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Nikolas Cruz investigated after Snapchat cutting video, but not considered a threat, report shows

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Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz was investigated by social services and mental health professionals in 2016 after his disturbing Snapchat videos were uncovered — but the teen avoided hospitalization and was deemed not to be a threat to himself or others.

The Florida Department of Children and Families was alerted in September 2016 about Cruz’s Snapchat videos, which showed him cutting both his arms. Investigators questioned Cruz and his adoptive mother, who said her son’s behavior was due to a breakup with a girlfriend who cheated on him, according to the 2016 report, which was obtained by Fox News.

This photo provided by the Broward County Jail shows Nikolas Cruz.  Authorities say Cruz, a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday,  Feb. 14, 2018, killing more than a dozen people and injuring several.  (Broward County Jail via AP)

Nikolas Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

 (Broward County Sheriff’s Office)

Less than two years before he gunned down 17 people at his former high school, Cruz was found to be low risk by the agency. Investigators felt he was unlikely to hurt himself or others because he had “services already in place,” including receiving counseling from Henderson Behavioral Health. The investigator found the then 18-year-old’s behavior was a risk to himself, but he had a “support” system in place.

ALLEGED FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTER NIKOLAS CRUZ WAS REPORTED TO FBI, COPS, SCHOOL — BUT WARNING SIGNS MISSED

The report found Cruz suffered from ADHD, depression and autism and was taking medication and receiving counseling. He told people he wanted to buy a gun and had Nazi symbols and a racial slur on his book bag.

When the staff at Cruz’s school called Henderson Behavioral Health after learning about the Snapchat cutting video, “Henderson’s Mobile crisis unit…determined that he was not at risk to harm himself or others.”

A video monitor shows school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz, left, making an appearance before Judge Kim Theresa Mollica in Broward County Court, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  Cruz is accused of opening fire Wednesday at the school killing more than a dozen people and injuring several.   (Susan Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

Nikolas Cruz during his first court appearance.

 (AP)

The mental health clinician at Henderson Behavioral Health also visited Cruz’s home and found Cruz wasn’t enough of a threat to be hospitalized under Florida’s Baker Act — a law that allows the state to admit people to the hospital for several days if they are found to be a threat. The clinician had Cruz sign a safety contract.

If Cruz was involuntarily admitted into a hospital, Florida state law would have barred him from buying a gun, the New York Times reported. And despite the clinician’s low-risk evaluation, a school counselor was still concerned about Cruz, his depression and desire to purchase a firearm.

“She stated that the concern she and other [school] staff had was to ensure that the assessment of Henderson was not premature,” according to the report.

NIKOLAS CRUZ SHOWED NO WARNING SIGNS BEFORE FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING, SAY COUPLE WHO TOOK HIM IN

The agency closed the case in November 2016, two months after the start of the probe. But there was still other concerning behavior in the months after the investigation closed and leading up to the last week’s deadly shooting in Parkland. The FBI also admitted last week it had not acted on a tip made Jan. 5 that Cruz wanted to “kill people” and the tipster feared the “potential of him conducting a school shooting.”

In the time between the agency investigation closing and Cruz’s deadly spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, his adoptive mother died and he was expelled from the school. James and Kimberly Snead, who took in the 19-year-old after his mother’s death, said they never saw the violent side of Cruz — but they said they did recognize he was depressed.

“We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know,” Kimberly Snead, 49, said. “We didn’t see this side of him.”

Cruz admitted to authorities he carried out the deadly shooting. He’s been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. 

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

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Tokyo Olympics: Opening ceremony was ‘respectful, hopeful but sombre night’ | World News

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Olympic opening ceremonies are something of a unique art form. Playing to a global audience but with the host nation wanting to make the night their own.

Japan chose sombre. It was a respectful, hopeful but above all sombre night. They didn’t want to show off when everyone has lived through such hardship – and while so many people continue to do so.

Their display using 1,824 flying drones combining like a swarm of giant worker bees to create a giant globe stood out.

Naomi Osaka of Japan holds the Olympic torch after lighting the Olympic cauldron
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Naomi Osaka of Japan holds the Olympic torch after lighting the cauldron

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There were no Team GB fans at the 2021 summer olympic opening ceremony in Tokyo due to COVID-19 but Japan put on a stunning visual show regardless

So too Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka who was given the honour of firing up the hydrogen-fuelled Olympic cauldron.

But it was their courteous bow towards the pain of the pandemic that defined the evening.

Video montages of empty cities during lockdowns, and athletes cobbling together training regimes in their back gardens – it all made for an understated opening ceremony.

Outside, the protests in the streets continued among those still vehemently against the Games taking place while Tokyo remains in a state of COVID emergency.

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There were also people outside who just felt drawn to the Olympic stadium – to come and wave to the very select numbers of VIPs and media going inside. It was as close as they could get to the Games that they had waited almost a decade for.

While these Olympics will feel unusual there were reminders too of the magic they can create.

There was a towering Tongan taekwondo player who strode into the stadium with his bare oiled chest puffed out as he carried his island nation’s flag like a warrior on a mission.

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Protests held outside Olympic stadium

The Olympics can still produce special moments like that and there will be plenty more over the coming weeks.

There will be more COVID-19 disruption too but the Games of 2020 are finally open, just one year late.

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Business leaders have ‘obligation to speak up’, ex-Unilever boss says amid Ben & Jerry’s row | Business News

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Unilever’s ex-boss has said business leaders have an “obligation to speak up” after his former company became embroiled in a row with Israel over its Ben & Jerry’s business.

Paul Polman mounted a defence of the need to “fight for what is right” in remarks to Sky News after the ice cream brand said it would stop selling its products in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Ben & Jerry’s is owned by consumer goods giant Unilever – whose array of brands ranges from Marmite spread to Dove soap – but has an independent board to take such decisions.

Alan Jope, Unilever chief executive
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Current boss Alan Jope has spoken to Israel’s prime minister about the matter

Its announcement is one of the strongest steps taken by a well-known company over Israel’s settlements, which are widely seen as illegal by the international community.

The move drew condemnation from the Israeli government, whose new prime minister Naftali Bennett said this week that Israel would “use the tools at its disposal – including legal – on this issue” and that those taking such action “need to know that there will be a price to pay”.

Mr Polman, speaking to Sky’s Ian King Live, said it would be inappropriate to say how he would have handled the issue had he still been in charge of Unilever.

But he added: “What is very important is if we want humanity to function for the long term we need to be sure that we fight for the basic values, the basic values of dignity, respect, equity, compassion.

“If we see these values being violated anywhere in the world I think we have an obligation to speak up.

“What we’ve seen in the US in the last few years – too few people, also from the business side, spoke up against things that then bit by bit moved the boundaries and put us in a very difficult situation.

Naftali Bennett will serve as prime minister for two years
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Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said there would be a “price to pay”

“So, fight for what is right and one of the few things we should fight for always is, these basic human rights.”

Mr Polman was speaking a day after current Unilever boss Alan Jope, in a conference call to discuss latest results, said the company remains “fully committed” to doing business in Israel but gave no indication that Unilever would press Ben & Jerry’s to reverse the decision.

Mr Jope, who has spoken to Mr Bennett on the phone to discuss the matter, said that it was a “complex and sensitive matter”.

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Tokyo Olympics 2020: Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine withdraws to avoid facing Israeli competitor Tohar Butbul | World News

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An Algerian judo competitor has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics after learning he could have faced an Israeli opponent.

Fethi Nourine said his political support for the Palestinian cause made it impossible to compete against Tohar Butbul.

He told Algerian TV he would not “get his hands dirty” and his “decision was final”.

“We worked a lot to reach the Olympics, and the news came as a shock, a thunder”, he added.

Tohar Butbul of Israel
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Tohar Butbul of Israel

The 30-year-old was drawn against Sudan’s Mohamed Asdalrasool on Monday for his first match in the men’s 73kg class. If he had won that match, he would have faced Butbul, who has a first-round bye, in the next round.

Nourine also withdrew from the world championships in 2019 for the same reason.

At the time, his coach Amar Ben Yaklif was quoted in Algerian media saying: “We were unlucky with the draw. We got an Israeli opponent and that’s why we had to retire. We made the right decision.”

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Tensions between Israel and Palestinians flared in Jerusalem earlier this year causing the worst violence in the region since 2014.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Judo - Training Sessions - Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan - July 22, 2021. Technicians work on the mat in Nippon Budokan Arena, during training sessions. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
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Judo training sessions take place at the Tokyo Games

The conflict between the two sides has been going on for decades and has seen athletes from Iran and Egypt also previously refuse to compete against Israeli opponents.

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The opening ceremony for this year’s Olympic games took place on Friday, with fans not allowed in the national stadium for the event due to COVID-19 concerns.

Instead, around 1,000 dignitaries and members of the media were allowed the witness the spectacular event.

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