LOS ANGELES — Even when John Chiang was in law school, his mother asked him if he would still consider going to medical school. “My mom wanted four surgeons,” Chiang, the oldest of four, told NBC News, laughing. “She’s a worrywart, but she’s fine with [my career] now.” That career is one of public office that began in 1997 when he was appointed to the California Board of Equalization, and then elected the following year to the same position. Chiang won re-election in 2002, and then went on to serve two terms as California state controller. In 2014, he was elected California state treasurer. It’s been a steady path through state government, and now the 55-year-old Democrat has his sights set on a new office: governor of California. But before he can even make it to the November 2018 election, Chiang will have to get past California’s “top two” primary system in June, in which the two candidates who receive the most votes — regardless of party affiliation — will go … [Read more...] about Could John Chiang Be California’s First Asian-American Governor?
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We’re covering tests of Pfizer’s booster vaccine against the Omicron variant and a new chapter in Germany after 16 years under Angela Merkel. Pfizer says its booster protects against Omicron Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their Covid vaccine “may not be sufficient to protect against infection” by the new Omicron variant, but lab tests suggested that three doses offered significant protection . The companies said that blood tests from people who received only two doses found much lower antibody levels against Omicron compared with an earlier version of the virus. Blood samples obtained from people one month after a booster shot showed neutralizing antibodies against Omicron, comparable to the levels of antibodies against a previous version of the virus after two doses, the companies said. Big takeaway: These experiments, done with blood samples in the lab, cannot determine for sure how the vaccines will perform in the real world. But the … [Read more...] about Your Thursday Briefing: Pfizer’s Booster and Omicron.
If you think of historical fiction as a way of translating the past, does your perspective change when that fiction has been translated from another language? As some of the season’s best new historical novels suggest, this added dimension can make a book even richer, even more provocative. And none demonstrates that better than Frank Wynne’s translation of Alice Zeniter’s THE ART OF LOSING (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 434 pp., $28), which won France’s Prix Goncourt des Lycéens. Its central character is a young Frenchwoman attempting to reconnect with the Algeria that shaped and then silenced her paternal grandfather. It’s a story that hurls the lives of mountain peasants into a violent political maelstrom. Naima, who works in an art gallery, is comfortable in the world of her French mother, and it isn’t until she reaches her late 20s that she feels compelled to piece together the story her immigrant father, Hamid, refuses to revisit: of how his father, Ali, in the midst of the … [Read more...] about The Ultimate Summer Escape: Historical Fiction