Q&A on the News

Q: After the president finishes his term, how long does he have Secret Service protection?

—Eddie Webster, Douglasville

A: Former presidents and their wives receive U.S. Secret Service protection for life, unless they decline it, according to the "Former Presidents Protection Act of 2012." Congress initially granted protection for life in 1965, but the Secret Service reduced that to 10 years after leaving office as a cost-cutting measure in 1994. The Secret Service also protects the children of former presidents until they turn 16.

“The world has changed dramatically since the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said in November 2012. “We must make sure that the safety and security of our former chief executives is not jeopardized.” Richard Nixon relinquished protection in 1985, 11 years after resigning the presidency, and Barbara Bush, the wife of George H.W. Bush, declined protection after Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.

Q: Do you have any information when and if Garry Trudeau is going to start running new Doonesbury columns? He runs new ones on Sunday, but the weekday ones are reruns.

—George Heinenan, Decatur

A: Trudeau said this summer that the daily "Doonesbury" strip will remain on hiatus while he continues to write "Alpha House," a scripted show available on Amazon Prime Instant Video. "Doonesbury Flashbacks" fill the weekday spots and he is writing the Sunday strip.

Trudeau, who has been writing “Doonesbury” for 45 years, took a sabbatical from the strip last year to write the first season of “Alpha House.” The second season is available on Amazon Prime.

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).