Q&A on the News

Q: Where do the millions the Somali pirates extort from countries and shipping companies go?

-- Bob Murdaugh, Woodstock

A: Some of the pirates' money goes back into the town of Haradheere, the main base of operations, according to Reuters. "Piracy-related business has become the main profitable economic activity in our area and as locals we depend on their output," Mohamed Adam, the town's deputy security officer, told Reuters. "The district gets a percentage of every ransom from ships that have been released, and that goes on public infrastructure, including our hospital and our public schools." Some pirate groups are in part funded by Somalis living in other countries, and there is an exchange in Haradheere that helps manage their investments. Locals also can invest in the "maritime companies." "The shares are open to all and everybody can take part, whether personally at sea or on land by providing cash, weapons or useful materials ... we've made piracy a community activity," a former pirate said in the Reuters article.

Q: In your report on the Wimbledon tennis participants, you gave us the winners’ shares but left us to wonder how many ways the total $21 million purse is divided. I don't expect a breakdown, but how many players were involved in the tournament?

-- Craig Murchland, Decatur

A: There were 64 players entered in this year's men's singles field, 64 in the women's singles field, 64 men's doubles teams, 64 women's doubles teams, 48 mixed doubles teams and four wheelchair doubles teams, according to Wimbledon.org.

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).