21:18 3 suspects detained over Boston bombings:
Three additional suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing have been taken into custody, Boston police said today.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev previously were accused of carrying out the attack.
Tamerlan died after a shootout with police, and Dzhokhar is in custody.
The April 15 attack killed three people and wounded dozens more.
21:09 BJP leader Eknath Khadse's son commits suicide:
Nikhil Khadse, the son of Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and BJP leader Eknath Khadse, committed suicide at his residence at Muktai Nagar in the district today, police said.
"Nikhil shot himself in the head using his personal firearm. He was rushed to a hospital here where he was declared dead," Superintendent of Police, Jalgaon, rural S Jaikumar told PTI.
He was 37 and is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
21:07 Chit fund scam: WB CM holds meet with colleagues:
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today held a meeting with her colleagues and senior officials on the issue of the Saradha Group fiasco.
On Thursday, the state government will file an affidavit before the Calcutta high court on steps taken against the Saradha Group.
21:06 15 JPC members reject 2G report:
Fifteen members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G scam, who had met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to express no-trust in panel chief P C Chacko, have stated in writing their rejection of the report.
21:05 Four incidents of rape reported in Andhra Pradesh:
Four rape incidents, including that of a minor girl and a mentally retarded girl, have been reported in the past five days in Andhra Pradesh, the police said today.
Three rape incidents were reported in different parts of the state capital since Friday, while another incident occurred in Karimnagar district, the police said.
21:04 BJP to hold protests against scams in UPA:
After cornering the government in Parliament on corruption during the budget session, the BJP will now take to the streets on May 4 and May 5 by holding country-wide programmes and demonstrations to "expose" the scams and graft in the UPA dispensation.
These protests will be organised to unmask the "misuse of constitutional institutions to cover up scams, corruption and sins of the Congress," BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters.
21:03 Sarabjit's family to meet home minister:
The family of Sarabjit Singh, who is lying in coma in a Lahore hospital after an attack in jail, will meet Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Thursday.
Official sources said Shinde has given time to the family, including Sarbjit's sister Dalbir, to hear their grievances.
19:53 Law minister ignored by Cabinet colleagues:
A correspondent reports from Delhi:
Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, who is in the eye of a storm over allegations of vetting the CBI's draft probe report on the coal-gate scam, attended the Union Cabinet meeting.
Even though his colleagues reportedly studied his body language discreetly, most of them chose to ignore the beleaguered minister. Kumar reportedly did not utter a single word during the meeting.
Meanwhile, officials in the law ministry are seizing this opportunity to present their versions to Union ministers about the attitude and behaviour of Ashwani Kumar, according to highly-placed ministerial sources.
19:37 Mamata to hit the streets over chit fund scam :
Seeking to prevent the opposition from cashing in on the Saradha chit fund scam, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will hit the streets on Thursday to shift the blame to her predecessors and project the action taken by her government.
"The chit funds are a legacy of Bengal from the 1970s and 1980s. For all these years, CPI-M and Congress turned the other way. Now, they cannot pretend to be angels," said Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien.
19:35 CPI seeks resignation of Ashwani Kumar:
CPI today asked the government to "apologise" to the Supreme Court after its indictment over the CBI's status report on the coal scam and demanded immediate removal of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar.
It also sought urgent steps to free the CBI from being a "political tool in the hands of a corrupt ruling party".
In a statement, party General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said the government "should apologise to the Supreme Court along with resignation or sacking of the law minister and take immediate steps to make CBI an independent autonomous body, without political or bureaucratic control."
19:33 Coal-gate: Coal ministry hands over 730 files to CBI :
The coal ministry has handed over nearly 730 files to CBI for probe in the coal-gate case and is prepared to give more.
"We have handed over about 730 files and folders and application forms to the Central Bureau of Investigation. We have another 10 files and documents with us which we have asked the CBI to collect," a coal ministry official said.
18:47 DMK to hold meetings to press for Sethu project:
Slamming the Jayalalithaa government for opposing the Sethusamudram project, DMK today announced state-wide public meetings on May 15 to press the Centre for speedily completing the project.
"Not realising that this project, once implemented, would help the state to grow economically and to further prosper, the AIADMK regime by opposing it has become an anti-people government," DMK said in a statement.
It said the meetings were being organised to press the Centre to complete the project as 50 per cent of the work on it has already been completed.
18:45 'Iran strike only viable when sword is on your throat':
Israel will not act militarily against Iran "unless the sword is literally on its throat", a former Israeli army chief has said.
"I think the military option is the last resort," former Israel defence forces chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi said, adding all other options must be exhausted to stop Iran from going nuclear.
"Unless the sword is literally on your throat, you don't use it," Ashkenazi told CNN.
18:44 PMK condemns arrest of P Ramadoss:
PMK today condemned the arrest of its founder leader P Ramadoss, demanding that police should book the "true culprits" behind the recent Marakkanam violence, for which the party had come under flak.
The party also insisted on a judicial inquiry into the April 25 violence leading to police firing in the air at Marakkanam.
17:31 PM forced to cancel meeting of CCEA: A correspondent reports from Delhi:
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday accepted the ratio suggested by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on the PM's sadak yojana
The Union Cabinet, which met at 11.30 am, deliberated on the 12 items on the agenda till 1.20 pm.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was forced to cancel the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which was scheduled after the Cabinet meet.
Interestingly, the CCEA also had nine major items that needed discussions.
17:30 Dr Singh's Cabinet may make history soon: A correspondent reports from Delhi:
In an analysis of 31 Union ministers done during the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, it was pointed out that 18 of the 28 Congress ministers were from Lok Sabha.
If Parliamentary polls are held in November, it is predicted that only six will get elected.
And if the polls are held in April 2014, it is believed that Dr Singh's Council of Ministers will make history as all of them will lose their elections.
17:29 Did PMO try to save a coal firm named in CBI report?: A correspondent reports from Delhi:
Buzz in the corridors of power is that the Prime Minister's Office was keen to save a coal company owned by a Congress MP in the coal-gate scam.
Is it a fact that the name of the firm was removed from the status report filed in Supreme Court in early March 2013.
On why the PMO was keen to save the Congress MP, a Union minister said, "Wait and watch the high drama'.
17:14 Suspected Hizbul militant Liyaqat Shah sent to joint custody:
Suspected Hizbul militant Liyaqat Shah was today remanded in judicial custody till May 13 by a Delhi court after the National Investigation Agency said that he was not required for further custodial interrogation.
Shah was arrested by the special cell of Delhi Police on March 20 in connection with a case registered against him for allegedly conspiring to carry out terror attacks in the national capital.
During an in-chamber hearing, Shah was produced before District Judge I S Mehta after the expiry of five-day NIA custody and the agency said the accused should be remanded to judicial custody as he was not required for further interrogation, court sources said.
16:52 What about security for common man: SC asks govt:
The Supreme Court on Wednesday rapped the Union government over the lack of security for the common man.
"Individuals are given security but what about security of the common man," the SC asked the Centre, referring to the security provided to industrialist Mukesh Ambani.
"A five-year-old would not have been raped if there was proper security in the capital," observed the apex court.
16:50 11 Sri Lankan fishermen arrested in Andhra :
Eleven Sri Lankan fishermen were today arrested when they illegally entered the waters near Kakinada sea port in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari district.
"The eleven Sri Lankan fishermen came in two boats with some equipment to venture into the sea. They entered illegally into the waters," the Kakinada marine police said.
16:49 Release Sarabjit, save his life: India appeals to Pak:
India on Wednesday requested Pakistan to immediately release Sarabjit Singh on humanitarian and sympathetic grounds.
India also proposed that Sarabjit be sent to a third country for proper medical treatment.
This is not the time for invoking "legal and bureaucratic reasons" for not taking the right steps to save a human life, the ministry of external affairs told Pakistan on Sarabjit.
16:23 Chidambaram silenced at Union Cabinet meeting: A correspondent reports from Delhi:
Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V Narayananswamy and Finance Minister P Chidmabaram got into an argument on the subject of the Prevention of Bribery Act.
Narayanasamy has reasons to take on Chidambaram as both have their eyes on the Puducherry parliamentary constituency.
Chidambaram is known for his knack of expressing his views on each item on the agenda of the Union Cabinet.
But the finance minister was silenced when he argued against the exclusion of retired IAS and IPS officials from the Act.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had a difficult time in trying to keep things calm when Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid took Narayanasamy's side.
Tiwari pointed that as a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the 2G scam, he had a difficult time arguing against former secretaries to the government of India.
16:17 'Why are so many ministers restless': A correspondent reports from Delhi:
Reports about conversations that follow a meeting of the Union Cabinet never fail to amuse.
When one Union minister asked his colleague, "Why are so many ministers restless," the latter quipped, "Because many of us fear losing even our deposits in the next election'.
16:15 Union Cabinet clears three bills: A correspondent reports from Delhi:
On Thursday, the Union Cabinet cleared three bills for introduction in Parliament.
A senior Union minster quipped, "The Cabinet clears bills dhada dhun (quickly) but gets unlucky when it reaches Parliament".
No Union minister has introduced a bill in Parliament in the budget session due to the logjam over coal-gate scam.
15:50 Select cases for prosecution carefully: FM to ED:
Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the Enforcement Directorate should be extremely careful while choosing cases for prosecution under the money laundering law and focus its energies on important cases.
"A word of caution is necessary. We must be extremely selective in deciding which cases to prosecute under the money laundering law. Otherwise, we will be overwhelmed with cases that we would be required to prosecute," he said while addressing officials of the Enforcement Directorate.
15:49 Indian consumer confidence drops; ranked 2nd globally: Nielsen:
Indian consumer confidence dropped in the first quarter of 2013 to become the second after Indonesia due to the "environment around them," according to a survey by market insights and information provider Nielsen.
According to the survey, Indian consumer confidence index dropped by one point to 120 in the first quarter of 2013, after topping the global list at 121 in the fourth quarter of 2012.
15:48 Tight security for Pak prisoners in Maharashtra jails:
Following the brutal assault on Indian national Sarabjit Singh in a Pakistan jail, security of the neighbouring country's prisoners in Maharashtra jails has been tightened, a senior police official has said.
Additional Director General of Police (prisons) Meera Borwankar told PTI that the security of Pakistani prisoners in Maharashtra jails has been beefed up following the Sarabjit Singh incident.
However, Borwankar did not elaborate on the security measures taken to avoid such incidents in state jails.
15:46 CBI can probe DA case against Mayawati: SC:
The CBI can investigate the disproportionate assets case against BSP chief Mayawati if it wants to, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday while reacting to a review plea.
The CBI's power to probe a case against Mayawati has not been taken away by us, said the apex court.
15:44 Former death row convict thanks God for SC verdict:
Murder convict Mahendra KumarDas, whose death sentence was today commuted to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court, thanked God for "finally answering his prayers".
Das wept with joy when the news of the revised sentence was conveyed to him at the Jorhat Central Jail where he is currently lodged, jail officials said. '
"At last, God has answered my prayers. I am grateful to him," Das, who spends his time in jail reading the Bhagvad Gita, was reported to have said.
15:43 It is important for House to run in Budget Session: Speaker:
As Parliament remains paralysed over the coal scam and other issues, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today said it is important to run the House and get the financial bills passed during the Budget Session.
"It is important for the House to run, especially when it is the Budget Session, as we have to pass financial bills, which is a constitutional requirement," she said.
15:42 Pakistan polls will be held as scheduled: Kayani:
Pakistan will go to polls as scheduled as it is a golden opportunity to usher in an era of true democratic values in the country, army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said, amid mounting attacks by the Taliban to derail the historic general elections.
Kayani also reiterated the army's commitment towards holding free and fair elections.
15:40 Two Naxals killed in Chhattisgarh :
Two Naxals were killed today in an encounter with security forces in Maoist-hit Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh, police said.
The cadres of Daula Dalam of Maoists were gunned down by a joint team of COBRA battalion, CRPF and district force in the jungle of Kachora village, Narayanpur Deputy Superintendent of Police N K Sahu said.
Those killed were identified as 'deputy commander' of Daula Dalam Phool Singh and a member Jai Singh, the DSP said, adding that they were carrying a reward of Rs 35,000 each on their head.
14:54 Protests against Sajjan's acquittal halts Delhi Metro:
Members of the Sikh community on Wednesday held protests in Delhi against the acquittal given to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in connection to the 1984 riots.
The protesters halted Metro Rail services at Subhash Nagar Station. They also held protests at Tilak Nagar Station.
The protests threw metro services in the capital out of gear.
As the protests, which have been going on for nearly five hours in these two areas intensified, two metro stations at Subhash Nagar and Tilak Nagar were closed to prevent any untoward incidents.
Sikh groups have said that they will protest outside the official residence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday.
14:03 Army chief meets PM over China incursion:
Army Chief General Bikram Singh on Wednesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the latter's official residence over the issue of China's incursion in Ladakh.
General Singh also briefed the Cabinet Committee on Security with the latest updates.
While Beijing has maintained that it has not crossed the international border, New Delhi has reacted cautiously, saying it will try to resolve the issue diplomatically.
13:56 Guantanamo Bay prison must close: Obama:
President Barack Obama has said the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba must close, amid a hunger strike by prisoners there.
At the White House, Obama said the detention centre was ''contrary to who we are'' and harmful to US interests.
According to the BBC, Congress has blocked efforts to close the prison, but Obama said he would renew discussions with lawmakers.
Obama said that he had asked a team of officials to review operations at Guantanamo Bay, adding that he was not surprised there were problems there.
13:23 I will not eat till my brother returns: Sarabjit's sister:
Sarabjit Singh's sister Dalbir Kaur on Wednesday threatened to go on a hunger strike to demand her brother's return from incarceration in Pakistan.
Dalbir, who visited her comatose brother in a hospital in Lahore, claimed that he was not brain-dead as she had detected some eye-movement.
She alleged that the doctors treating her brother did not want to hand over his medical reports to her.
Dalbir said, "I will not eat till my brother returns home".
She said she will meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to plead for her brother's release.
Dalbir also demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation, claiming he was "corrupt".
She alleged that the ruling UPA government has "forgotten" her brother.
13:02 Mild quake hits Kashmir, north India:
Onkar Singh reports from Delhi:
A mild earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter Scale shook Delhi at 12.25 pm on Wednesday.
The epicentre of the quake is located near the India-Pakistan border, said officials.
The quake also shook the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
12:51 Mild quake hits Kashmir, north India: Mukhtar Ahmad reports from Srinagar:
A mild earthquake shook Kashmir Valley on Wednesday morning, making panicky locals rush out of their homes.
State officials are trying to collect more data about the intensity of the earthquake.
No loss of life or damage to property has been reported, they said.
12:35 Sarabjit Singh's family returns to India:
Sarabjit Singh's family returned to India from Pakistan on Wednesday.
Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur said the family will try to meet UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi soon.
Meanwhile, the external affairs ministry stated that Sarabjit's condition remained critical and once again appealed the Pakistan government to release him on humanitarian grounds.
According to doctors treating Sarabjit in a hospital in Lahore, his chances of "survival are slim".
12:07 SEBI chief on measures to tackle Ponzi schemes:
The government is seriously considering strengthening of laws to regulate all kind of collective investment schemes, SEBI Chairman U K Sinha said about Ponzi schemes.
He added that SEBI was working hard to ensure that small investors' savings are not put to risk.
12:04 Obama acknowledges rising hate crimes in America:
US President Barack Obama has acknowledged that over the last decade, a number of people from the South Asian origin -- particularly those from Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities -- have been subject to hate crimes in the country.
"In the last decade, South Asian Americans -- particularly those who are Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh -- have too often faced senseless violence and suspicion due to the colour of their skin or the tenets of their faith," Obama said in a proclamation to declare May as the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
12:03 Maha govt assures CID probe into Dalit youth suicide case:
A CID probe will be conducted into the alleged suicide of a Dalit youth in Katli village in the district on March 14 following police harassment, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil has assured the victim's family.
Rekha Goradwar, mother of the victim Sachin Goradwar, and others met Patil at the government guest house and presented him with a memorandum demanding stringent action against the policemen involved in the case.
"A CID probe will be carried out into Sachin's death," Patil assured them.
12:01 US preparing to supply lethal weapons to Syrian rebels:
Amid the US ramping up its international outreach to oust the Assad regime, a media report has said the Obama administration is preparing to supply lethal weapons to the Syrian opposition.
"We are clearly on an upward trajectory. We have moved over to assistance that has a direct military purpose," a senior administration official was quoted as saying by a leading daily.
01:12 Guantanamo is expensive and inefficient: Obama:
Asserting his commitment to close the terrorist detention center in Guantanamo, US President Barack Obama today said that the prison is a no-man's land that is not only "expensive" and "inefficient" but also hurts America in terms of its international standing.
"I continue to believe that we've got to close Guantanamo. I think it is critical for us to understand that Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe. It is expensive. It is inefficient. It hurts us in terms of our international standing," Obama said. "It lessens cooperation with our allies on counter- terrorism efforts. It is a recruitment tool for extremists. It needs to be closed," he said.
Responding to questions at a crowded press conference, Obama blamed the Congress for not letting him close Guantanamo.
01:08 Obama defends FBI handling of Boston suspect:
US President Barack Obama today defended the FBI on its investigations related to the suspected Chechen-origin Boston bombers, even as he praised Russia for its co-operation in the probe into the attacks.
"I think that all our law enforcement officials performed in an exemplary fashion after the bombing had taken place. We should be very proud of their work, as obviously we're proud of the people of Boston, all the first responders and the medical personnel that helped save lives," Obama told reporters at a White House news conference.
Nineteen-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the lone-surviving suspect of the Boston Marathon bombings which claimed three lives and wounded over 250, has been charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.
The FBI has named his elder brother Tamerlan, 29, as the main suspect. He died in a police shoot out soon after the blasts.
"What we also know is that the Russian intelligence services had alerted US intelligence about the older brother as well as the mother, indicating that they might be sympathizers to extremists. The FBI investigated that older brother," Obama said.
00:23 Sarabjit's condition deteriorates further: Sources:
The condition of Indian national Sarbajit Singh, comatose in a Lahore hospital after a brutal assault last week, further deteriorated tonight though doctors had not declared him brain dead, official sources said.
The sources told PTI that Sarabjit's condition continued deteriorating through the day and his blood pressure was being maintained with support. Sarabjit had entered a "critical phase" and his chances of survival were very slim, the sources said.
The doctors treating Sarabjit had brought the deterioration in his condition to the notice of Pakistani authorities and his family, the sources said.