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) - Cuts are on the table next year for Medicare Advantage plans, the Obama administration said Friday. The politically dicey move affecting a private insurance alternative highly popular with seniors immediately touched off an election-year fight.
SAN MATEO (AP) - GoPro isn't exactly a household name, but anyone who's spent a little time on YouTube is surely familiar with the thousands of snowboarding, surfing and even skateboarding baby videos that its cameras produce.
NEW YORK (AP) - The first time I was in the proximity of Google Glass was nearly a year ago at a technology conference. The people wearing the device were like cyborg members of an elite club I couldn't join.
WASHINGTON (AP) - It looks like the government is more conflicted about cellphones on planes than most travelers. Even as one federal agency considers allowing the calls, another now wants to make sure that doesn't happen.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Countless pedestrians near Philadelphia's main train station walked by a snow-covered sedan with dark windows and a slew of parking tickets before police this week found the body of a young mother inside.
BOSTON (AP) - A Bitcoin ATM has landed at a Boston rail hub, allowing commuters to learn about the digital currency.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Architect Frank Gehry is maintaining key elements of his design for a memorial honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower near the National Mall in a revised concept presented Thursday, despite recent criticism from a federal arts panel and outside groups.
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's official vehicles were spotted breaking several traffic laws on Thursday, just two days after he laid out a sweeping traffic safety plan that included harsh restrictions on reckless drivers.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Police can lie when interrogating suspects, but when the lies become "patently coercive," any confession cannot be used as evidence, New York's highest court ruled Thursday.
ATLANTA (AP) - Flu season seems to be winding down, and it's been an odd one.
MILFORD, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man has lost his job and unemployment benefits for using a forklift to get a candy bar from a malfunctioning vending machine, state records say.
LOS LUNAS, N.M. (AP) - A 15-year-old New Mexico boy accused of killing his 12-year-old friend struck him following an argument over the teen's infant daughter then stuffed his body under a mattress in an abandoned field, court documents said.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - The federal government will pay $3.5 million to the family of a 9-year-old boy crushed to death by a retaining wall at a national park in Northern California.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Eight New Jersey high school wrestlers scratched from a state tournament days after a photo surfaced of team members apparently simulating a lynching were intending to show school spirit, their attorney said Thursday.
READING, Pa. (AP) - Orange cones and flashing police lights confronted Ricardo Nieves as he rounded a bend on the way to his mother's house. Before he knew what was going on, Nieves said, a man working for a government contractor stepped in front of his car and forced him to turn into a parking lot. There, a woman repeatedly tried to question him about his driving habits and asked for a mouth swab that would detect the presence of illegal or prescription drugs in his system.