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News Wrap: Investigators gain access to MH17 site

July 25, 2014 at 6:02 PM EST
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HARI SREENIVASAN: President Obama appealed to Central American leaders today to help stem the flow of migrant children from their countries into the U.S. It came amid talk of a pilot program to give refugee status to youths from Honduras.

The president met at the White House with the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We have to deter a continuing influx of children putting themselves at great risk and families who are putting their children at great risk. And so I emphasize that, within a legal framework and a humanitarian framework and proper due process, children who do not have proper claims and families with children who do not have proper claims at some point will be subject to repatriation to their home countries.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The president has asked for $3.7 billion in emergency funding. House Republicans want to spend less than $1 billion, send National Guard troops to the border, and speed up deportations. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats favor spending $2.7 billion, but oppose changing the law on deportations. We will return to immigration later, with a focus on conditions in Central America.

French soldiers have found one of the black box recorders in the wreckage of the Air Algerie plane that went down yesterday in Northern Mali. All 118 people on board were killed. About half were French. The crash site is in a remote area near Mali’s border with Burkina Faso. The plane was bound for Algiers when it went down in stormy weather.

A small group of international investigators arrived today at the scene where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in Eastern Ukraine.

Neil Connery of Independent Television News has this report.

NEIL CONNERY, ITN: Hidden in the trees, the largest piece of wreckage from Flight MH17 sound so far. It’s laid here undisturbed for a week. This used to be part of economy class, nearby, the passports and belongings of some of those on board.

MICHAEL BOCIURKIW, Spokesperson, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe: Experts figure it must have come straight down, because there weren’t that many broken branches.

I just counted about 16 windows that are pretty much intact there, and it looks like the economy class section, around 22 or so extending from there onwards.

NEIL CONNERY: In the fields nearby, international forensic experts found more human remains today. A handful of investigators are now here from the Netherlands and Australia. The wreckage is spread over several miles and the challenge facing them is immense.

Eight days on from the downing of Flight MH17, the wreckage remains where it fell, but none of this has been secured, raising questions over the ability of any investigation here to establish exactly what happened.

The international effort to get more experts here continues, but this is a crash site in a war zone. While the world grapples with the complexities, far from here, families mourn. So many hopes and dreams ended in the skies above this troubled land.

HARI SREENIVASAN: In other developments, the Pentagon charged Russia is set to transfer heavy-caliber multiple-launch rockets to the rebels. And the U.S. ambassador to NATO reported 15,000 Russian troops have massed along the border, up sharply from earlier figures.

Stock markets on Wall Street today ended the week on a disappointing note, with weak reports from Amazon and Visa. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 123 points to close above 16,960. The Nasdaq fell more than 22 points to close above 4,449. The S&P 500 dropped more than nine points to close at 1,978. For the week, the Dow lost nearly 1 percent. The Nasdaq rose nearly half-a-percent and the S&P was flat.