49ers Sign Two Players to Extensions


49ers Staff

The San Francisco 49ers announced on Friday that the team has signed TE Ross Dwelley and S Marcell Harris to one-year extensions. Additionally, the team declined the 2021 contract option for LB Mark Nzeocha.

Dwelley (6-5, 235) appeared in all 16 games (nine starts) in 2020 and registered career highs in receptions (19) and receiving yards (245) to go along with one receiving touchdown. He also added three tackles on special teams. Harris (6-0, 215) saw action in a career-high 16 games (four starts) last season and finished with 29 tackles, three passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He also registered a team-high nine tackles and one fumble recovery on special teams.

Nzeocha (6-3, 240) originally signed with San Francisco off of the Dallas Cowboys practice squad on September 25, 2017. Over the past four seasons (2017-20) with the 49ers, he appeared in 47 games (three starts) and registered 19 tackles, two passes defensed, 1.0 sack, one interception and one forced fumble. He also added 20 tackles on special teams.

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Regular exercise could prevent type 2 diabetes: Study


Washington [US], March 6 (ANI): Exercising regularly is known to have many health benefits and now another advantage of regular physical activity has come to light.

According to a new study regular physical activity is a safe diabetes prevention strategy for people, especially those residing in relatively polluted regions. The findings of the study were published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

The study, which is the first to investigate the combined effects of physical activity and pollution exposure on type 2 diabetes risk, was led by Dr Cui Guo and Professor Lao Xiang Qian, Faculty of Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China, and Dr Hsiao Ting Yang, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands, and colleagues.

An increasing body of evidence has shown that air pollution is a novel risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Physical activity increases the inhalation of air pollutants, which may exacerbate the adverse health effects of air pollution. There is limited information on the combined associations of air pollution and habitual physical activity with the development of type 2 diabetes.

Thus, the risk-benefit relationship between air pollution and physical activity has become an important public concern as almost all (over 91 per cent) of the world’s population lives in a place where air quality does not meet the WHO guidelines. Health guidelines are urgently needed, especially in regions with significant air pollution, to inform people whether they can benefit from regular physical activity.

In this study, the authors investigated the combined associations of regular physical activity and chronic exposure to ambient particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 mm (so-called PM2.5 particles) with the incidence of type 2 diabetes in 156,314 adults who had undergone a total of 422,831 medical examinations in Taiwan, where the annual PM2.5 concentration is around 2.6 times higher than the WHO recommended limit.

Diabetes diagnoses were identified from medical examinations, while two-year mean PM2.5 exposure was estimated at each participant’s address using a satellite-based model. Information on physical activity and a wide range of other variables was collected using a standard self-administered questionnaire.

Compared with high physical activity, moderate (by 31 per cent) and inactive/low physical activity (by 56 per cent) were associated with a higher risk of diabetes. Participants with moderate (by 31 per cent) and high (by 94 per cent) PM2.5 had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than the participants exposed to low PM2.5. The participants with high physical activity and low PM2.5 had a 64 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those with inactive/low physical activity and high PM2.5.

The authors said, “We found that high levels of habitual physical activity combined with low levels of chronic PM2.5 exposure were associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, whereas low levels of habitual physical activity combined with high levels of chronic PM2.5 exposure were associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”They further emphasized that “the benefits of habitual physical activity on type 2 diabetes remained stable in participants with different levels of PM2.5 exposure.” Additional analysis showed that the effect on diabetes risk seemed to be more pronounced for higher levels of pollution than it was for lower levels of physical activity.

Regarding potential mechanisms, the authors said the metabolic improvements caused by physical activity, that prevent the development of diabetes, have been extensively discussed. Pollution could exert its effect by causing system-wide inflammation, including in the lungs, blood vessels, and central nervous system.

A previous study also showed that pollutants inhaled during exercise are only a small fraction of those inhaled overall by a person, which could explain why the effect of physical activity on diabetes risk is similar even in different levels of pollution.

The authors concluded, “Our findings suggest that habitual physical activity is a safe strategy for diabetes prevention for people who reside in relatively polluted areas and should be promoted. Our study reinforces the importance of air pollution mitigation for diabetes prevention.” (ANI)



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Air Force pushes back physical fitness assessments to July 1


U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training trainee, Chris-Ann Wilmoth, 37th Training Wing Detachment 5, Flight 564, participates in a physical training session at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., July 1, 2020. Photo by Kemberly Groue/U.S. Air Force

U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training trainee, Chris-Ann Wilmoth, 37th Training Wing Detachment 5, Flight 564, participates in a physical training session at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., July 1, 2020. Photo by Kemberly Groue/U.S. Air Force

March 4 (UPI) — The Air Force will resume physical fitness assessments for airmen beginning July 1.

The service had previously delayed testing from October 2020 to April 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Air Force has reset the test with scores calculated on a new three-component scoring table and has separated scoring into five-year age groups.

It’s also removed the waist measurement component as a point-driven component of the fitness assessment, though participants’ waists will still be administered to assess whether they comply with the Defense Department’s body composition standards.

The Air Force Fitness Working Group is also exploring possible alternatives to the testing components and scoring measures for the physical fitness assessment.

“We are also conducting a holistic review of policies associated with the physical fitness assessment program to determine if they are still a good fit for today’s Air Force,” said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “This includes a review of who‘s accountable for conducting our testing and how it gets administered.”

Commanders may also delay official fitness assessments beyond July 2021, depending on the recommendation of local public health officials.

The Air Force’s announcement also noted that Space Force will follow these policies until the military develops service-specific fitness policies.

Earlier this week the service announced that it is getting ready to produce a new physical training gear uniform and that airmen will be allowed to wear shorts while working in hot temperatures.

At the end of January the Navy announced that it is pushing back the administrative window for its physical fitness assessment to the end of July.





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TVS Motor Company to provide free COVID-19 vaccination


Hosur (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 6 (ANI/NewsVoir): TVS Motor Company, a reputed two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturer globally, today announced that they had extended free COVID-19 vaccination for all employees and their immediate family members.

This vaccination drive is in line with the ongoing Government guidelines and will cover 35,000 direct and indirect company employees across the country.

Drive to cover 35,000 direct and indirect employees across the country from TVS Motor Company Limited Sundaram Clayton Limited TVS Credit Services Limited Sundaram Auto Components Limited Emerald Haven Realty Limited”At TVS Motor Company, we place paramount importance on holistic employee well-being. We have strived to provide complete support to our employees and their extended family members through the pandemic, ranging from apps for emergency requirements, doctor-on-call, COVID-19 awareness communication and mental wellness programmes. With this vaccination drive, we continue our endeavour to prioritise the health and safety of all our employees and their families,” said R AnandaKrishnan, Executive Vice President – Human Resources, TVS Motor Company, commenting on this development.

In the initial phase, the vaccine will be made available to all employees and their families above the age of 60 and 45 years or older suffering from certain medical conditions.

TVS Motor Company is a reputed two and three-wheeler manufacturer and is the flagship company of the USD 8.5 billion TVS Group. We believe in Championing Progress through Mobility. Rooted in our 100-year legacy of Trust, Value, and Passion for Customers and Exactness, we take pride in making internationally aspirational products of the highest quality through innovative and sustainable processes.

We endeavour to deliver the most superior customer experience at all our touch points across 60 countries. We are the only two-wheeler company to have received the prestigious Deming Prize. Our products lead in their respective categories in the J.D. Power IQS and APEAL surveys for five years. We have been ranked No. 1 Company in the J.D. Power Customer Service Satisfaction Survey for consecutive four years.

For more information, please visitThis story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)



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WA launches royal commission into Crown’s fitness to operate Perth casino | Crown Resorts


The Western Australian government has unveiled details of a royal commission into Crown Perth’s suitability to continue operating its Burswood casino.

It comes after a bombshell New South Wales report into the company’s operations found Crown was not suitable to hold the licence for the Barangaroo casino in Sydney because it had facilitated money laundering through bank accounts held by subsidiaries.

The WA royal commission will be headed by former supreme court justices Neville Owen and Lindy Jenkins and former WA auditor general Colin Murphy.

It is expected to deliver an interim report by 30 June, and a final report with findings and recommendations by 14 November.

The McGowan government, which is in caretaker mode ahead of the 13 March election, had previously flagged an inquiry with the powers of a royal commission.

The racing and gaming minister, Paul Papalia, said it was recommended a royal commission instead be held “to provide appropriate protections” for the commissioners and witnesses.

“The royal commission will provide the next state government with a thorough and independent examination of the suitability of Crown Perth to hold a casino licence following the Bergin inquiry’s findings of suspected money laundering and junkets linked to organised crime,” he said on Friday.

“The commission will also closely examine the state’s current regulatory framework, the functions of the Gaming and Wagering Commission and provide recommendations for enhancing future regulatory capabilities and effectiveness.”

Perth-based businessman John Poynton on Monday became the fifth director to resign from Crown’s board in recent weeks.

Crown’s chief executive Ken Barton stepped down last month after NSW commissioner Patricia Bergin’s damning report into the company.

Papalia said the Gaming and Wagering Commission had already directed Crown to no longer hold junkets and to obtain the commission’s approval to establish gaming bank accounts to prevent any further wrongdoing.

“The state’s regulators have also formed working groups with their eastern states’ counterparts to ensure consistency for any future regulatory reform,” he said.

Crown’s executive chairman Helen Coonan said in a statement the company would fully cooperate with the royal commission.

“The WA royal commission will provide an opportunity for Crown to detail the reforms and changes to our business to deliver the highest standards of governance and compliance, and an organisational culture that meets community expectations,” she said.

Victoria launched its own royal commission last month into the gaming giant’s suitability to run its Southbank casino.

Premier Daniel Andrews said he was prepared to rip up Crown’s casino licence if recommended by the commission.



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UN calls on ASEAN states to leverage Myanmar military junta


New York [US], March 6 (ANI): The United Nations is calling on the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to exert pressure on the Myanmar military, which recently overthrew the civilian government, to protect the human rights and freedoms of the citizens, David Swanson, UN regional spokesman in Thailand, said.

According to Sputnik, on Tuesday, the foreign ministers of the ASEAN nations held an informal virtual meeting, urging all parties in Myanmar to exercise restraint and offering their assistance in finding a peaceful solution to the post-coup crisis.

“We continue to call [upon] all member states collectively and bilaterally to exercise influence regarding the protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Myanmar,” Swanson told Sputnik.

The spokesperson added, “The UN reaffirms its unwavering support to the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of democracy, peace, human rights and the rule of law.”As pro-democracy protests continue to intensify, UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener on Friday (local time) called for a “collective responsibility towards the people of Myanmar to safeguard their democratic aspirations”.

Speaking at the UNSC (United Nations Security Council), Burgener said there is a desperate call for “international action to reverse a clear assault on the will” of the citizens and the country’s democratic principles.

Due to the lack of proper international action against the junta, the hope on the UN by the Myanmar citizens is “waning”, she highlighted.

“It is critical that this Council is resolute and coherent in putting the security forces on notice and standing with the people of Myanmar firmly, in support of the clear November election results,” she pointed.

Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader Suu Kyi, who was detained following the coup, said two more charges have been added to those filed against her since the military takeover.

Hundreds of people have been arrested since the coup, according to activists, the latest being a journalist for the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), who live-streamed security forces outside his apartment on Monday in the coastal town of Myeik. DVB confirmed the arrest, Bangkok Post reported.

The military coup of February 1 halted Myanmar’s tentative steps towards democracy after nearly 50 years of military rule and has drawn condemnation and sanctions from the United States and other Western countries, amid growing concern among its neighbours. (ANI)



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Pagadian City gov’t conducts simulation exercise on Covid-19 vaccines


PAGADIAN CTY, 05 March –. The Pagadian city government through the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and assisted by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) conducted a simulation exercise on Friday, March 5 to handle, deliver and transport of COVID-19 vaccines from the airport to the city’s storage facility.

At the event, the team wearing personnel protective equipment (PPE) and gloves appropriately handled and delivered the COVID-19 vaccines boarded the plane and transferred to the refrigerated van.

The van quickly exited the airport with a convoy of military and police escort vehicles to protect the vaccines and was delivered to the City Health Office which is the temporary designated storage facility.

According to Richard Fabria, the city disaster risk reduction and management officer said the simulation activity was conducted by the city government to identify the possible problems that will be encountered in the roll out of the vaccination program.

Fabria added that the team specifically monitored the timing of delivery of the vaccine from the airport to the CHO to ensure its timely delivery.

He added that as part of preparing for the vaccine roll out, the CHO immediately conducted an ocular inspection of the covered court as the area was identified as a permanent storage facility for Covid-19 vaccines.

After the event, an assessment was also conducted where the invited observers from the Department of Health, Office of Civil Defense, Philippine Red Cross and media gave their observations and suggestions to further improve the vaccination reception process here in the city. (NBE/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)



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Goa Cong tells SEC to suspend civic polls till SC order


Panaji (Goa) [India], March 6 (ANI): Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) chief Girish Chodankar on Friday demanded the State Election Commission (SEC) to suspend the municipal election till the Supreme Court decides on the legality of the entire process.

In a letter to Goa State Election Commission, Chodankar said “The Supreme Court has only stayed the directives of the Bombay High Court and not ordered the resumption of the election process.”He argued that the Supreme Court’s order, which was given on March 4, is applicable only for the Sanguem municipality.

“It is therefore requested of your esteemed office to accord due respect to the process of law and suspend the farcical exercise of election process till the myriad legal points in issue are deliberated and finally decided by the Supreme Court,” the Congress leader said.

“As a Constitutional authority, the State Election Commission is bound to be independent and bound to act fairly. However, with the Law Secretary of Goa having been appointed to hold charge as State Election Commissioner, it is but natural that given the sordid manner in which the announcement of the elections was done, the State Election Commission is not functioning as an independent authority, but behaving like a stooge of the Government,” he stated.

Chodankar said that the civic poll process cannot be halted and then restarted and if stopped, then the entire process has to be initiated all over again.

The elections for 11 municipal councils and the Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) will be held on March 20 and counting will be held on March 22. (ANI)



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The Latest: Dalai Lama receives coronavirus vaccine



DHARMSALA, India – The Dalai Lama, the 85-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, has received the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine at a hospital in the north Indian hill town of Dharmsala.

After receiving the injection, he urged people to come forward, be brave and get vaccinated.

Dr. G.D. Gupta of Zonal Hospital, where the shot was administered, told reporters that the Dalai Lama was observed for 30 minutes afterward.

Ten other people who live in the Dalai Lama’s residence were also vaccinated, Gupta said. All eleven received the Covishield vaccine, which was developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca, and manufactured by India’s Serum Institute.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

– Senate Democrats strike jobless aid deal, relief bill approval in sight

– Speedy variants power coronavirus surge sweeping Europe

– California OKs reopening of ball parks, Disneyland

– Vaxi Taxi targets vaccine anxiety as UK minority uptake lags

– Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka says it will receive 264,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines on Sunday as its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX Facility.

The vaccines, which are being delivered through UNICEF, mark the first allocation of 1.44 million doses of vaccines from the COVAX Facility the Indian Ocean island nation will receive, said the ministry of health. The doses will be procured in stages until May.

Sri Lanka has so far received 1 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in neighboring India, which donated half of the doses. Sri Lanka purchased the balance from India’s Serum Institute.

Sri Lanka began its inoculation drive in January, giving the vaccine first to front-line health workers. So far, more than 600,000 of the country’s 22 million people have been vaccinated.

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TORONTO – The head of the vaccine program for Canada’s most populous province expects to get every adult in Ontario a first vaccine shot by June 20.

Ontario and provincial governments in the country are extending the interval between the two doses of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines to four months rather than three to four weeks so they can quickly inoculate more people.

Retired Gen. Randy Hillier says by the first day of summer he wants everyone in Ontario who is eligible to get a dose. Hillier says the first dose offers an incredible level of protection.

Canada is also getting a fourth vaccine to prevent COVID-19 as the country’s health regulator has cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two.

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HELENA, Mont. — Educators in Montana will begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines next week through a federal partnership with pharmacies.

President Joe Biden announced the program earlier this week, with the goal of vaccinating all teachers and child care staff by the end of March. The federal vaccine program is open to Montana educators even as the state has not made its vaccine allotment available to teachers.

Montana was one of at least a dozen states that had not prioritized teachers as of Biden’s announcement.

The Missoulian reported Friday that in Missoula County, Granite Pharmacy has enough vaccine doses to vaccinate all 2,000 county teachers.

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CHASKA, Minn. – Minnesota Health officials said Friday they are recommending a two-week pause on youth sports in Carver County, after the county has seen a recent outbreak of a variant of the COVID-19 virus.

Health officials said that since late January, the county has recorded at least 68 cases of the COVID-19 variant first identified in the United Kingdom. Those cases have been linked to sports including hockey, wrestling, basketball, alpine skiing and others. Health department data shows from Feb. 24 through Thursday, there was a 62% increase in COVID-19 cases in the county.

Health officials recommend a two-week, county-wide pause in youth school and club sports starting Monday.

Due to the risk that the outbreak has spread to other counties, health officials are also recommending that other youth sports participate in active screening, weekly testing of athletes and coaches, and hold no gatherings before or after games.

They also recommend strict enforcement of proper masking. ___

COLUMBIA, South Carolina – Gov. Henry McMaster lifted mandates Friday on face coverings in South Carolina’s government office buildings and restaurants, leaving it up to state administrative officials and restaurant operators to develop their own guidelines related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The executive order essentially reversed similar guidance from the governor issued in July, when McMaster made it a requirement that anyone entering a state office building, as per guidelines developed by the Department of Administration. At that time, McMaster also issued a similar edict for restaurant-goers and employees.

But, given South Carolina’s declining number of COVID-19 cases, as well as the rising number of residents who have been vaccinated against the virus, McMaster said it was time to begin loosening more mandates – while still maintaining his recommendation that all South Carolinians wear face coverings in public settings where social distancing isn’t an option.

The move is the latest in McMaster’s latest efforts to undo many of the restrictions instituted with the aim of curbing the pandemic. Late last month, he lifted restrictions on late-night alcohol sales and gatherings of more than 250 people, encouraging people “to make responsible decisions.”

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LAS VEGAS — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is marking a year since COVID-19 was detected in the state as a “somber milestone and anniversary.”

The Democratic governor issued a statement to mark the anniversary of the first presumptive positive case of the coronavirus was detected in Nevada. In the year since, the state has reported 295,460 cases of the virus and 5,020 deaths.

Sisolak said that while the pandemic was one of the greatest challenges the state has ever faced, Nevada has not been broken and is working to overcome all the big challenges it faces, including the big hit to the state’s tourism industry.

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NEW YORK – A new national study adds strong evidence that mask mandates can slow the spread of the coronavirus, and that allowing dining at restaurants can increase cases and deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the study Friday. It looked at counties placed under state-issued mask mandates and at counties that allowed restaurant dining – both indoors and at tables outside. The agency’s director says it shows decreases in cases and deaths when people wear masks. And it found increases in cases and deaths when in-person restaurant dining is allowed. The study was released just as some states are rescinding mask mandates and restaurant limits.

The scientists found that mask mandates were associated with reduced coronavirus transmission, and that improvements in new cases and deaths increased as time went on.

The reductions in growth rates varied from half a percentage point to nearly 2 percentage points. That may sound small, but the large number of people involved means the impact grows with time, experts said.

Reopening restaurant dining was not followed by a significant increase in cases and deaths in the first 40 days after restrictions were lifted. But after that, there were increases of about 1 percentage point in the growth rate of cases and – later – 2 to 3 percentage points in the growth rate of deaths.

Gery Guy Jr., a CDC scientist who was the study’s lead author, says the delay could be because restaurants didn’t reopen immediately and because many customers may have been hesitant to dine in right away.

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NEW YORK – After growing cobwebs for nearly a year, movie theaters in New York City are reopening, returning film titles to Manhattan marquees that had for the last 12 months read messages like “Wear a mask” and “We’ll be back soon.”

As of Friday, cinemas in the city are operating at only 25% capacity, with a maximum of 50 per each auditorium. As in other places, mask wearing is mandatory, seats are blocked out and air filters have been upgraded.

For a theatrical business that has been punished by the pandemic, the resumption of moviegoing in New York – is a crucial first step in revival. Screens had been closed there for almost a year.

Less than half of movie theaters are open nationwide, but reopenings are quickening.

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