of uranium for its enrichment program, which Western powers suspect might aim to produce nuclear weapons. 

"We have not brought up the question of Nigerien uranium. Iran itself being a producer of minerals," Issoufou said. Niger's Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamed Bazoum added that Niger obeys international regulations on selling uranium, and it would not be legal to provide it to Iran.
00:23  Top headlines in the past 24 hours:  
Will find the Boston perpetrators, hold them accountable: Obama

Boston blasts: 'Horrific, inexcusable, cowardly'

Twin blasts at Boston Marathon; 3 dead, over 140 hurt

Inside Nitish Kumar's Janata Darbar

Dilli Gupshup: Has Modi underestimated Dr Singh?

Boston blasts: 'It felt like a huge cannon'

7.8 earthquake kills 40 in Iran; tremors in North India

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