MH-17 Black Boxes Secured

An agreement was unveiled Tuesday for the safe transport of bodies and the “black boxes” of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 from the rebel-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine following high-level diplomacy between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and separatist leader Alexander Borodai. At a news conference in Malaysia Tuesday, Razak said 282 bodies would be transported to Holland, accompanied by Malaysian representatives. The “black boxes,” which have been in the possession of rebel leaders since the airplane’s crash last week, also would be handed over to investigators. Razak said he and Borodai agreed to assure “safe access” for the international investigators of the crash to begin a full examination of the site. The black boxes were handed over to the Malaysian team in Donetsk on Tuesday, as leaders from the Netherlands and Australia have become increasingly critical of the Russian response to the crisis. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared Tuesday there is “evidence of tampering on an industrial scale,” which he said must stop, reported Voice of America. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf welcomed early reports of the handover of the black boxes, saying the deal is a “step in the right direction.” However, she also said Russia can do more to put pressure on separatists in the region.