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.
CHICAGO (AP) - A demoted executive shot and critically wounded his company's CEO before fatally shooting himself Thursday inside a high-rise office building in downtown Chicago's bustling financial district, police said.
NEW YORK (AP) - Twitter said government requests for user data grew sharply in the past six months as more countries asked for a greater amount of information about users.
PALO ALTO (AP) - Electric car maker Tesla Motors widened its loss in the second quarter as it prepared for the launch of a new SUV and started work on a massive new battery plant.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The fees that banks charge debit-card users who overdraw their accounts usually cost more than the items being bought.
DENVER (AP) - Alarmed by booming sales of highly potent edible marijuana products, Colorado regulators have drafted an emergency rule making it easier for new users to tell how much pot they're eating.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The governors of California, Oregon and Washington sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewel on Thursday to stress that they don't want the possibility of drilling off of the West Coast.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Americans are wary of granting refugee status to children crossing the U.S. border to flee strife-torn countries in Central America, and most in an Associated Press-GfK poll say the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to accept asylum seekers generally.
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Republicans, scrambling to win conservative support for a bill addressing the immigration crisis on the border, have scheduled a companion vote on legislation to block President Barack Obama from extending deportation relief to any more immigrants here illegally.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A drone carrying cellphones, marijuana and other contraband into a South Carolina maximum-security prison never made it inside the 12-foot-high razor wire fence, and authorities said Wednesday they are looking for one of two people accused in connection with trying to sneak it in.
NEW YORK (AP) - The weather kills at least 2,000 Americans each year and nearly two-thirds of the deaths are from the cold, according to a new government report.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's a ship tied to two critical points in American history: Sept. 11, 2001, and the eve of the Revolutionary War.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida woman who let her 7-year-old son walk alone to a park has been charged with felony child neglect.
CLEVELAND (AP) - A Florida man is accused of trying to suffocate his terminally ill father by holding his hand over the man's nose and mouth at a suburban Cleveland nursing home, police said. The 86-year-old man died a few hours later.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A former IRS official at the center of the agency's tea party controversy referred to some right-wing Republicans as "crazies" and more in emails released Wednesday. A key GOP lawmaker says the remarks show that Lois Lerner was biased against conservative groups and targeted them for extra scrutiny.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas man accused of leaving his 10-month-old foster child in a hot car where she died was charged Wednesday with murder.