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WATCH: Memphis megachurch gives standing ovation to pastor after apology for sex assault

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A Memphis megachurch gave a standing ovation to a pastor after he admitted to sexually assaulting a teenage girl just days before he conducted a workshop promoting abstinence.

Andy Savage apologized Sunday to his congregation Highpoint Church, after news reports revealed the woman’s allegations against the pastor — who has admitted they’re true.

The woman said she was 17 years old and a high school senior when she met Savage, who was then in college and working as a staffer at a Texas Baptist church now known as StoneBridge.

She told the Wartbridge Watch website that Savage drove her 20 years ago to a remote area, where he forced her to give him oral sex, fondled her and then jumped out of the vehicle, fell to his knees and begged forgiveness.

The woman said the incident caused lasting psychological harm, and she has recently filed a police report about the incident.

“I took every step to respond in a biblical way,” Savage said, reading from a prepared statement. “I resigned from ministry and moved back home to Memphis. I accepted full responsibility for my actions. I was and remain very remorseful for the incident and deeply regret the pain I caused her and her family, as well as the pain I caused the church and God’s kingdom.”

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Savage told congregants he had never been involved in another similar situation, and he claimed to have notified his wife before asking her to marry him and lead pastor Chris Conlee before joining HighPoint.

“I was wrong and I accepted responsibility for my actions,” Savage said. “I was sorry then and remain sorry today.”

The pastor said he complied with the advice he was given by church leaders, but he now admits more could have been done to help the victim.

“I am truly sorry more was not done,” Savage said. “Until now, I did not know that there was unfinished business with (the victim), so I say today … I am truly sorry for my actions 20 years ago. I remain committed to cooperate with you toward your forgiveness and healing.”

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After reading the statement, congregants rose to their feet in applause that lasted for nearly 30 seconds, and the lead pastor placed his arm around Savage’s shoulder.

“What Andy and I both know is that the support that you gave is also for (the victim),” Conlee said.

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2020 Election

WATCH: Katie Porter explains to constituents why her conscience demands support for Trump impeachment inquiry

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Congresswoman Katie Porter, in a video posted on social media Monday night, shared with residents of her purple California district why she is joining dozens of other Democrats who support launching an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

"I didn't come to Congress to impeach the president," said the first-term representative. "But when faced with a crisis of this magnitude, I cannot with a clean conscience ignore my duty to defend the Constitution. I can't claim to be committed to rooting out corruption and putting people over politics and then not apply those same principles and standards in all of the work I do."

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2020 Election

Bernie Sanders calls fact that minimum wage worker cannot afford 2-bedroom apartment in any US state ‘a national disgrace’

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For a decade, U.S. lawmakers have kept the federal minimum wage at a level which increasingly leaves workers unable to afford housing.

That's according to a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). The group's 30th annual study of housing affordability found that a worker earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25—which is unchanged since 2009—cannot afford to rent a modest two-bedroom apartment in any state, metropolitan area, or county in the United States.

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There is growing concern that China is trying to use universities to silence its critics in the West

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This is an important year in Chinese history. It marks the anniversaries of two political movements involving students and scholars: the May Fourth Movement and the Tiananmen Square protests – known in China as the June Fourth Incident.

The May Fourth Movement of 1919 challenged traditional Chinese values and authorities and demanded freedom of speech and democracy. Seventy years later – and 40 years after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had taken power – students, scholars, and other citizens mobilised again in defence of freedom of speech, human rights, and democratic values. But on June 4 1989, the CCP brutally crushed their movement. The crackdown created a legacy of heavily censored wrongs that cannot be righted while the current system lasts.

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