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.
CHICAGO (AP) - Children's kidney and thyroid cancers have increased in recent years, and though the diseases are rare, experts wonder if the rising rates could be related to obesity.
DEPUTIES: WOMAN BIT VICTIM, CALLS IT 'ZOMBIE GAME' : COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) - Authorities in Oregon say a woman has been arrested after breaking in to a house, pushing a woman down the stairs, pulling her hair, biting her on the face and telling her victim she was playing "the zombie game."
MADRID (AP) - A British boy who has a severe brain tumor is being readied to travel from southern Spain for treatment in the Czech Republic's capital aboard a specially-prepared private jet, officials said late Sunday.
RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (AP) - Not long ago, the U.S. Border Patrol was the only law enforcement agency monitoring the mesquite thickets and sugarcane fields along the Rio Grande, and an agent's challenge was to distinguish between an exhausted immigrant and a threat.
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - A developer presumed dead with his wife in a private plane crash near Jamaica had an "uncanny instinct" for revitalizing properties and an "incalculable" impact on his western New York hometown's resurgence from crumbling industrial center to trendy destination for young professionals, friends and colleagues said.
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - Health care and the partial government shutdown underscored the first debate Saturday between U.S. Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and Republican U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, who are deadlocked in a pivotal Colorado contest that could determine control of the Senate.
NEW YORK (AP) - The shirt a Navy SEAL wore in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and a special coin given to a CIA officer who played a key role in finding him are being displayed at the Sept. 11 museum, adding potent symbols of the terrorist attacks' aftermath days before their anniversary.
NEW YORK (AP) - Howard Stern delivered the eulogy, Broadway singer-actress Audra McDonald sang "Smile" and bagpipers played "New York, New York" at Joan Rivers' funeral Sunday, a star-studded send-off that - like the late comedian herself - brought together the worlds of Hollywood, theater, fashion and media.
RICHMOND (AP) - A commuter bus was hit by a stolen car and smashed into a San Francisco Bay area home as a mother and two small children sat inside Friday evening, sending 11 people to the hospital but none with serious injuries, police said.
CINCINNATI (AP) - Many of the nation's citizen-soldiers, whose motto is "Always Ready, Always There," won't be at regular training drills this weekend because of a federal funding shortfall.
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - Shadowed by two U.S. fighter jets, a small plane with its windows frosted and its pilot slumped over flew a ghostly 1,700-mile journey down the Atlantic Coast and beyond Friday before finally crashing in the waters off Jamaica. The fate of the two or more people aboard was not immediately known.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah woman accused of dumping her newborn in the trash in an attempt to hide her pregnancy from her parents has been charged with attempted murder, Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill said Friday.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A teenage mother is fighting a do-not-resuscitate order imposed on her brain-damaged daughter, saying she should be responsible for medical decisions. Child welfare officials who intervened after the baby was severely injured say life-saving measures in the event she stops breathing would only prolong her suffering.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Tucson police this week rescued a 16-year-old boy they say had been beaten, blindfolded and bound after being kidnapped for ransom because his captors believed he came from a wealthy family.
CLEVELAND (AP) - An HIV-positive priest has pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from a Cleveland-area park ranger.