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.
WAYZATA, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota clothier spared no expense after a customer forgot his wedding pants in a changing room and flew off to get married in Costa Rica.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma pharmacy has submitted a sealed response to a Missouri death row inmate's lawsuit accusing it of illegally providing Missouri with a made-to-order drug to be used in his lethal injection.
RANCHO MIRAGE (AP) - With two visits in less than a year to the sprawling Sunnylands estate in Southern California, President Barack Obama is helping to fulfill the dream of the late philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg, who hoped the desert property they used as a winter home would become the "Camp David of the West."
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Los Angeles skyscraper has been cited for failing to change its light bulbs. The FCC says they're interfering with cellphones.
• POLICE: ARIZONA WALMART SHOOTING WAS SELF-DEFENSE: PHOENIX (AP) - A man who shot and killed another man inside a suburban Phoenix Walmart opened fire in self-defense, Chandler police said Monday.
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The rapidly growing North Dakota oil patch city of Williston has the highest average rent in the United States, a national study from an apartment renting guide shows.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - They're hidden in babies' diapers, ramen noodle soup packages, footballs, soda cans and even body cavities.
uPOWERBALL ESTIMATED JACKPOT SURGES TO $400M: DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Without a Powerball winner this weekend, the prize has climbed to $400 million - one of the largest in U.S. lottery history.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A verdict in the city of Jacksonville is again raising the issue of self-defense and race in Florida, just seven months after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting of a black teenager, Trayvon Martin.