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Dismantling of cafes built in the area near the Opera House in downtown Yerevan resumed on Thursday. Yerevan Municipality issued a statement with respect to its plan to restore the green space around Liberty Square and sent notifications to cafés leasing these areas with a proposal to give up part of the territories they lease.

This proposal, however, has infuriated the proprietors of these cafés. They said that many people will lose jobs because of municipality's decision.

The situation near Opera House became tense after protesters blocked several adjacent streets on Thursday morning. Repeated clashes between police and demonstrators continued. Sixteen people were detained and released later in the day. One police officer and one demonstrator were hospitalized.

Karabakh Foreign Minister Masis Mailyan briefed the  OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak on approaches of Karabakh during their meeting in Yerevan on Wednesday evening.

According to the minister, during the meeting, the recent statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs was not discussed, although many of its provisions were subject to review.

Mailyan noted that the co-chairs reiterated the principles and elements that have been talked about for many years, while Karabakh's position is that the time has come to refuse the age-old principles and make new and realistic proposals.

The Armenian parliament approved in the second reading amendments to the law banning the import of right-hand drive vehicles.

According to the amendments, right-hand drive vehicles, which are on the territory of customs checkpoints and were purchased prior to December 31, 2018, can be imported by May 1, 2019.

The new Armenian government launched a series of investigations to prosecute systemic government corruption, says the Report on Human Rights Practices for 2018 issued by State Department.

The reports points to human rights problems in Armenia, but at the same time notes that the new government took steps to investigate and punish abuse.

The report says following the post “velvet revolution” release of certain individuals considered by some local human rights NGOs to be political detainees, there were no reports of political prisoners or detainees in the country.

The same report on Azerbaijan mentions that persons with Armenian names were often subjected to additional inspection at border crossing points. Such persons are often denied entry into the country.

The report on Turkey also notes that Armenians remain the subject of hate speech and discrimination in Turkey, and the term “Armenian” remained a common slur.

The Civil Aviation Committee of Armenia has decided to prohibit Boeing 737 MAX  8 and MAX 9–type planes’ operation in the country’s airspace for one month.

Considering the security bulletin which the European Aviation Safety Agency has issued, as well as the Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) the Civil Aviation Committee of Armenia has made a decision to prohibit Boeing 737 MAX  8 and MAX 9–type planes’ operation in the country’s airspace, from March 13 to April 13.

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