May 19, 2013 4:09 AM

Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad:

Newark, N.J., May 14, The Star-Ledger on Angelina Jolie’s public announcement of double mastectomy is heroic:

Angelina Jolie, in publicizing her double mastectomy, now joins a pantheon of celebrities who have gone public with private pain to help others. It was a brave decision that will almost certainly save lives. ...

Jolie, 37, wrote about her decision to have the procedure done as a preventive measure in The New York Times. Her mother died of ovarian cancer at the age of 56 in 2007. She has six children with actor Brad Pitt — three adopted, three biological — and the thought of leaving them motherless was a strong motivating factor for the actress. ...

Jolie’s genetic tests revealed she carried the faulty gene that gave her a heightened risk of developing breast cancer, and to a lesser extent ovarian cancer. That’s when she decided to take action and have both breasts removed in February; breast reconstruction followed nine weeks later. ...

Jolie’s announcement is in many ways singular. She is an actress at the height of her stardom, beauty and sex appeal — the latter is a big factor in her popularity. She and Pitt have been expert at managing their fame as the hot celebrity couple of their generation. By going public with her personal challenge, while still very much in the public eye, Jolie has shown extraordinary courage, the kind that leaves her cinematic heroines in the dust.

Dubai, May 14, The Khaleej Times on the bane of guns:

America has witnessed yet another shocking incident of gun violence. On annual Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans, which was attended by nearly 400 people, gunmen opened fire, injuring at least 19 people, including three children. ...

This incident has followed a surge in gun-related violence during recent months in the U.S., and justifies the necessity to enforce more stringent gun ownership laws. But if historical examples are anything to go by, accomplishing this would be no easy feat. After the unfortunate mass shooting at a Connecticut school last year that killed 26 people, President Obama introduced a bill, which aimed to impose tougher checks on gun ownership and ban assault weapons. But with Congress divided on the issue due to the strong lobby of the National Rifle Association (NRA), that gun control package is currently stalled. And, in fact, the clause concerning the ban on assault weapons was dropped entirely from the package. But gun control is not completely a lost cause. State-level changes to gun laws have taken place in the aftermath of the Connecticut massacre. Both New York and Connecticut this year imposed tough checks on gun ownership and banned assault weapons.

And now, after the New Orleans shooting, Obama has again pressed for regulation of gun ownership. Still, real change in gun laws at a federal level will continue to be a distant dream. And this is definitely disappointing, considering that gun-related violence is a big cause of fatalities in the country. While America has intensified its effort to hunt down home-grown terrorists after last month’s bombings in Boston, the country still remains far from addressing the factor that has been a major cause of tragic massacres. It seems like in the U.S. interest groups politics will continue to have precedence over human lives.

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