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Obama calls leaders of Ukraine, Malaysia about downed plane

US President Barack Obama called the leaders of Ukraine and Malaysia on Thursday to discuss the shooting down of an airliner carrying 298 people over rebel-held eastern Ukraine.

Obama spoke to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as he flew to New York on Air Force One, amid a crisis over the downing of the Boeing 777 plane operated by Malaysia Airlines.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters further details of the call would be released later Thursday.