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.
BOSTON (AP) - Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the face of a terror attack.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A quick candy bar may stave off more than hunger. It could prevent major fights between husbands and wives, at least if a new study that used voodoo dolls is right.
NEW YORK (AP) - The number of Americans who say they've had important personal information stolen online is on the rise, according to a Pew Research Center report released Monday.
NEW YORK (AP) - A con man already imprisoned in a collectible coin scam was sentenced to a life term on Monday for a bizarre, behind-bars plot to decapitate a judge and a prosecutor.
• FEDS CHARGE WOMAN IN HILLARY CLINTON SHOE-THROW: LAS VEGAS (AP) - Federal authorities have lodged two criminal charges against a Phoenix woman accused of throwing a shoe at Hillary Rodham Clinton while she gave a convention speech at a Las Vegas Strip resort.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Concerns about electronic cigarettes, including flavors and marketing that could appeal to young people, underscore the need to regulate the fast-growing industry, according to a Congressional report released Monday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Speaking for the first time in more than two weeks, President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin showed little sign of agreement Monday, with the U.S. leader urging pro-Russian forces to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine and Putin denying that Moscow was interfering in the region.
PERTH, Australia (AP) - The search area for the missing Malaysian jet has proved too deep for a robotic submarine which was hauled back to the surface of the Indian Ocean less than half way through its first seabed hunt for wreckage and the all-important black boxes, authorities said on Tuesday.
PLEASANT GROVE, Utah (AP) - Megan Huntsman was clear about what she did with six of her newborn babies.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A Nevada rancher said Monday he's trying to determine if federal agents damaged his cattle when the animals were rounded up then released in a showdown with angry protesters over a decades-long dispute about rangeland rights.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Social Security Administration is suspending a program in which thousands of people were having their tax refunds seized to recoup overpayments that happened more than a decade ago.
• 7-YEAR-OLD GIRL ACCIDENTALLY SHOT, KILLED AT PARTY: GASTON, S.C. (AP) - Authorities say a 7-year-old girl was killed at a birthday party in South Carolina after a 5-year-old boy accidentally fired a gun that he thought was a toy.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ellen Page, one of the stars of the upcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past," introduced a clip from the film that sees the X-Men joining forces with their younger selves at Sunday night's MTV Movie Awards.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Politically, Richard Dreyfuss describes himself as "intensely pre-partisan, and even more intensely anti-shmuck."
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jerry Lewis says women are funny, but not as crude standup comics.