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Clinton-Trump: Second US presidential debate

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump battle it out in the second US presidential debate. The two failed to shake hands at the start of the event in St. Louis.

All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC)

03:00 - Ahead of the second presidential debate being held at Washington University in St. Louis, Hillary Clinton had dismissed Donald Trump's presentation of four women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual transgressions as a "stunt." They were present in the first row of the audience for the debate.

The town-hall format was moderated by Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC. The audience was made up of undecided voters.

03:08 - Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton answered the first question on whether the candidates were modeling appropriate behavior for today's youth. "Our country is great because we are good," she said in her allocated two minutes to respond. "If we work together, if we overcome the divisiveness that sometimes sets Americans against one another, there's nothing we can't do."

Clinton emphasized her belief in the importance of education. She said she had heard from parents about concerns of what is being said and done in the presidential campaign.

03:12 - The second question focussed on the Washington Post video. Clinton said that so much of what Republican candidate Donald Trump said was not right, and that he did not answer the questions. Clinton repeated the advice from Michelle Obama "when they go low, you go high."

Clinton said the Donald Trump heard on the 2005 recording making crude and vulgar remarks about women "is who Donald Trump is."

In a follow up comment, Clinton said she had spent a lot of time thinking about what she had seen 48 hours before. She has had disagreements with other candidates but she never questioned their fitness to serve. She said the video represented exactly who he is, ranking and embarrassing women, denigrating a former Miss Universe. But it was not only women or the video who question his fitness - he has targeted Mexicans, people with disabilities, she continued. "I want to send a message to every boy and girl that America is already good and we will respect one another," she added.

When asked about the audio tape, Trump defended himself saying, "I have great respect for women, no one has more respect for women than I do. That was locker room talk as I told you. I am not proud of it. I have great respect for for the people of this country. If you look at what Bill Clinton has done to women there has never been anyone in the history of the country who has abused women more than Bill Clinton. He was impeached. He lost his license to practice law and paid $800,000 to one of his accusers."

Clinton bites back at Trump: "He never apologizes to anyone," she said. Clinton continued by saying he never apologized for the racist lie that the current US president was not born in this country. She said that everyone can draw their own conclusions about whether Trump respects women.

"Everything he just said is absolutely false," Clinton said in response to Trump's comments, suggesting people fact check his comments. She accused him of using diversionary tactics.

03:39 - Clinton was asked if her handling of emails was "extremely careless."

In reply, she said, "That was a mistake and I take responsibility for using a personal email account. I am not making any excuses."

She said there was no evidence that anyone hacked the server she was using or evidence that any classified material ended up in the wrong hands.

Trump seized the opportunity to take Clinton to task over the email scandal. "I think the thing you should really be apologizing for is the 33,000 emails you deleted and acid washed," he said. "If I win, I am going to instruct a special prosecutor to look into your situation, there have never been so many lies and so much deception."

"She said the 33,000 emails deleted are fine, I don't think so. And that was after getting a subpeona. I am so disappointed in Congress for allowing this to happen. For you to say there was nothing wrong with you deleting 33,000 emails, you should be ashamed."

03:50 - A question on the rising costs of health care. "Premiums have got too high," Clinton said, adding she has laid out a series of measures to rein in the costs. She spelt out benefits she saw of the affordable care act, saying she wants to save them but bring costs down, rather than repeal it and start all over again.

Trump replied,"It is such a great question, and maybe the question I get more than anything else. Obamacare is a disaster. You know it, we all know it. Their method of fixing it is to go back and ask Congress for more money and we are $20 trillion dollars in debt. We have to repeal it and replace it with something much less expensive. We have to get rid of the artificial lines that give insurance companies monopolies. She wants single pay, like Canada, which is a disaster. Obamacare is a total disaster. Not only are rates going up but deductibles are also going up."

04:00 - A Muslim Missouri voter asked what measures the candidates would take to control Islamaphobia, and being labeled a threat to the US? 

Trump: Whether we like it or not there is a problem. Muslims have to report the problems when they see them. There is always a reason for everything. If they don't do that, it is a terrible thing for our country. To solve a problem you have to be able to state the problem and you have to say the problem by name: Radical Islamic Terrorism.

Another, related question: Is there a ban on Muslims coming into the country?

Trump: It is called extreme vetting. We are going into Syria because they want a 500 percent (increase in refugees) coming into our country. We have many criminal, illegal aliens and when we want to send them back, and their country says we don't want them, when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, she said that's OK. We are also letting drugs pour through our border like never before. She wants amnesty for everyone. She has such bad judgement that she should never be president of the United States.

Clinton looked to history in defense. "We have had Muslims in America since George Washington. My vision of America is one where everyone has a place. We need American Muslims to be included and part of our homeland security," she said.

"We are not going to ban people based on a religion," she said and asked if the US was going to have religious tests for people coming into the country. She suggested that what Trump said encouraged support for jihadists.

04:08 - Another undecided voter turned to the thorny issue of taxation. They asked how they would revise the tax system so that wealthy Americans pay their fair share.

Trump said, "I would knock out carried interest provison. I'm lowering taxes because I think it is so important. Getting rid of regulations. Lowering taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent. Hillary Clinton is raising your taxes really high, and what she is doing is a disaster for the coutnry. If China has a GDP of seven percent it is a national catastrophe. We have GDP growth of one percent. We have one of the highest tax rates in the world."

Clinton suggested that Trump's tax changes would raise tax for middle class families. "He lives in an alternative reality," she said of Trump, adding that his tax plan would give the wealthy their biggest tax-cuts ever. Instead, she said she would not raise taxes on average income families. Clinton also defended her record as a senator over thirty years. She said she had been in favor of getting rid of "carried interest" for years.

04:15 - The focus turns to the Syria conflict. The presidential candidates were asked about what they would do about the conflict. Clinton described the situation in Syria as "catastrophic" with the Syrians on the ground and the Russians in the air, with a determined effort to destroy Aleppo to eliminate the rebels holding out against the regime. She repeated her advocation of a no-fly zone and other safety zones.

Clinton also said she would not use American ground forces in Syria, which she described as a "serious mistake." However, Clinton said special forces, enablers and trainers were in US interests. She stated that she would consider "arming the Kurds."

When asked about what he and his running mate, Mike Pence, would do about the Syria crisis, Trump was quite clear. "He and I haven't spoken, and I disagree. Syria is no longer Syria, it is Russia and Iran. We have to get ISIS," he said.

The question was repeated to Trump in the combative debate. "The stupidity of our foreign policy," he told the audience. "We have announcements coming out that we will be attacking Mosul in three weeks. Why can't we attack them and then explain to the American people afterwards? Why can't they do something secretively?"

04:30 - Another voter asked, "Do you believe you could be a devoted president to all the people in the US?"

Clinton said she had tried her whole life to support children and families, and that she was proud of her 30 years of public service, and her work to get education for underprivileged children. She said she would reach out to both Democrats and Republicans, as a "president for everybody."

She continued by saying her argument was not with Trump's supporters, but with him and his brutal comments about Afro Americans, Latinos, and people with disabilities.

04:40 - The debate comes to an end, but one last question puts the presidential candidates on the spot: Would either of you name one positive thing you respect in one another?

Trump appeared to be a good sport and said, "I will say this about Hillary, she doesn't quit, she doesn't give up. She's a fighter and she fights hard and doesn't give up, and I consider that a very good trait."

In reply, Clinton said she respected Trump's children, and "that says a lot about Trump".

jm,bik/lw