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.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New assessment tests that have angered parents and teachers across the nation prompted walkouts Monday by hundreds of high school students in New Mexico who had been set to take the exams.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A 28-year-old Italian tourist was killed in Alaska when he was crushed by a chunk of ice that broke from a glacier, authorities said.
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A Tulsa oral surgeon has given up his license and sold his practice after he was accused of being under the influence of medications when he pulled the wrong teeth from two patients and operated on the wrong side of a patient's mouth, officials said.
ASTABULA, Ohio (AP) - A husband and wife kept their two adopted daughters in northeastern Ohio locked in a bedroom for all but a few hours each day where they were beaten, given little to eat and sexually abused by the man over at least two years, prosecutors said.
PASADENA (AP) - A NASA spacecraft is about to reach the end of a nearly eight-year journey and make the first rendezvous with a dwarf planet.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - State corrections officials cannot impose blanket lifetime restrictions on where sex offenders may live, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday in a case challenging a voter-approved measure that prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Citing safety concerns, United Airlines on Monday became the second major U.S. airline to announce it will no longer accept bulk shipments of rechargeable batteries of the kind that power everything from smartphones to laptops to power tools.
MAN TAPED WOMEN IN FITTING ROOMS, SHARED ON PORN SITES: WAYNE, Pa. (AP) - A man sneaking around on his hands and knees videotaped dozens of naked girls and women in dressing rooms at one of the country's largest malls and then posted the clips on pornography websites, police said Monday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Samsung, locked in a tight race with Apple to be the world's biggest smartphone maker, has unveiled an important new phone that ditches its signature plastic design for more stylish metal and glass.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - War-torn Ukraine is a long way from Wood Dale, Illinois.
BEIJING (AP) - An index that measures China's manufacturing activity went up slightly in February but still showed contraction amid China's economy slowdown, according to official data released Sunday.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greece won't seek a third bailout deal, the prime minister said Saturday, having succeeded in separating the loan agreement from the "disastrous" austerity conditions imposed with the willing cooperation of previous governments.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Spacewalking astronauts successfully completed a three-day cable job outside the International Space Station on Sunday, routing several-hundred feet of power and data lines for new crew capsules commissioned by NASA.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - February 2015 was one for the record books in the Northeast - the coldest month ever for four cities in New York and the snowiest ever for Boston.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Ten-year-old Alexis Carey has a rare but intractable form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome. The genetic disease causes severe and multiple seizures, which often leave parents guessing if the terror of watching their child seize up will pass or turn fatal.