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Q&A: Supermodel's immigration status

Supermodel is Brazilian

What is the immigration status of Gisele Bundchen? Does she work in the U.S. on a green card or is she a naturalized citizen?

Supermodel Bundchen was a citizen of her native Brazil as of August 2011, reported. The magazine reported that Bundchen, who is married to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, earned $45 million in 2010.

Five years for Congress pension

I've heard that members of Congress can serve one term and retire with full pensions. Is that true?

Members of Congress are eligible to receive a pension when they are 62 years old, if they have served five full years, according to If they have 20 years in Congress, they are eligible for a pension at age 50. After 25 years, they are eligible for a pension at any age.

The amount of the pension is related to the years of service, and by law, the "starting amount of a member's retirement annuity may not exceed 80 percent of his or her final salary," according to the website.

Many factors for flyover pilots

How are military pilots chosen to do flyovers at NASCAR races? Also, who decides what type of jets will be flown in the flyovers?

Once an event is determined eligible for a flyover, it is up to the event sponsor to contact U.S. Air Force units to see if they can support it with a flyover, Pamela Friend, a spokeswoman for the aviation support program for the Air Force, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In order to offer the flyover program to the public at no cost, the supporting aviation unit uses its operational flying funds.

Most flyovers occur in conjunction with a previously scheduled training mission. The pilots are chosen based on a combination of things. Sometimes event sponsors request units they are interested in, but that unit must already be on a scheduled training mission that day to perform a flyover. Also, sponsors can request a certain type of aircraft, but there is no guarantee that it will be available, she said.

"The Air Force traditionally participates in sporting events that offer us an opportunity to get our messages out to the greatest number of people, both in the stadium and nationally through different media outlets," Friend said. Those events include NFL and college football games, major and minor league baseball games, NASCAR Sprint Cup races and MLS games.

Series shot at castle by Newbury

Where is the PBS series Downton Abbey filmed?

Downton Abbey is filmed at Highclere Castle, the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. It's about five miles south of Newbury, which is west of London. Highclere is open to the public at Easter, during the summer and on certain other days. Its website is

Q&A: Supermodel's immigration status 02/27/12 [Last modified: Monday, February 27, 2012 11:48am]
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