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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Black woman reveals how Trump is ruining her marriage: ‘My white Republican husband is starting to hate me’

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A black woman revealed over the weekend how President Donald Trump and right-wing media are straining her marriage.

In a Twitter rant on Saturday, a woman going by the name Glass Butterfly hit a nerve by starting a discussion about the challenges of interracial marriage in the age of Trump.

"My white Republican husband is starting to hate me because the longer we live through this administration the 'BLACKER' I become," she revealed. "Any interracially and opposing politically affiliated couples going through this? Like...I have NO idea how to balance who we are..or are becoming."

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Lawmaker Rashida Tlaib calls for boycott of Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’ over Israel comments

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., suggested a boycott against HBO host Bill Maher after he denounced the international movement to boycott Israel as a "bullshit purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class."

This article first appeared on Salon.

"Maybe folks should boycott his show," Tlaib wrote in a tweet on Saturday. "I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom. This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn't work then and it won't now."

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2020 Election

GOPer Joni Ernst booed and peppered with questions about guns at tense Iowa town hall

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In videos uploaded to Twitter, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) received a chorus of boos and shouts from a town hall crowd after she tried to blame mass shootings on mental health issues, with one person shouting, "Do something!"

According to a report from Iowa Starting Line, the embattled Iowa Senator whose approval numbers have dropped, due in part to President Donald Trump, was pressed by one local teacher about changing gun laws so she can get back to the job she was hired for.

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