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.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A northern New Mexico sheriff abused his power when he unnecessarily chased a motorist and pointed his revolver to the driver's head in "a fit of road rage," a federal prosecutor said Monday.
SEATTLE (AP) - A new study released Monday found that warming temperatures in Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of North America over the past century closely followed natural changes in the wind, not increases in greenhouse gases related to global warming.
WEST MILFORD, N.J. (AP) - A black bear believed to have attacked and killed a hiker over the weekend likely was looking for food and was circling the victim's body when sheriff's officers and wildlife officials killed it, officials said Monday.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis County police apologized Monday for the wording of a flier announcing a seminar to help officers interact with the media.
SEATTLE (AP) - Seattle's elected prosecutor said Monday he's dropping all tickets issued for the public use of marijuana through the first seven months of this year, because most of them were issued by a single police officer who disagrees with the legal pot law.
SHERIFF: IOWA MAN LOCKED 5 KIDS IN BEDROOM ALL DAY: IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man is charged with locking his girlfriend's five children in a bedroom for more than 24 hours at a time without food or a bathroom, authorities said Monday.
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - A Fort Bliss soldier was charged with capital murder after he fatally beat his 2-year-old daughter with a belt because she soiled her diaper, according to West Texas police.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Pentagon program that distributes military surplus gear to local law enforcement allows even departments that the Justice Department has censured for civil rights violations to apply for and get lethal weaponry.
NEW YORK (AP) - Apple's new and bigger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are more durable than last year's model and a leading Android phone, a study says.
NEW YORK (AP) - The latest issue of the digital magazine "Dabiq" features glossy photos of smiling militants from the Islamic State group, mutilated bodies on the battlefield and articles with titles such as, "There is No Life Without Jihad" and "Foley's Blood is on Obama's Hands."
NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. Secret Service is having preliminary discussions about setting up security screening checkpoints near public areas around the White House, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press Sunday.
FRESNO (AP) - Residents in drought-stricken California whose wells have gone dry will soon get help from key state agencies under an order Gov. Jerry Brown signed Friday.
CHICAGO (AP) - Jon Daniel was watching cartoons with one of his sons when he created a spoof Twitter account in the name of the Peoria mayor. Out of boredom, he said, he soon began sending profane messages about sex, drugs and alcohol.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - After hundreds of negative responses, Texas officials appear to be backing off a plan to allow alcohol to be sold at some gun shows, which would have come with strict conditions.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - No crime was committed by a woman who told authorities she kept the remains of her miscarried pregnancy in a jar in the freezer for nearly a year, the coroner in Las Vegas said Friday.