Top tips for fantastic lesson preparation

Till lately (2019, to be exact), it was a need that student instructors needed to send in-depth lessons to teachers. Fortunately, this has lastly been changed and have actually gotten rid of the demand for assessors to see private lesson – ιδιαίτερα μαθήματα – plans of student instructors.

The business of how comprehensive lesson plans require to be, or ought to be, is a recurring argument. It tends to be schools who are judged to be requiring renovation or poor where the burden of extreme lesson planning seems to be the better.

Without a doubt, it’s one of the terrific ironies of an institution remaining in Special Measures that its personnel undergo much more ‘jumping with hoops’. Typically (maybe argued) at the expenditure of actually trying to boost.

No college boosts due to the fact that its staff are compelled to write comprehensive lesson strategies, always. In fact, comprehensive lesson preparation can easily become a brainless paper workout that offers little purpose whatsoever.

But, depositing the inquiry of whether a lesson plan should be 5 bullet factors, 5 paragraphs or 5 pages long, a far more relevant concern remains:

What does create brilliant lesson planning?

Fortunately is that the solution is not made complex whatsoever. As the saying goes, ‘it’s not rocket science.’ No, great lesson preparation is everything about damaging points down and also keeping in mind a collection of essential inquiries to ask/actions to take.

The guidance would certainly coincide for a student that has actually only remained in the class for 6 weeks, or a skilled pro who has been showing for 26 years.

Know the students you are teaching

Expertise is power. The even more knowledge you have concerning a course prior to you start showing it the better. Of course, this is likely to come in the form of ‘prior attainment data’ and also there’s always a risk of ‘spreadsheet excessive

There’s always a distinctive possibility that what a class appears like ‘theoretically‘ as well as what it’s like when you are front of it are two extremely various entities. Yet information gives you an excellent begin.

Anecdotal evidence about trainees, details about the dynamics of a class, certain demands, or strengths as well as weaknesses are typically more useful than a couple of qualities and marks on a spreadsheet.

As you begin instructing a class, you need to never quit collecting knowledge concerning the pupils in it. This understanding will only expand.

The method is after that to plan with all this expertise in mind.

Know what the aim for the private lesson is

Private lesson preparation has many pitfalls as well as traps lying in wait. A significant one is focusing on lesson tasks as opposed to the lesson intends. Trying to ‘reverse designer‘ objectives and aims to match an activity and also its most likely results is predestined to end in failure.

You should begin with the purposes and what you desire students to accomplish in a private lesson, then discover the tasks that will certainly help them do it.

Maintain points simple

This doesn’t suggest that all activities in a lesson need to be basic, or that the job needs to be simple; however if you can’t express in a number of quick sentences what the purpose of lesson is after that it is also complicated.

Focus on the learning

You need to have a relentless concentrate on the pupils and what they will learn in a private lesson. Absolutely nothing else actually matters. Frequently, lesson preparation is about ticking the boxes; however the only box that counts is discovering!

Read more about private lessons:

Ezra Klein on His New Vox Media Venture — New York Magazine


Photo: Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos/New York Magazine

On January 24, at five in the morning after his final day at the ­Washington Post, Ezra Klein awoke in his condo in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood; sent out his final Wonkbook, the daily policy briefing e-mailed to more than 40,000 subscribers; and flew to California to visit UCLA, his alma mater. It was a Friday, and that evening, a few hundred students had gathered in a campus ballroom to watch two seers of the digital future chat about disruption. Klein was there at the invitation of Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, who was touring college campuses to promote his up-with-innovators book, Without Their Permission.

The event had a whiff of Palo Alto tent revival. As students took their seats, speakers blared EDM. Ohanian took the stage and began a comic spiel that was part entrepreneurial exhortation—the word awesome got heavy rotation—and part crowd-pleasing appeal to generational self-regard. He spoke of “the incumbents” (Silicon Valley–speak for Those to Be Overthrown) and, affecting the Batman villain Bane’s camp baritone, said, “They merely adopted the Internet. We were born in it. Molded by it.” He spoke of “the haters” and “the gatekeepers,” as a LOLCat-style photo was projected on the screen behind him showing a bespectacled granny over the caption WHAT CHANNEL IS THE NETFLIX ON?



Source link

What the New York ‘Times’ Noticed and Missed in 1964 — New York Magazime


(Photo: Illustration by Tony Millionaire)

January 1: Old Year, New Year
Editorial

If we look carefully at 1963 for evidence of what it may portend for 1964, one thing we may note is at least a moderate easing of international tension. The most important evidence of this is, of course, the successful negotiation and ratification of the nuclear test-ban treaty, but there are other encouraging items also … Would it be too much to say that such easing of international tensions as occurred in 1963 was accompanied, to a similar degree, by an easing of familiar tensions here at home? Probably we cannot say that much, but at least there are signs of progress.

January 2: Castro Says He Is Hopeful of Good U.S. Relations

Premier Fidel Castro said yesterday in a telephone interview from Havana that he was hopeful that good relations with the United States might be restored this year. He added that the “next move” was up to Washington. He said that until President Kennedy’s “tragic death,” he believed that “an eventual normalization of relations with the Kennedy Administration was possible.”

February 10: Quartet Continues to Agitate the Faithful
Review by Jack Gould

The cyclical turnover in teen-age trauma received recognition last night in the businesslike appearance of the Beatles on the “Ed Sullivan Show” over the Columbia Broadcasting System. The boys hardly did for daughter what Elvis Presley did for her older sister or Frank Sinatra did for mother. … In their sophisticated understanding that the life of a fad depends on the performance of the audience and not on the stage, the Beatles were decidedly effective. In their two sets of numbers, they allowed the healing effect of group therapy to run its course … Televised Beatlemania appeared to be a fine mass placebo.

February 10: Negro Bitterness Said to Increase

White college students participating in a seminar at a weekend conference on “The Negro Revolt” were given an unexpected glimpse of how an increasing number of Negroes privately view “white America.” The white students, earnestly committed to supporting the civil rights movement, were deeply disturbed and shocked by the discussion.

April 21: Syria’s Foes Say Revolt Spreads

Enemies of the Baathist regime in Syria maintained today that a revolt there was out of control despite Syrian Government assertions to the contrary.

July 3: President Signs Civil Rights Bill; Bids All Back It

President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 tonight. It is the most far-reaching civil rights law since Reconstruction days. The President announced steps to implement it and called on all Americans to help “eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in America.”… Louis G. Wyman, Republican of New Hampshire, who is a supporter of Senator Goldwater’s candidacy, said he would have no fear “if we had a Supreme Court worthy of the name,” because then the unconstitutional aspects of bill “would soon be struck down.”

“Of this we could be confident,” he said. “Unfortunately, it is otherwise, and has been virtually ever since the incumbency of the present Chief Justice [Earl Warren].”

The Southerners gave him a rousing ovation.

July 19: Thousands Riot in Harlem Area; Scores Are Hurt

Thousands of rioting Negroes raced through the center of Harlem last night and early today, shouting at policemen and white people, pulling fire alarms, breaking windows and looting stores. … The riot grew out of a demonstration in front of the West 123rd Street police station protesting the slaying of a Negro youth by a white police lieutenant last Thursday. … When the police sealed off the block in front of the station house, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, the shouting, keyed-up crowd spread out in angry groups in the surrounding neighborhood. Shots fired into the air by policemen to disperse the milling crowds echoed through streets littered with overturned garbage cans and broken glass. … By 10 o’clock, the street had been cleared and barricades set up at the avenues. Policemen in riot helmets roamed the roofs and stood shoulder to shoulder at the barricades.

“Killer cops must go,” shouted the crowd. “Police brutality must go.”

August 2: U.S. Bolsters Vietnam

The United States let South Vietnam reveal this week—and then quietly confirmed—that more American troops would soon be sent to help manage the antiguerrilla war. “More” was eventually defined as about 5,000 men to augment a force of more than 16,000. “Soon” was explained to mean three to six months.

Most important, the move was officially described here as “more of the same”—that is to say, the troops will lead, guide and advise the South Vietnamese inside the borders of South Vietnam; they will not themselves be formally committed to combat or be used to mount a direct attack against Communist North Vietnam.

October 18: China’s Bomb: Grave Problems Posed for West

The detonation last week of China’s first nuclear device sent a shock wave around the world; even the anticipation of the event helped to blow Premier Khruschev out of the Kremlin. Perhaps of even more long-range importance to the future of mankind than the immediate political, psychological and military consequences was what Peking’s first test signified to the world’s nuclear club. Put in a nutshell, the explosion in Western China, evidently in Sinkiang Province, meant that the exclusiveness of the club had been breached, and that the long predicted era of nuclear proliferation was at hand. … There is not much doubt that last week’s events, taken in toto, spell a turning point in the atomic age and in the history of the Twentieth Century, but where the new road will take us, no man knows.

November 4: What Goldwater Lost
Column by James Reston

Barry Goldwater not only lost the Presidential election yesterday but the conservative cause as well. He has wrecked his party for a long time to come and is not even likely to control the wreckage. … The only theory he proved is that part of the Deep South, particularly the rural South, favors his policies of leaving the Negro revolution to the judgment of the States. His gamble that the North would put its prejudices against the Negro ahead of its conscience was disproved. His belief that the American people would turn against the principles of social security at home and collective security abroad was rejected. Even the Middle Western Bible Belt on which he centered his moral yearnings, turned against him.

November 23: Rightists Buoyed by the Election

After a brief period of post-election mourning, the extreme right wing of the American political spectrum has assessed its position and found cause for elation. And some of its sturdiest foes concede the joy is not unwarranted. Despite the crushing defeat suffered by the candidate they labored for, Senator Barry Goldwater, ultraconservative groups are claiming a “thrilling” victory.

The apparent paradox is easily explained. Never before has a candidate favored by the far right polled more than a tiny fraction of the 26 million votes Mr. Goldwater received.

“26,000,000 American Can’t Be Wrong!” shouts a bright orange bumper sticker being distributed by the Conservative Society of America in New Orleans.

A coast-to-coast survey by the New York Times shows that most spokesmen for the far right feel the entire Goldwater vote reflects agreement with their views … The survey also shows that the right wing, proud of its participation in the Goldwater campaign, intends to redouble its efforts in “grass roots” organizing aimed at the 1966 and 1968 elections … they intend to marshal all the forces they can to see that there is a next time for a right-wing Presidential candidate.

December 31: Old Year, New Year
Editorial

A year that began with high hope has made good on part of its promise. We can thank 1964 for its gift—despite the new bang in China—of twelve months of peace between the major atomic powers … At home we can be proud of the enactment of a really worthwhile civil rights bill; gratified for the business boom that still runs on; thankful that the country did not decide on Nov. 3 to turn back to McKinley.

There is another side of the story? There is indeed. All over the world there are wide areas of distress and conflict. The situation inherited in Vietnam seems to grow worse instead of better. The U.N. is semi-paralyzed by disagreement. There is chaos in the Congo. Other young African states are in deep trouble. These are some of the problems. There are more.

It will do us no good to hope for the millennium in 1965. The next twelve months are not likely to bring a settlement of the Berlin question or a solution in Kashmir or agreement between Peking and Taiwan of the departure of Castro or many other desirable denouements. What one can hope for, and work for, is that where a good beginning has been made it will not falter.





Source link

Son of Spies Whose Case Inspired ‘The Americans’ Can Become Canadian


MONTREAL — It has all the makings of a Cold War drama: Russian sleeper spies posing as a suburban family in North America, children who say they were oblivious their parents were Russian agents and an elaborate F.B.I. operation unmasking the shadowy ruse.

On Thursday, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that the younger son of real-life Russian spies who helped inspire the television series “The Americans” is entitled to Canadian citizenship, after a protracted legal battle in which he argued that children should not be punished for the sins of their parents.

The case centers on Toronto-born Alexander Vavilov, now 25, who returned to Russia with his brother, Timothy, after their parents — Andrey Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova — were unmasked as spies and arrested by F.B.I. agents in the United States in 2010. The arrests were part of the unraveling of a Russian espionage ring that had used high-tech gadgetry and detailed cover stories to collect political gossip and policy talk about the United States.

Under Canadian law, people born in Canada have the right to Canadian citizenship with rare exceptions, including if they are children born to diplomatic officers or employees of a foreign government.

Hadayt Nazami, Mr. Vavilov’s lawyer, said the brothers had the right to Canadian citizenship since they were innocent victims who were unaware their parents were working as spies. Moreover, he said their parents were not officially working for the Russian government when they were in Canada.

“These are innocent people caught up in this bigger game between superpowers,” he said by phone. “At the time they were children. We do not use citizenship laws to try to punish people for something their parents have done.”

The back story of the Vavilov family is the stuff of a spy thriller — which it helped inspire with “The Americans.”

After being trained in Russia, Mr. Vavilov’s parents moved to Toronto, where they took on the names of Canadians who had died as infants — Tracey Lee Ann Foley and Donald Howard Heathfield. The couple started a successful diaper business and had two boys — Timothy in 1990 and Alexander in 1994.

After a period of living in France, the family moved to the United States in 1999, and eventually lived in Cambridge, Mass., where Mr. Bezrukov undertook graduate work at Harvard.

But the couple were being monitored by the F.B.I. as part of a sprawling Russian spy ring that had rigorous training and undercover identities and included sleeper spies in Yonkers, N.Y., Manhattan, New Jersey, Boston and Virginia. The couple pleaded guilty to spying for Russia and returned to Russia as part of a swap with American spies arrested in Russia.

In an affidavit submitted to one of the Canadian courts, Alexander Vavilov said he had grown up believing he was Canadian, had learned French and English in deference to his Canadian heritage, and had been shocked and “traumatized” to discover that his parents were spies.

“I remember vividly the F.B.I. agents entering our house with weapons as I walked down the stairs,” he wrote.

“My parents were handcuffed in front of my eyes. Canada will always be my home,” he added. “It is the only culture I can associate with, and has been a cornerstone of my identity.”



Source link

One Carnival Cruise Ship Hits Another, Injuring 6


One Carnival cruise ship crashed into another while trying to dock at a port in Mexico on Friday, leaving six injured passengers, a damaged hull and a handful of expletive-laden social media videos in its wake.

The crash happened as the Carnival Glory cruise ship was “maneuvering to dock” in Cozumel, an island off the Caribbean coast of Mexico, and struck the Carnival Legend, which was already docked, Chelsea Stromfeld, a spokeswoman for the cruise line, said in an email.

Ms. Stromfeld said six passengers sustained “minor injuries,” including one who was hurt while a group of guests were evacuating a dining room on Decks 3 and 4.

“We are assessing the damage but there are no issues that impact the seaworthiness of either ship,” she wrote. “We have advised guests from both ships to enjoy their day ashore in Cozumel.”

Videos of the crash were captured by bystanders and shared widely on social media. They showed the nose of the Glory striking the back of the Legend, causing a great crashing sound and ripping a hole in the side of the ship.

“He’s going to hit us next!” a man can be heard yelling in one video. The video appeared to have been taken from the deck of another nearby cruise ship, but no additional crashes were reported on Friday.

The Carnival Glory is a Miami-based ship registered in Panama that has been carrying passengers since 2003, according to the cruise line. It carries about 1,150 crew members and has a maximum guest capacity of 3,756, but the company did not say how many people were on board at the time of the crash.

The Carnival Legend is a smaller ship. It carries about 930 crew members, can accommodate up to 2,610 guests and has been in service for the company since 2002. It is based in Tampa but registered in Malta, the cruise line said.





Source link

Legal Marijuana’s Unresolved Issues a Year On


Just over a year has passed since Canada became the first large industrialized nation to legalize recreational marijuana. Here’s the mini version of the article I wrote for The Times about what it has brought the country: tears for investors, frustration for many shoppers and indifference from most of the public, but few of the widely feared problems. Please let me encourage you to read the full version.

[Read: From Canada’s Legal High, a Business Letdown]

As is often the case with longer stories, my reporting took me down many paths that ultimately couldn’t be included in the article. But as we mark the first week of legal sales of edibles (if, again, on a limited basis), let’s look at some of the unresolved issues surrounding the legal marijuana market:

— I spoke with Monica Haberl, a researcher at the Conference Board of Canada, who studies how employers are dealing with cannabis use by their workers.

She compared the fears in the run-up to marijuana legalization with the Y2K fretting of two decades ago.

“There was all this hubbub sort of leading up to it, and then it wasn’t really the disaster that people expected it to be,” Ms. Haberl said. “I always have to add the qualifier that it doesn’t mean that there aren’t still legitimate concerns and that there won’t be new ones in the future. So it’s still something worth having a conversation about.”

At the top of the list of her concerns are the effects of edibles on workplaces. Smoking remains the most common way for Canadians to get their marijuana buzzes. For employers that’s a good thing, as it leaves a lingering and unmistakable odor on users. (By the way, the smell in commercial marijuana grow rooms like the one pictured in this newsletter is almost unbearable after a couple of minutes.)

But, Ms. Haberl said, “from a workplace safety standpoint, edibles are just easier to hide and harder for an employer to detect.”

On top of all that, she said, the science is still out on how to define marijuana impairment, something that has become even more difficult with edibles because they metabolize differently within the body than smoked weed.

“The science is not there to say ‘one toke for women, two tokes for men,’ as is the case with alcohol and blood levels,” she said. “The science is essentially behind the legislation.”

— At McMaster University in Hamilton, Michael Amlung, a professor of psychiatry who studies addictions, told me that defining impairment isn’t the only outstanding cannabis issue on researchers’ agendas.

“One of the things that’s concerning from my standpoint in terms of research is when we’re talking about cannabis use among youth. We don’t know much about the effects of cannabis on the developing brain — and the brain does continue to develop into the teen years and into the early 20s,” he said. “There is some preliminary evidence that heavy cannabis use during those time periods can impact typical neural development, but we don’t understand yet what the potential long-term consequences may be.”

He is also dismayed about many claims around marijuana, particularly the idea that different strains offer specific properties — like, say, aiding sleep.

“There is a lot of snake oil at this point,” he said. “This idea that cannabis is a miracle plant that will cure all of your ailments is, at least currently, not supported by the science.”

Genetic analysis by botanists, Professor Amlung said, shows that there has been so much cross breeding between strains “that those labels are largely meaningless from a scientific standpoint.”

But while he had concerns, Professor Amlung was also confident in predicting that there was little possibility that Canada would become a land of stoners, even if legalization led to more people using cannabis.

“In terms of it being a scourge on society and leading to the so-called reefer madness, I just don’t see that as being a likely outcome,” he said.

— Finally, it’s not clear when the industry will start making money. All of the investment experts I interviewed agreed that we would see many mergers between the various marijuana producers, leading ultimately to a smaller number of large growers.

But none of them were willing to predict when the industry might produce the riches it once promised investors.

“It has been a remarkable swing from euphoria to where we are now,” Eric Kirzner, a professor emeritus of finance at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, told me. “But it really was a crapshoot then, and it’s a crapshoot now.”



A native of Windsor, Ontario, Ian Austen was educated in Toronto, lives in Ottawa and has reported about Canada for The New York Times for the past 16 years. Follow him on Twitter at @ianrausten.


We’re eager to have your thoughts about this newsletter and events in Canada in general. Please send them to nytcanada@nytimes.com.

Forward it to your friends, and let them know they can sign up here.



Source link

Where the Police Wear Masks, and the Bodies Pile Up Fast


BELÉM, Brazil — The masked gunmen pulled up to Wanda’s Bar at 3:49 p.m. on May 19 and began firing the moment they left their vehicles. Two people, including Wanda herself, died on the patio.

Inside, the gunmen worked in silence: two in front, shooting unarmed patrons at the bar and in the main room, while a third followed behind with a gun in each hand, firing a single shot into the head of anyone still moving.

When the massacre ended, 11 people lay dead, slumped over the bar, draped across chairs or huddled on the floor. Only two people survived, one by hiding under a friend’s lifeless body, case files show.

Once again, masked gunmen had struck in the Brazilian city of Belém, as they have for nearly a decade, stalking the streets in open defiance of the law. Robbing, extorting and killing without compunction.

Yet they did not belong to one of the many gangs that traffic drugs or guns in Brazil, leaving a trail of corpses.

They were cops.

The killings drew national attention to the police militias that have long plagued Belém, a dilapidated port city on the Amazon River. Part death squad, part criminal enterprise, their ranks are filled with retired and off-duty police officers who kill at will, often with total impunity.

In fact, the slaughter at Wanda’s Bar was not unique because off-duty police officers gunned down civilians without cause. Such killings are routine. What made this case stand out beyond its brutality was the government’s response: It decided to prosecute.

The deaths have stirred a familiar debate in Brazil. Human rights advocates denounce the heavy-handed approach as both inhumane and ineffective, while proponents say it is the only way to confront a crime wave that has put the entire nation at risk.

But even police officers acknowledge that the official statistics are only part of the picture.

There is a parallel form of police violence, masked from the public and carried out by illegal militias that draw their ranks from officers with little patience or respect for due process, according to interviews with militia members here in Belém.

But violence by the state is another important factor in the bloodshed — driven by an abiding belief that nations must fight force with ruthless force to find peace.

In Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico and other countries, the use of deadly force by the authorities — and the acceptance, or even applause, by the population for that approach — is so widespread that even the public statistics point to an abundance of extrajudicial killings, researchers say.

In many dangerous places, even when gangs and organized crime are very well armed, it is not surprising that criminals die in greater numbers than the police or military they are fighting, researchers say.

But when that ratio is highly skewed — and 10 or more suspected criminals die for every police officer or soldier killed — researchers often view that as a clear indication of excessive force by the authorities.

In El Salvador, where the government is battling the gangs, the ratio is staggering — almost 102 to 1 — according to the Lethal Force Monitor, a research group that tracks the rates across several Latin American countries. In other words, for every policeman killed in El Salvador, nearly 102 suspected criminals die — 10 times the level researchers consider suspiciously high.

In Brazil, the number is also striking: 57 suspected criminals die for every police officer killed, the analysts found.

“We believe that homicides are not a problem, they’re a solution,” said Bruno Paes Manso, a researcher at the University of São Paulo, describing the public acceptance of killings by the police.

“There is a strong belief that violence promotes order,” he added. “And the militias thrive off this feeling.”

But extrajudicial killings are often much more than an extreme step by overzealous officers in cities like Belém and Rio de Janeiro, and some militia members are candid about their criminal motivations.

To line their pockets, some militia members say they bill businesses for security services, taking in hefty sums with mafia-style promises to keep the peace, or they charge local residents for the right to engage in basic commerce, like selling cooking gas or pizzas.

The militias also extort criminals and kill those who don’t pay, operations that hardly differ from the ones they are supposedly confronting.

“It became explicit for me,” said a third militia member. “It became organized crime.”

Today in Belém, there are hundreds of militia members operating in more than a dozen different factions, often with help from on-duty police officers, according to officials and militia members themselves. And until recently, officials say, the government rarely prosecuted or investigated them aggressively.

The government of Pará State, where Belém is the capital, says most police officers “do not deviate from their duties,” but acknowledges that others do. It says it has arrested about 50 officers this year in operations “to dismantle criminal organizations involving public security agents.”

The prosecutor investigating the massacre at Wanda’s Bar, Mr. Brasil, has linked the militias to at least 100 murders in the state in the last three years, but he thinks the actual number is much higher.

“They’ve killed way more than that,” said Mr. Brasil, who has bodyguards because he is going after the militias. “It’s well into the hundreds.”

He took his first life in 2010, a few years out of the police academy, after a gang called the Red Command killed his colleague.

He and other officers shed their uniforms, put on masks and killed a dozen people they deemed responsible or connected in some way, he said.

After that, every time an officer was killed, he said, he and his fellow officers killed at least 10 suspected gang members in response. If violence was the language of the streets, their message would be the loudest.

Residents took notice, he said, and in 2012 a father in his neighborhood asked for help. A man had raped his daughter and was still walking free.

He asked if the officer would kill the man, to end his family’s nightmare. When it was done and the suspect was dead, the officer said, the father wept with gratitude and offered money.

He refused at first, then accepted it.

“It was the first time I felt like a hero,” said the officer. “I felt like an instrument of justice.”

From there, it was a short jump to becoming a contract killer, the officer said. Each step away from the law grew easier. Soon, the self-declared principles that marked the start of his militia activity were gone.

By 2014, the officer said, he was robbing drug dealers, kidnapping and torturing them when they resisted. His hatred of criminals justified just about anything, even killing innocent civilians accidentally. He said he came to embody the thing he hated most.

By that time, he said, militias were operating all over Belém. Some were strictly about killing known criminals. Others were about making money.

Then in 2014, one of the most powerful militia members in Belém, Antônio Figueiredo, was gunned down in the street. The militias took his death personally, three members said, and decided to respond.

On the night of Nov. 4, 2014, they retaliated, killing at least 10 people. But the revenge was reckless, sweeping up innocents as masked officers unleashed their rage.

The officer said he joined a team on motorcycles that went to the Terra Firme neighborhood, an area of mud streets and open sewage canals. He said he watched as a fellow officer dismounted, raised his weapon and fired at a teenager in a baseball cap.

The teenager, Eduardo Chaves, 16, was the first person gunned down in the massacre that night. At the time, his family said, he was leaving church with his grandparents and girlfriend. It was shortly after 9 p.m.

The masked officer shot Eduardo five times, killing him, while the others watched.

“He was a kid,” the officer said. “I knew he was innocent and I knew things were getting out of control. But I was so full of anger I didn’t say anything.”

“By that point, I was already hard-core,” he said. “I didn’t feel anything.”

The boy’s relatives said they ran to the scene and found his body in the mud. His grandmother, Maria Auxiliadora Neves, said she wept as she collected his silver necklace, his cellphone and the few dollars he had saved to buy his girlfriend a pair of sandals.

In the aftermath, Mrs. Neves began to speak out about his murder, a risk even the police warned her against. She became an activist, calling attention to police shootings across Belém.

And then, it happened to her family again.

On New Year’s Day, 2016, Danilo de Campos Galucio, another of her grandsons, was shot, this time by men in an unmarked car, she said. Investigators call that a telltale sign of a militia shooting.

The bullet passed through several organs and left him debilitated, at 15. He spent the next four years in and out of the hospital undergoing surgeries. Bedridden and depressed, he tried to kill himself twice.

This September, he died at 19, having succumbed to medical complications related to the shooting.

“I never paid attention to this before because it never affected me,” his grandmother said, referring to the killings by militias, which she once assumed were justified. “I don’t want revenge. I want justice.”

On Nov. 16, three young men tried to rob a clothing store. But the building belonged to a police officer, a member of the elite ROTAM force, known for its military culture and hyperviolence.

The officer, who was home at the time, saw the men enter the store on his security cameras and took them on himself, according to the police. As they left the store, he opened fire, shooting two of the men — one in the hand and the other in the head.

The officer stood outside, shirtless, clutching a revolver with a streak of blood smeared on his abdomen as the young man he shot in the head was rushed to the hospital. He survived.

Less than an hour later, an image of the young man’s face appeared on a WhatsApp group shared by militiamen, police officers and sympathizers. In case he evaded justice somehow, they would all know who he was, according to a person included in the group.

That evening, two men stole an S.U.V. and exchanged gunfire with the police as they tried to escape. The officers fired three shots into the vehicle. When it stopped, one of the men was taken into custody, witnesses said, adding that he appeared injured but could walk.

An hour later, when he arrived at the hospital, he was dead, with a gunshot wound to the heart, a photo of the body showed.

“I don’t know whether they executed him, and I don’t want to know,” his sister said on condition of anonymity, fearful of reprisals from the police. “The police here do what they want.”

Later that night, Ramon Silva Oliveira, 18, was also killed. He and a friend were coming home from a party, sharing a motorcycle, when the police tried to stop them, the family said.

Ramon, they said, was young, black and had a large tattoo, which officers here openly admit arouses suspicion. But he was no gang member, his family said. He had applied to join the military and, in the meantime, was looking for work. He played soccer well. Medals hung from the walls of his room like ornaments.

But that night, his friend, who was driving the motorcycle, decided to keep going. The police fired at the two young men, striking Ramon and forcing the motorcycle to fall over. He died almost immediately.

“I don’t know whether the gunshot wound killed him or the fall,” said his mother, Marlene Silva de Oliveira, folded in grief. “I didn’t have the heart to go and look at his body.”

The family held a wake for him the following evening, next to a plot of grass where children played soccer.

The arrests began days after the massacre at Wanda’s Bar. Using surveillance footage from street cameras, investigators found the gunmen’s car at a local repair shop.

The owner was trying to get some work done to the car, to disguise it. Soon enough, the authorities arrested four police officers — two hailed from the elite ROTAM force — and three others suspected in the crime.

Tying the murders to the police was relatively straightforward. Forensic analysts found numerous .40 caliber shells at the scene, a bullet available only to the military police, a prosecutor said.

But a judge in one of the cases thinks the evidence is relatively weak, partly because prosecutors have failed to uncover a motive.

In the meantime, the bar is closed, a mausoleum to the events of May 19, and residents remain terrified. Some of the accused lived nearby — and their friends still do.

The fear is so palpable that not a single family member of the deceased agreed to be interviewed. Some have moved, others changed phones and those still around refused to answer their doors or respond to messages.

But a close family friend of the bar’s owner, Maria Ivanilza Pinheiro Monteiro, known widely as Wanda, contended that everyone in the bar was innocent. They were all friends, partying, and the bar itself was a haunt for lots of militia guys, he said on the condition of anonymity for fear for his life.

That’s why the motive is so elusive, he said. The bar had been around for 15 years. They all knew the militias, or were even friends with them. Some of the people killed in the attack actually supported what the militias did, he said, thinking it was the only way to clean up the community.

In fact, the friend still felt that way. He believed that rogue cops were the best way to rid Belém of crime. Even with many of his friends now dead, he still clung to the belief that the militias were a “necessary evil.”

“They make life easier for the good people,” he said. “Overall, I still think they are a force for good.”

The militia men interviewed for this article all felt the killings at Wanda’s Bar were inexcusable, but they defended the militias in general. To them, violence was the only solution, and the only question was how to wield it.

“There’s a way to fix this,” said one of the militia leaders. “The governor should call the good cops and let us go and allow us to kill anyone. Only the bad people, the criminals, those who prey on the weak.”

“That will finish the violence once and for all,” he said.

Yan Boechat contributed reporting from Belém.



Source link

L’Express, the Beloved Montreal Bistro Where So Much Began


MONTREAL — David McMillan, one of Montreal’s most influential chefs, estimates he has eaten at L’Express, the city’s premier French bistro, more than 500 times. His meal is almost always the same: pistachio-studded chicken liver pâté, followed by veal kidneys in mustard sauce.

“I still have this feeling of elation, like it’s Christmas, when I walk into that room,” he said. “Particularly when it’s a snowy Montreal night.”

A French bistro in the classic mold (zinc-topped bar, check-tile floor, standards-laden menu), the restaurant has been leaving an indelible imprint on customers for decades: In the coming year, L’Express will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

“This is a French city,” said Ms. Chesterman, “and the best place to see that is at L’Express.”

Restaurant professionals, from Canada and elsewhere, are particularly susceptible to the restaurant’s charms, lending it an influence that belies its size (66 seats, not including 15 bar stools) and modest name recognition outside Quebec. An argument can be made that it contains part of the source code for the approachable bistros and brasseries that have transformed American fine dining in the last 25 years.

The restaurant was designed by the well-known local architect Luc Laport. The mirrored walls and canonical dishes (céleri rémoulade, soupe de poissons, duck confit) all evoke Paris. But the distinctive Québécois French spoken by so many staff and patrons is, to the trained ear, a signal that you’re in Montreal.

“It’s like a French brasserie where they speak in Canadian,” said Luc Deshaies, 56, a lawyer who has been eating at L’Express since soon after it opened. (He credits his France-based business partner for the observation.)

Yet much of the bistro’s abundant charisma flows from its connection to this beguiling, bilingual city. Mr. Laport’s signless facade — the restaurant’s name is written in tile on the front sidewalk — and rear solarium are among the more obvious features that distinguish the restaurant from the usual template.

Mr. Laport “never wanted to copy a French brasserie,” Mr. Villeneuve said. “We want to make a place for Montreal and from Montreal.”

From Day 1, the founders, whose only professional experience was in staging plays, resolved that the service would help accomplish that mission. “We hired people like a casting,” Mr. Villeneuve recalled, “actors, friends, almost all French Canadian, one French, one Belgian.” New hires were instructed, as they are today, to use the formal “vous” when addressing customers, and to wear traditional uniforms.

“That is the thing that is closer to France, the uniform,” he said. “But you have to be nice, not like a French waiter.”

While L’Express was popular from the start, the food didn’t hit its stride until after Joël Chapoulie was hired as chef in 1982.

“Normal people were coming to see the actors and entertainers who ate here,” Mr. Chapoulie recalled in an interview last month, speaking in a mix of French and English at a sunlit rear table in the narrow dining room. “But the food was not so good.”

Mr. Chapoulie was part of a stream of chefs, born and trained in France, who moved to Montreal after Expo 67, the city’s 1967 world’s fair. He professionalized and expanded the kitchen, affording cooks the space to butcher and make their own pastries and stocks.

“Joël worked in 14 restaurants in Montreal before here,” said Josée Préfontaine, a L’Express owner. “He was able to build a team of real cooks.”

With the hours extended to include breakfast, the menu grew larger, too. Roasted marrow bone, hanger steak and octopus and lentil salad are among the dishes Mr. Chapoulie and others say were new to Montreal when the chef added them to the menu.

“There was a lot of steak” in 1980s Montreal restaurants, Mr. Chapoulie said, “but not the hanger.”

The chef’s efforts to establish L’Express as a serious restaurant were helped by its wine list. When the restaurant first opened, the owners decided they would price all bottles a mere $7 over cost, angering competitors who were generally selling the same bottles for three times as much.

“In Montreal at that moment, you buy a Chateau Latour for $100, you sell it for $300,” Mr. Villeneuve said. “I found that so stupid. It’s the same job to open a Côtes du Rhône as it is to open a Chateau Latour.”

Colette Brossoit’s younger brother, Mario, has managed the bistro’s wine for nearly its entire existence. Longtime customers praise him for championing small producers and natural and biodynamic wines years before they were fashionable.

While prices have risen to account for cellaring costs and other factors, the wine list, which now draws from an 11,000-bottle collection, remains an attraction of its own, both for the quality of its selections, particularly from France, and its deals. Last month, the list featured a Roulot Auxey-Duresses Blanc 2016 and a magnum of Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage 2016 for just a shade over their retail prices in New York, after factoring in the exchange rate.

While he says he took classes on wine as a young man, Mr. Brossoit, 64, is not a sommelier. Nor is anyone else on the staff of L’Express.

“At every shift we open a bottle and taste it and talk about it,” said Philippe Michaud who, at 30, is one of the restaurant’s newest employees, though he has worked there 10 years.

A bartender, Claude Masson, 72, participates in those and other tastings, as he has since he started at the restaurant in 1983. “We do not have the vanity of a restaurant in France,” he said. “But we pride ourselves on being able to help you with whatever you need, especially wine.”

Monsieur Masson, as everyone calls him, is famous locally, both for his understated professionalism and his longevity. Mr. McMillan calls him a mentor.

“L’Express has never been identified with anybody. It’s not the chef’s restaurant, it’s not the owner’s restaurant,” Ms. Préfontaine said. “But customers did notice when Joël left.” She became an owner of L’Express a few months before Ms. Brossoit’s death, as did Mr. Brossoit and Hélène Dansereau, an employee since opening day.



Source link