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Japan trade mission starts

Some of Ireland's leading food and lifesciences companies will today begin a week-long trade mission to Japan.

Junior minister Sean Sherlock will lead the Enterprise Ireland delegation that will focus on export growth.

He said supporting indigenous businesses to grow and export is central to the Government's plans for recovery, growth and jobs.

Bord Bia and Teagasc are joining the 14 firms taking part in the mission, which involves meetings with potential Japanese partners and seminars.

Boy's ¤1.4m HSE payout

A SIX-YEAR-OLD boy who can communicate only with his eyes is to get a €1.4m payout over brain injuries he suffered at birth.

Gill Russell suffers from cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. Yesterday at the High Court, the HSE apologised to him and his family over the circumstances of his birth at Erinville Hospital, Cork in 2006.

He sued the HSE, through his mother Karen Russell, of Kilteskin, Aghada, Co Cork,as a result his care at the Erinville.

Snake on a plane...for real

Scottish airport staff got a surprise when they stumbled on a Mexican snake stowaway under a seat.

The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said workers at Glasgow Airport remained "remarkably calm" when they discovered the 18-inch snake under seats in the passenger cabin of a flight from Cancun.

It said yesterday that the snake was non-venomous but "feisty". The snake may have snuck on to the plane before take-off, or hitched a ride in a passenger's hand luggage.

Train crash injures 19

Two passenger trains have collided near the main train station in the Slovak capital of Bratislava, injuring 19.

The crash occurred yesterday afternoon when one train hit the back of the other.

Rescue service spokesman Boris Chmel said at least 19 people who were on board were injured, one of them seriously. It is not immediately clear what caused the crash.