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Mother's Day boycott and other things you may have missed this week

Model Christy Turlington aims to honour mothers by laying low on Mother’s Day.

Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/AP

For many of us, Monday to Friday races by in a blur. We know it can be a struggle to delve beyond the big headlines and keep on top of all the interesting stories out there. We're here to lend a hand: In case you missed them the first time, a collection of stories you may have missed this week on

Redefining Mother's Day

Christy Turlington Burns wants to turn what some see as a Hallmark holiday into a deeper conversation about maternal mortality and the important role mothers play in families and in larger communities around the world. Through her Every Mother Counts advocacy campaign, she hopes people will be inspired to put down the chocolates and flowers and pay tribute to mothers everywhere by delving into these weighty issues. Celebrity and not-so-famous moms were eager to join the cause, she says, with a few admitting "I hate this holiday, and I can say I'm not participating."

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Forced to put on pants

For many people, getting to work can be a real pain. But for a B.C. man, he claims the real irritant is dressing for work. Hal Legere, a power engineer, has taken a spat with his employer over his insistence on wearing shorts on the job to the Human Rights Tribunal. After his employer instructed all workers to wear pants as a safety measure, the man says he provided a doctor's note explaining his attire was necessary because the varicose veins in his legs are irritated by the touch of pants. He says the "shorts issue" prevented him from being hired for a position he was seeking and is alleging discrimination on the basis of physical disability.

Inmate No. 11593-051 takes on Obama

In West Virginia, a large number of Democrats sent a message this week: they will vote for anybody but Barack Obama. Even if that person is a federal inmate. At the state's primary this week, Keith Russell Judd, an inmate at a federal prison in Texas, received 42 per cent of the vote (about 50,000 votes) compared with President Obama, who received about 58 per cent of the vote (about 67,000 votes). Those numbers have people wondering: Will Mr. Judd get any delegates at the Democratic party convention in Charlotte, N.C., later this year?

Canadian attitude envied all over the world

Attempting to shed its reputation for horrible customer service, Britain is turning to a program developed by a country known for its warm, friendly and polite manner: Canada. The British hope the course, used to train volunteers in B.C. ahead of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, will spruce up its people skills before the world arrives for the London Games this summer. Among the lessons? How to communicate messages without speaking, how to respond sensitively to people from different cultures, and how to "go the extra mile" - without rolling your eyes. Others see value in our penchant for politeness - the WorldHost training program has been licensed to more than 17 countries.

Rediscovering the dollar store

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Sure you know you can get cheap chocolate bars and packs of gum at your local dollar store, but did you know that for $2 or less you can also get an iPad case, serving dish or pregnancy test (with the same claims of effectiveness as the ones at the drugstore)? Globe columnist Angela Self takes a shopping cart down the aisles and loads up on some great items, and tips on how to get the best out of your dollar-store shopping experience.

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