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Hamburg moves forward with concert hall designed to rival Sydney Opera House

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German city Hamburg ended a row Thursday with the firm building a concert hall intended to rival the Sydney Opera House, already years behind schedule and millions over budget.

Under the deal between the local government and the construction company Hochtief announced in a joint statement, the Elbphilharmonie hall, which the city hopes will become a global attraction, should now open in 2016.

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“We were able to correct a birth defect in the project with this agreement,” Hamburg’s top official for culture, Barbara Kisseler, said in the statement, estimating the end of construction in mid-2015.

Construction delays and problems as well as a price explosion have plagued the landmark project since the groundbreaking ceremony in 2007.

Originally budgeted at 114 million euros ($144 million), the costs have ballooned to an estimated 323 million euros, though few in the northern German city expect that to be the end of the story.

Bitter infighting between the city government and Hochtief led to an eight-month halt in construction and threats to cancel all contracts but the two sides said building would now resume.

The agreement foresees a redivision of responsibilities and a plan for legal recourse for outstanding disputes over the project, which planners have compared to Sydney’s iconic opera house.

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Jutting out from the end of a pier between the Elbe River and the city, the hall will take a boxy brick former warehouse as its base, and perch a spectacular glass structure recalling frozen waves on top.

Sandwiched between the two levels, a public plaza will offer stunning views of the city’s 800-year-old port and plentiful church spires. A hotel and luxury flats are also planned.

It was designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron, the team behind Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games, who welcomed the agreement.

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The city aims to create one of the world’s top 10 concert halls with 2,150 seats and acoustics designed by Yasuhisa Toyota, best known for his work at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, as well as two smaller venues.


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Matt Gaetz forgot which network he was on: Surprised CNN anchor said ‘I’ve never been called Sean Hannity’

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Rep. Matt Gaetz seemed to confuse cable news networks during a Thursday appearance

Gaetz was interviewed by CNN's Chris Cuomo, who aggressively challenged Gaetz on the facts as the Florida Republican attempted to defend President Donald Trump.

Despite the fact Cuomo's interview was nothing like the puff segments Gaetz is used to on Fox, the congressman seemed confused by the end.

"Congressman, you are always welcome, wherever I am, at nine or eleven, whenever," Cuomo said.

"Thanks Sean," Gaetz replied.

"Did you just call me Sean?" Cuomo asked. "Did you just call me Sean?"

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California lawmaker who chaired Republican Assembly caucus leaving GOP — to become an independent: report

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On Thursday, the Sacramento Bee reported that California Assemblyman Chad Mayes, the former Assembly Minority Leader, is leaving the Republican Party and registering as No Party Preference.

"Instead of focusing on solutions for the big problems that we've got, we focused on winning elections," said Mayes in his announcement. "For me, I'm at the point in my life where I'm done with gamesmanship."

Mayes, a controversial figure who was implicated in an affair with a fellow public official, represents Yucca Valley. He is the second Republican Assemblyman this year to leave the party, after Brian Maienschein of San Diego, who Maienschein of San Diego.

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‘Quantum physics generator’ incident in Ohio results in evacuation — hazmat found no radiation

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Authorities in Columbus, Ohio evacuated dozens of homes after a man called 911 to report being burned by a

"Firefighters say nothing threatening was found in a northwest Columbus garage," WCMH-TV reported. "According to firefighters, a man called and reported that he received ‘RF burns’ while building some sort of ‘quantum physics generator’ in a garage. The man used words like ‘particle accelerator,’ ‘alpha rays,’ and ‘radiation’ while describing how he was burned."

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