The U.S. electrical grid is a complex system of power plants, transmission lines, and local distribution networks that deliver power to homes and businesses. It comprises three major grids - Eastern, Western and Texas - which are divided into hundreds of smaller sections. A summary of how power flows on the system, who oversees it and what went wrong in the August 2003 blackout:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Scientists who sparked an outcry by creating easier-to-spread versions of the bird flu for research purposes want to try such experiments again using a worrisome new strain. This time around, the U.S. government is promising extra scrutiny of such high-stakes research up front.
NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. electrical grid is better managed and more flexible a decade after its largest blackout but remains vulnerable to increasingly extreme weather, cybersecurity threats, and stress caused by shifts in where and how power is produced.
DETROIT (AP) - Nearly 51 hours after jumping into a lake near the Michigan-Canada border, a long-distance swimmer who calls himself "The Shark" finished his 22-mile journey to Detroit while hauling hundreds of pounds of bricks.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - In a rare diplomatic rebuke, President Barack Obama called off an upcoming Moscow summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, sending a stern message of disapproval over Russia's harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
INDIANA COMMUNITY HANDS OUT DRUG TESTING KITS: LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. (AP) - A southeastern Indiana school is distributing kits so parents can test their children for drug use.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A biker gang leader was convicted of murder Wednesday in the 2011 killing of a Hells Angels member at a Nevada casino that authorities said was part of an orchestrated assassination plot to take out a high-ranking official of the rival group.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Smartphones don't make smart babies, an advocacy group declared Wednesday in a complaint to the government about mobile apps that claim to help babies learn.
ATLANTA (AP) - Higher blood-sugar levels, even those well short of diabetes, seem to raise the risk of developing dementia, a major new study finds. Researchers say it suggests a novel way to try to prevent Alzheimer's disease - by keeping glucose at a healthy level.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The allure of capturing the estimated $425 million Powerball jackpot had players in a buying frenzy Wednesday, further confirming a trend that lottery officials say has become the big ticket norm: Fatigued Powerball players, increasingly blase about smaller payouts, often don't get into the game until the jackpot offers big bucks.
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - On the first day Maj. Nidal Hasan went on trial in a fight for his life, he claimed responsibility for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood. He posed no questions to most witnesses and rarely spoke. On one of the few times he did talk, it was to get on the record that the alleged murder weapon was his, even though no one had asked.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Coastal waters off California are getting more acidic. Fall-run chinook salmon populations to the Sacramento River are on the decline. Conifer forests on the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada have moved to higher elevations over the past half century.
NEW YORK (AP) - Publishers who have settled an electronic book pricing dispute with the federal government objected Wednesday to penalties the government wants to impose on Apple Inc., saying it will hurt publishers rather than the personal electronics giant.
North Bend, Ore. (AP) - David Wonnacott qualified for a tattoo license on July 5 and wasted little time establishing a business in a small, coastal Oregon community. Problem is, police said, he did it with a gun.
SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) - The Children's Place has stopped selling a T-shirt that sparked complaints of sexism.
TRIMBLE, Tenn. (AP) - Booze, bikes and rock 'n' roll.
NEW YORK (AP) - Trevor Noah, the newly announced host of "The Daily Show," rejected the backlash over his graphic tweets targeting Jews and women as an unfair reflection of him and his comedy.
KENILWORTH, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got into a heated exchange over pensions with a public school teacher at a town hall meeting Tuesday that was marked by frequent outbursts from protesters.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A private Pennsylvania college expelled three students over a campus radio broadcast in which they made racist comments and used a slur.
SEATTLE (AP) - The father of a Washington state high school student who killed four classmates and himself last fall was arrested Tuesday on a federal charge that he was barred from possessing the gun his son used in the shooting.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A 20-year-old man was charged Tuesday with assaulting a St. Louis light-rail commuter who reported he was attacked after being asked about last summer's police shooting death of Michael Brown and the ensuing racial unrest in nearby Ferguson.
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A northeast Ohio woman has been charged with felonious assault for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend after yelling at him for eating all of the couple's salsa.
HOUSTON (AP) - A Texas university that booked Matthew McConaughey as its May commencement speaker has broken the silence on the Texas-born actor's speaking fee.
DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of more than 1,740 RadioShack stores to hedge fund Standard General, preserving some 7,500 jobs.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Google is releasing its cheapest Chromebook laptops yet, two versions priced at $149 aimed at undercutting Microsoft's Windows franchise and gaining ground in even more classrooms.
NEW YORK (AP) - Toyota is turning to a sporty hatchback and a low-cost sedan to restore some hipness - and sales - to its youth-oriented Scion brand.
NEW YORK (AP) - IBM is investing $3 billion to build an "Internet of Things" division aimed at harnessing the massive trove of data collected by smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances and using it to help companies better manage their businesses.
NEW YORK (AP) - Online crafts retailer Etsy says it expects to raise as much as $267 million from an initial public offering values the company at up to $1.78 billion.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Maine celebrates its Whoopie pies. North Carolinians proudly dance their Shag. In Kansas, even dirt is official: Harney silt loam is the state soil.
FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) - Two men dressed as women smashed a stolen car into a police vehicle after they disobeyed commands at the closely guarded gates of the National Security Agency on Monday, prompting police to open fire.