Rocket science firm hired probe air bag explosions

The auto industry has hired a Virginia rocket science company to find out why air bags can explode with too much force and injure drivers and passengers.

Ten automakers whose vehicles have been recalled because of problems with Takata Corp. air bags said Thursday they have jointly hired Orbital ATK to figure out the problem. The suburban Washington, D.C., company makes rocket propulsion systems, small arms ammunition, warhead fuses and missile controls.

The companies also named David Kelly, a former acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as project manager for the investigation.

Air bags inflators made by Takata of Japan can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel into car and truck cabins. At least six people have been killed and 64 injured due to the problems.

New York Daily News owner exploring ‘possibility’ of sale

The New York Daily News may be up for sale.

Mort Zuckerman, the owner and publisher of the New York City tabloid newspaper, sent a memo to employees on Thursday that said he was approached about a potential sale a few weeks ago. The memo was sent to The Associated Press.

Zuckerman says “there were no immediate plans to consider a sale,” but “we thought it would be prudent to explore the possibility and talk to potential buyers and/or investors.”

He has hired the financial advisory firm Lazard to help with the process.

Zuckerman says the newspaper is in a strong position, especially online.

Zuckerman did not say who the potential buyer is and his spokesman Tom Goodman had no comment beyond the memo.

Penney shares down after surprise holiday quarter loss

Shares of J.C Penney tumbled Thursday after the struggling retailer posted a surprise loss for the holiday quarter, despite improving sales trends.

Penney’s shares slid almost 10 percent in aftermarket trading to $8.20.

Amazon hires former White House press secretary

Amazon hired former White House press secretary Jay Carney to run global corporate affairs, company spokesman Craig Berman confirmed Thursday.

The news was first reported by the website Politico.

Carney will become senior vice president and head of global corporate affairs, a new job at the company. He’ll oversee both the public relations and public policy teams, splitting time between Washington, D.C., and Seattle.

Carney will report directly to Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos.

— From news service reports