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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police may search a home without a warrant when two occupants disagree about allowing officers to enter, and the resident who refuses access is then arrested.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Florida Republican congressional hopeful David Jolly was not charged and not at fault in a 1989 car crash in which he fatally struck a pedestrian, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.
VISTA (AP) - The lead singer of Grammy-nominated metal band As I Lay Dying pleaded guilty Tuesday to trying to hire someone to kill his estranged wife.
WASHINGTON (AP) - State attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws in their states banning same-sex marriage if the laws discriminate in a way forbidden by the Constitution, Attorney General Eric Holder told his state counterparts Tuesday.
• FIRST COLORADO COUNTY REPORTS POT TAXES: DENVER (AP) - A southern Colorado county with two recreational marijuana stores has become the first in the state to announce tax totals from the new industry.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The first night in the United States for a family of Japanese tourists ended with the parents being pulled from their rental car at gunpoint with their young son watching after their confusion about American traffic laws set off a high-speed pursuit in southern Utah.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - A jazzy band behind her and 100 people crowded into a bar before her, the evening's emcee walked on to stage wearing a Victorian outfit of corsets, bustles, bloomers and a feathered hat.
SPARKS, Nev. (AP) - The parents of a 12-year-old Sparks boy who shot and killed a teacher and wounded two students before turning the gun on himself have donated nearly $14,000 to an anti-bullying program in a partnership with the school district.
MOSCOW (AP) - A successful Olympics behind him, President Vladimir Putin is facing what may become the most dramatic challenge of his rule: how to respond to the turmoil in Ukraine, a country he has declared vital for Russia's interests, which is home to millions of Russian-speakers and hosts a major Russian navy base.
ATLANTA (AP) - A new study may be another signal of a national decline in childhood obesity.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court appeared divided on Monday over the sole Obama administration program already in place to limit power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.
SOUTHGATE, Mich. (AP) - Rep. John Dingell, who played a key role in some of the biggest liberal legislative victories of the past 60 years, said Monday that he will not try to add to what is already the longest congressional career in history.
STANFORD (AP) - More than a dozen children in California have developed an extremely rare, polio-like syndrome within the past year that within days paralyzed one or more of the children's arms or legs, Stanford University researchers say.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A 12-year-old Pittsburgh girl who got out of her father's SUV to pose for photos with a boy after her first date was struck and killed by the vehicle, police said Monday, and her father was charged with DUI.
• PREMIUMS MAY RISE FOR 11 MILLION WORKERS: NEW YORK (AP) - The new health care law may raise insurance premiums for 11 million small business employees and lower rates for 6 million others.