Q: In a recent AJC, syndicated columnist Mona Charen said she would be voting for Evan McMullin. Who is that?
—David Dickey, Dallas
A: McMullin, 40, is an independent running for president who was the chief policy director of the House Republican conference before he resigned in August to launch his campaign.
He grew up in Auburn, Wash., graduated from Brigham Young University and has a MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
He was a counterterrorism and intelligence officer for the CIA for about 10 years and worked in investment banking before becoming an adviser to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“I’m an American first, I’m a conservative next, then I think about party,” he told ABC News on Aug. 8.
As of Sept. 29, McMullin was either on the ballot or eligible to be a write-in candidate in 34 states. He is a write-in candidate in Georgia.
Q: More than 85 countries earned at least one medal in the Rio Olympics. How many countries entered and how many countries are in the world?
—Pat Hillman, Atlanta
A: There were 206 teams at the 2016 Summer Olympics, including teams comprising refugee and independent athletes.
That is more than the 195 countries recognized by the United States because entities that are dependencies (territories and commonwealths) of other nations are allowed to compete under their own flag in the Olympics.
Those include Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands, among others.
Countries recognized by the United States are included on a list at state.gov/s/inr/rls/4250.htm.
The United Nations has 193 member countries.
Andy Johnston with Fast Copy News Service wrote this column; Will Robinson contributed. Do you have a question? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (include name, phone and city).