Karen Fragala Smith

Mob Movies Through the Years

It's not hard to understand Hollywood's love affair with Mafia mythology. The underworld offers all the trappings of a blockbuster movie: dangerous men with an insatiable appetite for power cavorting with glamorous girls, on the wrong side of the law.

Counting Down to Zero

It's impossible to walk out of the film 'Countdown to Zero' without having a strong opinion on whether the United States should continue to develop and warehouse nuclear weapons. Produced by the World Security Institute in concert with Lawrence Bender ('An Inconvenient Truth'), the film is engineered to elicit a "no nukes" response.

'A Window Into Iraq's Future'

Days after the battle was over, U.S. and Iraqi officials were still trying to make sense of it. Hundreds of heavily armed fighters had secretly gathered at a farm outside Najaf, apparently plotting to seize the holy city and kill Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani during this week's celebration of Ashura, Shiite Islam's highest holiday.

Searching For Answers

During the 28 days that Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena was held in Baghdad by a group calling itself Mujahideen Without Borders, protesters marched in Rome, and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi appealed to the Saudis for assistance in securing her freedom.

Woman Waging Peace

Swanee Hunt's life story is as modestly opulent as a meal of black-eyed peas and corn bread served on fine china. Her father, a self-made oil magnate, preached hard work and frugality yet jetted around the world on a private plane.

'Indifference Is Not Permissible'

Think of Vaclav Havel as Arthur Miller and Nelson Mandela rolled into one. By the time Havel became president of Czechoslovakia almost 18 years ago, he was already an internationally renowned writer—whose work had been banned at home—and a human- rights activist who spent four years in jail as a political prisoner.

Encore at the Apollo

The first James Brown fans began lining up at the Apollo Theater a full 24 hours before the public viewing of his body was to begin. By the time his shiny gold casket was brought to the theater by horse-drawn carriage, many thousands had already lined up to pay their final respects.

'I Worry for Pakistan's Future'

Age has scarcely mellowed Benazir Bhutto. At 53, Pakistan's two-time former prime minister has lost none of the fighting spirit that made her the first woman to be elected leader of a modern Muslim nation nearly two decades ago, when she was only 35.

Bombs Away

Fifteen years after stepping down as leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, 75, remains an untiring voice in international relations. Besides continuing his efforts to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons in the world (which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990), he's active in many other initiatives, including the environmental group Green Cross International and World Awards International, an organization created by Austrian financier Christian Baha to celebrate the work of...