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Good morning, and welcome to the weekend.

Grab your cup of coffee or tea, and sit down with a selection of this week’s great reads from The Globe. In this issue, Shannon Proudfoot asks Canadians how vastly different the meaning of the monarchy is, depending on who you’re speaking to. Ahead of the coronation of King Charles, Proudfoot set out to find an angle that hadn’t been overdone. “I started thinking about how the monarchy is everywhere in Canada,” she says. “We are a parliamentary democracy, but the images of the queen and the concept of the crown are everywhere.” The monarchy, she says, tends to blend into the background for most Canadians. Her goal was to speak with Canadians who still felt its spotlight. The results, she said, which included two separate sources using the analogy of a family to explain their perspective on Canada’s relationship to the sovereign, were profound, continuing to surprise her even after she finished writing.

Nathan VanderKlippe reports on authorities’ attempts to stop migrants from crossing one of the world’s most dangerous routes, the Darién Gap.

And the quiet countryside of Bécancour, Quebec, could be changed forever, thanks to the electric-vehicle boom.

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Queen Elizabeth is Canada’s most famous face, but it’s the King Charles era now

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Souvenir items with the image of King Charles III and the late Queen Elizabeth II are displayed for sale at a stand in London, May 3, 2023.Emilio Morenatti/The Associated Press

What you see when you look at the monarchy in Canada – if you even notice it any more – is wildly different depending on where you stand. Like old wallpaper, sovereignty might feel invisible over time, but its everywhere in Canada – in our pockets and wallets, on our passports, in courtrooms and frozen-in-time official portraits hung in schools, arenas and community buildings across the country. Shannon Proudfoot speaks to Canadians about the coronation, and what the monarchy means to them.

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Panama’s Darién Gap, a highway and a graveyard for migrants, sees rising dangers in the crowded jungle

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A Venezuelan family trek through the Darién Gap, a dangerous jungle linking Central and South America Between Colombia and Panama, on Oct. 7, 2022.FEDERICO RIOS ESCOBAR/The New York Times News Service

This year, international organizations warn the number of those crossing the Darién Gap may reach 400,000 – a swell of humanity more populous than Halifax and a vast increase from the 250,000 migrants who ventured across last year. Young men continue to make up the majority. But they are joined by middle-aged, single mothers and even those not yet old enough to walk themselves. Nathan VanderKlippe reports on efforts by authorities to stop migrants from crossing one of the world’s most dangerous routes – and how cartels are cashing in on them as they search for a better life.

How the EV battery boom could change Bécancour, a quiet corner of Quebec, forever

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The future site of Nouveau Monde Graphite, in the Quebec Societe-Parc Industriel, waiting for construction in Becancour, Quebec, March 24, 2023.Christinne Muschi/The Globe and Mail

Quebec’s Bécancour region has been searching for higher purpose for half a century – a critical mass of big business with a common raison d’être to finally put itself on the global map. Now, it might have found it: making battery materials for electric vehicles in the global energy transition. After years of repeated disappointment, the massive industrial campus is coming to life as a key hub for North America’s EV battery supply chain. As Nicolas Van Praet reports, Bécancour is ready for its close-up.

School boards target special education classrooms

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Theresa McMahon, left, poses for a portrait with her son Callum outside of their home in Brampton, Ont., on April 16, 2023.Duane Cole/The Globe and Mail

Prior to the 1970s, it was common for children with disabilities to be excluded from schools. However, lobbying efforts from families and advocacy groups, and advances in pedagogical thinking, prompted provinces and school boards to provide special education programs and services – with the argument that children do better academically and socially in a regular classroom. Now, school officials across the country are shutting down special education classrooms and integrating children with disabilities into mainstream classes to facilitate their inclusion. The changes push a complicated issue to the forefront: Is the mainstream classroom set up to accommodate the range of diversity we see in our students?

And then every day

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Mark Kingwell photographed in Toronto.Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Advanced heavy drinking, what the therapeutic establishment likes to call substance-use disorder, can be like a plane crash in zero visibility: You only know you’re in a death spiral when the nose hits the ground. Mark Kingwell has been battling alcoholism for decades with nearly fatal consequences. But now, in the aftermath of two liver transplants in the space of six months, he reflects on a life of drinking.

A Maud Lewis cat sweater goes viral and breeds a litter of online knockoffs

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Grace Tompkins, doing her a Ph.D. in math in Waterloo, Ont., is photographed wearing her crocheted sweater on May 3, 2023.Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Grace Tompkins never set out to capitalize on Maud Lewis’s work, but was instead inspired by her cheerful and charming paintings. The way Lewis painted such joyful vivid tableaus of kittens and oxen haling logs and horse-drawn sleighs reminded Tompkins, who now lives in Waterloo, of being with her family in Nova Scotia and the happiness of home, and helped her through a tumultuous pandemic. Last weekend, she wore a crocheted sweater depicting a Maud Lewis cat painting that quickly went viral – and was surprised to see a litter of reactions from the public.

New wing of the American Museum of Natural History offers respite from the concrete jungle

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From the top of the staircase in the Kenneth C. Griffin Exploration Atrium of the Richard Gilder Center, visitors can take in the full scope of the five-story Griffin Atrium.Iwan Baan

The American Museum of Natural History is one of the most prominent museums of its kind in the world and has been a major New York tourist destination, especially for families, since its beginnings in 1869. Now, the latest addition to the museum, a $465-million Gilder Center wing, provides a new entrance and cleans up the routes through the museum complex. On its five levels, it connects to 10 existing wings in 33 different places, and is one of the most fascinating works of architecture to come along in a generation.

Drawn from the headlines

Tucker Carlson breaks silence after Fox News exit, Advance Local, April 26, 2023, as drawn by Brandon Celi for The Globe and Mail

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