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Authorities reject art project bid to rebuild Berlin Wall

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German authorities said Friday they were blocking a plan to rebuild part of the Berlin Wall for a massive film-art project in the German capital.

Citing security concerns and fire risks, Berlin city authorities said they would not grant a building permit to the “DAU” project by Russian filmmaker Ilya Khrzhanovsky, national news agency DPA reported.

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The plan had been to erect 900 concrete wall slabs, each 3.60 metres (about 12 feet) tall at a city block on Unter den Linden boulevard, for the 6.6 million euro ($7.7 million) event.

The walled-in “city within a city” was meant to have its own visa checks, and visitors to the parallel world would have had to apply online for entrance permits.

But the project sparked controversy, with critics labelling it a stunt hurtful to people who lived in communist East Germany.

Sabine Weissler, the councillor in charge of the Berlin district concerned, said there had not been sufficient time to obtain views from residents who could be affected by the project.

“It has not been possible for the organisation to guarantee that the event would be carried out safely,” she added. Building applications for such a major undertaking should be filed a year before construction is due to begin, she noted.

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The organisers had only put in their application at the beginning of August for a project to be launched on October 12 before ending with a ritualistic tearing down of the wall on November 9, the day of the historic event in 1989.


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Mnuchin threatens to make taxpayers pay back COVID money unless Trump is reelected

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested on Sunday that Americans will have to pay the government back for any payroll tax reduction unless President Donald Trump is reelected.

In an interview on FOX, host Chris Wallace noted that the president's latest executive action on COVID-19 financial relief is "not a tax cut."

"It's a payroll tax suspension," Wallace explained. "Isn't there a danger that a lot of businesses won't pass these saving through to workers because they're going to hold on to the money because at some point, according to this executive action by the end of the year, those payroll taxes are going to be have to be paid anyway?"

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2020 Election

‘We need a reality check here’: CNN’s Bash cuts off Kudlow’s rambling spin on Trump’s unemployment plans

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An alternately amused and baffled Dana Bash was forced to cut off Donald Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow on CNN Sunday morning as he attempted to spin the president's plans to help out the unemployed with income supplements, changing his numbers from $400 to $800 to $1,200 all within three to four sentences.

Pressed about the president's executive order calling for a $400 supplement -- with $100 coming from the states at Trump's demand -- the State of the Union fill-in host tried to cut through Kudlow's veering from dollar amount to dollar amount to get a clearer understanding of what the president is proposing.

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Nancy Pelosi owns Chris Wallace: ‘Clearly you don’t have an understanding of what is happening here’

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) faced off against Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday over the failure to negotiate a COVID-19 financial relief bill.

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Wallace suggested that there is an upside to executive actions taken by President Donald Trump in lieu of a financial relief bill because some people will get protections from evictions "rather than getting nothing at all."

For her part, Pelosi quoted a Republican senator who said that the president's executive action is "constitutional slop."

"While he says he's going to have a moratorium on evictions, he's going to ask the folks in charge to study if that's feasible," Pelosi explained before noting that the president's payroll tax holiday serves to "undermine Social Security and Medicare."

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