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Investigators to examine second black box from MH17

Air investigators are to examine a second black box which was recovered from flight MH17 today.

The data could reveal if the pilots were aware of a missile coming towards the plane and what happened in the last few seconds of the flight if they were able to speak.

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'Russian-backed rebels behind Malaysian airliner attack'

"Russian-backed rebels" were behind the shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has said.

Twenty-seven Australians are among the 298 people on board the flight which was allegedly shot down over eastern Ukraine.

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has accused 'Russian-backed rebels' of being behind the attack. Credit: PA Wire

"This is a grim day for our country and it's a grim day for our world. Malaysian airlines MH17 has been shot down over the eastern Ukraine, it seems by Russian-backed rebels," he said.

A number of researchers travelling to an international Aids conference in Melbourne are believed to be among those killed.

Both the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists have accused each other of taking down the aircraft.

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