World briefs: Egypt protest planned today

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CAIRO -- Egypt's political crisis is widening, with plans for a huge march and a general strike today to protest the hurried drafting of a new constitution and decrees by President Mohammed Morsi that gave him nearly unrestricted powers.

Mr. Morsi also faces the prospect of wider civil disobedience as media, the tourism industry and law professors pondered moves that would build on a strike by the nation's judges.

The planned strikes and march raise new fears of unrest, threatening to derail the country's transition to democratic rule.

Mr. Morsi has called for a Dec. 15 national referendum to approve the constitution.

100-mile-long traffic jam

MOSCOW -- The snow came down hard Friday, more than 2 feet in places. But in Russia, where winters are long and hard, it was nothing out of the ordinary, it seemed.

Then some localities decided to close exits on the M10 highway between Moscow and St. Petersburg, a 400-mile stretch. The ensuing traffic jam -- 100 miles long and involving 10,000 vehicles -- trapped some motorists for three days.

State television broadcast images of travelers huddled for warmth in idling cars, and after order seemed to break down among drivers left to fend for themselves in the subfreezing temperatures. Roadside cafes gouged those wanting sausages and loaves of bread, and the price of cigarettes was reported to have shot up tenfold.

Pope Benedict on Twitter

VATICAN CITY -- Now trending on Twitter: Pope Benedict XVI.

On Monday, the Vatican announced that the 85-year-old pontiff would begin posting messages on Twitter next week under the handle @pontifex, a term for pope that means bridge-builder in Latin. Within hours, he had more than 100,000 followers.

Pope Benedict is expected to hit "send" on his first post at a general audience at the Vatican on Dec. 12. The move is aimed at drawing in the church's 1.2 billion followers, especially young people.

The Daily to shut down

LOS ANGELES -- It was too expensive. It lacked editorial focus. And for a digital publication, it was strangely cut off from the Internet. That's the obituary being written in real time through posts, tweets and online chats about The Daily, the first-of-its-kind iPad newspaper that is being shut down this month.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. said Monday that The Daily will publish its final issue Dec. 15, less than two years after its January 2011 launch. The Daily had roughly 100,000 subscribers who paid either 99 cents a week or $40 a year for its daily download of journalism tailored for touch screens. But that wasn't enough to sustain some 100 employees and millions of dollars in losses.

News Corp. is being split in two to separate its publishing enterprises from its TV and movie businesses. Mr. Murdoch's choice of Robert Thomson, who serves as editor-in-chief of News Corp.'s Dow Jones and managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, as CEO of the proposed spinoff is expected this week.

20 insurgents killed

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombia's military said Monday that it killed at least 20 Revolutionary Armed Forces insurgents in a weekend air raid on guerrilla camps in its most deadly attack on the country's main leftist rebel group since March.

President Juan Manuel Santos has refused to honor a unilateral cease-fire declared by the rebels, known by their Spanish initials FARC, when they began formal peace talks with the government in Havana on Nov. 19.

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