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Tesla says metal object started battery fire

SEATTLE – The CEO of electric car company Tesla said Friday that a metal object impaled a battery in a Model S that caught fire this week.

Elon Musk gave more detail in a blog post about the fire that became an Internet sensation and unsettled Tesla investors. He also defended the car’s battery technology.

Musk wrote in a blog post Friday that fires are more common in conventional gas-powered vehicles.

The CEO said a curved metal object on the road was apparently to blame for the fire Tuesday. He said the large object’s shape led to a powerful hit on the underside of the vehicle, punching a 3-inch hole through an armor plate that protects the battery under the passenger compartment.

United adding seats to regional flights

CHICAGO – United Airlines confirmed Friday that it will add four more seats to its regional jets, through the reconfiguration of cabins and the addition of thinner seats.

The Chicago-based airline announced on Thursday it will install a thinner seat design on about 500 planes that fly throughout North America.

On Friday, a spokeswoman confirmed details of a blog post that detailed a reconfiguration of the airline’s most popular regional jet, the CRJ700. The company plans to cut the size of the more-expensive and roomier Economy Plus section in half to 16 seats, while the number of seats in coach will rise to 48 from 28.

In total, the planes will have 70 seats, up from 66.

Hobby Lobby adding Jewish merchandise

OKLAHOMA CITY – Arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. will carry Jewish merchandise in some stores after a New Jersey blogger complained about a lack of Hanukkah items, the company’s president said Friday.

Steve Green told the Associated Press that the Oklahoma City-based chain is looking at carrying items this holiday season in stores near areas with large Jewish populations. He could not yet say what the items will be, but he said they should be in stores by November. The company said the items will be sold in stores in New York and New Jersey.

The change came about after Ken Berwitz wrote a scathing blog post about how he would never visit a Hobby Lobby store after an employee told him the chain doesn’t stock Jewish merchandise because the Green family is Christian.

Apple fighting order on e-book oversight

NEW YORK – Apple is fighting a legal order requiring the company to modify its digital book contracts and submit to oversight by a court-appointed antitrust monitor.

The Cupertino, Calif., company filed its notice of appeal Thursday in New York. A federal court concluded that Apple Inc. had illegally colluded with five major publishers to fix the prices of electronic books, at consumers’ expense. The challenge comes a month after U.S. District Judge Denise Cote finalized her order based on a verdict reached in July.

Simon & Schuster Inc., one of the five book publishers affected by the ruling, filed an appeal Friday.

Swiss investigating bank exchange rates

GENEVA – Swiss authorities are investigating whether several of the country’s banks were involved in manipulating currency exchange rates.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or FINMA, announced the probe in a brief statement Friday.

FINMA says it is “coordinating closely with authorities in other countries” because “multiple banks around the world” could be implicated.