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.
FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man accused of killing his parents and then throwing a party with their bodies still inside their house was ordered Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - A man from Pennsylvania's Amish country is headed to trial in a drive-by shooting that killed a horse pulling a buggy with a family inside.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Raising the stakes in an East-West showdown over Ukraine, President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered economic sanctions against nearly two dozen members of Vladimir Putin's inner circle and a major Russian bank that provides them support. He warned that more sweeping penalties against Russia's robust energy sector could follow.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Search planes joined a freighter early Friday to scan rough seas in one of the remotest places on Earth after satellite images detected possible pieces from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane in the southern Indian Ocean.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Four gunmen with pistols stuffed into their socks attacked a luxury hotel frequented by foreigners in Afghanistan's capital Thursday, just hours after militants killed 11 people in an audacious assault on a police station in eastern Afghanistan.
SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (AP) - Surrendering to Russia's inexorable seizure of Crimea, Ukraine announced plans Wednesday for mass troop withdrawals from the strategic peninsula as Moscow-loyal forces seized control of Kiev's naval headquarters here and detained its commander.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Federal officials must help Kansas and Arizona enforce laws requiring new voters to document their U.S. citizenship, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, in a decision that could encourage other Republican-led states to consider similar policies.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - The FBI joined forces with Malaysian authorities in analyzing deleted data on a flight simulator belonging to the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, while distraught relatives of the passengers unleashed their anger - wailing in frustration at 12 days of uncertainty.
NEW YORK (AP) - Jerome Murdough was just looking for a warm place to sleep on a chilly night last month when he curled up in an enclosed stairwell on the roof of a Harlem public housing project where he was arrested for trespassing.
HOUSTON (AP) - A house overflowing with more than 100 people presumed to be in the U.S. illegally was uncovered just outside Houston on Wednesday, a police spokesman said.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A man who tried to make off with a suitcase full of costumes and props used by the all-male revue Thunder From Down Under fired a shot at the head of one cast member before being subdued and left with a black eye, police said Wednesday.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Accompanied only by the family dog and his toy truck, a 3-year-old boy wandered the streets near his Oregon home in June 2011 while his father slept.
ATLANTA (AP) - Almost half of Americans ages 40 to 75 and nearly all men over 60 qualify to consider cholesterol-lowering statin drugs under new heart disease prevention guidelines, an analysis concludes.
DALLAS (AP) - FedEx Corp. says its latest quarterly profit rose 5 percent from a year ago despite storms that raised the company's costs, but the results were below analysts' expectations.
DETROIT (AP) - General Motors, beware.