Q&A on the News

Q: Why is the Piers Morgan show being canceled? Who is going to replace him?

—Ralph Williams, Lavonia

A: CNN canceled "Piers Morgan Live" because of low ratings, and his final show aired March 28. Morgan's contract expires in September. His show – which aired weeknights at 9 p.m. – had 364,000 total viewers on Feb. 20, four days before it was announced it was being canceled. Morgan, who is British and a staunch supporter of gun control, replaced Larry King in 2011, but consistently trailed Fox News' Megyn Kelly and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. "Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it," Morgan told The New York Times in late February. It was reported last month that Jake Tapper, Bill Weir, Don Lemon and Michael Smerconish are competing for the spot vacated by Morgan.

Q: What is the Russian Federation? Who are its members?

—Richard Clarke, Atlanta

A: The Russian Federation is the formal name of Russia. It comprises 46 provinces, which have an elected governor and legislature, 22 republics, which generally are for certain minority groups and can establish their own constitutions and language, nine territories, four autonomous districts and three federal cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sevastopol). Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine last month and assigned it federal republic status, but the United Nations voted to continue to view Crimea as part of Ukraine, not Russia.

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).