THE DRIVE: Russia arrests 7 after bombing; Bannon off council; Pepsi pulls ad

staff and wire reports
An Orthodox priest stands at a symbolic floral memorial at Technologicheskiy Institute subway station in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, April 4, 2017. A bomb blast tore through a subway train deep under Russia's second-largest city St. Petersburg Monday, killing several people and wounding many more in a chaotic scene that left victims sprawled on a smoky platform. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

RUSSIA ARRESTS 7 IN WAKE OF ST. PETERSBURG SUBWAY BOMBING

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — As part of a sweeping hunt for any accomplices of the St. Petersburg suicide bomber, investigators Wednesday rounded up seven suspected Islamic State recruiters from the Central Asia region of the former Soviet Union but found no immediate evidence of their involvement in the subway attack.

The Investigative Committee hasn't caught any associates of 22-year-old Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, a native of the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan. The committee, Russia's top criminal investigation agency, said it's looking into the possibility that Dzhalilov, who carried out Monday's deadly attack, could have been linked to the militant group.

BANNON REMOVED FROM SECURITY COUNCIL

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has removed chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council, reversing an earlier, controversial decision to give Bannon access to the group's high-level meetings.

A new memorandum about the council's composition was published Wednesday in the Federal Register. The memo no longer lists the chief strategist as a member of the Principals Committee, a group of high-ranking officials who meet to discuss pressing national security priorities.

PEPSI PULLING WIDELY CRITICIZED AD

NEW YORK — Pepsi is pulling an ad that has been widely criticized for appearing to trivialize protests for social justice causes.

"Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding," the company said Wednesday in a news release. "Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize."

It said it was "removing the content and halting any further rollout."

AUGUSTA NATIONAL FORCED TO CLOSE FOR THE DAY

With severe storms bearing down on Augusta National, the club was shut down for the second time this week.

Masters officials suspended play at 1:25 p.m. Wednesday, cutting short the final afternoon of practice before the start of the tournament as well as the popular Par 3 Contest.

Fans were ordered to leave the course as line of dangerous storms swept across the Deep South, sparking tornado warnings in Georgia and neighboring South Carolina.

TRUMP TELLS NEW YORK TIMES, RICE MAY HAVE BROKEN THE LAW

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday said his predecessor's national security adviser, Susan Rice, might have committed a crime when she asked government analysts to disclose the names of Trump associates documented in intelligence reports.

Trump made the accusation in an interview with The New York Times and would not say if he reviewed new intelligence to support his claim. He told the Times he would say more "at the right time."