Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 4th 2013 Contents A7
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The Chinese embassy yesterday
denied knowledge of any situations
in which local journalists were barred
from covering any events during the
visit of China s President Xi Jinping
over the weekend.
The embassy s counsellor Lan Heping
told the T&T Guardian yesterday she
was unaware of any reports of conflict
between journalists from the two coun-
Several local journalists reported
situations during the coverage of Pres-
ident Xi s visit, in which they were
blocked from doing their jobs and
called "third world" journalists by
reporters who accompanied the Pres-
ident from China.
CNC3 executive producer Sampson
Nanton described an incident when
local and regional journalists asked if
they would be allowed to attend a
meeting between President Xi and
Bahamas Prime Minister Perry
Christie at the Hilton Trinidad.
"We were told that only Chinese
journalists would be allowed. We asked
why since the talks applied not only
to China but to the Caribbean as well,"
He said they were told that no
media from third world countries
would be allowed.
He said later he heard from another
journalist that the statement had been
repeated and a videographer attached
to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar s party was also turned away.
Nanton said several local journalists
were upset and raised the issue with
director of communications of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gideon
Hanoomansingh told them to raise
their concerns with the Chinese
"We have no problem being stopped
from covering the event but the man-
ner and context in which it was done
was insulting," Nanton said.
Lan was surprised when questioned
about the reports yesterday.
"I have not seen or heard any
reports. This is the first time I am
hearing about this," she said.
She said there were no restrictions
for any of the journalists covering the
events and the situations described
by journalists must have been a "mis-
"It was open to media, there should
have been no problem."
President of the Media Association
(MATT) Suzanne Sheppard yesterday
congratulated journalists for remaining
calm in a negative situation.
"The situation did not degenerate
as it could have. They maintained
professionalism despite an unpleasant
situation," Sheppard said.
She agreed that there must have
been a miscommunication or misun-
She added: "What was reported is
contrary to accepted courtesies and
practices journalists are used to, espe-
cially when working with our col-
leagues in the foreign media."
There is no proven correla-
tion between oral sex and throat
cancer says Health Minister Dr
Speaking with the T&T
Guardian yesterday by phone,
Khan said as far as he had read
no one had proven a direct cor-
relation. He did not rule out the
possibility but said: "The HPV
virus has been shown to be an
initiator of a lot of cancers."
The issue of the human papil-
lomavirus (HPV) was raised once
again when actor Michael Dou-
glas was quoted in a June 2 UK
Guardian interview as saying his
throat cancer was a result of
The report said the actor
revealed his form of throat cancer
was caused by the virus rather
than smoking and drinking.
Douglas was also quoted as say-
ing: "I did worry if the stress
caused by my son s incarceration
didn t help trigger it but, yeah,
it s a sexually transmitted disease
that causes cancer."
In the report, a consultant
head and neck surgeon in Lon-
don, Mahesh Kumar, said in
recent studies 57 per cent of
patients with oral cancer were
found to be HPV-16 positive.
However, Kumar expressed
scepticism at Douglas statement
that his cancer was caused solely
by the virus.
"It has been established
beyond reasonable doubt that
the HPV type 16 is the causative
agent in oropharyngeal cancer,"
the article quoted Kumar as say-
Douglas representative, Allan
Burry, however, in a USA Today
article published yesterday said
although the Guardian headline
read "Michael Douglas: Oral Sex
caused my cancer," that was not
what the actor said.
"Michael Douglas did not say
cunnilingus was the cause of his
cancer. It was discussed that oral
sex is a suspected cause of certain
oral cancers as doctors in the
article pointed out but he did
not say it was the specific cause
of his personal cancer," Burry
was quoted as saying.
An Associated Press online
report said: "The virus, HPV, is
best known for causing cervical
cancer but experts say it is also
a growing cause of certain types
of oral cancer, those in the upper
throat---specifically at the base
of the tongue and in the tonsils.
Studies suggest that HPV can
be blamed for 60 to 80 per cent
of those cancers."
A Johns Hopkins University
researcher, Dr Sara Pai, quoted
in the article, said a small Bal-
timore study found men
accounted for 85 per cent of
HPV-related oral cancers and
advised men and women to
abstain from oral sex if their
partner had an HPV infection.
Khan, when asked about the
cause of the majority of throat
cancer, said it had been associ-
ated with active and passive
smoking. He added, however,
that there could be a causal link
between oral sex and throat can-
cer.The ministry last year intro-
duced the HPV vaccine for pre-
pubescent girls but the minister
initially said the vaccine would
not be given to boys. However,
the ministry has begun to recon-
sider its stance.
Khan said the vaccination
process would restart when
school reopens. Vaccination for
boys, he said, was not definite
Although Khan was unable to
give figures as to how many girls
have been vaccinated so far, he
said the ministry was aiming to
vaccinate 6,000 girls in the first
year of the programme, which
was launched in January.
Harpe Place residents are call-
ing for justice after a 19-year-old
man was allegedly shot by the
police on Sunday morning.
Shaquille Phillip remained ward-
ed in critical condition at the Port-
of-Spain General Hospital up to
late yesterday evening. He was shot
in the shoulder, throat and back.
Residents yesterday protested
the shooting by burning tyres and
debris at Observatory Street, Port-
Police said they received com-
plaints that a man who they
claimed was Phillip was alleged to
be shooting in the area.
However, in an interview yes-
terday at Harpe Place, Phillip s
family said he was innocent and
did not carry a gun.
They claimed Phillip had just
left a party at Pier One and had
pulled up in a car when he was
accosted by police.
Debra Payne, Phillip s aunt, said
he did not have a criminal record
and they were seeking justice.
"We don t want to leave it like
that and we are going to get a good
lawyer. They are treating him like
a criminal. If they caught him
doing a crime I don t mind but he
didn t do anything. I going down
with my nephew. We aren t taking
that," she said.
"In the Harpe, if you not work-
ing, you thieving and if you not
thieving you begging. You have to
get a dollar in your pocket, you
have to live. I bury my children
and my nephew and the police
have no heart, they feel because
they in uniform they could do any-
Payne said four other relatives
of hers had also been killed in the
Harpe: Kevin Phillip, Kwame
Julien, Kwasi Phillip and Dwayne
Evene Phillip, the victim s
cousin, said: "It is obvious if he
had a gun the police would have
caught him with it. They got the
gun in the river, hours after. Look
how far the river is."
Orania Mader, one of the res-
idents, said she saw Phillip lying
on the ground while the police
"I saw the boy fighting for his
life and the attitude of the police.
All I studying was to help and I
never saw him with no gun," she
Mader said she shouted and
begged the police to take Phillip
to hospital, she added.
Chinese embassy unaware of
media snub during Xi's visit Fuad: It's not proven
Report links oral sex to throat cancer...
Harpe Place residents seek justice
After teen allegedly shot by cops...
Shooting victim Harpe Place
resident Shaquille Phillip, at the
Port-of-Spain General Hospital
after he was shot on Sunday.
CANCER / HPV FACTS
• Some types of sexually
transmitted HPV can cause
genital warts. Other types, called
high-risk or oncogenic HPVs, can
• High-risk HPVs cause
virtually all cervical cancers. They
also cause most anal cancers and
some vaginal, vulvar, penile and
• Most infections with high-risk
HPVs do not cause cancer. Many
HPV infections go away on their
own within one to two years.
However, infections that last for
many years increase a person's
risk of developing cancer.
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