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.
LONDON (AP) - It's the dress that's beating the Internet black and blue. Or should that be gold and white?
TYRONE, Mo. (AP) - A man who authorities say may have been unhinged by the death of his ailing mother killed seven people and then took his own life in a house-to-house shooting rampage that wiped out a swath of this tiny town in the Missouri Ozarks.
SALEM, Mass. (AP) - Police say a Massachusetts woman allowed her 2-year-old daughter to sip her margarita at a restaurant and poured some of it into the girl's sippy cup.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Come summer 2016, when the best of the best athletes climb podiums wearing gold, silver and bronze medals, Las Vegas gamblers could very well be counting their green.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The new mayor of the nation's capital was hoping to get along fine with Republicans on Capitol Hill.
TROY, Mo. (AP) - An eastern Missouri judge on Thursday reduced the bond for four people accused of staging a kidnapping of a 6-year-old boy in hopes of teaching the child about potential dangers.
FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - A man convicted of beating his wife with a frying pan and strangling her said that he misses her daily before he was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison before parole.
MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) - A New York City man was convicted Thursday of setting up the fatal shooting of his wife while the couple was on a walk with one of their young sons in New Jersey.
NEW YORK (AP) - Two men arrested on charges of plotting to help the Islamic State group were vocal both online and in person about their commitment and desire to join the extremists, with one speaking of shooting President Barack Obama to "strike fear in the hearts of infidels," federal authorities said.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) - A woman accused of force feeding her 5-year-old son salt through a stomach tube reveled in the attention that a sickly child brought her, a prosecutor said Thursday at her trial.
MENLO PARK (AP) - Facebook users who don't fit any of the 58 gender identity options offered by the social media giant are now being given a rather big 59th option: fill in the blank.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Computers, cellphones and landlines in Arizona were knocked out of service for hours, ATMs stopped working, 911 systems were disrupted and businesses were unable to process credit card transactions - all because vandals sliced through a fiber-optic Internet cable buried in the rocky desert.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Internet activists declared victory over the nation's big cable companies Thursday, after the Federal Communications Commission voted to impose the toughest rules yet on broadband service to prevent companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from creating paid fast lanes and slowing or blocking web traffic.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Amid appeals for bipartisanship, President Barack Obama in just three days has provoked Republicans on issues as disparate as immigration, Wall Street and the Keystone XL pipeline - a combative mix of defense and offense that underscores Washington's political realignment.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A spacewalking astronaut ended up with unwanted water in his helmet Wednesday after breezing through a cable and lube job outside the International Space Station.