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.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The heat records keep falling for California. The state has had its hottest first seven months of the year, crushing the previous mark.
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Members of a Black Hills family and their friends acknowledge that a betting pool they run on how many bikers will die during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota is a bit macabre, but they say they mean no harm.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Five law students have sued a Florida software company over a computer submission system that malfunctioned while they and thousands of others across the country were taking the bar exam one day in July - showing that future attorneys may be the last people you want to anger.
CAMP PENDLETON (AP) - Another 130 U.S. troops arrived in Iraq on Tuesday on what the Pentagon described as a temporary mission to assess the scope of the humanitarian crisis facing thousands of displaced Iraqi civilians trapped on Sinjar Mountain and evaluate options for getting them out to safety.
• POLICE WON'T RELEASE NAME OF OFFICER WHO SHOT TEEN: FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - The Rev. Al Sharpton pressed police Tuesday to release the name of the officer who fatally shot an unarmed teenager in suburban St. Louis, and he pleaded for calm after two nights of violent protests over the young man's death.
MAN STRUCK BY 3 VEHICLES, INCLUDING 2 PATROL CARS: GARDNERVILLE, Nev. (AP) - The Nevada Highway Patrol is investigating the death of a pedestrian who was struck by three vehicles on U.S. Highway 395 south of Gardnerville, including two Douglas County sheriff's patrol cars.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States said Sunday it "fully supports" Iraq's new president, just hours after embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki accused him of violating the constitution.
HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii's Democratic Unity Breakfast the morning after the primary election is traditionally a time for candidates to set aside their differences and coalesce against the Republican candidates they will face in November.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - An 18-year-old black man shot multiple times by a suburban St. Louis police officer was unarmed when he died, police said Sunday, as hundreds of local residents protested and a civil rights leader expressed outrage at the killing.
WASHINGTON (AP) - This week's death of former White House press secretary James Brady, who survived a gunshot wound to the head in a 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, has been ruled a homicide, District of Columbia police said Friday.
FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota prosecutors argued Friday that an ex-nurse should be convicted of assisting suicide for going online and urging two people to kill themselves, but a defense attorney said there's no evidence to prove that William Melchert-Dinkel's Internet chats led directly to their deaths.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A 12-year-old boy accused of fatally stabbing a 9-year-old boy on a western Michigan playground told authorities he wanted to go to jail and did not know the victim, according to a court document filed Friday.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas could start allowing alcohol sales at gun shows provided they don't allow live ammunition or let buyers take possession of their weapons at the events.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Oracle Corp. has sued the state of Oregon in a fight over the state's health insurance exchange, saying government officials are using the technology company's software despite $23 million in disputed bills.
DETROIT (AP) General Motors' troubles with safety recalls has surfaced in another case, this time with the company recalling a group of SUVs for a third time to fix power window switches that can catch fire.