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.
ATLANTA (AP) A small study that examined brains from children who died found abnormal patterns of cell growth in autistic children. The research bolsters evidence that something before birth might cause autism, at least in some cases.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Shares of satellite TV companies Dish and DirecTV surged in midday trading Wednesday after a report said that Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen had contacted DirecTV CEO Mike White about merging.
CHICAGO (AP) - A smartphone app for recovering alcoholics that includes a panic button and sounds an alert when they get too close to taverns helped keep some on the wagon, researchers who developed the tool found.
NEW YORK (AP) - A crush it isn't.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Young adults born in the early 1980s held an average of just over six jobs each from ages 18 through 26, a Labor Department survey showed Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Seemingly divided, the Supreme Court struggled Tuesday with the question of whether companies have religious rights, a case challenging President Barack Obama's health overhaul and its guarantee of birth control in employees' preventive care plans.
WASHINGTON (AP) - People who've started applying for health insurance but aren't able to finish before the March 31 enrollment deadline will get extra time, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Virtual currencies like bitcoin will be taxed like property - not currency, the Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New York police commissioner denounced the parachute jump off 1 World Trade Center last fall by three skydiving enthusiasts as a lawless act that put others in danger.
WASHINGTON (AP) - To assuage privacy concerns, the White House and some lawmakers are pushing forward with changes to a surveillance program that would leave the bulk storage of millions of Americans' telephone records in the hands of phone companies, even though they are convinced the information now held by the government is protected and question whether the changes would actually do more to protect privacy.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Federal agencies Tuesday asserted regulatory authority over many of the nation's streams and wetlands in an effort to clarify which are shielded from development under the Clean Water Act, an issue that remains in dispute even after two U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
PHOENIX (AP) - A Phoenix judge on Tuesday spared the life of a pit bull that mauled a 4-year-old boy last month and touched off a polarizing Internet debate on mercy, blame and animal violence.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - A 10-year corporate tax credit for companies that move to California and create more than 100 new jobs, diverting nearly $10 billion in high-speed rail bond money to water storage projects and promoting fracking for oil and natural gas are among the policy proposals released Tuesday by Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld two San Francisco gun laws challenged by the National Rifle Association and gun owners who live in the city.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Porsche carrying "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker was traveling up to 94 mph when it went out of control on a suburban street and crashed, killing the actor and his friend, according to an investigation by law enforcement agencies into the November accident.