National Briefs: Grim reveal after standoff

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SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Police went to Chad Moretz's home to ask him about a friend who had gone missing and quickly found themselves in a tense standoff when a relative answered the door and whispered: "He's got a rifle. He's going to kill y'all."

It was at least the fourth time in 18 months deputies had gone to see Moretz. But investigators weren't prepared for what they found Jan. 11 after Moretz walked onto his front porch with an assault rifle and was killed by a SWAT team sniper.

Inside the home, amid filth and roaches and foul odors, police found the missing man's severed head and two hands hidden behind a kitchen cabinet inside a hole in the wall. The rest of the body, dismembered by a power saw and wrapped in bags, was discovered in a storage locker a half-hour away in neighboring South Carolina.

Medical examiners confirmed the body belonged to Charlie Ray, 35, an acquaintance of Moretz.

Jupiter, moon approach

WASHINGTON -- While dancers sway to the music at Washington's inaugural balls today, the cosmic couple Jupiter and the fattening moon deliver a heavenly waltz: They are less than a degree apart.

This evening, find them very high -- almost overhead -- in the east-southeastern sky. In fact, tonight they will be at their closest at 11:30 p.m. Eastern time, according to Tony Flanders and Alan MacRobert, editors at Sky & Telescope magazine.

Texas recruiting gun lovers

AUSTIN, Texas -- Attention New Yorkers: Texas wants you. And your guns.

Last week, the day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved a broad package of gun-control measures that made the state's tough gun laws even tougher, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott began running Internet advertisements in Manhattan and Albany asking New York gun owners to consider moving to Texas. The two ads promote the state's low taxes and gun culture.

Schumer confident

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York says Democrats will pass a budget proposal this year that includes new taxes and "our Republican colleagues had better get used to that fact."

Mr. Schumer, the third-ranking Senate Democrat, tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that his party's budget will also include tax law changes to attract support from both parties and bring down the nation's debt. Congress is trying to figure out how what to do when the government hits its borrowing limit soon.

Teen fatally shoots five

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Three minors and two adults were shot to death at a home in southwest Albuquerque, N.M., by a teenager using, among other weapons, an assault rifle, the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department said Sunday.

The victims' identities haven't been released, and the boy's motive and connection to the victims weren't immediately known.

Excess voltage ruled out

NEW YORK -- Federal investigations said on Sunday that they had ruled out excessive voltage as the cause of a battery fire on a Boeing 787 in Boston this month, widening the mystery into what led to the grounding of the 787, the world's most technologically advanced jet, after a second battery-related problem last week.

The National Transportation Safety Board said an examination of the data from the plane's flight recorder indicated that the battery "did not exceed the designed voltage of 32 volts."

-- Compiled from news services



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