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) - Rosemary Anderson could be 81 by the time she pays off her student loans. After struggling with divorce, health problems and an underwater home mortgage, the 57-year-old anticipates there could come a day when her Social Security benefits will be docked to make the payments.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Gadsden County sheriff was accused Tuesday of allowing inmates - including violent felons - out of jail without court permission for short periods so they could visit with family or meet girlfriends in motel rooms.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - In the latest dispute over public lands in the West, New Mexico ranchers are suing the federal government over its attempts to limit their cattle's access to water and grazing areas after a tiny mouse won endangered species protections in the Southwest.
CAMDEN, Ala. (AP) - A man is suspected of killing his five children in South Carolina and then driving all the way to Alabama before dumping their bodies on a dirt road and fleeing to Mississippi, authorities said. Following his arrest, he led police to the site where the lifeless children were found wrapped in individual plastic bags.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - An ex-nurse who admitted going online and encouraging people to kill themselves was convicted Tuesday of assisting the suicide of an English man and attempting to assist in the suicide of a Canadian woman, following a legal battle that has spanned more than four years and led to the reversal of part of a Minnesota law that outlaws the practice.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal appeals court on Tuesday refused to halt the execution of a Missouri inmate, hours before he was scheduled to be put to death.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - An 83-year-old woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to beating her 89-year-old husband to death in their home.
CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple unveiled its long-anticipated smartwatch Tuesday, introducing a device that transplants the features of an iPhone onto a smaller screen that's never more than an arm's length away.
DETROIT (AP) - Honda shared its vision of the hands-free highway commute Tuesday, a car that can safely drive itself on the freeway while the driver's hands are off the wheel.
NEW YORK (AP) - In the world of currencies, the dollar is starting to look like a safe home in a tough neighborhood.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Clinton juggernaut hits the midterm campaign trail this week as the power couple lends fundraising prowess and their seal of approval to Democratic candidates shunning an unpopular President Barack Obama. For Hillary Rodham Clinton, the events with Democratic donors and activists are keeping her profile high as she weighs a second bid for the presidency.
PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) - Lava from one of the world's most active volcanos has been advancing at a slower pace the past few days and is now moving parallel to a sparsely populated subdivision on Hawaii's Big Island.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indiana couple accused of holding a woman captive for two months, often locking her in a small wooden cage, was charged Monday with rape, criminal confinement, kidnapping and other felonies in a case one officer likened to "modernized slavery."
CHICAGO (AP) - Hundreds of children in more than 10 states have been sickened by a severe respiratory illness that public health officials say may be caused by an uncommon virus similar to the germ that causes the common cold.
PHOENIX (AP) - The remnants of Hurricane Norbert pushed into the desert Southwest and swamped Phoenix with record rainfall for a single day, turning freeways into small lakes and sending rescuers scrambling to get drivers out of inundated cars.