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Firms targeting trade in Russia

Thirty Irish firms are to take part in a trade mission to Russia coinciding with a state visit by President Mary McAleese.

The companies, half of which are in IT and business services, will spend time meeting existing and potential customers and partners.

Mrs McAleese begins a four-day visit to Russia tomorrow.

Billy Kelleher, junior minister for trade and commerce, said the trip was an opportunity to showcase Irish business to an important trade partner.

"We want to give Irish firms opportunities to strengthen their business links with Russia and help new market entrants to land their first breakthrough sale there," he said.

America fears firefly decline

The yellow-green streaks of fireflies that bring a magical air to summer nights, inspire camp songs and often end up in jars in children's bedrooms may be flickering out in America's gardens as the suburban sprawl encroaches on their habitats.

Now concerned scientists have turned to Firefly Watch, a network of volunteers, to track the creatures' range and numbers.

Their observations may shed light on whether fireflies are declining.

Mudslides kill 38 in Guatemala

Torrential rains from a tropical depression caused landslides that have killed at least 38 people in Guatemala -- some of them rescuers trying to save people already buried under a wall of mud.

In the village of Nahuala, about 200 rescue workers searched through mud and rocks for bodies Sunday after two slides killed at least 20 along a highway leading northwest of the capital toward Mexico. Another slide closer to Guatemala City killed at least 12.