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.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A man accused of fatally shooting a 15-year-old girl told investigators he fired his pistol because he wanted to scare a carload of teenagers he believed vandalized his vehicle, Little Rock police said Tuesday.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Police haven't substantiated a newlywed woman's claims that she killed more than 20 people in four states before the killing she's now charged with committing with her husband, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A crew member remained hospitalized Tuesday after violent turbulence triggered "pandemonium" aboard a United Airlines flight into Billings and sent passengers and crew flying through the cabin, according to company representatives and passengers.
CHICAGO (AP) - Doctor ratings are less popular than those of toasters, cars and movies when it comes to online consumer sites. That's according to a survey that found most adults hadn't checked online physician reviews - and most said a conveniently located office and accepting patients' health insurance was more important.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A mother upset about "indecent" T-shirts on display at a Utah mall found a quick if not especially convenient way to remove them: She bought every last one.
NEW YORK (AP) - Coca-Cola's fourth-quarter profit fell as the world's biggest beverage maker once again sold less soda in North America.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 jobs, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - The company behind "Candy Crush Saga" is going public, hoping the popularity of its addictive online game will translate to sweet returns for itself and its investors.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Many Americans took on more credit card debt and failed to make timely payments in the final quarter of 2013, when consumers typically crank up spending on holiday shopping.
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) - Drawing a link between reduced fuel consumption and climate change, President Barack Obama said Tuesday that his administration will issue tougher fuel-efficiency standards for delivery trucks by March 2016.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A U.S. Border Patrol agent fatally shot a man Tuesday after the agent was struck in the head with a rock, authorities said, fueling debate over whether the agency overreacts to rock assaults by suspected smugglers and migrants.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Hoyt Sparks says he has no use for liberal Democrats and their "socialistic, Marxist, communist" ways.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - On a clear, moonlight night 150 years ago, the hand-cranked Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley glided out over glassy seas off South Carolina, sailing into history as the first submarine ever to sink an enemy warship.
BATH, Maine (AP) - Some of the Navy's futuristic weapons sound like something out of "Star Wars," with lasers designed to shoot down aerial drones and electric guns that fire projectiles at hypersonic speeds.
RANCHO MIRAGE (AP) - The costly $787 billion spending bill that President Barack Obama signed into law soon after taking office boosted the economy and helped avoid another Great Depression, the White House said in a status report on Monday's fifth anniversary of the law's enactment.