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Swiss apologise to Oprah Winfrey after racism claim

Switzerland's national tourism office has apologised to Oprah Winfrey after the chat show queen claimed she faced an act of racism in the country.

Winfrey, one of the world's richest women, said a shop assistant at an upmarket boutique in Zurich refused to show her a handbag because it was "too expensive."

Oprah Winfrey said the shop attendant refused to serve in what she has said was an act of racism. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

A spokeswoman for the Swiss tourism office told the Associated Press, "We are very sorry for what happened to her."

An apology was also posted on Twitter saying, "This person acted terribly wrong."

Oprah Winfrey 'refused service by Swiss shop attendant'

US talk show host Oprah Winfrey has revealed that a shop attendant refused to serve her during a recent trip to Switzerland in what she has said was an act of racism.

She says she was shopping in an upmarket handbag boutique in Zurich last month when she was told that a bag on display was "too expensive" for her, before being shown cheaper ones.

Oprah Winfrey Credit: Dennis Van Tine/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

The billionaire says she walked out of the shop calmly, but that the incident shows that racism "still exists".

Switzerland, where the Oprah Winfrey Show is not broadcast, has previously attracted criticism over its policies on mosques and asylum-seekers.

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Oprah to receive America's highest civilian honour

President Barack Obama is to bestow America's highest civilian honour on Oprah Winfrey and former president Bill Clinton.

The pair will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a ceremony at the White House later this year.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Credit: Reuters

The medal is presented to individuals who have made "especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours."

Ms Winfrey and Mr Clinton will join 14 other recipients, including activist Gloria Steinem and former senator Richard Lugar. Also being honoured is Ben Bradlee, the editor who oversaw Washington Post coverage of Watergate.

Former senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and Sally Ride, the first woman astronaut in space, will receive the medals posthumously.

President John F Kennedy created the medal of freedom in an executive order signed 50 years ago. The White House says more than 500 people have been presented with the honour to date.

Losing sponsors cost me $75 million says Armstrong

The Oprah Winfrey Network said Armstrong did not receive a fee for the interview and was not offered one. But he admitted to losing $75 million dollars when his sponsors departed. "I've lost all future income," he said.

"I don't like thinking about it, but that was a 75 million-dollar day. Gone. And probably never coming back." Armstrong denied claims he attempted to make a payment to United States Anti-Doping Authority (USADA).

He said: "I had no knowledge of that, but I've asked around. I think the claim was 250,000 dollars. That's a lot of money. I would know. That is not true."

Armstrong saw his mother and knew she was a 'wreck'

When asked how his mother was handling the situation Lance Armstrong said he did not realise how badly she was handling the situation until he saw her.

He said of his mother: "She's a wreck. She is not the type of person who would call me up and say that.

"But my stepfather called me up and said 'your mom is having a really hard time'. I saw my mom, and I thought, 'Oh this woman is a wreck'. It took seeing her to really understand that this has taken a toll on her life."

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Lance Armstrong recalls impact of doping scandal on family

Lance Armstrong became visibly emotional for the first time in the interview with Oprah when he talked about the moment he had to tell his 13-years-old son Luke not to defend him at school.

He said: "I told Luke, don't defend me any more. Don't.

Courtesy of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

"He's been remarkably calm and mature about this. I said if anybody says anything to you, they are going to see this, some kids or something. Do not defend me. Just say 'hey, my dad said he was sorry'. He said okay.

"He just said look, I love you. You are my dad. This won't change that."

Armstrong close to tears as he speaks about his son

Lance Armstrong was close to tears when he spoke about his having to tell his son not to defend him.

He said: "When this all really started I saw my son defending me and saying 'what you are saying about my dad is not true'. And almost goes to this question of why now.

"That's when I knew I had to tell him. And he had never asked me, he had never said 'dad is this true?' He trusted me.

"At that time I didn't say something, but I knew I had to."

Armstrong says he doesn't 'deserve' competitive 'death sentence'

Frankly - this may not be the most popular answer - but I think I deserve it [to be able to compete again], maybe not right now. But if you look at the situation, you look at the culture, and the sport, and you see the punishments. Okay you are trading my story for a sixth month suspension? That's what everybody got. So I got a death penalty (can never compete again). I am not saying that is unfair necessarily, but I am saying it is different.

– Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong: 'Do I want to compete again - hell yes'

When asked about whether he was doing the interview with Oprah so that he would be able to race again, Lance Armstrong replied 'hell yes'.

Do I want to compete again. The answer is 'hell yes. I am a competitor. It's what I have done my whole life. I love to train, I love to race, I love to tow the line. I don't expect it to happen. Not the Tour de France, but there are a lot of other things that I could do, but I can't. With this penalty, with this punishment - and I made my bed - but if there was ever window, would I like to run the Chicago marathon when I am 50? I would love to do that, and I can't.

– Lance Armstrong
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