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.
OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) - McDonald's plans to expand a test this year that lets people order customized burgers.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Public Service of New Hampshire is looking at whether a little peer pressure can prod people to reduce their electricity use.
SACRAMENTO . (AP) - California businesses and government agencies have experienced 300 separate data breaches exposing the personal information of more than 20 million customer accounts during the past two years, leading state Attorney General Kamala Harris on Thursday to elevate cybersecurity as a key focus of the state's top crime-fighting agency.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Best Buy returned to a profit in the fourth quarter and topped Wall Street expectations as it cut costs to offset declining sales.
NEW YORK (AP) - When an important social issue intersected with business in Arizona, Corporate America decided it was time to take a stand.
LONDON (AP) - Britain's signals intelligence division is stealing screenshots from hundreds of thousands of innocent Yahoo users' webcam videos, according to the Guardian newspaper, which also reported that the years-long operation has swept up a huge haul of intimate photographs.
GOODRICH, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan elementary school teacher is fighting efforts to fire her for shooting cellphone video of a student who got stuck trying to squeeze through the back of his chair and allegedly replaying the footage later for her class.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Adolph Hitler's "Mein Kampf" is considered one of the most racist and heinous screeds in modern history, but an auctioneer says two rare, early editions signed by Hitler could sell Thursday for more than $20,000 at an online auction.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Turns out the worst state for carbon dioxide emissions per person isn't smoggy California or bustling New York, but a place famous for its big, clear skies: Wyoming.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The founder of a Bible-themed museum who recently debated evolution with TV's "Science Guy" Bill Nye said Thursday that the widely watched event helped to boost enthusiasm among followers who invested in a project to build a 510-foot Noah's Ark.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken officially filed Thursday to run for Congress in North Carolina, saying that he wants to help end the gridlock in Washington and that no single political party has all the answers.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - When Wissam Akiki was ordained as a Maronite Catholic priest Thursday night in St. Louis, he was welcomed by hundreds of supporters, including his wife and daughter.
ALLEN, Texas (AP) - A $60 million Texas high school stadium that got national attention for its grandeur and price tag will be shut down indefinitely 18 months after its opening, school district officials said Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Ice cream lovers beware: The government knows you're unlikely to stop after half a cup.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Federal grand juries have indicted five San Francisco police officers, charging two with stealing money and drugs seized as part of investigations, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.