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.
CINCINNATI (AP) - The parents of four black students who allege their children were expelled over rap music videos and targeted because of race sued a suburban school district in federal court on Tuesday, charging violations of constitutional rights including free speech.
CENTERPLATE: CEO RESIGNS OVER DOG'S MISTREATMENT: STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - Sports catering business Centerplate has announced the resignation of its chief executive after video from an elevator security camera posted online shows a man kicking a puppy and yanking its leash.
WALDO, Fla. (AP) - The north Florida town of Waldo has long had a reputation as a speed trap, and it's no wonder. A small segment of highway that runs through Waldo requires drivers to speed up and slow down six times: 65 mph becomes 55 mph; 55 becomes 45; then goes back to 55; then back down to 45; to 55 again and eventually, 35 mph.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man who authorities believe strangled dozens of women as he moved from place to place around the country was convicted Tuesday of three 1980s murders in Los Angeles.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California regulatory judges have recommended a $1.4 billion penalty against the state's largest utility for a 2010 gas pipeline explosion that engulfed a suburban San Francisco neighborhood in fire, killing eight people and prompting national alerts about aging pipelines.
FURNACE CREEK (AP) - For 10,000 years, a tiny iridescent blue fish has lived in the depths of a cavern in Nevada's desert. But a new study says climate change and warming waters - and its lack of mobility - are threatening its existence and decreasing its numbers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A surly electorate that holds Congress in even lower regard than unpopular President Barack Obama is willing to "keep the bums in," with at least 365 incumbents in the 435-member House and 18 of 28 senators on a glide path to another term when ballots are counted Nov. 4.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - President Barack Obama renewed his push for Congress to raise the minimum wage Monday in a buoyant accounting of the economy's "revving" performance, delivered on behalf of Democrats opening their fall campaigns for the midterm congressional elections.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - The Burning Man counterculture festival drew a peak crowd of nearly 66,000 celebrants as it neared an end Monday on the northern Nevada desert.
CHICAGO (AP) - Americans' eating habits have improved - except among the poor, evidence of a widening wealth gap when it comes to diet. Yet even among wealthier adults, food choices remain far from ideal, a 12-year study found.
CHICAGO (AP) - Could action-packed TV fare make you fat? That's the implication of a new study that found people snacked more watching fast-paced television than viewing a more leisurely paced talk show.
POLICE ZAP GIRL WITH TASER AT MONTEREY COUNTY FAIR: MONTEREY (AP) - Police say they used a Taser on a 14-year-old girl after she attacked an officer at the Monterey County Fair.
ATLANTA (AP) - The U.S. government is looking for trains to haul radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to disposal sites. Too bad those trains have nowhere to go.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - From the start, little has been typical about Tesla Motors' plan for a $5 billion factory to make batteries for a new generation of electric cars.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - The show is over for the Showboat Casino Hotel.