Q&A on the News

—Betty Stephens, Monroe

A: The Navajo Code Talkers Foundation estimates that there are between 50 and 70 Navajo code talkers still alive, Wanda Arviso, a foundation spokeswoman, told Q&A on the News. The Navajo Code Talkers were a group of about 400 members of that tribe who trained and served as U.S. Marines on the frontlines of the Pacific during World War II. They developed and used indecipherable codes based on their native language that were used to transmit orders and messages. The code talkers are often associated with the Navajo, but members of other tribes – including Cherokee, Choctaw and Comanche – used their distinct languages to communicate orders and messages as early as World War I. Comanche code talkers landed in France on D-Day and began communicating in their language, according to the Army Historical Foundation. The Navajo Code Talkers Foundation is trying to build a museum in New Mexico, just east of Window Rock, Ariz. For more info, go to www.navajocodetalkers.org/the_museum.

Q: Has the bailout money given by the government to General Motors been paid back?

—Ned Cone, Smyrna

A: The government has recouped about $22.3 billion of its $49.5 billion bailout to GM as of Feb. 16, according to The Associated Press. The government owns 26.5 percent of GM, or 500 million shares, according to AP. The company sold 9.03 million cars and trucks worldwide in 2011 and made $105 billion to earn a record $7.6 billion profit last year.

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

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